Disney Fastpass Secrets to Help You Skip Lines at Disney World

When it comes to a Walt Disney World vacation, nothing helps you save time more than learning some of the Disney Fastpass secrets. The Fastpass+ system allows you to set the times you want to ride the popular attractions at any of the 4 Disney World parks in advance; however, there are some limitations and rules that need to be followed. Although it may seem a little complex if you are new to the whole Fastpass thing, I’m here to share with you my Disney Fastpass tips. Here are some Disney Fastpass secrets to help you save time on your next vacation to see the Mouse.

Disney fastpass secrets Family Hollywood
Disney Fastpass Secrets – No More Standby Lines!

10 Disney Fastpass Secrets

If you are new to the Fastpass system, then read about how to use Disney Fastpass Plus. These Disney Fastpass secrets can help you get ahead of the game and secure what you want to ride with less wait time. 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.

magic bands
Disney Fastpass Tips: Use Your MagicBands Wisely

1. Schedule your Fastpass ASAP

One of the best Disney Fastpass tips you will ever get is this… Book your Fastpass ASAP! You are allowed three Fastpass reservations in advance at one park a day. You can do this on the My Disney Experience App.

If you are staying on property, you can book your Fastpass 60 days in advance. I will literally set it on my calendar 60 days before my trip so that I can get the best selection of rides and times. If you are staying off property, you can schedule your Disney Fastpass 30 days in advance.

PRO TIP – 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!

Disney Fastpass secrets Book

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’s pretend that you have just finished all 3 of your set Fastpass rides in Magic Kingdom (Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, and Thunder Mountain). Once you are done with the last ride, you can open up the My Disney Experience and get another Fastpass at Animal Kingdom (if you have a park hopper or annual pass). The moment you are done with that ride, you can get one more Fastpass at any park.

Guests can get an unlimited amount of Disney Fastpasses after their last reserved one, but it has to be one at a time, not all 3 in advance. This extra Fastpass is something not all people know about and is a great Disney Fastpass tip!

PRO TIP – The moment you tap your Magic Band when you get in line for that last reserved Disney Fastpass, open up your My Disney Experience App and search for the next Fastpass attraction within the closest time. If you don’t like what you see, refresh the app or modify selections/times to see what pops up.

Disney Guide book 2020

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. Don’t schedule any Disney Fastpasses before 10 AM. First of all, to make the most out of your WDW vacation, you really should be waking up early and getting to the park 15-30 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.

My advice is to schedule your 3 Disney Fastpass rides for peak times (12-4 PM). If your optimal time isn’t available, make a reservation anyway. It’s much easier to change an existing reservation than it is to book a new one.

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 or 4. Then you check back to the Disney Fastpass App and get another Fastpass for close to 5. If you leave a huge gap of time, you cannot book another Fastpass until the last one has been used.

Toy Story Mania disney Fastpass secrets
Disney Fastpass Secrets – Try to get a Fastpass here

4. Be Careful with the Tier System

I am not a fan of this Tier System; it is a pain! In three of the parks (Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom), FastPasses are divided into 2 separate pools, which are referred to as “tiers.” Tier 1 attractions are the most popular rides in the park, while Tier 2 attractions are the less popular ones. When booking your FastPass+ reservations, you can have a total of 3 FastPasses at a time. Of those 3, only 1 can be from the Tier 1 category. Here is a simple breakdown of the Tier System:

  • Epcot – Frozen Ever After, Soarin, Test Track, Epcot Forever (Fireworks Show)
  • Animal Kingdom – Flight of Passage, Na’vi River Journey
  • Hollywood Studios – Toy Story Mania, Alien Swirling Saucers, Slinky Dog Dash, Rockin Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror (no Fastpass offerings for Star Wars Smugglers Run or Rise of the Resistance as of 1/20)

On the positive side, Magic Kingdom has no tiers. This means that everything is up for grabs! This is one of those Disney Fastpass secrets that not everyone knows about. The more you plan, the better prepared you are.

