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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Walt Disney World Tests Next Gen Fastpass Park Experience

There are some big changes coming to the way guests wait for rides, shows and attractions at Walt Disney World ®. While Disney’s ® popular Fast Pass system has proved popular over the years allowing guests to return to the ride, show or attraction of their choice within a certain time window instead of waiting in long lines, the system is quickly becoming a thing of the past as new technologies help pave the way for no lines whatsoever.

It’s all a part of the “Next Generation” or “Next Gen” experience that includes new technologies developed by Disney ® that are revolutionizing the way we wait and even the way we spend our Disney ® vacations. The innovative new ride system will allow guests to book times to ride attractions even before they step foot on park grounds. The same would be possible for shows and meet-and-greets with characters.

In May, the Orlando theme began testing out a new Fastpass system by installing colorful posts in front of popular attractions in Disney’s Magic Kingdom ®. The new posts each feature a Mickey Mouse head, which is equipped with radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology that will read new Fastpass tickets.

This new RFID-based system is supposed to replace the business of distributing paper Fastpass tickets the current system uses with a digital format that electronically stores all of the information and lets guests know when they can enter a ride or show. The RFID test is the first-step in the “Next Gen” experience.

So how does it all work and how is it different than a Fastpass? With the RFID system, guests can select a number of attractions for which they will receive a set of virtual Fastpass tickets attached to an RFID card. They will also be given a list of times when they can use their virtual Fastpass tickets.

When it’s time for your ride or show, all you have to do is scan your ticket at the Mickey post. The post verifies your ride reservation and sends the confirmation to a cast member’s iPad. The ticket is scanned one more time at the Fastpass/standby merge point and is automatically deemed “used” and is removed from your itinerary.

The Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Mickey’s Philharmagic are a few of the attractions that currently use the RFID system.

If all goes well, the RFID system will be rolled out for other shows and attractions and could possibly be used for park admission. Stay tuned for more Disney ® “Next Gen” experience information. In the meantime you can enjoy Disney’s ® Fastpass current system with discounted Walt Disney World ® tickets right here on Orlando Fun Tickets.


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