Ultimate Disney FastPass Guide (Your Cheat Sheet with Tips)

Do you know how to use the Disney FastPass to skip all the lines at the parks?

Many of you know that planning a Walt Disney World vacation can be stressful at times, especially if it’s a solo trip.

One thing I’m always asked is, how to do every top ride at Disney?

Animal Kingdom Asia Shrine
Animal Kingdom Asia Shrine

I don’t have the secret, but I know that if you start with the Disney FastPass+ strategy, then you’re on your way to a great vacation!

Let me help you with some of the best tips for getting the top FastPasses at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios.

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Here’s Why You Need a Disney FastPass+

Magicbands are used for theme park or water park entry at Walt Disney World.
Magicbands are used for theme park or water park entry at Walt Disney World. Copyright Disney.

The Disney World FastPass+ (also sometimes referred to as simply “FastPass”) is a travel must have if you’re looking to enjoy the most of Disney by spending less time waiting in line. 

Disney FastPasses are great in that they give you peace of mind that your “must-do” attractions are locked before you even start your vacation!

Here’s how it works, how to use it and a few other popular frequently asked questions about FastPass+

This article will answer Disney FastPass Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What is Disney FastPass+?
  • How does it work?
  • What is the Disney FastPass cost?
  • How do I plan a Disney vacation using FastPass+?
  • Do I have to have a Disney FastPass reservation?
  • Can I change or cancel my FastPass+ selection?
  • What times can I book my FastPass+ selections?
  • Can I have multiple reservations on an attraction?
  • What happens if I miss my FastPass+ time? Is there a grace period?
  • Does it have to be at the same park on a given day?


180x50 DisneyStore.com Logo

What is Disney FastPass?

The FastPass+ program is essentially a way to reserve your rides before your Disney trip.

FastPass+ is limited to select attractions and entertainment events but can be used across a few of the Disney Parks.

You can use your MagicBand to book Fastpasses in the park or to redeem Fastpasses at attractions.
You can use your MagicBand to book Fastpasses in the park or to redeem Fastpasses at attractions. Copyright Disney.

How Does Disney FastPass+ Work?

FastPass+ can reserve your time slot for select rides and other attractions for either 30 days or 60 days depending on whether or not you’re staying at a Disney Resort Hotel

If you’re a hotel guest, you can use your FastPass+ to make reservations up to 60 days in advance. 

If you’re a ticket or Annual Passholder booked elsewhere for your stay, you can reserve your slot for up to 30 days before your trip.

The Good News

Reserving time slots early is FREE and you can reserve up to 3 rides per day using FastPass+.

And you’re not limited to just rides either!

FastPass can be used on all sorts of select entertainment attractions.  The full list is available online and in the My Disney Experience app.

Epcot Drinking Around the World Passport

The Not So Good News

You can only use your FastPass+ at one park per day.

This means that on any given day, once you start reserving your FastPass+ at one of the following parks, you can only use it for 3 select rides, entertainment attractions ,or other eligible experiences that day.

…unless you use my Disney FastPass hack that we’ll discuss later in this guide.



Where You Can Use FastPass+

The Disney World FastPass can be used at any of the following parks:

  • Magic Kingdom
  • Epcot
  • Hollywood Studios
  • Animal Kingdom

2019 Best Disney FastPass Rides by Park

Best rides to use FastPass for with Cinderella Castle.

Magic Kingdom

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain

Hipster Power Tip: Space Mountain and Peter Pan’s Flight are top attractions at the Magic Kingdom, so book these FastPasses early.

Epcot Best FastPass Rides

Epcot

  • Frozen Ever After
  • Mission: Space
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track

Hipster Power Tip: If you want to ride Frozen Ever After and haven’t received a FastPass+, get up early and knock it out first. Be sure that you’ve booked a reservation for Soarin’ Around the World.

Best Rides at Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Tower of Terror
  • Toy Story Mania

Hipster Power Tip: If you’re not able to get the coveted Slinky Dog Dash FastPass, then get the Alien Swirling Saucers and arrive at Hollywood Studios for rope drop to experience Andy’s toy roller coaster!

