I’ll be honest here. I’m writing the first draft of this blog post on a nearly two-hour queue for a ride. Which is very unlike us, considering we have a hard-set curated-over-the-years routine on how to tackle this mammoth of an amusement park. Two things set us back this year, that we hadn’t anticipated: 1. the new FastPass+ system, and 2. we woke up late.
This post might be a long one, so buckle in and get ready for the tips and learn from my past (and current!) mistakes.
Disclaimer: This advice is based on my own experiences, and on the assumption that the park tickets are bought in advance. This also skips through most “kids rides” and character meet and greets, although you can always do those in between my recs! There’s plenty of time, time that I spent on short 20-30 minute queues for rides, that you could use for character meet and greets! This advice is also based mostly on Magic Kingdom, but I will post info for the other three parks after I’ve gone in with trial and error for the next three days.
First off, if you’re not aware what the FastPass system is, it’s basically a “fast lane” in the queue for rides. You choose a ride, at a specific time, and you’re allowed entry in the priority line for the span of an hour (you’re only allowed in once!) It was a really cool system that, beforehand, required you to go to kiosks and get printed tickets. With the new system, everything is electronic! Which brings me to my first advice:
Make Early FastPass+ Reservations
If you and your party are staying at a Disney resort you’re allowed to pick three FastPass+ ride selections 60 days in advance! If you’re not staying in a Disney resort, you get to pick three selections 30 days in advance.
We, stupidly, did not think this was necessary. We’ve gone many times and always got our FastPass tickets in kiosks at the park! Why would we need to get them so far in advance? This was, as you can tell, a mistake.
I can now say, with a matter of urgency, book your tickets early, and on your 60 or 30 day mark, wake up at 7 in the morning to make ride selections!!
New and popular rides sell out very quickly, and the best way to secure the best FastPass+ selections is to choose early. I’ll get to my selection reccomendations later, but just to double stress: if its 30/60 days before (depending on your hotel choice) please make early reservations.
Get The App Immediately
The new FastPass+ system works so much better if you have it at hand. Here’s a couple things you can do with the app:
- You can set up your travel party’s information and have quick access to add and change FastPass+ selections.
- You can add your desired times for parades and scheduled shows to make an itinerary.
- It is equipped with a map that can direct you to any show, attraction, restroom, or gift shop that you want.
- The map is also equipped with real-time queue times for every attraction in Disney World! This is such a bonus, you don’t have to walk across the park only to find that the ride you want to get on has a 60 minute wait.
Your life will just be easier with the app, trust me. I also recommend putting touch id for access to this app instead of relying on the password to enter, it’ll make accessing your FastPass+ information so much easier.
FastPass+ Early Reservation Recommendations:
There are so many options for FastPass+ ride selections at so many different time options, it’s really easy to get overwhelemed. This is a list of the rides in Magic Kingdom that I think are most important to get FastPass+ tickets for! Remember that this can be done on the Disney website or app!
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Space Mountain
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Buzz Lightyear Star Command
Three of these can be selected prior to your day in the park, one can be chosen the day of. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train sells out EXTREMELY quickly, so I would say that should be your first priority on the pre-selections.
Peter Pan averages at a wait time of about 70-90 minutes during heavy hours, Space Mountain varies from 100-140 minutes. Buzz Lightyear is less of a wait, 45-60 minute wait, but it is worth getting a fast pass for this!
FastPass+ Time Selections
As for choice times, your golden window is 11AM to 4PM. That’s the best times to select your early choices! Important things to remember: your FassPass+ Selections cannot overlap! For example: if you select a FastPass+ for 11AM, you will be barred from choosing any other FastPass+ from 11AM to 12PM, because each FastPass+ gives you a window of an hour to get to your selected ride.
It would be ideal to select “Seven Dwarfs Mine Train” at around 11AM, “Space Mountain” at around 12AM, and “Peter Pan” around 4PM, and getting Buzz Lightyear while in park for any time between 1PM and 3PM.
I will be making a separate post on how we managed our time in Magic Kingdom, because it is the hardest park to fit into one day, but I figured a post on how the new FastPass system works would be helpful.
Once you use up your preselected FassPass+ selections and the single in-park selection you made, you are able to choose FastPass+ tickets, one at a time. At this point you can get FastPass+ tickets for rides like the Tomorrowland Speedway, The Jungle Cruise, and Pirates of the Caribbean, or if you want, the various Character Meet & Greet Options in Fantasyland.
Barter With The FastPass+ Kiosk & App
Bit of a tip, if the app is showing you a selection at 11:35 and you want to get it at 11:20, exit out and try again! Or, alternatively, get the 11:35 selection and then click the Modify button and refresh! Usually you can get FP+ selection options for ten or even twenty minutes earlier than the first option that became available to you! Remember, you can make modifications on your app, so you can barter with the FP+ generator while in line for any other ride.
That’s all I have for you for now. Everyone’s asleep, so I’m gonna go join them. Tomorrow will be an actual vacation post with photos and stories! 🙂
Good night all!