EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios are currently the only two Disney parks where you have tiered selection of Fastpass+. This forces the guest to make choices for the first three attractions they experience via Fastpass+ and makes sure the very limited number of e-Ticket style attractions are enjoyable by everyone via the system.
Disney has decided to tweak the system slightly starting June 16 2014. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios Great Movie Ride becomes a tier 1 selection while at EPCOT Living with the Land moves to tier 1 and Character Spot and Maelstrom drop to tier 2. That last one makes the most sense to me. I’m not sure The Great Movie Ride needed the move though, it’s a pretty high capacity attraction.
All previous selections you’ve made will be maintained, but going forward Fastpass+ for the 16th and beyond will conform to this new system. And once you use your three Fastpass+ you can select from any attraction with availability for your 4th, 5th, etc. Fastpass+.
The full updated line-up for the tiered parks is below the jump:
As the Disney representative mentioned in our video interview, many of the Star Wars weekends premier theatre experiences are now available on the Fastpass+ system. It also looks like Darth’s Mall might have a Fastpass+ line too (it was visible, but not available for reservations when I last checked). What she didn’t mention was that they’ll all tier 1 offerings.
This means you’re limited to one Star Wars Weekend show Fastpass+ entitlement a day. I totally understand why they did this. There is very limited seating inside the Premier theater and only a portion of those will be Fastpass+ seating. So one show a day without the wait seems reasonable. It’s tough to pick just one, but I understand.
If there are two shows you really want to see, and are only here for one weekend, you’ll have to use your Fastpass+ allotment both days at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
However, there are some complications for locals and off-site guests that result from including Star Wars Weekend Fastpass+ in with the regular system, that I don’t think Disney has quite worked out yet.
Annual Passholders who pre-ordered online are now receiving their MagicBands in the mail. I just received mine and you can watch my Instagram unboxing video below. All APs can now go through the My Disney Experience website to connect their admissions media with the My Disney Experience App and make Fastpass+ reservations as far as 30 days ahead. You may have any 7 days booked in that rolling 30 day window.
The latest rumor, although there’s no official word from Disney, is that beginning March 31st, just like Annual Passholders, off-site guests will be able to book their Fastpass+ 30 days ahead of time. Guests will be able to enter their ticket information via the My Disney Experience website and have access to the same booking window as APs.
Disney resort guests can book 60-days out. Which is Disney’s big incentive to get you to stay on property (although I always thought that being enveloped in the Magic was enough incentive).
As a local and an annual passholder, I never really know which park I’m going to be at until a few day ahead. If off-site guests and APs share the same booking window, it means I will have to plan at least 30 days ahead to make sure I’m not letting the 10’s of thousands of off-site guests ahead of me in line to reserve their Fastpass times. So far, with only resort guests having an earlier booking window, there have been good options to making FP just a few days out, but with everyone in the pool, it might get more difficult to secure that E-ticket FP+. Making plans 30 days ahead is definitely a change to how I do things now, but I guess I’ll get used to it or I just won’t get many FP+ for popular attractions.
Off-site guests will be able to use their RFID enabled tickets or upgrade to a MagicBand for an, as yet, unannounced price. If you plan to do this on your day of arrival, you might want to allow some extra time in the morning to configure your wristbands. A better strategy might be to head in and enjoy the park in the morning, then get your bands when the park is experiencing mid-day crowds.
Keep in mind that the system is still technically in testing (although as was pointed out to me, when everyone is forced to use it to the exclusion of the old system, it’s not really testing, it’s experimentation). So everything is subject to change.
More details on the MagicBand and Fastpass+ below the jump: