Disney Fastpass Secrets

When it comes to a Walt Disney World vacation, nothing helps you save time more than using a Disney Fastpass. 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. Although it may seem a little complex if you are new to the whole Disney Fastpass thing, 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.

Disney fastpass secrets Family Hollywood

10 Disney Fastpass Secrets

While many of you may not be Disney rookies, I hope I can share some new tips on how to get a Disney World Fastpass and 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 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.

1. Schedule your Fastpass ASAP

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. I will literally set an alarm 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 – 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!

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 me clarify… 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 app and get another Fastpass. The moment you are done with that ride, you can get one more. Technically, you can get an unlimited amount of Disney Fastpass rides after your last one, but it has to be one at a time, and it can be at any park.

PRO TIP – The moment you tap your Magic Band when you get in line for that last reserved Disney Fastpass, you open up your My Disney Experience 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).

Disney book

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. While some people may not agree with me, I don’t think you should schedule your Disney Fastpasses anytime before 10 AM. My advice is to schedule your 3 Disney Fastpass rides for peak times (12-4 PM). Then, check back on the Disney App and get another Disney Fastpass for around 5 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 disney Fastpass secrets

4. There is a Tier System at Most Parks

I am not a fan of this Tier System; it 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, and then two rides from the Tier 2 category. This means that at Epcot, you cannot schedule a Fastpass for Soarin and Test Track ahead of time (you must choose 1)! Here is a simple breakdown of the Tier System:

  • 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

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 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 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 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.

DIsney fastpass secrets 2019 book

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.

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 Disney Fastpass secrets

7. Keep Checking the Disney Fastpass Reservation System

This is one Disney Fastpass secret that many people forget to do. They set their Disney 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!

DIsney menu

8. There is a Buffer Time

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 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!

Book Disney fastpass secrets

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 Disney Fastpass rides 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 My Disney Experience App 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 Disney Fastpass secrets

10. Fastpass Attractions vs 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 Disney Fastpass to meet a princess or Mickey Mouse, may be perfect for you!

*Bonus Tip*

If you are traveling with a little one or non-rider, you can get a Disney ride switch pass and both adults can take turns riding. If only one of you gets a Disney Fastpass for a ride, the other adult can ride it too without an extra Fastpass. Read more specific details about how to save tons of time and ride eve more in my rider swap Disney post.

DIsney book 2

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 Wolrd – 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.

DIsney fastpass secrets book 3

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”. 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

Disney Fastpass

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. 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.


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

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.