Fastpass Plus

If you are planning a vacation to Walt Disney World Fastpass Plus, you have likely heard of big changes to the fastpass system. The old paper fastpass kiosks have been removed, and the new Fastpass Plus system has been implemented at the Magic Kingdom, as well as the other three resorts.  Many long-time Disney guests are worried about the changes.  This article will explain what has changed, and how you can use the changes to your advantage.

Current Rules for Fastpass Plus

Currently, there are a few rules for this new system. (Editor’s Note:  A few changes have been announced, which are discussed here.  Once these changes take effect, we’ll incorporate them into this article.

  • Fastpass Plus can only be used at one park per day
  • You receive three “Fastpasses” per day
  • There are kiosks in the parks for those that don’t have smartphones
  • You may book your fastpass times up to 60 days in advance. 
  • Currently there is a tiering system at Epcot and Hollywood Studios, which will be explained later on.

Booking rides 60 days in advance?  This option scares those that procrastinate, annual pass holders, and local Florida residents.  After all, not everyone plans their Disney vacation that far in advance.  However, the good news is that Disney is holding back a number of fastpasses until the day you arrive, and not allowing them to sell out beforehand.

If you are planning a trip, and the 60 day booking scares you, stop and read our article on Creating a Disney Schedule.  It’s important to know which park you will be attending on each day.  Likely you will already know this, if you have booked dinner reservations.  If you know what park you are in, then choosing fastpasses will be easy.  If you aren’t sure where you’ll be, just create fastpasses for each day, and you can easily change them later.

At this time, you will be able to book up to 3 FP’s per guest, and they all 3 must be on different rides.  Also, all 3 must be used in the same theme park.  Now that we’ve gone over a few of the ground rules, lets see what benefits this new system might bring us.

disney magic plus 2 Fastpass Plus

Image courtesy of Disneyparks.com

Potential Benefits of Fastpass Plus

We see many potential benefits for Disney planners.  As an example of how this can help, let’s focus on how this new system might affect our Hollywood Studios Plan.

At Hollywood Studios, we are going to use the new system to pre-book Toy Story Mania or Aerosmith, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours.  (If we are at the Magic Kingdom, you’d likely want to use them on Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain).  I’d probably advise guests to book those FP times for the afternoon.  Why?  Because typically Hollywood Studios is not crowded in the mornings and very crowded after lunch.  Being able to go ahead and grab those FP’s enables us to do one of two things:

1.  We can focus our early-morning on shows and events that aren’t crowded

OR

2.  We can ride the three popular rides in the early-morning with little to no lines, and then catch them with FP’s after lunch.

At this time, the smart strategy is to use your fastpass plus selections for the busiest part of the day.  This brings major benefits to many tourists.  Why?

Let’s think back to how we’ve always toured in the past.  We’ve always had issues in the late afternoon and early evening, when things get busy.  Some attractions, like Toy Story Mania, Everest and Space Mountain, used to run out of fastpasses by the middle of the afternoon.

However, with the new system, we can go ahead and book fastpasses on these rides for the afternoon and evening!  When you combine this with an early arrival, you can ride the headliners more often, and you can also have a full schedule at times that traditionally were too busy to tour.

DisneyWorld Space Mountain 7679 Fastpass Plus

Space Mountain will be a competitive FP+ attraction!

 

 

 

Questions regarding Fastpass Plus

There are a number of questions about this new system.  We’ll try to answer them to the best of our current knowledge.

  • Can Fastpass Plus users get more than 3 FP’s during the day?  At this time, it looks like FP+ users will be limited to 3 a day.  There are rumors of a “pay” system that eventually could allow us to pay for additional FP’s.  But initially this won’t be the case.  There are reports in early testing of Disney giving out BONUS fastpasses for particular rides to guests.  Disney really has a lot of options with this, and we should expect this to change.
  • How long will the new system coincide with the old system?   The old Fastpass machines are being pulled away.  Over the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014, some guest were able to use both systems, but this is no longer the case.
  • Are lines longer or shorter now?  Until peak season hits, this won’t be known.  Disney is hoping everyone uses their fastpasses.  Many attractions that haven’t traditionally been fastpass eligible, are now eligible with the new system.  The idea is to spread guests around the parks.  Also, the new system has opened up a new set of lines…the lines in front of the kiosks!

