Last Updated on September 30, 2020 by Heather
If you’re planning a trip to Disney World parks then you’ll need to know how the Disney FastPass+ system works. It can be a little much. Especially if you’ve never really spent any time at Disney World or using the FastPass+ system in general. But once you understand the inner workings of FastPass+, you’ll be able to hop on rides quicker than many other park guests.
We’ve put together a handy guide to the Disney World FastPass+ system and how it works. This way you can make sure that you aren’t wasting your FastPasses and you are booking your time accordingly. We’ve even thrown in a few little known tips about how to catch hard to get FastPasses and how to grab them at the last minute occasionally.
What is Disney FastPass+?
Simply put a Disney FastPass is a ticketing service that Disney Parks have in place which allows you to reserve your rides, entertainment, and meet and greets in advance. This comes in very handy with some of the wait times on the rides potentially upward of 3 or more hours during the heavy crowd times of the year.
It basically ensures that you have the capability of getting on those harder to get rides. It does come with its limitations though, but it is an absolute must if you plan on going to a Disney Park.
How does FastPass+ work at Disney World?
So we’ve told you what Disney FastPass is, but now we can talk a little bit about how it works. Basically, you begin making your FastPass+ selections at 7:00 AM Eastern Time up to 30 days in advance of your planned visit.
But one of the advantages of staying at a Disney Resort hotel is that you can make your FastPass+ reservations up to 60 days prior to your check-in for every day of your trip! On your FastPass booking day if you are staying on property (60 days out) you will book 3 FastPasses per day of your trip.
While you are on your trip after you use those 3 FastPasses you are then able to make more FastPass reservations 1 at a time from your My Disney Experience app or at a Kiosk in the parks. If you have a hopper ticket, one you use all three of your FastPasses in one park, you are then able to make another one at a different park for that day.
Who can make FastPass+ reservations?
Any guest of the Disney World parks can make a Fastpass reservation regardless of whether they are staying at a Disney Resort on property or not.
Disney Resort Guests
I may be a bit biased but this is yet another fantastic perk of staying on property. You get to make your Disney World FastPass reservations 60 days in advance of your check-in date. You are also able to book FastPasses for the entire trip on that 60 days mark, unlike offsite guests. This helps you get really hard to get Fastpasses before anyone else.
As an offsite guest you are able to book FastPasses 30 days in advance, but only 1 day at a time. Meaning that if you are staying for 5 days, you will need to go back each day 30 days out a book 1 day at a time.
How much does FastPass+ cost at Disney World?
FastPasses are free to all visitors of Disney World weather or not you are staying at a Disney World Resort or an offsite hotel. Even if you are a Florida resident visiting for just 1 day you are able to make FastPass reservations.
Where can I use Disney World FastPass?
FastPasses are available at all four parks at Disney World. Including Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. Each park has it’s own set of tiers so it is a good idea to make a list of your must-have FastPasses.
What are the different FastPass+ Tiers?
With Fastpass at the Magic Kingdom, there are not any tiers and you are able to make 3 Disney World FastPasses to any of these 25 attractions
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
- Haunted Mansion
- “it’s a small world”
- Jungle Cruise
- Mad Tea Party
- Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Meet Ariel at Her Grotto
- Meet Cinderella and Elena at Princess Fairytale Hall
- Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater
- Meet Rapunzel and Tiana at Princess Fairytale Hall
- Meet Tinker Bell at Town Square Theater
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
With Fastpass at Epcot, you have 2 tiers to choose from. The most popular rides are in Tier 1 making it difficult to choose between them. We typically like to have 2 days in Epcot for this reason, that was on day 1 we can get a good Tier 1, and on the second day we can get another good Tier 1.
The Tier – choose one
- Frozen Ever After
- Test Track
- Epcot Forever Fireworks spot
- Epcot Character Greeting (currently under renovation)
Tier 2 – choose two
- Mission: SPACE
- Spaceship Earth
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends
- Living with the Land
- Pixar Short Film Festival
- Journey Into Imagination With Figment
- Turtle Talk with Crush
Just like Epcot, Hollywood Studios has a tier system for FastPasses. In recent months these have changes to include Galaxy’s Edge and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
As of right now, these are the tiers. We are expecting that if they stay with these tiers that the new rides will all be included in Tier 1, but we will not know for sure until we got closer to the opening dates.
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (opening March 4th)
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Toy Story Mania
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
- Star Tours: The Adventure Continues
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid
- Disney Junior Dance Party!
- Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
- Muppet Vision 3D
- Beauty and the Beast
Animal Kingdom also has the tiered system with their FastPasses. Although we have found it fairly easy to get the fastpasses we want here as long as we book them early enough.
- Avatar Flight of Passage
- Na’vi River Journey
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Expedition Everest
- Kali River Rapids
- Primeval Whirl
- Rivers of Light
- It’s Tough to Be A Bug
- Festival of the Lion King
- Finding Nemo Musical
- Adventurers Outpost Character Greeting
- UP! A Great Bird Adventure
- The Animation Experience at Conservation Station
How to book Disney FastPass+
There are a few different ways that you can book your FastPasses. If you are booking at either the 30 or 60-day mark I would suggest using the Disney World website from a computer. Yes, you can do it from a phone or tablet using the My Disney Experience app (MDE) but I find that it is easier to be at a computer for the initial booking because if you need to look something up it can be difficult to not lose your spot on the app.
Once you have all of them booked, if you want to make changes then you can use the website or the My Disney Experience app. You can also make additional Disney World FastPass reservations after you have used your first 3 FastPasses, or make changes to FastPasses at any Kiosk in the parks.
Do I need a Magic Band to use FastPass +?
