Confused about FastPass+?

Disney’s FastPass+ system can bring up a lot of questions.  The idea isto pre-book several attractions in order to save you time in line after you arrive.  Sounds simple, right?

If the idea of picking your attractions and what time you are going to ride them 60 days before you even step foot on Main Street sounds to you like a daunting task, you are not alone.  I admit that I preferred the old FastPass system where you selected your FastPass attractions after you arrived in the park depending on what you felt like riding and how long the lines actually were that day.  That being said, that system is long gone and it’s not coming back.   To save as much time in lines as possible, it makes sense to understand how the FastPass+ program works now.

Here are the basics:

1) You can pre-book up to three advanced FastPass+ reservations for each day, per person, in one park.  You can also have less than three if you make three and then choose to cancel one or more of them without choosing another attraction.

2) You pre-book advanced FastPass+ plans in your My Disney Experience account.  You can sign up for a My Disney Experience account whether you are staying at a Disney Resort or staying elsewhere.  If you are staying at a Disney Resort, link your package reservation or park tickets to your account.  If you are not staying at a Disney Resort, link your park tickets to your account.  Linked park tickets linked are required to make FastPass+ plans.  If you have a three day ticket linked, you can make 3 days worth of FastPass+ plans; if you link a 4 day ticket, you can make 4 days worth…..you get the idea.

3) If you are staying at an official Disney Resort, you can pre-book advanced FastPass+ plans 60 days before arrival, at midnight.  You can make them for your entire trip at that point.

4) If you are staying off site, you can pre-book advanced FastPass+ plans 30 days before arrival at midnight.  This can put you at a significant disadvantage compared to those who are staying at a Disney Resort.

5) If you can, make your FastPass+ plans on a computer on the website, not in the app.  The app does not always work well when used to set up FastPass+ reservations.

6) Not everyone in your party has to have the same FastPass+ plans.  Each person can have different plans if you prefer but it can get complicated to keep track of multiple sets of plans in the parks.

7) Choose wisely.  The best way to figure out which attractions to choose is to choose ones that typically have the longest lines.  Don’t pick an attraction because it is your favorite unless it also usually has a long line.  Let me give you an example.  Let’s say that you want to experience the following:
Meet Anna and Elsa
Pirates of the Caribbean
Space Mountain
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Haunted Mansion
Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
it’s a small world

In this case, you could save the most time using your three advanced FastPass+ selections for meeting Anna and Elsa, Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad since those are the three attractions on the list that usually have the longest lines.   Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin and it’s a small world often have shorter lines so you would wait in the standby lines for those.  Of course, there is no way to know exactly how long the lines will be for a particular attraction at day and time in the future.  You are making an educated guess by choosing the attractions and characters that are the most popular and have the longest lines most of the time.

8) Unless you really don’t want to ride any headliner attractions, don’t use your FastPass+ for a show.  Using them for shows generally does not cut down on your wait times. In my opinion, the only time to use a FastPass+ reservation for a show is if you really won’t use FastPass+ for anything else that would save you time in line.

9) Each FastPass+ reservation is for a one hour window of time (15 minutes for shows).  Anytime during your window, you can go through the FastPass+ line for the attraction which almost always offers a shorter wait than the standby by line.  You can use that line once during your time window.

10) In the parks, your Magic Band will be scanned to provide you admission to the fast pass line.  If you do not have a Magic Band, your park ticket will be used to access the FastPass+ line.  You do not have to have a Magic Band to use FastPass+.  (a common misconception)

11) You can change your FastPass+ times and attractions after you arrive in the park either on your phone using the My Disney Experience app or at a park kiosk.  You can change your plans to a different attraction or time, as long as it is available.  There are many kiosks available in each park.  If one has a line, check your park map for another location nearby.

12) Once you use your three advanced FastPass+ reservations, you can get additional FastPass+ reservations, one at a time, at a park.  You can’t do this on your phone yet.  After you use your last FastPass+ reservation, head to a kiosk to see which attractions still have FastPass+ available.  You can make one FastPass+ reservation at a time.  After you use that one, you can go back to a kiosk to get another one and repeat the process as many times as you wish or until there are no FastPass+ options to choose from.

13) Keep a written copy of your FastPass+ plans.  The app sometimes crashes or WI-FI can be slow so having a written copy can come in handy.

Tell us, what are your best tips for using FastPass+?

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3 thoughts on “Confused about FastPass+?”

  1. I was horrified when Disney announced the new FP+ system, I’ve been twice since they started it and I honestly like it better than the old system. Change is scary I know, but this way you don’t have to run around the park so much and they can put your debit card on your wrist band, giving you the option of going bag less. Have you tried the new system yet?

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I have been to Walt Disney World several times since they implemented the new Fast Pass system. I love being able to charge things to my Magic Band too! That is a really convenient feature. Having my room key and park tickets on my wrist is also nice. All of these things were possible with the Key to the World Cards before but having them on my wrist works just as well. I am not as happy with the FastPass+ system though. I was actually really excited about it until I tried it. I find it somewhat limiting but maybe that is just me. Our family used to get 10 FastPasses or more in a day. That is no longer possible without waiting over and over again at kiosks to get additional FastPasses beyond the original three. Waiting in a line to avoid waiting in a line just seems like poor design to me. If there comes a point where Disney allows guests to get additional FastPasses on the app, I would definitely like it more. I hope that feature is coming at some point in the future.

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