Paying for Perks: Part 2 – The VIP FastPass+ Experience
In Part 2 of our look at the perks we experienced on our last Disney World trip, we talk about Disney’s VIP FastPass+ pilot program.
Around the time I started planning our last Disney World trip, I started reading rumors about a pilot program that Disney had started testing in January 2018. Rumor had it that you could purchase extra FastPass+ if you booked a club level stay. So I called Disney Signature Services, which handles all club level matters, for more information. The rumors were true!
There’s no official name for the program yet, but the internet generally refers to it as the VIP FastPass+ program so I will too.
Here’s how the program breaks down:
- The cost is $50 per person, per day.
- Minimum purchase of 3 consecutive days is required, so minimum $150 per person + tax
- These can be booked up to 90 days out from the final day of your stay vs. the 60 days window regular FastPasses have for onsite guests.
- No tier restrictions in booking; however, you can’t repeat the same attraction more than once using FastPass+.
- If you have a Park Hopper ticket, you can book these FastPasses in multiple parks on the same day.
- Must be booked by a Signature Service cast member. They can not be booked or modified via the My Disney Experience app.
These additional FastPass+ reservations can be used in addition to the standard 3 FastPass+ options everybody gets, which brings your total to 6 FastPasses/day.
Since Dr. Robinson and I were only going to have 3 full park days on this trip, this seemed like a great way to make sure we could experience all of the new Toy Story Land attractions while not missing out on all of our old favorites. So we booked our first club level stay at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. You can read about our first club level stay in our blog post from part 1 of this series.
Here’s how we scheduled our FastPass+:
- Day 1: Magic Kingdom
- 9:20 AM – 10:20 AM Seven Dwarves Mine Train
- 10:25 AM – 11:25 AM Space Mountain
- 11:25 AM – 12:25 PM Big Thunder Mountain
- 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Haunted Mansion
- 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
- 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Pirates of the Caribbean
- Day 2: Hollywood Studios
- 9:25 AM – 10:25 AM Toy Story Mania!
- 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM Slinky Dog Dash
- 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Star Tours
- 12:55 PM – 1:55 PM Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (Mrs. MouseWatcher)
- 12:55 PM – 1:55 PM The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (Dr. Robinson)
- 2:00 PM – 2:15 PM For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
- 7:20 PM – 7:35 PM Fantasmic!
- Day 3 Epcot
- 9:10 AM – 10:10 AM Meet Disney Pals at the Epcot Character Spot
- 10:15 AM – 11:15 AM Spaceship Earth
- 11:20 AM – 12:20 PM Mission: Space
- 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Soarin’
- 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM – Test Track
- 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM Frozen Ever After
Was the Perk Worth the Price?
The answer depends on how you like to spend your time within the parks. We definitely got what we paid for – twice as many FastPass+ options and didn’t miss out on any of the best rides. But I do think we missed out on being able to keep a more leisurely pace. While I did my best to schedule our FastPass+ windows in a logical order based on park layouts, we still wound up doing a lot of doubling back and cross crossing parks. I feel like we spent most of our day running around from ride to ride and not being able to slow down and properly enjoy the ambiance or smaller shows and attractions. We had to miss the Festival of Fantasy parade which we both absolutely love because we would have missed one of our fast passes. Usually if you miss a Fast Pass, it sucks, but you don’t feel like you threw away $50.
So, if you like to take things at a slower pace, stop and watch a show or parade, roam shops etc. then I don’t think this program is worth the extra expense for you. If your park priorities are thrill rides and experiences that offer FastPass+, then this would be a good trip upgrade option for you.
I think that on our next trip, we’ll instead try the new extra ticket After Hours experiences in one or two parks. From what I’ve read, for the $125 price tag, it seems like you get to enjoy not only riding more rides, but also enjoy smaller crowds in the park all while taking things at a more leisurely pace.