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Paid FastPass+ Reservations Coming to Walt Disney World

Testing the waters for a "premium" FastPass+ option

Image: Disney

Paid FastPass+ at Walt DIsney World has been a rumored development for years and though no one quite knew how Disney would monetize this famously complimentary service, Disney could be using this exclusive offering for club-level guests as a way to test the waters for a larger rollout later. By testing these "premium" FastPass+ options among its most affluent guests first (who might potentially be the most willing to pay for such an upcharge) before rolling the option out to a larger group, Disney can collect important data that could potentially be used down the line as this option is tweaked and modified. 

And of course the timing is not an accident here, as Disney now has less than two years to get ready for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, which will have two attractions that everyone visiting the resort is going to want to experience. By testing the waters with a FastPass that can give guests a 30-day booking head start, Disney can give guests a way to pay to ensure that they experience these high-interest attractions on their visit. Of course, this is bad news for guests who still use regular FastPass, as availability for these high-interest attractions will be greatly diminished for guests not able to pay the upcharge cost for the extended window. 

Image: Disney

While there is a chance that this upcharge could be a failure and Disney could discontinue this additional paid FastPass+ option, we'd imagine that even if this option doesn't catch the interest of club-level guests, we'll see more monetization of FastPass+ in various forms over the next few months in the run up to the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in 2019. 

There's no doubt that there will always be a "free" version of FastPass+ at Walt Disney World. But it looks like Disney is finally doing what had been rumored for several years and is looking in to adding a top-tier paid-for option that includes additional features for guests who are willing to pay for it. How do you feel about this development? Do you feel like FastPass+ should always be free, or is a premium iteration a natural evolution of this service? Let us know your thoughts below! 

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There are 5 comments.

I don't mind the pay-to-play option. But it should be available to everyone. Not just an upper echelon select group. Just because I don't book club level level resorts doesn't mean I wouldn't pay for the extra privileges. I always stay at value or moderates because I don't spend much time in my room. it's just not worth it. with the money I save I would pay for the extra Fastpass+ option. so the whole Theory of offering it to Club level guest first to test the waters doesn't make sense. Of course they're going for it, price is no object for them.

I will not be a big fan of this. It is already extremely hard for guests not staying on Disney property (which is ALOT) to get FastPasses anyway. This will make it even harder on those guests adding in a extra 30 days for those who want to pay.

we went to WDW 2 years ago for that time, we were able to get fast passes through our reservations (MDE) up to 60 days out......also if we hadn't made any and was in a park, a cast member took us to a nearby computer listing and asked us which rides we would like to go on that day and picked out the times and set it all up for us on our magic bands (love those things!) and was all for free

No surprise to me. I assumed it would eventually be happening at Disney. Sadly, I feel that it’s another way they are outpeicing themselves for quite a few groups. Their numbers don’t show a decrease really though. If you have a product that people want, they WILL pay for it.

Personally this new paid for option annoys the heck out of me. We have booked a vacation from the UK to Disney a year in advance and chose to book to stay in a Disney property to take advantage of the extended fastpass window. Now the extra money I have paid to stay in a Disney property is likely to be wasted as "club level" guests pay the extra and take the bookings for the premium attractions before others are available to. The ability to stay in a Disney property and have the 60 day window is open to all.. now this 90 day window is only open to those who have the money to stay in Club level accommodation- would be fairer to simply offer the option to pay the extra for the earlier access to everyone.


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