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In The Know: The FastPass System at Walt Disney World

When you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World, you probably come across the term fastpass+ or fastpasses. Today we are going to walk you through what exactly these are, how to get them, how to use them and much more!

 

1. What are they?

Fastpass+ is Walt Disney World’s reservation system for attractions, shows and meet and greets at all four of the theme parks. The goal of fastpass+ is to help guests reduce the amount of time they are waiting in line while on vacation. Think of these just like you would a dining reservation back at home except for in the end you get to ride a ride, meet a favorite character or see an amazing show. Each guest with a valid ticket receives THREE fastpasses per day at ONE theme park.

2. Who Can Use Them?

The best part of fastpass+ is that EVERYONE that visits Walt Disney World gets to use fastpass+ for FREE. That is right, fastpasses are completely free to everyone visiting Walt Disney World. From those of us that plan years ahead of time to the guests that show up day of, everyone has the opportunity to make fastpasses.

3. Where Do I Make These?

Guests can make these reservations in a few different ways. If you have a smartphone or a computer, you can use the My Disney Experience App or website. Through Disney’s system you are able to make this right from the comfort of your home, office, car wherever. If you don’t have access to these tools, you can also make fastpasses when you arrive at the Walt Disney World theme park.  There are cast members throughout the park at different kiosks that can help you navigate and set up some of these reservations.

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4. When Can I Make Them?

Fastpass+ reservations are available to guests visiting Walt Disney World at different times depending on where they are staying. For guests that are staying at one of Disney’s resorts or a number of good neighbor hotels, booking options open at 60 days prior to their trip. This means if you are traveling in June and staying at Pop Century for your reservation, you are able to book your fastpasses in April. For guests staying off Disney property at a townhome or a timeshare type accommodation, they can make reservations starting at 30 days prior to travel.  So, for that same situation of a June trip, you would be able to make fastpasses in May. There are some situations that might be different such as Annual Passholders, Florida Resident and Military Tickets, but overall those are the two major booking windows.

5. How Do I Make Them?

This is where it can get complicated so we are going to break it down step by step.  Below is how you can make your fastpasses through the My Disney Experience app or the website.

  • Step One – Get a My Disney Experience Account and Link Reservations: Before you will be able to do anything with your fastpasses, you will need to make sure you set up a My Disney Experience account. This is an easy process that uses your email and password. This will be the same sign in no matter if you are using the app or the website. Once you have created an account, you will then add your reservation number to the system. This will then link tickets to everyone in the party.
  • Step Two – Tickets: You will need to make sure that everyone has a ticket assigned to their name. This is the only way that fastpasses are able to be made as each guest has to have a valid ticket.
  • Step Three – Friends and Family: If you happen to be going with a bigger group, make sure everyone is linked under Friends and Family. This will allow one person to make all the fastpasses if that is what the group wants.
  • Step Four – Booking Time: On the morning your fastpasses come available (either 60 or 30 days prior to travel), you will long into your account and be able to choose your fastpasses.  When you are making the selections, it will ask you to choose: Date, Which park, guests and then what ride, show or meet and greet you want to select. You can make these selections by choosing a specific time or by choosing a time of day such as morning and letting the system determine the best time. Once you choose a time, it will have you confirm your selection and then prompt if you want to make more or if you are done.  You can repeat the process for each day of your trip.

6. FastPass Tiers

At three of Disney’s theme parks (Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom) fastpasses are put into a tier system.  This means that you are only allowed to choose one fastpass from the tier one list.  These are typically the major attraction for that park.  See below for the typically breakdown for tier one attractions:

  • Animal Kingdom: Avatar Flight of Passage, Na’vi River Journey
  • Epcot: Character Spot, Frozen Ever After, Soarin’, Test Track, Illuminations
  • Hollywood Studios (starting August 29): Rock n Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, Toy Story Mania, Alien Swirling Saucers, Slinky Dog Dash

After choosing one fastpass from the tier one attraction, your other two would come from tier 2.  This causes you to have to think about your touring strategy a little more in these parks. Magic Kingdom currently doesn’t have a tier system allowing you to choose any three attractions you wish.

7. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Another thing to know is that as of right now fastpasses won’t be used in Galaxy’s Edge.  When the new area opens, Millennium Falcon:  Smuggler’s Run will not have fastpass availability.  Everyone that wishes to experience this new attraction will; do so through the standby line.

8. Rolling FastPasses

Another thing to know about Disney’s fastpass system is the concept of the rolling fastpass. Once guests use their original three fastpasses, they are able to make ONE additional fastpass at ANY of the four parks. You can continue to do this rolling system until the park closes at night.  This is a great option to use at Magic Kingdom where there are numerous rights and shows that have fastpass capabilities. If this is something that you want to use, just hop on the app after using your third fastpass and you will be able to start your search for your next adventure.

9. Club Level Perks

Guests staying in a Club Level room at one of the Disney resorts have the opportunity to purchase additional fastpass for their trip.  Guests need to book a minimum of 3 days at $50/person per day so a minimum cost of $150 per person.  Bonuses beyond just the three additional fastpasses is that these can be booked 90 days ahead of time as well as there are no tier restrictions.  This means you can ride both Pandora rides or all three Toy Story Land attractions.  This is a great benefit that comes with this perk.

10. Quick Review

  • Fastpasses are reservations for rides, shows and meet and greets
  • They are free to everyone
  • Guests receive three per day at one park
  • Guests can book them through the My Disney Experience at 60 days if staying onsite or 30 days if staying off site
  • They are a great way to avoid standing in lines

About Jennifer Retzlaff

My name is Jennifer Retzlaff and I became a lifelong Disney fan during my first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of my life. I live in Iowa with my husband and two kids who are growing up too quickly for my liking. I started introducing my love for Disney early to my family with a Disney honeymoon and then trips when our youngest of 18 months. Since then, our family has been to Walt Disney World over five times and we continue to plan and dream for the next trip. I love the magic that Disney brings to people through the theme parks, cruises, adventures and movies they create. As a teacher, I try to bring that magic into my classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” I recently reached a dream of mine as I joined Magic Vacation Planner as a personal travel advisor. With this team, I can now help others plan magical vacations. As a passionate writer, I also have my own blog at magicalvacationsbyjen which is also where you can follow me on instagram for trip reviews along with tips and tricks for your next magical vacation.