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Facts and Tips for Disney World FastPass+
All Tips on this Page Apply to Walt Disney World Only (Other Disney parks around the world have different systems)
The FastPass+ system (also known simply as “FastPass”) is a type of Disney VIP service that allows guests to skip the standby line for most attractions and shows. When FastPasses were first introduced, guests had to use in-park kiosks in order to secure their reservations for whatever park they were in at the time (much like Disneyland’s current FastPass system). Disney World eventually upgraded this system, allowing guests to make reservations ahead of time using the My Disney Experience website or app. This new upgraded system is now known as FastPass+, though guests are still able to use in-park kiosks to make same-day reservations should they like to do so.
FastPass reservations work differently for rides than they do for shows. When you use FastPasses for rides, you basically get to cut-in-line (the standby line, that is), though there is sometimes still a wait if there are a lot of people already waiting to ride that attraction. This allows you essentially skip the typical 30 minute or more wait times for attractions, though this isn’t always the case – occasionally the FastPass line can end up being a longer wait than standby, so it’s important to check wait times for each attraction before using your FastPass reservation. You will be given an hour long time block to arrive (unless you are close to park closing hours, in which you may be given a shorter time block). This means that your party may arrive at any time within this hour to ride this ride using your FastPass reservation. This is generally also the same process for Character Meet & Greets.
For shows, you may be seated in a special section or you may just be allowed in to the seating area earlier than those guests in the standby line so that you have a better choice of seats. You will typically have a FastPass arrival time window of fifteen minutes before a show starts. That means that if you want to see the 6:00pm showing of “Finding Nemo: The Musical” and are able to get a FastPass for this show, you will need to arrive between 5:30-5:45pm. This is because you will be let in to the theater before those in the standby line.
To use FastPass in the Disney World parks, reserve your FastPass ahead of time, then walk up to the FastPass pedestal within your allotted time and tap your MagicBand to the Mickey silhouette. Once it turns green, you are ready to head into the FastPass queue or inside the theater right away (though sometimes there is still a line to wait in, though it is usually much shorter than the standby line). Your FastPass reservation should disappear from your My Disney Experience app as soon as you use it, but occasionally it takes a few minutes to disappear (if it doesn’t disappear within five or ten minutes, try editing your plans or notes and see if that helps, otherwise check with a Cast Member to see if there is an issue).
You may still have to wait in line even if you have a FastPass. Keep in mind that FastPasses don’t always guarantee that you’ll be able to immediately walk on to any attraction. There are times when you may still have to wait a little while (especially if you arrive early to a show or if a ride was just loaded), but the wait time will more than likely be significantly less than that of the standby line in most cases (though as mentioned above there are sometimes exceptions). For example, we was able to get same-day FastPasses for Splash Mountainsometime in the mid-afternoon on a Tuesday, and we were able to ride within ten-fifteen minutes. We literally walked passed an incredibly long standby line of people who were waiting over an hour to ride. However, on one of our trips to Animal Kingdom, we waited over 45 minutes in a FastPass line for Kali River Rapids while the standby line appeared to be moving faster because there were less people in that line. The latter is generally less common, though, so FastPasses are usually your best option for extremely popular rides and shows. These FastPasses can go fast and there are only so many per time slot/show time, so get them when you can and keep checking the My Disney Experience app often to catch the most-difficult-to-get FastPasses.
You are only allowed three FastPasses for each park to start withfor each day. This means that you can only pick three attractions and/or shows to use FastPass for at first. Once you use those three FastPasses, then you may choose one additional FastPass to use that day. After using that additional FastPass, you may choose one more and so on until park close. For example, if you are visiting Magic Kingdom on Monday and want to ride ten rides and see two shows, you can only reserve FastPasses for three of those rides/shows to start with (you may have any combination of rides and shows so long as it is only three total and they are not in the same tier). Until I visit the park and used those three initial FastPasses, you will be unable to reserve any other FastPasses. However, after you have used those three initial FastPasses, you will have the ability to reserve one additional FastPass for another experience. After using this additional FastPass, you can reserve one more additional FastPass, and this cycle continues for as long as FastPasses are available (generally until shortly before park closing).
You may only use a single FastPass reservation one time. Once a FastPass is used, it should disappear from your list of FastPass reservations (though it will occasionally glitch), so you can only use it once. This means that you may not re-enter the FastPass line and ride the ride again. If you want to ride the same ride again, you will either have to get in the standby line or, if available, get another FastPass using one of the in-park kiosks or your My Disney Experience app on your mobile device (we definitely recommend using the app instead of visiting a kiosk if possible because the kiosks tend to be far and few between).
Certain parks have a tier system for rides and shows. Currently, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom all have a tiered FastPass system, so you may not be able to get all of the FastPasses that you want at the same time. For instance, if you want a FastPass for Soarin‘ and Test Track at Epcot, you may only choose one of these for your initial three FastPass selections because they are in the same tier. However, it is a good idea to keep checking the app throughout the day since after using your first three FastPasses you are able to select another attraction from any tier for your subsequent FastPasses.
Walt Disney World resort hotel guests can reserve their first three FastPasses up to 60 days before their arrival date and for up to ten days of their trip, while off-site visitors have up to 30 days before their trip. This means that if you are visiting Disney World for fourteen days and have already purchased fourteen days worth of tickets, you can only reserve FastPasses for each of the first ten days of your visit. You may also want to consider logging on to the My Disney Experience website as soon as they become available (see below) as some of the most popular FastPasses go in a matter of minutes. Because of this, you will also want to prioritize which attractions are most important to you and secure FastPasses for those first.
