Walt Disney World FastPass+ Planning
April 9, 2019
Oh, how the Huffmans love Walt Disney World. But to be honest, we weren’t always sure our Disney trips would be magical. As most of y’all know, Harper has ADHD. We debated for years whether or not he could handle Disney World, especially when it comes to waiting in the ride lines. Let’s be honest, waiting in line is probably everyone’s least favorite part of a Disney World vacation. Waiting in a 90-minute line with a kid with ADHD could be downright miserable. I researched and researched and researched some more. The biggest piece of advice I read was that you need to develop a FastPass+ Strategy.
I can honestly say that I have this FastPass+ thing on lockdown. We’ve been to Disney several times now and we rarely wait over 20 minutes. My goal is to equip you with all the tools and knowledge you need to get on the most popular rides at Disney World without a wait!
For those of you unfamiliar with the FastPass+, here is a quick rundown. FastPass+ is Disney’s attraction reservation system and it allows you to book attractions in advance. When you have a FastPass+ reservation, you get a specific one-hour timeframe where you can enter through the FastPass+ line. Your wait will be shorter than it would be if you went through the regular line. Waits in the FastPass+ line tend to be 20 minutes max. It is used at the four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. In Orlando, the Walt Disney World FastPass+ system does not rely on paper tickets. Instead, you schedule FastPass+ reservations online, through the My Disney Experience app or at a in-park FastPass+ kiosk. Best part, the FastPass+ system is completely FREE! So you have absolutely no excuse not to use it people.
How do I get a FastPass+?
To use FastPass+ before you visit you must have either:
- Valid Park Ticket or Annual Pass
- Walt Disney World Resort Hotel reservation plus theme park tickets
When can I make FastPass+ reservations?
Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Guests: Guests who are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort (including Swan, Dolphin and select Disney Springs Resorts) can book 60 days in advance. You can log into My Disney Experience at at 7AM Eastern 60 days before your arrival. I recommend getting your account set up before then, so that you can get right to choosing your FastPasses that morning. I legit set a reminder on my iPhone so I remember to wakeup and make my reservations. You can get FastPasses for your entire trip at that time. Not staying at a Disney Resort? You can start making your FastPass+ selections 30 days in advance, beginning at 7AM Eastern Standard Time.
- For a single theme park per day, you can make up to 3 FastPass+ selections in advance.
- All 3 scheduled FastPasses must be for the same park but for different rides. Once you have gone on and used your first set of three FastPass+ selections, you can make another FastPass+ choice. And you can continue adding one Fastpass+ at a time for the rest of the day.
- PRO TIP- Once you have used your first 3 FastPass+ selections, immediately book your next one. We literally scan our Magic Band and as we approach the attraction I am already searching for the next Fastpass+. The FastPass+ selections are continually updating so if you don’t see one you want, just keep refreshing the page. I have legit refreshed 60+ times until I found one I liked. It becomes a game.
- If you have a park hopper ticket, your first 3 reserved FastPasses must be at the same park but after they are used, you can continue booking one additional FastPass+ at any of the 4 theme parks.
- Keep checking the app because sometimes FastPasses show up later in the day.
- You cannot schedule a FastPass+ during Extra Magic Hours.
- You can move or cancel your FastPass+ reservations up to the start of your arrival window time.
- The FastPass gives you a 60-minute window of time to get on the ride, with a grace period of 5 minutes before and 15 minutes after.
What Happens If I Miss My FastPass+ Reservation?
When you are running late and your FastPass+ time is about up you are given a 15 minute window past the time to get there. Disney understands that sometimes you can be in crowds or a previous attraction has issues which delayed you so they built in this fifteen minute window. However, once this fifteen minutes has passed you cannot use that FastPass+. If you miss a FastPass+ attraction arrival window, you can modify your selections on your mobile device or at a FastPass+ kiosk as long as FastPass+ experiences are still available. Note: it’s best to make changes to your FastPass+ selection before the start time of the arrival window.
Which Rides Should I FastPass+ at Disney World?
I made a list of the rides in each of the four parks that you should prioritize when booking FastPasses. From my personal experience, these rides tend to be more popular and have longer wait times. If I see one of these FastPass+ selections available, I grab it right away.
#1) Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
#2) Space Mountain
#3) Peter Pan’s Flight
#4) Splash Mountain
#5) Big Thunder Mountain
#6) Meet Mickey at Town Sq. Theater
#2) Frozen Ever After
#3) Test Track Presented by Chevrolet
#4) Spaceship Earth
#5) Mission: Space
#6) IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
#1) Avatar Flight of Passage
#2) Na’vi River Journey
#3) Kilimanjaro Safaris
#4) Expedition Everest
#5) Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurer’s Outpost
#1) Slinky Dog Dash
#2) Toy Story Mania!
#3) Alien Swirling Saucers
#4) Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
#5) The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Tip: Get a MagicBand
Magic Bands are awesome. MagicBands pretty much they control your entire Walt Disney World Vacation. If you are staying at a Disney Resort, you get them for free. In advance, you can pick your color on the Disney website. These will be shipped to your home address in the US only or can be picked up at your resort reception. Other guests can buy a band in advance or at the parks.
Want more Disney Tips & Tricks? Check out my blog post!
Photography by: Catherine Ann Photography