Tips to be a FastPass+ Master

By: Amy Kawa

So, FastPass+ is still a relatively new phenomenon.  Kids these days don’t really know how good they have it.  Many Disney fans are old enough to remember life when you had to wait in line with other people for 1-2 hours for the E-ticket attractions (GASP!).  If you’re not old enough to remember ticket books, I am sure you can probably picture these little beauties:fastpass_1

Photo courtesy of GrumpyMickey.com

Ah, yes.  The paper fastpass.  Until just a few months ago, they were still all you could use in Disneyland.  Disney World has been paperless since 2015.  While some people miss going to the ticket machines, inserting your park ticket, and getting your fastpass with an hour return-time-window that would gain you access to the fastpass line, now with a little planning, waiting in line is even more of a thing of the past for most attractions with My Disney Experience and FastPass+.

Fastpass+ 101

Fastpasses used to be distributed on the day you entered a Disney park until they ran out of hour windows for the day.  Some rides would run of times to return for a fastpass as early as 10:00 a.m. (we’re looking at you Soarin’), while others would have fastpasses available all day (we’re looking at you, Philharmagic).  The thought process behind the system has really transcended time; the only real difference now is the that getting a fastpass is done electronically.

First, the lingo… My Disney Experience is the interface Disney has created to literally put all of your plans at your fingertips, whether it be on your phone via the My Disney Experience app or via the website.  One section of My Disney Experience is the system used to book fastpasses, called FastPass+.

If you are staying at a Disney resort hotel and you have purchased your park ticket, you are able to log into your My Disney Experience account and make FastPass+ reservations up to 60 days in advance of your check-in date.  This 60-day window is quite the change to the old day-of scenario.  If you are not staying on property but have a park ticket linked to your My Disney Experience account, you will be able to make fastpass reservations up to 30 days from the current date.

Here are some quick tips:

  • You have to have a park ticket linked to your My Disney Experience account in order to use FastPass+
  • The earliest you can book your fastpasses is 7:00 a.m. local time, 60 days before your check-in date.
  • This 60-day window allows you to book 10 days worth of fastpasses.
  • You are allowed 3 fastpasses per day per park to start.
  • Once you use these 3 fastpasses, you are allowed to make more, one at a time.  Once you use the new fastpass, you can keep making them, one at a time until park closing.
  • You can only make your 3 original fastpasses in one park – yes, even if you have a Park Hopper as part of your ticket.  Once you use the 3 fastpasses in one park, you can make subsequent fastpasses in a different park.
  • Try to schedule your fastpasses as early as you can in the morning.  That way, when you use up your initial three fastpasses, you will have the maximum amount of time to keep making new choices one at a time as the day goes on.
  • All fastpasses can be made with FastPass+ on the My Disney Experience app, the My Disney Experience website, or using one of the in-park FastPass+ kiosks.
  • When choosing fastpasses via the My Disney Experience app, the time options they usually provide for you, after you choose the attractions, are generally broken up into morning, afternoon, and evening options, but they can be altered to choose them more specifically hour by hour.
  • Fastpass options can be altered up to the start of the one hour-window for each attraction.
  • All parks but the Magic Kingdom have different tiers of fastpasses, where only one attraction can be fastpassed from tier one and then two from tier two.

Park-by-Park

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Hardest Fastpasses to Get:

  1. Flight of Passage
  2. Na’vi River Journey
  3. Rivers of Light
  4. Expedition Everest
  5. Kilimanjaro Safaris

The only fastpass tier in Animal Kingdom separates the two attractions in Pandora: The World of Avatar, Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey, from the rest of the park.  Flight of Passage is THE TOUGHEST fastpass to score in all of Walt Disney World right now.  You will need to get up at 7:00 a.m., 60 days before you check-in to have a shot at getting this fastpass for a time slot on a day you’re planning to be in Animal Kingdom.  A fastpass here will save you upwards of 180-200 minutes in line though, so that’s a win.  Na’vi River Journey and Rivers of Light are not nearly as popular as Flight of Passage, but  still will most likely not be available 30 days out.  The other attractions should have a decent amount of fastpasses available up to a few days before the date you are looking to be in the park, but it never hurts to plan ahead.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Hardest Fastpasses to Get:

  1. Toy Story Midway Mania!
  2. Fantasmic
  3. Rock n’ Roller Coaster
  4. Tower of Terror
  5. Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage

With Hollywood Studios in its current state, this is essentially a list of all of the attractions in the park at the moment.  Hollywood Studios has tiers, with Toy Story Mania, Rock n’ Roller Coaster, Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage, and Fantasmic all on tier one.  You can only choose one of those attractions to fastpass.  All of the other attractions on tier two then compete for your other two fastpasses.  Toy Story Mania is still the most popular ride in the park, but fastpasses for this attraction and all others will most likely be available within 30 days of your trip.

Epcot

Hardest Fastpasses to Get:

  1. Frozen Ever After
  2. Test Track
  3. Soarin’
  4. Illuminations: Reflections of Earth
  5. Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros… JUST KIDDING!  Wanted to make sure you were still with me!  Instead – Meeting Disney Pals at Epcot’s Character Spot

Epcot also features that two-tiered system, with Frozen Ever After, Test Track, Soarin’, and Illuminations competing for your tier one fastpass, leaving all other attractions pitted against each other for your two tier two fastpasses.  Epcot’s newest attraction is still its most popular.  Frozen Ever After, in Epcot’s Norway pavilion of World Showcase, will require you to schedule a fastpass 60 days in advance in order to have a shot at the day and time you are planning for.  The other options may last a bit longer, but it is still a good idea to book your tier one fastpass close to that 60-day mark.  All of the attractions on tier two can essentially be made day-of if need be.

Magic Kingdom

Hardest Fastpasses to Get:

  1. Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train
  2. Peter Pan’s Flight
  3. Splash Mountain
  4. Space Mountain
  5. Big Thunder Mountain

Unique to the Magic Kingdom, the park does not have a tiered Fastpass+ system, meaning you can book a fastpass for any three attractions you want.  The Mine Train is still very popular, and you should book a fastpass as close to the 60-day mark as possible to guarantee yourself a ride without a 90+-minute wait.  Peter Pan’s Flight is always a head-scratcher because it constantly boasts one of the highest wait times in the park, and fastpasses need to be made if this attraction is on your must-do list, preferably also close to the 60-day mark.  The “mountain range of the Magic Kingdom” is always popular, but fastpasses are usually available within days of checking in for these attractions.

What do you think are the hardest FastPass+ attractions to score in Walt Disney World?  Let us know in the comments!

 

 

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