Tour Guide Tuesday: Making the most of FastPass+ by reserving early return times

in Disney, Entertainment, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

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Credit: Disney

There are several different strategies for reserving FastPasses for your day at a Walt Disney World park. Most guests go to the My Disney Experience website or app and plug-in their three favorite attractions. They then choose one of the available options with preselected return times. They simply accept those times without thinking how the attractions will fit into their desired itinerary, assuming they have an itinerary at all. This leads me to my first tip: You do not have to accept the return times that have been given to you. You can go back into the system and modify any or all of the attractions you have selected.

Once you have decided to “modify” your selections, you now want to think about the best times to choose to get the most out of your day. This is where the biggest mistakes are made! A common strategy is to ride as many attractions in the morning as you can, while the lines are relatively short. Then, use your FastPasses during the busy afternoon hours. Although this makes sense at first, it can severely limit the total number of FastPasses you will be able to get. This leads me to my most important tip: Reserve your FastPasses for the earliest times possible!

Once you use your first three FastPasses, you are allowed to add a fourth at one of the in-park kiosks. Once the fourth is used, you can add a fifth, and so on and so forth. This is a feature that debuted last spring and I was at the Magic Kingdom on the first day doing research. I happened to be one of the first to try out the system and Phil Holmes (Vice President of the Magic Kingdom) was there to watch. Since that day, I have been studying the system to learn the best ways to utilize it for my guests.

Phil Holmes and I Selecting an Additional FastPass

The bottom line is that if your third FastPass isn’t until later in the day, you won’t be able to utilize additional ones effectively. This is why it is never a good idea to reserve FastPasses for the 3:00 parade, and it is a horrible mistake to waste them on the fireworks.

Ideally, you should pick the most popular attraction for your first selection of the morning, as a FastPasses will be useful even at 10:00. Your third selection should be sometime in the 11:00 range and you should visit it early in that hour. Now, you can choose your fourth selection before noon and you are ahead of the game. Even on crowded days, there are typically close to 10 attractions that will have very quick return times.

Utilizing this method could help you easily get more than double the FastPasses that you start with in the morning. Depending on the size of your group and the time of year, you could end up with more than 10 FastPasses in one day! In a future post, I’ll show you how to use 3 FastPasses in the first hour.

FastPass utilization is just one piece of the puzzle when preparing to visit. When a guest hires me to be their guide, I take care of all of the advance planning and strategizing for them to have a successful day at the park. However, I hope these tips help you get the most out of your time at Walt Disney World.

If you want additional tips while you’re in the parks, WDW Guided Tours is happy to help!

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