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Thread: Disney new patent for "tiered" fast pass for deluxe hotel guests

  1. #1

    Disney new patent for "tiered" fast pass for deluxe hotel guests

    I was reading the thread on how Time magazine was wrong about Disney fast pass and then today I just read how Disney applied for a patent on Aug. 30 to allow for

    "Spending per guest at hotels can (be used to determine) different hierarchies (for) access to Fastpass. Thus, the more that is spent by a patron, the higher the priority (they will receive) for Fastpass. Different levels and hierarchies can (then) be applicable at different hotels. Thus, (guests who stay at Disney's) more luxurious hotels can have higher priorities (to the resort's virtual queuing system)."

    In this link (which also links to the patent) it also suggests a potential "reservation" system to get fast passes the day before, also via wireless internet access, etc.

    I know a patent isn't a done deal but I'm not pumped about this idea. And judging by the money to be gained and all the money they are putting into upgrading their system, this isn't a stretch to believe it will be a reality. Anyone else?

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  3. #2
    The Dogfather
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    Uh-oh. This smacks of class warfare and me no likey. It seems that the fast-pass system that is in place right now isn't fully-functional. Disney might as well just start charging per ride again and get it over with.

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  4. #3
    Registered User UsBurchs's Avatar
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    UGH!!! I don't like this one bit! I mean, you might be able to afford a bigger, better place to stay, but I like the fact that once you are in the parks, you all seem like equals - everyone treated the same. Everyone has the same chance for "magic" to happen.

    I would be very sad if Disney actually lets this happen. Just because I'm a "moderate" hotel person, doesn't make me any better or worse than anyone else!! We all work hard to save for our trips. I want my family to have the same chance for fun as anyone else.

    WDW June 1990-Buena Vista Palace, DL Aug 2001-Pasadena House, DL June 2006-Paradise Pier, DL June 2007-Paradise Pier, WDW Dec 2008-Royal Plaza, DL Nov 2011-Best Western Courtesy Inn, DL July 2012-Best Western Plus Stovall's Inn, DL May 2013-Holiday Inn on Walnut, PENDING DL Aug 2013 D23 Expo-Best Western Raffels

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    I also think it is a terrible idea, unfortunately not everyone agrees. Most posts at another online board seem to be behind doing this. I really hope it does not happen.


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    I don't like it. If it does happen I would complain in an instant.

    Kristin

  7. #6
    still romantic at heart
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    one potential problem here is how it effects are felt across the board. my assumption is that in order to have an advantage you must be on a plan that includes your tickets on your room key. which means those who book a plan separate, or those with AP's may be limited in their chance to take advantage of the program. it would be bad if I spent $500/night at a deluxe hotel, but was treated like a day ticket person because I have an AP. or because I bought my tickets through ticketmania.

    My best guess is that the tiered system will be more for time between getting FP. so deluxe resort guests may have no time between when they can get FP, maybe an hour for Mod. resort guests, and two hours for value resort guests and longer for everyone else.


    but then I do see people getting VERY angry and being VERY vocal and for good reason. heck I will be right with them...

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  8. #7
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    My brain is fuzzy on this, but I seem to recall Mark either talking on a podcast, or including it in a park update, on this very topic. I don't recall how long ago it was, or the details. Hmmm, time for some searching later today!


  9. #8
    Yellowrosedtxn yellowrosedtxn's Avatar
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    Then I would wonder how this affects those that stay at Shades of Green or Swans. I would hope that this doesn't go into effect soon or at least until after our trip next summer.

    Shelley
    DLR - '05, '06, '07(x2), '09; WDW - '97, '10; '13; Disney Cruise - Fantasy '13

  10. #9
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    If this happens what would be created is as is mentioned here is a tiered system where those that stay at resorts have priority at theme parks which are currently open to the public. I cannot in any way endorse this. What are they going to do have a sign when you enter that spells this out or will be printed on the ticket?

    If this is what Disney wants to do then they should just go ahead and make it if you want to enter the park you MUST stay at a resort. Just close it off to everyone else - make it exclusive all the time.

    I'm extremely upset at what this patent is capable of creating. It erodes Walt Disney's ideals at the core. The magic is being taken away - slowly - I feel this is a terrible idea.


