7 Most Popular Fast Passes at Disneyland You Gotta Reserve

7 Most Popular Fast Passes at Disneyland You Gotta Reserve
Indiana Jones Adventure” by HarshLight licensed under CC BY 2.0

No matter the list, there will always be a grouping of the best rides at Disneyland to go off of for your visit.

However, not every ride, even the best ones, have FASTPASS. So, here’s a list of some of the top rides with the FASTPASS option to ensure you have a magical trip and save time in line!

  • Editor’s Note: Disney has begun phasing out their popular FastPass system. You can learn more about how to use the replacement for FastPass, which is Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lanes.


FASTPASS is a way to “cut the line” for many of the best Disneyland attractions, especially thrill-type and classic attractions. You can pick up these passes at ticket machines near the select attractions (look for signs that say “Ride Name FASTPASS” or ask a Cast Member). Note that you must use your ticket to get the pass and to redeem it in line. With the pass, you’ll have a return time for the ride automatically linked to your ticket.

Return times for users are usually listed at the stations before you even opt to get one. It is usually a one-hour time frame during which you can return to use the pass. Sometimes, though, Cast Members give some leniency a few minutes before or after the return time.

Of note, you are only able to get one FASTPASS per ticket per attraction per time frame. In other words, it’s not worth trying to collect a bunch of passes at the start of your day because you won’t be allowed by the machine to take more than one per time frame. 

Pro recommendation: As soon as you arrive at the park, head to your top-pick ride with a FASTPASS option. Once you have a pass, you are guaranteed a spot in line with a much shorter wait!

Complete list of Disneyland Park attractions with FASTPASSES:

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  • Fantasmic!
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Haunted Mansion Holiday
  • Indiana Jones™ Adventure
  • “it’s a small world”
  • “it’s a small world” Holiday
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue

You may also want to download the Disneyland App to keep track of your FASTPASS collection as opposed to stashing the little papers in your pockets all day. Although you cannot overlap numerous passes at one time, you can still pick up passes for shows or for other attractions with earlier return times. Plus, you can sync your ticket to the app for easy access anytime!

Lastly, if you’re looking to go on every attraction in a day, there is MaxPass. This program is about $15 per ticket (no family packages), and it allows you to select FASTPASS options from the Disneyland App rather than at ticket stations. 

Roller Coasters

This group of rides is unique in that they appeal to thrill-seekers. Most Disneyland rides are known for being kid-friendly, but these are designed for big kids and adults. As such, they tend to draw big crowds for the pre-teen/teen group as well as young adults. On the other end of the spectrum, though, you will also have families with first-time roller coaster goers. This means that the queues are pretty likely to be packed any day you visit the park.

Using a FASTPASS for these three roller coaster-type rides will save you from average wait times beyond half an hour and outdoor queues with little shade. Although there is no guarantee that you’ll walk up to the very front of the line, you will save yourself a lot of time.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Considered a Disneyland classic, this whipping and zig-zagging train ride through the Old West tends to have a long queue. With a FASTPASS, you and your gang can yee-haw faster as you cut past a good chunk of the line.

Key Features

  • Fast train-car style roller coaster
  • Quick and sharp turns
  • Small drops throughout the journey
  • Dark sequences through caverns and mining tunnels

Ideal Riders

  • Height requirement of 40”
  • Kids, tweens and teens
  • Adults of all ages
  • Thrill seekers with a love for the Old West

FASTPASS machines for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is located to the right of the entrance.

Matterhorn Bobsleds

This one is yet another Disney classic, so be prepared for long lines without a shortcut to the top!

Journey into the heart of Matterhorn Mountain for an adventure zipping through icy caverns. Admire the lighting spectacles (especially awesome at night), but beware the Abominable Snowman! Remember, you’re in his home on this roller coaster.

Key Features

  • Quick turns around sharp corners
  • Small drops
  • Scary creatures and noises in the dark caverns of Matterhorn
  • Bumpy ride that will thrash you from side to side (but well worth it)

Ideal Riders

  • Height requirement of 42”
  • Kids who are not afraid of the dark or monsters
  • Tweens and teens
  • Adults of all ages
  • Roller coaster enthusiasts

FASTPASS machines are located across the thoroughfare from the attraction’s entrance. Look for woodland creatures atop ticket boxes. Be sure you are collecting for Matterhorn Bobsleds as “it’s a small world” shares the space for its FASTPASS option.

Space Mountain

A more modern classic that explores the ends of the galaxy and beyond, Space Mountain is a true thrill ride! Shoot into the outer realm of the galaxy and witness stars, nebulas, other galaxies and more from within a piece of the final frontier. Plus, you can now play on Play Disney Parks to turn any wait time into more fun time!

Key Features

  • Travel into space and darkness with little light beyond the twinkling stars
  • Big uphill start with bright, spinning lights (sensation of spinning)
  • Lots of right turns to zip around the galaxy
  • Photo finish before returning to your home station

Ideal Riders

  • Height requirement of 40”
  • Kids who are not afraid of the dark
  • Tweens and teens
  • Adults of all ages
  • Thrill seekers and would-be astronauts

FASTPASS machines for Space Mountain are located next to the attraction’s queue entrance. Be sure to walk all the way to the back of thoroughfare to ensure you reach the machines. Of note, there is a sign at the front of the Space Mountain area (adjacent to Pizza Planet and the old Captain Eo’s theater) that tells you the FASTPASS return time being distributed as well as the (lengthy) wait time for the regular queue.

