How to Use FastPass at Walt Disney World

How to Use FastPass at Walt Disney World

One of the biggest mysteries surrounding your Disney World vacation is FastPass+. What are Fastpasses, how do you reserve them and what do you do once you’ve arrived at Walt Disney World? We will answer all of these questions and more.

FastPass+ (“FastPass Plus” or “FP+”)

Who can make FastPass+ reservations at Disney World?

Disney’s FastPass+ is a system for reserving attraction times in the Walt Disney World theme parks. Guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort hotels, including the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin hotels, can make FastPass+ reservations up to 60 days in advance of check-in for their entire length of stay. Guests staying offsite can make reservations; up to 30 days in advance of each day of their theme park visit. In other words, one day at a time.

FastPass+ replaced the original FASTPASS system in the parks, and physical FASTPASS tickets are no longer distributed. Your FastPass+ selections are stored with your My Disney Experience profile accessible via your RFID plastic tickets or MagicBands.

What Does This Cost?

There is no fee to use FastPass+ — it’s available to everyone and free with park admission.

What are MagicBands?

How to Use FastPass at Walt Disney World
(Kent Phillips, photographer)

Magic Bands are a handy, rubber bracelet, that controls everything you do while at Walt Disney World.

Your MagicBand serves as your room key, park entrance ticket, Memory Maker and can be used to make purchases at the resort during your hotel stay. Everything that your My Disney App can do, is accessible from your Magic Band.

Do I need a MagicBand?

It is not necessary to own or purchase a set of Magic Bands. Disney gives them out for ‘free’ when staying onsite but offsite guests will receive RFID plastic cards for their entrance tickets. These are easy enough to use and serve the same purpose.

How do I get a MagicBand?

If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, all members of your party will be given MagicBands free of charge. Depending on how far in advance you book your resort stay, you will have the option of choosing the colors of your bands and having them shipped to you.

If you are not staying at a resort, you have the option of purchasing the bands starting at $12.95 + tax in the park or online.

How far in advance can I make a FastPass+ reservation?

FastPass+ reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance of check-in for their entire length of stay. Guests staying offsite can make reservations up to 30 days in advance of each day of their theme park visit. In other words, one day at a time.

How do I make FastPass+ reservations?

How to Use FastPass at Walt Disney World
(Ryan Wendler, photographer)

The first thing to do is make sure you’ve already purchased tickets. You will also need to create an account on Disney World’s My Disney Experience website in order to make FastPass+ reservations. Your tickets need to be linked to your My Disney Experience account. This is how Disney knows how many people are on your reservation, how to allocate each reservation to each family member, and how many days you are allowed to book a FastPass+.

Have a plan in place. Decide which time to book your fast passes. Know which days you will be in each park, though this was probably decided when making Advanced Dining Reservations at 180 days before check-in.

On the day your booking window opens, you’ll be able to get FastPass+ starting at 7 a.m. EST. Once online, you can book your three daily reservations one at a time. You also get to see all of the available time slots in the morning, afternoon or evening. We suggest booking any group rides together; attractions in which the whole group will be riding, as opposed to attractions that you will be splitting up.

To make or change FastPass+ selections while you’re at the parks, use the app or an in-park terminal.

Does the group need to stick together?

No. If part of the group (on the account you are managing) wants to do something else, simply book them elsewhere. There are no rules regarding all members having the same FastPass+ selections. When booking, you will be prompted to select which family member wants a reservation for each ride.

Keep note of age limits and seat capacity. We don’t want to be leaving mum alone with more children than can fit in a single carriage. Other rides have a minimum age requirement for riding alone. All of this should be researched before your selection date, as you will be allowed to make the reservations, they just won’t be honoured at the attraction entrance.

How many FastPass+ do I get per day?

How to Use FastPass at Walt Disney World

Guests can make three advance reservations for rides and experiences per day via the My Disney Experience website, the app or the in-park kiosks. Those three reservations must be made for use in one park only.

Note that at Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios a tiered structure is in place for the most in-demand attractions. Guests can only make one selection from the Tier 1 attractions and entertainment and two selections from the Tier 2 list at those parks. You can make additional FastPass+ reservations after you’ve used your first three (or the return times have passed) in the park.

Where Are the In-Park Terminals?

FastPass+ terminals can be found at kiosks in the following locations.Unlike Disneyland Paris, these terminals are purely digital. You can select any and all participating Fastpass rides from each and every terminal. You do not need to cross the park and physically be at the ride in order to select that ride for a future FastPass time slot.
Note: locations sometimes change

Magic Kingdom FastPass+ Kiosks

Adventureland / Frontierland: In the covered pathway that connects the two. The entrances are across from the Swiss Family Treehouse and next to the Diamond Horseshoe.
Adventureland: Next to the Jungle Cruise entrance
Fantasyland: Outside Mickey’s PhilharMagic
Storybook Circus: In the tent near Pete’s Silly Sideshow
Tomorrowland: Near the Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin entrance
Tomorrowland: Near Stitch’s Great Escape

Epcot FastPass+ Kiosks

Future World West: In the breezeway across from Epcot Character Spot
Future World East: In the breezeway on the way toward Mission: SPACE
World Showcase: At the International Gateway

Disney’s Hollywood Studios FastPass+ Kiosks

Hollywood Boulevard: At the corner of Hollywood and Sunset
Sunset Boulevard: At the split between Tower of Terror and Rock n Roller Coaster
Pixar Place: Just to the right of the Toy Story Mania entrance

Disney’s Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Kiosks

Discovery Island: Near the Island Mercantile store
Asia: Near the entrance to Kali River Rapids
Africa: Near Dawa Bar and Tusker House restaurant

How to Use FastPass at Walt Disney World

How Does a FastPass+ Work When I’m in the Theme Parks? How do I use FastPass+ in the park?

