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  • Flex Pass for all

    What would you think if Disney rolled out reservation system type APs like the one the have for Flex but with different varieties of blackout dates? I feel like if they did this it would help the uphill battle they face with attendance during the pandemic and also for the future, so they have a much better handle on crowd control for the future.

    Thoughts?
    ―George Darling

    It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell. ― Walt Disney

  • #2
    I think it would be a bad idea to limit the golden goose from attending. Disneyland would be discouraging their best customers to continue coming/spending money at Disneyland, which is their primary goal. Guest satisfaction is a distant second.
    Last edited by tarheelalum; 07-02-2020, 03:51 PM.

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    • #3
      One of the things I’ve always said about why Disneyland is better than Walt Disney World is that DL normally is a very easy park to just drop in on and play by ear. With few exceptions, almost no planning is needed.

      I’m always weary of WDW’s excessive planning practices making their way to DL. FP+ especially. The Flex Pass seems to fit more in line with WDW’s way of crowd control which is an instant turn off for me personally.

      Now, while the pandemic is happening, it’s a whole different story. Since everyone will likely have to reserve a slot in the park regardless of pass level, they essentially already have the flex pass model in place and I think that makes sense in the short term.

      I really hope this doesn’t change the park permanently.
      Mike_M

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      • #4
        I do agree with you, but since everyone is going to need reservations to begin with anyway, wouldn't it make sense to use the reservation system longer term to better control their overhead because they have far more close to reality attendance numbers ahead of time?

        Maybe it's too convoluted but I feel like could really maximize their profits AND keep guests happy this way.
        ―George Darling

        It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell. ― Walt Disney

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mike_M View Post
          One of the things I’ve always said about why Disneyland is better than Walt Disney World is that DL normally is a very easy park to just drop in on and play by ear. With few exceptions, almost no planning is needed.

          I’m always weary of WDW’s excessive planning practices making their way to DL. FP+ especially. The Flex Pass seems to fit more in line with WDW’s way of crowd control which is an instant turn off for me personally.

          Now, while the pandemic is happening, it’s a whole different story. Since everyone will likely have to reserve a slot in the park regardless of pass level, they essentially already have the flex pass model in place and I think that makes sense in the short term.

          I really hope this doesn’t change the park permanently.
          I get it. In the past this would be me, but living just far enough away (a couple hours) and the whole pandemic and having kids, I just feel like I need to be a better planner from here on out.

          I'm bot suggesting they ever do away with hard tickets, i just thought this could be an interesting fix for a decent majority of visitors.
          ―George Darling

          It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell. ― Walt Disney

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          • #6
            It sounds like in your situation, Flex pass is a good deal. It wouldn't be for me. I might not even go at all if it became too much like WDW in that regard. If I have to plan, have reservations for everything and can't just drop in when I have some spare hours, I might as well go to WDW anyway.
            "I wish they all could be California Bears!"

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            • #7
              I think it's all but confirmed Disney is employing a reservation system regardless of AP or ticket status while dealing with limited capacity. I have the Flex pass and I've only needed to make a reservation 1 time--the other days I just popped in because it was low crowd expectations already. With this system, everyone's APs aren't just downgraded to Flex pass, but downgraded to the reservation requirement.

              That is a downgrade in the sense that you don't have free flowing access to the park, but an upgrade in that the park will be severely empty whenever you do visit. Everyone's passes were always subject to the park's max capacity, and the only difference is now that capacity has dropped by 2/3rds. Better to have a reservation system than have all us pop-ins show up and get turned away at the gate, risking further spreading of the virus.

              It just makes sense.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by WaltDisney'sAlec View Post
                I think it's all but confirmed Disney is employing a reservation system regardless of AP or ticket status while dealing with limited capacity. I have the Flex pass and I've only needed to make a reservation 1 time--the other days I just popped in because it was low crowd expectations already. With this system, everyone's APs aren't just downgraded to Flex pass, but downgraded to the reservation requirement.

