Pop Culture Clash
by Chris Pierce
The Disney FastPass
Last September my wife, our kids, my parents and mother-in-law took a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida. My children at the time were 4 and 19 months. We enjoyed the Disney magic by partaking in parades, character meals and shows.
Ever since we came home I have been somewhat of a Disney geek, reading news stories and immersing myself in all things Disney. For those of you not familiar or who have not taken a trip to Disney, they allow you to make advance dining reservations 180 days before the first day of your trip. For more popular character meals you need to make them on the particular day or you may lose out and not be able to allow your children feel that magic of having the characters take the time with them and spend the time with them that they might not be able to if you are waiting in line in the parks.
Disney also has what is called a fastpass system. This allows you to go to a popular attraction place your park tickets in and you are then given an hour window to come back to the attraction later that day. This significantly reduces the time waiting in line and helps reduce the stress, especially with young children.
Last week it is reported that Disney is going to be taking things a step further and they are going to be testing their new xPass beginning May 1-May 15. Offered to guests staying in deluxe resorts, xPass will allow you to plan most of your vacation before you even leave your house. It will allow you to plan what time you ride popular rides in the parks, what time you will see parades and what time you will eat your meals.
With the pilot program Disney is running once the person decides in advance which Magic Kingdom attractions they’re going to visit and in what order, they are locked into that itinerary and Disney is not going to allow any deviations to the plan. This means less flexibility which any parent who has a young child knows is very important in everyday life, but more important when in an unfamiliar place with an unfamiliar agenda. I can see how this will work with some people who like to have every second of every day planned out, even on vacation, but children always throw monkey wrenches into plans that you make.
There are a few more things that worry me about this plan, I am afraid that this will reduce the number of fastpasses available and in turn will make the lines longer in the queues for non fastpass lines. Secondly I am afraid that this particular option will cause families to overspend on their vacations and want to stay at a deluxe Disney resort when they can only afford a value or moderate resort.
I am sure Disney has taken all of this into account and like almost everything Disney does this will probably be successful, but those are my two cents, I don’t like the idea and I can say with 98% certainty that my family will probably not take part in this when we look to take our next trip in December of 2013.
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