You do not need to have a Magic Band in order to use the FastPass system. Magic Bands are free for Disney Resort guests, but if you are staying offsite and do not want to to purchase a Magic Band you can use your park ticket to scan at each rise you are using a FastPass at. Whether or not you use a magic band all of the FastPasses are attached to your park tickets.
Disney World FastPass+ Booking Strategies
This is a matter of opinion depending on who you are traveling with and what kind of ride you are most interested in. Below I will give you my suggestions based on my family and our preferences.
Best FastPasses For Magic Kingdom
For the Magic Kingdom, we have done FastPasses for just about everything. This is my daughters’ favorite park so we are in this park the most on our trips. We have found that we prefer to save our FastPasses for rides and not always use them for meet and greets. We usually book a character meal for the characters we really like. Our favorite FastPasses are for:
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – This is our favorite ride at the Magic Kingdom, so if we have 2 days there we usually get one FastPass each day for this.
Splash Mountain – On a hot day the last thing that we want to do is wait in a super long line for a water ride. We want to get on, get cooled off and move on to the next thing!
Best FastPasses For Epcot
This one is tough because we love 3 of the Tier 1 FastPasses. Like I said before we usually have 2 days at Epcot so that we can get 2 FastPasses in Tier 1. These are our favorites
Frozen Ever After – This is a must because my daughter loves frozen. It is also a great ride to get cooled off on a hot day with the Air Conditioning.
Test Track – This has been a favorite of mine since I was a teenager.
Soarin’ – This quickly became a family favorite, even for my husband who is afraid of heights!
When thinking about Tier 2, for us we don’t usually care for these rides as much so we usually take whatever is available, in case we want to ride it. The ones we usually go for are
The Seas with Nemo & Friends
Best FastPasses For Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Our family is not the biggest fans of Animal Kingdom if we are being really honest. We have not seen Pandora films. For trips that we decide to visit Animal Kingdom we will choose either of the Tier 1 FastPasses because we do not have a preference. For tier 2 however…
Expedition Everest – because we love roller coasters!
Kali River Rapids – another great water ride to cool down on a hot day.
Best FastPasses For Disney’s Hollywood Studios
We love that Toy Story Land has opened now giving up a lot more fun things to do while visiting Hollywood Studios
Our favorite Tier 1 FastPasses are
Slinky Dig Dash – This roller coaster is so much fun. I love all of the theming!
Toy Story Mania – My daughter and I love jumping into the ride vehicle and seeing who can get the highest score!
For Tier 2 our favorites are:
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – Nothing like getting on a thrill ride and the (quick) view is amazing!
For me, Rockin Roller Coaster – because again… I love roller coasters, and Aerosmith Music is awesome!
For my Husband Star Tours – although, if Galaxy’s Edge ever requires a fast pass for a ride that would be high on his priority list.
What Happens If You Are Late For Your Fastpass?
If you are a little late for your FastPass it may not be as big of a deal as you think.
But if you are worried about what to do then I strongly suggest you watch this video below from Paging Mr. Morrow!
How To Get FastPasses That Are Hard To Get
The absolute best way to get the hard to get FastPasses is to stay on property. Being able to book 7 days worth of FastPasses in 1 day is the way to go. Here’s my trick. For the super hard ones, don’t start with your 1st check-in day, start with the end of your trip. There will be more available because not as many people think to do this.
I always start with the hardest to get and plan those for the end of our trip and work my way back to the first day of our trip. That way the first few days of our trip if we don’t have awesome fast passes it’s not a big deal because I know the good ones are just a couple days away! Also, it’s super important to be on the website right at 7 am SHARP.
I usually set my alarm for 6 that morning so that I know I am ready. I also get to the website a few minutes early and keep refreshing so that I am one of the first people on the site (hopefully) By doing those 2 things, there has never been a trip that I have not been able to get the FastPasses that we really want.
If you find that the FastPass you really want isn’t available, just book something. Then as your arrival day approaches go in and try modifying the fast pass you don’t want. That way you can see if a hard to get one became available. If someone cancels their trip (they can do this up to 30 before they arrive) their FastPasses go back into the pool for anyone to get.
One last insider tip about getting a FastPass that you really want. When you are in the park keep refreshing the My Disney Experience app to see if anyone has given up their FastPass. I’ve seen many times where someone will cancel their FastPass or sometimes multiple FastPasses for a particular ride. That means you can snatch them up at the last minute, so keep your eyes open!
What Time Do The Rides Close At Disney World?
Something that I know a lot of people are curious about because I am frequently asked, is what time the rides close in different parts of Disney World.
Technically, the parks close at different times throughout the year and even then it’s different within each park. However, what time the rides close stays the same.
All rides at Disney World close when the specific park closes. As long as you are in the ride queue for any ride before the park closes then you may ride even though the park may technically be closed while you are riding it.
The closing times for each park vary throughout the year and I’ll get more into that in a minute. So let’s look at the four theme parks at Disney World, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom and what times throughout the year they close.
What is MaxPass?
MaxPass is Disneyland’s paid FastPass system. At Disneyland in California, you can’t make FastPass reservations in advance. You have to make them the day that you are visiting the park, in the park by going up the FastPass kiosks at each ride and getting your FastPass, one ride at a time.
With MaxPass you use your phone and the app to make your FastPass reservation the day you are entering the park. Even with MaxPass you can only make one reservation at a time and it costs $15 per person, per day.
How do you get a FastPass at Disney World?
Begin making your FastPass+ selections through the My Disney Experience App up to 30 days in advance of your planned visit.
Is the FastPass at Disney World Free?
Yes. There is no additional cost to use FastPass+ service―it is included with your theme park admission.
Can you pay to skip lines at Disney World?
The FastPass+ system at Disney World allows you to skip the line for three or more attractions each day.
Does Magic Kingdom have FastPass tiers?
No, Magic Kingdom does not have tiers for FastPass+.