How To Choose the Best Times for Fastpass Plus
With the recent changes to the fastpass system, Disney resort guests get the opportunity to book their fastpasses up to 60 days in advance!
Many Disney World vacation planners love these changes, as it can make the planning portion of your vacation even more enjoyable! You probably are wondering what fastpass times make the most sense, especially since you only start out with 3 fastpasses per day! In this article, we’ll give you some tips for choosing the best times for Fastpass Plus!
Setting your Daily Fastpass Schedule
Obviously, to choose your fastpass times, you are going to need to know what park you will be in. Fortunately, by the time you are able to make Fastpass selections, your dinner reservations should already be made. If you don’t have dinner plans, and aren’t sure where you will be, you need to sit down, look at your schedule and begin setting up your daily calendar!
If you are having trouble deciding which parks to attend on any specific day, we have an article solely dedicated to that. See our article on making a Disney Park Schedule.
What times should I choose?
The first thing you need to do is to check your My Itinerary page (on the My Disney Experience website) for each day in which you will be making fastpass selections. Make sure that you know what time your dining reservations are scheduled for. Also, take note of any events that you want to see, such as parades, fireworks, etc.
Previously on this site, we’ve recommended to stay away from early morning fastpasses. The idea was that they were unnecessary, due to the fact that the parks aren’t crowded in the morning anyway.
But recently, Disney has made some alterations to the system, allowing you to get more than 3 per day, and to even park hop and get fastpasses at different parks! But in order to do this, there is one catch: You have to use up all three of your fastpasses.
Recently we went down and tested it out, getting 7 fastpasses while hopping to 3 different parks, in one day! We also are confident that you can get 7-10 at the Magic Kingdom, if you stay all day.
The point we want to make is this: USE THOSE FASTPASSES EARLY AND OFTEN.
If you do this, than you can continue to accumulate them throughout the day. Once you have used 3, you can then get a 4th, and you can continue this process all day long, with no limits. This is very similar to how you could tour the parks with the old fastpass system, with the difference being that you have to use a kiosk or your smartphone, instead of going to each ride for fastpasses.
Can you do this every day?
Probably not. Some of the best fastpasses are the ones used for the parades, fireworks and nighttime shows. These also usually sell out quickly, as space is extremely limited. Due to this, you’ll need to book these far in advance, especially during busy periods.
If you have a fastpass for the Wishes fireworks show, you won’t be able to get that 4th fastpass until the show is over! So this becomes a tough decision for your party. Should you use a fastpass on fireworks (an incredible fastpass, as it puts you right in front of the castle and you don’t have to fight crowds), or should you try to get as many fastpasses as possible?
The Tiering System
As of the writing of this article, there is a tiering system at Epcot and Hollywood Studios. There is an upper tier, and a second tier. You are only allowed to choose one ride from the upper, and then you get your second two FP’s from the lower tier. This means you can’t currently fastpass Soarin’ and Test Track. So what do you do?
Well, you always need to choose the rides with the longest waits. Then you’ll need to get there early to try and get on the rides in which you weren’t able to get fastpasses. This should ensure that you are able to ride all rides in one day, with minimal wait.
In Epcot, we highly recommend using a fastpass for Soarin’ or Frozen Ever After, and walking on Test Track early in the morning. In Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Mania remains the toughest ticket. Get a fastpass for that attraction, and then ride Aerosmith’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster in the early morning.
Benefits for park hoppers
You now can get fastpasses in two different parks. But when you are booking your FP’s ahead of time, you’ll notice that you can still only book them for one park. Currently, you need to finish the first three fastpasses in the same park, before you can park hop.
When park hopping, you cannot get your next fastpass until you have gone to the next park and scanned in. Once you’ve done that, you can then proceed to a kiosk, or use your app to pick up an additional fastpass.
One thing to consider, however, is the fact that many rides sell out of fastpasses during extremely heavy volume. So one option, is to forget about trying to accumulate fastpasses. The new plan provides a lot of flexibility in that way. As we’ve discussed in the past, the morning will be great for touring at practically any park. So under the new plan, you could spend your morning at the Magic Kingdom, and leave around 1pm. Then you could take a small break, and spend your evening at Hollywood Studios, where you have already chosen fastpasses for three rides!
Under the old system, this was just not possible. You would have entered that second park in the early evening, and you then would need to grab paper fastpasses, IF they were available. The headline attractions were rarely available in the afternoon, as rides like Space Mountain and Toy Story Mania used to sell out quickly.
How to Use My Disney Experience to book Fastpasses
Now that you have some basic tips on booking fastpasses, you likely need assistance in actually making fastpass selections on the website. The website can be a bit confusing. Also, you’ll notice that when you first make your selections, Disney will give you some pre-determined Fastpass times. Did you know that you can go back and change these times to whichever times you choose? We highly encourage you to read our article entitled How to Make Fastpass Plus Reservations
By: Ryan Shade