The Fastpass+ service is amazing and should be utilized as much as possible before and during your trip to the Walt Disney World Resort. It can seem complicated to use at times if you’ve never used it before but fear not; we will guide you to perfection!
First things first: what is Fastpass?
Not a bad question at all, especially if you’ve never been to a Disney theme park. Fastpass is a reservation for attraction lines that essentially allows you to skip the main line and get on the attraction faster. It is available for rides, shows, parades, and character spots. We all want to shorten are wait times in line and this is how you do it. It’s a completely free service to anyone with a valid park ticket.
FastPass+ is the advanced reservations of this service. You choose which attractions you want to use FastPass+ on BEFORE you get to the parks. Some people really love advanced planning and other people don’t. We’ve always had a great experience with it and we think you will too when you combined it with our free Walt Disney World Crowd Calendars. Choose the least crowded parks to play in before arriving and make your FastPass+ reservation there!
You’ll need to do a couple of things to use it
First is to create a Walt Disney World account at Disneyworld.com. Once you’ve created an account you can add people to your “family” list. Basically you want to add anyone in your group who you will be managing their tickets and FastPass+ reservations. After you’ve created your account and guest profiles you’ll want to link your tickets and property hotel (if you have one). This allows you to actually make your FastPass+ reservations.
Second is to download the Walt Disney World Resort App to your smart phone. This will come in handy when you’re at the parks and need to make changes to your FastPass+ plans on the go (and you will).
Now we play the waiting game…
…or not depending on how close you are to your trip. If you’re more than 30 days out from your trip you will need to wait to make your FastPass+ reservations. If you’re staying at a Disney-owned property hotel you get to make your FastPass+ reservations 60 days in advance. Woohoo!
As soon as your reservation time comes up for your trip you’ll want to jump right on it. Like 12:01am style. That’s because your favorite attraction or show can run out of Fastpass’s. So make them quickly. We suggest using our crowd calendar to see which parks will be least buy during your trip. This will guide you in choosing which parks to make your FastPass+ reservations for and on which days.
This is a numbers game
Like a very simple numbers game but still. The length of your ticket determines how many days you get to make FastPass+ reservations for. A 5 day ticket will give you 5 days during your stay to make FastPass+ reservations. If you plan to upgrade your ticket when you get to the parks that great; but it won’t help you now. For instance, if you have a 5 day ticket and you plan to make it a 7 day ticket when you arrive, Disney is not going to give you FastPass+ for the 7 days until you’ve actually upgraded it. Unfortunately it cannot be done over the phone either (we’ve tried!)
So for the number of days that you have on your ticket you’ll have to choose 1 park each day that you want to make your FastPass+ reservations for. You cannot choose 2 parks in advance. So for your first day let’s say you choose EPCOT. Now you get to pick 3 attractions or shows that you want to Fastpass. You’ll be required to space them out time wise so they don’t over-lap. Once you’ve picked your 3 you’re done with that day and you move on to the next.
Changes will happen and it’s okay
You’ll want to change somethings about your FastPass+ reservations at some point and that’s okay. Most of the time this is done when you’re at the parks and you decide that you want to visit a different park then you originally planned. Using the Walt Disney World phone app you can easily change this on the go. Simply cancel the FastPass+ reservations for whomever in your party will not be using it and make a new ones. You still have to make all 3 for one park.
If your group splits and some are going to keep the original reservations and some aren’t that’s fine too. The app will guide you through this process.
If Disney cancels one of your FastPass+ reservations due to a ride closure don’t worry. They give you what is essentially an no-strings-attached FastPass+ meaning, it’s not tied to one attraction anymore. You can go to ANY FastPass+ attraction and use it, any time you want. We LOVE these because it gives you more freedom on choice and time.
Do I only get 3 each day?
Haha. Of course not! Once you’ve used your original 3 FastPass+ reservations you can make 1 at a time for the rest of the day! You could end up having used 6 or more in one day if you keep using them. It’s smart! You can even change parks at this point and make reservations as well without having to cancel anything.
It’s one of the most under-utilized tricks of FastPass+ that can have a BIG impact on how each days goes on your vacation when it comes to attractions and shows. We came up with the phrase Enhancing FastPass+ because you are essentially scraping the Disney World app again and again until you get the time you want. This is how you do it:
Enhancing FastPass+ is you modifying an existing FastPass+ reservation to make it sooner than it used to be. For instance, let’s say you have a FastPass+ reservation for Haunted Mansion at 2pm but it’s only 11am and you just finished using your first FastPass+ reservation. Waiting 3 hours is a waist of time!! Jump onto the Disney World Mobile app, select your Haunted Mansion FastPass+ reservation and click modify. Start searching for a sooner time than 2pm..and don’t get discouraged if you see “no more available for the day.” Guests are constantly changing and cancelling FastPass+ plans so keep searching different times until you find one that’s closer to the current time. This is Enhancing FastPass+ . So..
You booked 3 initial Fastpasses before you arrived a the parks. Hopefully you made them as close together as possible. This is going to help you troll now and later. If you made your first three one right after the other you were very smart and we congratulate you! For those of you who didn’t you’re going to want to start trolling for sooner times to close those gaps. Why? Because once you use your first 3 scheduled FastPass+ reservations you can get more!
After your first 3 you can schedule 1 at a time for the rest of the day, even if you switch parks. That’s why it’s so important to get your first 3 FastPass+ reservations done early. Once they are out of the way you can start booking one FastPass+ reservation at a time. Be sure to troll for the soonest time available and don’t get discouraged! Sometimes it’s worth doing for 5-10 minutes if it’s going to help you save hours of waiting!
Tip: As soon as you’ve scanned your Magic Band or ticket to use your FastPass+, load the Disney World app and start looking for your next FastPass+ while you’re in line! Once it’s scanned it opens your schedule up for a new one!
Magic Bands and Magic Cards
These are your tools to physically use your FastPass+ reservations. Magic bands can be purchased online before your arrival OR you will receive them free by staying at a Disney-owned property hotel. Magic cards are for anyone else who does not have Magic Bands.
Each has a RFID chip in them that allows you to simply tap or touch a FastPass+ Mickey pole at the entrance of each ride or show. It tells the Cast Member that you in fact do have a FastPass+ reservation and that it is valid. There is really no advantage to one over the other. Just preference.