Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Sights and Sounds of Fastpass+: MagicBand Touch Point Theming

With the new MagicBands and Fastpass Plus system that's arrived at Walt Disney World, all we Disney fans and Disney snobs are still getting used to a slightly new way of trip planning and park touring.  But what I love best about the Disney parks is that when there's a new attraction or show or a new system like My Magic Plus, the Imagineers always add some extra pixie dust to it.

So today I thought we'd look more closely at the sights and sounds of FP+ to see what magic we can find!  When you head to the Fastpass+ entrance of a ride, there are sensor pillars or touch points that you tap your MagicBand to as you proceed through the line.  Did you know they're calling the turnstiles at the front of the park tapstiles now??  ANYway, the fastpass pillars represent plenty of new theming potential...


Here's the touch point at the Magic Carpets ride in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom.  It's looks like a magic lamp...maybe if you rub it a genie will come out??

They've reused the lantern design with a different coat of paint at the Great Movie Ride over at Hollywood Studios...definitely in keeping with the Chinese Theater!

If you embark on a voyage under the ocean with Ariel, you'll pass through a shipwreck to get in line...

...so naturally the MagicBand sensor is attached to a piece of flotsam and jetsam!

The more futuristic rides in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom and Future World at Epcot are especially ideal for some funky Fastpass+ pillars...


Spaceship Earth has some very sleek turquoise MagicBand touch points.

There were plenty of sensors to use your MagicBand at Test Track - you could attach your car design to your MagicBand and you could also use it for the Photo Finish epostcards.

Here's the FP+ return at the Tomorrowland Speedway - very retro space age.


I did like the touch point at Soarin' at Epcot...it's in that stunning blue hallway with the wavy cloud ceiling.

They've recycled that design too in the Animal Kingdom at the Dinosaur ride.


In Fantasyland the majority of Fastpass pillars were the same design painted different colors (Dumbo on the left above, it's a small world on the right).  The Haunted Mansion had a black sensor with a very eerie chime to listen to...

Haunted Mansion was one of the first attractions we tried Fastpass Plus on, and I was so excited by the spooky sound.  I made sure to video a variety of the other Fastpass+ touch point chimes during different trips, but all the rest of the FP rides we tried had a pleasant but identical tone that played.  That would have been such a fun touch if every ride had a unique melody.  Maybe the FP+ programmers are big HM fans?  My fingers are crossed that they'll add individual chimes for more rides.


Now I know I'm kinda crazy in the way I look out for tiny details...but I would've liked a rebel symbol  painted on the side of the Star Tours sensor, on the left.  And Toy Story Mania has such a cute trash can...I would love a more colorful, toy-inspired touch point!  But maybe they did these in a rush, and we'll see more detailed pillars in the future.


Many of the Fastpass Plus entrance areas themselves are nicely themed with pretty signs (Haunted Mansion on the left, Dumbo on the right).

I would like to see some crowns atop the Fastpass+ sensors at Princess Fairytale Hall, don't you think?

Here's the Fastpass Plus entrance for Meeting Mickey Mouse at the Town Square Theater.  Of all the Magic Band touch points, this is the one I would most like to have some Mickey ears. ;)


Since we're on the subject of Fastpass Plus details, let's have a look at the kiosks where you can make FP+ reservations in the parks.  Hollywood Studios had a cute stacked-suitcase kiosk near the tip board, but many of the kiosks are just a placard with a bunch of cast members holding tablets.  It's a pity, because the old paper fastpass machines were so well-themed and interesting.  Maybe they'll convert some of the old paper machines into new Fastpass+ kiosks with more details?

Just getting used to FP+ takes some concentration, so it's easy to miss all the new little details when you're going through with your MagicBand.  What are your thoughts on the new theming??

1 comment:

  1. Love the theming of them! Just because I had read your post about FP+ before our latest trip in January did I think to even pay attention to any potential sounds and the designs!