View Full Version : Fast Pass/Special Assistance Passes

02-13-2002, 06:43 AM
We went to DCA on Sunday and were disappointed by our Fast Pass experiences on both Soarin and Millionaire. Note that we were only there a short time and came back later and had the same experience...

Got a fast pass for Soarin...waited until our time came up and went to fast pass area. Surprise! It was a longer line then the stand by area...by a long shot. The line was beginning to wrap around the restaurant next door.(!)

When we went back to DCA later in the day (had to leave due to all the ashes and smoke which were giving me headache...)...anyway - when we went back we wanted to see millonaire...which had a 20 minute wait for standby. We opted for not getting a fast pass as we could see that area was pretty full. We figured that we might as well just wait. This was our first experience on millionaire by the way. We waited in line and the CM's asked questions - which I later found out were for the ring of fire seating. (it would have been nice if they'd mentioned this as I knew many of the answers but they didn't make it clear there were getting anything by answering them or I would have shot my hand up a bit more agressively - live and learn) But to get to the point - they only let the people in that made it into the ring of fire. Everyone else was told there was little hope of getting a seat because of the fast pass being so full so we left...and found that the fast pass line was now out of the area and down the "street". (!)

I had to speak up as we were leaving. And I was very kindly told about the Special Assistance day - which I think is a great idea. What I don't think is a great idea is not adjusting the fast pass tickets to account for the surge of Special Assistance people.

While it was easy for us to leave and come on another day, if I'd paid for admission I would have been really upset.

There has to be a happy medium in there somewhere... perhaps people with special assistance passes could also get the fast passes but be allowed to get more then one at a time - this would help to regulate how many people were in the fast pass lanes at once.

02-13-2002, 08:09 AM
I'm confused here, FastPass and the SAP's are two different passes and handled in two completely different ways, but even if they had allowed the SAP folks to get FastPass the problem would have been the same, the line would have been long and full and the standby line would have been in the same condition it was ...long and full.....I'm sorry your experience wasn't great but I don't think the Special Assistance people using 'fast pass' would have improved it .....

If the park was having a special day for Special Assistance people then neither fast pass or SAP's would have made a difference, the different attractions that are SAP 'friendly' were going to be full, I don't think the pass is the issue more the fact that there was a special event going on that wasn't widely announced and "regular" guests were unaware of.

02-13-2002, 09:08 AM
Perhaps I wasn't clear in that the sap's were in the fast pass line - not that they had fast passes. I was trying to think of a way to help the situation by suggesting that the line length could be more regulated by giving out "tickets" (fast passes) with times to enter the ride. Yes - the stand by line may have been longer - but we'd have been able to ride the ride after standing in an acceptable line for fast pass.

And I'm sure you are right that on these sap days that sap friendly attractions would all be full... and it was very easy for us to just come back another day.

What of the guest that paid for admission though? I guess they'd just think the line was always long anyway and wouldn't know - huh? ;)

Just out of curiousity - in a situation like that - do they give certain groups priority when entering the ride. In the case of Soarin', do they let the sap'ers go in first and then the fast passers and then stand by? Just trying to get an idea of how that might affect the line length - in what appears to be a fairly short stand by line might be very long if *everyone* in the other line goes first....or is it more of a some from this line and some from that line sort of thing. It must be...

Although I noticed that the stand by time wasn't all that long. Maybe they should have adjusted that to be more accurate. The fact that millionaire said 20 minutes and they knew there was no way we could get in with all the people in the fast pass area...it should have read 40 minutes (or whatever was a more realistic time guestimate.)

On sort of a seperate note - my neice is mentally disabled - is there some list her Mom can be on to be notified of such events?

02-13-2002, 05:15 PM
Hi Justagirl,
I am sure mammasilva can answer this alot better than I...But the few times i have had to use a SAP at either park, the majority of the time we were told to use the fastpass line with the SAP.

As for your neice, Anytime your Aunt takes her to DL or DCA she can get a SAP by going to City Hall (DL) or Guest Relations (DCA) and asking for one. They are free. The thing is, they are not suppost to get you on the ride faster, so make sure that your Aunt knows this so she doesn't get all huffy if they have to wait awhile for the ride. The best SAP user is the patient SAP user.

Ok, I think maybe your Aunt is your sister? I am so confused with family trees, so I hope you know who I am talking about.

02-13-2002, 06:27 PM
Ok several questions.. I'll give you the information I've gained thru personal experience..

1. If there is a way to get on a mailing or email list for the Special Assistance day I don't know about it and I'm a premium AP holder. In fact other than special Happy Heart days I've never actually heard of a "special assistance" day at the parks.. I know that groups in the area get together and plan trips to the parks and use group sales to help save money but as for actual Disney sponsored special days I don't know that they actually sponsor them or just accomodate the groups as they arrive. I know in the past when we have taken large groups of special needs (I am talking 40-50 +) we always split into smaller groups so as to not overwhelm any given ride/area with SAP riders but that was my personal policy as event coordinator.

2. boarding order....this is so CM dependant that there really isn't a true followed everytime format....as a "rule" most CM's will board the SAP group ahead of fastpass groups but after "breakdown or kid switch" passes, the exceptions to that are the coasters that limit SAP's to one group per cycle for evacuation safety issues. I don't blame them on bit either, I can NOT imagine having 3 or 4 groups of special needs on Space Mountain and have it break and try to evacuate on the catwalks or whatever there is for evacuation. The SAP wait for Space is probably the longest in Disneyland with the exception of Autopia.

on one minor note, HB Tigger Fan said that SAP's don't get you on the ride faster, that isn't quite the truth, they do get you on much faster than the standby line but the fine print says there may be a wait and that happens on the bigger rides. Depending on the time frame we tend to use fastpass or the SAPs because the reason for the SAP is because some people can't handle the wait for one reason or another, either physical or mental ability just doesn't allow them to. But because I know Brandy can't handle long waits if a ride has several SAP groups already waiting we just go on to the next attraction and continue to enjoy our day.

02-13-2002, 06:32 PM
This really has nothing to do with Millionaire or sap's but a just thought you'd like to know note....
On rides that do Fastpass and baby switch (like TM) the baby switchers also use the fastpass line when they return. (On the pass it says to go in the exit, but when fastpass is operating you are supposed to use the fastpass entrance.)