  11. #10
    Yellowrosedtxn yellowrosedtxn's Avatar
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    I agree with you. I think it is a terrible idea. I am/was looking forward to a trip next summer to WDW but if something like this is implemented, then I don't know that I want to go. I mean as it is, these parks are huge and you can never do everything the first time you go and you want to go back to do more or whatever, but at the same time this seems to limit more and more what you can do in whatever time you are spending there further. (I think that make sense - it did in my mind when I started it.)

    Shelley
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  12. #11
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    I recall a similar topic being discussed a long time ago. (Goes off to search....)

    I purposely waited to comment on this... but it looks like I am in good company.
    My take is that once we are in the parks, we should all be treated as equals when it comes to the basic offerings of the park, including FP.

    Keep in mind, we are not talking about something that is already an extra cost thing, like a tour or the sunrise safari. We are talking about a core offering for all guests. By tiering it, you are in essence, putting a price tag on the offering itself.

    Granted, I like staying at Deluxe resorts so it would be easy for me to say that this would be a good thing. But then I think about my neighbor who is about to go on his first WDW trip ever. He is staying at a value resort because that is what he can afford. (Im really excited for him!!) His family should have the same opportunities that I have when it comes to experiencing what WDW has to offer. In fact - I will even go way beyond and even say that I should want his family to experience the magic like we have in the past. That is kinda hard to do when benefits are tied to your hotel.

    As for associating it with a room key or something like that, my first thought is that it could also be associated with a separate ticket of sorts. This would be similar to the separate "keys" we got for taking a DVC tour. (Had 3 "instant" FP's on them.) They were not associated with a name or a room, but had a expiry date, etc. That may solve the problem for those who have AP's or even separate non-expiring tickets.

    Right now this is all speculation based upon the pending patent. (Unless someone knows something that has not been stated yet.) It may mean nothing and then again it may mean that this is right around the corner. After all, many companies own patents simply for the purpose of either keeping the technology from being used by a competitor or for the purpose of licensing the technology to competitors.

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  13. #12
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    What does Disney have to gain by doing it? Naturally, business decisions are motivated by what will make the most money for the company. I wonder if they're trying to encourage more people to stay in Deluxe resorts, or if they're working on the principle that Deluxe resort guests will spend more money, and therefore should spend less time standing in line and more time in the shops and restaurants.

    If this comes to pass, I'm really interested in Disney's motivation for the change.

    -Mo

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoKat72 View Post
    I wonder if they're trying to encourage more people to stay in Deluxe resorts, or if they're working on the principle that Deluxe resort guests will spend more money, and therefore should spend less time standing in line and more time in the shops and restaurants.
    It's been a while since I've taken the SAT's, but I think the answer is C: All of the above! It makes perfect sense from a business standpoint: people will either be enticed to spend a little more and stay in a nicer resort, or deal with what they can afford. If this is implemented it will be on the assumption that the only people this will dissuade from going are the same people who stay off site, buy few or no souvenirs, and bring in their own lunches. I'm not saying this is a correct assumption, or that it's fair, but there's probably some level of truth to it. Additionally, a lot of day visitors know so little about WDW, they probably won't even know about this before they show up.

    Disney is a business and are required by law to attempt to create returns for their shareholders. They must encourage people to stay at their high end properties, and further, the people staying at Deluxe resorts are far more likely to be the ones planning to go to nicer meals, get massages, rent boats, throw parties, and buy souvenirs. Simply from some of the discussion on many internet boards it's easy to see that the people staying in Value resorts are the ones more likely to be planning to eat the least expensive meals (or stretch every last dime they put into the meal plan), find nice, yet inexpensive souvenirs, and spend most of their time in parks on rides and free shows.

    Before I have to start a fresh scrapbook for message board flames, let me clarify: There are exceptions to every generalization, and I'd encourage anybody to stay in POP for a few nights instead of the Boardwalk if that's the difference between being able to afford a dinner at V&A or not for you. Further, I don't think there's anything wrong with not being able to afford a nicer hotel or the nicest restaurants or to shop till you drop. It's just exceedingly clear, from a business standpoint, that there is a specific profile for the "ideal guest" in terms of maximum dollars spent per day. This is exactly what Disney has been driving at with the ticket price restructuring, free DME, and the Dining Packages. It's clear that the people who spend the most stay in nicer hotels for at least four days and never leave Disney property (except when they run out of cash-er-their vacation ends)!

