Animal Kingdom always gets to test out new things. First we got an "Allergy Kiosk" where guests can find information about dining with food allergies, purchase allergy friendly snacks and more. The feedback has been overwhelming positive and many guests hope that this will continue to spread to the other parks as time goes on.
Because AK has less attractions than the other parks it made sense for them to begin the next stage of testing MyMagic+ there. So about a week ago they covered up all the old Fastpass machines that guests would recieve paper tickets from. All guests, even those staying off site are now able to book their 3 FP+ attractions. (Onsite currently gets the benefit of booking ahead of time, but we will see how that pans out in the future for offsite guests). Gone are the days of "double dipping" which is when resort guests were using their 3 FP+ booked ahead of time and then using their room keys to get extra paper ones. Basically it has leveled the playing field for all guests (somewhat).
Now when I heard about this, I'm not going to lie, I panicked! I was unsure how this would all play out, how guests would react, and what if the system crashed! But everything worked out very well. We did not have guest complaints, many guests were confused and needed a little extra guidance along the way. They even beefed up the staffing for the FastPass+ kiosks bringing in cast members from other parks to help us out. The test doesn't seem to have an end date in sight and I would guess they will start at the other parks soon. Just part of the next phase in this huge undertaking.
Working through the holiday season at WDW is something I have never experienced before. I've done Easter, Spring Break and busy times in the summer but never around the holidays. Thanksgiving was crowded as was Christmas. What was nice is that our area had a pot luck on both of those days. The company provided the Turkey and gravy and people brought in side dishes and desserts. AK was not as crowded on the actual holidays as the other parks but still had a high attendance.
I've been spending a lot of time on our Regional rotation out in the parks and not a lot of time in the lobby. We have a new Service Center for guests who need help with their Magicbands and so far things seem to be going really well. I think the whole process has really come a long way and the issues we were experiencing earlier in the summer at the beginning of the test have really died off. There are still issues but things seem to be running quite smoothly.
This week begins my last week at DAK, starting on Jan 5th I have training at my new location at Downtown Disney. I love my DAK family but I am also looking forward to joining the team at DTD! I'll post more about that in the coming days!