Let’s continue planning our vacation to Disney World. So far we have chosen our resort, planned our schedule, and made Advance Dining Reservations for our restaurants. Today we are going to make our Fastpass+ reservations for the rides at Disney World.
Choosing Your Rides
Before you can make your Fastpass+ reservations, you need to decide which rides are your top priorities in each park. Look at your schedule to see which parks you will be visiting each day. If you are park-hopping, you will need to choose one park for your Fastpass+ reservations. The Disney system doesn’t allow you to choose more than one park in one day. Choose your top three rides at that park. You are able to hold three Fastpasses at one time. The times cannot overlap.
At Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, you are able to choose any three Fastpasses. However, the Fastpasses are tiered at Hollywood Studios and Epcot. You are able to choose one FastPass from Tier 1 and two FastPasses from Tier 2. The chart below shows you your choices at Hollywood Studios and Epcot.
Since I have two young children, I focused on choosing rides that would be appropriate for them. I avoided the thrill rides, which are often some of the most popular rides. I also avoided shows because my daughter has trouble sitting for long periods of time. Just ask anyone who was in the movie theater with us for the Angry Birds movie. I didn’t want to have to make my way out of attractions at Disney World. It’s not quite as easy as leaving the movie theater. Here are the FastPasses+ reservations I made.
As you can see, I made two FastPass+ reservations for each day. I could have made three, but some days the times didn’t work out, and other days there were only two rides we really wanted to do at that park. On Monday and Thursday, you can see that I was able to make another FastPass+ reservation at a different park. That was because we had used all of our other FastPasses. You can use the My Disney Experience app on your phone or one of the kiosks at the park to choose an additional FastPass. The selection of rides and times might be limited, though.
At Magic Kingdom, I highly recommend that you get a FastPass for Peter Pan’s Flight. That line is always long and moves very slowly. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Storytime with Belle, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train are also popular so FastPasses are a good idea. If you like thrill rides, you will probably want to make FastPass+ reservations for Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Space Mountain.
At Animal Kingdom, you will want a FastPass for Kilimanjaro Safari. I recommend getting one for the morning since the animals tend to be more active when it’s cooler. If you like thrill rides, you will want to make FastPass+ reservations for Kali River Rapids and Expedition Everest.
I wish I could have booked a FastPass+ for Frozen Ever After at Epcot. The ride opened while we were there, but FastPasses weren’t available when I made my reservations. The line was 5 hours long, so there was no way we were waiting in it. If you have little ones who love Anna and Elsa, you definitely want to use your Tier 1 choice for this one. If your family isn’t interested in Frozen Ever After, you should use your Tier 1 Fastpass for either Test Track or Soarin’. Both of those usually have long lines. The Tier 2 rides usually don’t have extremely long lines so you can just choose the ones you’re most interested in riding. For me, that would be The Seas with Nemo and Friends and Journey into the Imagination with Figment.
At Hollywood Studios, my recommendation for a Tier 1 ride would be Toy Story Midway Mania! It is an awesome ride that all ages will enjoy, and the line gets really long. If you prefer thrill rides, though, I would recommend Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. The Tower of Terror is another thrill ride, and that is Tier 2 so you could get that in addition to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. A lot of the other Tier 2 choices at Hollywood Studios are shows so you can pick ones that you think your family will enjoy.
Booking FastPass+ Reservations
If you are staying at a Disney resort, you can start booking your FastPass+ reservations 60 days before your trip. If you are staying off property, you have to wait until 30 days before you arrive. Make sure your theme park tickets are linked to My Disney Experience. Otherwise, you won’t be able to book FastPasses.
I just read that you can only start booking at 7:00 in the morning now. I had to get up really early on April 17th to book mine. Now I would be able to sleep in a bit. When you’re ready to get started, go to My Disney Experience and choose FastPass+. Click “Get Started.” Then, you will be asked to select the people in your group. Click “Next” and choose the date and park you will be visiting. You should see a list of all the ride selections for that park. Click on the one you want, and you will see the times that are available. Choose the one you want. Just remember that your other Fastpass+ times can’t overlap with it. Continue booking your FastPasses until you have the three you want for that day. Then, choose your next date and park and do the same. Continue until you have FastPasses for all the days you will be in the parks.
Using FastPass+ in the Parks
Once your Disney vacation has arrived and you are in the parks, using your FastPasses is really easy. Make sure you have either written down your FastPass+ times or have your My Disney Experience app on your phone readily available. You have a one hour window to use your FastPass+. For example, my FastPass+ for Pirates of The Caribbean was at 9:20. My window to use it was from 9:20-10:20. When you’re ready to use your FastPass, just make your way to the ride and look for the FastPass+ entrance. It will be clearly marked. You will scan your Magic Band and enter a much shorter line for the ride. I don’t think we waited more than five minutes in any FastPass line while the regular wait times were anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour and a half. Booking FastPasses is definitely worth it! You will spend less time waiting in lines and more time enjoying other attractions.
Join me next time to find out about Disney’s Memory Maker and if it’s a good choice for you.
What are your favorite rides at Disney World?