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    Shanghai Disneyland Quietly Removes Free FastPass; Does It Matter and What Could It Mean for Disney World?

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    As Shanghai Disneyland continues to adjust its reopening operations, it has rather quietly removed the free FastPass option. That said, the operations have changed enough at the parks that we’re asking: does it really matter?

    In this post, we’ll examine what Shanghai Disneyland is currently offering guests, including a paid FastPass option. We’ll also speculate a bit at the end of the article about what it could mean for Walt Disney World and the FastPass+ system.

    Disney Standby Pass

    Back in early June, Shanghai Disneyland rolled out a new type of expedited entry pass called the Disney Standby Pass. The Disney Standby Pass is, for all intents and purposes, a virtual queue that only allows guests with a reservation into line to ride an attraction.

    The thinking here is that when a popular attraction gets a high enough wait time, guests will be asked to reserve a time to return. If it sounds similar to a FastPass, that’s because in some aspects it is. Just like with FastPass, guests will get a time to return to the attraction to ride. When a guest enters the line, the Disney Standby Pass distribution is spread out to “reduce your physical wait time in the attraction queue”.

    As noted in our latest article, Disney has rolled out the Disney Standby Pass to the following attractions:

    • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – Fantasyland
    • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – Fantasyland
    • Peter Pan’s Flight – Fantasyland
    • Roaring Rapids – Adventure Isle
    • Soaring Over the Horizon – Adventure Isle
    • Challenge Trails at Camp Discovery – Adventure Isle
    • TRON Lightcycle Power Run – Presented by Chevrolet – Tomorrowland
    • Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue – Tomorrowland
    • Disney Color-Fest – Walt Disney Grand Theatre

    Disney FastPass

    With the introduction of the Disney Standby Pass, Shanghai Disneyland has quietly removed the free FastPass option. Previously, guests could reserve a free FastPass at the following attractions:

    • Soaring Over the Horizon in Adventure Isle
    • Roaring Rapids in Adventure Isle
    • TRON Lightcycle Power Run in Tomorrowland
    • Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue in Tomorrowland
    • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Fantasyland
    • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in Fantasyland
    • Peter Pan’s Flight in Fantasyland

    Similar to Disneyland’s MaxPass system (that we love, by the way), guests could make more FastPass selections either after they redeemed their current FastPass selection, or after a set amount of time had elapsed. Here’s a look back at the process of creating a FastPass at Shanghai Disneyland.

    As we researched for this article, we noticed that a lot of the Shanghai Disneyland website pages that previously held information for the FastPass plus system no longer exist. While Disney hasn’t made an official statement about the extinction of the free FastPass offerings at Shanghai Disneyland, it’s probably fair to consider them removed for the time being, if not permanently.

    So, with the free FastPass no longer offered, what is offered?

    Disney Premier Access

    With the free FastPass option quietly removed, your only FastPass option now is something called Disney Premier Access. This isn’t new, but has always traditionally been offered as a way to purchase more FastPass options in addition to the (now removed) free option.

    With Disney Premier Access, guests can purchase a skip-the-line FastPass for either a single attraction, or multiple attractions as part of a set. Here’s the current lineup of attractions that offer Disney Premier Access and a look at how to make selections in the app:

    • Soaring Over the Horizon in Adventure Isle
    • Roaring Rapids in Adventure Isle
    • TRON Lightcycle Power Run in Tomorrowland
    • Peter Pan’s Flight in Fantasyland
    • Buzz Lightyear Planet Rescue in Tomorrowland
    • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Fantasyland
    • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in Fantasyland
    • Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure in Treasure Cove
    • Rex’s Racer in Disney·Pixar Toy Story Land
    • Woody’s Roundup in Disney·Pixar Toy Story Land
    • Challenge Trails at Camp Discovery in Adventure Isle
    • Voyage to the Crystal Grotto in Fantasyland

    As you can see, there is a bigger list of attractions that you can essentially buy your way onto, including some of the attractions that pull the longest waits such as Rex’s Racer, Soaring Over the Horizon, and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

    Does It Matter?

