Just an idea that’s been bouncing around my head, particularly after the recent vacation…
Although I think that Disney’s FastPass concept is a pretty cool one, I’ve found that it does have one fundamental flaw that prevents me from using it any more than just occasionally – you have to actually walk to the attraction to get a ticket that will allow you admission at a later time. Now mind you, perhaps this is simply a problem for me because I tend to be quite lazy, but nonetheless consider this: what if we could request FastPasses from anywhere in the park?
The entire concept is designed to help save time and make the system more efficient, so why not let me order a pass for Big Thunder Railroad while I’m all the way across the park ready to get on Space Mountain? Trips back and forth throughout the day can easily add up to over an hour of just travel time during high-traffic days (especially factoring in the parades!), and since the passes are generated based on volume and numbers anyways, not the number of people currently standing in line to get a FastPass, what’s it matter where I actually request it from?
In fact, I’d even take it a step further than that and suggest a system that will more or less establish a FastPass itinery for my day at the park without having to request and utilize them one-by-one, although obviously this option would be a little more difficult to envision! The initial options to offer could be based on actual stats from previous years, allowing the computer to grant online travel planners the option to create schedules before they even left the house! A smart system would offer up alternatives if the requested rides weren’t available at a specific time, and of course, seats would be available to the stand-by riders in the event that people do not show up for their scheduled ride. My even more so technologically-friendly version even offers parties a PDA to carry with them throughout the day, which could not only track everyone’s FastPasses together for them, but also alert the group that, “Hey – there’s an opening for 3 riders on the Rockin’ Rollercoaster between 3 & 4 PM if you’re interested!” Users could trade passes with each other and actually put a little more control back into their own hands, all the while making the system more efficient at the same time.
(The scenario that comes to mind right now depicts a group of four who opt to grab something to eat instead of exercising their passes for a time period. On their way to dinner, they’re able to cancel these passes via PDA, thus releasing them back into the pool for other guests so that the reserved time does not go wasted.)
Maybe it’s too much organization for the system, I don’t know, but it just seems to me like I’d use it a whole lot more if there wasn’t so much footwork involved. Right now I can see taking advantage of it for a Mission: Space / Test Track or Rockin’ Rollercoaster / Tower of Terror combination because these attractions are right next to each other anyways, but for the time being I’m not walking all the way back to Frontierland only to get a slip of paper that says, “Come back in 3 hours…”
Of course, factor in a cool gadget for me to play with all day… 😛