Your guide to Fastpass+
This service is amazing and should be utilized as much as possible before and during your trip to the Walt Disney World Resort. It can seem complicated to use at times if you've never used it before but fear not; we will guide you to perfection!
First things first: what is Fastpass?
Not a bad question at all, especially if you've never been to a Disney theme park. Fastpass is a reservation for attraction lines that essentially allows you to skip the main line and get on the attraction faster. It is available for rides, shows, parades, and character spots. We all want to shorten are wait times in line and this is how you do it. It's a completely free service to anyone with a valid park ticket.
Fastpass+ is the advanced reservations of this service. You choose which attractions you want to use Fastpass on BEFORE you get to the parks. Some people really love advanced planning and other people don't. We've always had a great experience with it and we think you will too when you combined it with our free Walt Disney World Crowd Calendars. Choose the least crowded parks to play in before arriving and make your Fastpass+ reservation there!
You'll need to do a couple of things to use it
First is to create a Walt Disney World account at Disneyworld.com. Once you've created an account you can add people to your "family" list. Basically you want to add anyone in your group who you will be managing their tickets and Fastpass+ reservations. After you've created your account and guest profiles you'll want to link your tickets and property hotel (if you have one). This allows you to actually make your Fastpass+ reservations.
Second is to download the Walt Disney World Resort App to your smart phone. This will come in handy when you're at the parks and need to make changes to your Fastpass+ plans on the go (and you will).
Now we play the waiting game...
...or not depending on how close you are to your trip. If you're more than 30 days out from your trip you will need to wait to make your Fastpass+ reservations. If you're staying at a Disney-owned property hotel you get to make your Fastpass+ reservations 60 days in advance. Woohoo!
As soon as your reservation time comes up for your trip you'll want to jump right on it. Like 12:01am style. That's because your favorite attraction or show can run out of Fastpass's. So make them quickly. We suggest using our crowd calendar to see which parks will be least buy during your trip. This will guide you in choosing which parks to make your Fastpass+ reservations for and on which days.
This is a numbers game
Like a very simple numbers game but still. The length of your ticket determines how many days you get to make Fastpass+ reservations for. A 5 day ticket will give you 5 days during your stay to make Fastpass+ reservations. If you plan to upgrade your ticket when you get to the parks that great; but it won't help you now. For instance, if you have a 5 day ticket and you plan to make it a 7 day ticket when you arrive, Disney is not going to give you Fastpass+ for the 7 days until you've actually upgraded it. Unfortunately it cannot be done over the phone either (we've tried!)
So for the number of days that you have on your ticket you'll have to choose 1 park each day that you want to make your Fastpass+ reservations for. You cannot choose 2 parks in advance. So for your first day let's say you choose EPCOT. Now you get to pick 3 attractions or shows that you want to Fastpass. You'll be required to space them out time wise so they don't over-lap. Once you've picked your 3 you're done with that day and you move on to the next.
Changes will happen and it's okay
You'll want to change somethings about your Fastpass+ reservations at some point and that's okay. Most of the time this is done when you're at the parks and you decide that you want to visit a different park then you originally planned. Using the Walt Disney World phone app you can easily change this on the go. Simply cancel the Fastpass+ reservations for whomever in your party will not be using it and make a new ones. You still have to make all 3 for one park.
If your group splits and some are going to keep the original reservations and some aren't that's fine too. The app will guide you through this process.
If Disney cancels one of your Fastpass+ reservations due to a ride closure don't worry. They give you what is essentially an unlimited Fastpass meaning, it's not tied to one attraction anymore. You can go to ANY Fastpass attraction and use it, any time you want. We LOVE these because it gives you more freedom on choice and time.
Do I only get 3 each day?
Haha. Of course not silly! Once you've used your original 3 Fastpass+ reservations you can make 1 at a time for the rest of the day! You could end up having used 6 or more in one day if you keep using them. It's smart! You can even change parks at this point and make reservations as well without having to cancel anything.
Magic Bands and Magic Cards
These are your tools to physically use your Fastpass+ reservations. Magic bands can be purchased online before your arrival OR you will receive them free by staying at a Disney-owned property hotel. Magic cards are for anyone else who does not have Magic Bands.
Each has a RFID chip in them that allows you to simply tap or touch a Fastpass+ Mickey pole at the entrance of each ride or show. It tells the Cast Member that you in fact do have a Fastpass+ reservation and that it is valid. There is really no advantage to one over the other. Just preference.