Queuing. Regardless of the time, the weather or the attraction, one thing is certain, you will be spending a lot of time in queues. However in order to try to reduce your 3 hour wait to see your favourite princess for example, Disney brought in their virtual queuing service Fastpass in 1999. Since then it has under-gone many changes, developing from a paper based system to Fastpass+, an easy to use, flexible reservation program used across all of the Walt Disney World parks. Using Fastpass+ makes waiting for attractions a whole lot shorter, freeing up more time in your day to do all the other things WDW has to offer. Besides, who has the patience to wait 120 minutes for a few moments on Peter Pan’s Flight, when there’s a parade in one hour you don’t want to miss?
PLUS IT IS FREE! Unlike queue-jumping services at other theme parks in Florida, Disney’s Fastpass service is included in the park admission and doesn’t cost you any extra expenses. Although you have a limited number of Fastpasses compared to unlimited access to the fast lane, for a free service it is very efficient and definitely something you should take advantage of. Queues at Disney are an unique experience in themselves, with interactive elements and amazing attention to detail which creates such an immersive atmosphere before the enter the attraction, therefore a speedy bypass would take away the magic.
So how do you make Fastpasses? There are two ways of making your daily Fastpass selections. The first being through the My Disney Experience website or app for smartphones, the second by going to the FP Kiosks in the parks themselves. As a Walt Disney World ticket holder, you can begin to book your Fastpasses 30 days in advance of your first park visit, (which I advise you do if you want to ensure your preferred choices – Parade and Firework best viewing areas usually go first), whereas if you are staying at a WDW resort, you can book them 60 days in advance.
After you have created an account, added guests to your Family and Friends list and linked your tickets to the app, you can begin making your Fastpass selections. Each day you are allowed to make 3 Fastpasses in advance, by choosing the park you want to go to, the 3 attractions you want to have quicker entry for, and the preferred hour long time slot to which you can go through. Hollywood Studios and Epcot however have a tiered system, where you can choose two selections from Tier One, and one selection from Tier Two (which ensures all guests have a fairer chance of getting Fastpasses for the most popular attractions).
Then, when this time slot comes around, you can join the Fastpass queue at the attraction and scan your park ticket or Magic Band against the Mickey touch point. Walt Disney World has free wifi available across property so you can use the app easily in the parks, to check your time slots and modify any selections. (I always screenshot mine just in case of any connection issues).
Once you have used your original 3 Fastpasses, you can return to a FP Kiosk to choose an additional fourth selection based on availability. This can also be at a different park if you are using the Park Hopper. You can repeat this five, six etc times once the previous extra Fastpass slot is completed.
- What if members of my party don’t want to visit the same attraction?
No problem. You can make separate Fastpass selections for different members of your party from the same device, so you can use your choices for attractions you each want to enjoy. Although children under 7 must be accompanied by a guest over 14.
- What if the attraction I have made a Fastpass for temporarily closes during my time slot?
You will receive a notification to the email registered to your My Disney Experience account detailing the changes in your Fastpass selections. Usually you will be issued with another free choice in place of your previous selection which will be available to use once at anytime that day at specified attractions.
- Which rides should I Fastpass?
I would suggest choosing the attractions which have regularly long wait times rather than attractions you most want to go on, as you will feel more comfortable queuing for them compared to the ones you don’t want to miss, but they have a mile long queue. These include:
- Jungle Cruise
- Big Rail Thunder Mountain
- Seven Dwarves Mine Train
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Meeting Princesses at Princess Fairytale Hall
- Test Track
- Mission: Space
- Frozen Ever After
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Toy Story Midway Mania
- Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster Starring Aerosmith
- Star Tours
- Kilimanjaro Safari
- Expedition Everest
- Kali River Rapids
There are a few down sides to the Fastpass+ service, such as it requires you to be more organised with your itinerary and less spontaneous, for if you leave deciding which park to visit to that morning, it is likely that the Fastpass options for the most popular rides will be unavailable. Also, you might find yourself dashing across the park trying to make your time slot (something we personally experienced this year when the monorail broke down and getting into Magic Kingdom took a lot longer than expected – luckily I know the map back to front and me and my sister made it to the Haunted Mansion with a minute spare!)
Overall the Fastpass+ service is really useful and beneficial, giving you more time to spend exploring the parks. The new adaptions and developments make the system a lot more user-friendly and fair (although I do miss the glitch where if you changed your selection after walking past the touch point entrance you could gain an extra Fastpass within that time slot – Disney must have noticed this loophole!) I hope I have answered any questions you have regarding Fastpass+, but feel free to comment with any other queries you may have!
Have a magical day ✨
(It’s a shame they don’t have a Fastpass system for hotdogs at Casey’s Corner, that place can get busy!)