                That is a downgrade in the sense that you don't have free flowing access to the park, but an upgrade in that the park will be severely empty whenever you do visit. Everyone's passes were always subject to the park's max capacity, and the only difference is now that capacity has dropped by 2/3rds. Better to have a reservation system than have all us pop-ins show up and get turned away at the gate, risking further spreading of the virus.

                It just makes sense.
                The tangent question I suppose is, if and when the current quarentine lifts and can stay lifted, will Disney's experience using a reservation system for DLR prompt them to make it something of a permanent fixture of passes going forward? At least on lower level passes?

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                • #9
                  I think Disney needs to do something to square the fact that those that have a pass above the Flex Pass tier would be getting royally screwed by this system if they are charged for a Signature level pass only to have Flex pass availability. I think what one of the overseas parks did with not counting the transition period toward the lifespan of your pass was a fair move. I also heard rumors that once the park plans to open they will also allow AP holders to simply cancel their passes outright rather than deal with modified system if true I think this is fair. They were going to offer a free month when they planned to open on the 17th with the thinking that the transition period would last around that time but I think the reality is this transitional period will more than likely last several months. I see a wave of dissatisfaction amongst AP holders in the near future is DLR doesn't get a better handle on this.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SkunkID View Post

                    The tangent question I suppose is, if and when the current quarentine lifts and can stay lifted, will Disney's experience using a reservation system for DLR prompt them to make it something of a permanent fixture of passes going forward? At least on lower level passes?
                    Only if they want to anger their repeat customers and lose money.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Starcade View Post
                      I think Disney needs to do something to square the fact that those that have a pass above the Flex Pass tier would be getting royally screwed by this system if they are charged for a Signature level pass only to have Flex pass availability. I think what one of the overseas parks did with not counting the transition period toward the lifespan of your pass was a fair move. I also heard rumors that once the park plans to open they will also allow AP holders to simply cancel their passes outright rather than deal with modified system if true I think this is fair. They were going to offer a free month when they planned to open on the 17th with the thinking that the transition period would last around that time but I think the reality is this transitional period will more than likely last several months. I see a wave of dissatisfaction amongst AP holders in the near future is DLR doesn't get a better handle on this.
                      It's going to be an AP nightmare if Disney doesn't allow automatic extensions of passes during the reservation period. Some people have noted that the AP phone line said they won't be doing this, but they didn't announce it at WDW until their reopening plan was approved and underway.

                      From the looks of things, though, the AP management team sounds like they're severely underfunded considering the value they bring to Disney. From hours-long waits to get on the phone with a person to just poor and uncertain decisionmaking about things that are fairly obvious to all of us, this is just a poor value all around. No amount of exclusive popcorn buckets and mobile food order pins can undo the sour taste this is leaving in my mouth about how Disney treats some of their most reliable customers.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SkunkID View Post

                        The tangent question I suppose is, if and when the current quarentine lifts and can stay lifted, will Disney's experience using a reservation system for DLR prompt them to make it something of a permanent fixture of passes going forward? At least on lower level passes?
                        In theory there would be some trade-off for the lower tiers switching to reservation only. The only reasons I actually picked the Flex pass were because there really were no total blockout dates that were different from the Signature pass and Disney rarely seemed to actually block the pass because of reservations filling up. If SoCal Select and Deluxe go reservation only, they'll probably have to give something in return. But what does that look like? Free parking? I can't really think of anything.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by WaltDisney'sAlec View Post
                          I think it's all but confirmed Disney is employing a reservation system regardless of AP or ticket status while dealing with limited capacity. I have the Flex pass and I've only needed to make a reservation 1 time--the other days I just popped in because it was low crowd expectations already. With this system, everyone's APs aren't just downgraded to Flex pass, but downgraded to the reservation requirement.

                          That is a downgrade in the sense that you don't have free flowing access to the park, but an upgrade in that the park will be severely empty whenever you do visit. Everyone's passes were always subject to the park's max capacity, and the only difference is now that capacity has dropped by 2/3rds. Better to have a reservation system than have all us pop-ins show up and get turned away at the gate, risking further spreading of the virus.

