Will Walt Disney World Ever Bring Back Paper Fast Passes?

By Cassie

While it is always possible for Disney to decide to bring back paper Fast Passes, it is extremely unlikely. I understand that some people are not fans of the new FP+, but that is a shrinking group. Consider the following reasons:

The paper Fast Pass machines have been removed from all their locations within the parks. The space once occupied by these machines is being used for anything from housing a FastPass+ kiosk to a cover for an ice cream cart. To bring the machines back would be costly and unreasonable unless there is a catastrophic failure of the FP+ system. Guests no longer have to run from the front of the park with everyone’s tickets in hand to find the most desired “First FP of the day”. Instead of waiting for your group to catch up to you and experience that FP then racing off to get the next one, you can enjoy moving through the park together without the pressure of getting those paper FP’s.

The Technology of the Magic Band and RFID passes has cost Walt Disney World the same financial total as building an entire additional theme park on the scale of the Magic Kingdom. Guests have increasingly grown in their satisfaction with the system and it is expected to start being profitable soon. Disney is a company that moves forward, not backward, so I do not believe they will bring back past technology to replace forward thinking technology.

The investment of installing the RFID reader touch points, the FP+ kiosks replacing FP paper ticket stations, not to mention all of the training of Cast Members, and education for every park guest, is, again, too big for the company to throw it out and go back to paper tickets. This technology is specific to Walt Disney World, and there are many conditions that must be met for it to be used in other parks. Disneyland is not likely to go in this direction as they need the turnstiles to handle the number of people entering the park at the same time. Whether it appears at any other park around the world remains to be seen. There must be clear benefits seen in WDW financially for it to be added to other parks.

Guests like the ease of the new FP+ technology. It is a great perk to go off to the parks knowing your FP+ choices and your dining reservations are all on your Magic Band. To know that you can charge the purchases of whatever you need when you are out for the day with your MB and then to go back to your resort room and gain entrance with a simple touch of your MB to your door is so easy. You go home thinking about how easy it was to really enjoy your Walt Disney World vacation and that you want to plan the next one as soon as you get back to your computer. That is so attractive to people wanting to get away from having to carry ID, cash, cards, tickets, and reservation #’s, etc. Where else can you go that unencumbered? And you don’t have to worry about losing anyone’s tickets or paper Fast Passes. It’s great. Disney has so much more in mind for these little wrist bands to make things even easier for you. Yes, much of it will be easier for you to spend your vacation dollars, but you can use it to your satisfaction. I appreciate being able to make FP+ selections ahead of time, although I resisted it at first.

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The future capabilities are almost boundless. Keep in mind that this FP+ system not only helps you get some of the hardest attractions to get, helping you avoid longer lines, but much more than a short line through the MB’s. In the future you will be able to find a lost child very quickly by looking for their MB ID. You will be able to order your quick service food to be ready when you arrive to pick it up. It is our hope that we, as guests, will be able to select FP+ according to our plans for the day choosing from more than one park, and more than three choices per day. I personally like getting the notifications if my FP+ choice is down for weather before I cross the park to find that out in person. Can’t you see this as being a lot more fluid in the future? More like the way many of us like to experience all of Walt Disney World?



About Cassie

Cassie L. I am a lifelong Disney fan. I attended Walt Disney World in 1971, and was there during the opening week of EPCOT, and have visited the Disney Parks for than 30 times. I have had the privilege of visiting Disneyland as a child, and then again with my children. My family recently moved from the northeastern United States to the Walt Disney World area. I now have cast members in my family and enjoy hearing the magical stories at the end of a shift. I love visiting all of the parks and getting to try more Disney food and being able to share it with you to help you plan your own magical day at Disney.