Four secrets of Fastpass+ at Walt Disney World

When I visit any of the four Walt Disney World theme parks these days, I’m often surprised to see guests buying tickets at the walk-up window mid-day then heading into the parks. Don’t they realize that by not buying tickets ahead of time, they’re missing out on one of the best free perks for guests in the know? Fastpass+ is Disney’s way of giving guests a chance to go on at least three attractions with little or no wait by making a reservation online via the MyDisneyExperience app or website or in the park at a kiosk.

There are lots of little rules to know to maximize your Fastpass+ experience, including the fact that those staying on property get to make reservations up to 30 days ahead of regular guests (plus a 10 day grace period). But rather than offering an in-depth guide here, we are sharing the four secrets that we use to make our Fastpass+ use the most efficient:

Choose your tiered Fastpass+ wisely.

Three of Disney’s four parks have tiered attractions (Magic Kingdom is the exception), where you’re only allowed to pick one attraction from a list of popular attractions. In theory, this prevents all the best attractions from booking up early. However, at both Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT, this elite tier includes some attractions that have single rider lines or otherwise shorter lines later in the day. So make sure you really want that Fastpass if a Fastpass is available for another rarer ride.

Don’t throw away your shot

When you book a Fastpass for a show or ride toward the end of park operating hours, such as a viewing area for fireworks, you are limiting yourself to a maximum of three fastpasses for that day. The Fastpass+ system allows you too book an additional Fastpass+ after you’ve used your third Fastpass for the day. It’s based on availability, so the later in the day you book your 3rd Fastpass, the less chance you’ll have of getting a 4th or 5th Fastpass for the day.

In general, on a busy day (and they’re almost all busy days), we recommend booking your three Fastpass+ close together and as early in the day as is convenient for your schedule. Remember, for most attractions, as soon as you’ve scanned your wristband to enter the third attraction, you can go to your mobile phone and use the MyDisneyExperience App to make your next Fastpass+ reservation

The ‘bonus’ Fastpass+

Alas, even Walt Disney World isn’t perfect and sometimes the attraction you have a Fastpass+ for ceases operations. This could be temporary or for the entire day, and for a variety of reasons including weather, safety issues, or mechanical reasons. When it happens, you should get an email at the address associated with your MyDisneyExperience account with a list of other attractions you can enjoy instead. This bonus fastpass does not have a time window and can be used anytime during the day.

Splitsville

Be aware of who in your family wants ride which attraction and remember that not everyone in your party has to have a Fastpass+ to the same attraction. If two people in your party of four don’t do roller coasters, you can get them Fastpass+ for separate attraction.

Note: Disney has tightened the rules on who can use Fastpass+ entitlements, do not try to game the system by using Fastpass+ on magic bands or admission media that haven’t been used to enter the park that day.

Do you have a favorite Fastpass+ tip or trick to make your Walt Disney World vacation more efficient or enjoyable?

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