By now, you all are quite familiar with how Disney's FastPass system works. You insert your park ticket and out pops a small pass with a return time. You come back at the return time and get to take a special entrance where you have little or no wait. The intent is that guests will spend less time standing in line. That may work in theory, but in practice, things are a bit different.
Don't get me wrong, I love FastPass. It's probably one of Disney's best ideas. However, there is such a thing as becoming a victim of your success and FastPass, at times, becomes a victim to it's popularity.
How many times have you tried to get a FastPass only to arrive at the FastPass machines to find a huge line that appears to be every bit as long as the standby line? It happens, especially at some of the biggest attractions such as Toy Story Mania and Soarin'. Having spent quite a while in huge, sometimes unorganized FastPass queues, I think I've discovered a major bottleneck - the machines themselves.
I can't tell you how many times I've been standing in line behind a guest who inserts their ticket, Key to the World card, annual pass, whatever, only to have it come right back out and not give a FastPass. The guest tries again and again until a castmember notices the problem and lends some assistance. All this time, people are queuing up behind and the line gets longer and longer.
Here's where the tip comes in: most guests insert their ticket with the magnetic stripe down. I've found that most problems happen when the machine tries to read the cards with the stripe down.
Instead, turn the ticket over and insert it with the magnetic stripe UP into the FastPass machine. Bingo! Out will come a FastPass. I've tried this several times and every time I turn my AP over, I never have a problem getting FastPasses. The end result is my passes come out faster and I can get out of the way so the next person can get their FastPasses.
Try this the next time you're getting a FastPass -- it really works!