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Has Disney Found the Solution to Its Fastpass Problem?

July 7, 2021, 6:19 PM · Many Disney fans have been blowing up social media to complain about Disneyland Paris' Fastpass replacements. In case you missed it, the Paris resort has replaced its old Fastpass system with two new products: the free Standby Pass and pay-per-use Disney Premier Access. Go read about them here, if you have not yet already.

Despite many fans' objections to the change, these new wait-skipping products offer to solve some of the problems that have hampered Disney's Fastpass from its beginning.

Hear me out. To start, I would like to suggest that the most, fair, just, and efficient system for getting people on theme park attractions is the old-fashioned physical queue. It's first-come, first-served, and if you don't think the ride is worth the wait, then you can choose something else to do. That means the people who are waiting in any given line are the ones most willing to invest the time to enjoy that attraction.

But the problems with physical queues are these: Even if you're willing to spend the better part of the day waiting in a line for a specific ride, snaking through a queue for that long still feel like a miserable experience. And from the park's perspective, when you are waiting for hours in a queue, you're not spending money. That's what enticed Disney to create its Fastpass system.

While Fastpass liberated Disney guests from queues to (in theory) spend money in shops and restaurants while the waited to go on popular rides, the system created a slew of unintended consequences.

Here's the inherent problem with all wait-skipping schemes - they effectively clone theme park visitors. They allow you to be two places at once: waiting for an attraction as well as doing something else. That's fine if people use their "something else" time to visit under-utilized and uncrowded attractions, stores, and restaurants. If people stick to those locations, wait-skipping services help distribute the load of guests across a park more evenly, potentially helping to boost food and merchandise sales while doing so. Wins all around.

But what happens when people get smart and choose instead to use their "something else" time to wait for another high-demand attraction or restaurant? When that happens, the wait-skipping service just helps increase the load on already over-loaded locations. Standby wait times grow longer, and seats inside popular restaurants become harder and harder to get.

Sound familiar, Disney fans?

Then Walt Disney World went and gave guests the ability to reserve up to three Fastpasses at a time, with its Fastpass+ system. So instead of cloning visitors to the world's most-visited theme parks once, Disney effectively ended up cloning its already abundant guests three times. Fastpass+ also allows Disney World visitors to book their Fastpasses in advance of their visit. As a result, the only way to get on many popular attractions at the Walt Disney World Resort before the pandemic was to log on to Disney's website first thing in the morning exactly 30 days before your visit to enter what effectively became the Fastpass+ lottery. (On-site hotel guests got to play that lottery 60 days in advance of their arrival - further squeezing guests who couldn't afford to stay on site in addition to buying Disney theme park tickets.)

Oh, and let's throw in Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance now. Disney runs a separate virtual queue for that popular attraction, which did not count against your Fastpass+ allocation. A Disney visitor won the lottery to enter that virtual queue before the pandemic effectively could be in five places at once: waiting for Rise of the Resistance, waiting for each of their three Fastpass+ rides, and then wherever they happened actually be to standing in the parks at the moment.

Which probably was waiting in a ridiculously long standby queue for something else.

All this contributed to the relief that many Disney fans felt when the company announced that it would suspend its Fastpass services when Walt Disney World, and then Disneyland, reopened. Yes, the Rise of the Resistance virtual queue still frustrates many visitors, but otherwise, Disney has returned to the old days of first-come, first-served physical queues.

Disney has not yet announced when Fastpass might return to Orlando and Anaheim, but the company has shown a new path forward with what it announced for Disneyland Paris. At first glance, Standby Pass might look like Fastpass, but it functions in some substantially different ways than Disney's old wait-skipping service.

First, Standby Pass does not operate in parallel with a physical standby queue. It replaces that queue. When an attraction's wait time exceeds a certain point (which seems to be about 30 minutes, at least for now), Disneyland Paris implements Standby Pass for that attraction. From that point, everyone wanting to get in line for the attraction must go to the park's official app and claim a Standby Pass. That assigns the guest a 30-minute return window for the attraction, on a first-come, first-served basis. When demand slackens for the attraction toward the end of the day, Standby Pass closes, and people can walk up to join the physical queue again.

