MIAMI, July 8 (Reuters) - By the middle of this month one of Walt Disney World's theme parks will offer guests their first alternative to waiting in long lines, Walt Disney spokesman Dan Higgins said on Thursday.
Disney's Animal Kingdom, one of the four theme parks at Walt Disney Co.'s (NYSE:DIS - news) sprawling Walt Disney World in central Florida vacation complex will implement the new FASTPASS system at Kilimanjaro Safaris, Countdown to Extinction and Kali River Rapids attractions, three of its most popular rides.
``Historically lines have been an issue. We wanted to alleviate some of these problems. For guests this system will be a simple and fast process that will give them the flexibility to enjoy more of the fun and theme of the park.'' Higgins said.
There is no additional cost for the service, which assigns park customers a designated time to visit popular rides, avoiding waiting in lines that can last well over an hour during the summer months and other busy times of year.
After they arrive at Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World guests who want to avoid long lines can go to any one of the three attractions where FASTPASS is installed and insert their entrance tickets into the FASTPASS turnstile, which will spit out a new ticket with a designated return time.
FASTPASS will be implemented first at Animal Kingdom, but later extended to Disney-MGM Studios and Magic Kingdom, two of the other four Disney World theme parks. A new roller coaster opening at Disney-MGM Studios on July 29 will be installed with FASTPASS, Higgins said.
But guests can only obtain one FASTPASS ticket at a time because the turnstiles will reject requests for additional tickets. They can not come early to a ride and each member of a group must purchase tickets individually.
He said the Magic Kingdom's Space Mountain roller coaster and Splash Mountain water ride will also have the FASTPASS system. The company also may institute FASTPASS at Disneyland in California, Higgins said.
Jul 12, 1999 /