Beginner’s Guide to FastPass+

On a recent trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, our family headed straight to the Flight of Passage ride first thing in the morning. The attraction already had a 45-minute wait.

As we waited, we saw something happen over and over. A family would ask where the end of the line was. A Disney cast member would point to a long line where the wait time was quickly moving up to 60 minutes, 90 minutes…120 minutes. People are literally walking at the same pace the line is growing and have difficulty reaching the end of the line. It’s funny to watch if you’re already in line, but not so funny if you’re the one desperately trying to get to the end of the line.

As we got to the entrance of the ride (the line quickly approaching a 180 minute wait), another frustrated parent tried to use the FastPass entrance. The cast member informed the parent that they did not have a FastPass+ reservation. This poor parent didn’t realize he actually needed to make a reservation. He thought having FastPass on his ticket allowed him to use the FastPass entrance whenever he wanted.

Later that morning, we saw another cast member walk a family over to a FastPass+ kiosk where the defeated parent found out that the FastPasses to the most popular attractions had already been booked for the day. Again, a misunderstanding about how the system worked had lost this family the opportunity to use this great perk to their advantage.

Don’t be the person that shows up with no FastPass+ reservations unless you don’t mind winging it…and there are people who don’t mind winging it. I know a few.

FastPass+ Can Make Your Trip to Disney World More Magical

Walt Disney World’s FastPass+ system allows you to secure an arrival time for that must-do attraction at the theme park. You make your reservation in advance–and are even able to make adjustments while on the go!

A Free Perk to Help Your Vacation Go More Smoothly

You have the ability to reserve access to your favorite attractions, character meet-and-greets, and entertainment with the Disney FastPass+ service. You can make your selections as early as 30 days before your arrival (beginning 7:00 AM Eastern time–that’s 4:00 AM Pacific time for those of us on the west coast) if you have purchased a ticket or an annual pass. If you are lucky enough to be staying at a Disney resort hotel, a Disney Springs area hotel, or a few select hotels nearby, you can make your FastPass+ selections up to 60 days before you check-in. It’s one of the best perks of staying in a Disney resort. The FastPass+ reservations can be made for the entire length of your stay. This benefit is complimentary–which makes it one of the best values of your vacation.

Before you begin, you will need to link up your park admission tickets to your account and be sure the people you’re planning on traveling with have been added to your Family & Friends list.

It’s Simple and Easy

You have the ability to choose from over 60 Walt Disney World experiences–and the ability to change your plans as needed–wherever you may be. You can choose up to three FastPass+ experiences per day. You can make these reservations before your arrival using the mobile app, online, or at a FastPass+ kiosk if you’re already in a park. After you have used your original three choices, you can head to a kiosk and make another selection for the same day.

Choices That Appeal to Everyone

You choose one park per each day of your visit. You can then reserve up to three FastPass+ choices for your favorite attractions (Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Haunted Mansion, and Peter Pan) and entertainment (Fantasmic!, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage). You can even make FastPass+ choices for character greetings with your favorite characters (Ariel at her Grotto, Cinderella at Princess Fairytale Hall, and Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater).

Make Your FastPass+ Reservations Early

I always recommend to my clients the need to make your FastPass+ reservations early so that they have the best choices to choose from and can pick the experiences that mean the most to you. If you are unable to get a reservation to see your favorite character or ride a popular ride, all attractions and rides have a standby line. You can simply get to it when it fits into your schedule.

Are You Ready to Make Your FastPass+ Reservation?

Here is what you need to get ready to make your FastPass+ reservation:

  • A theme park ticket or a vacation package booked and linked to your account
  • Understand how to add your people to your Friends & Family list and add them
  • Check availability of FastPass+ choices and make your selections.

This is what your selections will look like when complete:

Looks like I’m all ready to go!

Don’t be a disappointed Disney traveler. Take the time to understand how and when to make your FastPass+ reservations. I highly recommend booking with a travel adviser who is also a graduate of the Disney College of Knowledge (like myself). They can help walk you through the process and help you with making those reservations…even if it means getting up at 4:00 AM.