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New FastPass+ Developments Announced for Walt Disney World Resort

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Today at the Disney Parks Blog, Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs announced that several highly anticipated changes to MyMagic+ and FastPass+ service will be coming in the future.

The ability to use FastPass+ in more than one park per day, and to make additional selections after the first three selections have been used, were teased in the blog post:

We’ve heard from a number of guests that they would like the opportunity to add additional FastPass+ entitlements during their visit, in addition to the three they can plan in advance. So, we’re working on providing them with the ability to add and enjoy additional entitlements on the day of their visit. Once they’ve used the three they’ve booked, we’ll enable them to select another at kiosks in the parks. And once they’ve used the fourth, they can select another, and so on. We also heard that other guests liked the fact that with the FastPass+ service they could use FASTPASS when they park hopped. So we’re working on a service enhancement to add that feature to FastPass+ as well.

The current FastPass+ set-up allows for three FastPass+ selections per day, all in one theme park. This means that guests visiting two parks in one day can only use their FastPass+ service in one theme park -- an especially difficult limitation if guests are making a short visit and cannot devote an entire day to one theme park. Splitting a day between Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios, for example, would mean giving up valuable FastPass+ access to one of those parks' headliner attractions, such as Soarin' or Toy Story Midway Mania.

Staggs indicates that not only will those limitations be tweaked, but goes on to suggest that guests will be given the ability to book additional FastPass+ selections after the first three have been used.

If this were the case, guests might find it more worthwhile to book FastPass+ selections earlier in the day. Previously, many travel planners agreed that booking FastPass+ selections in the afternoon was a better use of the service, since the wait times for attractions are typically longer in the afternoon hours. But if guests want to use FastPass+ for four, five, or six attractions in one day, they'd need to start using FastPass+ first thing in the morning, under the plan being teased in the blog post.

There's no timeline for these updates, although over the past few months, a handful of tweets have popped up from users who were able to book additional FastPass+ selections. But it will come as a much-appreciated addition to the FastPass+ service, which replaced Walt Disney World's popular FASTPASS paper tickets in 2013. Although FastPass+ is designed to increase flexibility, many guests who were accustomed to using as many as six to ten paper FASTPASS entries in one day were frustrated by the new limitation to just three.

Also announced in the blog post: guests visiting the theme parks from off-site resorts, or just for the day, will be able to book FastPass+ selections 30 days in advance of their arrival. Previously, only Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests were able to pre-book selections. Resort guests will still have a 60-day booking window.

Day guests will also be able to purchase MagicBands to use instead of their RFID-enabled park ticket. MagicBands are already on sale at Walt Disney World Resort for $12.95.

About FastPass+:

FastPass+ is a new priority entrance service, available only at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Guests can currently select up to three FastPass+ selections per day for a variety of attractions and experiences, including rides like Splash Mountain or priority parade or fireworks viewing areas.

Because FastPass+ is still in a testing phase, new features and enhancements to the service continue to be rolled out.

Find out more information about FastPass+, Disney vacation planning, and other Disney news at my Facebook page, on Twitter, or at my blog, ThatDisFamily.com.

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