Part of the My Disney Experience is the FastPass Plus (referred as FastPass+) feature, in which you can pre-select times and even viewing areas for rides, character greetings, shows, and parades at Walt Disney World. How great is that? To be able to actually pick the day AND the time of day to ride on one of Disney’s fabulous rides. Oh, and wait, did I mention you won’t have to wait in line and the cost is free?
Guide to Disney’s FastPass+
If you have never been to Disney World, you may be wondering what a Fastpass even is. A Fastpass is a “skip the standby line” pass that Disney offers guests. You may be wondering if Disney charges for this service. Great news, the Disney Fastpass service is completely free to use.
How to Set Up Your My Disney Experience Account
When you book your Disney Vacation and have a valid theme park admission, you will create a mydisneyexperience.com account and receive a MagicBand. You can manage your account through the website or the app. The My Disney Experience app is very easy to use, once you get the hang of it. If you have any problems, the Cast Members are available throughout the park and will be more than happy to help you. Your travel agent can also help you with scheduling Fastpasses.
How to Customize Your Magic Band
You will get an email saying when you can order your magic bands. Disney will put your names on the inside of them and you can choose a basic color. The different colors and the name printed on the inside is free of charge. You can also get more customization by DIY decorating your Magic Band or buying themed Magic Bands from the Theme Parks or the Disney Store. You can also dress up your plain Magic Band with Bandits or sliders.
When You Can Book Fastpasses
Staying on property allows you to pick your Fastpasses 60 days in advance. Staying on property gives you an extra 30 days to choose your experiences before passholders and off property guests. This alone is a great reason to stay on property.
Select your first 3 Fastpasses. You start the day with 3 Fastpasses, but more can be added once you use them up. You can only do one park for the initial 3 Fastpasses.
Fastpasses are given in one-hour intervals. You have one hour in which to get in line for your selected Fastpass. There is a 5-10 minute grace period as well before and after your time window.
It is easy to modify your Fastpass Plans. You can easily change the time, attraction, and the number of people anytime prior to the Fastpass window. This is, of course, based on availability. Disney offers free wi-fi so you don’t have to use your data.
How To Redeem Your Fastpass
You will need to scan your MagicBand or Ticket. Once you get to the attraction, find the Fastpass entrance and scan your band. The Mickey light should turn green and you are allowed in the Fastpass line. The Fastpass line does have a short wait (5-10 minutes), so please don’t think you can instantly get on a ride. Some of the more popular rides like Space Mountain and Flight of Passage have Fastpass lines of like 10-20 minutes but that is a whole lot better than 2 hours. Also, some of the more popular rides, have a second scan to prevent line jumpers since many lines are right to each other with just a rope separating them.
Disney World Fastpass+ Tips
Schedule your Fastpasses in one area of the park at a time. This reduces time lost walking back and forth between lands.
Do not waste a Fastpass on Illuminations, Happily Ever After Fireworks or shows like Finding Nemo and Beauty and the Beast. If you do, you miss out on adding more Fastpasses throughout the day. Shows usually provide lots of seats and the “fastpass” viewing area is usually no better than normal seating. The show that I would think is the exception is the Beauty and the Beast show because the seats are front and center.
Save your device battery life. Take a screenshot of your first Fastpasses and then save it as your homescreen on your device. No wifi means lower battery uses. To be honest the Disney wifi is not spectacular. Thanks #IntheParksWithMark!
After you use your first 3 Fastpasses you can add more Fastpasses through your mobile device or the kiosks located in several locations at the parks. You can even add Fastpasses at this time to another park, if you are park hopping.
Don’t forget to schedule meals, shows, and downtimes. Having the ability to schedule some experiences is great, but don’t forget about making time for other activities.
Break Up Your Party. If you are finding it difficult to get Fastpasses for your whole party and/or family. Split your family into a couple different groups and get Fastpasses for the same attraction and similar time.
Book Your Vacation with a Travel Agent. If you don’t feel like getting out of bed 7 am Eastern time to book your Fastpasses, a travel agent can do that. Booking your Disney vacation with a Disney Travel agent is completely free and they are constantly looking for ways to save you money or time!
Disney World Fastpass Selections, Tiers, and Ones to Get
Magic Kingdom Fastpass Suggestions
If you can try to get Fastpasses for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Peter Pan’s Flight. If these rides are a priority for you and you can’t get the Fastpasses you want you to have a couple options. You can either keep trying to get the selections, you can rope drop the attractions, or you can visit the attractions during less busy times like during parades and fireworks.
Magic Kingdom does not have tiers so all Fastpasses are created equal in their eyes, not so much in mine.
Note: Tomorrowland Speedway is currently closed because of Tron construction. It is supposed to reopen summer 2019.
Epcot Tier 1 Fastpass Suggestions
Epcot is one of the most difficult parks to pick Fastpass+ selections in. Every Tier 1 attraction, with the exception of Illuminations, is something that needs a Fastpass. Tier 2 selections rarely need one at all. My game plan is to usually choose one Tier 1 and then after I use that one I try to get another Tier 1 and then pick my Tier 2 choices.
Hollywood Studios Tier 1 Fastpass Suggestions
Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers are priority Fastpasses. At this point, Smuggler’s Run is using a virtual queue system and not a Fastpass. Check out my Hollywood Studios Touring Tips for 2019 post for about how to plan this park out. The new tier system makes it a bit trickier than the other parks.
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Animal Kingdom Fastpass Suggestions
Consider yourself lucky if you score a Fastpass for Flight of Passage, it is the most coveted Fastpass right now for Animal Kingdom. If you don’t get that one, try to rope drop that ride first thing in the morning and then return at night to visit Pandora for everything else.
If you don’t get Flight of Passage, consider either Na’Vi River Ride or the Kilimanjaro Safari. The Safari lines can get long and it is a must-do attraction. The Na’Vi River ride has lower wait times at night.
Originally Published March 22, 2014.