One of the many things you do, and possibly stress about, when planning a trip to Walt Disney World is book your FastPass Plus reservations. FastPass Plus is a free service at Walt Disney World which allows guests to skip the line at a few attractions of their choice, each day. Guests staying on-site in a Walt Disney World resort hotel get a head start and can reserve FastPasses 60 days out from the first day of their trip, while off-site guests get to start booking 30 days out. Each day you have a park ticket you can book up to three FastPass reservations within a single park. What this means is you cannot pre-book one FastPass in Magic Kingdom and then another Fastpass in Epcot on the same day.
Tips for Maximizing FastPass Plus
FastPass reservations can be made either through the Walt Disney World website or in the My Disney Experience app on your phone. We recommend using a computer and web browser when making your initial FastPass reservations (at 30 or 60 days out) but the app makes it easy to modify and make more reservations while on your trip.There are several strategies for making the most of your FastPass reservations and maximizing your time spent in the parks. Read on for a few of our favorite tips and tricks.
Make a Plan
The fact that you are reading this post means you probably already know this, but it is invaluable to take the time to make a plan for your days in the parks. Make a list of what park you will be in which day and what attractions you hope to visit. Keep in mind that all parks except Magic Kingdom have a tier system in place for FastPasses where you have to choose between major attractions.
Set your alarm and get logged into the Walt Disney World website at 7 am EST on the day that you are able to start booking FastPass reservations. Ahead of time, make sure that you have your resort reservation linked in your account. You should be able to make FastPass reservations for your entire trip at one time (up to 10 days).
Book Popular Rides First
There is a relatively small list of attractions that will fill up almost immediately and are very hard to get even at the 30 and 60 day out mark. The hardest FastPasses are often the newest attractions, such as Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey in the new Pandora section of Animal Kingdom, Frozen Ever After in Epcot, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Magic Kingdom. Book the hardest reservations first and then turn your attention to the rest of your list. Keep in mind you do not have to book your FastPasses in order or even finish all FastPasses for one day before you move to another day of your trip.
Consider Long Lines
The benefit of a FastPass is it lets you skip the line, so it makes sense to pick FastPass reservations for popular attractions that are likely to have really long lines. This typically includes new rides and thrill rides in each park, but not always. Some rides just have really long waits because they are family favorites.
Consider Long Rides
The two best ways to skip lines is to ride things right at the time the park opens and by using FastPass. We love to ride popular, short rides first thing in the day in the stand-by line (when you can knock out a whole bunch of them in a short amount of time), and then save the popular, long rides for FastPass reservations. Popular, but long, attractions include things like Enchanted Tales with Belle and Jungle Cruise in the Magic Kingdom, as well as stage shows like Lion King and Nemo in Animal Kingdom and the Frozen Sing Along in Hollywood Studios.
Schedule at Different Times
First thing in the morning you should not need FastPasses because the crowds and lines have not built up yet. Scheduling FastPasses for late morning and early afternoon allow you to use them while the park is crowded, but still early enough that you may be able to score a bonus, extra FastPass once you have used up your initial three (see #8 below).
Utilize Child Swap
Depending on your situation, there are several ways to make this work. Secure a FastPass for the whole group, and let someone take a non-rider’s magic band to ride a second time. Utilize child swap, which allows parents to take turns riding while the other stays with the non-riding child. Tip: only one of the parents actually needs to have a FastPass, the other will be handed a paper FastPass when you ask for child swap at the entrance to the attraction. Or split the group and book a FastPass for a different, nearby attraction for the non-riding part of the group during the same time window.
Look for Bonus FastPasses
Once you are on your trip you can book extra FastPass reservations once you have used your three pre-booked FastPasses each day. The way we do this is as soon as we use our third and final pre-booked FastPass (as soon as we swipe our magic band at that attraction), we open up the My Disney Experience App and look for another FastPass. There may or may not be any available depending on the day. If you can get a bonus fourth FastPass and use it, you can repeat this process and try for a fifth, and so on. Keep in mind that your bonus FastPasses do not necessarily have to be in the same park. If you are planning to hop to a different park later in the day you can check for available bonus FastPasses there as well.
Modify FastPass Reservations
If you walk up to a ride that you have a FastPass for and the stand-by wait is short, then you might choose to just get in the standby line and open the My Disney Experience app on your phone and try to change your FastPass to another attraction that currently has a longer wait. You can modify your FastPasses at any time.
Keep Travel Party in Mind
Popular rides aren’t always popular with every traveling group. If there is an attraction that you know your child will absolutely love, book a FastPass for it on more than one day to make sure you get to ride more than once. FastPass reservations are a chance for you to ensure you will get to do some things you will love with little to no wait.
Here are some helpful bonus tips if you have trouble booking a FastPass:
- Try looking at a later date in your trip window. Fewer people will have access to the dates further out which may mean more availability.
- Keep checking back, people modify and cancel FastPass reservations all the time.
- If the website FastPass system seems to be having technical issues, try giving Disney a call or ask your travel agent for help.
- Book the FastPass for a smaller number of people, then add the plan to the rest of the group. Alternatively, get a FastPass for the rest of the group at a different, but still overlapping, timeframe.
- Keep an eye on the Park Hours calendar and look for days that park hours are extended. Extra time that the park is open means extra FastPass reservations become available.
What are your best FastPass+ tips?