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Travisma

MAX PASS coming to WDW??

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Expect ticket price increases at Disney World, along with a possible overhaul of FastPass+

 

As with death and taxes, increases in ticket prices at Walt Disney World are inevitable.

If past trends tell us anything, Disney will be increasing their ticket prices again sometime within the next few weeks, but this year the change might point to something bigger.

It’s no secret that FastPass+ hasn’t been the runaway success Disney had hoped for, despite reportedly spending well north of a billion dollars on the project. Recent years have seen the company try to salvage the program with tiered offerings everywhere but the Magic Kingdom, and cracking down on loopholes. Now the resort has a new president, Josh D'Amaro, who, after spending years leading Disneyland, has been quick to address certain less-than-ideal conditions at the Florida resort.

In an interview with the Orlando Business Journal, D’Amaro acknowledged the resort was already improving transportation, enhancing break room amenities, and promoting healthier dining options for cast members.
 
 


According to some insiders, most notably Martin Smith on the WDWMagic forums, after years of trying to work out the kinks with FastPass+, there is now an understanding that unforeseen flaws within the program and its corresponding app may never be adequately addressed. This has apparently led some within the company to advocate for cutting its loses and moving forward without the current system. There have been multiple indications of a paid type of FastPass system in the works at Disney World, but previously, the understanding from most reporting on them was that any such paid system would be developed on top of the current system. Like those systems, this rumored top-to-bottom overhaul would be brought out ahead of the resort’s upcoming 50th Anniversary celebration that kicks off next year. Any such rollout would need time for the resort to adjust it, ahead of expected record-breaking attendance. Even if the official festivities don’t debut until later in the year, near the official anniversary date of Oct. 1, the crowds are expected to begin showing up by this fall as multiple new attractions open.

The current system has guests planning their dining reservations half a year ahead of their visit, and planning their rides up to three months out. This is at odds with the preferences of millennials, who want more spur-of-the-moment vacations and all-inclusive, stress-free trips.

If the overhauled FastPass system does happen, it’s believed it would be announced at the same time as the updated pricing for the parks. A bundled announcement of this type may offset the negative press of Disney "charging for previously free" services like FastPass. It’s thought the new, paid FastPass program may be similar to the extremely popular MaxPass, the paid FastPass program that Disneyland uses and which D’Amaro has previously spoken positively about.

Unlike in Orlando, Disneyland California's FastPass system, including MaxPass, is only available on a day-of basis, creating far less stress than the months-long planning required for a trip to Walt Disney World. It's unclear if the new FastPass system rumored to be heading to the resort would totally throw out ride reservations made in advance of visits, but it would dramatically shift when and how a guest could book such reservations.

It’s also unclear if the "upgraded" paid FastPass system would be marketed with park tickets, but the timing seems to point to just that. As previously reported, ride reservations are going to be an integral part of the soon-to-launch, AI-enabled Disney Genie app that was announced at last year’s D23 Expo. In screenshots shared by Disney of that app, it seems to show park experiences grouped into topics similar to upgrade tours currently offered at the resort.

It’s possible that the new upcharge FastPass system could include a pre-selected group of park experiences based around various topics. Guests would purchase these FastPass packages alongside the park tickets and would then be able to augment them with other FastPass experiences once they arrive at the park, similar to how the current system allows for a guest to add additional FastPasses once they use their first three.
IMAGE VIA DISNEY
  • Image via Disney
A Disney Genie screenshot shows a day at the Magic Kingdom booked under the title "The Royal Treatment," with experiences including a trip to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, a ride on Under the Sea, a reservation to visit Belle in her interactive meet-and-greet, lunch reservations, and reserved parade viewing. A reservation later in the day to ride the carrousel is removed and the app automatically replaces it with a new princess-themed meet-and-greet. Another screenshot shows "Thrilling Adventures" at Animal Kingdom, where ride reservations include a trip on the safari, character dining, Everest, and Flight of Passage. A similarly named option is also shown for Hollywood Studios. According to Smith, there are at least three groupings for guests to choose from.