Your Walt Disney World FastPass selections will become available at exactly the time given (currently 7:00am ET) either 60 or 30 days from your arrival (depending on whether you are staying onsite or not). The first time we ever reserved FastPass selections ahead of time for a Disney World trip, we were told that our FastPass options would become available and 7:00am sixty days ahead of our arrival date (we stayed on property). As we found out, if you log on to the My Disney Experience website or app even just a minute before 7:00am ET on the given date, it may appear that you are unable to select your dates for your trip and unable to make FastPass selections. There’s no need to worry, however, since it is most likely not a website glitch. We thought we were going to lose out on our FastPasses and have to call about a website issue, but at exactly 7:00am ET time, all of our trip days and every FastPass option appeared. We were then able to select our trip dates and FastPass choices one by one.
FastPasses go extremely fast, so you may want to have more than one person in your party logged into their accounts at the same time to acquire several at once.Since you can get three FastPasses for each of your theme park days (for up to ten days of your trip), you may want to have more than one person reserving FastPasses when they become available. For example, I and my mom log into our separate Disney accounts at the same time for our trips, and we each have our own list of FastPass selections organized by priority for us. So, while I am getting a FastPass for Avatar Flight of Passage for our visit to Animal Kingdom on the fifth day of our trip, she is getting a FastPass for Slinky Dog Dashat Hollywood Studios for the 3rd day of our trip. This way, we are able to reserve two FastPasses at once, and we continue this process until all of our FastPass slots are filled for each day. Since you can reserve FastPasses in any order (day or park), we usually try to reserve the hardest-to-get FastPasses first (like my example above) rather than going in day or park order.
It can also a good idea to work backwards when reserving your FastPasses, which means beginning with the last day of your trip (remember you can reserve up to ten days of your trip if it is longer than that) and working your way back to day one. This is because there is a good chance there will be less people making reservations on that day as they must also wait 60/30 days before making their FastPass reservations and the further out you are from the earliest date available the less people will have access to depending on the length of their stay and arrival date. Also, most people tend to start with day one and work in chronological order, so the earliest dates will most likely see the most competition over the limited number of available FastPasses.
If you don’t get a FastPass you want because they are already gone, you may still be able to get them at some point. This is especially true for those staying offsite, because those staying onsite have already had thirty extra days to get these FastPass reservations. Keep checking as often as possible (several times a day if you can) to see if someone lets go of their FastPass for the rides/shows you want. These will go fast too because other people are also waiting for someone to cancel their FastPass for that ride/show, so that’s why you want to check often and get it as soon as you see it. Even if your not totally sure if you can fit that time slot into your schedule, grab it anyway if you really want to ride that ride or see that show. It’s usually easier to re-work your day plan than to find the exact time you want for an already-full FastPass ride/show. This tip works both for reserving FastPasses ahead of time and reserving same-day FastPasses.
While you’re in the Disney World parks, check the My Disney Experience app often to try to get the FastPasses you want. Like I said above, FastPasses can also sometimes suddenly become available, even if they were previously all taken. Whether you want to change a FastPass to a different ride/show, change to a different time for a ride/show, or you want to get your next FastPass after you’ve used your others, you’ll want to keep an eye on this app. During one of our trips, we wanted to ride Test Track, but there was a wait time in the standby line of 60 minutes. We checked the app every few minutes for the next 30 minutes or so and a Test Track FastPass became available. After we rode Test Track, we decided we’d like to ride it again, and we ended up getting another FastPass right before closing time. The same thing has happened for us multiple times for countless rides at all the parks. This is why it is a good idea to keep checking if you can and not give up if you really want to ride a specific ride or see a specific show (just be aware that this app does use cell phone data, so make sure you have enough data in your cell phone plan or you may be charged extra if it uses too much). It is important to reserve a FastPass that you want as soon as you see it, though, as they can disappear within seconds.
If you’re standing in a long standby line, check the app for a FastPass for that ride. If you are able to get a FastPass for the ride you are waiting for, you may be able to leave the standby line and you may ride that ride much sooner than if you had continued to wait. This is something that happens more often than you might expect, so it’s a great idea to check!
If you see a short standby line for a ride you already have a FastPass for and you are willing to wait in that short line, cancel your FastPass reservation for that ride before you use it and choose a different one immediately.One one of our trips, we had a FastPass for Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid ride from 6-7pm, but around 1:30pm we discovered it had a standby wait time of about 15 minutes. We decided to wait in line to ride the ride and canceled our future FastPass for it so we could get a different FastPass for a different ride instead. If you are okay with changing your schedule around a bit, you may very well be able to ride more rides or see more shows than you thought you would using this method!
It is possible to change one of your FastPasses without loosing the others. You are able to change a FastPass to a different time or a different attraction without affecting the others. Just be aware that if you don’t have Park Hopper tickets or an Annual Pass you won’t be able to acquire a FastPass in a different park without letting go of all of your current FastPasses for that day first. So if you’re thinking of maybe going to Epcot on Monday instead of Magic Kingdom, but you already have FastPass reservations for Magic Kingdom that day, you won’t be able to see what FastPasses are available on Monday for Epcot without removing all of your Magic Kingdom FastPasses for that day first. You will really want to be absolutely certain that you want to change days, because once you let go of your FastPasses, they are most likely gone for good unless someone cancels their FastPass selection for those attractions as well and you are somehow able to get those. Once you choose your FastPasses for each park on whatever days you selected, you are essentially locked in to those parks on those specific days unless you want to take the risk of losing the FastPasses you already have for the day you want to change to a different park.