WDW MY MAGIC BRACELET Fastpass Plus

 

What is the Future of Fastpass Plus?

I’m very excited about the long-term possibilities of this system.  One of the biggest problems with the old FP system is the need to have someone run across the entire park to grab FP’s for different rides.  Now this can be done with your cellphone.  That has the potential to save you a lot of time in the park.

The tiering system will likely continue to be enhanced, which will be a source of frustration to many users.  However, rumors are strong that in the future, you will be able to purchase additional fastpasses.

The key to using the new system is proper planning.  If you have made a daily schedule, you likely will be able to use this system to your advantage.  But why are so many people frustrated with this system? (as evidenced in the comments on this page and those all over the web)

Likely it is a result of improper planning.  To get the most out of the new system, you need to set things up correctly.  It requires more work ahead of time, but the results are a much smoother vacation.

How To Make Fastpass Plus Selections

Now that you’ve learned what this system entails, let’s go over the nuts and bolts of how you make fastpass plus selections.

First of all, Disney has instituted a tiering plan for Hollywood Studios and Epcot.  This means that you can’t book all the top rides at those two parks.  For instance, Epcot doesn’t allow you to get fastpasses at Test Track AND at Soarin.  You have to choose one or the other.  The way to overcome this is to get there early and head to whichever attraction you don’t have a fastpass for.  If you do this, you’ll have no need to get a fastpass.

For details of exactly how to make the selections, as well as how you make changes and deletions, head to our page on How To Make Fastpass Plus Reservations.

But first, I recommend learning about the backbone of the Fastpass plus system.  You will see how to set your online account up correctly, using the My Disney Experience website.

NEXT:  My Disney Experience

By: Ryan Shade

pinit fg en rect gray 20 Fastpass Plus

Comments

Fastpass Plus — 42 Comments

  1. Honestly, I don’t like this new system. It seems a bit too complicated and a big hassle to go through compared to the system they have now. I’d prefer them to leave it as it is…

  2. We are heading to Disney in September. I am very interested in this new system since we will be arriving at noon to HS our first day. My kids & I will be upset if we can’t do TSM & I know those passes are always gone early.

    • We are also going in Sept. and I went on My Disney Experience today and was able to both book my Fast Pass+ attractions and customize My Magic+ bands. They did hand out bonus fast passes but only at the Magic Kingdom Park. I got one for the Haunted Mansion one day and one for Journey of the Little Mermaid.

    • hi, happy to see there is some conversation f the disney folks re this. we are staying at dolphin august. always stay there f many yrs, this time first visit w 4 and 2 yr old grandchildren.

      as you know, d and s and shades and dis vacation club people not included on fastpass plus advance. so please help us out, you guys!

      we are faithful yearly disney visitors for over. 30 yrs now, 4th generation. hope you guys will roll that program out to us, so that we can plan ahead, as we have actually always done.

      my biggest concern right now is horror stories i am hearing re long lines at the kiosks and additional long lines even after get fast pass!

      planning to use emh hours 3 out of 5 days and dedicated d and s kiosks, but still what gives?

  3. This system actually sounds terrible.

    First off, we basically already do what you suggest for the “imagine the possibilities”

    But, like many here, we are planners, great. We plan our tentative days ahead of time, which days which parks etc. But here is the thing, this is ORLAND FLORIDA … there is weather. Schedules always change. So awesome, 60 days out I book Everest, Safari, and Kali at AK … and then that week, its pouring rain on that day. Awesome, wasted my FPs. The next day, I want to do AK, because we missed it the day before, but today I have SM, TM, and Mine Train booked for FPs at MK. Well crap, now I am really screwed, can’t get my FPs honoured at AK, and if I go to AK I will burn all my FPs at MK.

    There are far too many variables day to day on a trip for the FP+ system to work well in actuality, when booking 60 days out.

