Disney World FastPass+: Rules, Tiers, Secrets and Strategy
Disney World’s FastPass+ system is arguably the best of all “line-cutting” systems. Many other theme parks charge guests astronomical amounts to skip lines and enjoy rides without the wait. Fortunately for Disney World attendees, you automatically get three FastPass+ experiences per ticket per day…free of charge!
FastPass+ truly enhances the experience at Disney and allows families to enjoy many more rides and attractions throughout each day of their vacation.
When it comes to making your selections for FastPass+ there are definitely some tips and tricks you’ll want to know! Scheduling your FastPass+ selections for the best rides at the best time can really make a difference in the smoothness of your Disney vacation.
So, in this article, I will be giving you the low-down on how to effectively use your FastPass+ in order to get the most bang for your FastPass+ buck! You will also find a list of the most important rides to book FastPass+ reservations for in advance, as well as a list of the best Disney World rides that you’ll want a FastPass+ for but don’t necessarily need to book in advance!
- Editor’s Note: Disney has begun the removal of their popular FastPass system. You can learn more about how to use the replacement for FastPass, which is Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lanes.
Here is your complete FastPass+ guide. Let’s begin with breaking down how you book your FastPass+ reservation.
How to Book a FastPass+
There are three different ways to book a FastPass+ experience.
First and foremost, you can do it by going to the Disney World website. Log in and follow the prompts. You will be able to choose which day, park, and party members will be joining you for each experience. If different family members want to enjoy different attractions, you can book them for different FastPass+ experiences than your own!
Keep choosing FastPass+ experiences until everyone has three for each day you’ll be in the parks!
Otherwise, you can book them right from your phone on your My Disney Experience App which is, personally, my favorite way to book FastPass+ rides! You’ll want to get familiar with it anyways so you can edit them or book more FastPass+ experiences in the parks!
After logging in, you will notice the home screen has two sections: Park Info & Entry and My Plans. The first option under My Plans is Get FastPass+.
Click that button.
After clicking the Get FastPass+ button in your app, you will be allowed to pick the day, park, and members of your party you want to book each FastPass+ with. After making your three selections for each day of your vacation, you can edit the attractions and times as you please! Be careful though, you have to delete a FastPass+ in order to snag a different one. These run out fast, so be careful not to lose a FastPass+ for your favorite ride!
Be sure to download and get familiar with the My Disney Experience app before your vacation begins. This app allows you to book FastPass+ reservations, meals, see wait times, park maps and many other helpful tools. It is instrumental in creating a fun and easy vacation for everyone!
Lastly, if you are attempting to make a new FastPass+ selection in the parks, you can also head to one of the Disney FastPass+ kiosks to make a new selection! Keep in mind, children under the age of 3 do not need FastPass+ bookings in order to enjoy an attraction with the rest of your family!
If you are staying at a Disney resort hotel during your vacation, you can book your FastPass+ selections at 7am EST, 60 days before the first day of your vacation. If you are not staying on Disney property during your vacation, you can book your FastPass+ experiences at 7am EST, 30 days before your vacation begins.
You can book up to three FastPass+ experiences per day. Each of these experiences all must be within the same park. Don’t worry, after you use up your three FastPass+ experiences in one park, you can begin making more, one at a time, in other parks that same day!
If you have any issues with your FastPass+ selections, be sure to call customer service or visit the concierge at your Disney resort hotel. If you’re having complications, sometimes the staff will add in an extra FastPass+ for you…if you’re lucky!
Using Your FastPass+
Approximately ten days before you leave for your vacation, Disney will send you MagicBands! These are little bracelets with a microchip that store tons of information to make your Disney vacation seamless. Your room key and park tickets will be on there as well as your credit card of choice, should you choose to add it.
Your FastPass+ options are also stored in there! When it comes time for your FastPass+ to begin, head to that ride. You’ll then want to go to the FastPass+ entrance, scan your MagicBand and voila, you’re in!
If you aren’t staying at a Disney resort hotel during your vacation, then you will receive a card that will hold your FastPass+ selections! You can also scan this at the FastPass+ entrance to a ride in order to be granted access.
Disney is pretty courteous when it comes to your FastPass+ window. You have one hour to use your FastPass+ before it expires. If you’re a little early, you can get into the ride about five minutes before your FastPass+ window truly begins. If you’re running a little late, they usually will allow you to use your FastPass+ about 15 minutes after it has expired but try your best to be on time! So, if you’re fast pass is scheduled for 10:15am, you have until 11:15am to use your FastPass+.
However, you really have from 10:10am to 11:30am to use that FastPass+.T
Schedule Your Fast Pass Early
After you use all three FastPass+ you booked in advance, Disney allows you to make additional FastPass+ selections in order to continue the fun! Because of this, you will want to book your FastPass+ experiences as early in the morning as possible. The first FastPass+ experiences open up at the same time the park does.