Seasonal Attractions 

This collection of rides are either open seasonally or more popular during one time of year than the rest of the year. As such, they are likely to have longer wait times than their normal viewings. Due to the boon these attractions see once a year (that is, for several weeks or a few months each year), you’ll want to consider heading straight for the FASTPASS machines affiliated with them upon arrival!

Haunted Mansion Holiday 

It’s Halloween time and Christmas time all in one big jumble as Jack Skellington and his goons take over the mansion! No matter how slowly you believe you’ll be dragging your body to the front of the queue during this unique seasonal take-over, a FASTPASS will speed up the process. Because this annual happening is short-lived, you’ll want to be first in line for the shortest trip.

Key Features

  • Doom Buggies and happy haunts transformed for the holiday season
  • Beloved characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas, including Jack Skellington, Zero and Sally
  • Awesome photo opportunities in the queue and in front of the eerily decorated mansion
  • Slow moving attraction 
  • Dark, loud and scary with monstrous ghosts and ghouls

Ideal Riders

  • All ages welcome
  • Kids who are not afraid of the dark
  • Kids who are not afraid to see their name on the naughty list
  • Happy haunts living among us

FASTPASS distribution is available in the garden of the Haunted Mansion. When looking at the queue entrance, turn left before the black gates. On the right hand side, gargoyles guard the entrance to a small garden containing your short cut.

“it’s a small world” Holiday

If you think the classic song won’t get stuck in your head, add in “Jingle Bells” and “Deck the Halls” to guarantee you’re put in the holiday spirit! Not only is “it’s a small world” a beloved ride for people of all ages, but it is also particularly magical during the Christmas season. From the colorfully lit front to the joyous sing-along within the ride, it’s a “must ride” attraction for at least one season. As such, you’ll be happy to grab a FASTPASS to cut the hour-long wait down.

Key Features

  • Jolly children from around the world singing festive tunes
  • Classic soundtrack
  • Smooth and slow boat ride around the world

Ideal Riders

  • Children of all ages
  • First-time Guests

FASTPASS machines are located away from the entrance to the attraction. Head back toward the Matterhorn Bobsleds and check the machine’s signage for those designated for “it’s a small world” passes.

Splash Mountain

From spring through the end of summer, and sometimes even early fall, this water ride gets a lot of attention. Join the Br’er friends in a delightful (and sometimes sinister) log ride down, down, down into the rabbit hole. Don’t forget to smile as you drop over a big waterfall! At the end of it all, you’ll have a Zippity Do Da day!

Key Features

  • Water, water and water — you will get wet
  • Fun songs and characters from the Disney classic Song of the South
  • Single-file log flume with a small max capacity of about five people
  • Ending song that is bound to be stuck in your head all day

Ideal Riders

  • Height requirement of 40”
  • Kids who like to get wet and are not afraid of the dark
  • Tweens and teens
  • Adults of all ages
  • Water enthusiasts who like to be drenched for a good part of the day

FASTPASS machines are located across from the Hungry Bear Restaurant.


For the best views of the long-running show, you’ll want to grab a FASTPASS for assigned viewing areas along the Rivers of America waterfront. This will ensure that you can see everything from Mickey on Tom Sawyer Island to the raging Maleficent above the treetops.

Fantasmic! tells the daring journey of Mickey and his hero friends battling the greatest villains in Disney history. Join him on his quest to save the realm of dreams for happiness and magic while also saving imagination. 

Because the show has numerous moving pieces, including use of boats on the waterfront, several of the spectacles can be seen from non-reserved viewing areas such as from the raised terrace in front of French Market and the bridge between Adventureland and French Quarter (over Pirates of the Carribean). However, the biggest downside to these areas is they are highly restricted for viewing. Cast Members set out perimeters for Guests to be within in order to stand and watch; otherwise, all Guests have to continue moving to keep the flow of traffic moderated.

FASTPASS viewing areas, on the other hand, trace the waterfront from the Mark Twain/Columbia dock to the barge launch for Pirate Lair on Tom Sawyer Island. This region is restricted to those with the passes, and all parties will be checked for them.

The other big benefit of watching Fantasmic! and using a FASTPASS for a great view is the awesome view of the fireworks. Once the show has finished, another one begins! All you have to do is turn your head slightly and look up to see the beautiful display. Talk about a two-for-one deal!

Choosing Wisely

No matter where you go in Disneyland and no matter what you want to do, adding a FASTPASS collection to your visit will go a long way in shortening wait times. Here are a few extra tips on how to most effectively use your time and eligible FASTPASSES.

Create an itinerary for the visit. List out your priority rides as well as those that you are not interested in seeing. If your priority rides fall within the FASTPASS list, pick your very favorite or must-see and plan to get to that ticket machine first to have an early return time. In doing this, you will be guaranteed not to miss your chance at your top pick (save a breakdown, in which case there are policies to get a free FASTPASS to another attraction of choice).

Know that you can only get one FASTPASS per hour, more or less. There are a few exceptions as listed at the beginning of this article; however, you will be limited. So, if you categorize your rides from must-see to don’t care, you can identify rides that you’re willing to wait for while you pick up FASTPASSES at your leisure.

When possible, pick one attraction per land (e.g., Adventureland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, etc.). That way, you can have a return time that will allow you to plan to stand in other queues before and after that attraction while ensuring you are close enough to not miss your ticket. This will also save you a bit of walking!

No matter what you do during your visit to Disneyland, make it magical!

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