Walt Disney World’s FastPass+ system is a fantastic tool to manage your party’s day at the theme parks by securing FastPasses within the My Disney Experience app. How you choose to use this tool is up to you and your desired level of vacation preparation. These tips are designed for those who prefer to plan diligently, visit the park occasionally on vacations, and/or desire specific experiences during their stay. With that being said, let’s get started!
- When to Secure Your FastPasses
A guest may secure a maximum of 3 experiences per day 30 days in advance. However, those guests who have a reservation at a Disney Resort hotel are permitted to secure the same number of experiences per day 60 days in advance. It is important to note that if you are staying at a Disney Resort, you are permitted to secure FastPasses through the entire length of your stay. For example, if you are staying on property with a four-day ticket, you can secure three FastPass+ selections for four days at the 60-day mark. Therefore, you are technically able to secure a FastPass+ for your last day in the parks 64 days in advance.
Pro Tip – Since you are entitled to make FastPass+ selections through the length of your stay, try to arrange your schedule so that you visit the parks with the most popular rides last. Flight of Passage at Animal kingdom is a difficult FastPass+ to secure, even when making selections at the 60-day mark. However, if you visit Animal Kingdom on the last day of a 7-day pass, you will have the opportunity to select a FastPass+ for Flight of Passage 67 days in advance. During my previous trip to Walt Disney World, I visited Animal Kingdom on the 2nd and 6th day of my trip. During FastPass+ selection, the earliest return time for the first visit was 5:00 pm while the earliest return time on the second day was 11:00 am. This is a decisive advantage, especially when you consider eligibility to make additional selections.
- Quantity of FastPasses to Secure
As previously stated, you have the option to secure up to 3 FastPasses in advance. However, that does not mean you must select 3, neither does it mean you are limited to a total of 3 FastPasses for that entire day. To make the most of the FastPass+ system you should open the My Disney Experience app as soon as your party taps the Mickey Touch Point at the FastPass+ entrance and make your next selection. As soon as you redeem your last scheduled FastPass+, you are entitled to make an additional selection, one at a time. Continue this process until no FastPasses remain that are of interest. Depending on the time of year (how busy the parks are) you can enjoy 5-10 FastPasses.
Pro Tip – Not all FastPasses are created equal. This is especially true for the parks that have tiers of selection, where you permitted to select only one of the most popular rides and two of the secondary rides. If you do not see the value in committing yourself to secondary rides, do not select them as part of your advanced planning. The preferred strategy is to select the first-tier ride in advance with an early return window, enter the FastPass+ line, then make an additional selection while in the FastPass+ line. By only selecting one FastPass+ in advance you can make your next selection earlier when in the parks (you do not have to wait to redeem two additional FastPasses). In addition, you are not limited to the ride selection tiers on the day-of, therefore optimizing your ability to secure 2-5 FastPasses for top attractions for that day.
- Free up FastPasses for Later
As a seasoned Disney park guest, you probably have a sense of which rides you prefer to experience once versus multiple times in a single day. Regardless of the lengthy historical wait time that any given ride may have if you know you do not enjoy the experience as much as others do not waste a FastPass+ on it. It would be wise to visit a popular ride that you are less interested in the early morning when the standby wait time is lower. This enables you to check the box next to that attraction and clear up time in the afternoon for preferred rides. Despite your best efforts, you may not be able to select a multitude of FastPasses for your party throughout the day. Therefore, it is important to utilize the FastPass+ system for experiences you and your party value. This process ensures that you prioritize the rides that matter to your group as opposed to selecting all the FastPass+ options that Walt Disney World believes is important. FastPass+ selections do not last all day and standby wait times tend to be lengthier in the evenings, so it is important to have a good idea to have a mental list of the must-see attractions prior to your visit. And remember, there is no shame in having two or more FastPasses selected for the same ride in one day if there is value for your group.