Panic is never fun. Panic inside the Magic Kingdom at Walt DisneyWorld? That's even worse…

We visited last month. Their fast pass system has changed the experience, especially once you learn how to work it. Get multiple fast passes going, & you never wait in line.

Our very first stop is Winnie the Pooh. I grab our fast passes, then we hang out and relax, waiting for our scheduled ride time.

Before we ride Pooh, I run over to get Peter Pan fast passes. Then I panic. My fast pass access ticket is gone. I must’ve left it in Pooh’s machine!

I race back. A Disney employee (sorry, I mean ‘cast member’) is standing nearby. She checks the machine. My ticket is not inside.

My heart sinks as she explains, "they can replace your ticket at City Hall."

That's all the way up front at the Park’s entrance. We just came from there. We’re going to waste a huge chunk of time trudging all the way back up front, waiting in line, explaining the situation, replacing the ticket and getting back out to the rides. Worse yet, we can't acquire any more fast passes until I do it. This is going to put us several hours behind. I'm letting down my wife and kids. My stupid mistake is gonna cost them half the afternoon... sigh.

My head drops. Dissappointment sets in as I turn and walk away from the machine. Then the cast member’s voice rings out, “wait sir!”.

I turn around. She steps up and hands me a card that says, 'temporary fast pass ticket' and explains, "Just use this for now. You can stop by City Hall anytime before 11pm.”

And just like that, we're back on track. Disney saves our day!

All day long I notice them solving problems before we ask. At the Dumbo ride, they have a new queueing system. They've eliminated the line without even using fast pass.

Instead of a queue, they built a playground. Instead of standing in line, they give you a beeper (like the kind Chili's or Applebee's would use. So in lieu of the line, you enter a playground to climb, slide, swing or just sit and relax. When your beeper goes off, you gather the kids, walk out the exit and climb right onto the ride.

They never stop innovating. It's hard to imagine Disney ever pulling a Kodak or K-Mart. They never stop pushing. They're never content. And they continue to stay 2 steps ahead of the competition.  That’s why even with the crowds, the expense and the sore feet, they still make dreams come true...  At least we enjoyed our simple dream of riding Space Mountain without waiting in line. They did that one good!

1 Comment