Stop a regular guest in Walt Disney Studios Park, ask them how they would improve Crush’s Coaster, and you’d no doubt get a response similar to “add Fastpass to it”.
As the Imagineers and anyone who followed its construction through 2006 and 2007 will tell you, however, it’s not that simple. And Crush’s Coaster most definitely is not a Fastpass-capable attraction. It was a surprise, then, to see the following sign pop up outside the attraction just a few weeks ago…
For two weeks at the end of October, the new attraction everyone generally-loves-but-hates-to-queue-for had the curse of public demand thrust upon its youthful, small, D-Ticket ambitions.
Each day, a small table was set up between the attraction’s main entrance and Flying Carpets Over Agrabah, finally revealing itself, come 10.30am, to be a temporary Fastpass distribution point. On presentation of park tickets, guests could pick up a timeslot ticket for the attraction and return later with their queue only starting at the entrance doors of Studio 5. Tickets went very fast, generally all gone by the middle of the day.
For the lucky few, it was a rare chance to enjoy the attraction with minimal wait (around 15 minutes). For everyone else, it meant almost equally lengthy queue times as before, despite there being less people in the queue. According to the cast members, it was, apparently, “bad”.
For the E-Ticket omnimover of Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast or the two platforms of Space Mountain: Mission 2, the system works like a dream. But then, consider Peter Pan’s Flight, with only between 4 and 6 people per flying pirate ship — due to small capacity tickets disappear in no time at all and queue times aren’t reduced whatsoever. Fastpass, unfortunately, doesn’t add capacity to an attraction, it just gives a nice half-and-half between people waiting in the queue and people “waiting” elsewhere.
If your attraction has a capacity as small as Pan or Crush (estimated at around 1,100 per hour, compared to 2,420 for Big Thunder Mountain or up to 3,000 for an omnimover like Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast), there’s so little room to breathe between the two that neither party gets a good deal.
But alas, the general public don’t understand this. And so, as demands for Fastpass continue to simmer upwards into management offices via questions to attraction CMs and those touch screen surveys at the park exit, they could snap at any moment. According to sources on Disney Central Plaza forum, the crews who oversee Fastpass were “on standby” to install real ticket machines following the results of these trials, and as yet no final decision has actually been made by the park.
It’s clear that something needs to be done to ease the crush of Crush on both impatient guests and hard-worked cast members. But consider this — if they were willing to invest in an expensive Fastpass ticketing system, why not instead invest in a longer outside queue line, one which guests won’t be disgusted to wait in?
A lack of theming, unloved sand dunes, views through the fence into Backstage, and unflattering close-ups of the Flying Carpets backdrop are the biggest “crush” for a Disney fan here, not the queue time.
— Fastpass photo by Joel’s Photo Hunt, logo © Disney, queue photo a DLRP Today exclusive. ;-)