Disney FastPass Changes!

OK, you’ve all probably heard by now the FastPass rumor that Disney plans to start “enforcing” the FastPass windows at Walt Disney World beginning March 7th, 2012.

Is the rumor true? I’m not sure just yet. But you can be sure I’ll be in Walt Disney World on March 7th to check this out, and I’ll report back here on my findings!

Since some of you have asked how this might affect RideMax, I’ve included this short video to help explain what this change means, and how you can use RideMax to help plan for it.

Disney FastPass: Changes Coming?
Disney FastPass: Changes Coming?

Enjoy!

 

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Stop and Say “Hi” in the Magic Kingdom Tomorrow!

I plan to be in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom tomorrow morning, December 27th. If you see a really tall guy wearing a RideMax shirt collecting wait time information, be sure to say hello!

Although I’ll be something of a moving target, if you’re using the mobile version of RideMax in the park tomorrow, you should be able to track my movement fairly well by noting the wait times I post in RideMax.

I hope to see some of you tomorrow!

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RideMax Reviews – Thanks!

RideMax Reviews - Thanks for spreading the word!

As the author of RideMax, it’s sometimes amazing to me how little paid advertising we’ve had to do for RideMax. Happy customers who have actually used RideMax at Disneyland or Disney World, and who then recommend RideMax to their friends, has really done most of this work for us.

So with that, here is yet another of those nice RideMax reviews. Thanks also to Rich Pearson, for his kind words here about RideMax. Reviews of RideMax like these from actual customers are so appreciated!

Now a question: How did you first hear about RideMax? A friend? An online article? Please let me know in the comments below!

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UEA Break at Disneyland: RideMax Tips!

World of Color - Disneyland Resort's New Show!
World of Color - Disneyland Resort's New Show!

For those wondering, “UEA” stands for the Utah Education Association, which typically holds its annual convention on a Thursday and Friday in October. Schools in Utah normally close for the convention, making a perfect excuse for many Utahns Escaping to Anaheim!

The UEA break this year is October 20-21. Though not as crowded as spring break or Christmas week, UEA does bring some extra crowds into the park, with some folks even leaving town early and arriving before the official break begins on Thursday.

So, what can you do to help cut down your wait and enjoy your Disneyland visit over UEA weekend? Here are three tips:

Tip #1: Arrive early in the morning. You’d be surprised at how much time you can save in line by simply arriving at Disneyland in time to be among the first guests entering the park for the day.

There are two reasons for this.

First (and most obvious), the lines for some of the popular attractions are at their shortest of the entire day first thing in the morning. Some folks mistakenly believe they can make up for this by staying late into the evening, and to some extent this is true, but don’t be surprised if you still see an hour-long posted wait for Splash Mountain at 10:00pm! Clearly, arriving early is still better than staying late if you’re trying to avoid the crowds.

The other reason for arriving early is that you can get much better use of Disney’s FastPass system early in the day. Consider that first thing in the morning, once you have obtained one FastPass, you are allowed to obtain another one in as little as 40 minutes or so after obtaining the first one. Contrast this with later in the day, when you may have to wait two hours before obtaining the next one, or worse, FastPass may even be gone for the day for some of the more popular attractions (Star Tours, anyone?)!

Tip #2: Maximize your use of FastPass! Even though FastPass has been in use at Disney’s parks for over 10 years now, it’s amazing that some guests still seem to think Disney charges for this service, or don’t know how to get the most from the FastPass system. So let me emphasize this point: FastPass is FREE, and it can save you a lot of time in line!

Once you obtain that first FastPass of the day, make a mental note of the time at which you can obtain your next one (this time will be indicated at the bottom of your first FastPass ticket). Then when that time draws near, send a “runner” from your group over to obtain your next FastPass ticket, and continue this process throughout the day.

The RideMax for Disneyland planner can help you prioritize which FastPasses to obtain first (and we’ve reserved at least one Disneyland FastPass “trick” for our subscribers), but even without the software you can save time in line by carefully noting the time at which you can obtain your next FastPass, and gathering them accordingly.

Tip #3: Take a midday break! If you’ve followed my advice above and arrived early, you’ll find it’s very difficult to “burn the candle at both ends,” and stay late into the night as well, especially if you’re traveling with young children. If you’ve followed tip #2 and racked up a stack of FastPasses by 2pm or so, feel free to leave the park for a much-needed break back at the hotel during the busy afternoon hours. (Many RideMax plans include a large block of afternoon “free time,” so this break can fit naturally into place if you’re using RideMax as well!)

If you follow this last bit of advice, who knows? You might be surprised to find that the kids enjoy the hotel pool almost as much as they enjoy the park itself!

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