Guests can claim only one Standby Pass at a time, however. Yes, that still means cloning. But because other popular attractions presumably also would be using Standby Pass at that moment, guests would have no choice but to use their "something else" time visiting some less-popular, underutilized location within the park. There would be no open physical queues for other crowded attractions for them to join.

That is how Disneyland Paris' Standby Pass solves the number-one problem that Fastpass created. Standby Pass also runs through the park's app, eliminating the hassle of physically walking to attractions to collect a wasteful slips of paper. And it's free to use, eliminating the money grab that Disneyland made when it charged guests to manage their Fastpasses through its Maxpass product.

Speaking of money grabs, that brings us to Disney Premier Access. The Disneyland Paris website is a bit evasive on what exactly the €8-15 you spend on this product gets you beyond what you get using the Standby Pass. In each case, you get a designated time slot to go on the ride, though Disney notes that you get access to a "dedicated fast lane" at the attraction with Disney Premier Access.

"Purchasing a Disney Premier Access gives you fast access to the attraction you choose, but does not guarantee immediate access," the website says.

For that kind of money and years-old attractions, I would want immediate access, though I understand if Disney's lawyers want to cover their rear ends by not promising that in writing. Nevertheless, Disney Premier Access simply gives Disney the same sort of paid line-skipping product that Universal, Six Flags, SeaWorld, and the Cedar Fair theme parks have been selling to happy fans for years.

If you don't like Disney Premier Access, don't buy it. Disney's recent history shows us that the company does not maintain a habit of continuing products that do not sell. Disney has tried paid line-skips at Disneyland Paris in the past, and those products did not last.

But I hope that Disney brings Standby Pass to the Walt Disney World and the Disneyland resorts and that it replaces Fastpass. And I hope that Disney folds Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance into the service, too. With Standby Pass, Disney might finally have a service that gives fans the freedom to avoid physically standing in long lines without overcrowding popular locations in the park in return.

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Replies (28)

July 7, 2021 at 11:09 PM

"If you don't like Disney Premier Access, don't buy it."

Well come on Robert, the problem is if you don't like or, more importantly, can't afford it, you have to stand back and watch all the rich people swan their way in front of you. Your wife says, "Why aren't we up there?" and the kid says, "Dad, are we poor?" And you're all, "Good god no, this five day vacation package already cost me five grand, but I didn't have another grand to skip the line."

It's obnoxious. If Disney wants to upsell everything to the teeth, be my guest, but rich people shouldn't be able to pay to impose on the less fortunate, not at Disney.

July 8, 2021 at 12:30 AM

Welcome to life, thecolonel. Rich people get the perks just about everywhere. Why should Disney be any different?

July 8, 2021 at 12:38 AM

Don’t like this new setup at all for a couple of reasons. One is purely selfish on my part. We have always been able to get many more FPs beyond our first three and have learned how to maximize the system. We rarely waited more than 15 minutes for any ride with major rides being the exception, like Flight of Passage.

My second reason is that I think some of the major rides, particularly Rise of the Resistance, will have so many people willing to pay to guarantee a ride that it will basically become a pay-per-ride attraction and there will no standby passes available for anyone else. I did the math on another posts and conservatively estimate that RotR could earn Disney about $25 million in extra revenue per year on each coast ($7 per rider at 10,000 riders per day) for a total of $50 million per year

July 8, 2021 at 1:04 AM

Haven't been to Disney in years because I don't find planning my day 60 days out enjoyable. I've always loved Universal's express passes and was excited to read that Disney was moving towards this. I am however disappointed about this and if its implemented in Orlando I still don't think it would get me through the door since it's not a real express pass. Honestly the amount of money Disney could make with a real express pass like Universal is insane. I just want to walk around and enjoy my day and go on rides when I feel like it.

