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Walt Disney World’s FastPass – The Essentials

Besides “Mickey” the word you’ll hear most at Walt Disney World is “FastPass”. Disney created FastPass to give guests the option of booking attraction “appointment times” for up to three attractions per day (at a single theme park). You book these before arriving to the park at zero cost. Yes, that’s right, no cost! Unlike most theme parks Disney FastPass is included in your park ticket. Is it time for a change Universal Studios and Six Flags? One thing every Disneyphile knows like the back of their hand is the FastPass system. Let’s dive into the essentials and DVC Duo’s FastPass tips.

Big Thunder Mountain Raildroad a FastPass Attraction at Magic Kingdom

Know Before You Go

Woohoo! We’re going to Disney! You’ve booked your trip and time can’t go by fast enough. If you’re anything like me then you’re dreaming of endless rides on Big Thunder Mountain and chilling with Tiger. Once you book your trip the DVC Duo recommends three things: 

1.) Grab your smartphone and download the MyDisneyExperience app. When you’re at Disney is will be your favorite app, besides Instagram.

2.) Make sure to purchase your park tickets more than 60 days prior to your vacation so you can book your FastPass attractions as early as possible.

3.) Link your tickets to your MyDisneyExperience account.

You may ask “why is this so important, Nate?” If you’re staying on Disney Property, one of the many perks is the option to book your FastPass attractions 60 days before you arrive (30 days in advance if you’re not staying on Disney property). We definitely recommend marking your calendar for the 60-day mark. If you want to be precise, 7:00 am EST on the 60-day mark. The only requirements to book FastPass attractions 60 days in advance are to have a MyDisneyExperience account (that includes profiles of everyone traveling with you), a hotel reservation at a Disney hotel (linked to your MyDisneyExperience app) and a valid park ticket for each person. Disney will also send a reminder in the mail, as well as email, regarding when you can book your FastPass experiences.

Passholder Insight: If you have any issues with linking your park ticket or hotel reservation to the MyDisneyExperience app, call Disney. They will resolve everything ASAP. We’ve had to call a few times.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train FastPass

Booking FastPass Attractions  

One member of the DVC Duo loves spreadsheets. We won’t point any fingers, but he may have written this blog post. 🙂 Our recommendation is to become familiar with the MyDisneyExperience app and website prior to the 60-day mark. While you’re clicking around the app and website, that is a great time to start picking out which attractions you would like to book as a FastPass (remember 3 per day at a single park). This is where I bust out the spreadsheet. (The secret is out regarding my love for spreadsheets!) It definitely helps in keeping track of everything.

The best thing we ever learned was that you do not have to go in order when booking FastPass attractions, you can start on any day of your vacation (as long as your vacation is 10 days or less). What we usually do is look to book our “must-do” attractions first, then fill in the rest afterward. For example, if the top two FastPass attraction your family would like to do is Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Magic Kingdom) and Flight of Passage (Animal Kingdom). The DVC Duo recommends you book those first. Then tackle the rest of your FastPass reservations after.

Passholder Insight: Typically you will not need a FastPass for the shows. The shows have tons of room and usually, the wait is no more than 20 minutes.

Splash Mountain FastPass at The Magic Kingdom

Extra FastPass, Sign Me Up!

How do you get an additional FastPass you ask? Shh! We’re going to let you in on the secret! Once you use your third FastPass for the day, you’re able to go into the MyDisneyExperience app and book a fourth FastPass. Best part is, after you use your fourth FastPass you can book another! And so on and so on! This is a great way to squeeze in a few more attractions towards the end of your day. You’ll never know which attractions will be available, sometimes there will be limited selection and sometimes you may stumble upon a FastPass for Toy Story Mania.

We would recommend keeping this in mind when booking your first 3 FastPass attractions for the day. Until you complete that third FastPass you’re not able to book additional ones. This is why we recommend not using a FastPass on the nighttime fireworks or shows like Fantasmic (great show though, definitely plan to see it!).

Passholder Insight: When you’re looking to book your “extra” FastPass for the day it does not have to be in the same park. You can book it at any of the parks. We recommend planning about an hour to go from park to park.

Haunted Mansion Fastpass at the Magic Kingdom

Run! Our FastPass is at 10:30 am

A FastPass is both like and not like a dining reservation. Like a dinner reservation, you are booking a time in advance to experience the attraction. However, you don’t have to arrive on time. With a FastPass you have an hour block to arrive. For example, if you have a FastPass for Haunted Mansion at 10:30 am, you can arrive anytime between 10:30 am and 11:30 am. No need to make grandma run through the Magic Kingdom. Use that time to your advantage to grab a snack, drink or if you’re like us enjoy another attraction. Stress free vacation is where it’s at!

The FastPass is definitely an important part of a Walt Disney World vacation, but trust us they will not make or break your trip. Definitely take advantage of the early booking and use them to your advantage where you can, but don’t stress if you can’t get every single one you want. You may stumble on an off day at the park where times aren’t that bad, or get some Extra Magic Hours!

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