Ironically, this new system seems is similar to the original ticket books that Disney once used, where guests had to pay for each attraction individually. While the new systems would still likely have standby or other wait systems for guests without reservations, it does seem odd to revive a concept the company did away with nearly forty years ago.

Another consideration with the new ticketing system may be the addition of timed entry into the parks. Timed entry has been used at numerous other attractions, most notably at large museums, and Disney has tested the waters with a Mid-Day Magic ticket that allow guests to enter after 12 p.m.

It’s unclear if the updated FastPass/Disney Genie system will be announced with the upcoming ticket price increase, or if they will wait until this fall's likely price increase. Either way, any such update requires notice months in advance and time to train vacation planners on the new system. As with any rumors, nothing is set until Disney officially announces it, but if you’re planning a trip to Disney World this year, it might be wise to go ahead and buy those tickets before that rumored price increase rolls out.

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Okay... it's early and I haven't finished my coffee, but I'm so confused.   

Will there be the same FP system as what's been in place for the past several years or are they saying the thought is (if you want to secure FPs early), you have pay with the option to pick additional FPs the moment you get into the park?   I remember not so long ago, getting to MGM early to rush ahead to the FPs kiosk to secure a ride for Toy Story, then MDE came out and you were able to secure them early (which I much prefer).

 

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2 minutes ago, twiceblessed....nacole said:

Okay... it's early and I haven't finished my coffee, but I'm so confused.   

Will there be the same FP system as what's been in place for the past several years or are they saying the thought is (if you want to secure FPs early), you have pay with the option to pick additional FPs the moment you get into the park?   I remember not so long ago, getting to MGM early to rush ahead to the FPs kiosk to secure a ride for Toy Story, then MDE came out and you were able to secure them early (which I much prefer).

 

Nothing confirmed fully yet.

 

Right now it's a wait and see.

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1 hour ago, Travisma said:

Nothing confirmed fully yet.

 

Right now it's a wait and see.

Oh... that's fun.

Good grief, we were trying to save up and do one more year of APs.... but not having an FPs (without having to pay even more)... that's awful.

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31 minutes ago, twiceblessed....nacole said:

Oh... that's fun.

Good grief, we were trying to save up and do one more year of APs.... but not having an FPs (without having to pay even more)... that's awful.

Busch Gardens and SeaWorlds do a paid FP type of system.

But that's how it always was.

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Ironically, this new system seems is similar to the original ticket books that Disney once used, where guests had to pay for each attraction individually. While the new systems would still likely have standby or other wait systems for guests without reservations, it does seem odd to revive a concept the company did away with nearly forty years ago.

================================================================

I would love to see some sort of senior citizens/old fogeys type of AP that just got you into the park and maybe allowed you access to a couple of rides per day (at a greatly reduced price of course)!

When we go without the adult kids we just wander around, maybe catch a show or two, people watch, and catch a ride if there is a very low wait time.

We have a hard time keeping up with the kids and grandkids because of the wonderful FP system that bounces you across the parks all day long.  With the crowds it's not real enjoyable rushing around the parks fighting the crowds.

We can keep up with them (easier when we take the walkie talkies) but we usually arrive at the next destination a bit after they get there.

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17 minutes ago, Travisma said:

Ironically, this new system seems is similar to the original ticket books that Disney once used, where guests had to pay for each attraction individually. While the new systems would still likely have standby or other wait systems for guests without reservations, it does seem odd to revive a concept the company did away with nearly forty years ago.

================================================================

I would love to see some sort of senior citizens/old fogeys type of AP that just got you into the park and maybe allowed you access to a couple of rides per day (at a greatly reduced price of course)!

When we go without the adult kids we just wander around, maybe catch a show or two, people watch, and catch a ride if there is a very low wait time.

