I can’t believe that this topic hasn’t come up until now, but it’s such an important part of the Walt Disney World experience. Not talking about the attractions themselves, but the queue lines and how the FastPass+ line and standby lines intersect.
Let’s take a look at this topic in greater detail with a good ol’ fashioned “Best and Worst” list
THE BEST FASTPASS+ MERGE POINT ATTRACTIONS AT DISNEY WORLD
If you’re taking notes, the goal of this article is to share the attractions that give you an advantage with FastPass…and which ones are actually awkward because of where the merge point is.
We’ll be looking at attractions that:
- Have separate entrance
- Have a separate queue line entirely
- Actually has a track that’s exclusively for FastPass
Top 5 FastPass+ Merge Point Attractions
The merge point takes you through a separate line and you only see the other line when you get to the last room before being directed to the cast member for row selection. With Expedition Everest, you’re still given the opportunity to get into the right frame of mind when you’re walking through an incredibly well-themed queue experience en route to your train.
TOY STORY MANIA
Back in 2008, there was a plan to build a Monsters Inc. coaster in the soundstage right next to Toy Story Mania. When those plans changed, then the decision was made to expand the capacity of TSM by adding an identical 3rd track in order to accommodate FastPass+. Great addition for the merge point argument, but I’d personally rather have the coaster;)
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN
FastPass+ has their own entrance, queue line and loading area. Pretty epic if you ask me!
I’m on the fence with this one, but it has an element that I just can’t get enough of when you’re talking about a merge point. The separation of the standby queue line and the FastPass queue line by a separate walkway…and wall!
Butting in line is already going to get you dirty looks, but at least with Soarin’ you’re able to bypass those wondering why you’re walking past them because there’s a pretty substantial wall in the way.
THE WORST FASTPASS+ MERGE POINT ATTRACTIONS
Imagine having a FastPass+ reservation that you made 30 or 60 days in advance…only to discover that you’re not getting a real advantage because of the location of the merge point. Let’s look at the experiences that are overall a “miss” with trip planning!
We’ll be looking at attractions that:
- Both queue lines (standby and fastpass) are side-by-side
- Merge point is before the pre-show
- Standby line is stopped to accommodate FastPass
The Worst 5 Fastpass+ Merge Point Attractions
FLIGHT OF PASSAGE
When you’re going through the standby queue for Flight of Passage, you’re introduced to the story with indepth theming. Do you know what you get when you’re in the FastPass line? Nothing.
And then, when you get to the merge point, you go into a line before being separated into groups for the pre-show. Not quite the 3-5 hour wait, but still a significant investment of time for a FastPass that’s utterly impossible to get!
This one still bugs me, because the story from original attraction is lost on everyone who’s going on the current iteration…as it’s now more of a sightseeing expedition than a 3-week safari. That being said, the merge point for Kilimanjaro Safaris is so poorly designed that you actually feel like you’re doing something wrong for using it.
Not only is the FastPass line directly beside the standby line, but you then go into a “non-line line” which isn’t actually a structured line until it separates into a left & right section. Sounds incredibly confusing…and it is!
Anytime that you’re creating a bottleneck situation on an omni-mover attraction by introducing FastPass, it’s not going to work for guest satisfaction or capacity. That being said, the worst part is that the merge point bumps you to a point in the story that bypasses all the amazing upgrades that the imagineers included as part of the enhanced “scene one”. This is also applicable for the Haunted Mansion!
I’d be crazy to not include this as one of the worst merge points because you actually get impacted by the Single Rider Line AND pre-show / test car creation stations. I’ve had good & bad times on this attraction, but when you have so many different moving parts in a queue line, it’s never going to go smoothly!
This was such a fun topic to share, as there’s a difference between getting your FastPass+ reservation AND using it. Knowledge can save you a lot of time when you’re thinking about the experience as a whole, and as capacity is such a flexible part of trip planning…just be aware of the multiple stages of a queue line at Walt Disney World!
Hope this was helpful:)