Did you Know Disney Series: Fastpass Plus How to – It’s Free and Easy!
If you want to avoid lines like the one in the picture above – you need the green mickey head in your life! Fastpass plus is free (included with admission at no additional cost) and easy to reserve. I cannot tell you how many times someone at the parks asks me how I got into that ‘special’ fastpass line. I’ve also had people ask me how much extra I paid for it. I want the word to get out, once and for all, that this is at no additional cost to you and it’s super easy to reserve. Fastpass plus saves you time and sanity! This post is all about how to reserve your rides online. Read on for the step by step!
How does Fastpass Plus Differ from the Old Fastpass System?
The new fastpass plus system is the replacement for the old system – often referred to as the legacy system. The old system required the user to put their ticket in a machine near the attraction and it would spit out a paper ticket with a time to return for quick entry to the ride. This required much trekking around the park in order to get the fastpasses you wanted before they were all gone for the day.
The new system allows you the pre-reserve you spot in line via the My Disney Experience website so that when you arrive to the park, you know exactly what times you will be riding your attractions. There’s no running around for paper tickets anymore. Any modifications to existing fastpasses can be done right from a smartphone or at a fastpass kiosks located around the parks. I’ve created the chart below to show a good comparison between the two systems. I clearly feel the winner is the new system.
How do I make Reservations with the New System?
This question is really what the heart of this post is about. Reservations are made either by going online or by using the My Disney Experience app. I would highly recommend using the website for all pre-planning and using the app only for changes while in the parks. The reason for this is because the app can be very slow. I much prefer the website. For this reason, the steps below will show you how to make reservations using the website. With the following instructions, screenshots are below the step when applicable:
- Go to the My Disney Experience website by navigating to the following Disney World Resorts Website
- Navigate to the Fastpass Plus link under the My Disney Experience menu.
- This brings you to three options – you can create, modify or cancel your fastpass plans. We want to create them. Click on that link.
- Choose the family/friends who will be included on this fastpass. The site displays ALL friends/family linked on your account but only pick the ones visiting with you that day.
- Now pick the park and date for which the fastpasses will be booked. Note that the website displays the park hours for the date/park you selected.
- Now you are promoted to pick your rides. Pick three as this is the max number of fastpass plus attractions you can select. If the attraction is ‘out’ for the day, it will give you a message indicating that. Hit done.
- Now, disney gives you a few different scenarios to pick from that are based on your choices and your current reservations. Pick one of the options and click done. Your fastpasses are now picked!
What do I need in the park to keep track of my reservations?
You can either use the My Disney Experience App which displays your itinerary and allows you to make changes to your schedule and fastpasses, or do it the old-fashioned way and write them down. I would use the one you are most comfortable with; although I’ll say it’s definitely easier to make changes from your phone than at a kiosk. The kiosks often have long lines If you need a fast pass organizer, check out my etsy site for printables to help you organize!
Can I park hop with the new system?
Yes – but you cannot split your three initial fastpasses among two parks. You can use your three fastpasses at one park and then pick additional ones at another park. I would pick your first three fastpass at the park you’ll be at for the majority of the day and/or the one you’ll visit first.
How do I add on additional fastpasses?
Once you’ve used your first three fastpasses, you are allowed to reserve additional fastpasses, one at a time. These are subject to availability. You can make them on your phone (my recommendation) or at a fast pass kiosk. If you are good with technology and have a smartphone, I recommend using your phone to make your next fastpass. Why? You can do this while you’re waiting in line or eating, thus multitasking; this is opposed to waiting in line for a kiosk somewhere to make your next selection. These kiosk lines can get long as well.
Word of advice, even though you can add on additional fastpasses, they are subject to availability. So, I highly recommend you make your ‘must do’ fastpasses in your first three.
Here’s an example:
Say you’re at the magic kingdom. You’ve used your first three fastpasses for Peter pan’s flight, big thunder mountain, and seven dwarfs mine train. You go to make your next fastpass. It’s now 4:00 PM. You may only find the following attractions left:
- Buzz Lightyear
- Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Jungle Cruise
- It’s a Small World
- Mad Tea Party
- Mickey’s Philharmagic
- Under the sea – Journey of the little mermaid
- Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor
As you can see – this is not the entire list of attractions and many of the popular attractions are missing. Oftentimes, if the park is crowded or if it’s late in the day, the long-wait attractions are going to be gone. I do suggest picking a ride for fastpass but I would choose the longest line attraction from this list. Considering the choices above, I’d pick either Buzz or Under the Sea.
How do I know what to fastpass in the first place? I’m just not sure!
There is definitely a strategy to knowing what to fastpass. Generally, I recommend doing your must-do rides as your first three fastpasses as this guarantees you entrance to those rides. However, a good touring plan is necessary as well. For example, there are rides that are notorious for long lines and they never have a short wait. One example of this is Peter Pan’s Flight. I always suggest fastpassing this if you intend to ride it. The line is rarely shorter than 60 minutes.
One also needs to take into consideration the ability to pick out additional fastpasses. This means that if you fastpass Wishes at park closing, you will not get to pick out any additional fastpasses during the day and therefore be restricted to three total. The reason is because your last fastpass occurs at park closing. Disney requires you to use all three fastpasses before selecting more. As you can see, there is a strategy to selecting passes. I also recommend touring strategies where fastpasses are concerned in my Ultimate Disney Packet on my etsy site. The link to that kit is Ultimate Disney Kit
When can I make my fastpass reservations? When should I?
If you’re staying on property, you can make your fastpasses 60 days out from your first day of vacation. If you are a day guest, you must wait until 30 days before your visit.
I do recommend taking advantage of these windows and making reservations early. Some experiences go quick! Examples are:
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Meet Anna and Elsa
- Festival of Fantasy Parade
- Wishes and Illuminations Viewing
How do I make the best use of my three fastpasses?
Again, I recommend using a good touring strategy. Knowing which rides have long lines will help you in making your decisions about choosing fastpass rides.
There’s also a little trick I use to preserve fastpasses but still get into experiences I want to see. For example, there are two parks with tiered fastpasses. This means that you must pick one from group A and two from group B. The two parks that do this are Epcot and Hollywood Studios. This makes picking even harder because all the rides you really want are usually all in group A. So lets take Hollywood studios and work with an example:
Hollywood Studios Example:
Tier 1 Attractions (pick one):
- Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
- The Great Movie Ride
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
- Toy Story Midway Mania!
Tier 2 Attractions (pick two):
- Disney Junior – Live on Stage!
- For the First Time in Forever – A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
- Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show
- Muppet*Vision 3D
- Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid
I get to pick one from Tier 1 and two from Tier 2. I really want to do Fantasmic, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Toy Story Midway Mania. Believe it or not, there is a way to do this. Here’s how:
- Toy Story Midway Mania – Fastpass this!
- Fantasmic! – Reserve a dinner package to get reserved seating for fantasmic and then you don’t ‘waste’ a fastpass on it but still get in with a guaranteed seat!
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster – Ride in the single rider line. This line moves much faster and as long as everyone in your family is old enough to meet at the gift shop, single rider works very well.
As for the other two attractions? I’d recommend Star tours and Tower of Terror. They do have moderate lines and the rest of the attractions on that list have very short lines and aren’t worth fastpassing in general (unless you have children that MUST see the frozen sing a long).
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