If you’re not about to go to Walt Disney World, then move along Dear Reader, as this post will be of absolutely no value to you.
The new Disney FastPass+ system has been met with mixed opinion. It’s new, it’s digital and it seems confusing. I’ve visited Orlando and the parks twice in the last three months and used Disney’s FastPass+ system for both visits. At times it was great and other times, combined with the crowds and 100 degree temps, it made me want to dig my eyeballs out with a rusty spoon. Severely unDisney-like behaviour! This is by no means a comprehensive guide or touring plan, it’s just a few tips and tricks I wish someone had told me:
What is FastPass+
FastPass+ is Disney’s digital Ride, Show and Character Greeting reservation system. Access to the system is included in the price of your ticket and you’re allowed several FastPass reservations per day. In order to take full advantage of it, I strongly recommend downloading the My Disney Experience app.
Keep in mind
- You’re allowed several FastPass+ reservations per day
- They’re included in the price of your ticket
- They get reserved quickly.
- You can reserve your first three using the My Disney Experience app
- Your additional passes can only be reserved using the in-park, FastPass kiosks
- Get yourself a Disney Magic Band, it makes life easier. Trust me.
Should I reserve FastPass in advance?
YES! As soon as you buy your Disney tickets, you can begin reserving your FastPass selections through the My Disney Experience app. Reserve them as far ahead as possible. Rides like 7 Dwarves Mine Train (MK), Toy Story Mania (DHS) and Tower of Terror (DHS) are near impossible to get passes for.
Should I book Early slots?
NO! If you’re arriving at the parks as soon as they open, then using your Fastpass straight away is a bit of a waste. Why? Well the queues are all pretty short, so you’ll find yourself using up a valuable FastPass on rides with a 5 minute queue time. Booking for the mid afternoon seems to work better, as then the parks have started to fill up and you’re using them on rides with queue times over 45 minutes.
Should I book Late Slots?
NO! You can only make your additional FastPass reservations, once you have used up your initial 3. This means that if your last FastPass is only at 10pm, then you have to wait until 10PM before you can reserve more.
How do I reserve an Additional FastPass?
As mentioned, you’re entitled to extra FastPass reservations that can only be reserved once you have used up your original three. These can only be reserved one at a time (ie you need to use one, before you can get the next one. These can only be reserved via the kiosks and NOT via the app. This is my biggest gripe with the entire system as the kiosks are crowded, busy and require a tiny learning curve which is not conducive to quick queues.
What are the In-Park FastPass Kiosks?
The FastPass kiosks are located around the parks and are marked out clearly on the map. There are not as many as I would like, as I often found myself trailing around trying to find a kiosk (looking at you Hollywood studios). The queue for the kiosks is relatively long, but the good news is that there are a lot of Disney staff waiting to help you. The quietest one in the Magic Kingdom is next to the Monsters Inc Laugh floor. The busiest are next to Stitch’s Great Escape and Mickey’s Philharmagic. After queuing for rides, queueing for FastPass reservations was last on my list of fun things to do.
If I can’t make my FastPass slot, should I cancel it?
YES! If you can’t get to your FastPass on time, sign into the app and change either your time-slot or the attraction. One of the Disney guys mentioned that you get penalised if you don’t use up your FastPass.
What if I’m running a little late?
Disney realises we’re not machines and open the FastPass slot a few minutes early (unless it’s very busy) and leave it open up to 15 minutes at the end of your slot. So if you’re running a little late, you have 15 minutes to make it!
Will a ride that I want become available?
I wanted to end off my trip with a ride on Peter Pans Flight and tried to get an evening slot before 9pm. Unfortunately the kiosk told me that there were none left. I half-heartedly tried to reserve them at another Kiosk (across the park) and miraculously they had become available. People change and adjust up their FastPass reservations all the time, so there’s always a chance one will free up.
Should I FastPass rides, shows or characters?
It depends. Rides, show and character greetings are all options on the FastPass system. I’d recommend skipping the shows, as I was always able to walk straight in (even in July, their busiest period). If you have younger children, character greetings are worth it. If your daughters want to meet Princess Anna and Elsa at the Magic Kingdom’s Princess Hall, you should use a FastPass as these queues climb over 120 minutes and it’s inhumane to expect tiny humans to wait that long. If you’re sans kids, then you want to FastPass the big, thrill attractions like the Tower of Terror. Not all rides are worth using a FastPass and you can see a recommended list below, along with actual wait times when I used mine.
Which rides are worth a FastPass?
Splash Mountain (60 min), 7 Dwarves Mine Train (120 min), Peter Pans Flight(75 min), Space Mountain (90 min)
Disney Hollywood Studios:
Toy Story Midway Mania (75 min), Aerosmith (90 min), Tower of Terror (80 min)
Chevrolet Test Track (80 min), Soarin (90 min)
Expedition Everest (45 min), Kali River Rapids (75 min)
I found the Disney FastPass system complicated to get to grips with in the beginning and I hope this helped. If you have any questions about the Disney FastPass+, ask in the comments, I’d love to try and help you.