The Complete guide to Fast Passes at Walt Disney World

Seven Dwarfs Min Train Walt Disney World Florida
Me on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Magic Kingdom

It all gets rather exciting when its time to book your Walt Disney World FastPasses. From experience, its easier to book them initially using a Desktop computer, however once set up, its then easy to modify them on your mobile app. FastPasses (also known as FastPass + are free and part of the general admission price into Walt Disney World). FastPasses allow you to 'jump' the standby line queue and only wait for roughly 20 minutes or less.

You are allowed 3 FastPasses per day to book. Once you have used up all your FastPasses on that day, you can then book additional FastPasses until there are none left or until the park closes. The system will only let you book one at a time.

If you are staying on site at a Walt Disney World hotel, you can book FastPasses at the 60 day mark before your hotel check-in date. Everyone else can book FastPasses at the 30 day mark as long as you have Disney tickets. You can’t book earlier then this as the system doesn’t allow you to click on the dates. 

Please note for those staying off-site - you can only book FastPasses 30 days out for each day of your trip. Those staying at a Disney Resort - you can book all your FastPasses for multiple days from the date you check in.

On the My Disney Experience App or website: you need to add the members of your party. You can set this up at any time, but you would want to do this before your window to getting your FastPasses is available (so you can skip this step and go straight to booking). [Yes people do set alarm clocks to get their preferred FastPasses at the 60 day mark - so the more you set up beforehand the better].

FastPass Website  Website Walt Disney World Florida
You then need to choose your date and the park of the FastPass you wish to book. One tip – for very popular  rides like Avatar - Flight of Passage – you should plan them towards the end of your holiday dates – as you can book FastPasses 60 days out from your holiday – you could book your FastPass at 70 days beforehand if its at the tail end of your holiday if you stay at a Disney resport. You will have less competition for that specific time and are more likely to be successful.

FastPass Website  Website Walt Disney World Florida

The screen will then ask you for what sort of times you are looking for, like morning, afternoon. What you pick depends on a number of things like if your family are early risers, or you know you will get to the park late that day and stay late. If you use your FastPasses up early in the day – you can get more later. Also factor in meal times too.

FastPass Website  Website Walt Disney World Florida

Our strategy was to pick two rides that were in the same 'land' – such as Fantasyland. Like say Peter Pan and the Seven Dwarfs ride. Have those two rides ‘back to back’ so they are out the way. You can go to one ride near the end of the FastPass window, and the second ride at the beginning of the FastPass window thus maximising your time at the park. The third FastPass I scheduled after about a 3 hour break, elsewhere in the park (like Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventureland). The reason being doing 3 FastPass rides back to back can be a bit stressful getting all three done and its good to have a break between ride number 2 and 3.

When planning the FastPass rides I would look at the maps and see how far away the rides are from each other. Most of the FastPasses at EPCOT are in Future World. The Frozen Ever After (extremely popular) is in the middle of the World Showcase (on the other side of the park), so its good to have this as your ‘third’ FastPass as explained above, with a long gap between FastPass 2 and 3. Or have it alternatively as FastPass number 1, with Fastpass 2 and 3 back to back, but later in the day.

FastPass Website Walt Disney World Florida

You will get the FastPasses confirmed on the app. But if you need to change your preferences, dates or times, its really easy to do so on the mobile app. There is very good free wifi throughout the park too.

What if you can only get 2 out of 3 of your party on a Fast Pass ride?
If you have a ‘must do’ ride but can only get two people on the ride instead of 3 there are a few things you can try. You can book two people for 1-2pm, and the third person 1:45pm-2:45pm. The FastPass machines generally will let you in the ride until 15 minutes after the FastPass window, and a few minutes before your FastPass window begins – so you can do a bit of overlap to get all of your party in the FastPass at the same time.

What if my ride is not available as a FastPass?
When you log in, and there is no FastPass for the ride you want, it’s a good idea to keep checking every few days, as people do change their plans, their parks etc. It is also rumoured that Disney releases new FastPasses at about 10.30am each morning (but I have no verification of this). It would make sense though for Disney to release additional tickets on the day though.

If you don’t get your coveted FastPass choice, what can you do?
You can keep checking the app to see if the ride has become available. It might be at a different time that you wanted. Another option is to use the ‘single rider’ line, which is often shorter, but will get you on the ride faster. Lastly, we recommend you get there at park opening. the most popular rides may only have an hour or less wait.

What about FastPass tiers?
Some rides in some parks have tiers. For instance the Fastpasses are tiered for EPCOT. The ‘must do’ rides in this park are Frozen Ever After, Soarin' and Test Track and all are in Tier 1. You can only choose one ride in Tier 1 per day (for your initial Fastpass) We chose Soarin’ the first day and Frozen the second day for our FP. Test Track we did as a Single rider, which worked well for us. It only took about 20 minutes and we were on the ride. [The Tier 2 rides are rides you don't generally need FastPasses for at EPCOT].

Disney's Animal Kingdom also has two tiers. The Flight of Passage and the Na’vi River Journey are on the  same tier and you can only choose one to FastPass of these two rides per day. We FastPassed Flight of Passage and got to the park as soon as possible for Na’vi River Journey (where the standby line at 10am was about 60 minutes).

Magic Kingdom – There are no tiers – you just pick three rides per day for FastPasses. It is a good idea to get a FastPass for Peter Pan (as the standby line never goes down- ever!) and the Seven Dwarfs Mine train.

Hollywood Studios – With the opening of Toy Story land, there are many new ‘tier A’ rides competing in this park, of which you can only choose one. The new rides ‘Alien Swirling Saucers’ and ‘Slinky Dog Dash’ may/maynot have single rider lines.  The ride ‘Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith’ does have a single rider line. Toy Story Mania does not have a single rider line and is madly popular. It may be for this park you just need to get to the park as early as possible to minimise the standby line wait time for the un-Fastpassed rides.

With FastPasses, don’t choose the ride that you ‘can’ do as a Single rider. It may not be your preference to ride separately, but it sometimes beats waiting for hours in a line.

Park Hopping with a FastPass?
With Park Hopper tickets, you can get FastPasses for your second park visit in the day. So do standby rides in Park 1 and then you could jump from Park 1 to the 2nd park, and have your FP ready for the second park. I think this method is a bit risky - what if you are enjoying the first park and don't wish to leave it just yet and also you will miss out on getting any FP in this first park. This strategy is probably better for a return visitor however.

I hope you have found these tips on Walt Disney World FastPasses useful.
Until next week,


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You can read about other Disney Parks below:

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Disney's Hollywood Studios - what to see and do before Star Wars Land opens 
My top 6 theme park rides in Orlando and why
The rides and attractions at EPCOT
EPCOT World Pavilions Part 1
World of Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Tips and Advice from WDW Castmember Part 1
What’s inside the Disneyland Castles Part 2
How to plan a Disney Wedding 
Planning Tips for Someone without a Car
Interview with an Annual Passholder -WDW

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