Update for guests not staying at a Disney resort: As of March 31, you have the ability to book advanced FastPass+ reservations up to 30 days in advance. More details are available at this post.
Now that legacy FastPasses are no longer available and Disney has opened up FastPass+ to all park guests, we wanted to share some FastPass+ tips and strategies before you hit the parks. FastPass+ has some definite advantages over the legacy FastPass system. Chief among them is not having to trudge across the park to collect your FastPasses! But for those of you used to collecting more than three FastPasses a day, the new system may prove to be more challenging.
Guests staying at the resort can make FastPass+ reservations up to 60 days in advance of their trip. Park guests who are staying off site can make reservations upon entering the park at one of the numerous FastPass+ kiosks.
The system works by having guests select three preferences from a list of attractions and entertainment options per day. After you make your selections, you are given a choice of hour-long blocks of time to experience those attractions. For those of you who haven’t yet experienced FastPass+, check out our step-by-step guide for using the in-park kiosks.
Our general FastPass+ touring plan strategy:
It hasn’t changed all that much with the integration of FastPass+. You will still see the very lowest waits of the day in the first few hours of the day when the park opens. We recommend riding the highest priority attractions with the lowest durations when crowds are lowest and saving FastPass+ until the afternoon when crowds are at their peak. If you arrive before park opening, you’ll be in prime position to ride most of the major attractions before lunch time. You can stop and have a meal, and then head to your first FastPass+ selections, either high-priority attractions you wanted to ride a second time for the day or other attractions and entertainment.
For families with younger children, it may make more sense to use FastPass+ in the evenings and take a break in the afternoon, go back to the hotel for a nap or a swim, and then come back to the park for a few more rides, the parade and fireworks.
Essentially, use FastPass+ as part of your general touring plan strategy not your entire strategy.
Here are our DisneyWorld FastPass+ Tips:
Attention, park hoppers! You’ll need to pick a FastPass+ park.
Yes, you can still use FastPass+, but you can only use it at one park per day. So if you’re planning on starting the day in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and hopping over to Magic Kingdom in the afternoon, know that you can only make FastPass+ reservations at one park. We recommend you use FastPass+ at the second park you’re headed to. Ostensibly if you’re visiting two parks, you will be starting at the first one early when crowd levels are lowest and probably wouldn’t need to use FastPass+ at that park anyway.
Choose your FastPass+ selections wisely
Disney more than doubled the number of attractions that accept FastPass+ over the previous FastPass system. We’re all in favor of more choices, but all attractions aren’t created equally. You want to make sure you use your FastPass+ selections on your favorite rides and those priority attractions with the longest wait times. To help you out, we made a list of priority attractions by park.
Here are the Top 3 FastPass+ priorities by park
Magic Kingdom Park
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
- Space Mountain
- Epcot Character Spot
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Toy Story Midway Mania!
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Great Movie Ride
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- Meet Mickey and Minnie at Adventurer’s Outpost
- Kali River Rapids
- Expedition Everest
Want to see the full list? Check out on our Touring Plan page. It also lists the suggested sequence of lands or areas to visit by park. Each of these are among the most popular attractions within the park that see the highest wait times. In some of the parks, it’s an easier decision because of the abundance of high-priority attractions. At Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it’s a more difficult decision, which brings me to my next point.
Mind the tier system at Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios have a tiered structure in place for FastPass+ selections. You can make only one selection from the Tier 1 list of attractions and two selections from the Tier 2 list. The Tier 1 attractions include your main headliners, those attractions that you not want to miss. Not uncoincidentally, these are the same attractions with the longest waits.
Epcot Tier 1 Attractions and Entertainment
- IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
- Meet Disney Pals at the Epcot Character Spot
- Test Track Presented by Chevrolet
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Tier 1 Attractions and Entertainment
- Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
- Toy Story Midway Mania!
We’ve bolded what we think are the best choices from the Tier 1 lists.
We chose Soarin’ because we know that if we hit Epcot at park opening, we can ride Test Track with a short wait and experience the full pre-show. Tad loves to design his own concept car, and for first-timers it’s really part of the full Test Track experience. We can continue to visit the other Future World attractions in the morning and then either schedule Soarin’ for the late morning before heading to World Showcase or later in the afternoon after spending time in World Showcase.
Those of you who have lined up outside of Disney’s Hollywood Studios for park opening and made the (very fast) walk to Pixar Place so you could grab one of the first FastPasses for Toy Story Midway Mania! can now rest a little easier. Thanks to FastPass+, you can make this your Tier 1 selection and select a reasonable time to ride. That’s what we would do. But we’d still arrive at park opening, hop over to Toy Story Midway Mania! and ride it first thing as well. If lines aren’t too long, we might even ride a second time. Then we’d head to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. But that’s just what we would do.
Choose the rides that are important to YOU and YOUR FAMILY
If you’re traveling with young children who aren’t 40 inches tall, character experiences might be your priority or some of the family friendly Disney classics that don’t necessarily have the highest wait times. Maybe you really love the parades and shows and would rather be guaranteed entry to them without waiting to get a seat or a dedicated viewing location. It’s really up to you. Decide what works best for your family.
Book FastPass+ Reservations early, but maybe not first thing.
Resort guests have the ability to book up to 60 days in advance, and we’d recommend booking FastPass+ reservations as soon as you have a good idea about which park you’re headed to on which day. You can always modify as you get closer to the trip.
Guests not staying at the Disney World resorts, who are limited for now to making day-of reservations when they get to the parks, don’t necessarily have to book FastPass+ reservations first thing. If you’re arriving in the early morning, you don’t want to spend your precious touring time waiting in line for the FastPass kiosk. We recommend riding a few rides and hitting up a less busy FastPass+ kiosk along the way. If you happen to pass an empty kiosk, go ahead and make reservations.
Don’t wait in line for a FastPass+ kiosk if you can help it
Generally at the beginning of the day, the kiosks closest to the park entrances can get quite crowded, while those toward the back of the park sit empty. Alternately, later in the day, the kiosks in the back of the park may be more crowded than those toward the entrances. There are TONS of FastPass+ kiosk locations around each of the parks. Look for the signs or ask a cast member for a less-crowded location.
Whew! I know that was a ton of information. We hope that these FastPass+ tips will help you on your next trip! Have more questions about FastPass+? Have FastPass+ tips to share? Leave them in the comments.