Winnie the Pooh FP Distribution

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Agent P Replacing Kim Possible Fast Passes at EPCOT

Many people are aware that utilizing the FP system is one of the best ways to get in to your most favorite theme park rides while on a tight schedule.  And while FP distribution has not been limited to just rides, there are several attractions that also use these handy little passes.  One of these is the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure.  It was launched in 2009 as a fun activity park guests would enjoy as they are traveling and visiting the different countries at EPCOT's World Showcase.  The activity resembled an electronic scavenger hunt where a 'Kimmunicator' device powered by Verizon (looked very much like a flip phone) would talk to you, give you clues, and allowed you to 'activate' special hidden scenarios.  Each clue, when solved, would allow you to locate the remaining clues and ultimately lead you to catching the villain and successfully completing your mission.  There were at least 5 different stations where you would check in and hand your park ticket to a Kim Possible recruitment cast member.  They would then hand you a Kim Possible FP ticket that would be your time to come back to pick up your Kimmunicator and begin your mission.  The FP would say to "report to the team possible field station at ______."  There were only three possible field stations where you would begin the mission:  Italy, Norway, and International Gateway.  The pass would also state the time, date, and the number of guests that were invited to begin the mission.

 (photo by Tina Delaney;
Here is a photograph of one of these field stations.  It was also themed according to its location just like most of the other field stations.

Where you report to begin your mission is not necessarily where your mission would be located.  Most of the countries at the World Showcase had a mission you could do.  If you already had completed one of those in a previous visit you could just ask the cast member to start a different one elsewhere.  I attempted several of the missions at EPCOT, including Japan, France, Morocco, and Italy.  I can honestly say that it was pretty fun as an adult to walk around and do something else other than buy food and alcohol (which many people end up doing anyway at this area of the park).  I find that this activity was widely popular given the incessant beeping of these Kimmunicator devices as they would spring up all over world showcase in and around the pavilions.  It was well organized and even had little interesting bits of historical information as you went around learning about stolen artifacts and historical persons.  If you are familiar with the Kim Possible animated television series you would see your favorite characters guide you through your mission.

The Kim Possible FP has a blue banner with the "KP" logo at the top.  The three variations of the fast passes all have the same banner, but have the three different field stations where you would be given the Kimmunicator device to begin your mission.  The stations were Italy, Norway, and International Gateway.  If you had any problems finding the field station you could always ask a fellow cast member or look at your park map for its locations.  The stations were each equipped with several electronic touch screens that would allow the cast member to scan your fast pass and it would randomly select a mission for you to begin.  If you wanted another mission you had to specifically request it.Getting these FP were a matter of luck since each FP return would be randomly selected as well.  When your park ticket was scanned, the computer would select either one of the three locations to return to receive the tools and information you needed for the mission.  After you received the devices and completed the mission assigned, you would be asked if you wanted to continue to another country to begin yet another mission.  This means that there was only one FP for the entire party.  Also, the FP was only given to your party before beginning any of the missions and not in between missions.  When you reported to the field station, the cast member would also take your party's fast pass.  In order to collect all of these, you would have had to have visited the park on several visits and not have reported to the field stations to begin the missions.  Ordinarily, this is what collecting these FP would entail.  Knowing that Kim Possible would be closing within a few days of my visit, I just asked a cast member if I could have one from each field station.

On March 13, 2012 Disney announced that the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure would be replaced by another similarly themed storyline, Agent P's World Showcase Adventure.  Agent P is based off of the Disney animated television series Phineas and Ferb.  Perry the Platypus is co-named Agent P as he is a detective disguised as a pet platypus.  His archenemy, and the main villain in this new attraction is Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz.  There will also be missions similar to Kim Possible, and fast passes to direct you to field stations.  The Kim Possible attraction recently closed on March 18, 2012, with the new Agent P attraction predicted to open in late June of this year.   You can read more about the official Disney blog at Agent P World Showcase Adventure.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

FP On Hold, Until Refurbs Are Completed

As of April 16, 2012 Test Track (TT) is under refurbishment until November 30, 2012.  Fortunately for those of you who have collected the Test Track FP, we know that this refurbishment will certainly mark a change for the attraction.  I have a feeling that the new TT ride that will replace it will be very much re-imagined and perhaps a name change may spell a change in the current FP ticket.

