Choosing your fastpasses is one of the most important steps in planning a successful Walt Disney World vacation. With the right choices, you’ll save your group a lot of time, and you’ll have a lot more fun! This article describes the Fastpass Plus system, gives you some tips to optimizing your time at Disney, and also has some links to other articles that will help you in your Disney World Planning.
What is Fastpass Plus?
Fastpass Plus is a system used by Disney that can allow you to bypass the main standby line and get in the fastpass line. Usually, the fastpass line is significantly shorter, having a wait of around 10 minutes or less. This system is managed through the Disney World app or the website at www.disneyworld.com. For those few guests who still don’t have a smartphone, they can make fastpass selections at a few kiosks, located throughout the Disney parks.
Current Rules for Fastpass Plus
You can pre-book 3 fastpasses a day. All 3 fastpasses must be used at the same park.
All 3 fastpasses must be used for DIFFERENT attractions.
For Disney World resort guests, you can make your Fastpass reservations 60 days in advance.
For all other guests, you can make your Fastpass reservations 30 days in advance.
Once you’ve used your 3 fastpasses, you can immediately book a 4th fastpass reservation.
If you have a park hopper, your 4th fastpass reservation can be at any park.
In order to book fastpasses, guests will need to sign up for My Disney Experience on the Disney World website or Disney app.
How to Best Utilize Fastpass Plus
It’s very important to plan your Disney vacation. This isn’t like going to the beach where you can do whatever you want everyday. There are a number of other decisions you’ll need to make BEFORE you are ready to book your fastpasses. Once you’ve made these decisions, you’ll be ready to make your fastpass choices. If planning is not your thing, we can help! We’ve been to Disney more times than we can count and we can provide personalized recommendations and planning that will make this process a dream.
Decisions you need to make BEFORE you book a fastpass:
The dates of your Disney vacation (required)
My Disney Experience needs to be setup for each ticketed guest, and tickets should be linked. (required)
All guests in your group properly connected through the Family & Friends section (required)
Dining reservations completed (recommended)
You’ll need to know which park you’ll be in on each day of your vacation (required)
List of rides and ideal times that you’re going for (recommended)
Once you’ve taken care of the above prerequisites, you’re ready to begin choosing your fastpasses! The good news is that most of the above activities will have been done far in advance of your vacation. For example, you can make dining reservations up to 180 days in advance. As you’re making those dining reservations, you want to make sure that all of your guests are linked up and working properly.
Next, we’re going to walk you through each of these pre-requisites, so that you are ready to book.
Dates of your Disney Vacation
It’s obviously important to know when you’re going to Disney World! For resort guests, you’ll be able to make reservations 60 days in advance of the check-in day. For non-resort guests, including annual pass members, it’s a bit trickier.
Once you’ve purchased tickets, or if you have an annual pass, you can make fastpass reservations on any date within 30 days. The only people that may not care about the dates ahead of time would be local residents who may choose to go to the parks on a date when great fastpasses are available!
My Disney Experience setup correctly
You need to login to the My Disney Experience website, link your tickets and connect all members of your group properly. If this step isn’t done correctly, when it’s time to book fastpasses you won’t be able to. For all the details on how do to this, please head to our My Disney Experience section. In this section of our website, we’ll walk you through the logistics of setting up your My Disney Experience and your My Family & Friends profile.
Dining Reservations Completed
This is a recommendation, not a requirement. If your dining reservations are complete, you’ll know which fastpass times will NOT work for your group. If you are planning on winging it, you’ll likely have to cancel either some fastpasses or your dining reservations. Cancellations are painful as last minute replacements will likely lead to some poor fastpass choices.
Daily Park Schedule
When you begin to book your fastpasses, the system will ask you which park you want to book them in. Instead of randomly picking a park, you need to already know which park you’ll choose for each day. Choosing the right park is not difficult, but does require a little bit of legwork. We can help you plan your park schedule, and we also have an article on Disney World crowd calendars. Take a little bit of time, create a plan, and you’ll be glad that you did.
Which Fastpasses to choose?
Once you’ve gotten through everything else, it’s time to choose your fastpasses! Which ones should you choose? Obviously a lot will depend on your group. If you have small kids that can’t ride the big roller coasters, your plans may differ from groups full of teenagers.
The important thing to remember is that the goal of a fastpass is to save you time, not to choose the three rides that are your favorites. If you love a ride but the standby times are low, you don’t want to waste a fastpass on it.
Next we’re going to give you our quick thoughts on the best fastpasses in each of the four parks. If you’re looking for much deeper analysis, we do have longer articles on each of the four parks. In these articles we break down every fastpass available. If you want to get crazy with your planning, we can help you get crazy!
Recommended Fastpass Selections for Each Park
It’s time to give you a few of our favorite Fastpass selections for each Disney park:
Peter Pan’s Flight - This kid’s ride has very long wait times. It’s not an incredibly exciting ride, but it’s nostalgic and has wait times that exceed 60 minutes for much of the day.
Soarin’ - Great fastpass and a great ride. Wait times at Soarin can be very long, so a fastpass comes in handy
Test Track - There is a single-rider option that many guests take advantage of. If you want to design a car and sit with your group, you’ll need to use a fastpass.
Frozen Ever After - This new attraction in Norway has very high standby times. This ride does have a neat queue area if you are forced to wait.
Hollywood Studios also has a tiering system. The good news is that there are some excellent Tier 2 choices for Hollywood Studios.
Tier 1 Recommendations
Slinky Dog Dash - This is the newest ride at Hollywood Studios and has very long lines. If you can grab a fastpass, you’ll save a lot of time.
Toy Story Mania - They expanded this ride, which has helped bring wait times down significantly. But you’re still going to be faced with high wait times, just not at the ridiculous level that they’ve previously been in recent years. If Slinky Dog Dash isn’t available, Toy Story Mania remains an excellent fastpass.
Tier 2 Recommendations
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster by Aerosmith - This ride dropping to Tier 2 is awesome. This remains one of the best thrill coasters at Disney. If it’s there, grab it. A word of caution though, the height requirement on this ride is 48 inches so if you have small kids, you may want to choose something else for them.
Tower of Terror - Another fantastic Tier 2 ride!
Avatar Flight of Passage - This should be your number 1 target in the Animal Kingdom and perhaps in the entire WDW park. Standby times are routinely over 2 hours. Unfortunately it can be very difficult to get fastpasses unless you are very early (Tip: Be very early). To get fastpasses here, you may have to split your party up into groups of 2 or 3.
Na’Vi River Journey - This is a slow-moving ride that is reminiscent of the rides you’ll find in Fantasyland. But just because it isn’t exciting, doesn’t mean it’s not worth a fastpass. Standby times are very high for this ride and if you can snag a fastpass, do it.
Fastpass Plus FAQ’s
Can Fastpass Plus users get more than 3 FP’s in a single day?
Yes. As soon as you scan your magicband for your third fastpass, you’ll be able to open the app and get a 4th fastpass. When you’re in line for the 4th, you can get a 5th, etc.
Why are Fastpass lines so long?
Sometimes, things happen which cause a lot of guests to come to the line at the same time. For instance if a ride is broken for a few hours, you’ll have a flurry of fastpass guests as soon as it opens. Usually, the fastpass lines are very short, but occasionally you’ll have to wait.
What is the best time for fastpasses?
My advice is always to get fastpasses in the morning. This will allow you to get 4 or 5 fastpasses in one day.
What are the current Fastpass Tiers for Epcot and Hollywood Studios?
We have separate articles for these two parks. We keep these articles up-to-date with the latest changes in the tiering plans.