First-timer tips for booking FastPass+ selections for a Walt Disney World vacation

in Disney, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Entertainment, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Park Secrets, ParkSpotting, Reviews, Theme Parks, Travel, Walt Disney World

Flight of Passage FastPass+

Getting a FastPass+ to popular attractions like Flight of Passage can save you hours in line.

Walt Disney World Resort first introduced FastPass+ back in 2013 and ever since the service has helped visitors to the parks encounter countless attractions and experiences at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot. Overall, this digital service has revolutionized the way park guests experience Walt Disney World and is ultimately one of the most important things to consider when planning your vacation. However, if you’re someone who has never booked FastPasses before, or are only familiar with the old paper FastPasses, you might find this new system to be a bit overwhelming.

FastPass+ is Walt Disney World’s free system that allows park guests to skip the lines for select attractions. This system is specific to Walt Disney World and varies considerably from the system used in Disneyland or other worldwide Disney Parks. With FastPass+ guests can select 3 attractions each day that they skip the regular line and board the attraction via the significantly shorter FastPass+ line. Unlike many other theme parks who charge extra to skip the line, this system is a free addition to all Walt Disney World tickets whether bought at the gate or purchased from an authorized ticket broker.

Here are beginner tips for understanding and utilizing Walt Disney World’s FastPass+ system for your next Walt Disney World vacation.

To begin, you may want to know the two most common ways to book your FastPasses, which is through the mobile My Disney Experience app or on a park Kiosk.

How to BOOK FastPass+ selections on a mobile device or at a park Kiosk?

To book via the My Disney Experience mobile app: After you download the app to your iPhone or Android device and log in with your My Disney Experience account credentials, simply open it and select the “+” at the bottom of your screen. From here, select “Get FastPass+.” Then, you’ll be prompted to select all the guests in your party (note: you must link all of the members of your party to a single My Disney Experience account for each person to pop up), the date, and the park where you’d like to reserve FastPasses. Next, select the desired time of day and attraction you’d like to experience. After choosing the time, you’ll be brought to a screen to review the selection. If correct, select “Confirm,” which officially books your FastPass!

 

 

 

You can repeat these steps to book up to three passes per day, per park in advance. Once you and all members of your party experience all three FastPass selections or the times of your FastPasses pass, additional FastPasses can be booked via the app or park Kiosks the same day.

To book via the Kiosks located in the park: Simply locate the nearest one and immediately raise your MagicBand or Admission Card to the touchpoint. Upon doing so, you will be given the option to select all the members of your party. If you are with someone you aren’t linked to on My Disney Experience, you can simply tap their MagicBand or ticket as well in order to book FastPass+ selections together. Then you are prompted to select an experience from what attractions and entertainment opportunities are available at different times throughout the rest of the day. Upon making your selections, confirm them and go about your magical way.

Utilizing the kiosk is not the preferred method for booking all of your FastPasses for a day at the park simply because it can’t be done in advance. However, it is a good option for selecting additional FastPasses. After you used your first three FastPass selections or your reservation times have passed, you can make additional reservations. After each additional FastPass is used (or the return window for your FastPass has passed) you can go on to make even more reservations. This process can be repeated up until park closing.

How to MODIFY a FastPass on a mobile device or at a park Kiosk?

To modify a FastPass+ selection on a mobile device: Simply launch the app and scroll down on the main page to the section titled “My Plans” (FastPasses). Select the FastPass you’d like to modify from the list, and then after selecting it, you will be taken to another screen where you will select the “Modify” option. Here you will be given a list of names of people in your party who are booked for that FastPass. After selecting your party members, hit continue. You will then be taken to another screen with the same attraction with different FastPass times. Here you will also have the opportunity to select a new experience/attraction. Each available experience/attraction will have times you can choose from. After you make your new selection, scroll up to review your new selection and select “Confirm.”

