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Everything You Need to Know about FastPass+ for Walt Disney World

By Erin Greenwood 10/02/2019
 
Don't understand how FastPasses work at Walt Disney World? We've got your back! In this article, we'll be detailing everything you need to know about the FastPass+ system at Walt Disney World.
 

Disney World FastPass Castle

 

Everything You Need to Know About FastPass+ at Walt Disney World

When planning a Walt Disney World vacation, there is a lot to keep in mind. Unlike Disneyland, Walt Disney World requires some advance planning of your day-to-day activities. In addition to making dining reservations, reserving your hotel and booking tickets, you’ll also need to make your Walt Disney World FastPass reservations well before you leave on vacation. While all of this might seem overwhelming at first, there’s no need to worry! In this article, we’re going to detail everything you need to know about FastPass+ reservations for Walt Disney World.

What’s the difference between Walt Disney World’s and Disneyland’s FastPass systems?

It’s probably easier to answer this question by telling you that the FastPass systems at both Resorts are almost the complete opposite of each other. If you’re familiar with Disneyland’s FastPass system, then you already know that you can get a new FastPass every two hours, or as soon as your FastPass selection has been used. Disneyland requires little to no planning before you travel, so you can decide what FastPass selections you want to make as soon as you arrive at the Parks. However, at Walt Disney World, you can only reserve a maximum of three FastPasses at one park for your entire day during the pre-travel process. Once those three initial FastPass+ selections have been used, you can continue to make more, as long as there is availability. Unlike Disneyland where you can decide your FastPass selections the day of, it’s highly recommended that you reserve your Walt Disney World FastPass+ selections as soon as they become available. This feature alone requires a bit of advance planning, so it’s important to be thinking about what attractions you really want to ride before reservations become available.

Disney World FastPass Epcot

Another main difference between Walt Disney World’s and Disneyland’s FastPass systems is that Walt Disney World has FastPass+ tiers for certain attractions. So, what does “tier” mean? When making FastPass+ reservations in advance, you’ll notice that FastPasses are divided into two different categories: Tier 1 and Tier 2. Because of this, you can only reserve one FastPass for the most popular attractions in each Park (Tier 1) during the pre-travel process. However, your other two FastPasses can be used on other rides or entertainment options that aren’t considered to be “E-ticket attractions” (Tier 2). Keep reading to find out more about the attraction tiers for each Walt Disney World Park.

What are the different attraction tiers for Walt Disney World FastPass+?

As mentioned before, Walt Disney World has a tiered FastPass system for Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Magic Kingdom does not participate in the tiered FastPass+ system, which means that you can reserve a FastPass for any three FastPass+ attractions in advance. However, it’s important to keep in mind that you can still only make three FastPass+ selections per day during the pre-travel process. Additionally, you may notice that a few entertainment options are listed as a FastPass selection that you can reserve. This doesn’t mean that you can’t watch the show if you don’t have a FastPass reservation, but a FastPass means that you’ll be able to get priority seating for some of the Resort’s most popular entertainment. Below, we give you a full breakdown of the Walt Disney World FastPass+ tiers for each Park:

Epcot

Tier 1 FastPass+ Attractions:

  • Frozen Ever After
  • Soarin’
  • Test Track

Tier 2 FastPass+ Attractions:

  • Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
  • Journey Into Imagination with Figment
  • Living with the Land
  • Mission: SPACE
  • Spaceship Earth
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  • Turtle Talk with Crush
  • Epcot Character Spot

Disney World FastPass Mission Space

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Tier 1 FastPass+ Attractions:

  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Na’vi River Journey

Tier 2 FastPass+ Attractions:

  • DINOSAUR
  • Expedition Everest
  • Finding Nemo – The Musical
  • UP! A Great Bird Adventure
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Meet Favorite Disney Pals
  • Primeval Whirl (Currently under renovations)
  • Rivers of Light
  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Animation Experience

Disney World FastPass  Dinosaur

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Tier 1 FastPass+ Attractions:

