Thursday, September 06, 2007

WTF is with Disney and FastPass?

Disney is trying to patent a new innovation to their FastPass program. The technology would allow guests to buy FastPass tickets from outside the park through their PDA or text messaging. It also would give preferential treatment to people in higher-budget Disney resorts versus day visitors.

In addition, the patent application notes that, once someone uses their cell phone or PDA to contact the system, the system could recognize the device and track the person around the park. It sounds like a real-life 'Roller Coaster Tycoon.' Have they ever heard of 'invasion of privacy'?

The initial idea of FastPass was not to alleviate lines as much as to get consumers in to the stores and food lines, increasing profit. That's why there are no longer sit-down restaurants with wait-staff (except for one, The Blue Bayou). Instead of spending money to build more rides (which would also alleviate long ride lines) they converted every sit-down restaurant to a buffet. (Remember the chicken restaurant down Main Street near the entrance to Tomorrowland? And the Polynesian Terrace in Adventureland?) They want you in and out as fast as possible. And people waiting in long ride lines are not spending money.

I hate the FastPass idea anyway because every time I go to Disneyland, there's rude people flaunting the fact that they got a FastPass -- something that any average Joe can get for free. Oddly enough, I've had parents and children alike go "nyah nyah" when they pass me in line, even though I have a FastPass in my pocket to some other ride.

So this "new innovation" is a bad idea; it will just magnify this hierarchal feeling FastPass-users get. All in all, it seems to discriminate against people who are less financially successful. Can you imagine how bad this condescending attitude is going to get when people staying at the higher-budget hotels are getting preferential treatment?

Walt Disney wanted the park to be for everyone: it was the all-American, family experience. But that's not how it is anymore. Not it's all about the almighty buck. Even the price in tickets has increased to an astounding amount. (According to Wikipedia, in 1982 the admission price was $12.00. In September 2006 it became $63.00.)

Now we have to pay to get a good place in line? Just doesn't seem right.


pixie said...

Ugh! SO true! We just took the fam there this summer and it costs close to $200 bucks for the day (even though Monkey's admission is still free). It's sad because I want my kids to share in the "magic" I felt when I was a kid... but it seems like the magic is gone.

P.S. I also blogged about the rude people in line, remember? Go to Knott's Berry Farm instead!!

Sweepea said...

Totally. KBF is way better. And the food rocks. Unfortunately, I love the whole Disney magic thing so I still feel compelled to go.