Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? Well, when you are talking about Disney’s beat-the-queue FastPass service, the answer from the masses might surprise you. As we think about how we want our Disney future to look, I’ve started to wonder if this global pandemic might have paved the way for FastPass to make a graceful exit from the parks while saving face with guests. There are two cases, for and against, that I want to explore with you to see which way most people feel.
The Argument For
The FastPass system isn’t just a way to give guests that feeling of superiority when they waltz past the regular line three times a day; it also serves to distribute people around the parks more evenly by offering virtual return times based on availability. This, in turn, allows for a much more cohesive crowd flow — the need for which is no different now than before COVID.
FastPass+, in particular, also keeps our planning in check ahead of time. Unlike its West Coast counterpart, MaxPass, FP+ reservations can be made months in advance, making it easier to plan your days down to the minute.
If you are visiting for only a short time and want to make sure that you hit all your favorites, FP+ can help you budget your time accordingly, allowing you extra time to line up normally for the rides you aren’t able to secure a reservation for.
Finally, FastPass+ makes it easier for you to keep an eye on the rest of the park throughout the day, making it easier to plan your next attraction while in the line for the one before.
The Argument Against
The arguments against the return of this Disney tradition are ironically not all that different from the reasons one might want it reinstated. The first of which being that it takes all of the spontaneity out of your Disney adventure. Anyone who visited the parks prior to the FP inception in 1999 would remember that there was a certain charm in not knowing where you were heading next; the idea of planning your next move months in advance being the opposite of what a vacation is supposed to represent.
One might even say if you don’t like it, don’t use it, but really, it is more a case of keeping up with the Joneses. If you don’t use it, you are at an extreme disadvantage because so many others will. More than that, its existence feeds into our ever-worsening entitlement culture, endorsing our need to experience everything immediately instead of teaching us to enjoy the journey. After all, what is so unfair about everyone lining up in the order you arrive and being loaded onto the attraction accordingly? (Obviously, excluding those using DAS Pass that are looking for assistance for additional needs.)
The last of many other reasons I could cite here is that FastPass+ and MaxPass contribute to our phone addiction. Instead of making conversation with those we came with, we bury our noses in the My Disney Experience app, obsessed with seeing what’s available and if anything new has popped up. We forget that the essence of Disney is to connect with one another, not the internet.
I’m interested to hear what all of you think. Is FastPass a thing of the past? Better suited to a different time when we took our travel for granted? Or, are you desperately hoping it will make a return as soon as possible so that you can zip around the park and enjoy as much as possible? Maybe it comes down to that old comparison between quality or quantity? Or perhaps it just depends on the type of vacation you like to plan.
Let me know what you would prefer to see in your Disney future and if you have any ideas on how the system could be tweaked to avoid some of the obstacles above.
- All images courtesy of Michelle Perrin-Crawford
Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.
Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.