Park of the Week: Islands of Adventure

Tokyo Disney Parks to Introduce Disney Premier Access

May 13, 2022, 11:45 AM · Now the Tokyo Disney theme parks will be selling a way to the front of the line on two of their most popular attractions. The resort announced that it will begin selling "Disney Premier Access" on two top rides, starting May 19.

The cost will be ¥2,000 [a little over US$15] per access to skip the queue on Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast at Tokyo Disneyland and Soaring: Fantastic Flight at Tokyo DisneySea. Guests who buy Disney Premier Access will be able to select a same-day return time for the attractions via the official Tokyo Disney Resort app.

In preparation for the launch of Disney Premier Access, Tokyo Disney has dropped the Standby Pass virtual queue for the two attractions. Regular, physical standby queues will remain on both rides for those who do not wish to pay the new upcharge.

Perhaps it is worth noting that Tokyo Disney is using "Disney Premier Access" brand for its front-of-line upcharge, as does the Disneyland Paris Resort, rather than the "Individual Lightning Lane" branding used at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland theme parks in the United States for what is pretty much the same service. Since the demise of Fastpass, Disney has a mess of brands around the world for its various line-skipping services.

Replies (2)

May 13, 2022 at 12:29 PM

Disney's transition to pay-to-play line skipping services has been confusing and painful. Their attempt to get "buy-in" from guests has created more ill will and frustration than they would have ever faced had they simply ripped the FP/FP+ band-aid off and gone with a traditional line skipping system like at most other theme parks. Disney's attempt to sell these 1-ride pre-scheduled line skips and the utterly preposterous Genie+ in the US has created a ton of negative publicity.

Yes, FP/FP+/MaxPass were not the greatest, particularly for infrequent visitors, but at least guests weren't paying more for less (MaxPass was an upcharge, but you were paying for increased frequency and reduced walking for a system grounded in the FP ecosystem), which is what is happening with all of these new services. If you're not plugged into Disney fan groups, the Genie/Genie+ branding is flat out frustrating to the unindoctrinated (most top attractions are sold out often before parks even open for the day). I've read so many stories from first time and infrequent visitors who had no clue what the difference was between the free Genie and pay Genie+ and ILL, and simply paid the Genie+ and ILL upcharges assuming that they must be better only to find out the service saved them virtually no time as they were only able to bypass lines on lesser attractions that weren't even on their preferred list and the ILLs had return times so late in the day that they no longer cared about the ride that they paid an extra $15/person ($60 for a family of 4 simply to bypass 90 minutes of queue in most cases) to ride anymore.

If Disney wanted to profit from queue avoidance, they should be selling true FOTL services like all the other parks do, instead of the confusing attraction scheduling system that looks like FP/FP+/MaxPass, but is nothing like those retired and far superior services. At the very least, they could have offered a MaxPass type system that actually gave guests something extra for the upcharge. Now Disney is just nickel and diming guests who approach a long attraction line with the carrot of a shorter wait 5 hours from now for the low low price of $15 (if there's even a spot available).

All of these systems make VIP (plaid vests) at @$500/hour look truly affordable and appealing in comparison.

May 15, 2022 at 9:11 AM

This is certainly a time where I give Universal props. Stay on site at the right hotel and the problem is solved.

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