Making the Most of Fastpass+ by Emma Smith

In my mind, there is a spectrum of Fastpass+ users: on one side, there are the people who don’t use Fastpass at all. These Disney guests either don’t care or don’t know what Fastpass is, and if they choose to ride the more popular attractions, they’re probably going to be waiting in lines for 45 or more minutes. On the other end of the spectrum, we have what I call the ultra-planners. These are the moms/dads who plan out where the family is going to be every hour of every day. Fastpasses are booked 60 days in advance, times guides are planned out on spreadsheets- these people go the whole nine yards. Although I’m not saying that it’s bad to be an ultra-planner or not use Fastpass+ at all, I aim to be somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Fastpass+ is a great system if you use it correctly, so here are just a few tips on making the most of Fastpass+ without going to the extremes.

  1. Use the option to change experiences/times for Fastpasses. Disney offers Fastpasses in groups of 3 Fastpasses per park per day. However, sometimes the times or attractions offered to you aren’t ideal. This is where you use the option to change times or the experience for your Fastpass. What I usually do is choose the group of Fastpasses that has the most of what I had in mind, then I go back to each individual attraction and check to see what times are available. If you’re lucky, you can choose just about any time that you want to experience the attraction, especially if you’re booking at least a week in advance.
  1. Download the MyDisneyExperience app. Although Disney offers Fastpass+ kiosks in the parks, there are sometimes long lines just to get to the kiosk to choose your Fastpass+ experiences or change times. If you have a smartphone, I would definitely recommend downloading the free MyDisneyExperience app, which is how you can choose Fastpasses, manage dining plans, see your available park tickets, and view reservations. It’s a lot easier and faster to use your own phone to schedule a Fastpass than to use the in-park kiosks, and you get more time to make sure you’re getting what you want.
  1. Don’t use Fastpasses up on unnecessary attractions. Sometimes, I wonder why Disney even offers Fastpasses on some attractions. Many attractions at Disney rarely have long lines, and sometimes the Fastpass line is just as long as the regular line is. Some attractions that I would recommend not using a Fastpass on are: Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, Mickey’s Philharmagic, The Seas with Nemo & Friends, Turtle Talk with Crush, MuppetVision 3D, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show. These attractions almost never have long wait times, and for most shows, the Fastpass line just ends up meeting up with the normal line.
  1. Schedule Fastpasses for earlier in the morning first. If you want to take a chance at getting more than 3 Fastpasses in one day, it’s best to schedule your first three Fastpasses for morning/early afternoon. Then, after you use up those Fastpasses, you’ll get a chance to schedule additional Fastpass+ reservations using your MyDisneyExperience app or the in-park kiosks. Although choices might be limited, there’s always a chance that you’ll be able to score a great Fastpass!
  1. Realize that you won’t get everything done. So many people try to cram as many experiences into their short time at the parks, and honestly, I think it takes a lot away from the experience. Although I can understand that going to a Disney park might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for some, or just an every-five-years experience for others, rushing off from one attraction to the other leaves no time for recognizing the intricate details that Disney works so hard to create and just simply enjoying one another’s company. We always try to slow it down while we’re at the parks, and I’ve found that this often makes a more memorable experience than ultra-planning ever will.

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