July 8, 2021 at 5:14 AM

So hold on,

'Standby Pass' activates when the lines for an attraction exceed, say, 30 minutes, at which point the ONLY way to ride it is via the app (unless you want to spend 15 Euros to ride Big Thunder Mountain once), however your 'access time' might be hours in the future if the attraction is popular. What happens on a busy day when EVERY attraction goes past that 30 minute point, the demand on the app is such that the next available access time is hours in the future? Because you can only have one Standby Pass at an attraction you could end up being unable to get on literally any ride for hours at a time. It's possible your 'magical day' at Disneyland/World could end up featuring just one or two attractions.

That sounds even worse than things are at present........

And one more thing... I really, really, really don't want to have to spend the whole of my day at Disney on my phone. That's a constant reminder of 'real life' when what I most want is to escape that life for a few hours.

July 8, 2021 at 3:02 AM

I'm all for Fastpass becoming paid access only. Disney is the only major theme park that offered a free front of the line system, and in my experience it's been the one where it had the most severe effects on standby queue times (especially in Florida). I would definitely be far more interested in a system that was pay one price for a day of unlimited access, but the reality is if I were to travel to a Disney park, I'd pay quite a bit for guaranteed access to a new E-ticket.

Standby Pass I'm a bit more skeptical about. If attractions operate at full capacity with no delays, it would probably work okay. However, what happens if a ride goes down and you can't cancel the pass (which is a huge flaw with the system IMO), does that mean you could miss the rest of your day if the ride never reopens? If tons of people with Premier Access clog the line, you've also got the problem of messing with schedules as theoretically you shouldn't have to wait more than 30 minutes after joining the queue. Plus, if you can't join any queues and you've got nothing else in the park you'd care to do, it leads to nothing but unhappy guests. Personally, it feels like forcing technology into the parks to solve a non-existent problem that will only complicate the experience of visiting. Lines aren't the greatest, but I'd much rather stand in physical queues than sit on a bench waiting for a virtual queue to run out.

July 8, 2021 at 9:12 AM

Robert, thanks for taking the time to explain the new systems.

I'm not crazy about the new virtual queueing systems because I'm a proponent of the now defunct FastPass+ because it allowed my family to maximize our enjoyment of the Disney parks in a relatively short period of time and then go enjoy other aspects of our vacation like the hotel pool or shopping and dining at Disney Springs, but like most of you, I'll figure out how to use it to best advantage. (Or I'll wait for Makorider to figure it out and tell the rest of us how to best use it.)

@David Brown - Good observation. If Disney puts too many attractions into Standby Pass on a busy day, we could see theme park gridlock.

You know, we've been debating this issue on this website for years ever since Robert posted the link to the patent filing for the (original?) FastPass. Then Disney added fuel to the fire by dumping a load of money (supposedly over a billion dollars) into the development of FastPass+ and the park app at a time when they were not investing much into getting new rides and attractions into their parks. The theme park community wasn't happy then, and it appears that we are not happy now, so it looks like Situation Normal for us.

Personally, I think Disney is boiling the frog here. They don't want to admit that more and more of their offerings are oriented to the upper middle class and the upper class, and many of us don't want to admit that Disney may be too rich for our budgets except for a few times in our lives instead of on a yearly or more frequent basis. Thus we end up in this silly dance of managing expectations. Disney still wants the middle class to ensure that their toys and movies will still have mass appeal, but you can count on more of their resort offerings will cater to the upper middle class and the upper class where they can maximize revenue without major expenditures of capital.

July 8, 2021 at 9:29 AM

So am I understanding this right…If a ride wait exceeds a certain amount of time (30 Minutes is the example used), then even the general standby line will stop? So only the people who purchase one of the two pass tiers can then access the ride until the wait drops back down under whatever limit they’ve set?

