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Disney's Fastpass

Disney's Fastpass is a virtual queuing system used at all the Disney parks around the world. The system was introduced to the Disney parks in 1999. Fastpass can allow guests to avoid long lines at attractions while they can enjoy other rides during their wait. The Fastpass system is completely free.

Design theory

Every single ride at a Disney ride can hold a maximum amount of riders each day. Some rides, like Haunted Mansion, might be able to have 2,000 guests in one hour. If Fastpass is installed on the ride (coincidentally, the ride uses Fastpass, but only at holiday time), then 24,000 guests can experience the ride in one day of operation. 

Before every park opens, the ride's wait is pre-set at a certain time, like a half hour. The Fastpasses for that attraction are divided into time intervals (Ex: There are 1,000 Fastpasses, divided into 10 time intervals). The time intervals allow guests to get their Fastpass. Each Fastpass has a different time on it (Ex: One might be valid to use from 4:15-5:15 PM and another can be valid from 5:20-6:20PM). For most average rides, the pre-set time will most likely be the Fastpass wait for the day.

But on certain occasions and rides, like the unforgettable Splash Mountain log flume attraction, time intervals are gone quickly, making the pre-set waits longer (Ex: The pre-set wait is a half hour, but since the time intervals are taken quickly, the line becomes an hour long). 

Operations

Every attraction equipped with the Fastpass system has a small area near the ride's entrance with several tiny booths themed to the ride. At each of the booths are two slots. A guest takes out their ticket to the park and inserts it into the first slot. The Fastpass for the ride comes out the second slot, which is normally below the first. At most Disney parks, guests have to wait one hour before they can wait in the Fastpass line for the attraction they got a Fastpass from. For special shows, Fastpasses can be used fifteen minutes after receiving, and all Paris attractions can use Fastpasses approximately thirty minutes after receiving a Fastpass. At the bottom, it also says when another Fastpass for the ride can be obtained.

At all the parks, guests can only have one Fastpass for a ride at a time (Ex: Guests can only have their Fastpasses for the group. They can't get two for everyone). If a guest attempts to get two, a Fastpass comes out. It explains that it is invalid and it prints the next time that guest can get another Fastpass. 

Fastpasses are also given via cast members. If a ride that utilizes Fastpasses breaks down, like the Maelstrom boat ride, the cast member gives the guests in line Fastpasses, so when the ride is up and running again, guests can use their Fastpass to get on quickly.

Promotions

Over the years, Fastpass has received several special promotions for guests visiting the parks.

  • From January 2007 to December 2008, most guests visiting the park could receive a Dream Fastpass. The Dream Fastpass was given by a cast member to a random guest standing in line for a ride (usually in the first few hours after opening). The pass was held on a lanyard, and each ride had a removable tab that the guest could hand in. If a person had the pass, they could use it for any Fastpass time the ride used. At the Disneyland Resort, the Dream Fastpass could be used in both parks. However, at Walt Disney World, it only could be used in the park it was given to in.
  • During Summer 2011-2012, guests staying nights at any of the three Disneyland hotels surrounding Disneyland Resort received two free Fastpasses from the park. The Fastpasses allowed guests to enter the line for the ride whenever. The Fastpasses were also able to be used on the newly-opened (at the time) The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure, which, in reality, does not use the Fastpass system. This promotion has been used several times since its first.

Rides equipped with Fastpass

Every single park, except for the waterparks, utilizes the Fastpass system. Several attractions that have used the system have closed.

Disneyland Resort

The Disneyland Resort has 14 attractions equipped with Fastpasses. At holiday season, 15 rides are equipped.

Disneyland Park

Disney's California Adventure

Walt Disney World Resort

During the regular operating season, Walt Disney World has 23 rides equipped with Fastpass. On seasonal occasions, the resort has 25 rides equipped.

Magic Kingdom

Epcot

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Gallery

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