Love it or hate it, Walt Disney World’s FastPass+ system has become a part of Orlando vacations, but unlike their competitors, Disney’s skip-the-line system remains free for all guests. Exactly what is included may soon change.
Around 2007, there were indications that Disney was considering a paid FastPass system. In early 2017, the basic concept for the system at WDW was released. Disney rolled out a pay-to-play option in both Shanghai Disneyland and Disneyland in California. Those two systems were a bit different, with the Shanghai one being for specific attractions, while the California one was more of an app-based, day-of pre-reservation system.
By late 2017, multiple insiders were indicating that there were plans for a similar upcharge FastPass system in Orlando. Then in January 2018, a new program allowed Club Level hotel guests staying three or more nights to purchase an extra three FastPasses for $50 per guest per day. The upcharge FastPass also opened up the scheduling window a full 30 days before it typically opens, allowing for guests who use the service to schedule their FastPasses 90 days prior to their visit. Around the same time, Disney began offering a handful of new “tours” that allowed guests to skip the lines for specific lists of attractions, with most of the attractions offered on each tour grouped by a theme, such as thrill rides or iconic family attractions.
For some guests, this allows them up to have up to six FastPasses per day, ahead of their visit. According to industry journalist Jim Hill, Disney is looking to eventually allow guests to reserve up to nine experiences ahead of their visit. Many of the tours currently offered provide access to between six and eleven rides. The tours range in price from $249 to $349, with more luxurious tours costing up to $12,000 per person per day.
As there has been no announcement yet, we are not sure of exactly how these new programs will work. Even though it has been confirmed the original timeline has been pushed back, but the upcharge FastPass system is still moving forward at Walt Disney World. I would expect to see these changes in 2020 ahead of the WDW’s 50 Anniversary in 2021.