Fastpasses are out, and Premier Access is in at Disneyland Paris.
Many Disney theme parks - including those at Disneyland and the Walt Disney World Resort - have suspended Fastpass as part of their pandemic response. But the free ride reservation service will not be returning to the Disneyland Paris resort, which is replacing Fastpass with a two-tier system involving virtual queues and a paid line-skipping service.
Standby Pass is the new virtual queue system. There's no charge to use it, and for the user, it functions much like the old Maxpass service at Disneyland. You use the official Disneyland Paris app to request a Standby Pass for a particular attraction. The app then will assign you the next available 30-minute time slot, during which you must arrive at the attraction entrance.
Unlike Fastpass, Standby Pass does not operate in parallel with a physical stand-by queue. Standby Pass replaces that queue. Therefore, Standby Pass will be activated only on select attractions when their wait times exceeds a certain level. Physical standby queues will be open otherwise. But if Standby Pass is activated for an attraction, claiming a Standby Pass is the only way to get on that ride or into that show.
Guests may claim only one Standby Pass at a time and may not claim another until the assigned arrival time for their current Standby Pass. You cannot cancel a Standby Pass once it is assigned, either.
Don't want to wait for a Standby Pass? Then Disneyland Paris is introducing Disney Premier Access, a pay-per-use option. For €8-15 per guest per attraction, visitors can get access to a dedicated queue for several major attractions at the resort:
Each guest may purchase only one Premier Access at a time and Disney notes that "purchasing a Disney Premier Access gives you fast access to the attraction you choose, but does not guarantee immediate access."
This is not the first time that the Disneyland Paris resort has offered pay-to-play attraction access. In 2018, Disneyland Paris introduced "Super Fastpass" and "Ultimate Fastpass," which offered front-of-line access to many of the same attractions included in Disney Premier Access.
If the new term sounds familiar, it's not only the same term that Shanghai Disneyland used for its paid line-skipping pass, it's also the term that Disney Plus is using for its $30 upsell to watch select films during the first month of their theatrical release.
With its use of walk-up access, virtual queues and paid premium access to attractions, the new system at Disneyland Paris is pretty much the same system that Universal Orlando has been using at its Volcano Bay park. If there's little or no wait for an attraction, walk on board. If a line begins to form, they turn on the virtual queue. And if you want to pay for special access, you can get on ASAP.
Walt Disney World is preparing to resume its Fastpass service (though there's no official word on that yet), and Disneyland installed its new WEB Slingers Spider-Man ride with Fastpass capability, signaling that the service will resume at Disneyland at some point. But with the Disney pushing "Premier Access" as a brand across its products, including theme parks, it's reasonable that fans in the United States may now begin to question when some form of Disney Premier Access will come to Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
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Nothing at DLP is exclusively Premier Access, and I can't imagine that Disney would make any attractions exclusively available via Premier Access in the US parks, including Rise.
However, by making Rise just one of several Standby Pass virtual queue options - for which you can hold only one Standby Pass at a time - a Paris-style system might help to make Rise more accessible to the most dedicated Star Wars fans.
Right now, you get a free shot at Rise in the morning and at noon. There's no opportunity cost to try to get into that virtual queue. If asking for a Rise boarding group cost you the opportunity to go on any other popular attraction until you got on Rise, I suspect that many Disney fans now trying to get into the Rise virtual queue might choose something else instead.
You are more optimistic than I am, Robert. On Rise’s best day at WDW, about 15-18 thousand guests can ride it (or on a crap day like it had today, maybe 7,000). That is well less than half Hollywood Studios park capacity. If 10,000 guests per day were willing to pay $7 (what 8 euros are worth now) to ride what is widely considered WDW’s best attraction, that’s over $25 million per year of extra revenue for Disney. With the number of people daily going to Galaxy’s Edge and buying $16 drinks at Oga’s, $100 droids at the depot, and $200+ lightsabers at Savi’s, $7 (or more) is a drop in the bucket.
Prior to Covid, the Star Wars experience at The Void cost $30 per person, and there was no shortage of people for that attraction (although it had a much smaller number of guests that it could accommodate).
And let’s not forget Orlando already has an attraction that requires paying more than the base ticket to ride. You have to have a park-to-park ticket to ride the Hogwart’s Express at Universal. Yes, you do get other benefits with that ticket, but can’t do all of the Wizarding World without one.
So, theoretically, if a ride goes down, they will will have the ability to not sell any more for that ride, therefore a few hours later when the ride goes up the line will ACTUALLY MOVE!?!?!?! Damn what a concept, a stroke of genious! NGL even though I will never buy this I like that concept a lot better than the terrible old "free" FP system where if you weren't fortunate enough to get one way advance (and many of the big rides never had any availability even in advance) you were stuck in ridiculously long non-moving standby.
Humm Crush’s Coaster is still absent from the list and that has big queues due to its low capacity. I think they are seeing what rides people are willing to pay for so like Shanghai they will sell bundled packages for rides. But it does make sense for them to do something for the US parks as at WDW fast pass+ made things more stressful and less spontaneous.
I like the idea of free virtual queuing, but any paid priority is always a BOO! from me.
Why do I now suddenly get the feeling that when the Disney Dining Plan returns that it will give guests who purchased it an earlier booking window (say 90 days) over those who did not? just saying. I mean with Early Magic Entry and Evening Magic Hours on the way, what else will WDW change?
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Remains a very guest unfriendly business model. Let as many guests in as possible which will create long lines and subsequently charge extra to skip the lines. One day visitors may no longer find this acceptable. More parks are now looking into www.queuefreethemepark.com
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I see DLP being used as a test ground for this service being used in the U.S. to get an idea what guests are willing to pay for front of the line access similar to what most North American parks already have, albeit on a pay-per-ride plan.
My fear is that this will need be used exclusively to ride new rides or rides that have a ride capacity smaller than the number of people the park is capable of holding. I’m looking at you, Rise of the Resistance! If this is successful at DLP, I fully expect RotR to turn fully into a pay-per-ride attraction. This will also help promote the Galactic Starcruiser as a way to guarantee access to RotR with no upcharge beyond the cost of staying on the GC.