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Walt Disney World FastPass+ Tips for Savvy Parents

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.

Walt Disney World FastPass+ Tips for Savvy Parents

(Photo credit: Matt Stroshane, courtesy of Disney)

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.

The My Disney Experience app makes managing your FastPass+ experience a snap ~ Walt Disney World FastPass+ Tips for Savvy Parents

The My Disney Experience app makes managing your FastPass+ experience a snap (Photo credit: Kent Phillips, courtesy of Disney)

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.

MagicBands make using FastPass+ even more fun ~ FastPass+ Tips for Savvy Parents

MagicBands make using FastPass+ even more fun (Photo credit: Matt Stroshane, courtesy of Disney)

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!

Meeting Anna and Elsa is one of the most in-demand FastPass+ reservations at Walt Disney World ~ FastPass+ Tips for Savvy Parents

Meeting Anna and Elsa is one of the most in-demand FastPass+ reservations at Walt Disney World (Photo credit: Lyla Gleason)

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).

Guests use MagicBands for FastPass+ access to experiences and attractions like Dumbo the Flying Elephant at Magic Kingdom ~ FastPass+ Tips for Savvy Parents

Guests use MagicBands for FastPass+ access to experiences and attractions like Dumbo the Flying Elephant at Magic Kingdom (Photo credit: Mark Ashman, courtesy of Disney)

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.

About Lyla Gleason, The Globetrotting Travel Mama

Long before the glamorous world of marriage, motherhood and travel blogging, Lyla Gleason had an exciting career as a travel publicist representing hotels and destinations across the globe. She spent her childhood on Long Island and then attended college and grad school in Boston and lived abroad in Rome. Some of her most favorite vacation spots include the Caribbean, India and Turkey. She is currently a downtown NYC mom who can be found chasing after her 6-year-old daughter, cooking dinner, mingling at blogger events and exploring near and far with a camera in hand. She is the author of GlobetrottingMommy.com, a lifestyle blog dedicated to travel, family fun and fabulous finds. Connect with Lyla on Twitter at @travelmommy.

Comments

  1. Ellen Lanin says:

    Technology sure has changed since we were last there! Thanks for the informative update.

    • Lyla Gleason, The Globetrotting Travel Mama says:

      Technology is definitely making Disney vacations much easier than ever before.

  2. These are excellent tips. The days of standing in random lines are over! The passes are the best.

  3. That fast pass sounds pretty great! I love that you don’t have to stand in lines!

    • Lyla Gleason, The Globetrotting Travel Mama says:

      The waits are so much shorter with FastPass+ so you can enjoy more rides.

  4. That is so cool! We’ve never been to Disney, but I can say right now that if we ever do plan a trip we are definitely getting the FastPass!

  5. Wow, the FastPass option sounds great and could really help to beat the crowds too. I will certainly keep this in mind before scheduling our next Disney vacation!

    • Lyla Gleason, The Globetrotting Travel Mama says:

      Its a must if you’re traveling during peak times. I hope you get to Disney soon.

  6. We love the FastPass! It is so much more convenient than their previous ticket Fast Pass option. The bands are fun to customize too!

    • Lyla Gleason, The Globetrotting Travel Mama says:

      I love all the fun band options and decorations! Things are so much more convenient with the phone app.

  7. aziel morte says:

    That is absolutely cool. We haven’t try to go in Disney but I’d love too if we have a chance

    • Lyla Gleason, The Globetrotting Travel Mama says:

      Disney is such a fun filled getaway. I hope you get to visit sometime soon.

  8. That is so cool! And I love all your tips in here! It’s awesome that you can now use this Fastpass to enjoy Disney conveniently! Love the fun designs too!

    • Lyla Gleason, The Globetrotting Travel Mama says:

      So glad you enjoyed these tips. The bands come in so many fun designs and they’re very comfortable too.

  9. How cool is that?! I love all your tips! It’s awesome that you can now use this Fastpass to enjoy Disney conveniently! Love the fun designs too!

  10. Robin Rue says:

    Fast Pass is definitely the way to go when you visit Disney. Getting more done in the time that you are there is key.

    • Lyla Gleason, The Globetrotting Travel Mama says:

      I couldn’t agree more! So much to do and see you definitely don’t want to be standing in lines.

  11. Jennifer Henry-Novich says:

    If we ever get to go to Disney again, this is definitely how I am going to be visiting. That Fast Pass looks awesome.

  12. I love that you can use the phone app! That makes things much easier!

  13. I had no idea these existed, what a great idea. My neighbor frequents in trips to Disney, and I will be sure to pass this information on to her.

  14. Love, love, love having FastPasses for my family. They make everything at DisneyWorld so much easier. Plus, it’s fun to gear up for vacation by scheduling the fun.

    • Lyla Gleason, The Globetrotting Travel Mama says:

      I agree. I think its so much easier to have everything planned out in advance.

  15. Ourfamilyworld says:

    Oh, fastpass sounds awesome. These are lovely tips, will use them!

  16. I would emphasize the change your plans as needed. We went to Disneyworld in January 2016, had made fast Pass+ reservations ahead of time, but ended up totally changing our itinerary for each day based on how the kids were feeling or what we had done the previous day. We had a meet Mickey reservation that was “a top attraction” but then our five year old preferred to go on a different ride instead and didn’t want to meet Mickey. It is also good to know that you get 3 fast pass+ reservations per day, but once you have completed your reservations (or the time windows have passed) you can add more, so this means that having a fast pass reservation for 9PM at night (ie. viewing the fireworks reserved area) is not a great idea unless you REALLY want to do that ride. We found it better to have most of ours in the morning and then adding more once our times for the first 3 had passed. Also, It was super helpful to use the app the day of for changing things around. We also loved using the app for assessing wait times at different rides and what we should do next.

    • Lyla Gleason, The Globetrotting Travel Mama says:

      Yes, I totally agree about the evening choices. We used all of our passes in the morning and early afternoon then added more as available. The lines were much shorter in the late afternoon/early evening so it worked out perfectly. And yes, seeing the wait times was such a plus.

  17. I have not been to Disneyworld/land but I have been to Universal Studios and have to say- It would have been drastically different if we didn’t have the express passes. They are a must have!

  18. Hurrah for the Fast Pass. It makes our life so much easier and the trip that much more enjoyable. No body likes to wait in long lines!

    • Lyla Gleason, The Globetrotting Travel Mama says:

      Exactly! I felt so bad for the people who hadn’t planned ahead and were stuck waiting in the long lines.

  19. What an amazing app! So now I can reserve advanced tickets to Disney World without waiting for so long. Also, it helps me choose appropriate ride for my kids and my family will never miss popular attractions. Your tips are enough for FastPass beginners. It’s a must- have app. Thanks

  20. FastPass is totally amazing! Parents don’t need to buy tickets or kids have to stand in lines waiting for their rides. And we won’t be miss joining in popular activities in Disney World. Thanks very much for giving these tips!

    • Lyla Gleason, The Globetrotting Travel Mama says:

      So glad you enjoyed these tips. Such a great perk for families traveling to Disney World.

  21. Never before do I know that there is such a helpful app like this. Thanks for your informative sharing, which does help so many people. Thumbs up!

  22. It definitely shortens the waiting. How useful technology are! My children will never miss popular attraction. Thanks for those tips.

  23. Thanks for sharing the blog. A Perfect planning planning tips before you go. I can utilize Fastpass to enjoy Disney conveniently.

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