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The introduction of MaxPass at Disneyland created a lot of confusion about whether and when you have to pay to use Fastpass. Obviously since we're trying to get you the most fun at Disney for the least money, it's important that you understand when you do and don't have to pay for Fastpass privileges!
This post covers free vs. paid Fastpass at every Disney park, including how much the paid Fastpass option costs.
Fastpass+ Cost At Walt Disney World
We'll start with Fastpass+, the Fastpass system at Walt Disney World.
How Much Does Walt Disney World Fastpass+ Cost? $0
Online and through the free Walt Disney World My Disney Experience app, you can manage your Fastpass+ reservations. The nice thing about Fastpass+ is that if you do your prep work, you'll still be able to get a leg up on everyone else.
Disney's Fastpass+ Won't Cost $0 Forever
We don't like to speculate too much, but it's pretty reasonable to think that the cost of Disney World Fastpass+ will not be $0 forever. In particular, once Star Wars Land ("Galaxy's Edge") opens, there's a high likelihood of Disney introducing some sort of paid component to Fastpass+.
What will this look like? Well, in May 2018, Disney started offering park tickets with pre-selected Fastpass+ reservations. Honestly, when we first heard of them we assumed they had a price, and we were pleasantly surprised to see Disney offering the selections for free.
Then we saw that the selections were actually quite awful, which explains why they didn't charge extra for these tickets. It also seems pretty clear that this was employed as a sort of "beta test" of a future program where the most popular attractions can be pre-selected for a fee.
You Can Already Improve Your Fastpass+ Options...For a Price
There actually already is paid Fastpass+ at Walt Disney World, it's just very limited. Guests who are already staying club level can pay $50 per guest per day for expanded Fastpass+ options.
We stayed club level at Animal Kingdom Lodge and loved it. We think it's a great experience regardless of this Fastpass+ perk. But it costs a ton! Paying an extra $200 per day for a family of four on top of what you're paying to stay club level for expanded Fastpass+ perks is wild!
Again, this looks like another beta test of a paid Fastpass+ program for the future.
Cost of Fastpass & MaxPass At Disneyland
Disneyland has a traditional Fastpass ticket system AND a paid upgrade called MaxPass.
How Much Does Fastpass at Disneyland Cost? $0
It's important to keep in mind that Disneyland's traditional, paper-ticket based Fastpass system is free to use! You can simply scan your park ticket at the Fastpass kiosk to retrieve a Fastpass for the ride. No cost!
Unlike in Walt Disney World, however, there is a simple way to pay to get a leg up on the Fastpass competition...
Cost of MaxPass at Disneyland: $10 per person per day
If you want to upgrade to MaxPass, which allows you to reserve Fastpass from the free Disneyland app and with slightly better restrictions than the paper-ticket system, you'll need to pay $10 per ticket per day.
Undercover Tourist has a great MaxPass guide if you need to know more. We recently spent five days at Disneyland, and in our Disneyland planning guide we highly recommend paying for the MaxPass upgrade.
Cost of Fastpass At Shanghai Disney Resort
Shanghai Disneyland's Fastpass system also offers both a paid and free version, but in a very different way than Disneyland (California).
How Much Does Fastpass at Shanghai Disneyland Cost? $0
While it isn't a paper ticket system, Shanghai Disneyland's basic Fastpass system is free to use. It's sort of like having MaxPass or Fastpass+ in that you can book the Fastpass slots via the free Shanghai Disney Resort app.
How Much Does Premier Access at Shanghai Disney Resort Cost? Varies (~$8 per Ride)
Premier access is the most direct Fastpass system around. You simply pay for the right to ride a ride at any point during the day.
We're pretty sure we've some variance in the exact prices of Disney Premier Access at Shanghai Disney Resort, but currently you can purchase Disney Premier Access for 50 Chinese Yuan per ride (roughly $8) or 275 Chinese Yuan (roughly $42) for 8 available rides.
Cost of Fastpass at Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Tokyo Disney Resort: Free
The remaining Disney resorts all operate on the traditional, paper ticket system for Fastpass. At all three of these resorts, Fastpass is free, but not accessible through any app. Our guide to Fastpass at Disneyland Paris is here.