So, book your FastPass+ rides as early and as close together as possible! To give a great example of the perfect Disney day, I would head to a park who has Extra Magic Hours in the morning. Let’s say, Magic Kingdom opens early for those staying at Disney resort hotels. Get to the park at about 7:40am to be there when the rope drops at 8am.
Immediately head to your favorite ride, you will probably get on it very quickly! Then, you can head to your first FastPass+ booking at 9am, when the park opens to the public. Then, your next two FastPass+ bookings should be at 10am and 11am. Before noon, you have ridden three of your favorite rides and can already book more FastPass+ attractions! Sit down and enjoy your lunch while talking with your crew about which adventure you should tackle next!
If you plan on spending your morning at a character meal or relaxing in the hotel, maybe book your FastPass+ experiences at 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm. This will allow you to make additional FastPass+ selections and see more attractions before turning in for the night!
This is one of my favorite plans for going to a park that is staying open late. I will sleep in and enjoy a character breakfast before heading to the parks around mid-day. Then, you can stay at the park during its late Extra Magic Hours after everyone else has become too pooped to participate!
Refrain from Booking Character Meets
If your little one is dying to meet a specific character that you won’t see anywhere else, then it just might be worth booking a FastPass+. Otherwise, try and stick to rides. Typically, character meets slow down a LOT during lunch time and dinner time. Sometimes, you can meet a character with only a ten to twenty-minute wait during these times.
You can also head to a character meet with a FastPass+ reservation you book after you’ve used up your three advanced bookings. Often times, character meet FastPass+ bookings stay open all day.
Because the new rides at Disney World and famous rides are so popular, many of them aren’t available for additional FastPass+ selections during your vacation. The character meets almost never run out though, so I would advise using your advanced bookings for the most popular rides (see list below) and grabbing a character meet FastPass+ after you’ve used those up!
You can also meet characters in amazing character dining meals. These are magical in their own right because you meet multiple characters while eating a delicious meal! However, not all characters are at character dining experiences. Research where you can eat with certain characters, and if you can’t then it might be worth the FastPass+!
Only Book the Most Popular Rides
Your little one may LOVE The Barnstormer, but it might not be worth a FastPass+. Disney World’s most popular rides’ FastPass+ book up quickly. After that, they are gone, and you cannot schedule one at all! Because of this, you want to make sure to only book FastPass+ experiences for the rides and attractions that fill up and won’t have more available the day you are in the parks!
Many smaller rides won’t have long waits or will have plenty of FastPass+ options to go around after you’ve used up the three you booked in advance! To help with this, I have compiled a complete list of the rides and attractions whose FastPass+ bookings fill up quickly! This will help you narrow down which rides you want to book as soon as your booking window opens! Keep in mind, these lists are in no particular order!
Book a FastPass+ Reservation in Advance
Please note that, as the parks change over time (thanks to new attractions being built and old attractions sometimes being removed) we’ll do our best to keep this list properly updated.
- Space Mountain
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Splash Mountain
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Star Tours – The Adventure Continues
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Toy Story Mania!
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Frozen Ever After
- Test Track
- Soarin’ Around the World
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
- Avatar Flight of Passage
- Na’vi River Journey
Now, there are also plenty of rides whose FastPass+ reservations don’t book up but still have super long wait times. To help you decide what you will and won’t need a FastPass+ for, I’ve made a list of attractions below that compiles all of the experiences that are best for booking FastPass+ reservations after you’ve used up your advanced FastPass+ selections!
Rides You Will Want a FastPass+ Reservation For
Let’s begin with the Magic Kingdom.
- Mad Tea Party
- Jungle Cruise
- Meet Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse at Town Square Theater
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Meet Anna and Elsa at Royal Sommerhus
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- Primeval Whirl
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
FastPass+ is one of the greatest perks Walt Disney World has to offer. It’s free to your family when you buy park tickets and allows for many FastPass+ experiences throughout the day. If you use them wisely, you can really get a lot out of each day you are visiting Disney World. Use the tips and tricks I’ve compiled in this guide to help you use your FastPass+ selections as effectively as possible.
Schedule them close together in the morning so you can use up your advanced bookings and still have time for more rides afterwards! Be sure to be alert and set a reminder for when your FastPass+ window opens for bookings. You don’t want to miss it and end up not being able to ride your favorite coasters!
Be sure to only book FastPass+ reservations for rides that are hard to get FastPass+ bookings for and have long wait times. This will help you get the most out of your FastPass+ experience! After you book your experiences, enjoy a lovely vacation on the most magical place on Earth!
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