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The Premier Access pass has recently replaced complimentary fast passes at Disneyland Paris. However, being a paid service many guests are wondering whether picking up one of these passes is really worth it.
We found that Premier Access at Disneyland Paris is worth it for selected rides on selected days. While the pass (costing €14) got me to the front of Ratatouille within one minute (skipping a queue of 60 minutes), it only cut Helen’s wait time in half (from 50 minutes to 25).
Meanwhile, there were plenty of rides where Premier Access passes were available, yet the standby wait time for that ride was under 20 minutes. With such a broad range of experiences, a Premier Access pass is unsurprisingly not right for everyone.
However, based on our own first-hand experience we’ve got an idea as to who will benefit the most and when you should go ahead and invest your money in bypassing the queues.
What Is A Disney Premier Access Pass?
There are two types of Disney Premier Access passes available;
Disney Premier Access Ultimate
This pass provides you with Premier Access passes to all eligible rides at both of the Disneyland Paris theme parks; Walt Disney Studios and Disneyland (provided you have park-to-park tickets) for your selected date.
Disney Premier Access One
This pass provides you with Premier Access to a select ride at a select time. Given that we were travelling to Disneyland Paris with a baby, we didn’t see the need for a Premier Access Ultimate pass.
Instead, we opted to use the Disney Premier Access passes to “pay as you go” skipping the lines on the rides we wanted to go on the most.
How Much Does The Disney Premier Access Pass Cost?
The cost of both a Disney Premier Access One pass and a Disney Premier Access Ultimate pass varies between rides, times of day and the day itself.
During our most recent visit (June 2022) Disney Premier Access Ultimate passes were being sold for €140 each.
However, it’s worth noting that the Disney Premier Access Ultimate pass had sold out for the day by lunchtime and instead in this instance I was only able to buy it for the following day.
While it, therefore, makes sense to purchase a Disney Premier Access Ultimate pass in advance, this isn’t always a wise decision since on some days the pass may not be required as standby lines may be short.
The cost of Disney Premier Access passes “pay as you go” varies between rides and their popularity at that time.
However, in most cases during our visit, the costs were between €5 and €14.
Remember that the cost of both Disney Premier Access passes and Disney Premier Access Ultimate passes is in addition to the cost of a Disneyland Paris park ticket.
How Does The Disney Premier Access Pass Work?
To use a Disney Premier Access pass you’ll need to go ahead and buy the pass from the Disneyland Paris mobile application (available for both iOS and Android).
In this case, you’ll be able to either purchase a Disney Premier Access Ultimate pass (provided one is available for that day) or see the rides where Disney Premier Access passes are still available and their associated cost.
If you’ve gone ahead and got a Disney Premier Access Ultimate pass then you will be able to get one-time access to all the eligible rides on your selected date.
However, if you’ve got a Disney Premier Access pass (“pay as you go”) then you’ll have to go head to the selected ride within the time of your one-hour pre-selected slot.
i.e. If your time one-hour pre-selected time slot is between 2pm and 3pm, then you’ll need to arrive at the Premier Access entrance for that ride between 2pm and 3pm.
Once you’ve arrived at the ride go to the Premier Access entrance. This should be clearly signposted, however, if you can’t see it ask a cast member to direct you.
From there you’ll need to scan your QR code (provided when you purchase your pass) in the scanners.
A cast member will be on hand to assist you if anything goes wrong or you struggle but in both cases, we got through no problems.
Once your QR code has been accepted you’ll be able to walk through onto the ride bypassing the standby queue.
Where you end up within the standby queue as you approach the ride varies between rides, this also means that the amount of time you end up queueing for the ride with a Disney Premier Access pass also varies.
For example; I purchased the Disney Premier Access pass for Ratatouille: The Adventure for €14. The standby wait time for this ride at the time of my purchase and subsequently going on the ride was 65 minutes.
However, the total time I had to wait from scanning my QR code to boarding the ride was just 1 minute (yes, I timed it!).
Helen, on the other hand also purchased a Disney Premier Access pass for the Hollywood Tower of Terror (which has sadly now closed) for €14.
The standby wait time for this ride at the time Helen purchasing and subsequently went on this ride was 50 minutes.
However, as a result of the queue format, the Premier Access queue actually only took her so far before merging her with the standby queue. As a result, Helen waited 25 minutes to go on this ride, subsequently only cutting her wait time in half.
What Rides Accept The Disney Premier Access Pass?
The following rides all currently accept the Disney Premier Access pass;
- Crush’s Coaster
- Big Thunder Mountain
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Ratatouille: The Adventure
- Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain
- Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril
- Star Tours: The Adventure Continues
- Phantom Manor
- Cars ROAD TRIP
Note that while all rides accept the pass, many may sell out of passes by lunchtime and therefore stop showing in the Disneyland Paris mobile application.
