Fastpasses. They are easily the most convenient aspect of any Disney vacation but can often be one of the most confusing parts of planning a Disney vacation. What is FastPass? How much does it cost? How many do I get per day? How far in advice can I get them? What rides should I FastPass? Should I FastPass shows? These are questions we hear all the time. Some of these questions have quick easy answers. Others are a little more nuanced. Never fear, though, we are here to help you get it all sorted out from figuring out just what the heck it is to what rides to book in advance.
So what is it?
FastPass was introduced in 1999 and offered an all-new way to experience your favorite Disney Rides by basically serving as your placeholder in line. Rather than standing in a line with a bunch of strangers that seem to have forgotten the concept of personal space, your FastPass gives you a return time to come back and essentially skip most of the line. It saves time and frustration. (especially if you’re traveling with an impatient toddler like I am). In 2014 Disney rolled out the new and improved FastPass+ system. Gone are the days of traipsing back and forth across the parks to grab FastPass tickets. With FastPass+, you can make your reservations right from your mobile device (or from centralized kiosks in each park).
How much does it cost?
Nothing! You read that right. FastPass+is included with your park admission (even if you stay off-site).
That sounds too good to be true. What’s the catch?
There isn’t one. The only thing you may be able to call a catch is that you can only book 3 ahead of time. That doesn’t mean you’re limited to just 3 a day though. After you use the 3 you scheduled in advance you can book 1 at a time for the rest of the day! The opportunities to take advantage of this time-saving option are limitless! There is a limited quantity of FastPasses available though so knowing what to book in advance and what to save for the day of is important. Don’t worry, we’ll get to that.
I can book in advance?! When?
It depends. If you are staying on-site at a Disney hotel you can boom your FastPasses 60 days in advance (this includes some non-Disney hotels too, in the Disney Springs area). If you are staying off-site you can boom your Fastpasses 30 days in advance.
Ok, so which rides should I choose?
Ah, now that is the question, isn’t it? There is no easy answer to this question because many variables go into your choice. Ride preferences, of course, play a big role. The heights of your traveling companion do too. There are a few hard and fast rules though that you can hang your hat on when trying to plan your FastPass selections though: Shows are almost never a good use of a FastPass. If you plan to use a FastPass for the most popular rides (Flights of Passage, Slinky Dog Dash, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, etc.) you’ll want to book those in advance because you can’t rely on same day Fastpasses to be available. You want to book them as soon as you possibly can to ensure the best selection. When scheduling, start at about 10 am and get the scheduled passes done early so you are free to maximize your same day Fastpass opportunities. The last hard and fast rule is that there is always an exception to these hard and fast rules (I know…I know).
Great! But can you tell me specifically which rides to choose?
Well, yes and no. Like I said above there are many factors involved in choosing the right FastPass for you. What I can do is help you narrow down the list. I find it easier to talk about FastPass options by going park to park. Stay tuned over the next few days and we will break down FastPass selections by each specific Park. Until then…happy planning!
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