Fast Passes are your ticket to skipping long lines on popular rides and experiences – so basically they’re amazing. If you plan on going to Disney for any length of time, pre-planning your Fast Passes is definitely worth it. Follow these steps if you are new to Fast Passes…and watch for extra special bonus tips at the end of the article if you’ve already got the hang of FastPass+ basics.
Step 1 – Sign up for a Disney account. Because Disney sites are all connected, you may already have one and not even realize it. Go to the general Disney website and either sign up or log in.
Step 2 – Download the My Disney Experience app. If you prefer, you can make your Fast Pass Reservations online from the website. However, if you have a smart phone or device that you plan to bring to the parks with you, you will want this app for SO many reasons, including the ability to change your Fast Passes on the go. So go ahead and do it now.
Step 3 – Link your tickets. If you purchased your tickets directly from Disney, they should have already been linked to your account. If you purchased from an outside source, you’ll need to link them yourself. Have the ticket number available before you start. The easiest way to do this online is to click on the My Disney Experience button (top right corner of the screen) and choose “My Profile”. There you can choose to add your ticket info, as well as the Friends and Family you’ll be planning for. Even if someone else in your party purchases their own ticket through their own Disney account, you can still link with them for FastPass+ purposes. Ask for their ticket number, enter it in to Friends and Family, and then Disney will send them an email to confirm that you are authorized to link/plan with them. This is the most technically complicated step, so if you have trouble, call Disney’s tech support team and they’ll walk you through it over the phone.
Step 4 – Browse available Fast Passes. On the MDE app, you’ll need to go to the menu (top left corner) and choose FastPass+, then “Choose New FastPass+ Experiences”. If you choose to do it on the website, you’ll need to click on My Disney Experience (upper right corner) and choose FastPass+, then click “New FastPass+”. From there, follow the prompts to choose the date and park you’ll be planning for. Note, you can only plan for one park per day.
Step 5 – Make three FastPass+ reservations. For those staying on Disney property, you can make your reservations 60 days in advance, otherwise you can start 30 days in advance. Three is the limit for your initial Fast Pass queue. For Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom you can choose from anything on the available list. For Epcot and Hollywood Studios, they’ve created a tiered system where you need to make one selection from the first group of extremely popular experiences, then two more from a less-popular group.
Step 6 – Making changes. It’s easy to make changes to your Fast Passes if you need to. Just follow Step 4, except choose the “Change” button instead of the “New” button. From there you can change the time, change the ride/experience, copy to a new member of your party, or completely replace one or more Fast Passes. Again, with the MDE app you can even do this from inside the parks in case the day is going a little differently than expected.
Step 7 – Reserving more. After you’ve used your initial Fast Passes, the only way to get more is one-by-one at the kiosks inside the park. (Kiosks are marked on the park map.) Your app will not work at all, and the kiosk will not work until all of your first three are actually used. Also, if you’re going to park hop, your additional Fast Passes must be made at the kiosk inside the actual park where the ride is located. (Meaning, you can’t reserve Epcot Fast Passes at the Hollywood Studios kiosk, unfortunately.)
1. Plan for One – For highly sought-after rides like Toy Story Mania and Seven Dwarves Mine Train, there are often not Fast Passes available when you’re looking for your whole party. Instead, just choose to make reservations for one member of your party. That often increases availability. Then you can usually use the Copy feature to make the same reservations (or reservations that have similar, overlapping times) for the rest of your party.
2. Watch the Wait Times – If this is your first time at Disney, you may have certain things on your to-do list that are important, but not really FastPass+ worthy. Watch the wait times on your MDE app to figure out which ones you really need Fast Passes for, versus which ones you’ll be OK waiting in line for. For instance, the Teacups are a classic, but you can usually find a 15 minute or less wait time. Using FastPass+ for this is a waste, in my opinion.
3. Play Around Until it’s Right – The system is going to give you four time options for the experiences you choose. It’s driven by a computer and does not know your schedule or preferences, therefore you’ll want to choose the option that’s closest to what you are looking for. Once you get close, use the Change features to play around with the times/experiences until you find YOUR best option, not the computer’s. Rarely will the computer truly pick something that’s ideal…you’ll need to play around to optimize it.
Follow these simple steps to help make your Disney parks experience the best and most efficient that it can be. For more FastPass information, check out “3 Major FastPass+ Tips & Over a Dozen Attractions You Should Never Waste a FastPass+ On.” Enjoy!
For more Fast Pass tips, consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best price for your vacation, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!