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Toy Story Midway Madness

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Listening to the Betamouse podcast, episode 40, Toy Story Mania, an idea popped into my head about how Disney could maybe improve overall guest throughput and possibly reduce the wait times for this attraction.

If you’re not familiar with the Walt Disney World version of the ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it’s a hugely popular attraction. When we were at WDW in early October, wait times exceeded 2 hours at some points during the day. Unfortunately, from all that I’ve seen and read, these kinds of wait times are fairly typical. I should add that Touringplans had a blog posting about some of the issues here as well. It’s worth a read because they talk about the fastpass distribution rate, which is pretty high for this ride.

Below are a few ideas to maybe lessen some of the madness and long waits for Toy Story Midway Mania at DHS. I’ll preface these by saying some might not be very popular, but they could be effective.

1) Devise a strategy to limit the number of fastpasses distributed based on ticket type. For example, guests staying on property or using their Key to the World card might be allowed first or higher priority over non-resort guests. Perhaps this could be done using different machines, or just an algorithm that produces a different (later) time window than the resort guests.

2) Another idea would be to limit each guest/ticket to one fastpass for this attraction for the day. As it stands now, any guest can get multiple fastpasses to ride the attraction as many times in the day as they want, however, if memory serves me correct, you have to wait until after the beginning time window has elapsed for the fastpass. So, if you had a fastpass for 1:00pm to 2:00pm,  you could go get another fastpass at 1:00pm.

I realize that this would upset a few people, but the beauty of it is that Disney would still allow you to ride, you just couldn’t have another fastpass for this particular attraction.

3) Turn off Fastpass for the first hour or until the standby line reaches a 60 minute wait. This might only have a minimal impact overall, but it would help eliminate some of the mad rush of guests trying to get there first thing in the morning.

Of the three ideas, I like 2 & 3 best. These two ideas would seem to be the easiest to implement and cause the least impact and amount of frustration for the guests. Mind you, these are all hypothetical ideas that may or may not alleviate some of the long waits. At the very least, I believe these ideas would lead to greater guest satisfaction as it would allow more guests to experience the attraction in a given day. In essence it would balance out some of the crowds, especially first thing in the morning.

What do you think? Do you like any of these? Do you have a better idea that might reduce the long lines and the madness of  TSMM? Give me your feedback in the comments.

Story links:

http://betamouse.net/toy-story-mania/

http://blog.touringplans.com/2010/10/15/8768/

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  1. November 29, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Of the choices I think that suspending FP distribution until the line length hits a certain time is the best. It’s possible that the line length won’t ever hit that time without FPs! We were at DHS on Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and when we got there right around 11 am, the FP’s for TSM were already gone for the day! We went down to Rock and Roller Coaster and got a pass for that ride, and the next time we could get a pass was something like 12:30pm. Assuming that the park opens at 9 am, most of the people who get one right at 9 couldn’t get one till 10:30 am or so anyway, and many of them wouldn’t be able to get a second pass for that ride on that day.

    It’s a good ride, but not one I’d stand in line for 1-2 hours to ride, not when my boys have it on Wii at home and I can play it there all day. It’s not the same, but it’s not a totally different experience, either. What they really need to do is make a couple more popular rides at DHS. I like the park; it has some of the best dining options not at Epcot, and some very good attractions, both rides and shows, but not enough of them.

    • GrumpyFan
      November 30, 2010 at 10:32 am

      I have to agree with you. In my observations, it seems like the FP is over-used and the ratio of FPs distributed per hour would seem pretty high, making the number of riders in that line greater, which in turn makes the standby line longer.
      We were there in October, and waited for about 90 minutes. I think that’s about the longest I’ve ever waited in any line at Disney. The park could definitely use more attractions, but not as badly as Animal Kingdom.

  2. Brian Greer
    November 21, 2010 at 7:57 am

    I don’t like any of those options, really. This is not a problem that needs a band-aid solution like those. This problem is at a higher level with the design, planning, and layout for this park. It needs REAL help that go beyond kludges wedged into the FP system.

    • GrumpyFan
      November 21, 2010 at 9:12 pm

      I don’t disagree with that, but nor do I see any chance of a “fix” any time soon either. It’s a shame really, because the park has so much untapped potential, what with all the properties that Disney owns.
      Just curious, what would you suggest?

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