Who Is The Disney Premier Access Pass Best For?
Based on our own first-hand experience the Disney Premier Access pass doesn’t provide everyone with the same level of value.
In our opinion, here’s who should consider purchasing a Disney Premier Access or a Disney Premier Access Ultimate pass;
Those Visiting For The Day
If you’re only visiting Disneyland Paris for one day and want to experience as many rides as possible then we’d suggest picking up a Disney Premier Access Ultimate pass.
However, if you’ve visited Disneyland Paris before and only want to go on selected rides it may work out better value for money to pick up Disney Premier Access passes for those particular rides where necessary instead.
Solo Riders Travelling With Friends & Family
While selected rides have shorter single-rider queues, on selected rides you may benefit from picking up a Premier Access pass so you’re able to skip to the front of the queue and minimise the length of time you’re away from your friends and family.
Both Helen and I were single rides when we purchased our Disney Premier Access passes.
However, since we were travelling with our son Oliver (six months at the time) we wanted to skip the line as much as possible so we could get back to each other and continue helping out with the baby.
The majority of thrill rides at Disneyland Paris often have standby wait times in excess of 100 minutes during peak travel periods.
Given that there are at least three major thrill rides inside each of the Disneyland Paris parks this leaves you spending on average 600 minutes queuing for all of them.
As such a Disney Premier Access Ultimate pass could save you a significant amount of time when visiting the parks.
Who Is The Disney Premier Access Pass Not For?
Given the cost of Disney Premier Access and Disney Premier Access Ultimate passes, the value for money isn’t great for everyone.
Here’s who we think should skip purchasing Disney Premier Access;
If you’re travelling as a family of four then €14 per person to skip to the front of the queue for one ride is suddenly almost €60.
Meanwhile Disney Premier Access Ultimate passes get you access to the front of the queue for all eligible rides for one day is €600!
Of course, all of this is on top of your initial park ticket purchase, food, drinks, any souvenirs, accommodation, transport – the list goes on!
Therefore purely from a budget standpoint, I recommend skipping Disney Premier Access if you’re a family.
Of course, if you have a lot of spending money for Disneyland Paris and can subsequently can afford Premier Access or a Premier Access Ultimate pass for the entire family then by all means go for it!
Those Travelling In The Off-Peak Season
If you’re travelling to Disneyland Paris during the off-season then wait times are likely going to be significantly shorter for the vast majority of rides when compared to the summer, and other high-season travel periods.
However, in most cases, the cost of Disney Premier Access and Disney Premier Access Ultimate passes do not come down in significant proportion to the time difference.
Spending €14 to go on Ratatouille with a standby wait time of 60 minutes for example is significantly better than spending €9 to go on it in the off-season when it has a standby wait time of 20 minutes.
Therefore when visiting Disneyland Paris in the off-season make sure you check those standby wait times before splurging on either a Disney Premier Access or Disney Premier Access Ultimate pass.
Budget Conscious Parkgoers
If you’re a budget-conscious parkgoer then spending €9, €14 or even €140 on a Disney Premier Access pass is likely a waste of money.
Instead, that money could be better spent on the essentials such as your food and drink while in the park or even help you save for another future trip.
Top Tips For Using The Disney Premier Access Pass
Here are our top tips when it comes to purchasing and using the Disney Premier Access pass at Disneyland Paris;
Check The Average Wait Times First
Cars Road Trip at Walt Disney Studios has a Premier Access lane, and at the time of our visit, you were able to purchase a pass for this ride for €9 per person.
However, this would have been a complete waste of money since the wait time for this ride was just 5 minutes.
As such it’s incredibly important you check the standby wait times to ensure that when you’re purchasing the Disney Premier Access pass you’re getting great value for money.
Research Where The Premier Access Pass Gets You In The Queue
Helen and I had very different experiences when it comes to using the Disney Premier Access pass.
On Ratatouille: The Adventure I was able to skip a 60-minute standby wait time and head straight to the front of the line within 1 minute of scanning my QR code.
However, on Hollywood Tower of Terror (which has sadly now closed) Helen was only able to skip half of the 50-minute standby queue and instead still ended up waiting 25 minutes to go on the ride.
As such it’s incredibly important you research where the Premier Access pass brings you out on each ride to ensure you’re skipping a significant portion of the standby queue.
Purchase Your Passes Early
If you’re planning on purchasing the Disney Premier Access Ultimate (which gives you a single pass to all eligible rides) then you’ll want to make sure you purchase your pass as early in the day as possible to ensure you can go on all the rides available.
Meanwhile, if you’re planning on only purchasing a Disney Premier Access One pass for a single ride then you’ll also want to consider purchasing the pass early.
That’s because passes for the most popular rides have often sold out by lunchtime or have ‘come back’ times late into the evening.