Walt Disney World will begin canceling the FastPass+ reservations of guests who cancel their resort hotel reservations associated with their FastPass+. This new policy change will go into effect beginning Monday, February 4 across all Walt Disney World Disney Resort hotels.
The new policy is aimed at addressing a specific type of FastPass+ abuse, in which a guest may book a Walt Disney World Resort hotel reservation without the intention of staying at the hotel simply because they want to take advantage of the 60-day FastPass+ booking window. Once the guest has reserved their desired FastPass+, they subsequently cancel the hotel reservation within enough time to obtain a refund for their $200 deposit.
As many frequent Walt Disney World vacationers are aware, guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort hotels may book FastPass+ reservations for attractions at the Walt Disney World theme parks up to 60 days in advance of their vacation start date. This is a great benefit because many Walt Disney World attractions have notoriously long standby wait times and are known for being difficult to obtain FastPass+ reservations for. Those who are not staying on Walt Disney World property can book FastPass+ reservations only 30 days in advance. Because of this benefit to staying on Walt Disney World property, many Walt Disney World guests want to take advantage of booking their FastPass+ reservations so far in advance, even when they do not want to stay on Walt Disney World property and have no intention of following through with their hotel reservation. And now that Disney is catching on to the issue, they seem to be doing something about it.
This isn’t the first time Disney has cracked down on guests taking advantage of the system. It seems as if Disney is taking a system-wide approach to combat guest abuse of benefits. As we reported 2 months ago, Disneyland Annual Passholders were seeing their passes revoked if they were known to be purchasing limited-edition and/or park-exclusive merchandise with the intent to resell the items(s). Like theme park merchandise, FastPass+ reservations are limited. Similar to the situation in Disneyland, when certain guests abuse the rules that Disney has put in place, it makes it harder for the rest of us to legitimately obtain our desired FastPass+ or coveted merchandise.
The abuse that impacts Walt Disney World and Disneyland is different based on some subtleties between the two parks. Disneyland has a much higher portion of guests who are locals and annual passholders. As such, abusing passholder discounts seems to be more of an issue at Disneyland, than it would be at Walt Disney World. By comparison, Walt Disney World has a unique FastPass+ system that allows guests to obtain a FastPass+ reservations either 30 or 60 days in advance depending on whether you will be staying at a Walt Disney Resort hotel. While these two are different, it can be said that Disney is likely cracking down on these issues in order to ensure an enjoyable experience for all park guests, whether they are attempting to purchase new merchandise at Disneyland or wanting to book a FastPass+ for a coveted attraction at Walt Disney World.
There is also something to note about the timeliness of Disney’s recent responses to these issues. It is likely that Walt Disney World is taking these steps now months before Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens, or even before crowd levels increase. While Disney has yet to officially announce the opening date of Star Wars: Galaxy’s edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, they have said that it will open in late 2019. And as time passes, it only makes sense that we are getting closer and closer to the date when Walt Disney World will open up FastPass+ reservations for the two new attractions coming to the “Star Wars”-themed land. As Disney enthusiasts like many of our readers, we at Inside the Magic think that it’s better for Disney to work out these FastPass+ abuse issues sooner rather than later.