One thing you must know when visiting Disney World is that the crowds can be massive and the lines winding. The parks attract thousands of people at any one given time, and long queues are inevitable. It can be demoralizing to spend an hour or more in line waiting to gain access to the rides or shows.
Fortunately, there’s something you can do to beat the long wait. Some Disney World Fastpass secrets will come in handy to help you avoid the long queues.
What is Disney World Fastpass?
The Fastpass is a system that lets you select the times you want to be at a particular event. With each reservation, you can slot in a ride where you won’t have to wait in line. Fastpass ticket holders have a separate queue that takes them right to the front.
With the Fastpass ticket, you save the time you’d have spent in line for other activities. You can access any of the 4 Disney World parks without any additional costs with the Fastpass ticket. Now you know how the system works, but how do you get the most out of it?
Best Disney World Fastpass Secrets
Make Your Reservations Ahead of Time
The Fastpass feature is available to you when you make your bookings online 30 or more days before your visit. If you stay at the Disney Resort, the Fastpass reservation is only available 60 or more days before your visit.
Make Reservations for Your Most Favorite Spots First
The system allows you up to 3 Fastpass reservations each day. As a tip, ensure the Fastpass tickets are for the three top activities you wouldn’t like to miss. However, remember that timing is crucial.
Check that you don’t leave giant gaps in time between the schedules. The secret is to schedule the Fastpasses one after the other, with a short wait time as possible. For example, if you book the first one at noon, the others should come at 1 PM and the third one at 3 PM.
This way, you still have time to add a fourth and subsequent Fastpass reservation from any of the kiosks. Take note that the subsequent Fastpasses can only be reserved one at a time after the first three.
Download the “ My Disney Experience” App
Most people don’t know that lining up at the Fastpass stands in the parks for a ticket is time-consuming. The kiosks are not enough to accommodate everyone. It would make no sense to wait in line at the stand to avoid queuing on a ride.
You can save yourself a lot of time by using the “My Disney Experience” app. It’s free to download and lets you create reservations at your fingertips. You can even make restaurant reservations at popular locations.
Through the app, you’ll get updates on the wait times throughout the day for all the experiences and rides. You can monitor the wait times to decide which rides need a Fastpass and which don’t.
While using the app, avoid using Disney Wi-Fi and use your data. The issue here is that everyone is relying on the Wi-Fi to check their “My Disney Experience” apps. The slow connection could make you miss out on the Fastpasses.
Avoid Making Reservations for Early Morning and Late Evening
When the park first opens in the morning, there are a couple of rides you can do without lines. Some are also more accessible in the evening towards the closing of the park. If you make your way to the park early enough, you won’t require the Fastpasses, especially before 10 AM.
As the day progresses, the crowds will ebb and flow, and this is when the Fastpasses will come in handy. Towards the evening, most visitors to the park will be making their way out. Others will be heading to the viewpoint for fireworks to secure the best spot.
Some rides won’t require a Fastpass. For example, the Mission to Mars has a short line all day because it’s not a favorite of many. The Frozen Ever After, Test Track, and Soarin have the shortest lines early in the morning before 10 AM.
Don’t Book Fastpasses for Firework or Parade Viewing
Having a Fastpass for firework viewing is a waste of resources because they all happen in the sky. You don’t need a spot at the front of the castle. You’ll be able to view the fireworks from anywhere, apart from the Magic Kingdom.
The same goes for parade viewing. You’ll have the same view from anywhere, and a Fastpass won’t change the experience. Instead, save it for something with a greater benefit.
Plan the Fastpasses by Location
While making Fastpass reservations, keep in mind that Disney Parks are extensive. It can be a long walk from one attraction to another, and you need to factor in the time it takes.
Ensure you pick Fastpasses that are within the same area of the park. For example, you can have a Fastpass at the Space Mountain from 10:00-11:00 AM.
The next one at Buzz Lightyear is at 11:05-12:00 PM. The two are close nearby, and since you have a whole hour between them, you can enjoy another experience in-between.
It’s also worth mentioning that Disney provides a buffer on either side of the Fastpass hour. There’s a 5-minute allowance before and 15 minutes after the hour. You don’t have to do a superhero dash to get there on time.
Disney World is abuzz with many attractions and shows that you don’t want to miss because of the long lines. To ensure that you beat the queues, Disney provides Fastpass reservations to help you cut the lines. This lets you enjoy your favorite rides without wasting time waiting, and we hope these Disney World Fastpass secrets can benefit you.
Make your reservations online in advance to avoid the long lines at the entrance. Check that you don’t use any express passes for events that don’t attract long lines. Once at the park, you’ll be able to get more Fastpass tickets depending on shows and activities.
Dean has been writing and blogging for over 10 years. He specializes in Disney theme park news including updates, openings, special events and general advice for travelers. He doesn’t shy away from the good, the bad and the ugly. His previous work includes being a Cast Member at Disneyland and working as a travel agent.