PHOTO: Toy Story Midway Mania, Disneyland (Flickr.com/Loren Javier)
FastPass. You either live by it, or you stand in line. The front-of-the-line ticket option has been a Disney staple for the better part of 20 years, at least on the East Coast.
At Walt Disney World, guests can plan their vacation up to a month in advance and find FastPass tickets for just about every major attraction using their smartphone or computer. Disneyland has been a bit of a different story, as the classic park didn’t even have FastPass for some of their most popular and iconic attractions.
Disneyland has announced the introduction of FastPass at two attractions that did not have it before: Toy Story Mania at Disney’s California Adventure and Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland. That brings the total FastPass count up to 16 at both parks. Both of these attractions are extremely popular, and bring huge lines on a regular basis. Whether or not FastPass will help the lines is an argument that remains to be seen, but there is hope that you can get at least a few more things done with these two new additions.
The biggest news comes with FastPass Max. This is an all-new system that will allow guests to book FastPass reservations with the Disneyland App. The new option will cost $10 dollars a day, with annual passholders able to add the option on to their pass for an unspecified price. There are no details on when it will launch, or if the price will eventually go up or down.
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There’s also no information on how many FastPasses the $10 dollars will include. What we do know is that this will not be like the Walt Disney World MyMagic+ System, where you can book months in advance. These reservations are purchased and booked the same day, while you are in the park. Once you’re out of the park, it doesn’t work.
You traditionalists should not see this as a reason to panic. The paper passes are not going away. Guests at Disneyland will not be forced to purchase FastPasses. This is just an extra option that is being tested right now, and will most likely be worked into a bigger plan in the future. Paper passes are still able to be booked in-park at the kiosks with your park ticket.
There is a downside, however. If people are paying for FastPasses they have to be able to actually book the FastPasses that they want. You can probably expect to see paper FastPasses get limited at certain attractions significantly, though that hasn’t been confirmed yet. All in all, this new move looks like a way that Disney is trying to increase profit while making a new experience for guests.
Having used the Walt Disney World version, I can definitely say that it’s much more convenient to book a FastPass on your phone than it is to do it in the park. Eventually, the mad dash for FastPasses will become a thing of the past as you simply pull out your smartphone and open the app.