I was lucky enough to visit Walt Disney World the first week it reopened after being shut down due to Covid 19. Honestly, it was an awesome trip for a frequent visitor such as myself! The parks were virtually empty and some of our favorite attractions were literal walk-ons. It was a breath of fresh air to not have any set plans due to not having any Fastpass selections, and we could just wander the parks and ride whatever attraction we felt like riding. Fast forward to 3 months later and it seems as though things have changed. Although we all see those seemingly empty park photos, attendance is definitely up from those first few weeks and many guests are really wishing for the Fastpass system to return.
The stories about jumping on Flight of Passage and Slinky Dog Dash with little to no wait or even consecutive times in a row definitely got out, along with stories of how Disney was working hard to ensure the safety of park guests and Cast Members. After a while, more and more guests started showing up at the Disney World theme parks, park reservations started becoming harder to obtain for Annual Passholders, and attraction wait times started to rise.
While park capacity is currently being capped at just 25%, wait times and crowds have been steadily increasing. It really gives a big picture of how many guests the Disney parks would usually have in one day. With the new guidelines, park hopping is not permitted, so if you are at a park- it is the only park you’ll be attending for the day. The popular attractions are still the popular attractions and we’ve been hearing stories about increasing wait times, which seem to take even longer while wearing a face-covering in the Florida heat. Guests are also becoming more concerned about social distancing while in lines that are becoming increasingly long and crowded. Fastpasses, even with 25% the capacity, would be immensely helpful to ensure every guest can experience their preferred attractions in a safe and socially distanced way. Frequent visitors of Walt Disney World have become so used to scheduling Fastpasses and experiencing little to no wait times, that waiting over an hour for an attraction seems like a huge waste of precious Disney time.
While I agree that during the first few weeks of reopening there was not really a need for the Fastpass system, I, along with many others, believe it is time for Fastpass to return.