 

 

 

 

To modify a FastPass on a park Kiosk: Simply approach the nearest kiosk and touch your MagicBand to the touchpoint. Upon doing this, all of your current FastPass selections will pop on the screen. Select the FastPass you wish to change and you will be given the option to “Modify” the selection. Another screen will pop up with different times available for the attraction. Also listed on this page will be other experiences/attractions and their available times, which you can choose in place of your current selection.

Now that you’ve figured out the basics of booking FastPasses for your Walt Disney World vacation, it’s time to look at some other concerns of booking FastPasses. Specifically, when you can start booking them, what to keep in mind about your party when choosing them, what FastPasses you’re not allowed to book together, and a few other considerations.

When to book FastPasses for your Walt Disney World trip?

Upon booking your stay at a Walt Disney World resort or partnered (Disney Springs or the Swan & Dolphin) hotel, it is best to start thinking about what FastPass+ selections are best for you and your party’s members. The window to begin booking FastPasses opens at 7:00 a.m. EST 60 days prior to your vacation (30 days if you are not staying at one of the select partnered or Walt Disney World Resort hotels). One thing to note, the 60 days prior to your vacation is marked at the starting date of your vacation. So if your vacation is one or even two weeks long, the dates of your vacation that fall outside of the 60-day window are still open for FastPass bookings.

Begin making your reservations the second the clock strikes 7:00 a.m. EST on the date of 60 days prior to your vacation.

At 7:00 a.m. EST 60 days prior to your vacation, regardless of your time zone, start booking your FastPasses. The sooner you go to book your FastPasses, the higher the chance you’ll receive the selections of your choice.

Book all of your FastPasses for the morning.

When booking FastPasses for your day at any Disney Park, it is always best to select all of your times in the morning. You want to book FastPasses mostly in the morning because after you work through your three FastPasses (or the time of your first three FastPasses passes), Disney allows you to book single FastPass experiences throughout the rest of your day. Once you experience each additional FastPass, you are given the ability to select another (this process can be repeated an unlimited amount of times until the park closes depending on availability of FastPass experiences at the park).

Credit: Disney

When preparing to book FastPasses, make sure they’re for attractions/experiences everyone in your party will want to and are able to experience.

The Walt Disney World parks offer a vast amount of different attractions and experiences, some of which are not meant for guests of all ages or demographics. If you are someone with smaller children, make sure to check height requirements. Different attractions do require different heights. Something else to consider is the story or theming of an attraction and if it fits with your party or family’s interests. If you’re taking a group of older teenagers to the parks, there is a good chance they won’t find value in ‘it’s a small world’ attraction at the Magic Kingdom. Just as toddlers probably won’t enjoy Dinosaur at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Your safest bet when preparing to book FastPasses for your Walt Disney World vacation is to visit the Walt Disney World website, which features in-depth ride information of theming, height requirements and other details to help you decide if an attraction is right for you and your party/family’s members.

Check back frequently to the My Disney Experience mobile app to find FastPasses you might not have gotten when you first started booking them.

Even though you began booking your FastPasses at 7:00 a.m. EST 60 days prior to your vacation, there is still a chance you may not have gotten all of your desired choices the first time around. There is also the chance you got them at times you may not prefer. If either of these situations occurs, continue to visit the app frequently during this 60-day period to attempt to either book FastPass slots you didn’t get (up to 3 per day, per park can be booked in advance) or to modify the times that do not work as well for you and your party members. Guests are constantly modifying FastPass+ reservations and because of this, at any moment’s notice, you could find the FastPass you’re missing. Potentially, the FastPass for your liking could just pop up when you’re least expecting it.

Be mindful of FastPass+ Tiers at select Walt Disney World Parks when planning your selections.

What are FastPass+ Tiers?

Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot have categorized their attractions into different Tiers and only allow park guests to select a specific combination of each while prohibiting the combination of each park’s more popular (Tier 1) attractions. Tier 1 are each park’s most popular and newer attractions and Tier 2 are the older and not as high foot-traffic attractions. Currently, Magic Kingdom is the only park that allows park guests the ability to select the combination of any three FastPasses.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Tier 1 Attractions: Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania!