Essentially now your being forced to buy a line pass for popular rides…Then if you buy the ~cheaper~ “Standby Pass” you’ve dedicated yourself to possibly a single popular ride for your entire day at the park (Should something unforeseen happen like a ride closure for a couple hours)…

Disney just found a way to charge the people who risk it and opt to do a park day playing the standby line game and save some money…That’s all this is…

July 8, 2021 at 9:35 AM

@Francis 24,
Unfortunately Universal is testing a new VL for Hagrid that has a checkout button, indicating a possible pay to get in line function. If Universal messes with their Express Passes they will lose a lot of business, starting with Me immediately.
I am not a fan of ANY VL, they ruin your park experience IMHO. They can actually make your wait worse. People see a 60 minute wait and a lot of people don't join the line. You join a VL without knowing the wait and you enter the line regardless of the wait time, which for Hagrid has been over an hour at times.

July 8, 2021 at 10:05 AM

Well explained Robert.

Disney maintains a unique position with public perception. From what I can see, the customers lost by their decisions leave little to no impact.

July 8, 2021 at 10:50 AM

I have said it before, and I will say it again. Give me a paid front of the line perk, and I'd be happy to visit Disney again.

July 8, 2021 at 12:27 PM

I think paying a la carte to skip lines seems crass even for regional parks. I think what Universal is testing with Hagrid’s is to offer a paid skip the line option for their new rides that do not offer Express. These rides would be over run with anyone who purchased express, hotel guests and passholders who get complimentary express after 4pm. Hopefully it would be limited so it wouldn’t destroy the stand by line flow.

July 8, 2021 at 12:42 PM

Just looking at photos of family trip in 1996 and imagining explaining to the people 25 years ago how amazingly complex getting in line for an attraction was going to be.

And yes, a few back then who would have gladly paid to skip a 60 minute wait for the Mountains or Peter Pan.

July 8, 2021 at 2:56 PM

There is one, NB: the personal tour. For just a few hundred bucks an hour you can go straight to the front. See you at the parks!

July 8, 2021 at 4:13 PM

@Twobits -- There again Disney drops the ball comparing to other parks. Disney's VIP tours cost thousands for the day but basically include nothing. Tried it once paid $5,500 for the day and it doesn't even get you to the front of the line. You still need to wait in the fastpass line. Furthermore the "tour" doesn't include any food unlike Universal which has breakfast, lunch, and some have dinner also. Universal also includes valet parking.

I'm fortunate enough that the price doesn't bother me too much but considering the amount of stuff Universal includes compared to Disney I just can't justify spending that much at Disney for not even having front of line access. I'll keep dreaming that Disney gets rid of everything regarding fastpass and reserving your rides months in advance and just includes a paid express pass like every other park. If they did this I wouldn't be surprised if standby wait times decreased since not as many people would be able to afford express passes.

July 8, 2021 at 7:03 PM

Go for a Universal style Express pass (ugh), go back to the simplicity of the paper style Fastpass system, or just have Stand-by lines. The idea of this new system makes me nauseous. And I have been a Disney apologist, despite all of their money squeezing techniques and methods they have put in place over the years. If they implement this particular system at WDW, they will have, however, reached their limit with me.

I'm dying to go to Star Wars Land, and was planning a multi-day trip to WDW in early 2022 with the family. If this confusing, smart-phone necessary, cynical, money grubbing requirement to simply get into a line for a ride at a $100.00+/day/person theme park is what's in place, then I think they've reached the limit of my loyalty. I'll get an off-site hotel, begrudgingly take a car ride to DHS for a day, and then spend the rest of my time at Universal, where their money-centric preferential treatment to their economically advantaged guests is, at least, streamlined.

When will these major theme parks realize that they already facilitate the complete and utter emptying of the pockets of their customers at the end of the day? It doesn't matter if you charge me to get in a line; that just means I have to get a counter service meal instead of a sit down restaurant. If I'm paying for "Lightning Pass", or whatever they want to call it, it means I'm not buying that sweater, or snow globe, or whatever other souvenir. If you up-charge me for Peter, it just means I won't have anything to give Paul. It's that simple. There has NEVER been a theme-park vacation that I've ever gone on that has come in under budget. Your customers only have so much money to spend. Continuously attempting to nickel-and-dime us, and callously manipulate our movements to try to unscrupulously exploit us to get us to spend more, drains any magic or wonder that makes going to these places special. And, I honestly believe, doesn't actually result in any additional profit.