We have a hard time keeping up with the kids and grandkids because of the wonderful FP system that bounces you across the parks all day long.  With the crowds it's not real enjoyable rushing around the parks fighting the crowds.

We can keep up with them (easier when we take the walkie talkies) but we usually arrive at the next destination a bit after they get there.

I'm not that old, but I would like to see that too.

The crowds these days are terrible. If we didn't go a lot we would try to ride more things. These days we will hit 3 FP's and maybe a short line then bounce.

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2 hours ago, twiceblessed....nacole said:

Okay... it's early and I haven't finished my coffee, but I'm so confused.   

Will there be the same FP system as what's been in place for the past several years or are they saying the thought is (if you want to secure FPs early), you have pay with the option to pick additional FPs the moment you get into the park?   I remember not so long ago, getting to MGM early to rush ahead to the FPs kiosk to secure a ride for Toy Story, then MDE came out and you were able to secure them early (which I much prefer).

 

If it is to be like Disney California, they have the paper fast passes and Maxpass.  I love it, much better than the WDW system.  You pay for Maxpass, and that allows you to get a fastpass via the app on your phone ONCE YOU ENTER THE PARK.  You can then grab another pass using your phone once you used your previous fastpass.  In addition, purchasing the Maxpass (which I believe cost us $15 a day) also gives you photopass for the day.  If you don't want to spend the money, the paper based fast pass system is still there.

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1 hour ago, Travisma said:

Ironically, this new system seems is similar to the original ticket books that Disney once used, where guests had to pay for each attraction individually. While the new systems would still likely have standby or other wait systems for guests without reservations, it does seem odd to revive a concept the company did away with nearly forty years ago.

================================================================

I would love to see some sort of senior citizens/old fogeys type of AP that just got you into the park and maybe allowed you access to a couple of rides per day (at a greatly reduced price of course)!

When we go without the adult kids we just wander around, maybe catch a show or two, people watch, and catch a ride if there is a very low wait time.

We have a hard time keeping up with the kids and grandkids because of the wonderful FP system that bounces you across the parks all day long.  With the crowds it's not real enjoyable rushing around the parks fighting the crowds.

We can keep up with them (easier when we take the walkie talkies) but we usually arrive at the next destination a bit after they get there.

I've always loved the old paper tickets, but Disney won't stop charging a daily admission now.  I agree with you on the senior AP (or even senior daily ticket).  My mom's health is so poor that they can only ride things such at the PM or the train.  Basically, when they come... it's just to watch the grandkids have fun.

48 minutes ago, ImDownWithDisney said:

 

The crowds these days are terrible. If we didn't go a lot we would try to ride more things. These days we will hit 3 FP's and maybe a short line then bounce.

See... that's us too, which makes the idea of not being able to reserve your FPs ahead of time, so upsetting.  

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4 hours ago, djsamuel said:

If it is to be like Disney California, they have the paper fast passes and Maxpass.  I love it, much better than the WDW system.  You pay for Maxpass, and that allows you to get a fastpass via the app on your phone ONCE YOU ENTER THE PARK.  You can then grab another pass using your phone once you used your previous fastpass.  In addition, purchasing the Maxpass (which I believe cost us $15 a day) also gives you photopass for the day.  If you don't want to spend the money, the paper based fast pass system is still there.

I am also a fan of Maxpass at Disneyland, but I just can’t see them going to the exact same plan at WDW. 

Disneyland has a fraction of the hotel rooms that WDW has, and the whole MDE model is keyed to filling the hotel rooms by offering resort guests the opportunity to book FP’s at 60 days out. Maxpass doesn’t do that.  

Not to mention that WDW has torn out all the old FP machines and spent a billion plus on MDE. 

The only thing I see coming to WDW will be some kind of pay option superimposed on top of the existing plan that will allow folks to pay for extra FP’s to the slight detriment of resort guests and the major detriment of day guests. 