    Of course, until anybody knows anything for certain (basically, when the information is released by the company) it's so up in the air that to debate it (and certainly to stress about it) is pretty silly!

    EDITED TO ADD: "All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others." -George Orwell, Animal Farm
    Last edited by Kwahati; 09-07-2007 at 08:25 AM. Reason: random thought

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by MoKat72 View Post
    What does Disney have to gain by doing it? Naturally, business decisions are motivated by what will make the most money for the company. I wonder if they're trying to encourage more people to stay in Deluxe resorts, or if they're working on the principle that Deluxe resort guests will spend more money, and therefore should spend less time standing in line and more time in the shops and restaurants. .
    I can already imagine a ton of business reasons (all bad in my opinion) for doing this though.

    1) Add a new "perk" to deluxe hotels called "Priority Fastpass!" that tells guests if they book the premium hotels they will get guanteed fastpass 1-2 hour times, even after fastpass has been distributed for the day to the "regulars"

    2) Add a new Magic Your Way option called "Magic You Way with Express!" which, for a small fee, offers you the above.

    3) Premium guests can access the system online or via their cell phone and get an immediate fastpass. This is also in the patent by the way... a cell phone version of the fastpass which you present to the queue CM.

    4) The implication of #3 above might also mean... unlimited fastpass for premium customers (they have no way of "collecting" the pass and it likely could be used repeatedly)

    It all bums me out.


    I think Efoxx and kwahati had it about right with the big issues. For my, I'm an AP holder so I don't buy the "packages" which automatically puts me on a lower tier. Similar to the dining packages, etc.

  16. #15
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    I don't think Walt would have liked this one! Though there are other non-Disney parks that will for sure pick up on this one, I totally support the notion that everyone in a Disney park is treated equally. I think Walt would have agreed with maximum enjoyment for everyone. There's already enough inequity in real life...no need to add more.


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    I have to say this doesn't sound very "Disney like"

    I can picture Disney making a difference between guests staying "on property" and those staying off. (I'm not saying I agree) But I don't see them seperating FP by resort class.

    In addition, it is my understanding that the value resorts are the big money makers of all the Disney resorts. The nightly price might be lower but so are the services. They have a lot more rooms to sell and they cost Disney less to run.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out.....

    "He (Walt) was a happy accident; one of the happiest this century has experienced; and judging by the way it's been behaving in spite of all Disney tried to tell it about laughter, love, children, puppies and sunrises, the century hardly deserved him." Eric Sevareid, Journalist
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  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cocoabeach View Post
    4) The implication of #3 above might also mean... unlimited fastpass for premium customers (they have no way of "collecting" the pass and it likely could be used repeatedly)
    [pure speculation mode]
    Maybe they will have to actually start enforcing the return times on the ticket...
    [/pure speculation mode]
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  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpymom73 View Post
    In addition, it is my understanding that the value resorts are the big money makers of all the Disney resorts. The nightly price might be lower but so are the services. They have a lot more rooms to sell and they cost Disney less to run.
    In my experience managing a hotel, this is not at all the case. In reality, all rooms cost about the same to run (unless they are substantially larger, like a suite or villa, and thus require longer to clean and more electricity for added lighting) and the extra charged for services such as concierge, turn down, and the like more than makes up for the extra staffing and electricity required (including a standard mark-up). You may have been led to believe this because it came out recently that Disney upgraded a bunch of people from value to deluxe resorts so they could extend an enticement for people to stay at value resorts. This is not because the values are such great moneymakers, though, this was probably done because getting heads in the beds is better than not; they were freeing up the space because they were having trouble filling certain higher-end hotels for that time period. Most hotels have done the math so they know how much it costs them to rent a room for the night and thus, the bear minimum they can charge for the room. In my hotel, on a slow night, I could give someone a $150 room for under $50 and, because we were still making some money on it, it would be better than nothing for the owners. On the other hand, during the high season, there's no way I'd ever admit to giving deals like that because you've gotta keep your big fish happy!

