Disney Fastpass Secrets

When it comes to a Walt Disney World vacation, nothing helps you save time more than using the Fastpass system. Actually, the system is known as the Fastpass+ which allows you to use the My Disney Experience App and set the times you want to ride the popular attractions at any of the 4 Disney World parks. However, there are limitations and rules to what you can book ahead of time. I’m here to give you some tips on how to plan your Fastpass Plus. Here are some Disney Fastpass secrets to help you save time on your next vacation to see the Mouse.

10 Disney Fastpass Secrets

While many of you may not be Disney rookies, I hope I can share some new Disney World Fastpass tips to help you make the most out of your time at the Disney Parks. These Disney Fastpass secrets can help you get ahead of the game and secure what you want to ride.

1. Schedule your Fastpass as soon as you can

One of the best Disney Fastpass tips you will ever get is this. Book ASAP! You can do this on the Disney Fastpass App called My Disney Experience. If you are staying on property, you can book 60 days in advance (assuming you have already bought your tickets online). The system knows! This is what I try to do so that I can get the best selection for my rides. If you are staying off property, you can schedule your Walt Disney Fast Pass 30 days in advance.

PRO TIP – If you can, the Fastpass reservation window opens at 7:00 AM Eastern time 60 days before your check in date. To get the very best availability, set an alarm and book it early!

If you are looking for some ideas in planning your Disney vacation, but are not sure where to start, then click here to read about some easy Disney World Tips.

2. Get more Fastpasses

You can book 3 Disney Fast Pass reservations in advance, as mentioned above, however, once you are done with those 3, you can schedule another one in any park. Let me clarify… You have just finished all 3 of your set Fastpass rides (Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, and Thunder Mountain), once you are done with the last ride, you can open up the app and get another Fastpass. The moment you are done with that one, you can get one more. Technically you can get an unlimited amount of Fastpass rides after your last one, but it has to be one at a time.


PRO TIP – The second you tap your magic band while you are in line for that last reserved Fastpass, you open up your Disney Fastpass app and search for the next Fastpass attraction within the closest time. You can even choose an attraction at a different park (once you are done with all 3 at your current park).

3. Do not schedule your Disney World Fastpass for early in the morning

This is one of the biggest mistakes people make at Walt Disney World. You should try to schedule your 3 Disney Fastpass rides for peak times (12-4 PM). First of all, to make the most out of your WDW vacation, you really should be waking up early and getting to the park 15 minutes before it opens. As tired as you will be, you will also feel great about riding rides or seeing characters with little wait time. If you can afford it, you may want to consider taking a Disney VIP Tour for Fast pass access to all rides.


PRO TIP – Schedule your first Fastpass around 12 PM, and then schedule the other 2 immediately after. Don’t leave giant gaps of time – it is wasteful! If you schedule all 3 within these times, you should be done around 3. Then you check back to the Disney Fastpass App and get another Fastpass for close to 4. If you leave a huge gap of time, you cannot book another Fastpass until the last one has been used.

Toy Story Mania Fastpass

4. There is a Tier System at most parks

This is a pain! Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom have Tier 1 (most popular) and Tier 2 (secondary) rides. The problem is that you can only choose one Tier 1 ride as a Fastpass option. This means that at Epcot, you cannot get a Fastpass for Soarin and Test Track (you must choose 1)!

  • Hollywood Studios – Toy Story Mania, Alien Swirling Saucers, Slinky Dog Dash
  • Epcot – Frozen Ever After, Soarin, Test Track, Illuminations Night Show, Epcot Character Spot
  • Animal Kingdom – Flight of Passage, Na’vi River Journey

Magic Kingdom has no tiers. This means that everything is up for grabs! One strong Disney Fastpass tip is to be mindful of these tiers when booking, so you are prepared for what is available.


PRO TIP – My advice would be you ride 1 or 2 at park opening and then schedule your Fastpass for the other option. Example: when Hollywood Studios opens, ride Toy Story first, then head over and ride Alien Saucers and use your Fastpass for the Slinky Dog coaster.

5. Schedule your Fastpasses close together

I alluded to this one before. You should be scheduling your Fastpass right after the other with as short a wait time as you can possibly find on the Fastpass reservation system. If you book your Fastpasses for 10AM, 3PM and 6PM, you are leaving too much space and you will likely be waiting longer than you should be.


PRO TIP- Once you are on your first Fastpass ride, check the system to see if you can move up your second or third choice to a closer time. For example: You are in the line for Soarin at 11 AM, and you figure you will be done by 11:30. If your next Fastpass is Mission Space at 12, check the system to see if you can grab a Fastpass for anything before then. That way, you maximize your time, wait less and maybe even score an extra Fastpass earlier.

6. You can change your Fastpass selections as many times as you want

This is a pretty nice perk. Your Fastpass choices are not set in stone. You do not have any limits as to how many times you change your mind and set the times of your Fastpass attractions.