                          It just makes sense.
                          Definitely during the pandemic, reservations should be required for all, but some concession should be made for those who purchased a pass beyond the FLEX, whether that is extra month(s) or the ability to cancel or what-have-you.

                          The OP also mentioned going forward in the future. I assumed she meant past the pandemic there could be a reservation system forever. Me, I won't go during the pandemic. I'm on immunosuppressants. I can't. But assuming we get a vaccine or more effective treatment for this virus, I would eventually like to go back to my Signature pass that includes parking and only two weeks of blockout days. I don't want to have to reserve to go under "normal" conditions because my husband and I work ever-changing hours. Most of the time we don't know we can go until that day so reserving would be difficult for us.

                          I know you say that most of the time you don't even need to reserve, but do you think that will be the case if all APs have to reserve? I don't. Put us all in the system and the days of just showing up on a whim are gone or at least very, very limited. I think Disney would be shooting themselves in the foot to have such a system.
                          Last edited by Sun Bonnet; 07-03-2020, 02:17 PM. Reason: changed one word
                          "I wish they all could be California Bears!"

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sun Bonnet View Post

                            Definitely during the pandemic, reservations should be required for all, but some concession should be made for those who purchased a pass beyond the FLEX, whether that is extra month(s) or the ability to cancel or what-have-you.

                            The OP also mentioned going forward in the future. I assumed she meant past the pandemic there could be a reservation system forever. Me, I won't go during the pandemic. I'm on immunosuppressants. I can't. But assuming we get a vaccine or more effective treatment for this virus, I would eventually like to go back to my Signature pass that includes parking and only two weeks of blockout days. I don't want to have to reserve to go under "normal" conditions because my husband and I work ever-changing hours. Most of the time we don't know we can go until that day so reserving would be difficult for us.

                            I know you say that most of the time you don't even need to reserve, but do you think that will be the case if all APs have to reserve? I don't. Put us all in the system and the days of just showing up on a whim are gone or at least very, very limited. I think Disney would be shooting themselves in the foot to have such a system.
                            Yeah, Disney knows their local crowd here in SoCal wouldn't make use the reservation enough to justify implementing it full time. Without anything to give the other passes in exchange for requiring reservations, there's no way they go through with it. I think in the future what you might see is that everything becomes simplified to either Flex of Signature, with Signature+ giving you the Christmas add-on.

                            But just for fun, if all APs had to reserve admission, I frankly don't think anything will change much. Even if they require reservations, they only bar them if the parks/parking are predicted to be at capacity, which is a rarity and I suspect will continue to be long after the pandemic ends. The one day I reserved, I did so in the Pixar Pals parking structure before getting to the gate. In that sense, my Flex pass has really only been a reservation system in name only. I think as long as the parks have the physical space for enough guests (not hampered by the pandemic), the blockouts itself wouldn't be an issue.

                            That is, unless they gave priority to higher tier passes. Dear lord... did I just engineer a MaxPass for admission? God help us all.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by WaltDisney'sAlec View Post

                              In theory there would be some trade-off for the lower tiers switching to reservation only. The only reasons I actually picked the Flex pass were because there really were no total blockout dates that were different from the Signature pass and Disney rarely seemed to actually block the pass because of reservations filling up. If SoCal Select and Deluxe go reservation only, they'll probably have to give something in return. But what does that look like? Free parking? I can't really think of anything.
                              Parking honestly would be a good way to go. I haven't seen a lot about it here on the forums, but in RL, alot of my family and coworkers have seen the parking situation as a deterrent from getting passes. Paying $25 for a whole day in the parks on day tickets is fine and dandy for most folks, but $25 a pop for multiple trips, especially folks who might head there on Friday or Saturday evenings to have dinner after work is kind of... Unreasonable. The fact that disney doesn't even allow parking as an add on at $100-200 is what drove me to start using the ART bus from ARTIC since they still have free day parking. It seems passive aggressive, but, if Disney would rather "bleed" lower level passholders on parking, rather than allow a one time large payment, I guess I'm more than happy to give the city a consistent form of revenue.

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