Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Meeting the Mouse: FASTPASS edition

On the heels of the announcement that Disney made last week where they may allow people the ability to get FASTPASSes from home, today Disney announced another first for the FASTPASS system.

The ability to get a FASTPASS to meet Mickey Mouse.

For those who may have missed it today, when Mickey's meet and greet area opens on Main Street USA in the Town Square Theater, located inside the Main Street Exposition Hall, they will have the standard option of waiting in the standby line (which will be enhanced with an interactive queue) OR they will have the option to pick up a FASTPASS and come back at a designated time, just like the do for attractions in the park.


While most people pretty much outright hated the FASTPASS from home idea...this one is getting a lot more mixed reaction...and a tad more in the positive swing of things. 

My own reaction...I actually like it.

Personally, I'm someone who doesn't really do characters.  I don't want to wait in a long line for them and will only visit with a character if the wait is short or if they come visit me during a character meal.  (I know a lot of people who are like me in regards to meeting characters.)

Being able to simply FASTPASS a time to come back would make things a whole lot simpler for me.  Minimal wait and I get to meet who I want.  It's win-win.  

Also, I can't help but think about those with small children. Before, when little ones would get in line to meet The Big Cheese...the wait would be less then conducive for a small one's attention span.  (My attention span isn't that great either...I'm just saying.)  If these guests wanted to meet Mickey at the Magic Kingdom, they would often be forced to wait in hour plus lines.  I've been in line with those toddlers before...and I think we can all agree that after experiencing that, you can't argue that a FASTPASS system here wouldn't be beneficial! 

But I must stress, that there will be other opportunities to meet Mickey at other parks.  This measure (for now...unless this deems itself uber popular) just helps with the wait times at the MK, which is the most popular spot to meet Mickey.  So if you don't want to partake in this FASTPASS process, and you don't want it to interfere with your opportunity to meet Mickey, it doesn't have to!  Just visit the Main Mouse at one of the other 3 parks! 

Although, of course guests will still have the opportunity to meet Mickey, if they want, in a standby line here too.  And to be honestly, I really appreciate the fact that they are going to make it a more enjoyable experience.  Waiting in line for characters can be EXCRUCIATING!  Before it was so boring knowing there wasn't a lot to look at...unless you played a game or brought your phone.  ( could talk...but who wants to do that...right?!  lol!)  Those lines can be a long time with minimal stuff to look at and keep you occupied, so I am all for what they are going to add to make this queue more interactive...I just hope it's interactive for the parents too...not aimed only at the kiddos!

One common problem I've seen people complain about is that it's a meet and greet, not a ride.  It doesn't have a particular "time length".  What if Mickey is meeting with some guests for a really long time?  Won't that throw things off?  To that I say that not every guest spends a super long time with the characters.  Me, I'm just there for the picture...nothing else fancy.  So, for every guest who wants to spend a good chunk of time with the characters, there's someone like me who doesn't care to do so.  So I'm sure Disney will calculate the average amount of time Mickey spends per guest and use that as an estimate to determine the FASTPASS return times. 

I do want to stress something.  More of a warning than anything else.  I see this meet and greet rapidly becoming like the one for Toy Story Midway Mania, once the word gets out.  Which means that if you want to meet Mickey with this FASTPASS option, you will HAVE to get a FASTPASS for this early in the morning, otherwise they will all be gone by late morning/early afternoon.  I see this happening 1) because it's for Mickey...and's Mickey and 2) because it will be right in the front of the park.  Everyone is going to walk by this on their way in...and they are all gonna quickly make a beeline because of that.

I am anxious to see how this all pans out in the future.  This meet and greet set up to meet Mickey starting this Spring really intrigues me.  I am anxious to see how everything works.  

With all this FASTPASS excitement going on lately, what's your take?  Will you opt to meet Mickey in the FASTPASS line or do you think the system will hinder the meet and greet process?  Make sure to let me know in the comments section.


vgsmom said...

Was there a time frame for this to begin? I think it's a great idea, as long it does not become the only place to see Mickey.


Jessica @ Wanting Adventure said...

I feel conflicted about this one - on one hand, I get that parents don't want to wait in line that long for a meet and greet, but on the other hand, I am concerned about estimating how long those meets will take. I don't know. I don't usually stand in line for those things, so I guess I'll wait and see!