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Rumor: Walt Disney World to introduce "XPass" premium FASTPASS system

Jungle Cruise FASTPASS station

Walt Disney World will introduce a new system that enables guests at luxury resorts to pre-book the times that they will experience major attractions, according to rumors.

Jim Hill Media claims that the new system will be dubbed "XPass", and will be offered only to guests staying at Walt Disney World's Deluxe Resorts. Those taking up the option will be able to pre-book time windows during which they can skip the normal "standyby" queue for rides at the resort's four theme parks.

The report is consistent with statements earlier this year from Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, who revealed that company was working on a "version of FASTPASS for (visitors') entire Disney vacations". Currently, guests at Disney parks can pick up a FASTPASS for an attraction on the day of their visit, allowing them to return during a specified time window and skip the regular line. The new version would enable them to book FASTPASS-style windows well in advance of their trip, creating a personalized itinerary. These would cover character meet-and-greets, shows and meals as well as rides.

No timeline was given by Staggs for the changes, although he did reveal that they are "well into development" and that applications for patents to cover the technology have been made. The latest rumors claim that the system will be introduced in 2012, and that it will be enabled by reducing the number of FASTPASS tickets distributed to regular guests at Walt Disney World's parks.

The introduction of the XPass system is believed to be part of a planned $1 billion investment in "next generation" technology for Disney's parks.

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