So, in answer to Robert's question "Has Disney found the solution to their Fastpass problem"?: For my purposes, the answer is "no". They are creating so many more problems, aggravations and costs, that I, frankly, have reached a breaking point and will be avoiding feeling like I'm being played for a fool.

July 8, 2021 at 11:21 PM

Buying front of the line passes is not something I have ever done in any park, nor do I plan to. It does mean a bit more planning and research, but it’s something I enjoy.

But I find it fascinating how many people actually buy them. I am going to Dollywood for the first time and asked on Twitter what would be the best order to ride the rides would be (a touring plan of sorts) and the overwhelming response was “just buy the front of the line passes!”

July 9, 2021 at 7:56 AM

“already cost five grand”

If you stay on site at a moderate resort with a family of four for five or more days you are going to spend more than $5000. Disney’s problem is the return customer, even with the super rich. This is due to them wondering if spending $10,000 is really worth it when they could have gone to Europe or elsewhere. Of course many people just go there once or are uber fans and don’t care, but Disney created an issue with its current fast pass. Regular visitors, like me, could not get the same use out of the part as before but had to spend much more money. Other parks, like Universal, became much more enjoyable due to their ride reservation systems.

I do not think this new system is the solution. It would generate too much confusion on a day to day basis, and, if I am already spending $10,000, I am not going to want to spend $120 per day extra to ride three more attractions. They should just bite the bullet and go back to the original fast pass system or not have a system at all. But at least they are thinking.

July 9, 2021 at 8:51 AM

Thanks for the explanation Robert! It doesn’t seem as dire as it did on its face. I’d be curious on the stipulation on the paid Fastpasses. I’d maybe be convinced to pay for a couple, but keep the rest of the day for free.

As for Disney being one of the last to offer free “skip the line”, I always thought the price was baked into the admission (Disney is still one of the most expensive out there).

This new way sounds similar to how my home park Great America does it where the “starter” flash pass gets you in a virtual line. If you want something quicker, pay for a platinum flash pass.

At this point, I like the good old days with the paper Fastpass that caused you to make a decision and stick with it.

July 9, 2021 at 9:47 AM

You don't have to be "rich" to buy front of the line access. Maybe you have to save up a little longer for your trip, or do less park days.

July 9, 2021 at 10:07 AM

First, let's think of why do people go to Disney? Most people do go there to shop. They want to see the shows and rides. And all the fun stuff like meet the characters. If there are crowds, then they need more of what people want. Sure, the shops allow guests to buy memories. But who would go there to just to spend more money? A soda in a paper cup costs $3.99 (plus tax). Disney just needs more rides and shows. And make the shows accommodate more guests.

Some people want to enjoy the attractions so much that they will wait hours for each one. An 8 hour day may get 4-6 rides. Is it really work $150 for the day?

Disney had a fantastic service to get the guests to take the free shuttle (Magical Express) from the airport to the hotel. Now that's gone (going away). The services are slipping away. Maybe the guests will slip away.

July 9, 2021 at 11:42 AM

Live in Florida and regularly go to Orlando. Personally love the Universal system. Book a premiere hotel which is significantly cheaper than Disney. Get to skip most of the line. I did just get back from a trip to California. No fast passes at Disney was great. Not sure if attendance was limited. Had no issues getting on the Spiderman ride or Ror. I thought the lines moved great with no fast passes. Seems to me limiting the number of guests even if charging more per ticket might be the way to go and stay with the reservation system. Or Disney can adopt the Universal system from Florida. When we went to Universal in Hollywood we purchased the one time per attraction pass and thought that price was reasonable.

July 9, 2021 at 12:41 PM

Just dump all of it. Fastpass, Premiere Access (redundant name) and go back to the stand by queue only. If Disney wants to make more money they should have made the lines shorter by adding more attractions or more capacity when they build attractions. The parks at WDW maybe have 10 to 15 attractions (when working)

Wdw is not a vacation, it's a calendar book filled with (dis-) appointments. That sucks. Disney in part created this problem by filling the parks over capacity for years and is now using the pandemic to re-write their history as way out of years of bad management. The park resevervations are the only thing I agree with as it lets them metric capacity.

