Select Disney World Guests Testing Next-Gen RFID FASTPASS System

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Starting on May 1st, select Walt Disney World guests checking-in for Magical Express at Orlando International Airport have been asked to complete a survey. If they choose to answer the survey, well, then the fun begins. A guest relations cast member will provide the family with two lists of select Magic Kingdom attractions, asking them to pick 2 from each list. Here are all of the attraction involved in the test:

  • Mickey at Town Square Theater
  • Princesses at Town Square Theater
  • Stitch’s Great Escape (Does not currently offer FASTPASS)
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Space Mountain
  • The Many adventure of Winnie the Pooh
  • Mickey’s Philharmagic (Does not currently offer FASTPASS)
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • The Haunted Mansion (Does not currently offer FASTPASS)
  • Splash Mountain
  • The Jungle Cruise

After selecting 2 from each list, the cast member will ask the guest what day they will be visiting the Magic Kingdom, if they are celebrating anything, and then give the guests some plastic yellow cards that says FASTPASS. These cards contain a small RFID-chip inside that contains some information based on what information was provided. Among that info will be reserved FASTPASS times on the 4 attractions selected from the list above. Guests are to be sent an email at a requested address with their final itinerary.

Here’s what the email guests are receiving looks like

Guests then take their cards to the Magic Kingdom and are invited to put them to good use. When you head over to a corresponding attraction at the proper time, you will be scanning your card at a temporary pole with a Mickey icon on it or at a PDA device also sporting the same Mickey icon (Town Square Theater is using this system and not the poles). When the card is scanned, the icon should turn green to enter. If you get a blue icon, you have done something wrong.

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One of the readers installed at The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

At every location they have an iPad or a PDA that will tell them if you are too early, too late, or on-time when you swipe your card at the reader. Should you be wrong or need to check your schedule, they will refer you to one of 5 locations where you can currently do this. The 5 locations set-up to help guests throughout the park are City Hall, and kiosks near Jungle Cruise, Stitch’s Great Escape, Splash Mountain, and Mickey’s Philharmagic.

Another interesting factoid is that cast members will see all kinds of information about you when you scan your card at the reader. They can see your name and even if you are celebrating anything. You’ll recall rumors we’ve discussed of Disney using the same RFID technology in attractions to make them actually acknowledge your name or what you are celebrating that day. Yes, the future has arrived, but only for a short time. The test is scheduled to end May 15th.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

25 Comments

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  • I'm still confused on how this will work. Do we come up with an itinerary ahead of time outside of the parks or are they just handing out schedules like this to the testers?  

  • I’m still confused on how this will work. Do we come up with an itinerary ahead of time outside of the parks or are they just handing out schedules like this to the testers?  

  • Won't help me, I don't have email access via my phone.  Not everyone has a smart phone.  Also… who wants to have an itinerary planned each day ride by ride? I don't plan like that. I plan which days, which parks but not by what ride in what order to go on.  I think the fun is going to be lost. 

  • Won't help me, I don't have email access via my phone.  Not everyone has a smart phone.  Also… who wants to have an itinerary planned each day ride by ride? I don't plan like that. I plan which days, which parks but not by what ride in what order to go on.  I think the fun is going to be lost. 

  • We don't plan to that level of detail when at WDW and why would we, we're on vacation!  The only planning we do is what park to go to each day.  The rest is random.  I hope I'm missing something and the new system works great but I hate the thought of planning every minute of my family's vacation.  Kind of defeats the purpose…

  • What if you have an ADR or another scheduled appointment (BBB or Pirate League or Harmony Barber Shop)?  It is a bit challenging to schedule so many attractions.  I can see where someone may know a certain ride will have a long wait so they will get a fastpass but I doubt most guests run from one fastpass to another first thing in the day and then have to get back to each attraction at their appointed time.  I think many guests aren't coming back at their appointed fastpass designated time as WDW is trying to monitor it.

  • We don’t plan to that level of detail when at WDW and why would we, we’re on vacation!  The only planning we do is what park to go to each day.  The rest is random.  I hope I’m missing something and the new system works great but I hate the thought of planning every minute of my family’s vacation.  Kind of defeats the purpose…

  • I actually kind of like this, if they can get it so that you can schedule around ADR's and specific shows or parades you want to see. I don't know how many times we have gone over to Epcot first thing in the morning just to get fastpasses for Soarin, then left to come back in the afternoon closer 5 or whenever the FP was for, because they sell out of those things so dang quick, and I don't like to spend my whole day in one park. Getting a fastpass really does set your schedule sometimes, so it would be better imo to know in advance than to find out when you get to the park, especially now that they are enforcing the return window.

  • I actually kind of like this, if they can get it so that you can schedule around ADR’s and specific shows or parades you want to see. I don’t know how many times we have gone over to Epcot first thing in the morning just to get fastpasses for Soarin, then left to come back in the afternoon closer 5 or whenever the FP was for, because they sell out of those things so dang quick, and I don’t like to spend my whole day in one park. Getting a fastpass really does set your schedule sometimes, so it would be better imo to know in advance than to find out when you get to the park, especially now that they are enforcing the return window.

  • I would be very curious how this would play out.  We don't approach Disney World like any other vacation.  We plan every moment.  During our first trip, we tried to be spontaneous, and it was a disaster.  However, because we leave the parks every afternoon to go swimming in the pool, the afternoon fast pass return times wouldn't work for us.  I like the idea of being greeted by name & castmembers knowing that we are celebrating something.  We will see… 

  • I would be very curious how this would play out.  We don’t approach Disney World like any other vacation.  We plan every moment.  During our first trip, we tried to be spontaneous, and it was a disaster.  However, because we leave the parks every afternoon to go swimming in the pool, the afternoon fast pass return times wouldn’t work for us.  I like the idea of being greeted by name & castmembers knowing that we are celebrating something.  We will see… 

  • I don't plan my Disney vacation like a route march!  I can say, with complete certainty, that the first morning we will be in the Magic Kingdom.  We don't do ADRs either, and neither of us take our mobile phones with us (we're British and the cost of using a mobile phone abroad is expensive.)  While I like the idea, I don't therefore know how it would work for me.  However, what I can say is Philharmagic on Fastpass would be a great idea!

  • I don't plan my Disney vacation like a route march!  I can say, with complete certainty, that the first morning we will be in the Magic Kingdom.  We don't do ADRs either, and neither of us take our mobile phones with us (we're British and the cost of using a mobile phone abroad is expensive.)  While I like the idea, I don't therefore know how it would work for me.  However, what I can say is Philharmagic on Fastpass would be a great idea!

  • I hate the trend to try to offer another level of service available if you are staying on premises and using MCO airport.  We get discounted air fares into a different location so why penalize us.  Or why penalize the people driving to WDW?

  • I hate the trend to try to offer another level of service available if you are staying on premises and using MCO airport.  We get discounted air fares into a different location so why penalize us.  Or why penalize the people driving to WDW?

  • I think it is a brilliant idea, and look at the scheduling much like ADR's and shows & parades. You don't HAVE to do it, but if you would like the experience- join in. It really is like fastpass on steroids, and can only imagine the wonder that my kids will feel being called by name without the button on! As Walt said, Keep Moving Forward, and this is a great way to.

  • I think it is a brilliant idea, and look at the scheduling much like ADR’s and shows & parades. You don’t HAVE to do it, but if you would like the experience- join in. It really is like fastpass on steroids, and can only imagine the wonder that my kids will feel being called by name without the button on! As Walt said, Keep Moving Forward, and this is a great way to.

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