If you notice on the ticket, the FP is simply bordered on the top in yellow with "TEST TRACK" written on the top.  A face lift for the ride may very well change the name on the FP ticket, meaning that these passes may already be 'retired.'  I believe the new ride will also utilize the FP system.  We will see during the 2012-2013 holiday season what they will decide on for the fate of this fast pass ticket.   


This is nothing new.  We've seen fast pass updates before.  A refurbishment may be a good excuse to update the logo on a classic ride.  Here is an example of Disneyland's California Screamin FP that got an update as well between 2009 and 2010.  The back of the ticket now has the FASTPASS logo with Donald Duck.  Before that, fast passes had quite a bit of logistical information on the back.

Star Tours at Disneyland now has a blue logo printed on the top versus the old-style monochromatic gray.  

Not only have they evolved because of a change in the name of the ride or an update to the logo on the front, the back of the pass is just as important in determining if a ride will receive an updated fast pass.  You can see here how the old FP used to look like on the back (left), when they have been now updated to the new FASTPASS & Donald Duck logo (right).  

Test Track isn't the only FP equipped ride undergoing a face lift.  At WDW, Big Thunder Railroad is also experiencing a temporary closure (between January 9 and May 28, 2012).  The difference between this refurb and TT is that TT will probably end up being an entirely new ride and concept whereas Big Thunder Railroad is experiencing some updates to their ride station and attraction features.  I do not foresee a change to the current FP ticket.   Other FP equipped rides at DL, DCA, and WDW will be experiencing additional closures.  Be aware that if you are collecting FP to find out the next regularly scheduled closing and to get the passes before major refurbs are in place.  You never know if it will change the design of the fast passes.

Wait A Sec, Fastpasses for Fireworks and Parades?!

We've all seen them...and some of us who are fortunate enough to live close to the parks can set our watches to them.  They are the nightly fireworks displays.  At Disney World, each one of the parks (minus DAK for obvious reasons) has a nightly viewing of fireworks entertainment.  Carefully orchestrated to a finely tuned melody, each ka-boom and ka-blaam ends up with the unmistakable roar from thousands of ooh's and aah's that follow.  The finale typically climaxes into a spectacular array of never ending explosions of color and light, followed by thunderous applause and cheers.  Each night, we are awarded with such marvelous displays as if Disney were to tell us 'we are here, loud and proud'.  After spending a day at one of their parks, you as a guest, feel entitled to such an ambiance.  There seems to be no better way to end the day.  Viewing the evening's fireworks is to some as important of a tradition as it is to Disney.  I have seen spectators line up for the event, two hours prior to showtime.  At Magic Kingdom, the best viewing is likely to be the place where most people tend to flock to which is right in front of the castle.  Of course, people want to take photographs of the castle back lit with fireworks.  To make it more as an incentive, the event kicks off with a very photogenic and vivid display of color that bring Cinderella Castle to life.  I have watched nearby spectators gaze at the display and actually see themselves on the castle projection.  I had wondered how they had managed to have their picture taken and placed on the castle and thought 'now I knew where all those (the PhotoPass) pictures went.'  I know how incredible it is to experience that moment, and for an instant, that family had a magical moment.  Yes, it truly was a moment they would cherish.  Luckily for them, one of my friends had been videotaping the show and just so happened to have capture on his film the moment their photograph was propped on the castle, animated to a musical repertoire.  He e-mailed the video to them.  There is no doubt how great the area in front (and some who say the display from the back of the castle is just as marvelous) is to observe Wishes.  MK knows how good they have it, so it appears they decided to try a little experiment, a FP experiment.

(thank you Chip and Company for the lovely photograph of the FP)

It started out in several blogs and then soon in tweets.  MK was testing a Wishes Nighttime Spectacular fast pass.  The return time suggested to come back between 9:20pm and 9:45pm.  I figured this was just about enough time for them to figure out who goes where.  The viewing location is in front of the castle right at the end of Main Street and in front of the sculpture of Walt and Mickey.  They posted signage indicating the location of the FP return.

(Photo: Amanda Tinney,

Not only was I surprised that they were testing a Wishes FP, the Electrical Parade received the same treatment.  This area was reserved for both viewing events.

The viewing location was carefully and consistently monitored by cast members.  These patrols ensured that no one passed the ropes.  Believe.  I saw a toddles wander into one of these areas and within seconds several cast members were already on it.  They were really serious about this.  Dare you pass the ropes? Off with their heads!