July 9, 2021 at 8:58 PM

I use the DAS system, wonder how any new fastpass option would affect ne.

July 11, 2021 at 4:10 AM

I think the problem for the Disneyland Paris Castle Park is an entirely different one – Robert already mentioned it shortly.

The last time I visited DLP was in 2009, I am living in Vienna so it's not that far away and I am a big (Disney) themepark fan. However, except for some paint jobs in 2017(!) and the claim: let it sparkle, nothing new has been added to the castle park since then! NOTHING!

With the Ratatouille Ride, the Studios park has received one E-ticket nobody seems to care about much. It was also this park we left after a few hours in 2009, saying: let's leave this horrific cement waste land and return to the real themepark around the corner.

Apart from the beautifully themed area of the Ratatouille ride, the rest of the park still looks the same: terrible.

I have visited WDW and DL in Anaheim since then and would rather spend a little bit more money and fly to Florida to have a real magical vacation than to go back to a DLP and having to pay almost double the entree fee from 2009 and additional prices for rides like Big Thunder Mountain, which always has the longest wait times.

I know, Disney has bought the majority of the shares and presented beautiful plans for the Studios Park, but apart from a lame re-theming of the terrible Studios Tram Tour and the unnecessary Avengers overlay of the Aerosmith Rollercoaster so far nothing entices me to come back.

Call me overly critical but, if Disney wants to me to pay top prices, I expect top-notch experiences.

Let it finally sparkle, Disneyland Paris!

July 12, 2021 at 9:39 AM

I completely agree that Disneyland Paris needs to work on the quality of service first, and then think about changing the pricing policy.

We spent a whole day there in January 2020. The main thing is that you have to queue in front of each attraction for 30-40 minutes, the food on the territory is expensive and you also have to stand in a line to the cafe...

Although we did not come to Disneyland in summer, it was January, there were a lot of people, and the rides that used to be brightly colored need updating, the colors faded and they faded. In a word, impressions are not enough...

Only the evening show at 7 p.m. brightened up our stay at Disneyland, and it was short-lived. Our kids loved the ride in a Batmobile, like this https://hum2d.com/clipart/blueprint-of-batmobile-tumbler-2005/

But on the whole, our expectations were not met...

July 12, 2021 at 10:51 AM

There is definitely a lot to unpack here. The biggest problem with ANY virtual queue system is that it partially eliminates the deterrent a physical line (with the current wait time accurately posted), which is the most powerful and effective way to distribute guests to less-popular attractions. Every guest walking into a theme park is going to have priorities, but when faced with lines of varying lengths, those priorities will shift as we all have different tolerances for waiting. For some guests, waiting 4+ hours for FoP is what it is, and they will wait in a line that long to go on what they believe is the best attraction in the world. For others, a 4+ hour wait is a non-starter, and when faced with that 240-minute estimate at the queue entrance (or on their phone), they will immediately seek out something else to do, even if they know it's a lesser ride. FP+/MaxPass offered ways around those long waits that tilted the scales to those who had visited the parks more frequently (i.e. those who have already ridden the most popular attractions dozens of times). If you know how to work the systems, you could tour the American Disney parks and ride the biggest attractions multiple times in a single day without every stepping foot in a standby line (we've ridden FoP 6 times in a single day through FP+ with the standby line averaging 180 minutes all day). Yes, guests who worked FP+/MaxPass to optimal efficiency had to do some work (for FP+ that means getting up early the day your reservation window opens and continuously check for additional availability regularly until you vacation starts), but with some experience and a knowledge of the system, you could run circles around guests who don't know the difference between FP+ and ADRs. For those of us that were familiar with and could work the system to maximum advantage, losing these systems and replacing them with a more limiting system or a true pay-to-play system would be devastating.

Even as someone who as a true disdain for FP+, I have to admit that if you know how to work it, it can be a HUGE advantage, and I cannot think of another queue avoidance system that gives a better advantage for being smart. Most other systems give advantage to whomever can spend the most money, but FP+ was totally based on stick-to-itiveness and intelligence.

