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Changes? Yes, we’re talking about potential changes to the Walt Disney World FastPass system. The Disney rumor mill has been working overtime with this one. Every six months or so, the topic of changes to the Disney World FastPass system pops up. It’s that time again. Time sure flies by! Let’s grab our Magicband and head to the parks. We’ve got some investigating to do!

Disney World Fastpass System started as paper.

The Background

As Dr. Marsh would say, the future is truly in the past! Oh, how we love Dinosaur at the Animal Kingdom. On with the Disney history discussion. The Walt Disney World FastPass system began in July of 1999 with a paper/ticket style FastPass. Over the years, it has a couple of iterations including MyMagic+ and ultimately transforming into what we know today as FastPass+ as part of My Disney Experience.

Throughout all the variations of the Disney World FastPass system, one thing stayed consistent, it was free. Every guest who purchased a park ticket could use the system at no additional cost.

Passholder Insights: Our favorite time to book our FastPass selections is midday when the parks tend to get the busiest.

Rise of the Resistance should be part of the Disney World FastPass system

What We’re Hearing

Major changes! Or so they say. For years, the parks down the street, you know the ones we’re talking about, the one with the young wizard. These parks have been offering a similar system called Express Pass for an additional cost. In 2018 the rumor started that the Walt Disney World FastPass system would be transitioning to a paid-for system as well. From that day forward about every 4 to 6 months the rumor within the Disney community resurfaces and the latest round started at the end of December mainly due to Disney Parks offering a virtual queue, in lieu of a FastPass for the new Rise of the Resistance attraction.

As the rumor goes, a new Disney World FastPass system would move FastPass selection to a pay model. The model would still include a subset of attractions included as “free” with potentially moving the marquee attractions to an upcharge option.

Passholder Insights: You can add additional FastPass selection after completing your first three selections. To find out more we recommend the following article.

Guest staying in a grand villa can purchase more selections from the Disney World FastPass system

Is It True?

Can we say yes and no? For about six months Walt Disney World has been offering guests staying either in a concierge level room or a Disney Vacation Club Grand Villa the option of purchasing additional FastPass selections. The initial 3 selections are still free, but guests can choose to add 3 more selections for $50 per person per day. They can choose to add it for a single day or every day of their trip.

At the moment, this is as far as Disney World has taken the paid for FastPass offering. According to many Disney insiders, there are no plans to scale-out this option any further. The plan for the Walt Disney World FastPass system is rumored to be a larger project and could entail a complete overhaul to the FastPass program. In the DVC Duo house, we believe any changes to the system would be tied to the Disney Genie project (a new Disney trip planning tool) which would debut at some point in 2020. More to come on the Disney Genie project.

Passholder Insights: When staying in a concierge level room guests who choose to purchase the additional FastPass selections are able to make their choices 90 days in advance compared to the standard 60 days for Disney World Resort guests.

Our Thoughts

We love FastPass! It has definitely destressed our vacations over the years. We’ve seen the Disney World FastPass system grow and expand in each of its iterations. Looking to the future we would expect some level of change to come. Ultimately, we would project that Disney World would keep the FastPass system as part of the part tickets. What we could see happen is Disney offering guests the option to add additional FastPass selections as an upcharge in the form of packages. For now, Disney World has not announced any changes to the system. We’ve got to go, time for us to ride Dinosaur!