Line-skipping at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea saves you time waiting in line for rides, which means more for the important things…like snacks! This guide explains how to use Priority Pass and Premier Access, which are the replacements for FastPass at Tokyo Disney Resort. Here’s a comparison of the free vs. paid services, ride rankings, our thoughts, and more.
Priority Pass is available free of charge, and allows guests of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea the ability to enjoy certain attractions with a reduced wait time. Priority Pass is available for eligible experiences using the Tokyo Disney Resort App as soon as guests enter the park.
Guests will be able to enter the attraction from a ‘fast lane’ line (formerly FastPass) at a specified time and enjoy their selected experience with a reduced wait time. This service will provide options for how guests experience Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, offering convenience and added flexibility for those who wish to personalize their experience and get the most out of their visit.
With basics out of the way, here are more granular details that should answer your questions about how Priority Pass works at Tokyo Disney Resort…
If you’re familiar with the old FastPass system, Priority Pass is basically that but with a different name. It’s also all-digital, but that part actually isn’t new. Back in Summer 2019, Tokyo Disney Resort launched digital FastPass–we were there the day in July when it went live!
The difference is that FastPass wasn’t all-digital. Even then-new rides like Soaring Fantastic Flight had FastPass machines installed for paper FastPass. (They were practically useless, though, as it was almost impossible to walk to the FastPass machine before FastPasses were fully distributed for the day via the app. I wonder if anyone out there even has a paper FastPass for Soaring?) There’s also a space that was intended for FastPass distribution outside Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast!
In any case, Priority Pass works the same way and with pretty much the same policies as paper or digital FastPass. Each Park ticket can be used to obtain a Tokyo Disney Resort 40th Anniversary Priority Pass for one person, and only after that ticket has been scanned into the park.
If one member of a party has not scanned into the park, but everyone else has, that individual will not be able to make Priority Pass ride reservations. Access to an experience will be permitted for one guest per 40th Anniversary Priority Pass. Guests ages 3 and under will be able to access the experience with an accompanying person who has obtained a Priority Pass.
Priority Passes can be cancelled and rebooked for different attractions if they haven’t been used. If an attraction is temporarily unavailable during a Priority Pass redemption window, it’ll switch to a “Multiple Experiences” pass, which works at a number of different rides. Return windows are 60 minutes, and late or early arrivals are not allowed.
Heck, even the 120 minute rule applies–meaning that guests can obtain their next Priority Pass after the start time of their last Priority Pass or 120 minutes after obtaining their last Priority Pass, whichever is earlier. (As with FastPass, this means that stacking is possible!)
Unlike Genie+ or Lightning Lanes, re-rides are possible with Priority Pass. However, this is only after the designated time to use the obtained Priority Pass has passed.
As with legacy FastPass, guests are not able to select the time to access the experience. Return times move forward as Priority Passes are distributed, meaning the early bird gets the figurative worm–and the chance for more Priority Passes throughout the day–as some rides will run out of Priority Passes for the duration of the day in the morning.
To that point, Priority Passes that have become temporarily unavailable may become available again. Check the Tokyo Disney Resort App for availability.
Technically, I guess Priority Pass is not all-digital. According to Tokyo Disney Resort, guests without a smartphone can “contact a Cast Member at the venue of the experience you wish to enjoy.” It’s unclear what that means or how it’ll work.
Our guess is that it entails Cast Members registering your ticket via tablets, making reservations for you, and then providing you with a handwritten slip that can be redeemed at the Priority Pass/FastPass return line. This is sort of how walk-up dining reservations work at Tokyo Disney Resort, and it can be tedious and time-consuming. I certainly would not want to do it for ride reservations.
Speaking of which, downloading the Tokyo Disney Resort App on your smartphone in advance of your visit is recommended. Both by TDR and by us. If you’re reading this, there’s about a 95% chance you live outside of Japan. I cannot imagine traveling abroad without a smartphone. Obviously, I know that there was a time (up until the aughts!) when people did this…but I simply cannot conceive of navigating Japan without the modern marvels of Google Maps or Translate, Apple Wallet, etc.
The good news is that the Tokyo Disney Resort App is available in English, now supports ticket purchases, and works with your existing Disney account for the domestic parks. The app is great not just for Priority Pass and Premier Access, but also for stage show lotteries, restaurant reservations, and more. You should absolutely set it up and figure out the basics before even leaving home.
Below are the eligible attractions for the unpaid Priority Pass in each park:
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters
Big Thunder Mountain
Pooh’s Hunny Hunt
Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek!
Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Nemo & Friends SeaRider
The Magic Lamp Theater
We have yet to conduct thorough testing of Priority Pass, availability, return times, etc., but here are our tentative priorities based upon past precedent with wait times and FastPass…
Tokyo Disneyland Priority Pass Rankings:
Monsters Inc. Ride & Go Seek
Pooh’s Hunny Hunt
Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
The heavy-hitters at Tokyo Disneyland are Monsters Inc. Ride & Go Seek and Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, which are also the two unique E-Tickets at Tokyo Disneyland. Some fans favor Pooh’s Hunny Hunt for their first pick, since most people believe it’s the better attraction. It’s hard to argue with that perspective.
Tokyo DisneySea Priority Pass Rankings:
Indiana Jones Adventure
Nemo & Friends SeaRider
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Magic Lamp Theater
As of right now, Priority Pass is much less useful at Tokyo DisneySea. With the exception of Indiana Jones Adventure, which has a Single Rider line, most of the other attractions have times of the day when lines are short. Not only that, but most international visitors with only one day in Tokyo DisneySea should not be wasting their time on SeaRider, Turtle Talk, Raging Spirits, or Magic Lamp Theater. (Indiana Jones Adventure is well worth doing; it’s very different from the Disneyland version!)
