Disneyland Paris has announced its new FastPass system at its resort – starting this summer.
But unlike its predecessor, this new digital system – labelled ‘Disney Premier Access’ – will come at an additional fee….
Previously, people visiting Disneyland Paris would have access to the free paper FastPass system in place. This would allow guests to pick a return time to a certain ride and effectively by-pass the normal queue using a ‘FastPass’ queue.
But this system will not be returning since the park reopened last month and starting this summer guests will be able to choose between three ways to wait for their favourite rides and attractions.
The first is the normal way. You wait in line. This means you don’t skip a queue and, in theory, you wait however long the time is posted at the ride entrance (and with Disneyland Paris it’s not normally that long, especially in the off-season).
The second is by using the ‘Standby Pass’ in the Disneyland App. This pass will only be available during certain times of day – depending on how busy the park is. It will let guests pick a 30-minute slot to return to the ride and then wait in the queue.
The aim of this pass is to reduce wait times for those in the queue, but it remains to be seen how well this will work despite being introduce last summer.
And the final way, and most recently announced, is the ‘Disney Premier Access’ pass. This is the one that will hit you in your wallet if you intend to use it often.
Depending on the time of year and how busy the park is, guests will be charged between €8 and €15 per ride per person, not group, to get quicker access (something previously offered for free at Disneyland Paris).
These rides include:
- Big Thunder Mountain
- Hyperspace Mountain
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast
- Star Tours
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy
In my opinion, I don’t think this is a good move for the resort (but I’ll probably be wrong).
I’m also not surprised. This version of a FastPass system has been used in theme parks across the world and, arguably, Disney was doing everyone a favour by making it free with every park ticket.
Universal Studios, one of Walt Disney World’s biggest rivals in the theme park industry, has always offered a FastPass system at an extra fee (starting at $70 in Orlando) and no one has really complained.
And there isn’t a doubt in my mind that this has been introduced now as a way for Disney to recoup losses from the past year with the Covid-19 shutdowns.
But, will guests buy it? Would you? If you’re desperate to ride Ratatouille and you only have one day in the park but it’s a 120 minute wait, would you pay €10 to get on it straight away? I think most people will.
Time will tell if this was a good move by the company, in a theme park that has notoriously only just been able to turn a profit in recent years, but it would shock me if we see this system cross the Atlantic and arrive at a certain Floridian resort…