Guide to Fastpass at Disneyland
Fastpass is one of the best inventions to hit Disneyland since it opened in 1955. It's a very simple system to use and can help you save hours each day. You can kiss long wait times goodbye with Fastpass and start enjoying the simple things like sitting on a bench people watching or enjoying other shows and attractions (we like doing the latter).
One of the most important things to know about Fastpass is that it's free. Any valid ticket purchased and used for park entry includes Fastpass. You should never pay for Fastpass (MaxPass at the Disneyland Resort will charge a fee for use). We just needed to get that out of the way as many people ask about this.
Fastpass essentially holds your place in line while you go enjoy other attractions and shows. When your return time comes up simply go to the Fastpass return line and enjoy a much shorter line to the attraction. We'll break it down for you in case you didn't follow that.
1. Most major attractions at Disneyland have Fastpass machines. Most machines are located by the attraction itself. Other are located some distance away. Just check your park map for the Fastpass location of an attraction. Once you've arrived the the Fastpass machines look to see what return time is being displayed. If it says 2pm-3pm it means that if you get a Fastpass right now for that attraction you'll need to return between those 2 times to ride.
2. To obtain your actual Fastpass you'll need to go to the Fastpass machine and enter your ticket barcode up and then pull it out (just like a credit card). The machine reads your ticket barcode then spits out your Fastpass ticket. Your ticket displays what attraction it's for and when you need to return along with some other information.
3. Now go enjoy something else until your return time. Watch a shows, ride a ride, people watch, enjoy a lunch, take a nap, etc. Whatever you do is up to you, just remember to return to the Fastpass attraction sometime during your return period.
4. Upon returning look for the Fastpass line entrance. Simply show the Cast Member your Fastpass ticket and proceed. The Fastpass line will be much shorter than the standby line allowing you to enjoy the attraction much faster! Plus you were able to get stuff done during that time instead of just standing in line! Woot!
5. Now that you've used your Fastpass it's time to get another one! Repeat this process throughout the day to maximize your ride time.
Now there are a few things to keep in mind while you're enjoying Fastpass:
- You can only have 1 Fastpass out at a time (minus show Fastpass tickets such as World of Color and Frozen). Upon receiving a Fastpass ticket look towards the bottom of the ticket. It will tell you when you can receive another Fastpass.
- You cannot arrive early or late when using your Fastpass. So if your return time is between 2pm and 3pm you cannot show up at 1:30pm nor can you show up at 5pm. The Cast Member at the line will turn you away. Only show up during your marked return time.
- Make sure every member in your party has his or hers own Fastpass. If you have any children under 3 they DO NOT require a Fastpass as they don't require a park ticket.
- Do not make the mistake of sending someone into the parks with everyone's ticket just to receive a Fastpass for an attraction. Only tickets that have been scanned for entry into the park can receive a valid Fastpass. We've seen some sad people walk away from a Fastpass because of this! Make sure everyone has entered a park first before doing this!
Now our tip of the day is how to utilize Fastpass to get the most out of it. It's actually very simple: upon receiving your first Fastpass go enjoy something until your return time. At your return time go get another Fastpass for your next attraction, then return to your first Fastpass attraction and ride. Repeat this throughout the day. It will ensure that you always have a Fastpass in hand thus bringing down your wait times significantly.
Remember, show tickets like World of Color, Fantasmic!, and shows at the Hyperion Theater DO NOT count towards your Fastpass usage. You can have tickets to World of Color, Frozen, and the Toy Story Midway Mania attraction all at the same time.
Sometimes Disney runs promotions on their vacation packages where you can receive 3 instant Fastpasses per person. What this means is that each person will receive 3 Fastpasses that can be used at anytime on any Fastpass attraction assuming it's open and running. Unlike the other Fastpasses where you have to use your ticket at a machine, these Fastpasses are on the actual ticket and can be scanned directly at the attraction. For vacation package promotions check out Park Savers.