In addition to this, Tokyo Disney Resort also has its own version of paid FastPass. Here are the paid Premier Access attractions in each park, along with their per-ride costs:
Disney Harmony in Color Parade – 2,500 yen per access
Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dreamlights – 2,500 yen per access
Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast – 2,000 yen per access
The Happy Ride with Baymax – 1,500 yen per access
Splash Mountain – 1,500 yen per access
Believe! Sea of Dreams Nighttime Spectacular – 2,500 yen per access
Soaring: Fantastic Flight – 2,000 yen per access
Toy Story Mania! – 2,000 yen per access
Tower of Terror – 1,500 yen per access
Journey to the Center of the Earth – 1,500 yen per access
The only time we’ve purchased paid Premier Access is for opening night of Believe! Sea of Dreams. I wouldn’t buy it again, but also would not discourage international visitors with limited time from purchasing Premier Access.
Buying Premier Access would cut into our snacking budget, and that’s just a total non-starter for us. Obviously, your circumstances may differ from people who blog about Disney. For those considering it, Soaring Fantastic Flight and Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast are the best buys.
Turning to commentary, it’s great to see free FastPass returning to one Disney resort in the world, and not the least bit surprising that it’s happening at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, the two parks that are not owned wholly or partially by the Walt Disney Company.
It is curious that this will work in basically the exact same way as digital FastPass, but with a different name. We strongly suspect that Disney is mandating this. For reasons that we’ll never understand, Disney made the brilliant decision to retire one of the most recognizable theme park brands of all time in FastPass.
FastPass was a term that had so thoroughly permeated the collective consciousness–even among non-fans–that it had become shorthand for fast lane in a multitude of real world settings. This name change would be akin to Kleenex renaming its tissues as “Snot Ragz” and the boxes they came in as “Poodle+.” If that makes no sense…that’s precisely the point!
As noted above, Tokyo Disney Resort is advertising Priority Pass as being offered for a “limited period” in celebration of Tokyo Disneyland’s 40th Anniversary. That event currently runs through March 31, 2024. As such, it’s probably a safe bet that Priority Pass will stick around through then–but even that isn’t guaranteed.
Our bet is that Tokyo Disney Resort intends for Priority Pass to become permanent, like FastPass, but want to have latitude to not use the system. There’s a very plausible scenario where this ends on March 31, 2024, Fantasy Springs opens on April 15, and a new version of Priority Pass returns later in the year. Line-skipping services reduce park capacity–and Tokyo Disney Resort may not want them around when that blockbuster new land launches.
Personally, I’m guessing Priority Pass is just rebranded and extended indefinitely “by popular guest demand” once the 40th ends, with no gap in between. But who knows. The way OLC has done things in the last couple of years has been equal parts confusing and surprising at times.
Continuing with guesses, my next one is that attractions from the Premier Access list above gradually move to the Priority Pass list. This is a bold bet, as the Premier Access lineup has already expanded a few times since debuting. It started as only the headliners in each park, then added the new Tokyo DisneySea nighttime spectacular, then added more rides in both parks, and then parades.
It’s a foregone conclusion that the attractions in Fantasy Springs at Tokyo DisneySea will join the Premier Access paid line-skipping lineup. Probably all of them, including the Pixie Hollow kiddie ride. There’s also the reality that OLC is attempting to reposition Tokyo Disney Resort as a bona fide destination for domestic and, to a lesser extent, international tourists.
In so doing, OLC has been attempting an increasing number of upcharges, enhancements, priority seating, and package offerings. The logical conclusion would thus be to expect more of this, not less of it, going forward–especially with Fantasy Springs as a blockbuster addition with tremendous drawing power.
However, OLC’s desire to transform the parks from a locals’ hangout to a bona fide tourist destination does not make it so. Just ask Disneyland in Anaheim about that. The Japanese are famously frugal and not free spenders like their western counterparts, which is why inflation has not been nearly as pronounced in Japan as other countries coming out of the pandemic…or even for the last two decades. (To that point, I’d highly recommend watching this video about “Japanification.”)
Suffice to say, Tokyo Disney Resort has benefitted from freer spending guests as a result of fiscal stimulus for domestic tourists, followed by an influx of international visitors who view everything in Japan as being “on sale” as a result of the weak yen. Just like at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, there’s also been pent-up demand driving spending. The thing is, that’s starting to cool at Tokyo Disney Resort, and paid line-skipping may not be sustainable at some of the “borderline” rides where it’s currently being sold. (I’d expect it to stick around at all headliners added since 2019.)
Ultimately, the return of free line-skipping at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea is very much a good thing, even if it’s only a small and (supposedly) limited time step in that direction. Although owned by a different company, this alone proves that paid line-skipping is not permanent damage that cannot be undone over the course of time.
As pent-up demand continues to slow in Japan, our expectation is that guest purchases of Premier Access decreases and OLC feels pressure to move more attractions and entertainment over to the free Priority Pass bucket. That’s certainly our hope, but we’d still expect any headliners added since 2019 to retain Premier Access. This is very much a ‘wishful thinking’ prediction that could be wrong, especially if OLC sees success in attracting more tourists with the opening of Fantasy Springs.
What do you think of Premier Access and Priority Pass at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea? Happy that at least one Disney resort restored a version of free FastPass? Expect this to be expanded or become permanent over time? Think that Premier Access will reverse course, or is targeting higher and freer spending guests a viable plan in Japan? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!