Disney changes Fast Pass, some fans unhappy

Don't Waste Your Money

Anyone who has visited Disney World in the past 15 years knows what a Fast Pass is.

It cuts your wait time for rides from an hour down to 10 minutes or less, and is essential on busy days for rides like Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Rockin Roller Coaster at Disney Studios, or Soarin at Epcot.

But Disney has just made a big change to its Fast Passes, and some fans are not sure they like it.

What is Changing

It is changing to a high tech Fast Pass "Plus" program, a new digital version that does away with paper passes.

It rolled out the Fast Pass+ at the Magic Kingdom on January 14th, 2014, and plans to add it to other parks in the coming weeks.

But some tourists who stay at condos or hotels off-site say it unfairly favors visitors who stay on-site.

How it works

Fast Pass+ allows reservations on up to 3 rides a day at the Magic Kingdom.

And if you stay in a Disney property, you can reserve rides 2 months or even longer in advance.
But off-site visitors cannot reserve a spot until they arrive at Rope Drop, which off-site hotel owners say is unfair.

The concern is that when people staying off-site arrive at the Magic Kingdom, the fast passes for Space Mountain or Big Thunder MountaIn Railroad could be sold out.

In addition, some fans say they like to choose their rides when they get to the park, depending on the weather, not a month in advance when they don't know if it will be hot and sunny or cool and rainy.

Some fans are expressing their unhappiness at online forums like Theme Park Insider.

Disney Defends Changes

Disney, though, says this will end the mad race to Fast Pass machines when the park opens (the Space Mountain Fast Pass machine is a favorite at Rope Drop).

Disney also says this will save time, as you will not have to visit a ride just to grab a pass.

In addition, Disney says there's no worry longer any worry about losing a Fast Pass paper ticket, a technology that was cutting edge in 1994 but now needs to change for changing times.

As always, don't waste your money.


Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

"Like" John Matarese on Facebook

Follow John on Twitter (@DWYM)


Print this article Back to Top