If it seems like there’s a change to Fastpass+ every day, you’re right. This $1.5 system is huge and it’s changing how you tour the parks. The newest twist according to the rumor mill? Starting March 31st, offsite guests (also known as “day guests” in Disney speak) will be allowed to make their Fastpass+ selections online up to 30 days in advance, a change from having to make them in the park the day of their visit. This means shorter lines at the Fastpass+ kiosks in the parks, as well as the ability to do more precise planning. Currently, annual pass holders staying offsite are also able to schedule 30 days in advance.
Offsite guests won’t get a MagicBand, but they will be available for purchase. Instead, they’ll use their ticket, which contains an RFID chip, the same way onsite guests use their MagicBands. No word yet on the price, but if it’s under $10 or so, I can see guests buying these bands–they’re super convenient.
So how does this all work? Starting at 30 days prior to arrival, offsite guests will be able to go to MyDisneyExperience.com and select their fastpasses. They’ll get up to 3 per day (in one park only) and they can link their passes with friends, just like onsite guests. Then they can make adjustments right up until they use those passes, provided that there are still fastpass times available. They can also use the app on their smartphone to make adjustments on the go. For those guests who do not have a smartphone, a limited number of Fastpass+ kiosks will be available for use in the parks.
While this is a step in the direction of giving offsite guests the same privileges as those who stay on site, some have criticized Disney for not limiting the benefits of making fastpass selections in advance to onsite guests, noting that they pay a premium for rooms on Disney property and they should be rewarded in some way for it. I can see some validity to that argument: Disney has chosen to “democratize” the fastpass selection experience, taking away the edge that onsite guests have enjoyed for nearly a year. Not everyone is going to like it. However, onsite guests still have a 30 day head start on their offsite counterparts. Of course, those onsite guests who come to the party late and make fastpass selections closer to travel, and to be honest, many of my clients (and I) do this, will have to be more proactive.
How do you feel about these changes? If you’re an offsite guest, will you use the system at 30 days? If you normally stay onsite, do you wish the privilege had been restricted to onsite guests only? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.