One of the big mysteries regarding a Disney World vacation is the revamped FastPass+. What exactly is it? How does it work? What are the benefits? How do I use it? These questions and more will be covered as I discuss five of the best Disney FastPass tips you should know.
1) Understanding the FastPass+ System
In order to make the most of FastPass+, you need to understand what exactly it is. Fully launched in 2014, the system aims to provide guests with a more efficient way to personalize and plan their time at Disney World Theme Parks. FastPass+ works with MagicBands, vinyl bracelets equipped with RFID chips that sync with your My Disney Experience account. There, you can reserve FastPasses for all four Disney World Theme Parks. It is necessary to link your ticket reservations to your account to make FastPass reservations. If you stay at a Disney Resort, you can make FastPass selections 60 days in advance; non-Disney resort guests can book 30 days in advance. With the new FastPass+ system, shows, character meet and greets, and even parades can be reserved for a certain time, in addition to rides.
2) Make the Most of FastPass+
You can reserve up to three FastPass selections per park, per day. Be sure to pick your headliners and use your FastPasses on the most popular rides, with the longest wait times. Three options currently on the top of the list: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Frozen Meet and Greet with Anna and Elsa, and Space Mountain. After you use your first three FastPasses, you can book an additional FastPass. Although the first three must all be used at the same Disney Park, the fourth can be reserved for another park—ideal for park hopping. Currently, additional FastPass reservations must be made at a kiosk inside the park where the ride or attraction of choice is located. Once you use that FP+ you can get another, and another after that, and so on.
3) Download the My Disney Experience App
If you have a smartphone, you’ll want to download the My Disney Experience. First of all, it’s free. Second, it’s the best way to stay connected to your theme park plans. With a click of a screen, you can access your FastPass+ reservations, make changes on the fly, see current ride wait times, and make dinner reservations. It’s really all you need to make your Disney vacation a smooth one. Plus, free Wi-Fi is available throughout Disney World Theme Parks, so using the app won’t rack up the rate of your cell phone’s data plan.
4) Be Aware of the FastPass+ Tier System
Two Disney World Theme Park have a tier system set up for FastPass+. It’s best to be aware of the tier system so you use your FastPass reservations wisely. Epcot and Hollywood Studios parks both operate on the tiered system, meaning you can only pick one FastPass from Tier 1(the most popular attractions) and two passes from Tier 2 (popular, but less in-demand attractions). For instance, you can’t reserve a FastPass for Test Track and Soarin’ on the same day. For more information about the FastPass+ Tier system, click here.
5) Choose Your FastPass+ Times Wisely
There are certain times of the day when a FastPass+ reservation is ideal. For example, crowds surge during late morning and afternoon so those are fantastic times to make use of your passes. In the early morning hours, especially during Extra Magic Hours available to Disney Resort guests, the park is much less crowded meaning wait times are easy to handle. The same can be said for later in evening, when people sit down to eat or head back to their hotel rooms. Save your passes for when lines are longest and you’ll make the most of this Disney World line-skipping benefit.
Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Orlando to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.