I’d much rather have Maxpass, but I can’t see that happening at WDW  

TCD

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51 minutes ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

I am also a fan of Maxpass at Disneyland, but I just can’t see them going to the exact same plan at WDW. 

Disneyland has a fraction of the hotel rooms that WDW has, and the whole MDE model is keyed to filling the hotel rooms by offering resort guests the opportunity to book FP’s at 60 days out. Maxpass doesn’t do that.  

Not to mention that WDW has torn out all the old FP machines and spent a billion plus on MDE. 

The only thing I see coming to WDW will be some kind of pay option superimposed on top of the existing plan that will allow folks to pay for extra FP’s to the slight detriment of resort guests and the major detriment of day guests. 

I’d much rather have Maxpass, but I can’t see that happening at WDW  

TCD

Don't some of the good neighbor hotels offer early booking of FP's?

And with Disney jumping on the parking fee bandwagon, there is less incentive to stay on property for frequent visitors that have been there, done that.

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1 hour ago, Travisma said:

Don't some of the good neighbor hotels offer early booking of FP's?

Yes. And Disney collects a nice fee to allow them to offer that perk. I am not sure I understand the point you’re trying to make. This would be another reason to not move to a Maxpass system. 

TCD

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14 hours ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

Yes. And Disney collects a nice fee to allow them to offer that perk. I am not sure I understand the point you’re trying to make. This would be another reason to not move to a Maxpass system. 

TCD

I was just surprised that Disney gave up that exclusive perk of booking FP's early to off site hotels. 

Then to top it off, started to charge for parking.

It might not make the once in a lifetime (or every 5 years) visitors switch to an off site hotel, but for frequent visitors it just might sway them.

I also doubt they will drop the FP system, but maybe they will try to enhance it some convoluted way and make it more confusing.

Like they don't have enough issues with MDE as it is now.

Did you see where people had FP's for Smugglers Run, and they got changed to the Little Mermaid show and other minor attractions?

 

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3 hours ago, Travisma said:

I was just surprised that Disney gave up that exclusive perk of booking FP's early to off site hotels. 

Then to top it off, started to charge for parking.

It might not make the once in a lifetime (or every 5 years) visitors switch to an off site hotel, but for frequent visitors it just might sway them.

But occupancy rates are fine at the WDW resorts and they have the extra revenue from the parking fees and the outside hotels. 

They don't care if they lose a few guests who are priced out by the parking fees, and they sure as heck don’t care that it’s impossible for their resort guests to get FP’s for the big attractions at 60 days out. 

In fact, as I’m typing this, I’m sure that there is an army of castmembers dreaming up the next way to gouge guests.

TCD

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40 minutes ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

But occupancy rates are fine at the WDW resorts and they have the extra revenue from the parking fees and the outside hotels. 

They don't care if they lose a few guests who are priced out by the parking fees, and they sure as heck don’t care that it’s impossible for their resort guests to get FP’s for the big attractions at 60 days out. 

In fact, as I’m typing this, I’m sure that there is an army of castmembers dreaming up the next way to gouge guests.

TCD

I'm sure they will come up with some sort of Mickey's Runaway Train desert party!

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I'm surprised WDW hasn't created a premium line cut pass that allows the holder to jump in before any FP pass holders or standby lines. I'm sure they'd make plenty of money off of it. I could see them doing something like unlimited cuts for $100/day, 5 for $50 or $15/ride.

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19 hours ago, keith_h said:

I'm surprised WDW hasn't created a premium line cut pass that allows the holder to jump in before any FP pass holders or standby lines. I'm sure they'd make plenty of money off of it. I could see them doing something like unlimited cuts for $100/day, 5 for $50 or $15/ride.

Your suggested price is way too low. WDW has suckers lining up to pay $400 an hour with a 7 hour minimum to get this service via a VIP tour guide. Selling a cheap pass that does the same thing will hurt business. 

TCD

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