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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