Disneyland and Disney California Adventure have started using a new FastPass system for guests.

FastPass of the Past

For almost 20 years, Disney has had a paper FastPass system where guests insert their ticket or Annual Passport into a kiosk.  The kiosk scans a barcode and prints a paper ticket for a return.  Over the years this has changed, but remained roughly the same.  Kiosks have varied a bit in how they scan.  Walt Disney World began FastPass+ where its tied to an online app system and almost no paper FastPasses are given out.

New fastpassWhat’s Changed?

Today, Disneyland has started a new way of handling FastPass.  Guests still walk up to kiosks, scan their ticket or pass and get a piece of paper printed.  But, how they return is a different way of doing things.

Cast Members have been pointing out to many approaching FastPass entrances that they only need their ticket or pass, not the paper return time.  The paper only serves as a reminder and notification of the time to return.  Guests have their ticket or Annual Pass scanned at a pole kiosk before going through the FastPass line.

The Future

The first day it was implemented was bumpy in the way of people not sure what to do to return during their time.  The lines went fairly fast, but there were short lines at the return points of the various FastPass entrances that I saw.

The kiosks remind me of the Walt Disney World system. When they scan the barcodes they give a similar chime and light up in the same way as the Florida ones.  Walt Disney World’s system implements Magic Bands for scanning, which is a rather faster way of doing things.

Even though some line snags hit today with the switch over, this should make things go smoother for guests to go through FastPass.  Cast Members don’t have to look at the return times to have people go through, they scan and it either lights up green to go or red to not.

Though it has not been said yet, it seems like the paper FastPasses are on their way out.  With tickets and Annual Passes tied to the Disneyland app, it’s a matter of time before phones will serve as reminders of time.  As sad as that may be to say goodbye to a long system, it will save on time and money in printing.

As small of a thing as it is, the chime and lights for FastPass return are added magic to Disney days.  It may not mean much, but it helps with the guest experience.

Of course, all of this is giving way to the MaxPass as well, which was not implemented today but will be soon.

UPDATE

The paper FastPasses’ barcode does read in the scanners.  Whether this will change or not is yet to be seen.  Also found out the hard way that after scanning FastPasses and a ride breaks down, there is no way to get a compensation FastPass.  So stay in line when that happens.

Currently, without MaxPass interfering, it’s possible to get FastPasses that are good a minute after receiving them.  BUT, it doesn’t mean you can get another one immediately for the same ride.  A reminder ticket will be printed saying you already have a FastPass for the attraction.  The system requires you to scan the FastPass within the time before getting another.  Also when the time window has expired you can get another one for the same attraction.

What do you think of the new system?  Let us know in the comments!