Most FastPass+ ride reservations specify a one-hour window during which you may enter the attraction.

When you arrive at an attraction with your FastPass+, you’ll be directed to a separate, shorter “FastPass+ Return” line. To enter the line, you must validate your reservation by touching your MagicBand or RFID ticket to a reader at the FastPass+ Return entrance.

What if I am late/need to modify my reservations?

Technically, guests have a 1-hour window to check in to the FastPass queue. If you are a few minutes late, it becomes up to the Cast Member at the FastPass entrance to decide if you may ride. More than just a few minutes late, and we recommend modifying your selection to something else.

While not showing up doesn’t cost you anything, it will still come out of your allotted 3 initial selections. Modifying is always better than just letting it slip.

Can I Make Reservations for Every Ride?

No, not all rides have FastPass+ capability. Disney only offers FastPass+ at select popular attractions. Specific FastPass+ information for each theme park is linked below.

Obtaining More FastPass+ Reservations In the Parks

Make use of extra FastPass+ reservations after you have used your first three. Once you have used these 3 pre-selected FastPasses, you can then make additional FastPass+ reservations, one at a time, while you are at Walt Disney World, through your smartphone app or at an available Kiosk.

For your initial 3 FastPasses, you are required to make them all within the same park. After that, you are able to move on to another park and pre-select another FastPass for later that day.

Attention, Park Hoppers

You can only make advanced FastPass+ reservations in one park per day, we just covered that. So if you’re planning on starting the day in one park and hopping over to another in the afternoon, know that you can only make advance FastPass+ reservations at one park. We recommend you use FastPass+ at the second park you’re headed to since you will be starting the first park when crowd levels are at their lowest.

FastPass+ and Rider switch

How to Use FastPass at Walt Disney World

Technically, the policy is that everyone must have a FastPass is utilizing FastPass+ in conjunction with Rider Switch. There are certain rides that they are not enforcing this as much as others, but there is no guarantee that it will not be an issue when the new electronic system for Rider Switch comes into play.

They are closing the loophole and requiring FastPass+ for everyone if the first group uses FastPass+. They do still allow the second group to have up to 3 guests ride alone, so it is definitely Rider Switch and that is actually what the system was designed for was to allow one parent in the first group to enjoy the ride with the older kids and then the second parent in the second group to enjoy with the older kids. So yes, there is the perk that the older children (or any guests up to 3) get to enjoy the ride a second time so that the person who waited with the little one is not riding alone.

Rules About Selecting FastPasses

In addition to limiting the number of FastPass+ you can have, Disney has several other rules related to FastPass+ selection.

  1. Disney prevents guests from obtaining certain combinations of FastPass+ reservations. For example, you cannot schedule more than one pre-planned FastPass+ per attraction.
  2. FastPass+ times may not overlap.
  3. Disney limits the combinations of FastPass+ reservations you can have. The practice, known informally as “FastPass+ Tiers,” is in effect at Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.

What are the fast pass tiers for the parks?

At Magic Kingdom Park, you may book the first 3 FastPass+ entitlements from any of the participating FastPass+ attractions there. When selecting your initial 3 FastPass+ choices at the other 3 Disney theme parks, you may pick one attraction from the FastPass+ Tier 1 category and then 2 from the FastPass+ Tier 2 group. Below is the current list of tiered attractions and entertainment options.

How to Use FastPass at Walt Disney World

Our FastPass strategy

You should use FastPass+ no matter how empty you think the parks will be when you visit.

You will still see the lowest waits of the day in the first few hours of rope drop. We recommend riding the highest priority attractions with the lowest wait times when crowds are lowest and saving your FastPass+ selections until late morning and early afternoon when crowds are at their peak.

If you arrive before park opening, you’ll be in prime position to ride most of the major attractions before lunchtime and maybe have used one of your FastPasses.

When traveling with children, this is also a great way to reduce the amount of time they are in line while tired, as well as using a Rider Switch/Fastpass hybrid touring plan while they are napping in the parks.

Choose your FastPass+ selections wisely

Disney more than doubled the number of attractions that accept FastPass+ over the previous FastPass system. We’re all in favor of more choices, but all attractions aren’t created equally. You want to make sure you use your FastPass+ selections on your favorite rides and those priority attractions with the longest wait times. To help you out, we made a list of priority attractions.

Check out our Fastpass+ priority list here

Choose the rides that are important to YOU and YOUR FAMILY

How to Use FastPass at Walt Disney World

There is only so much planning we can do for you before it is time to make a choice and select your FastPasses.

If you’re traveling with young children who aren’t 40 inches tall, character experiences might be your priority. Or you have a couple of thrill seekers that want to do them all a few times per day; then rope drop the priority rides and select FastPasses for the afternoon.

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