Rumors have been swirling for several years about the possibility of Disney World implementing a paid FastPass system similar to their competitors and just this week more insider details have been released. To clarify, Disney has not officially announced any changes to the current FastPass system. Here is what we know so far.
Way back in 2007 there were indications that Disney was considering a paid FastPass system for their parks. Ten years later, in 2017, two Disney parks introduced variations of a paid FastPass program, Shanghai Disney and Disneyland in California. The Shanghai Disney Premier Access system allows guests FastPass entry to 12 attractions for an additional fee. While in California, where the original FastPass ticketing system is still used, the MaxPass program allows guests access to make FastPass reservations on the Disney mobile app while in the parks.
While many theorized that these two fee based FastPass systems were a sign that a similar program would be coming to the Florida resort, in late 2017 Disney World instead rolled out a very limited paid FastPass option that allowed only Club Level resort guests staying three or more nights to purchase three additional FastPasses at a cost of $50 per person per day. Along with this paid FastPass option guests were offered priority scheduling of FastPasses with their booking window opening up a full 30 days prior to other guests.
Around the same time Disney World also began offering VIP tours that allowed guests to skip the line on a selection of rides depending on which tour they chose. These special tours were offered at prices ranging from $249 to $349 (in addition to park admission) and offered guests skip the line access for up to eleven rides. Information about these VIP tours is available online at the Events and Tours details page of the Disney World website.
Surprisingly, both the VIP Tours and the Club Level fee based FastPass options were well received by many, likely giving Disney World executives the greenlight to start a paid FastPass option for all park guests. In March of 2019 some suspicions were confirmed by a well-respected Disney historian and insider, “Martin” (Marni1971) in the WDWMagic.com forums. Martin mentioned a variety of options being discussed in regards to FastPasses but assured the group that there would be some type of paid version of FastPass coming to the Florida parks in late 2019. Just last week Martin came back to say that the rollout for paid FastPass was pushed to 2020 but a new program would no doubt be coming to Florida soon.
Until an official announcement is made by Disney we are still unsure of what this change to the FastPass system will mean for guests. Per Martin, it is likely that a free FastPass option will still be available but there may be limited E-ticket FastPasses available in the free tier. There may also be multiple paid tier options. Additionally, there are rumors that the new paid FastPass program will be integrated into the new AI Disney Genie App scheduled for release later this year. Stay tuned for updates as we learn more about the changes coming to the FastPass program and the rumored paid FastPasses that may be coming to Disney in 2020.