Has Disney Started Selling Fast Passes?

Plenty of folks complain that a trip to Disney World makes them feel like death by a thousand cuts with all the different things they need to pay for.  There’s concern that Walt Disney wouldn’t like the way the parks have become, where money can buy you a better experience.

Since Disney World rolled out their FastPass+ system a few years ago, they moved away from paper FastPasses to a computerized system.  They limited the number of FastPasses you could get in a day, but recently made changes to improve this for all customers.  But, there was no way to purchase more FastPass opportunities.  Some viewed that as a good thing, others not so much.

Disney Started Selling Fast Passes

Charlie Hitting The FastPass Kiosk Hard!

Disney World did add ways that you could guarantee a short wait on the most popular rides.  They added an early morning package in Magic Kingdom that included Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, among others.  They were pleased enough with those results that they added a similar package at Hollywood Studios.

They even rolled out a paid option for VIP viewing of the fireworks.  For the most part, they’ve shied away from including extra FastPass options in packages.

Blog Mickey is reporting on a package that does include extra FastPass+ options:

Normally we don’t cover the various vacation packages that Disney puts out, but their latest one caught our eye. They’re calling it a “Kindermoon”, and as part of their 3 night/2 day package, Disney is offering two vouchers for FastPass+ in addition to the normal FastPass+ allocation.

1 voucher valid at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Disney Junior Live on Stage!
1 voucher valid at Magic Kingdom for your choice of one of the following attractions: Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Ariel’s Undersea Adventure , Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor or Mickey’s PhilharMagic Concert

To be fair, the extra access here isn’t really a big plus.  Experienced Disney World folks aren’t likely to use a FastPass on PhilharMagic given that the lines are frequently pretty short.  The lines at Dumbo can get long but there’s also a kids play area to bide the time (and also an experience your kids probably don’t want to miss).  There is some value in an extra FastPass Ariel’s Adventure and Laugh Floor.  That allows you to save your other FastPasses for more sought after attractions.

The Final Two Pennies

As Mike mentions on Blog Mickey, I don’t think this is worth a big uproar.  Frankly, I don’t have a huge issue with Disney World selling Fastpasses.  It’s all in what degree they decide to do so.  Letting a small percentage of folks get quicker access to premium attractions doesn’t markedly impact the rest of folks.  And, if Disney is able to maximize revenue from people with thicker wallets, maybe they don’t raise ticket prices as quickly.  I know, I know, I’m in my own little fantasy world.

On whole, I still think Disney World is doing things to improve the experience for everyone.  They recently added a quicker way for Park Hoppers to get from park to park.  Sure, it does cost a few extra bucks a day.  But, it also buys time, the most important thing you need at Disney World.  And, as I mentioned above, they changed the FastPass+ system to allow folks to squeeze in another ride and get FastPasses in more than one park.  All of these small add-ons make it less likely I feel compelled to pay the big fee to hire a VIP guide (even if they continue the discount for DVC members).

I’m not a buyer of Disney World’s latest package, but I’m encouraged with the tweaking that they’re doing.

Are you happy or furious about Disney World’s latest tweaks?

The post Has Disney Started Selling Fast Passes? was published first on Pizza in Motion

2 Comments

  1. I think the real uproar will be when they roll this out in some way and they include the e-ticket rides. I could see Disney awarding extra fastpasses for deluxe resort guest, or people who buy their top tier annual passes. Currently, onsite guests get a 1 month head start in making fastpasses (60 days vs 30 days) which I think is fair. I think Disney could demand an even higher premium if they sell an added fastpass or two as part of their packages. We go during mostly off-peak times (if there is such a thing) and stay on DVC points, so I doubt we’d take advantage. But I think Disney will be able to make serious revenue by including added fastpasses to their package options!

    1. Shaun, I had heard rumors a while back that Grand Floridian guests would get an extra FP. I suspect there’s been a lot of talk about how to balance the various forces in play. I agree there’s a lot of money to be made here. I hope Disney finds a good balance.

      Personally, I like knowing that if I miss getting Seven Dwarfs FP the first day it’s available before they’re all gone, I have another backup option other than waiting in line 90 mins (even if it’s not my first choice).

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