Paid replacement for FastPass+ for Walt Disney World seems to be a step closer with a new ride reservation system coming to Disneyland Paris

21 days ago in "MyMagic+"

Posted: Tuesday July 6, 2021 9:20am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

This summer, a new pay-to-ride system is reportedly coming to Disneyland Paris, perhaps paving the way for the long-rumored Fastpass+ replacement destined for Walt Disney World.

The idea of the new system is to further monetize the concept of ride reservations, varying the operating mode of an attraction's queue depending on how busy the specific ride is at any given time. And at the same time, moving guests out of queues and into the park frees up time for them to shop and dine - all important factors for boosting Disney's earnings per guest.

Known as Premier Access at Disneyland Paris, the system offers direct access to a specific attraction at the next available time window - for a price that is likely to vary depending on demand. Its operation sounds very much like several concepts we have heard about over the last couple of years that have been in development for Walt Disney World.

In a hypothetical example at Walt Disney World, upon entering Disney's Hollywood Studios, you may be advised by the new Disney Genie app that Rise of the Resistance is available at 9:30am for $10 per person. If the offer sounds good, you can make the purchase in-app and head to the ride at the allocated time.

What happens if you don't want to spend $40 for a party of four to ride? Well, options then can go in several different ways depending on the time of day and how busy the attraction is.

The first option is that those guests who do not want to pay will have the opportunity to enter a regular standby line. This option will be typically available during periods of low demand for an attraction, but if the attraction is busy, a second route opens up where guests will enter a virtual queue, which would operate much like the old FastPass+ system. Here, a return window is given for those guests to enter the line and experience the ride later in the day. It is also important to note that this virtual queue is different to the current system that is in use at Rise of the Resistance, where a boarding group number is given instead of an actual time window.

In some circumstances, a traditional standby line will not be available, and much like we see at Rise of the Resistance, it may not be possible to simply wait for an attraction on a given day.

With Walt Disney World's typically longer length of stay-per guest, we may see bundles and packages that will offer a number of reservations per day for a fixed price. This option may be more cost-effective than the a la carte model of paying per ride. Disney would also be able to offer an allocation of paid passes for premium categories of guests, such as Club 33 and certain categories of resorts.

Disney has been planning a version of paid FastPass+ for some time, and it has gone through several revisions, which may now be nearing a finished system. The COVID-19 shutdown of the parks has given Disney a much more straightforward path to permanently discontinue the already suspended existing FastPass+ system and introduce this new paid system.

For some guests, the idea of paying for immediate access to an attraction will be a welcome change. But for others, paying to ride on top of the price of admission will be a hard pill to swallow. Disney executives have commented on many occasions that the way forward for Disney's theme parks is to increase spending per guest in place of increasing attendance. A paid replacement of FastPass+ would seem to accomplish this goal.

Note that at this time, Disney has not made any official announcements on any new system coming to Walt Disney World.

Let us know what you think about these possible changes on our forum.

Discuss on the Forums
View all comments →

wutisgood3 hours ago

Disney always loves to set unreasonable expectations and then cry poor and cut other non related things when those expectations fall short. When they make crazy money they pocket most of it and underinvest. I really get the feeling my recent trip to wdw and Disneyland trip in a few days are going to be the last pretty good trips I have for a long time. Once International visitors return in in full, fake extra magic hours kick in, and paid only fast pass is implemented (if they go through with it), visiting for a day is going to be a poor experience.

G00fyDad6 hours ago

Oriental Land Company. I was wayyyy off!

castlecake2.07 hours ago

Nope. Shanghai is owned by the Oriental Land Company, I don’t care what any of you say. ;)

trojanjustin8 hours ago

He's wrong? I'm shocked.

UNCgolf8 hours ago

You're thinking of the Oriental Land Company, which owns and operates Tokyo Disney Resort.

trojanjustin8 hours ago

That would be Tokyo.

G00fyDad8 hours ago

Okay. Thank you. I had heard that a different company owns it for a very long time but I never knew the details. Or, if I had even gotten them right to begin with. LOL

Chip Chipperson8 hours ago

It's a joint venture between Disney and a state-owned company in China.

G00fyDad9 hours ago

Isn't Shanghai Disneyland owned by someone else? I could have swore I read that someplace before. I'm probably wrong though.

skypilot292210 hours ago

I like to point to 2015 as the year ‘the wheels fell off’ that was also the year they made huge cuts at wdw to finance the losses and overruns at Shanghai. And it’s gotten progressively worse as time rolls on

MrMichaelJames10 hours ago

Yup, thats why I'm saying I would be willing to pay more to make my time more enjoyable and less standing around.

G00fyDad13 hours ago

I'll be here all week. ;)

trojanjustin13 hours ago

Like I don't argue with former McDonalds employees about how long the fries are cooked, why argue with former Disney employees about how attractions operate? Truly silly stuff.

pdude8113 hours ago

See, aren't you glad you stopped by?