Best Animal Kingdom Rides

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Dinosaur
  • Expedition Everest
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris

Hipster Power Tip: Get to Animal Kingdom early. Try to get a FastPass+ for Avatar Flight of Passage and wait in the Na’vi River Journey standby line. 

Disney World FastPass Tiers for 2019

Disney World FastPass tiers are ranked based on the popularity of an attraction. The newer the attraction, the more likely it will be ranked higher.

Tier 1 FastPass+ means you can only book one of your three FastPass selections from that list for that particular day.

FastPass+ Tiers by Park

Epcot theme park with globe

Epcot Tier 1 (You can choose one)

  • Frozen Ever After
  • IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
  • Meet Disney Pals at the Epcot Character Spot
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Test Track

Epcot Tier 2 (You can choose two)

  • Disney/Pixar Short Film Festival
  • Journey Into Imagination With Figment
  • Living with the Land
  • Mission: SPACE
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Turtle Talk with Crush

Learn how to find your perfect vacation home rental near Disney World by Clicking HERE!

Animal Kingdom Tier 1

  • Flight of Passage
  • Na’vi River Journey
Pandora World of Avatar at Night Disney Animal Kingdom Waterfall
Pandora – World of Avatar

Animal Kingdom Tier 2

  • DINOSAUR
  • Expedition Everest
  • Finding Nemo – The Musical
  • Flights of Wonder
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Meet Favorite Disney Pals
  • Primeval Whirl
  • Rivers of Light
Hollywood Studios Tower of Terror Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios looking eerie
Hollywood Studios Tower of Terror Ride

Hollywood Studios Tier 1

  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Toy Story Mania!
Toy Story Land Slinky Dog Dash
Toy Story Land Slinky Dog Dash

Hollywood Studios Tier 2

  • Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
  • Disney Junior Dance Party!
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
  • Muppet*Vision 3D, Fantasmic!
  • Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid

Hipster Power Tip: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios is not offering FastPass+ for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run at this time.

Once Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opens in December of 2019, it will most likely not offer FastPass+ during the first few months.

There are FastPass+ lines for each attraction that will probably open up in the months to follow the grand opening dates.

How Much Does a Disney FastPass Cost?

FastPass+ is completely FREE!

That is, of course, with the purchase of your Disney ticket, Annual Pass, or your vacation package.

After you’ve paid the price of admission into the parks, you can use the Disney website or the My Disney Experience app to start planning out your trip.

I use it on all my trips to the above Disney parks and if you use it properly, it’s a huge time saver!

A MagicBand decorated with MagicBandits.
FastPasses are a great way to maximize your time at Walt Disney World. Copyright photo: Disney.

How to Book Your Disney FastPass?

The system works in one of two ways for booking.  You can either pick a specific time period or let the reservation system chose for you. 

The earliest reservation is at 7:00 a.m. EST and you have about an hour to use your reservation before it cancels.

If you won’t be able to use it in time, you have the option to change your reservation for free before the hour grace period.

Once you’ve pre-planned a FastPass+ attraction, you cannot make another reservation for that same ride.

So, while you can totally ride Space Mountain all day, you can only use FastPass+ once that day until each FastPass reservation has been used.

Tomorrowland with white Space Mountain attraction. Magic Kingdom Secrets
Tomorrowland Space Mountain

You will then be able to book the same attraction once again for that day.

If you’re traveling with friends and family, make sure you add them to your Family & Friends list.

And most importantly, don’t forget to link your park admission ticket or MagicBand to your account to get the most of your FastPass+ experience.

Can I change or cancel my Disney FastPass+ selection?

Yes, you sure can!

You can change your reservation using the Disney website, the mobile My Disney Experience app or using one of the convenient kiosks available in the park.

Christmas Vacation Disney

The kiosks are mobile and Cast Members may move them around to more populated areas if they aren’t being used.

Ironically, I find that this may make the kiosks a little harder to find.