PRO TIP – My advice would be for you to ride one of the Tier 1 rides at park opening (it’s commonly referred to as rope drop) and then schedule your Fastpass for the other Tier 1 attraction. Example: when Hollywood Studios opens, ride Toy Story Mania first, then head over and ride Alien Saucers and use your Fastpass for the Slinky Dog coaster.

Disney Fastpass tips book

5. Schedule your Disney Fastpass Times Close Together

I alluded to this one before. I would recommend scheduling your Disney Fastpass right after your last one, with as short of a wait time as you can possibly find on the Fastpass reservation system. If you book your Fastpasses for 10 AM, 3 PM, and 6 PM, 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 1, check the system to see if you can grab a Fastpass for it before then. That way, you maximize your time, wait less and maybe even score an extra Fastpass earlier.

6. You Have Unlimited Disney Fastpass Changes

It is a pretty nice perk that your Disney 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 Disney Fastpass attractions. If you cannot find a Fastpass for your group to an attraction you want to ride, try breaking up the group and check for overlapping times.

For example: You have a party of 4 and cannot find Seven Dwarfs Mine Train for 2pm. Either choose an earlier time, book whatever you can find, or break it up 2 people at 1:15-2:15 and 2 people 2:00-3:00. Trying to find overlap with smaller parties usually works better than larger groups, and you can always modify and change it as much as you want.

PRO TIP- Always keep your phone handy so that you can check Fastpass Availablity on the My Disney Experience App. Your group may change their minds about what they want to ride or something you wanted to ride suddenly pops up.

Magic Kingdom Family Disney Fastpass secrets

7. Get off of the Disney Wifi

If you can spare the data charges to your phone, get off the Disney wifi and use your own when checking the My Disney Experience App. Here’s the issue – the Disney wifi is slow; naturally there are thousands of people on it. When you are looking for a Fastpass on the system, it can freeze or just go very slow. I have tested this several times when people I am traveling with are looking up Fastpasses and I always find them first. The secret is – get off the wifi!

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, get one Fastpass and try to modify it throughout the day. If you cant, then riding it alone is better than not riding it at all.

8. There is a Grace Period

Disney gives you a 1 hour window to ride your Fastpass attraction. While the ride attendant will not let you in early (maybe 5 minutes early), they usually will allow you in up to 15 minutes after your time has expired on the Disney Fastpass. This Disney Fastpass secret has helped us out immensely, as sometimes we schedule things very close together to maximize our time at the park.

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 anyway. It doesn’t hurt to try!

Disney Fastpass secrets app

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

9. Child Swap and Fastpass Combo

If you are traveling with a little one or non-rider, Disney allows you to get a ride switch pass (which is digitally added to your magic band) that way both adults can take turns riding. If you plan this ahead of time, only one adult needs the Fastpass.

All you have to do is go up to the Disney cast member at the entrance of the attraction (with your entire party) and say you would like to use the Child Swap. They will scan your band. Then one adult rides alone, the other stays with the child. When it’s the second adult’s turn to ride, that person goes through the Fastpass line too (without a Fastpass). You see, by combing the Child Swap feature, only one adult has to reserve a Fastpass for a ride, the other adult can reserve a different Fastpass attraction and you combo it! Read more in detail about how to combo the Disney child swap with a Fastpass.

PRO TIP- Comboing the Child Swap and Fastpass option allows you to technically book 6 different Fastpass attractions. Bonus is that they allow up to two extra people to ride with the Swap! Read more in the post above.

Epcot Family Disney Fastpass secrets
Disney Fastpass Secret – Fastpass and Child Swap Combo

10. Multi-Experience Fastpass

Sometimes ride break down or close unexpectedly. If you happen to have a Fastpass scheduled for the ride when it goes down, Disney will issue you a Multi-Experience Fastpass. This allows you to chose ANY Fastpass attraction. Not all attractions are valid under the Multi Experience Fastpass, but most of them are.

