When Disney announced its Frozen Summer Fun – Live at Disney’s Hollywood Studios event, one thing seemed curious…why was there no FastPass+ integration?
Well, it seems we finally have an answer to that question: because Disney is selling faster access to the Frozen-themed attractions as an upcharge “package” for the event. If you want to skip the lines and get premium viewing for the fireworks/parade, you’ll have to pay $59 per adult and $34 per child. Looking beyond this single event, could premium upcharges and hard ticketed events make events that have historically been free with park admission more expensive? Let’s look at the evidence.
1. A previous event included with admission has already been switched to a hard ticket
Last year, Disney held an Unleash the Villains event on Friday, September 13 at Hollywood Studios that was included with park admission. This year, Disney is holding a nearly identical event (now called Villains Unleashed) and is charging guests $62 for a hard ticket. Could other previously free events get the same treatment?
For those with their Walt Disney World calendar handy, the next big event is Food and Wine festival. Though it’s doubtful that Disney would close this entire event off by turning it into a fully hard ticketed event, it wouldn’t be surprising to see more extensive “packages” this year than we have in the past, and perhaps even special areas/offerings for specific types of ticket holders. Perhaps a Food and Wine “street party” along the lines of the Harambe Nights event could be in the works.
Though the premium package for Frozen isn’t technically necessary for those wanting to experience the Frozen Summer Fun – Live at Disney’s Hollywood Studios event, when you combine its existence with the FastPass+ lockout, its clear that Disney is pushing guests who are visiting Hollywood Studios specifically for this event towards the premium package. If the Frozen event were to make a return next year, I would not be surprised if it became a hard-ticketed event, similar to what happened with Villains Unleashed.