** NOTE ** Disney has reimagined the FastPass system to Disney Genie. Read this How to Plan Your Park Days with Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, and Lightning Lane post.
If you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World, then chances are you are planning on using Disney’s FastPass+ system.
Walt Disney World’s FastPass+ system has changed remarkably over the last decade, but its purpose has always been to save guests time waiting in line in the Disney parks.
Did you know you can choose THREE FastPass+ attractions before you even arrive in Orlando?! Yes! In order to make your trip more enjoyable, it is important to understand FastPass+, and how it can enhance your vacation. Today, I am going to share that with you!
What is FastPass+?
FastPass+ is the system Walt Disney World uses to help guests bypass the standby line at most attractions. There are attractions, shows, and character meet and greets that qualify for FastPass+. So there are plenty of options for everyone in your travel party!
FastPass+ is complementary to any Walt Disney World guest who has a park ticket in hand. There is no upcharge to FastPass+ If you have a ticket to a Disney park, you are entitled to FastPass+.
How Many FastPasses Can I Get and When Do I Get Them?
Guests can book up to 3 FastPasses per day per park before arriving at Walt Disney World. If you are an onsite Disney resort guest, the booking window for those begins 60-days prior to arrival.
If you are a ticket only, or offsite guest, that window opens 30-days from arrival. The time frame for this opens at 7AM EST.
It is important to know that if you fall in the 60-day window, you can book your FastPasses for the length of your stay. If you do not, you need to book them one day at a time from each 30-day window.
How to Use the My Disney Experience App for FastPass+
There are some easy tips to make the booking of your FastPasses go smoothly.
First, download the My Disney Experience app on your phone.
From here, make sure your Resort Reservation is linked to your My Disney Experience account. The system needs this information to see when your booking window opens.
If you are off site, or need to link tickets separately, then you will want to make sure you do so as well.
When staying on Disney property, start with the last day of your tickets when you book your FastPasses.
It is also a good idea to plan a hard to get FastPass for later in your trip, as that increases your chances of booking that attraction.
For example, if Slinky Dog Dash is a priority for you, you stand a better chance of getting a FastPass for it on your 3rd or 4th day in the parks, versus the first or second day. So plan accordingly!
My rule of thumb is I plan Magic Kingdom for our first park day. Not only is this “tradition” for us, but also Magic Kingdom has more FastPass+ selections and they are not tiered like the other parks. That gives me more options to book FastPasses for Magic Kingdom and then also get the more popular attractions later in my trip.
What Time Should I Book My Family’s FastPasses?
Generally, the Disney parks are busier in the afternoon. Booking your FastPasses for the late morning/early afternoon or so is a great idea.
I tend to book mine from 11-12PM, 12-1PM, and 1-2PM.
This is when the parks are getting more crowded. And if you are able to get to the park near opening time, you can visit a lot of attractions standby, saving your FastPasses for later.
This also gives you the opportunity to book a 4th FastPass, a 5th, and so on as the day goes on. Once you have used your 3rd FastPass, you can start booking more, one at a time throughout the day.
How Do FastPass Tiers Work?
Since there are several very popular attractions at 3 of the 4 Disney parks, Disney has implemented a tier system.
This means you can choose one from Tier 1 and then your second and third attractions need to be from Tier 2.
EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom have tiered attractions. These can, and do change, as Disney adds more attractions. So be sure you are familiar with that before your FastPass window opens.
How to Modify Your FastPasses
One of the most important tips is to know how to modify your FastPasses. The FastPass+ system is using real time data, based on who is in the park and attraction wait times.
To modify your FastPasses, follow these steps:
Open your My Disney Experience App.
2. Choose the FastPass you want to modify and choose “Modify”.
3. Select the people you want to modify for, and tap on “Continue”.
4. Then, it gives you the option to choose different experiences. Don’t always settle for the first option it gives you! If you click on “Search by Time”, it will give you more time slots to choose from.
5. From there, select a different time slot until your desired time appears.
Another good technique is to check the wait times on the My Disney Experience App. If you have a FastPass booked for Soarin’ for later that day at 1:30PM, but the wait time for the attraction at 10AM is only 20 minutes, go hop in the standby line!
Then, try to modify the Soarin’ for a different attraction, OR plan to ride it again later that day!
Along the same lines, once you tap into the attraction and redeem your third FastPass, open the app right away, and see what is available! By doing so, you can start to plan out the rest of your day.
For example, if you redeem your Seven Dwarfs Mine Train FastPass at 2PM, and open the app while in line, you may see a Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin for 4PM. Grab that FastPass, and plan to do a few nearby attractions, take in the parade, or get a snack until 4PM when your Buzz FastPass time opens up.
Here’s a quick summary of the most important aspects of the FastPass+ system at Disney World:
- Every guest with a Disney park ticket is entitled to FastPass+. They are FREE!
- Learn to use the My Disney Experience App.
- Make sure your resort reservation and/or tickets are linked properly before your Fastpass Plus window opens.
- Modify, modify, modify!