2018 is forecasted to be a relatively quiet year at Walt Disney World, with guest levels falling before the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge next year. However, if you’ve been thinking about a Walt Disney World vacation this year and done some research on wait times and FastPass+ availability, you may have noticed something strange: wait times are staying very high, and FastPass+ reservations for popular attractions like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Avatar - Flight of Passage, and Toy Story Midway Mania are just as hard to come by now as they were during the holiday season. So what’s going on here?
Well, as you might expect, there’s a number of factors that are keeping wait times high and FastPass+ reservations in short supply. And unfortunately this problem is only going to get worse as we head into next year…
More competition for earlier FastPass reservations
By now you’ve probably heard about Disney’s plan to monetize early access to FastPass+ reservations, allowing guests with the priciest accommodations to make FastPass+ reservations weeks before anyone else. And while this system may severely hamper guests next year, because this new perk is so limited (and so new), we’re not seeing too much of an impact just yet.
However, what is having an immediate effect on guests is the additional competition for FastPass+ reservations, now that guests at Disney Springs hotels as well as Shades of Green can now book FastPass+ reservations 60 days in advance, which has been a feature previously only available for Disney-owned property resort guests (as well as the Swan and Dolphin).
And while this addition may not be affecting resort guests as much (though there's more compeition, resort guests still have good availability as long as they make their reservations as soon as their 60 day reservation window becomes available), increasingly other guests, including annual passholders as well as regular day guests and those who stay off property are finding their FastPass+ choices more and more limited. And as the aforementioned paid extended FastPass+ reservation window becomes available to additional top-tier guests (while its limited to club-level guests currently, that will likely change in the coming months), we expect this problem to become even more widespead as more guests take advantage of this aditional option. And unfortunately, that’s not the only issue that will be driving up wait times.