  20. #19
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    Oh, this REALLY doesn't sit well with me. I am one of those people who stay at a moderate or value resort so that I CAN eat at Flying Fish, Cali Grill, etc., as well as shop. It's all the same pot of money, so I divide it out so that it feels like a well-rounded trip and that I am not depriving myself of anything.

    Besides, if this takes off, then we'll have DDP2--something that is popular so EVERYONE wants to have it, thus watering down its effectiveness. Argh. Yuk. Phooey. Nasty. I have to go shower.

    Working hard for that next WDW trip!

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwahati View Post
    In my experience managing a hotel, this is not at all the case. In reality, all rooms cost about the same to run (unless they are substantially larger, like a suite or villa, and thus require longer to clean and more electricity for added lighting) and the extra charged for services such as concierge, turn down, and the like more than makes up for the extra staffing and electricity required (including a standard mark-up). You may have been led to believe this because it came out recently that Disney upgraded a bunch of people from value to deluxe resorts so they could extend an enticement for people to stay at value resorts. This is not because the values are such great moneymakers, though, this was probably done because getting heads in the beds is better than not; they were freeing up the space because they were having trouble filling certain higher-end hotels for that time period. Most hotels have done the math so they know how much it costs them to rent a room for the night and thus, the bear minimum they can charge for the room. In my hotel, on a slow night, I could give someone a $150 room for under $50 and, because we were still making some money on it, it would be better than nothing for the owners. On the other hand, during the high season, there's no way I'd ever admit to giving deals like that because you've gotta keep your big fish happy!
    What you are saying does makes sense, but as a past CM and as a person who knows several current CMs I'll just say Disney sometimes does things differently. Disney sets certain standards for their resorts and these vary of course according to the level of the resort. They also have certain resorts that share departments (engineering for example) and upper level management. This saves them a lot of money. Add that to the fact that in general the value resorts consistanly have a higher occupancy rate.....
    When I said the value resorts are cheaper, but have lower costs it was a very general statement. There are a lot of factors that go into this, but let's just say if I tell you....[I]I'd have to kill you[I] LOL Or even worse I might be banned from WDW!! Ahh!
    "He (Walt) was a happy accident; one of the happiest this century has experienced; and judging by the way it's been behaving in spite of all Disney tried to tell it about laughter, love, children, puppies and sunrises, the century hardly deserved him." Eric Sevareid, Journalist
    May the world learn and one day even deserve...

  22. #21
    Contributing Writer jheigl's Avatar
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    I'm not a big fan of the fast passes in general, but I think this idea or potential idea is a horrible thing. Just because people can't afford to stay at the expensive resorts shouldn't mean they don't get an equal chance at things.

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  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by MousePaul View Post
    I don't think Walt would have liked this one! Though there are other non-Disney parks that will for sure pick up on this one, I totally support the notion that everyone in a Disney park is treated equally. I think Walt would have agreed with maximum enjoyment for everyone. There's already enough inequity in real life...no need to add more.
    I agree with all the posts that this stinks, but this one sums it up the best. Walt's original vision was a place for families to spend time together. It costs a lot of money to visit WDW, and must of us can not afford to stay at a deluxe. It's not like there are not any people staying on property and they need an enticement to get people there.

  24. #23
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    Well, if we get to vote: I don't like it

    If they are just trying to get people to stay on site, I can see the business reason, but not separating those on site by where they stay and what they can afford.

    Last WDW trip Sept. 2008; Awaiting 16th trip to WDW!

  25. #24
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    I too think it stinks! What's next Disneyland doing this too? FP is supposed to be to bypass line wait time and go enjoy other attractions. Now it seems money is the bottom line for this company. I say we all write in and complain about what we have heard and see what happens, I would be willing to call to complain too. I smell trouble ahead if they do this. Will they run out of FP's earlier for the rest of those who are not staying on property? Will it make the FP lines longer? Will the same amount be distributed then as there are now? It's just a bad, bad idea.


  26. #25
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    I'm sorry, folks, but it just amazes me how people can be so totally upset over a policy that hesn't been implemented yet. They've asked for a patent to cover a wide variety of uses to the system. How bout waiting to see how they're actually going to use it before freaking out?

    Dan
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