Monday, January 6, 2014

Parade Viewing Magic Courtesy of FastPass+

We have all seen, or even been, those people who park a family member somewhere in front of the castle or on Main Street USA hours before a parade starts in order to get an unblocked view of the artistry that is a Disney parade. That person sits, typically with a defeated look, watching other families pass by sharing magical memories, knowing that his or her family is exploring the magic as well. Sure this person gets interaction, but it is mainly from other families asking if the space next door, clearly covered by a jacket or shopping bag, is vacant and available for their chosen family member, to which the answer of course is no. Saving seats for parade viewing, for some families, makes any given parade seem like the longest wait in the park.

Well, over the holiday season, our family said goodbye to having a token seat saver, and hello to FastPass+ provided by MagicBands. MagicBands, still in their testing phases, are currently bestowed upon guests who consider a Disney resort home for their vacation stay. These magical pieces of arm candy serve as a room key, easy mode of payment if linked to a credit card, your entrance to the park if desired, and your only opportunity to take part in the new FastPass+ system. We were the lucky recipients of MagicBands during our stay at the Art of Animation Resort in October, and we linked our bands to our annual passes. Linking them to our passes allows us to use these magical bands and all of their powers for every time we visit the parks. Why is this completely awesome you may ask? Well, the MagicBands allow you to take part in the FastPass+ system which gives the power to pre-select up to three fast passes for any given visit. The bonus of course is that the FastPass+ system will allow you to get a fast pass for entertainment like parades or fireworks. Getting a fast pass for a parade, gives you exclusive prime viewing that is reserved for only those who have the fast pass, which is the most amazing way to watch a parade.

First, cast members rope off arguably the best spot to view a parade, which is directly across from the castle. This of course means that the castle can be the backdrop for any photo taken. But wait, it gets better. Since you have a fast pass for this area, you are only allowed to enter between ten and twenty minutes prior to parade time. That's right, prime viewing, and no hours of waiting. But wait, that's not all! Not only is this space amazing for photo opportunities, but the space that they rope off is huge, and the amount of people who actually take advantage of using a fast pass for a parade is very few, so you aren't stuffed into an area like a sardine. I know that I am usually squished into an area with strangers, sometimes ones who are smelly, who are pushy and not always considerate of tiny human parade viewers. So, this experience was absolutely, hands down, the best. Literally no one was standing behind me, there was at least five feet between my back and the end of the roped off area, and there was a good couple of feet between us and the family next to us. My little princess and prince had unblocked views of everything, and were even the recipients of high fives and personal waves from characters. Seriously, this was the best parade viewing experience of my life, and theirs so far. If you have the opportunity to use the FastPass+ system, I highly recommend taking advantage of the parade or firework viewing option. I know we won't ever again watch a parade or fireworks in any other way. So, thank you MagicBands and the FastPass+ system, now we can enjoy every experience with our entire family!

1 comment:

  1. Love your blog! Thanks for reviewing this, we have been trying to decide how to use our FP+ during our next trip. :-)