Magic Kingdom FastPass+ Kiosks

  • Adventureland and Frontierland near the connecting pathway between both lands
  • In Adventureland near the Jungle Cruise
  • Fantasyland near Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Storybook Circus near Pete’s Silly Sideshow
  • Tomorrowland near Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin entrance
  • In Tomorrowland near the former Stitch’s Great Escape
Magic Kingdom Secrets at Walt Disney World with Minnie Mouse atop parade float on Main Street USA

Epcot FastPass+ Kiosks

  • Future World West near the Epcot Character Spot
  • In Future World East near the corridor going towards Mission: SPACE
  • World Showcase near International Gateway

Disney’s Hollywood Studios FastPass+ Kiosks

  • Hollywood Boulevard right between Hollywood and Sunset
  • Sunset Boulevard near Tower of Terror

Disney’s Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Kiosks

  • Discovery Island near Island Mercantile store
  • Asia near Kali River Rapids
  • Africa near the Tusker House restaurant

*Please note that these kiosks are subject to change at anytime.

Animal Kingdom Kali River Rapids
Animal Kingdom Kali River Rapids

Do I have to have a Disney FastPass+ Reservation?

Absolutely not.

But should you make use of the reservation system if you want to save time?

Definitely!

Now while the use of your Disney FastPass+ is completely optional, it’s a great tool to plan out your day(s) at any of the mentioned Disney parks.

Secrets, Tips & Tricks for Disney FastPass Planning

Disney Epcot Hidden Secrets Theme Park Solo. Spaceship earth with the monorail. #DisneyTips #Epcot #DisneySolo #DisneyPlanning
Epcot

Sometimes, it can be a bit difficult finding to book your preferred reservation time. 

If I’m looking to get a specific time slot that isn’t immediately available, I’ve found that this trick works really well for getting the exact time I want.


Say, for instance, you want to ride Frozen Ever After at Epcot the day of your visit. FastPass+ may not let you reserve your preferred time for the ride you want.

Instead of getting discouraged, try the following steps for my My Disney Experience “app hack” on mobile:

4 Easy Steps to Get the Best Disney FastPass Options

1 – Log into the My Disney Experience app and go to “Get FastPass+”

FastPass Tips white screen with blue horizon of Epcot spaceship earth in my disney experience app
Log into app and select date

2 – Choose the date for your reservation (this works for last minute changes, even if it is the same day)

FastPass Tips white screen with blue horizon of Epcot spaceship earth in my disney experience app
Choose park and select time…no luck? Just wait..
 

3 – Choose the park

FastPass Tips white screen with blue horizon of Epcot spaceship earth in my disney experience app
Now let’s get the Frozen Ever After FassPass
Now here’s where the trick comes in:

4 – Instead of choosing, “morning,” “afternoon,” or “evening” go through each individual time block (0930, 1000, 1030, 1100)

Keep in mind that this may not work the first time. 

If you don’t find your ideal reservation on your first attempt, back out of the current screen and try it all over again. 

Once it finally does work, your preferred attraction, Frozen Ever After in this case, will pop up and you can finalize your reservation.

Luckily, FastPass+ can be used at over 60 of the Walt Disney World experiences and you can book as you go!

FastPass Tips white screen with blue horizon of Epcot spaceship earth in my disney experience app
We got it! Now enjoy your favorite Disney attraction.

The Unlimited Disney FastPass Hack

You’re probably thinking about what strategies you should have so that you’re able to get to your top experiences at Walt Disney World.

Below we’re going to go through some simple tips to help you get FastPasses throughout the day besides the standard three given for a day visit.

24 Hollywood Studios Secrets
Toy Story Land

Book Your Selections in the Early Part of the Day

In order to make this Disney FastPass hack work, you’ll want to make your reservations as early to park opening as you can.

This will allow you to book your standard three FastPasses all before lunchtime. Plus, You’ll then be able to book your next selection after you finish your third reservation.

Disney Villains MagicBand 2
You can get more FastPass Wristbands here on shopDisney!

At this point in time, I recommend booking your next few FastPasses as you need them.

This will help you to free up your reservation time slot, since Disney does not allow booking to overlap.

The Ultimate Disney FastPass Strategy

Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Now let’s go through some example time slots to give you an idea of how this works.

Make your first FastPass for 9 a.m. – You can do it earlier based on what time the park opens. This booking will make your reservation time slot technically 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Your next FastPass should be around 10:05 a.m. – This booking will make your reservation time slot technically 10:05 a.m. to 11:05 a.m.