    And its going to turn into ADRs, just like ADRs the popular rides are going to completely book 60 days out … which means last minute goers, or people who like to play it by ear will be out of luck. Its going to make trips far more confined, restricted, and scheduled. I don’t mind some planning, but this system leaves no room for adjustments.

  4. We were able to test the new fastpass plus last december and found it to be great. We even switched our times for rides when we were at the parks at the last minute. Our favorite part was when we would scan our fast pass, the cast member would call us by name. Just another taste of disney magic!

  5. will the fastpass+ replace all fastpass attraction? for example what will happen if a group of 40 or more people from the outside buy there tickets in a travel agency how will they get there fastpass+ card?

    • Eventually, Fastpass+ is likely to replace all attractions, yes. That likely won’t be the case for awhile, but no official announcement has been made yet.

  6. It sounds fantastic. I know people will be worried about change but we will get used to it with time. From what I know, you can update your fast passes, as long as their time haven’t expired,with the mydisneyexperience website or guest relations, dependent on what other experience is available. Or you can cancel all three of the experiences at guest relations or on the mydisneyexperience website/app and use the regular kiosks like before. I believe they have expanded the options for experiences to include more than attractions, such as parade times. The new system is made to enhance our overall experience and make the vacation easier. Plus you need to have tickets associated with the mydisneyexperience account in order to take advantage of fast pass+ otherwise you can’t reserve the fast passes and have to run to the kiosks like normal for now. Perhaps guest relations can assist in reserving fast passes without the mydisneyexperience accounts on the day of, I am not sure about that. I am not up to date with it all but I am very excited for the magic bands.

    I think the planners would really enjoy this since you get to have a plan A going to Disney with these reserved fast passes, if it rains, just quickly jump on mydisneyexperience.com, the app, or ask a cast member that can assist to change your fast passes or cancel the entire set, to be able to use the regular kiosks. Plus Florida rain can go on for a couple hours for a quick fifteen minutes, you never know.

  7. Just visited Disney World for 6 days. Was a beta tester pre-booking my Fastpass+ at home. LOVED IT. Have be to Disney park 50+ times in my life (used to live in Florida) so consider myself an expert. This time, flew in, and due to August heat, only went to park in mornings and late nights.
    First day, due to flight, arrived at 5:15 and park closed at 11. We went to Small World, Winnie the Pooh, new Ariel ride, and bonus Buzz Lightyear with FastPass+, plus got traditional FastPass for Peter Pan. Also got to do tradional no-wait rides like PeopleMover and Carousel of Progress and had dinner. Also saw Electric Light Parade and Fireworks. Ended the night with Haunted Mansion. Did all this in about five and a half hours. The whole trip was like this, where I knew we were doing more rides in less time compared to people who don’t know the Disney tricks. Morale: If you liked and did well with the old FastPass system, give FastPass+ a chance. With so much less running around, you might like it even more.

      • I’m confused. Mark says he combined FP+ and traditional FP on the same day in the same park. It has been stated in many places that these could not be combined. Is this just an anomaly of the testing period or is Mark confused (sorry Mark, nothing personal)?

        • Bill, I believe this is just an anamoly of the testing period. Long-term, you certainly won’t be able to do both. Pretty awesome for people that are going right now though. You could do a lot of damage with traditional FP’s AND the new system!

  8. We are going to Disney World last month and today on my Disney Experience page I was offered the option of adding FastPass plus. I singed up for the card option and not the wrist band. I was wondering, will they send me these cards in the mail? Or how will I receive them?

  9. Going in early December, always get there for rope drop, love to play it that way. So in doing the 60 day in advance thing, do I have to buy a ticket now? We just usually buy our tickets at the park.

    • Charlie, Yeah it’s kind of going to be tough to do it last minute from what we can tell right now. That being said, I would imagine that in early December, the old fastpass system will still be in effect for people that purchase at the gate. We will have to wait on some further announcements before we know for sure.

  10. I don’t think this is going to be as bad for ‘non-planners’ as people think. The fact is most ‘planners’ are snagging multiple fastpasses early in the morning anyway, well before the ‘non-planners’, and there are still plenty of fastpasses to go around. Now they just get to do it online, and are limited to just 3 a day.