PRO TIP- The Multi-Experience Fastpass DOES NOT count against your 3 advance reservation Fastpass list. This means that you can book an extra one if you are issued this special Fastpass.

DIsney book 2

Bonus Disney Secret

Looking for another Disney World secret? Check out Disney’s Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Game. It is a “hidden” attraction where you travel to certain sections of the park on a “scavenger hunt”.

Disney Fast Pass Cost

If there is one Disney Fastpass secret that I can share besides the scheduling is that it is free. This is one of the most common misconceptions of the Disney Fastpass. Many people assume that Disneyland and Disney World work the same way and they do not. Disneyland does have a paid version called Fastpass Max. At Disney World – IT IS FREE! The Disney Fast pass cost is zero. It does not cost anything at all. You simply need to schedule the attractions you want and you pay nothing.

DIsney fastpass secrets book 3
Disney Fast Pass Cost – FREE

If you will be visiting other parks during your trip, here are some other Disney Fastpass tips for specific parks:

Disney Fastpass
Disney Fastpass Tips

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 or a Disney Moderate Resort. If you are planning a rest day in between parks, check out all the things to do in Disney World besides the parks.

Viator

OTHER DISNEY WORLD TIPS

As someone who has visited Disney World multiple times, I enjoy sharing my tips and tricks with others. As a Disney vacation planner and travel agent, I can help you with your Disney packing list, tips on how to do Disney on a budget and even booking your resort stay and Fastpasses/dining at Animal KingdomEpcotHollywood Studios, and Magic Kingdom. If you are considering doing both a visit to Disney World and adding on a Disney Cruise, I recommend doing your trip to the parks first and then finish it off with a Disney Cruise out of Port Canaveral. Here’s why – while a Disney World vacation is fantastic, it is not always relaxing. You are waking up early, running around the parks, and trying to make it to the next attraction for days. On a Disney Cruise, you will vacation at a much slower pace and be pampered by the signature Disney service. In addition, Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, is probably one of the best beach vacations you’ll ever have!

If you have not booked your Disney Cruise yet and are just looking at options, I would recommend using a travel agent to help you with the planning and give you some onboard credit as a thank you for booking with them. I have been on 5 Disney Cruises in the past 8 years and am a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations. I can share my advice about cruising with Disney, provide free onboard credit, review check-in procedures, and go over what types of things to do on/off the ship. By the way, my services are completely free! If you’re interested in a free quote or even if you have already booked and would like to transfer it over so that I can help you, email me and we can get started.

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 Disney fastpass

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Looking for help in planning and booking your Disney trip?

As a certified Disney travel agent, I can help you navigate the planning of your trip. I can book resort stays, dining, Fastpass attractions, and help you decide on your itinerary. I can also look for discounts and help you book your Disney Cruise with onboard credit.

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11 thoughts on “Disney Fastpass Secrets to Help You Skip Lines at Disney World”

  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.

  4. This guide is amazing! We love being able to change our fastpass times throughout the day! I really wish Disneyland would switch to Disney Worlds fastpass+ system. Thanks for the great info!

  5. Why wouldn’t you book fast passes at park opening? This gives you more fastpasses throughout the day. At MK Last year I had 27 in one day, the year before 23 and in 2017 I had 24. I rode every ride/attraction that had a fastpass except Barnstormer, and both princess meet and greets at fairytale hall. ( No desire to do that. My kids are older.) If you wait later in the day to obtain fastpasses, I guarantee you won’t get as many throughout the day. I usually rope drop, or close to it, ride 2-3 rides, then access my first fast pass 45-50 min after park opening.

    1. Lines are much shorter in the morning (within the first 2 hours), so I don’t feel that using a Fastpass is worthwhile. Our family rope drops and rides until our first FP (usually around 11), then lunch, then the other 2 are scheduled around 1-2. By 3PM we are getting more FP. It works out very well for us and we ride everything we want to.

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