Everything You Need To Know About Disney’s Fastpass+ System
Before the year 2014, I always had it all together when it came to Disney Fastpasses. The name of the game with my family was always strategy. A few of us would rush ahead with all the family tickets and get Fastpasses printed for our favorite attraction basically as the park opened for the day! (And by a few of us I mean the parents of the group.) While the rest of us hustled to the most popular ride, trying to get in 2-3 times before the lines got long. It was always a good day if Mom made it over to Tom Sawyers Island to grab a paint brush for the ultimate Thunder or Splash Mountain group Fastpass! — y’all remember that?
Ah, the good old days…
Well like everything at Disney, things were bound to change and the Fastpass+ system was born! While it took a little getting used to for a Fastpass purist like me, after working out the initial bugs Disney seemed to have a pretty great program on their hands. Taking advantage of Fastpass+ is essential for the success of your upcoming trip — also it’s FREE so why not?!
Walt Disney World can be the most fun and memorable vacation spot, it just requires a little planning these days! This guide is for those who are first-timers, once-every-ten-yearers, and even the Disney Pros who haven’t been to the parks since 2013. Some things have changed, but you’ll get the hang of it!
Fastpass+: The Basics
Fastpass+ is your gateway to skip the standby line and ride some of the most popular Disney attractions with shorter wait times. This will lead to more time to check out other things in the parks and ultimately a better vacation experience! As I’ve said before, Fastpass+ is no extra charge so it’s so important that you take advantage of this service when you visit the parks.
Guests start out with three Fastpass+ reservations per day. Once those reservations have been used, guests are welcome to choose one additional Fastpass+ reservation at a time for as long as options are available! So if you play your cards right, you could have 4-5 Fastpass+ reservations in a day.
Securing Your Fastpass+ Reservations
Disney does a really great job of making the Disney Vacation Planning experience fun! Each step of trip planning has a time frame and they notify you when it’s time to start planning things such as dining or Fastpass+ reservations.
Fastpass+ reservations can be booked through the website or your My Disney Experience app. Once your Fastpass+ choices have been selected, they are locked in for your trip! Need to change things around? No worries! You can always edit, cancel, or change the party on your Fastpass+ reservation with the click of a few buttons. As long as other time frames or attractions are available you can take advantage of this feature! The good news is you don’t lose your existing choice until you confirm a new one, so feel free to check your options as your trip gets closer. (People tend to cancel and change things as their trip gets closer, so new choices may becoming available!)
Staying On Property?
If you’re staying on property at a Walt Disney World resort for your vacation, you’ll get the chance to book your Fastpass+ reservations up to 60 days in advance! This definitely comes in handy for those hard-to-score Fastpass+ reservations in each park. You’ll be glad you planned ahead!
Staying Off Property?
If you’re staying off property for your vacation, you’ll get the chance to book your Fastpass+ reservations up to 30 days in advance! While this is a shorter timeframe than those staying on property, it’s still definitely possible to snag some killer Fastpass+ choices for your trip. Strategy will be the name of your game!
What Attractions Can I Fastpass+?
Each park’s Fastpass+ selection system is slightly different. Some are a free-for-all (like Magic Kingdom) and others work on a tier system. To better understand which attractions are right for your trip, check out each park’s Fastpass+ selections. Click a selection for more information about the attraction such as height info, pictures, and more!
Magic Kingdom’s Fastpass+ system allows you to choose any three Fastpass+ selections from the following list:
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
- Haunted Mansion
- “it’s a small world”
- Jungle Cruise
- Mad Tea Party
- Meet Ariel at her Grotto
- Meet Cinderella and Elena at Princess Fairytale Hall
- Meet Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater
- Meet Rapunzel and Tiana at Princess Fairytale Hall
- Meet Tinkerbell at Town Square Theater
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- The Barnstormer
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Under The Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid
In an effort to disperse the traffic to different attractions, Epcot’s Fastpass+ system includes tiers. When choosing your daily Fastpass+ reservations, you must choose one from Tier 1 and two from Tier 2.
- Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
- Epcot Character Spot
- Journey Into Imagination with Figment
- Living with the Land
- Mission: SPACE
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends
- Turtle Talk with Crush
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Much like Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios also follows a tier system. Like before, you choose one from Tier 1 and two from Tier 2, but I find that this choices are much more fairly distributed! Yay for us!
- Disney Junior – Live on Stage
- For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
- Muppet*Vision 3D
- Star Tours
- Tower of Terror
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Animal Kingdom’s Fastpass+ system is — it’s own animal! With the recent opening of Pandora in the park Animal Kingdom has also decided to move forward with a tier system, but Tier 1 is very specific. Like before, you’ll be choosing one from Tier 1 and two from Tier 2.
- Expedition Everest
- Festival of the Lion King
- Finding Nemo – The Musical
- It’s Tough To Be A Bug
- Kali River Rapids
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Meet and Greet at Adventurers Outpost
- Primeval Whirl
- Rivers of Light
As you can see Tier 1 is strictly Pandora, but I must say I am a fan of this idea! Ideally this will allow the guests who take advantage of Fastpass+ to experience one of the two new attractions while still getting to pick some pretty great ones from Tier 2. Find out my Animal Kingdom top picks for Fastpass+ and pro tips here!
Top Tips for Fastpass+
1. Plan Ahead
Take advantage of that 60 day or 30 day chance to book your Fastpass+ picks early! You’re much more likely to score the attractions you’re dying to check out. Since dining reservations are also booked in advance, this will be easier than you think! Everything will fall into place and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you’re doing each day before you hit the parks.
2. Earlier is Always Better
Looking to get more than three Fastpass+ selections in a day? You’ll need to make sure your first three selections are for early in the day. Ideally your three Fastpass+ selections should be within the first three hours of park opening to optimize your chances of snagging extra Fastpass+ selections.
3. Rope Drop — Just Do It
If you know me you know I’m a big believer in rope drop. Even if you just plan onerope drop day on your trip I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results! Rope Drop is one great way to knock out a few extra attractions without long lines. You can check out my Rope Drop Rundown here!
I must say this was such a fun post to write! Having been on a few trips with first timers and those who haven’t visited in awhile, I’ve come to know the frequently asked questions of those types of guests. Fastpass+ is such a fun way to make the most of your vacation, so I hope this post helped to clear up any questions you may have for your upcoming trip!