The concept that attractions will toggle from having a standby line to VQ when it reaches a certain length makes sense, but is difficult to understand the administration of in real life. Indy at DL is supposed to be using this concept, but I haven't read any real world reports of how it works or how guests react when the shift occurs. I also don't understand how such a system would work in a park where every single attraction (or at least most attractions) would shift to a VQ within an hour of opening on a busy day. While most lines at MK can quickly extend beyond 30 minutes very quickly, I think there are enough attractions in that park to spread the crowds around where shifting to a VQ would not cause too much of a problem. However, at parks like DHS and DAK where the number of total attractions are extremely limited (fewer than a dozen in both cases), there could be situations where guests spend an entire day in the park and only get on 2-3 attractions and spend the rest of the day just sitting around or just walking around looking at stuff (not so bad at DAK I guess, but could be pretty boring after a couple of hours at DHS). Also, the inability to step out of the VQ for one attraction to get in a VQ for a different attraction with a sooner return time would absolutely need to be allowed in parks with so few actual rides.

However, the biggest problem I see with the DLP system is the upcharge "Premier Access". This goes against EVERYTHING Disney has tried to avoid since they launched FP in 1999. While there have always been pay-to-play options at WDW and Disneyland, putting a price on avoiding a single line just seems wrong from a company given their recent emphasis on "inclusion" - though having just returned from a trip to Dollywood, that park has different queue avoidance systems with one that allows you to pay a price to avoid a single line or a handful of lines - while also selling an "all-you-can-ride" pass that has no limits. I also worry that such a system would eventually become dynamic, meaning that the cost of avoiding a single line would go up and down based on the length of the line - want to avoid a 1-hour line, that will be $7, but avoid a 4-hour line will cost you $20, meaning that you're completely at the mercy of the crowds and reliability of the attractions. Also, what bothers me about an upcharge system like this is that guests are already be charged more to visit the parks on busier days, and we all know that Disney will continue to turn the screws on making admission prices more dynamic, particularly as they've likely seen advantages to the ParkPass reservation system. So, not only do you have to pay more to visit when the parks are more crowded, but then you're going to have to pay extra to avoid those lines. It's a double-whammy that just doesn't sit right with me.

Ultimately, what I think Disney needs to do is to stop allowing the parks to be flooded with people that overwhelm the attractions and ability of the guests to enjoy a reasonable day (5+ rides and 1 or 2 shows). They have the system already in place to do that, but their constant thirst for revenue prevents them from limiting park capacity. As we've seen over the past few months, the crowds have returned and the lines have followed.

July 14, 2021 at 5:38 AM

At this point, they may as well bring back the old A-E ticket system. That seems to be what Disney is going for here.

I was SO happy when Disneyland (my home park) moved from this system to "unlimited attractions" and you just waited in line for what you wanted to ride.

And while I was pretty proficient at FastPass at Disneyland and FastPass+ at Walt Disney World, and thought MaxPass worked pretty well in my last pre-pandemic visit to Disneyland, the old first-com, first-served method is the best way to do things. This whole Premier Access thing is just dumb on Disney's part. If everyone has premier access, then everybody gets to stand in a Premier line just like the old days while Disney rakes in the cash while destroying their reputation.

I get it when admission prices increase. I know that Disney has to balance crowd levels (or, they could just charge a reasonable price and things are first-come, first-served and attendance is capped at whatever the fire marshall determines that cap to be, but I do get it when Disney says they're raising prices to adjust crowd levels). But to go back to each attraction being pay-to-play, like the old ticket system that they were wise enough to get rid of in the past, is a MAJOR backwards step. We may still be dealing with a pandemic, with a lot of dishonest people not wearing masks even though they are not vaccinated (we're going to see a LOT more people die this fall/winter with the Delta variant because they were either too stubborn or too stupid to get vaccinated), but this just REEKS of Disney trying to milk a spent cow.

It's like they don't even care about the guest experience anymore, they're just milking people for all the money they can.

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