    Also, for those that hate planning, Disney has a ‘fastpicks’ system, where they’ll pick your fastpasses for you. It only takes a minute online. If you want to change them the day you are in the park, there are kiosks available to you to do so. You won’t get locked out of getting a fastpass that way.

  11. I am NOT a happy camper about this. Only 3 fastpasses a day, only at one park per day. Only one fastpass per ride per day. These are BIG problems. I hope Disney will not disappoint. We love to go. We have just become DVC members. They will definitely hear from me if this goes as it appears it will…badly.

  12. I personally do not like this new system and the way it is effecting people without the bracelets. We are pass holders and plan many spontaneous trips. We arrived at Hollywood Studios today at 9:10. By the time we made it to Toy Story Mania (9:20) all of the fast passes were gone and the wait was 90 minutes!!!! Really? Seems really unfair to those who are unable to plan in advance. One thing we have always loved about Disney is we could jump in the car, show up and have a great time. Now we show up to long lines and no fast passes available. Really going to rethink renewing our passes now. Very unhappy! :-(

  13. We just got back from seven days at Disney, and the Magic Band FastPass+ system was a nightmare. I was with a group of 15, and my parents had trouble figuring out how to manage their reservations on their phones. We were all supposed to be able to change each other’s fastpasses, but it didn’t work that way. I set everyone’s up a couple weeks before our trip, but as our children changed their minds about what they liked, would and wouldn’t ride, we had to make changes. The initial set-up was easy, but changing anything was a nightmare. We couldn’t change each other’s fastpass+’s from our phones. My son was in my parents’ room, and only my dad was able to make changes to his fastpass. The network was horribly slow, and we spent ridiculous amounts of time each day trying to change reservations. One night we knew we wanted to change plans the following day, and it took a full TWO HOURS to get everything changed and coordinated for everyone. Everyone had to log in and change their own and find times that were available for the other members in our party. We did share our my Disney Experience profiles so that we should have been able to edit each other’s fastpasses, and that was confirmed by a Disney Fastpass rep. The app still wouldn’t let us. We would get 12 changed one at a time to a certain time, and then be unable to change the last few people’s to an overlapping time–incredibly irritating. I was able to change mine and my daughter’s, my husband had to change his own, my dad could change his and my son’s, my mom could only change hers, etc. There were not many kiosks to change the fastpasses in the park, and it took a full fifteen minutes with a Disney representative working at it on his iPad to change one fastpass+ for our group. He couldn’t get things to work right and just gave us all a fastpass that would not expire at all that day. It was a gigantic time eater, and we greatly preferred the old fastpass system to get fastpasses for rides. The bands were great for entry, eating (although the employees didn’t like them), and paying for items (when they actually worked). Mine worked all the time for charging things to my room, but my SIL’s never worked. Nice idea, but horribly difficult to coordinate when you’re with a group.

    • We just came back from 5 glorious days at Disneyland Park in California where the old, tried and true legacy fast passes are still in effect. We were able to obtain multiple fast passes per day, per park and never stood in a line longer than 20 minutes even though it was Thanksgiving. We fast passed through Indiana Jones, Space Mountain, Buzz, Splash Mountain and then Indiana Jones again all the while holding fast passes to Soarin and California Screamin over at California Adventure park. In short, for us old park-hopping pros or those traveling in larger groups, try Anaheim! It’s easy to navigate, packed full of Disney nostalgia and slow to adopt these new bands. You can still do it the old way and maximize your experience without ever getting on a bus or walking farther than a few hundred yards from hotel to ride! I won’t be in Orlando again until they allow multiple parks per day and more than 3 rides on the bands, both of which seem essential to me.

  14. I’m not so worried about the ride stuff – within a vacation period you can always find time at some point where the lines are not too long to get on a particular ride, I am more concerned about fireworks/parade areas being roped off for fastpass + holders and the rest of the park competing for even less sidewalk space than before! I read on one forum that Epcot has so much roped off for this purpose for the fireworks it has been hard for those without to find a clear view of the lake without lamp posts/ trees etc in the way.
    Are fastpass + only going to be available to those staying on Disney property? We usually stay at a relative’s holiday home in the area and will be crushed if we can’t even access this new system to plan and get the best out of our vacations!!

