From Monday April 28th, Walt Disney World Guests will finally be able to visit the parks and grab Fastpass+ on a theoretically unlimited basis.
Just over 3 weeks ago, Tom Staggs, Chairman of WDW Parks and Resorts, announced that the move would be ‘coming soon’, and for once in the rather expensive and bumpy history of Disney’s MyMagic+ system, he was indeed right.
The changes will be very welcome by regular park guests that have continually been concerned by the inflexibility of Fastpass+ during its ‘test phase’. In reality though, guests can now pretty much think of Fastpass+ as the ‘old system’ with the added benefit of being able to reserve 3 in advance of your visit to WDW.
What the latest improvements to Fastpass+ actually mean:
- Guests can still reserve 3 Fastpass+ up to 30 days in advance of their stay using the My Disney Experience Portal or App.
- Alternatively they can reserve 3 Fastpass+ spots as they go on the day of their visit using the on site Fastpass+ Kiosks
- Once those 3 reserved Fastpass+ are used up, they can visit an ‘in park’ Fastpass+ kiosk and reserve one vacant Fastpass+ slot as available.
(The My Disney Experience App will not currently be able to reserve those ‘extra’ Fastpass+ slots, but is expected at some time in the future).
- Once that extra Fastpass reservation is used, guests can continue to reserve any other available Fastpass+ slots as available on a rolling basis, much in the same way as the older system.
- No limit is set on how many of these extra Fastpass+ slots
- Guests with valid park tickets can hop to another park and continue to grab Fastpass+ at any of the four WDW Parks that day.
Finally, Disney’s Fastpass+ system is settling down into a very positive experience for guests, rather than the rather punishing system endured over the winter months of the launch.
One aspect of Fastpass+ that is very likely to surprise park guests, is that there’s likely to be a notable increase in the availability of Fastpass+ tickets later in the day than the old system offered.
Why? Any Fastpass+ reservations will automatically be ‘cleared from the system’ when guests leave a park with unused reservations. That was the huge disadvantage of the old ‘legacy Fastpass’ system. Each day, thousands of unused Fastpass paper tickets headed home each day unused, because park visitors had already left the park.
We can also speculate that the system may be smart enough to spot that guests sitting down at a table service restaurant for lunch were almost certain to miss their Fastpass+ slot.
In cases like that, the reservation will still be available for those guests, in case they do miraculously make it to the attraction, but the system may ‘gamble’ and open up another slot for other guests to reserve a spot at the same attraction and time.
One thing’s for sure, Fastpass+ will be much better than the old system, as it provides the main draw to guests using a Magicband and ‘do business with Disney!’