Disney Parks Update for July 12, 2021
Disneyland Paris introduced a new FastPass system that has DVC members worried. We’ll talk about this turn of events, some restaurant changes, new character greetings, and a welcome party return in the latest Disney Parks Update.
What Did Disneyland Paris Just Do?
The mainstream media picked up a Disney story emanating from France. As you’ve likely heard, Disneyland Paris just ended its free FastPass system.
However, the story isn’t as bleak as it sounds. Also, I’m emphatic on the point that American Disney park fans shouldn’t freak out…yet.
Let me explain what just happened and why it’s not the end of the world.
When guests visit Disneyland Paris, they have historically had access to a complimentary FastPass system. Well, park officials just killed that.
Instead, Disney will replace the old system with something called Standby Pass, a different kind of virtual queue.
When you visit Disneyland Paris, you can still hold a place in one line while walking around the park. So, a form of free FastPass still exists under a new name.
What Disney wants fans to use is the new Premier Access service. Yes, that’s the same name for the Disney+ program that allows you to watch Black Widow in your home.
From now on, Disney wants you to associate Premier Access with upcharge expenses. At Disneyland Paris, that means immediate access to the shorter line queue.
So, Premier Access of today was like the FastPass service of old, only now you’re paying for it. Disney has announced a fluctuating price structure, the equivalent of tiered admission.
Why You Shouldn’t Worry
You’ll pay between €8 and €15 (about $9.50 to $17.80) for one skip of the line…per person. So yes, if you have a date, the two of you would pay $19-$35.60 to ride faster.
Notably, that total is also per ride, meaning that the cost of a park visit would soar for those who want to skip the lines.
If an adult couple skipped five lines, they’d pay an extra $135 or so. That’s what a couple of park meals would cost. So, it’s a hefty added expense.
I understand that this comes across as a stressor for those who already worry about vacation budgets.
What you may not have known/remembered is that Disneyland Paris already offered paid FastPass.
In the summer of 2018, the parks introduced Disney Access One, which allowed guests to skip a ride for €15.
Later that year, Disneyland Paris added Super FastPass and Ultimate FastPass. Guests who paid for these packages received a batch of FastPasses.
You could choose three FastPasses for €26 to €40 (it used tiered pricing based on date) or nine FastPasses for €53 to €79.
So, for $75-$110, guests could book nine FastPasses, thereby waiting in line less and experiencing more.
This system never came to Disney’s American theme parks. The new variant, Premier Access, utilizes the same premise and similar pricing.
As such, you shouldn’t worry that Walt Disney World or Disneyland will adopt this practice…at least until Disney states otherwise.
Mobile Ordering fans received some new additions this week.
Sommerfest, the go-to place at the World Showcase for bratwurst fans, has joined Mobile Ordering. Similarly, Yorkshire County Fish Shop at the United Kingdom pavilion is available, too.
So, you can pick up Fish and Chips or a bratwurst without ever standing in line from now on. Sadly, the same isn’t true at Sunshine Seasons, though.
For whatever reason, The Land pavilion’s Quick Service restaurant has left Mobile Ordering while also returning to cafeteria-style service.
Clearly, Disney wants people to get comfortable with standing in line to order and pay again. Hopefully, Mobile Ordering returns to Sunshine Service, though. It’s a much simpler process.
In additional restaurant reopening news, Golden Oak Outpost is back at Magic Kingdom. Also, here’s one I missed yesterday.
Citricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will reopen this week with a new Mary Poppins style. The menu will still focus on seafood, though.
Miscellaneous Park Updates
If you’re traveling to Disneyland Resort this fall, you’re in business! The Disneyland app just confirmed that Haunted Mansion Holiday will return after skipping 2020 due to the pandemic.
Disney has also confirmed the return of the Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party, which also didn’t run last year.
Tickets for the event go on sale July 13th and will start at $114 per person. The first night falls on September 9th, and then the Oogie Boogie Bash lasts through Halloween.
In other Disneyland Resort news, the Eternals, Shang-Chi, and his friends will appear at Avengers Campus this fall, just in time to promote the two movies.
Those of you who don’t want to wait can go now to see President Loki, the minor character from the Loki TV series currently airing on Disney+.
Also, remember that D23 deal I just posted? If you signed up for Gold Membership, it will pay immediate dividends this week.
For $75, you can show at Disneyland early on July 16th. Starting at 5:15 a.m., guests can check-in at Jungle Cruise to ride the new version before the park opens. That’s a terrific D23 Gold benefit right there!
Meanwhile, at EPCOT, Princess Jasmine now appears at the Morocco pavilion. You can photograph her from a safe distance, as standard character interactions still aren’t a thing yet.
Finally, if you’re thinking about taking a VIP Tour anytime soon, I’m about to tell you something that may tip the scale.
As of now, VIP Tour members CAN ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance without a Boarding Group.
I know from a previous tour that a plaid told me Rise of the Resistance was the most requested option. Now, more than 18 months after the ride debuted, it’s possible for VIP Tour groups!