  15. Forgive me if I missed it, but one point to be made is that you HAVE to be staying on Disney property to get the fastpass + access. I know it’s in beta testing now, but we’re annual pass holders and we were left out. We spent over $2400 for our passes and got hosed on many occasions when we were there in October just because we didn’t stay on property. Folks with bracelets had most of the fastpasses taken. Does anyone know if this the way it will always be? Meaning once beta testing is over and it’s all go, will you have to stay on Disney property to get access to the fastpass + system? Or, once it’s out of beta all ticket holders will get access?

  16. I am really dissapointed about the new system.. my mom told me that we may not be able to go this time and I have been looking forward to it for the longest time.. I honestly hope that they change it around by the that we may get to go.. I mean if you can book it 6O days in advance, many people who are not even there yet take up the time on certain days and the people who decide to go whenever they please are left with the bad times (I am not sure, but that is what I have heard) I just wanted my point to get across and I really hope they do something about this..

  17. Just cam e back from 4 day thanksgiving trip
    We stayed at Dolphin Hotel which allowed us to use fast pass plus.
    When we entered the park each day we went to a special kiosk and selected our 3 fast pass plus rides which were linked to our annual pass cards.
    But here is the best part!!!!
    We were still able to get fast passes the old way as well!!!
    Fast pass plus was not full on any of the days we went.
    The only issue was they would not let us get both tower of terror and rockin roller coaster on fast pass plus. They made us choose 1 or the other.
    We did more than we ever did this trip with the additional 3 fast passes each day plus 3-4 more the old way each day.
    I think we got lucky and were not supposed to be able to use both methods but regardless it was awesome.
    With arriving at opening each day and having 7-8 fast passes each day, we got the most out of this trip.
    I hope this can continue on future trips.

  18. Just got back from 4 days (3 nights) at Disney. What a painful experience the Fast Pass + experience was. My wrist band did not work to get into the parks NONE of the days. They had the wrong reservation info. They had the wrong FastPass+ info on it. Lost 1-2 hours per day as Disney people tried to fix it. Had to repeat same story over and over again. Disney staff was sometimes nice. Some were rude. Not planning to go back soon. I go to Disney to spend to vacation because I had a belief that if something went wrong, they would fix it and the Disney magic would still be there. Sadly, I was wrong. I was told that this was “a test.” My wife said, well this isn’t a test vacation. They messed with my time, my money and my fun. Nobody seemed to care. Not the Disney that I used to love to come visit.

  19. Was just at Disney last week for a meeting. Went to Epcot on an after 2PM convention ticket. The Yacht Club hotel concierge set up my fast pass plus for me the day prior to my park visit. My choice was Test Track OR Soarin, and two less popular attractions. They would not give me both Test Track and Soarin. I selected Test Track, and Imagination and The Land for my other two. As I suspected, the standby times for the lesser attractions were only 10 minutes, so the fast pass was not really needed for those attractions, but over an hour for both Soarin and Test Track.

    • I don’t think it’s a huge problem that Test Track and Soarin’ are both top-tier attractions, at least not for smaller parties. Test Track has a Single Rider Line that almost always chops off more wait time than a FastPass would!

  20. We use FP+ while we were on our vacation on 12/13/13-12/22/13. Absolutely love it. I loke the favt that I can choose, cancel, and change the passes via their app on my phone while we were in the parks. All we had to do was to check in at the ride, using our wristband. Once the machine turned green, we were allowed in. It was very convenient to us since we had several character dining set up and was able to use FP+ and alter them to our schedules

  21. Having just used the system.. I can not being to explain how horrible our in park experience was with Fast Pass +. And the advanced planning.. really! Worst idea ever!
    It added so much stress to the vacation that it sucked all the fun right out of it.
    We lost 6 hour (we tracked it) fighting the system in park trying to correct for weather or changes in plans. 6 hours…

    Disney THANK YOU for killing the magic!