Credit: Disney

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you are only allowed to select (one) Tier 1 selection and (two) Tier 2 selections when booking your FastPasses for your day visit.

Generally, Tier 1 attractions will feature the highest wait times in the park. However, a tip we recommend is booking the FastPass for the attraction with generally the highest wait times (Slinky Dog Dash) within the Tier 1 category and then choosing to wait in line for the rest of the rides you’d like to ride from this group. This way, even though you’ll have to wait in line, it will be a shorter wait than if you waited for one of the park’s more popular rides. If you cannot get Slinky Dog Dash (or it’s a ride that doesn’t interest you) Toy Story Mania! is the next best attraction to select, while we recommend Alien Swirling Saucers as a last resort among these three Tier 1 attractions.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Tier 1 Attractions: Avatar Flight of Passage, Na’vi River Journey

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you are only allowed to select (one) Tier 1 selection and (two) Tier 2 selections when booking your FastPasses for your day visit.

Credit: Disney

If you would like to experience both Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey, your best bet is to find a FastPass for Avatar Flight of Passage and then simply waiting in line for Na’vi River Journey. Avatar Flight of Passage can see wait times of up to 300 minutes during peak season. Na’vi River Journey can also see long wait times, but they’re never as high as Avatar Flight of Passage. For this reason, waiting in line for Na’vi River Journey is your best bet.

Epcot

Tier 1 Attractions: Frozen Ever After, Test Track, Soarin’, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth and Epcot Character Greeting.

At Epcot, you are only allowed to select (one) Tier 1 selection and (two) Tier 2 selections when booking your FastPasses for your day visit.

Of the five attractions listed above, the longest wait time will generally always be for Frozen Ever After, followed by Soarin’ and Test Track. When it comes to choosing your Tier 1 selection here, it really is based on preference. For families with smaller kids or anyone who is a fan of “Frozen,” Frozen Ever After will more than likely be your selection. Thrill seekers will like Test Track with Soarin’ falling in that middle ground likely to appeal to everyone in your party.

Credit: Disney

A tip to experiencing Test Track if you’d like to select another Tier 1 FastPass and not wait too long in line at the attraction — if you and your family/party members are open to it and appropriately aged for it, go through the single rider line. This line always features a much shorter wait and you and the rest of your party will be able to wait in line together. However, more than likely you will all be separated for your ride on the attraction. If this is not a concern for you and your party, this option will get you on the ride in a shorter period of time.

Another downside is you miss the opportunity to design your car, which for some is part of the fun for this attraction. The design center is not the full version found in the regular line and it’s easy to bypass if you don’t specifically request the opportunity to design the car. So when using the single rider line, take a moment to design your test car if you haven’t done so before. Furthermore, if you want advice on how to get a high score on Test Track, refer to our guide for more information.

The Super Simple tip for FastPass

One of the biggest benefits of using Inside the Magic’s preferred Authorized Disney Vacation Planner – Academy Travel is that they will wake up early for you to book your FastPasses. Yes, you read that right. This company will wake up 60 days prior to your vacation at 7:00 a.m. EST to book the FastPasses of your choice and they don’t charge any extra to do so; it’s included when you book your vacation through them.

Overall, you do not pay any additional fees when booking through Academy Travel. Park tickets are the same with them as they are at the parks, in addition to the prices of hotel stays at the Walt Disney World resorts. They take the stress out of it all. Additionally, Academy Travel will constantly be looking for reduced rates or discounts the second you book with them, up until the first day of your stay. If a better deal becomes available, they will automatically cancel and rebook your reservations to save you money!

Also, if your booking gets canceled for an emergency or any other reason, Academy Travel will do whatever they can to work with you and Walt Disney World Resort to rebook your reservation, free of charge.

Click here for a no-obligation vacation quote from Academy Travel!

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