Walt Disney World has announced that select hotel guests can now purchase additional FastPass+ reservations.
The new premium system is being piloted starting January 12, 2018 for some of Disney’s highest paying hotel guests who have booked Club Level rooms with Disney Signature Services. This includes Club Level rooms at Disney’s deluxe hotels plus the Cascade Cabins at Wilderness Lodge and the Bungalows at the Polynesian Resort and some suites at the Swan and Dolphin hotels.
The cost is $50 plus tax for three additional reservations per day per guest. This is on top of the three complimentary reservations that all park guests can book through the normal FastPass+ system.
Not all guests in the party have to participate and you do not have to buy the extra passes for every day of your stay but there is a three day minimum.
At this time it is strictly a trial so it could end at any time, be rolled out further or be amended.
These extra reservations can be booked 90 days in advance of the final day of stay as opposed to the normal 60 days in advance of the first day of stay for other Disney resort guests.
In addition, there are no tier restrictions so a guest could potentially book top attractions like Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey at Animal Kingdom on the same day. However you cannot book the same attraction twice on the same day.
The extra reservations must be booked in advance through Disney Signature Services, they cannot be booked using the My Disney Experience or at time of check-in.
One extra perk allows you to also book seating for one of the reserved viewing nighttime attractions, i.e. Illuminations at Epcot, Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom, Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios, or Rivers of Light at Animal Kingdom. This is separate from the three additional FastPass+ reservations and one reserved viewing selection is allowed for each day you buy the three extra passes.
This means anyone paying for the extra FastPass+ reservations actually gets seven FastPass+ reservations to start their day.
Day guests will continue to be restricted to booking up to three FastPass+ selections up to 30 days in advance but all guests are able to make extra reservations on the day after all three free reservations have been used or time expired. This is on a one-at-a-time basis as each additional reservation is used.
Disney say this is a limited pilot so will not affect overall FastPass+ availability or standby times but it is yet another situation where day guests are at a disadvantage when trying to get FastPass+ reservations for Disney’s most popular rides. Anyone who has tried to get a FastPass+ or seen the posted 240 minute standby time at Flight of Passage can testify to this!
Neighbouring Universal and SeaWorld already offer a paid for “FastPass+” style skip-the-line system namely Universal’s Express Pass and SeaWorld’s Quick Queue.
However this is the first time that Disney has allowed some guests to buy FastPass+ selections at Walt Disney World (there are optional $10 per day paid-for MaxPass systems in California and Premier Access passes in Shanghai). This could be an omen for the future as Disney looks for more ways to “monetise” their guests.