Everything You Need to Know to Make the Most of FastPass+

by | Apr 6, 2018 | Attractions, Disney Parks, The Basics | 0 comments

FastPass+ is Walt Disney World’s “priority boarding” system. Want to skip the line and hop right onto the ride? With FastPass+, you can!

How do FastPasses work?

Now, it isn’t quite as simple as bypassing every line for every attraction. You can pre-book up to 3 FastPasses per day – for one park per day – in advance. Simply choose from available times, book the pass, return to the attraction at the specified time, tap your Magic Band at the FastPass entrance, and you’re good to go! There is no extra fee.

When can I make my selections?

If you’re staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, you can make FP+ selections for your entire trip starting at 7:00 AM Eastern, 60 days prior to your arrival.

Not staying on property? As long as you have purchased a park ticket or an Annual Pass, you can make selections starting at 7:00 AM Eastern, 30 days prior to arrival.

What’s the process?

Disney makes it really simple, thankfully! There are a few things you need to do first:

  1. Make sure your park tickets are linked to your My Disney Experience account
  2. Making FastPass+ reservations for people other than yourself? Make sure you’re “friends” with all members of your party in My Disney Experience. That way, you can grab FastPasses for everyone at once!

Once that’s all set, just log into My Disney Experience online or open your app, tap your character icon, and then select Get FastPass+ under the My Plans section.

Sadly, you can’t pick the most sought-after attractions for all three of your daily FastPasses. You can choose from one “e-ticket” (a throwback term from when Disney actually used ticket books; it means the most in-demand experiences) attraction and two lower-tier rides or experiences (lower-tier does not mean less fun, btw). For example, at Epcot, you won’t be able to get FastPasses for Soarin’, Test Track, and Frozen Ever After all in the same day. You’ll have to pick one. Then, for your remaining two choices, you can select practically any other ride in the park (Spaceship Earth, Mission Space, Gran Fiesta Tour, etc.).

Once selected, your FastPasses are stored in your Magic Band. When you arrive at your FastPass+ attraction, tap your Magic Band to the Mickey on the touchpoint. If it turns green, that means you’re within the correct time window. There’s always a Cast Member present to assist, so don’t worry if the process sounds confusing.

Which FastPasses should I choose?

It depends on your preferences, your travel group, and what your priorities are!

The attractions below generally tend to have the longest lines. For some – looking at you, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – I won’t even attempt to ride without a FastPass because the line is excruciatingly long and tediously boring. Others, like Flight of Passage, I ride without a FastPass all the time. Flight of Passage’s line is usually ┬ácompletely ridiculous – like 2 – 3 hour waits – but the scenery changes frequently, and that helps pass the time.

Review which experiences are important to you and your travel party, and if you want to experience any of the attractions listed below and can grab a FastPass, do it!

Magic Kingdom

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Space Mountain
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Epcot

  • Frozen Ever After
  • Soarin’
  • Test Track

Hollywood Studios

  • Toy Story Midway Mania
  • Tower of Terror
  • Rock’n Rollercoaster

Animal Kingdom

  • Flight of Passage
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Expedition Everest
  • Na’vi River Journey

What happens when I use all of my FastPasses?

If you use all three of your FastPasses, head to a FastPass+ kiosk in the park and you can add one more! Use that one? You can keep adding! You can add via the app as well. Do keep in mind, though, that most of the sought-after FastPasses are booked 60 – 30 days out and are unlikely to be available same-day. The FastPasses you’re most likely to find same-day are ones for attractions that don’t usually require a FastPass – like omnimovers (rides that are constantly moving, like Haunted Mansion), shows, or character meet and greets.

Side note: Personally, I prefer to only use FastPasses when necessary. It’s not going to kill me to wait in a 10 or 15 minute line. What I do want to avoid, though, is a 60 – 90 minute line. I can’t tell you how often I’ve seen the FastPass line longer or the same length as the standby line because people are bent on using FastPasses even when they aren’t really needed. If the line is such that you can basically walk on, there’s really no need for a FastPass. (If you’re visiting during a high traffic time, though, that’s a different story.)

What if I can’t get a FastPass+ for the ride I want?

It’ll be ok! Worst case scenario: hit the restrooms, grab a drink, and either read or talk with your family while in line.

Also! People cancel FastPasses all the time, so it’s worth checking the app every day in case something you want opens up.

Since I’m a local passholder and can only book FastPasses 30 days out, most of the in-demand ones (Flight of Passage, cough cough) are gone long before my booking window even arrives. Sometimes, if we have a park day planned in advance, we can get a few FastPasses for our favorite rides. Usually, though, our park days are more spontaneous and we go without FastPasses altogether (gasp!). It helps if you’re avoiding heavy-traffic times (spring break, the holiday season, etc).

There are always strategies you can try to minimize your wait, too. If you want some tips from the community, leave a comment below and let us know which attraction you have your eye on.

Have any questions about the process? Let me know and I’ll be happy to help!

 

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