So how did I get my hands on one of these FP?  It took a bit of observation.  Normally someone knows something about where you could find a FP being distributed.  But one thing was for certain, the system was likely to be tested for one month (March 2012) and at random.  The complication was that they alternated and at random had selected specific days for their trials.  After asking several guest relation cast members about the days they would conduct their FP experiment, they had no knowledge on the matter.  In fact, no cast member I spoke to (nor manager CM) knew any details whatsoever.  Getting one of these was sure to be a difficult endeavor indeed.  Of course, I work a full-time job and so on my days off and when I got out early I had planned many trips to MK.  I decided that they would likely trial the FP on days that were non-peak.  For something to go wrong, it would be better if not that many people were watching right.  Persistence paid off the moment I walked through the main gates, in the middle of the week with nearly an empty MK parking lot across the lake.  I noticed several cast members speaking to families right as they were entering the park.  I never see this, sad to say.  I usually notice these cast members only after I walk near the city hall on Main Street.  I overheard the cast members tell them to return for the parade viewing in front of the castle and watched each family member receive their own special FP.  I wanted one.  After walking past these cast members several times and observing who was getting selected, it dawned on me they were really only seeking families or groups with many children.  This seemed like an impossible feat, knowing it was just me and all I wanted was one just one for my collection.  I wished I had my family there because for that one moment I felt cheated out of what could have been a very magical moment for me.  I know how important it was to them to randomly select individuals, and as gloomy as my situation seemed I was struck with a thought.  It would not hurt to ask them for one.  One little question led to my victory!

I found my parade viewing fast pass that day.  I returned at the designated time, but found the area to have already been too crowded to have enjoyed the parade I had already seen numerous times before.  I kept it.  I spoke with several cast members including a few managers running the event and they had informed me how ordinarily the FP would be disposed of but in this case they were conducting an inventory of how many guests had returned of those FP that had been distributed earlier in the day.  I noticed the CM place the passes in envelopes, seal them, and off they went to be counted.

I wonder how many people had returned.  It was certainly busy when I had returned for the parade.  I don't know if this somehow affected the viewing experience, but what I do know is that there were likely many more guests who were frustrated, if not angry, at the CM's who would not let them view the parade (and likely Wishes) from this area.  If you ever visited this area, you'd see how small it is in comparison to other places where the fireworks could be viewed (such as Illuminations at EPCOT).  I don't know how this worked to their advantage, but I hope that if they decide to do FP that they let everyone be eligible to obtain one if they so desired.  This should be available to anyone just like FP are currently available to anyone in the parks, first come first served.

Regardless of the outcome, I am really excited to have a piece of history in my collection.  I only wish I was fortunate enough to have a Wishes Nighttime Spectacular fast pass!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Welcome to the FP fan page!

Being a Disney fan, it is not difficult to imagine how one can get into collecting Disney 'stuff'.  Disney has surely amassed a great wealth from their merchandising of collectibles, advertising everything from trading pins to vinylmation figurines.  Some Disney fans have come to enjoy collecting a number of other seemingly unimportant items such as those free stickers cast members randomly hand out to park guests, the free park maps you get in just about every language, and the gift cards sold for every occasion.  Wanting to start my own collection of Disney paraphernalia and with so many options out there, it was really difficult to come up with just one thing.  I had several questions running through the back of my mind, such as "What's relatively inexpensive, is widely distributed, and can present a challenge to collect," "What's something small, everyone has access to, and can easily fit in your pocket," "What has limited editions and continues to evolve over time."  After visiting the parks, it seemed simple: a Fast Pass ticket.  How many of these have you come across and have either used or thrown away when you no longer could use them?  I went home, did some research online and it did not take long to realize how little there is out there on FP materials.  Other than practical guides and instructional blogs that basically state how the system works, there was little literature out there that emphasized or speculated to the joys of Fast Pass collecting.  So it was needed, to begin such a blog, and to collect the information we need to enjoy and amass a more complete picture of what Fast Pass collecting is really like.

Through this blog I would like to share with you my experiences of my FP collecting adventures, interesting news, and to keep you up to date on the latest FP info.  I hope this enacts as an open forum for you to also establish yourselves a mighty FP collection.  Share your experiences and have fun!

I have already begun my journey and have a great FP collection.  Let me know if you are interested in trading.