For those of you planning your first trip to Disney World or your first trip since Disny introduced the new FastPass+ system , I wanted to share some of my FastPass+ tips and strategies to help you before you get to the parks. FastPass+ has really introduced some advantages over the old FastPass system. The best one for me is not having to get across the park to the ride you want to collect your FastPass from! But for those of you used to collecting more than three of the old FastPasses a day, the new system may prove a little dissapointing .
As a reminder, guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel can make FastPass+ reservations up to 60 days in advance of check-in for their entire length of stay, while guests staying offsite can make reservations up to 30 days in advance of each day of their theme park visit. The system works by having guests select three preferences from a list of attractions and entertainment options per day. After you make your selections, you are given a choice of hour-long blocks of time to experience those attractions.
It hasn't changed all that much with the iintroduction of FastPass+, but one thing that is very important: You should use FastPass+ no matter how empty you think the parks will be when you visit.
You will still see the lowest waits of the day in the first few hours when the park opens.
I would recommend riding the most popular attractions with the lowest wait times when crowds are at they're lowest and saving your FastPass+ until late morning and early afternoon when crowds are at their peak.
If you arrive before park opening, you'll be in a prime position to ride most of the major attractions before lunch time and maybe have used only one of your FastPasses.
Once you've used your three pre-booked selections, you have the option to obtain a fourth FastPass+ reservation from the in-park kiosks.
Providing there are fast passes available you could do this a few times in a day
I would highly recommend taking advantage of this for rides that see medium waits (most of the high-wait rides will not have availability on the day as all Fast passes will be probably be booked).
For families with younger children, it may make more sense to split your FastPass+ times with one or two in the morning and then the remaining in the evenings. This allows you to take a break in the afternoon, go back to the hotel for a nap or a swim, and then come back to the park for a few more rides, the parade and fireworks.
Use FastPass+ as part of your general touring plan strategy just not your entire strategy.
Here are my DisneyWorld FastPass+ Tips:
Attention those who do a lot of park hopping! You'll need to pick a park for your advance FastPass+ reservations.
You can only make advance FastPass+ reservations in one park per day. So if you’re planning on starting the day in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and hopping over to Magic Kingdom in the afternoon, know that you can only make advance FastPass+ reservations at one park.
I would recommend you use FastPass+ at the second park, since you're more than likely starting at the first one when crowd levels are at their lowest in the morning.
Make use of extra FastPass+ reservations after you have used your first three.
All park-goers have the option of obtaining additional FastPasses. Once you've used your first three (or the reservation windows have passed), you can visit a in-park kiosk or you can use your mobile device and make an additional reservation.
After you use that reservation, you are free to make another.
These additional selections don't have to be in the park that you made your first reservations in, which makes it good for park hoppers, and it doesn't matter if you've already made a FastPass+ reservation for that ride.
While this is still a good way to save time, you will want to make your first three reservations your highest priority attractions.
Often FastPass+ availability for these popular attractions will be gone or limited for day-of reservations.
Modifying and Making Changes To Your Fastpass+ Reservations
Once you've made an additional FastPass+ reservation, you can modify or change that reservation, including changing the time or replacing the attraction with something else, via the app. Not everyone in the party must be present to add the FP+ selection, but the person making the reservation needs to be connected to everyone as friends and family.
Choose your FastPass+ selections wisely
Disney more than doubled the number of attractions that accept FastPass+ over the previous FastPass system.
You want to make sure you use your FastPass+ selections on your favorite rides and those priority attractions with the longest wait times. To help you out, here is a list of priority attractions by park.
Here are the Top 3 FastPass+ priorities by park
Magic Kingdom Park
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Peter Pan's Flight
Frozen Ever After
Test Track (know that you can only choose Soarin' or Test Track or Frozen Ever After since they are Tier 1 attractions. This will be covered further on.)
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Toy Story Midway Mania!
Rock n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith (know that you can only choose this attraction or Toy Story Midway Mania! since they are Tier 1 attractions. This will be covered further on.)
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Kali River Rapids
Disney's Animal Kingdom - After Pandora—The World of Pandora Opens On May 27, 2017
Avatar Flight of Passage or Na'vi River Journey
Each of these rides are amongst the most popular attractions within the park that see the highest wait times.
In some of the parks, it's an easier decision because of the abundance of high-priority attractions.
At Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, it’s a more difficult decision, which brings me to my next point.
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again
If you see that distribution has ended for one of your chosen attractions such as Soarin' or Toy Story Mania!, you should keep trying. Go ahead and book three choices, but periodically leading up to your visit, attempt to modify your reservations with the really in-demand attractions. .
Mind the tier system at Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios
Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios have a tiered system in place for FastPass+ selections. You can make only one selection from the Tier 1 list of attractions and two selections from the Tier 2 list.
The Tier 1 attractions include those attractions that you do not want to miss. Not un-coincidentally, these are the same attractions with the longest waits.
Epcot Tier 1 Attractions and Entertainment
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
Living with the Land
Test Track Presented by Chevrolet
Disney's Hollywood Studios Tier 1 Attractions and Entertainment
Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
The Great Movie Ride
Toy Story Midway Mania!
One last note about tiers, you won't be able to get another Tier 1 reservation until after you use all three of your first reservations.
Using FastPass+ for Pandora — The World of Avatar
Both of Pandora's attractions—Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey are available for FastPass+ reservations.
However, guests will only be able to reserve one of these attractions in advance.
Not sure why this is but it looks like that is going to happen.
Choose the rides that are important to YOU and YOUR FAMILY
If you're traveling with young children who won't be able to do the popular fast rides then character experiences might be your priority or some of the family friendly Disney classics that don't necessarily have the highest wait times.
Maybe you really love the parades and shows and would rather be guaranteed entry to them. It's really up to you. Decide what works best for your family.
Don't wait in line for a FastPass+ kiosk if you can help it
Normally at the beginning of the day, the kiosks closest to the park entrances can get really crowded, while those toward the back of the park are relatively empty
. Alternately, later in the day, the kiosks in the back of the park may be more crowded than those toward the entrances. Look for the signs or ask a cast member for a less-crowded location.