Embarking on a Walt Disney World vacation can require a lot of advanced planning. But all of that planning will save your family hours and hours of waiting in lines, thereby increasing the magic of your Disney vacation. FastPass+ makes planning your trip easier. It allows you to reserve access to some theme park attractions, entertainment and character greetings in advance. What's better, there's no additional cost to use FastPass+. Make the most of your time at Disney World with these FastPass+ tips for savvy parents.
1) Get the FastPass+ facts.
Each family member is entitled to three FastPass+ reservations per day at any park. Reservations open 60 days before your arrival date if you are staying at a Disney resort hotel, or 30 days ahead of time if you are not staying on property. Be sure to mark your calendar with these dates!
2) Use an app or travel agent to manage your FastPass+ reservations.
You can easily manage your FastPass+ reservations on your own via the My Disney Experience app. Or, turn the task over to your Disney travel agent to make all the arrangements for you at no extra charge. Once on property, FastPass+ reservations can be managed via the app or at the many FastPass+ kiosks around the parks.
3) Research rides before you go.
Before leaving home, I suggest researching FastPass+ rides to make sure they're a good fit for your family. Take a look at height so you know which rides will be off limits for your kids. My 6-year-old daughter was 46-inches-tall during our visit and therefore was tall enough for all of the rides she wanted to go on except one (Primeval Whirl at Animal Kingdom…we’ll be back). If your kids are 40+ inches, you will be good to go on the majority of rides and for toddlers, there are plenty of rides without height restrictions.
4) Figure out your FastPass+ preferences.
Make sure to discuss rides with all family members in advance so you are all on the same page. If you have any concerns about a ride being too scary, too dark or too fast, read the attractions descriptions to your children and show them videos in advance.
Does your family want to use your FastPass+ reservations one after another, or do you prefer a more relaxed schedule? Will you be spending the entire day in the parks, or will you be going back to the hotel for naps or meals? Do you want to meet characters or just go on rides? Figure out your vacation style so you can plan accordingly.
5) Map out a FastPass+ plan.
FastPass+ works best when you can map out a plan for a specific park on a specific day. If you are opposed to micro-managing your vacation, at least decide which mornings or afternoons you want to plan. Since meal bookings can be made 180 days out, you can easily schedule your three fast passes in that particular park before or after your meal.
6) Don't miss popular FastPass+ attractions.
The most in-demand FastPass+ attractions vary from park to park. At the Magic Kingdom, favorites include Peter Pan's Flight, Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, and Anna and Elsa Meet and Greet. Expect a lot of interest in Kilimanjaro Safaris, Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids and DINOSAURAt Animal Kingdom. At EPCOT, it's all about Frozen Ever After, Soarin’ and Test Track. Meanwhile, Hollywood Studios visitors love Rock ‘n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith and Toy Story Midway Mania. Schedule accordingly!
7) Start by booking the most prized FastPass+ reservations.
You may want to prioritize your trip itinerary based on availability for the most popular FastPass+ attractions, like Anna and Elsa Meet and Greet. Since you can schedule your entire vacation 30 or 60 days in advance, start at the end of your trip and move forward for the best availability.
8) Modify your FastPass+ itinerary as needed.
Just because you scheduled Expedition Everest, it doesn't mean you're stuck with that choice after your less daring family members say no way. Once your FastPass+ reservations are made, you can always move things around if your plans change (based on availability).
9) Go straight to the FastPass+ entrances at the designated time.
Each eligible attractions has a special entrance for FastPass+ at Disney World. Be sure to get in the correct line for your reservation. Simply swipe your MagicBand at the gate and you will be all set. There is a one-hour arrival window for reservations but it is okay to be a little early or late so try not to stress.
10) Repeat as desired.
After you are scanned for the third FastPass+ experience, make another selection on the app or in-park kiosk. This is a relatively new perk, which is great if you are park hopping. Once you use that FastPass+ you can repeat for the remainder of the day, based on availability.
Do you have any questions or additional FastPass+ tips? Let us know in the comments below!
A Note from The Globetrotting Travel Mama: I received a pair of Walt Disney World Park Hopper media tickets so I could write this story about FastPass+ tips. All opinions are mine, as always.