UPDATED OCTOBER 2016
Are you planning a trip to Walt Disney World? You will definitely want to know about FastPass+.
FastPass+ is the name of the game at Walt Disney World. If you haven't visited Walt Disney World since 2014, FastPass+ is all new. It's also completely different from the Disneyland FastPass system. If you can master the new FastPass+, it will save you hours of time in line at Walt Disney World.
The FastPass+ system is designed to help reduce wait times for the most popular attractions by limiting the number of people who can be in the FastPass line at any given time. It also rewards people who buy park tickets in advance and stay at Walt Disney World Resort hotels. If you hold a FastPass and arrive at your assigned time, you should only spend about 15 minutes in line, even for the most popular attractions.
The FastPass+ system has quite a few differences from the paper FastPasses of the past. Here are our tips for mastering the new FastPass+ system:
Reserve FastPass+ up to 60 days in advance
Guests staying in a Disney World Resort hotel have access to booking their FastPass+ selections up to 60 days in advance online. You can reserve FastPasses up to 30 days in advance if you are not staying in a Disney hotel. Either way, be sure to reserve your priority FastPasses in advance.
Reserve up to 3 FastPass+ in advance
Gone are the days when you could pick up 8-10 FastPasses if you were willing to run throughout the Magic Kingdom. You can now reserve up to 3 FastPass+ per day in a single park before your trip. Once you have used your FastPasses, you can get more at kiosks around the park or on your mobile phone, one at a time, if they are available.
You may only use one FastPass+ per attraction
Even if Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios is your all-time favorite ride, you can only ride it once using the new FastPass+ system. You may select two other rides or shows at Hollywood Studios for your other FastPass+ options, but you cannot select 3 rides on Toy Story Mania.
Book your FastPass+ rides for the afternoon
Morning is the least busy time at Walt Disney World, and visitors who are serious about short lines arrive before the gates open. One FastPass strategy is to use your morning to enjoy shorter lines everywhere, and schedule your 3 FastPasses for late morning or afternoon when lines will be long.
The only downside to this plan is that it will delay your picking up more FastPasses after the first three are used.
You can change your FastPass+ on the fly
Once you have reserved your FastPass+, you can change your mind and choose a different available attraction at any time until it expires. Before I left for Disney, I booked FastPasses for my family to see Enchanted Tales with Belle – which is very popular. When I realized my 7-year-old son was not going to enjoy that experience, I was able to make a last-minute change and send him and my husband over to the Buzz Lightyear ride.
Use the mobile app
The My Disney Experience mobile app can help you manage your FastPasses without having to stop by the FastPass kiosks if you need to change plans. You can change the time of your FastPass+, or change the experience to something different, all with a few clicks on your phone.
Other ways to get through the line FAST
Get to the rides with the longest lines or those you know you want to ride multiple times as soon as the park opens. Then use your FastPass+ to ride those same favorites again later that day without waiting in line.
No one likes to get up early on vacation. Use that to your advantage. I can't tell you how painful it was to scrape five kids and my husband out of bed and get out the door by 7:20 a.m. on our fourth day in a row at Disney, but that quickly faded when we walked on to six normally very busy rides in the first hour in the Magic Kingdom.
If you are traveling with young children, you can pick up a child swap pass at the entrance to a ride. This pass allows the parent waiting to return through the FastPass+ line later in the day. A total of 3 riders can return on a child swap ticket. This way, both adults in a party do not necessarily have to have a FastPass+ to the same attraction to avoid the lines.
For example, my husband and older children used FastPass+ to ride Space Mountain. I walked to the entrance with them and picked up a child swap pass. I then changed my 4-year-old daughter's and my FastPass+ to visit Cinderella instead. We walked in and visited Cinderella while the rest of the family rode Space Mountain. Later that day, I walked on to Space Mountain with two of my children on the child swap pass I had picked up earlier.
Single Rider Lines
Single Rider Lines are available on a handful of Walt Disney World rides, and they can cut your wait to 15 minutes or less without a FastPass! Kids need to be at least 8 years old and able to ride independently. Rides with Single Rider Lines include Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom, Rock ‘n' Roller Coaster in Disney's Hollywood Studios and Test Track in Epcot.
How else can we help?
This post just scratches the surface of tips and tricks for visiting Walt Disney World. Find more of our tips in these posts:
- Tips for your FIRST trip to Walt Disney World
- 20 tips for doing Disney World on a Budget
- Disney World Dining on a Budget
- Our readers’ BEST Disney tips
We also recommend The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. It has in-depth and up-to-date information on FastPass+ and every park, ride, hotel, restaurant and more at Walt Disney World. If you hate standing in line and want to do Walt Disney World “right” the first time, buy this book!
Want to save on hotels, rental car, airfare and gear for your Walt Disney World trip? Learn about our FREE travel deals email club HERE.
We recommend Get Away Today Vacations to help you plan your Walt Disney World trip. Disney experts can help you choose the best hotel, buy tickets to all the top Orlando theme parks, book air travel and more. They stay on top of Disney’s current promotions and discounts and buy in bulk to help you get the BEST price for your trip.
Click the button or call 1-855-GET-AWAY to see what Get Away Today can do for you.
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