    Cross-referencing the list of attractions that you can purchase a Disney Premier Access pass for, and the list of attractions that are currently included on the Disney Standby Pass list, we found that the following attractions are not on the Standby Pass list:

    • Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure in Treasure Cove
    • Rex’s Racer in Disney·Pixar Toy Story Land
    • Woody’s Roundup in Disney·Pixar Toy Story Land
    • Voyage to the Crystal Grotto in Fantasyland

    Of those attractions, perhaps only Rex’s Racer and Pirates of the Caribbean would tempt us to purchase a Premier Access Pass. In the grand scheme of things, if the Disney Standby Pass actually works as intended, the exclusion of a free FastPass offering likely won’t impact your day at Shanghai Disneyland too much. We say this with one huge caveat – current crowd levels.

    Disney specifically created the Disney Standby Pass as a reaction to anticipated crowd levels. With a reservation system in place to visit Shanghai Disneyland (and Walt Disney World, more on that in a bit), it’s likely that the FastPass system wasn’t exactly needed right now. With that in mind, let’s talk about Walt Disney World.

    Walt Disney World and FastPass+

    While the previous 800 words painted a picture of the current situation in Shanghai Disneyland, we’re going to speculate a bit about Walt Disney World, and if there’s anything we can learn from Shanghai Disneyland.

    No More FastPass+ For a While

    As of right now, Disney has cancelled all existing FastPass reservations and is not planning on bringing the offering back anytime soon. That likely means that if you plan on visiting the Disney theme parks in 2020 (and probably 2021), you can throw everything you’ve learned about FastPass+ out the window. No more getting up 60+ days in advance to try and grab a Slinky Dog Dash or Flight of Passage FastPass+. Disney has said that they will be reconfiguring the attraction queues to allow standby to take over some of the FastPass+ lines as they try to encourage social distancing.

    Will FastPass+ Ever Be Free Again?

    As we peer deep into our Magic 8 Ball and ask it will Disney World ever bring back free FastPasses? we only see “Don’t count on it”. Another shake of the 8 Ball answers “Ask again later”.

    The FastPass+ system wasn’t cheap to build, so we don’t see it going away entirely, but perhaps it will return with a price tag. Disney has been looking into how they might be able to monetize the FastPass+ system, even offering some paid options in the past like the $50/person Club Level offering.

    Nearly a year ago at the 2019 D23 Expo, Disney announced the Disney Genie app. Genie is billed as a revolutionary new digital offering that will enhance the way you plan for and experience a trip to Walt Disney World Resort. As we understand it, Disney has planned on introducing free and paid offerings to the Disney Genie app. It isn’t clear at this time if one such paid offering would be what we’ve known as FastPass+.

    While the latest information that we have suggests that Disney has abandoned the concept of virtual queues for the reopening of the Disney World theme parks, we’ll continue to keep an eye on the crowd levels and wait times throughout the summer to see if a system similar to the Shanghai Disneyland Standby Pass could benefit touring. Our best guess is that if we see the introduction of virtual queue offerings for some of the most popular attractions, we could also see Walt Disney World head down the same path as Shanghai Disneyland and introduce an offering to allow guests to buy their way to the front of the line at select attractions.

    We want to hear from you! Do you think that a paid FastPass option could be coming to Walt Disney World? How much would you pay to skip the line at your favorite attraction? Let us know in the comments below or on social media.


    As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com for the latest Disney Parks news and photos. We’ll continue to bring you news and photos, where possible, through the Disney Parks closure due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and will resume our normal coverage once the parks reopen to guests on July 11th!

    Mike
    Mike is the owner and writer for BlogMickey.com. Visiting the parks daily allows him to keep up with the latest Disney news, reviews, and photos from around the Disney Parks. You can reach him at [email protected]

    1 COMMENT

    1. I can’t think of a reason to do this except to squeeze yet more money out of guests. Only a certain number of FastPasses are available for any attraction as it is, so it wouldn’t be to keep the FP lines from filling up.

      Money grab, pure and simple. Let’s hope they don’t. As it is a lot of people are questioning whether to visit again for the foreseeable future. Don’t make that decision tougher.

    Comments are closed.

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