Let me start this with a disclaimer. I was a huge fan of the old paper Fastpasses at Walt Disney World. I thought that the system was fair because everyone had an equal shot each day, depending on how early they would arrive at a park. I fought the new system kicking and screaming, especially when only resort guests could make reservations in advance. I’m local and an Annual Passholder, and I’m still not thrilled that resort guests get an extra 30 days. That said, FastPass+ has improved since it was first rolled out, especially with more options being available on the My Disney Experience App. Here are five things that I think are great about FastPass+.
One of the complaints that some guests have is that FastPass+ takes away the spontaneity of their vacations. That is not always true. If you are at Magic Kingdom and see that Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin has a short line, you might not have to worry about missing your return time for Dumbo the Flying Elephant. You can check on the app to see if there are any later times for Dumbo available. If so, just push the time back. That way, you can do both. The more popular rides such as Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Frozen Ever After won’t have any later times available, but plenty of rides will still have openings. You can also drop one FastPass+ and pick up another with ease. You can change your mind up until your return time. Remember that even less popular choices will eventually run out of availability, especially on crowded days.
4. Last Minute Choices
Walt Disney World is a great place for a spur of the moment weekend getaway, or a day trip if you live close enough. Just because you didn’t make FastPass+ reservations 60 days in advance does not mean that you won’t get anything. Locals can head to a park for a couple of hours and still make use of the system. If it’s not crowded, you might even be able to grab a FastPass+ for something that is fairly popular. It’s nice to know which lines you won’t have to wait in, even if you just decided to head to Disney earlier that day.
3. Pick Your Time
FastPass+ gives you the option to choose morning, afternoon, or evening when making your selections. You can bunch them together if you want, or spread them out throughout the day. One other option that is nice is “Select a Time”. If you have a 2:00 lunch reservation for 50’s Prime Time Cafe, go ahead and make a FastPass+ reservation for 1:30 for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. You’ll be able to ride, and won’t have to worry about missing your lunch reservation. In this particular scenario, it’s a good idea to make that FastPass+ reservation for Tower of Terror for before lunch instead of after.
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2. The Option to Add More
You can make three FastPass+ reservations per day ahead of time, but the ability to wait in a shorter line doesn’t end there. After you’ve used all three of your options, you can add a fourth FastPass+. Use the My Disney Experience App, or look for a kiosk in the park. After you’ve used the fourth you can make a fifth, and so on. Many people will make their initial three reservations for as early in the day as possible, and just keep adding throughout the day. If the park isn’t too busy, you might be able to use FastPass+ from open to close. This also comes in handy if you plan to Park Hop. The original reservations all need to be in the same park, but you can change parks for the fourth.
1. Three Shorter Lines
The main benefit of FastPass+ is that you will have three fewer lines to wait in. No one heads to Walt Disney World because they like lines, they want to go on rides, meet characters, and see shows. FastPass+ makes it easier to do those things. You will be able to hit some of your must-dos without having to wait too long. With FastPass+ you will still encounter lines, but they will be much more manageable. That will give you more time to enjoy the Most Magical Place on Earth.