  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Tower of Terror
  • Toy Story Mania

Tier 2 FastPass+ Attractions:

  • Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
  • Disney Junior Dance Party!
  • Fantasmic!
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
  • MuppetVision 3D
  • Star Tours
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid

Disney World FastPass Rock n Roller Coaster

Magic Kingdom (Does not participate in the “tiered” FastPass+ system, choose any three attractions)

  • "it's a small world"
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Meet Ariel at her Grotto
  • Meet Cinderella and Elena - Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Meet Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse - Town Square Theater
  • Meet Rapunzel and Tiana - Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Meet Tinker Bell - Town Square Theater
  • Mickey's PhilharMagic
  • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Peter Pan's Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • The Barnstormer
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Under the Sea - Journey of The Little Mermaid

Disney World FastPass it's a small world

Just to reiterate how the FastPass+ system works, we’ve provided an example scenario below:

Example:

If you were visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the day, you’d only be able to make one Tier 1 FastPass and two Tier 2 FastPasses for the entire day. Because of this, you decide to use your Tier 1 FastPass selection on Slinky Dog Dash and your Tier 2 FastPass selections on Fantasmic! and Star Tours. At this point in time, you will not be able to make any additional FastPass selections for the day until all three of your FastPasses have been used. 

Do my Walt Disney World FastPass reservations have to be in the same Park?

Yes and no. When making your FastPass+ reservations in advance, all three of your FastPass selections have to be in the same Park – regardless if you have a Park Hopper or not. This means that you won’t be able to make a FastPass+ reservation at Animal Kingdom in the morning and have your second FastPass+ selection at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the afternoon when making your FastPass+ reservations in advance. However, it’s important to note that you can start making additional FastPass reservations once all three of your initial FastPass+ selections have been used. Not only this, but you can start making FastPass+ reservations in a different Park, as long as you have a Park Hopper ticket.

Per our previous example, once you’ve used up your initial three FastPass+ selections at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the day, and you have a Park Hopper ticket, you can start making additional FastPass+ reservations (one at a time) for any Park at the Walt Disney World Resort (based on availability). Or, if you’d prefer, you can always make additional FastPass+ selections for the Park you’re already at. You can continue this process of adding one new FastPass selection after your previous reservation has been used. No matter what you choose to do, don’t forget to keep making those FastPass+ selections throughout your Disney day to take advantage of all of the fun. 

Disney World FastPass Hollywood

How far in advance can I book Walt Disney World FastPass reservations?

If you’re staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you can start making FastPass+ reservations up to 60 days in advance. If you’re staying elsewhere, or just visiting the Parks for a day, you can start making FastPass+ reservations up to 30 days in advance. As you can see, staying on property at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel is a HUGE perk. Being able to book your FastPass+ selections a full 30 days before other guests will give you the best availability and ultimate flexibility for your Walt Disney World vacation. Plus, a little extra Disney magic never hurt anyone, right?

Do you have any tips or strategies on how to use the Walt Disney World FastPass+ system?

Yes! Our first tip is to always book your FastPass+ selections as soon as they become available. Guests who visit Walt Disney World are serious about getting their FastPass reservations and will log in as soon as they become available at 7:00 a.m. (EST). I mean, who can blame them? No one wants to wait in a long line – especially if you had the opportunity to get a FastPass for that attraction in advance. We suggest logging in as soon as possible to start making your FastPass+ reservations, to help give you as many options for your vacation.  

Additionally, it’s important to start thinking about what attractions are your top priority well before reservations become available. If you have an attraction that is a must-do, be sure to snag any reservation you can find – whether you were planning on visiting that Park that day or not. FastPass+ selections can sell out fast, so it’s important to be flexible with your schedule and have a back-up plan. But, there’s no need to worry if FastPass+ selection is already booked up for your trip. We always recommend frequently checking the My Disney Experience website or app to see if FastPass+ selections have opened up. We’ve found that FastPass+ selections can open up the day of for some of the most popular rides, like Avatar Flight of Passage. Because of this, always be sure to check the My Disney Experience app before and during your vacation. You never know what you’ll be able to find!

