What is the Future of the WDW FastPass System?

in Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World FastPass

Though Walt Disney World is open right now, a lot has changed since the days before they closed their gates and a lot is missing — Especially FastPasses.

Disney’s iconic line-jumping system which allows Guests to bypass extensive wait times for attractions at certain times of the day is currently suspended, and there is no clear sign of when it will return or even if it will return.

Read More: Disney World Solidifies FastPass+ Suspension

Credit: Disney

In the midst of this uncertainty, a rumor from wdwmagic has surfaced from sources claiming that this time of phased reopenings will be used to overhaul or completely eliminate the FastPass and FastPass+ system at the Walt Disney World resort.

But what does that mean, exactly? Let’s dive into some of the possibilities that could await the Walt Disney World FastPass system. — Keep in mind this is all speculative and nothing has been confirmed by The Walt Disney Company.

No More FastPasses at Disney World?

With the slogan, “Get A Time, Why Wait In Line?” Walt Disney World first introduced the world to the FastPass in 1999, first implementing it at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. Since then, FastPasses have been seen by many as a necessity for Guests looking to make the most of each day in a Disney World theme park. Can we ever go back to the days of only Standby?

FastPass+ entrance at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Currently, there is no trace of Walt Disney World’s FastPass+ system on the My Disney Experience mobile app. As for the Walt Disney World Website, FastPass+ links produce this popup:

Error Page on the Walt Disney World Website
Credit: Disney

The only sign of Disney World’s FastPass+ system is found on the FAQ page which states:

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the FastPass+ service must be suspended as we plan to use additional queue space to control capacity at our attractions and maintain physical distancing. We will automatically cancel existing FastPass+ selections and share any future updates on the service at a later date.

It makes sense that Disney has suspended the option because, right now, there is no real need for it. The limited capacity crowds have kept attraction queues to a minimum. High-demand rides such as Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom or Frozen Ever After at EPCOT are barely ever seeing wait times over 45 minutes long.

FastPasses helped eliminate massive buildup at rides and redistribute the crowds throughout the park. Now, there is hardly any reason to fear massive buildups. The worst came on the reopening day of Disney’s Hollywood Studios where its most popular and most recent attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, recorded the first wait time over 100 minutes long. But that demand has also quelled since the theme park has been reopened.

Related: How to Enjoy Your Walt Disney World Vacation Without FastPass+

Increase of Virtual Queues

Virtual Queues Disney Parks

These limited crowds are not going to be around forever. Soon, Disney’s parks will be back up and running at full capacity. When that happens, it is very unlikely that the powers at be will send us back to the days of standby. And if FastPass is going to be retired, perhaps virtual queues will take its place.

Already in place for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Disney’s virtual queues act as a mandatory FastPass. Guest sign in with their My Disney Experience accounts, and are given a designated group to board with at some point throughout the day.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Virtual Queue
Credit: ITM

We have covered the possibility that Disney was hinting at including more virtual queues and it makes sense from a Guest experience perspective. Rather than spending hours in a queue, Guests will be able to walk around the parks–even park hop–and take in so much more Disney than they would have previously.

The only question that remains is how would Disney World replace the advanced FastPass+ system which allowed Annual Passholder and Disney Resort Hotel Guests to book FastPasses 30 or 60 days in advance. Perhaps the answer lies in the Disney Park Pass System where queue spots will be divided out to Annual Passholders, Resort Hotel Guests, and Theme Park Ticker Holders.

Would you pay for a FastPass?

Millennium Falcon FastPass
Credit: Disney

Another possibility we should explore is Walt Disney World overhauling its FastPass and FastPass+ system into an add-on service. One of the most admired qualities of Disney’s FastPass is that it has always been a complimentary option since the day it was launched. Universal Orlando Resort, on the other hand, makes its Guests pay for its Express Pass, and Shanghai Disney Resort also has a paid FastPass feature.

The Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California also has an add-on FastPass option called the MaxPass, but its regular FASTPASS system was still free to Guests before the closure.

It is possible to imagine a Walt Disney World Resort so desperate to pick up the slack from its 2020 losses that it resorts–no pun intended–to charging for its FastPass service. It has already made a subtle yet eerily similar move in that direction by no longer offering complimentary MagicBands to Resort Hotel Guests upon check-in.

Or perhaps there is another option which combines the increased normalcy of virtual queues a paid FastPass system as we know it today that this writer fails to comprehend.

Either way, this is all speculation, and we wait with bated breath for official word from Walt Disney World on FastPass’ future.

What do you think is going to happen to Walt Disney World’s FastPass system? Do you think it is ever coming back? Would you pay for FastPasses? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!

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