The final morning FastPass selection should be around 11:10 a.m. – This booking will make your reservation time slot technically 11:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.

Hipster Power Tip: This Disney FastPass hack works the best on days where the parks are NOT filled to the brim.

Once you have scanned your MagicBand or theme park ticket card on your final morning FastPass, you can make your first afternoon selection.

Your next FastPasses can be at the same park or you can jump over to another Disney park and make your selections there.

But, in order to truly maximize your time at the parks using this hack, you should stay at the same park you started out your day in.

Secret FastPass Tips to Remember

Hollywood Studios Aerosmith Roller Coaster with large red and white guitar.
Hollywood Studios Aerosmith Rockin Roller Coaster

1 – Choose a Disney Resort

As mentioned earlier, you can use your My Disney Experience app to make your FastPasses up to 60 days in advance of your visit if you’re a Disney Resort hotel guest or 30 days in advance if you’re a Disney Passholder or Day Guest.

This is one of the best perks for staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel!

Pop Century Resort Front
Disney’s Pop Century Resort Photo: Disney Co.

However, you can choose a Disney Springs hotel that may also offer the same FastPass+ early booking option.

Disney Springs Hotels that Offer FastPass+ Early Reservations

  • B Resort & Spa
  • Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort
  • DoubleTree Suites by Hilton
  • The Hilton Buena Vista Palace
  • Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista
  • Holiday Inn Orlando
  • Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista
  • Wyndham Lake Buena Vista

*Please note that hotel participation is subject to change at anytime.

2 – Take Advantage of the Grace Period

Although not an official Disney policy, you can arrive 5 minutes early or 15 minutes late for your FastPass+ reservation.

3 – Participate in a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) Presentation

The Disney Vacation Club is an ownership program (timeshare) operated by Disney. You may notice these Cast Members hanging under a canopy in the parks that are usually loaded with stickers for the little ones.

Here you can request a DVC presentation and tour.

Once the presentation is completed, you’ll receive your incentives which may include a $50 Disney gift card and 3 FastPass+ credits.

Don’t forget to grab your Disney Packing Checklist

Disney Packing List on Clipboard. #disneytips #disneypackinglist
Click Image to Grab Your Copy!

Final Thoughts on Disney FastPass+ System

Before we end this article, you probably want to know is Disney FastPass worth it?

Absolutely!

I mean it’s free so why not try it out.

Although there’s debate in the Disney community as to if the FastPass+ system actually works, I’ve never had any issues with it and I don’t see having a proper Disney Experience without it.

After all, it’s free!

DinoLand USA Animal Kingdom
I know this information about Disney’s FastPass+ can be quite overwhelming, so Let’s go over a few takeaways from this guide.

Disney FastPass Helpful Tips to Remember

  • You will start with 3 FastPasses each day
  • Disney Passholders or Day Guests can make reservations 30 days in advanced
  • If you’re staying at a Disney Resort hotel, you make your FastPass+ selections up to 60 days in advanced
  • Your Disney FastPass window is for an hour
  • You can’t overlap reservation times
  • Once your first three FastPasses are completed, book the rest of your selections one at a time to make the most of the program

Hopefully, I was able to answer your questions easily. If you still need help with your trip, you can click here to get a FREE quote from my top Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.

Laura will plan your Walt Disney World vacation at no additional cost to you!

Overall, this is a great option for anyone who’s visiting any of the Walt Disney World theme parks.

It’s severely underused (which might be a good thing for FastPass wait times) and definitely worth the use.

I hope this Disney FastPass guide helps you conquer your day at the parks.

Let me know in the comments section below what your best hack is for using the Disney FastPass+ program.

FastPass+ Complete Guide with Woody, Buzz and other toys on top of a gigantic tricycle in the Disney parade.
Pin for Later!

If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll love these:

Are you planning a Disney vacation soon? Read the Disney Vacation Planning Guide for your next dream trip!

For more Disney park news, discounts, tips and guides, subscribe to the newsletter!

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

NikkyJ

(Original Article Date January 28, 2018/Updated September 4, 2019)

Share this article!

Leave a Comment

shares