  22. Just got back from a week at Disney World and used the FastPass+ system with our magic bands… The only problem we had was that they are “grouping” the rides so you can’t get fast passes at Hollywood Studios for Toy Story Mania! and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster on the same day because they are both in group A and you can only choose ONE attraction from group A. We had the same issue with Soarin’ and Test Track at Epcot. And since all three fast passes have to be used in the same park, we wither had to return to those parks two different days or try to beat the rush for one of the rides and skip the fast pass for that ride. We did not see any ride groupings at Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom while we were there, but planning to fit everything in at Epcot and Hollywood Studios during peak crowds was a pain using FastPass+.

  23. Why is no one at Disney addressing all the negative comments, complaints, & frustrations regarding the new Fast Pass+ system? Sounds like 99% of the longtime, repeat Disney vacationers all have the same experiences & legitimate gripes. However no one from Disney is addressing the questions, blogs, forums, or interactive chat sites at all. With this many loyal fans, this upset.., one would hope for a response from someone in charge. I travel cross country to meet family & friends several times a year at WFW. Several of us just purchased Annual Passes for the first time & planned on getting our money’s worth by booking several trips this year. After our disappointing experience 2 weeks ago, I don’t want to spend the money for airfare & rooms at a Disney Resort. We come to relax & ride our favorite rides all day Hopping from park to park. Fast Pass+ destroys those options.

  24. Just got back from our first day at the parks for this trip and it was HORRIBLE! Hopefully Disney will realize what a mistake this is! We have come to Disney regularly for over 20 years and this will be our last time if they keep this up. Why did they think their on-site guests need another advantage is beyond me. At least go around to the people in line and get theirs set up so we don’t have to waste all that time once we are in the park. Please stop ruining it, Disney! We still have 2 more park days this week and I am definitely not looking forward to them.

  25. After reading posts and hearing from Clients. I already see problems with this new system. They want people to come early to avoid the peak crowds. As it seems, the peak will be in the morning, not the afternoon or evenings. Disney, really will have to make a lot of changes to system. Especially, after raising their prices!! As a Annual Pass Holder, I definitely see problems for renewing with this system. I hope they will put their Customers first and not their wallets!!

  26. Looks like a pain to use for planning. I’m definitely not good at planning every minute of my day. I think it would be better though if Disney were to use this but keeping the old fast-pass system minus the paper ticket. Just a Digital one. Swipe band at fast-pass booths, get your E-Fast-Pass. Swipe band at fast-pass line after designated time, get into ride/attraction. Then again I don’t go to WDW. I don’t live that close. Disneyland is the closer one to me.

  27. I just returned from chaperoning a group of 22 high school students on a Disney Trip, and I must say that I am not a fan of the new Fast Pass + system. I had to stand in line to make FP selections when I arrived at the parks (selecting your FP’s 60 days in advance is not an option for large groups), then I had to stand in line again at the FP entrances for the rides I had selected. The tiers at Epcot and Hollywood Studios mean that you will likely have to miss out on riding one or more of their top attractions if you have a limited time in the parks. All of the parks seemed more chaotic and congested thanks to the addition of the new FP kiosks. Also, since you only get FP’s in one park per day, it really seems to eliminate the need for purchasing the Park Hopper option on your tickets.

    I am returning to Disney in the fall with my family, and will have more time in the parks. By nature I am a planner, and I am anxious to see if having the ability to book my FP attractions in advance changes my opinion of this new system. For now, I miss the ease of the old FP system where I never had to wait more than 20 minutes for any ride (even during peak times), and where I could ride the major attractions multiple times thanks to the ability to obtain multiple FPs during the day.

  28. I am bringing a Youth Group of 50 in May. The folks at Disney Youth groups have told me NOT to use FastPass Plus, however, when I called Disney directly, they recommended I DO use FastPass Plus. My plan is to book Fast Passes that I think most students till enjoy, and then the kids can change their own selections once they have their own hopper passes in hand. Also, Youth Groups are getting Magic Bands for their hotel room keys ONLY…hopper passes will still be the old credit card style. Not sure why.

    • Carol,

      There is no reason not to use Fastpass plus. While there are a lot of kinks to work out for sure, there is no reason NOT to use it. After all, the old system is not there anymore! So if you don’t use Fastpass plus, you don’t get ANY benefits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>