How to use Disney World Fastpass

Disney Fastpass Tips and Tricks: How to Get Fastpasses for Popular Rides

About two weeks ago I put on my Instastory on Instagram that I had gotten last-minute Fastpass to Flight of Passage and I got a ton of people saying What?! How did you get that?

If you’re not familiar, Flight of Passage is the newest ride at Disney World and it is the hot ticket item- it’s very hard to get a pass for it. I went through and I kind of showed people on my story some tips on how to get fast passes. I got so much feedback from this story. Many people messaged me saying it helped them get the Fastpasses they were looking for. And many missed it and wanted to hear it.

So I decided to do a Facebook Live video about it since it’s easier to show you.  Here’s the link to the video replay. If you’d prefer to read about it I’ve got you covered too. Scroll below.

What is a Fastpass?

For those who are brand new to planning a Disney trip- FastPass is a kind of “virtual cue”. It’s a way to book your spot in advance and go to a quicker, shorter line, so that you can save yourself some wait time. You’re given a one hour window to arrive at the attraction on your chosen day.

It’s one of those things that if used right it can be fantastic. There are things that can be super frustrating about it too but for the most part I believe it actually really does save us some wait time, especially on the really popular rides.

The way the Fastpass system works as they let you pick three at a time. That’s three in one park, per day. After you use those 3 you can get more.

In order to book Fastpasses for you or your group, you must do two things.

First, you must have that person linked to your My Disney Experience app (or your Disney World account if you’re doing them on a PC.)

Second, every person must have a valid park ticket linked to their name. It won’t let you book Fastpasses for anyone without that. Each Fastpass is booked for a specific person and only that person can use it.

Do You Need to Use Fastpass?

You guys need to understand that this is Disney World.  Magic Kingdom is the number one theme park in the world. 20 million people came to Magic Kingdom last year. 20 million people! We wouldn’t show up to the Eiffel Tower and think we’re gonna have it all to ourselves, and we’re just going to walk around and take pictures and nobody’s going to be around. We wouldn’t think like that, but for some reason in Disney World we do.

I blame it on their marketing. You know, it’s those commercials where you see Mickey and you’re picturing your child walking down the street Main Street with Mickey and the castles in the background and there’s nobody around and it’s all perfect and magical.

Yeah. That’ll happen.

No, it’s not like that. I wish it was but it’s not. 20 million people visiting? It’s not going to be that way. However, you can get around the crowds and you can definitely make the most of it but planning is KEY.

Fastpasses have become essential. When they first came out they were kind of nice, but maybe you didn’t have to have them. Not anymore. The newest rides, the ones that are more popular, at peak times they’re two hours long, sometimes longer. No one wants to stand in line waiting for that. That’s not fun for anybody. So the Fastpass system allows you to experience those attractions with a shorter wait time by booking it ahead. It’s like a dinner reservation versus just walking in.

The average family spends 6-10 thousand dollars for a week vacation at Disney World. Do you want to spend two hours in line for a ride that you could have Fastpassed and it would have been 20 minutes? I mean it’s a huge time-saver! Every minute counts when you’re talking about the amount of time that you’re spending on a vacation.

When Can You Book Fastpasses?

This confuses a lot of people because honestly Disney is not the most clear with things. It’s a it’s a complaint of mine to beEverything you need to know about Fastpass at Disney World honest, because I feel like they over complicate things and they make it hard to understand.

When you can begin getting Fastpasses depends on where you stay. Disney of course wants you to stay at their hotels because when you stay at their hotels and they’re going to give you incentives to do that. That means that if you stay with Disney (called “on-site”) you get to book Fastpasses earlier than someone who doesn’t.

If you stay in a Disney hotel you get to book Fastpasses at 60 days.

If you stay at anywhere else you’re booking begins at 30 days.

That applies if you’re a local, an Annual Pass Holder, or anybody else besides those staying in that Disney World hotel.

Does that mean you’re forced to stay at onsite? No. For the most part, 30 days is completely acceptable. The exceptions to this would be if you’re visiting during a very high crowd time, like Christmas week,  or if you have a very large group that you’re booking Fastpasses for. The more Fastpasses you’re booking at once, the harder it is to find availability.

What if the Fastpass you want isn’t available?

You have to understand that the Fastpass system is huge and there are tons of people who are going and getting fast passes all the time. So they’re constantly rotating. People are getting rid of them, they’re dropping certain Fastpasses, they’re getting new ones, changing their plans.

When you go into the  My Disney Experience app to book your Fastpasses, choose you’ party and pick your date and your park. When you first go in it defaults on morning and these are basically the rides that are available. Now when you select a different time of that same day it’s going to shuffle and give you brand new choices. If I change it from morning and I decide I want to put afternoon you can see the little loading icon spinning now. When it’s done it’s now giving me new options.

Every single time that you see that little spinny thing loading it’s giving you new options. Why is this important? Because every time it’s loading new times. So it’s like you re-entered your search. You shuffled it up, and you’re seeing what it’s going to come out with now and that means that every time it refreshes you’re going to get new options.

Now this is where your diligence comes in and I would say your stubbornness in my case. Because for me I will keep doing this. If I know I want to ride, let’s say, Flight of Passage or Frozen Ever After, or something that can get a really long line… I know for me I won’t ride it without a Fastpass. So I’m going to keep doing this. I’m going to be sitting there watching TV, while I’m doing nothing else, I’m going to constantly switch from afternoon to evening to morning and every time that switches I’m going to get new options.

Now with the mos popular, (top-tier) passes they’re actually going to load at the top so you don’t have to worry about scrolling down. If you were looking for something like Flight of Passage it’s going to be at the very top, so you don’t have to worry about that. Just keep it refreshing until you see what you want pop up.

Most people don’t realize this. Most people go into the app, they say, okay I want to go to Epcot. “Oh nothing for Frozen. Okay well it’s full.” And that’s it. No, no, no, no. You can keep trying! Keep trying because every time you get the load screen you’re getting new options. So if you’re persistent, this is where your persistence pays off. And maybe it helps to be a little crazy. Ok, a lot crazy.

This tends to work really well when you’re far out from your date, or when you’re very close. Last minute searches, even same day often times work really well. So don’t give up.

Which attractions should you get a Fastpass for?

Since this system is a way for you to reduce your time waiting in lines, then it makes sense to use the Fastpasses for the attractions that get the highest waits and save the others for the regular stand by line. I say this, because I’ve had people who choose their three favorite rides for their Fastpasses. Unless your favorites happen to be the highest wait times that isn’t the best strategy. So which attractions get the longest wait times. I’ve got a handy cheat sheet for you guys!

This list is in order of the best Fastpasses to choose based on the longest lines. So go down the list. If you know you want to ride it, then try to get a Fastpass for it. You can download the image or if you’re on your phone just screenshot it.

What if you still can’t get a Fastpass for a popular ride?

It’s okay. Don’t sweat it. Know that lines are always shortest first thing in the morning when the park opens, and at the end of the day. So try to be at one of those and go straight to that ride and get it done. For just that reason, when we plan on arriving at park opening, I always start my Fastpasses about an hour after we arrive at the park. That gives us time to grab a quick ride of something popular while the waits are low and then start on our first Fastpass ride. It also means that if we end up running late, we will still make our first Fastpass.

So I hope this helps you guys in your Disney vacation planning! If you still feel confused, watch some of the replay and it may make more sense. And of course, you can always contact me with any questions.

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