PRO TIP- Always keep your phone handy so that you can check the Disney Fastpass app on the My Disney Experience often. Your group may change their mind about what they want to ride.

Magic Kingdom Family

7. Keep checking the Disney Fastpass reservation system

This is one Disney Fastpass secret that many people forget to do. They set their Fastpass rides ahead of time and then do not go back to the app later to check if another ride time has popped up. Since people do change their minds about what they want to ride, if you do not see a time that you like for your Fastpass, book something close, but check back often to see if someone else canceled it and you can scoop it up.


PRO TIP- Do not be discouraged if all the Disney Fastpass times for the ride you want are unavailable. If you really want to ride it, show up early and ride it! Disney has some strange algorithm for what schedule is available. I recommend choosing a time close to what you want, then log out, close the website or the app and try again another time. You may just get lucky when you sign in again!

8. There is a buffer time if you miss your Fastpass reservation window

Disney gives you a 1 hour window to ride your Fastpass attraction. While the ride attendant will not let you in early, they usually will allow you in up to 15 minutes after your time has expired on the Fastpass. This Disney Fastpass tip has helped us out immensely, as we know we have a little cushion to arrive for the ride.


PRO TIP- Attendants are people too. If you are nice to them and explain your situation as to why you were late, they may let you in anyways. It doesn’t hurt to try!

Check out: Why Does a Disney Cruise Cost So Much?

9. A warning to park hoppers

Your first 3 advance Fastpasses are only allowed in one park! You cannot book one ride in Epcot, then one in Hollywood Studios, and then your last one at Animal Kingdom. However, once you finish your original 3 Fastpasses in one park, you are free to choose another Fastpass at any park.


PRO TIP- The moment you tap your magic band on your third Fastpass of the day, open up the Fastpass availability and see if you can score a high profile ride ASAP. I have been able to do this multiple times, and it works! Just be sure to give yourself enough time to get to the park.

Epcot Family

10. Fastpass attractions are more than just rides

There are plenty of non-ride options to use your Disney Fastpass. Prime examples are character meet and greets and priority seating at shows and parades. While I am not a huge fan of doing this, I travel with elementary age children who enjoy riding. My group may not be the same as yours.

PRO TIP- If you have little ones that love characters, using a Fastpass to meet a princess or Mickey Mouse, may be perfect for you!

Disney Fast Pass Cost

If there is one Disney Fastpass tip that I can share besides the scheduling is that it is free. This is one of the most common misconceptions of the Disney Fastpass. IT IS FREE! The Disney Fastpass price is zero. It does not cost anything at all. You simply need to schedule the attractions you want and you pay nothing.

Looking for another Disney World secret? Check out Disney’s Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Game. If you will be visiting other parks during your trip, here are some other Disney Fastpass tips for specific parks:

Best Magic Kingdom Fastpass Strategy

Best Animal Kingdom Fastpass Strategy

Best Hollywood Studios Fastpass Strategy

Best Epcot Fastpass Strategy

Fastpass Secrets

I hope my 10 Disney Fastpass secrets help you and your family plan an unforgettable WDW Orlando vacation. If you are planning to stay on property, check out this post – Choosing a Disney Resort that’s Right for You. Sometimes it may be worthwhile to stay off-site but close by. If you are looking for some ideas on where to stay nearby, check out these recommendations for the best family resorts in Orlando.

You could also get the best of both worlds by staying on property for less at a Disney Value Resort. Going to Disney doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some tips on how to do Disney on a budget. If you are looking for what items to bring on your next Disney adventure, check out my Disney packing list.

Viator

If you are looking for some nice photo opportunities while roaming the Disney Parks, check out this post – The Most Instagrammable Disney Walls. For general tips when visiting Disney World, check out Seven Tips When Visiting Disney.

Animal Kingdom Family

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to DQ Family Travel. I send monthly emails about my latest posts which include places we have visited and travel tips. Please follow me on Facebook and Twitter for post updates and travel advice. If you would like to see daily travel pictures of where we have traveled, follow me on Instagram. If you would like a place to keep all of these travel posts organized, consider using Pinterest and following my boards.

This post contains affiliate links. I make a small commission from any sale of a product linked to this post. DQ Family Travel is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. Your price does not change when you click on these links, but it does provide me with a small commission.

8 thoughts on “Disney Fastpass Secrets”

  1. Oh this guide is great! We have used some of these strategies but so many I never knew about! Thanks for the information 😉 now I need to plan our next Disney trip!

  2. When I booked our first trip to Disneyland, I didn’t really understand how the fastpass system worked so I didn’t bother with it. We went on a holiday weekend but were pretty lucky with the crowds. The fastpass system sounds amazing though! I will definitely get one next time.

  3. Wow. I’ve never been to Disney Florida but had heard their Fast Pass system is completely different to the one in Disneyland Paris. I had no idea it was so complex. But these are brilliant tips should we ever decide to go Stateside.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.