Disney World FastPass Avatar

Speaking of Avatar Flight of Passage, it’s no surprise that this is frequently one of the FastPass+ selections that sell out first. However, to give you the best chance of getting a FastPass reservation for this ride and other popular attractions, we recommend making these reservations towards the end of your vacation. This might seem counterintuitive, but trust us. Everyone wants to ride the most popular rides first, which means that FastPass+ selections at the beginning of your vacation tend to sell out fast. We’ve found that there is more availability for the most popular attractions during the last two or three days of your vacation, mainly because there are travelers who will be arriving after you and do not have access to FastPass+ reservations yet. To help you determine what FastPass+ selections are going to sell out fast, we’ve provided a list of the most popular attractions in each Park (based on wait times) below:

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Na’vi River Journey

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Toy Story Mania

Epcot

  • Frozen Ever After
  • Test Track

Magic Kingdom

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Big Thunder Mountain

Disney World FastPass Big Thunder Mountain

As you might have noticed, most of these rides are considered to be Tier 1 attractions, which means that you’ll need to prioritize what you want to do before you go. However, as we mentioned previously, be sure to check the My Disney Experience app while you’re on vacation to see if any reservations have opened up. If no additional reservations end up becoming available, we suggest arriving before the Parks open and heading straight towards your desired attraction at rope drop.

Last, but certainly not least, we would recommend making all of your FastPass+ selections in the morning if possible. Since you can start making additional reservations once your initial three selections have been used, you’ll be able to make more FastPass+ reservations throughout the day, which means less waiting in line for you! However, we do understand that some of the most popular attractions might only have reservations available at night, so it might not be possible to make all of your selections during the morning hours. Having a FastPass+ reservation, even if it’s at night, is better than not having one at all.

Where do I make my Walt Disney World FastPass reservations?

To make your Walt Disney World FastPass reservations, you’ll need to log in to My Disney Experience. My Disney Experience can be found online by going to the Walt Disney World website or on the Walt Disney World app. To keep it short and sweet, My Disney Experience is where you’ll be able to reserve dining, personalize your MagicBand, shop Disney Parks, create a family and friends list, link tickets, manage your vacation plans and most importantly, make your FastPass+ selections. Before you can do all of this (and more), you’ll need to be sure to create a free My Disney Experience account after you’ve booked your trip. This is your one-stop-shop for everything you'll need for your Walt Disney World vacation.

Disney World FastPass Magic Band

Can I modify my Walt Disney World FastPass reservations once they are reserved?

Yes. You can log in to your My Disney Experience account at any time and make changes as you wish. This means that if you log in and find that a FastPass+ selection opened up that was previously sold out, you can cancel one of your FastPass+ selections in order to pick-up the new one. Just keep in mind that if it’s a Tier 1 attraction that opens up, you’ll have to cancel one of your previous Tier 1 attraction FastPass+ selections in order to reserve it. The same rules also apply to Tier 2 attractions.

I feel overwhelmed, can Get Away Today help me plan my Walt Disney World FastPass reservations?

Of course! We understand that Walt Disney World can be, well, a whole new world for our guests. Because of this, we offer a complimentary Walt Disney World concierge service for guests who book any 2-night or longer Walt Disney World Resort hotel stay that also includes Park tickets. With our concierge service, we’ll help you make dining reservations, set up transportation, reserve FastPass+ selections and answer any and all questions you might have regarding your Walt Disney World vacation. By using our complimentary concierge service, all you’ll have to worry about is how much fun you’re going to have at the most Magical Place on Earth.

So, what are you waiting for? To book your Walt Disney World vacation, give us a call at 855-GET-AWAY or view our discount Walt Disney World packages online. As a reminder, booking with Get Away Today is completely FREE! Our travel experts are here to help, so let us help you have the best vacation yet.

 

 

Everything You Need to Know About Disney World FastPass || Get Away Today

 

Greenwood, Erin