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Could 2013 be the year that FastPass+ finally goes live at Walt Disney World?

Could 2013 be the year that FastPass+ finally goes live at Walt Disney World?

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So how close are we to the official launch of Fast Pass+ at the Walt Disney World Resort? "We're getting close," Bob Iger admitted yesterday as part of The Walt Disney Company's fourth quarter and full earnings webcast.

This was the first time that Disney's Chairman & CEO has spoken to the investment community about the " ... new technology roll-out (that'll be coming online at WDW in the coming year which is) designed to enhance guest experience and advance & expand guest engagement before their visits."

Mind you, Iger was pretty tight-mouthed about FastPass + specifics as he was speaking with those analysts yesterday, promising that " ... we will provide details early next year. But among the many features and benefits of this technology is giving guests the chance to plan their itineraries ahead of time, including access to their favorite and often our most popular attractions."


Mickey Mouse and friend Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt
Disney Company. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.
All rights reserved

Jay Rasulo, The Walt Disney Company's senior executive vice president and chief financial officer, did provide a few additional details about FastPass+,  saying that DCL's new " ... cruise ships, the enhancement of DCA, the Magic Kingdom expansion, the Aulani Hotel and this new guest enhancement at Walt Disney World that we were talking about, every single one of those were done with a pretty tight strategic and financial goal."

More to the point, Rasulo stated that FastPass+ -- when it's full implemented -- will change " ... the essence of a visit to Walt Disney World starting all the way back with planning, pre-reserving up through your experience at the parks with the use of technology and the use of a bunch of enhanced services to make guests visits more efficient and enjoyable while they're there."

Jay also stated that he expected that The Walt Disney Company should " ...  We will start to see revenue inure to us from that (in the coming fiscal year). But like many things, before you start, there are costs."


Jay Rasulo at the September 2009 announcement of Star Tours: The
Adventures Continue. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.
All rights reserved

Beyond that, Iger was obviously reluctant to pin down an exact, official  launch date for FastPass+  at Walt Disney World as he was speaking to the investment community yesterday. The closest Bob came was when he admitted that ...

" ... because we're in a testing phase making sure that the technology is working the way we both expect and we need it to work, we've been hesitant to roll out more details to all of you and to the public for that matter.

There's been a fair amount of chatter about the features of this technological advancement and investment, but we've been hesitant to give details until before it's ready for prime-time, so to speak. And we're getting close. "


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.
All rights reserved

If you'd like to hear for yourself what Iger & Rasulo had to say yesterday afternoon about FastPass+ as well as learn a bit more about the Lucasfilm acquisition, you can listen to a replay of the webcast of The Walt Disney Company's Q4 2012 earnings conference call by clicking here.

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  • We just got back from 2 weeks in WDW and it was amazing how many attractions had fastpass+ queue modifications and gates.  All covered up, but ready to go.  Some places that have never had fastpass are getting fastpass+, such as Spaceship Earth at EPCOT.  I hope they get it right, their computer technology died under the crush of annual passholders trying to get new Fantasyland preview reservations.  This will be at least an order of magnitude worse with tens of reservations per park patron per day. There did seem to be some people in the park with tickets that had RFID capability.  And the RFID roses that they use to identify you for lunch at Be Our Guest are touchy.  If fastpass+ is that touchy, fastpass+ could be a slower experience than the paper fastpasses.

  • I'm definitely concerned how fastpass+ will affect the local passholders.  I don't plan my trips weeks or months in advance.  I may only decide the day before that I'm going.  But I still always pick up some FP to avoid the long lines on some of my favorite rides.  I haven't yet read any explanation on how it's going to work for us spur of the moment daytrippers, or if we're going to just get shafted.

  • That's odd. Several travel agents are reporting that they were notified that a FP-related announcement could come at the December 7 What's Next? Presentation (which usually yields nothing but maybe this time could be different). Interesting....

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