If you’re trying to figure out the best Disney Fast Passes for a seamless 2019 Disney vacation without waiting in long lines, then pull up a chair and start taking notes!
I truly love helping people plan their ideal Disney vacation. I’ve brainstormed with friends who are 2 years away from booking a trip, and I’ve jumped in to help friends who are leaving in a week and haven’t booked a thing.
The mistake I see again and again that makes me die a little inside is people not using Fast Pass! (Cue horror movie sound effects.)
Almost as bad- when people book Fast Passes, but they chose rides that really don’t warrant it or weren’t the best use of their selections.
Since you’re here, I know you won’t make any of those mistakes!
Disney Fast Pass FAQs
Let’s start with some of the questions I hear over and over again about booking Fast Passes.
Do you have to pay extra for Fast Pass?
No, no, and NO! Unlike Universal, Disney includes 3 Fast Passes per day for EVERY ticket. You don’t need to be staying on site and you don’t need to pay extra. And after you use those 3 (or let them expire), you can book more one at a time.
Is it really necessary to book Fast Pass ahead of time?
It not a requirement to schedule ahead of time, and most attractions will have Fast Passes available on the day of. However, if you want the best chance at those extremely popular attractions, you absolutely should book your Fast Passes as soon as you possibly can.
There are a limited number of Fast Passes for each attraction, and the most popular rides do run out of Fast Passes well in advance.
When can I book my Fast Passes?
If you are staying onsite at a Disney resort, you can book your Fast Passes 60 days before the start of your trip (and you can book your entire trip on that day). If you are staying offsite, you can book 30 days in advance. You will need to book each day of your trip one by one, abiding by the 30 day window.
The booking window opens at 7am EST, so sit down at your computer at 6:50 on the day your booking window opens and log on to MyDisneyExperience to book!
What’s the best time of day to schedule my Fast Passes for?
There are two schools of thought on this, and it depends on your touring strategy.
Personally I’m in the rope drop crowd (arriving before the park opens to take advantage of the early morning low crowds). With this strategy, I recommend booking Fast Passes starting at 11am. You can take advantage of the low crowds prior to that time while still having them scheduled early enough in the day to then use a 4th, 5th and 6th Fast Pass after your initial 3.
How can I get extra Fast Passes?
Once all your pre-booked Fast Passes have been used (or expire), you can book another using the MDX app or at Kiosks located throughout the parks. You may only book one at a time with this method. Once you use your fourth Fast Pass, you can book a 5th.
For 4th Fast Passes and beyond, you can repeat one of the attractions that you already FastPassed and you can choose a different attraction from the Tier One category. Just remember these are subject to availability so it’s not incredibly likely that those will be available. People do change plans and cancel Fast Passes last minute however, so it’s worth checking.
What’s this I hear about “tiers”?
At Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios, Fast Passes are selected within a tiered model.
This means you may only select ONE of the two or three most popular attractions in that park. You can then select two of the Tier 2 attractions. My recommendation is to choose your most desired Tier 1 attraction and use Fast Pass for that. You can then prioritize the other Tier 1 attraction to be your first ride of the morning if you arrive at rope drop, or your last ride of the night if you take the late shift (both good times to ride a popular ride without a Fast Pass).
Want to know how I afford to go to Disney every year without going broke? Don’t miss this post that dishes all my secrets on how to save on Disney World!
Best Disney Fast Passes For Each Park
Magic Kingdom (no tiers)
Top 3 Picks
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
Other Solid Choices
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Peter Pan’s Flight (personally I think it’s overhyped, but the lines get VERY long so if you choose to ride, do it with Fastpass or at rope drop)
- Winne the Pooh (slow load times = long lines)
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
- Meet Mickey and Minnie at Town Square Theater (sadly this Mickey no longer talks)
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Buzz Lightyear Spaceranger Spin
Tier 1 (choose ONE of these)
- Frozen Ever After
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Test Track
If you have a Frozen fan on your hands, go with that as the lines are longest. Otherwise, choose Test Track. Don’t miss Soarin’- ride it first thing in the morning or last at night, or grab it as a 4th Fast Pass if you’re lucky.
Character spot is Tier 1 but probably not your best use of FastPass.
Illuminations is also a Tier 1 choice but nobody should choose it, there are plenty of spots all around the lake with great views of the show.
Also note-worthy is that Illuminations will be replaced by a new nighttime spectacular show at Epcot sometime in 2019. It remains to be seen whether or not this new show will alter the best choice of Fast Pass, but I will keep this updated if it does!
Tier 2 Solid Choices
- Spaceship Earth
- Mission Space (if motion sickness is not a concern)
The other attractions rarely get long lines so Fast pass should not be necessary.
Tier One (must choose one)
- Avatar Flight of Passage- The most sought after Fastpass in WDW. Get one of it you can!
- Na’vi River Journey (only pick this if you can’t ride Flight of Passage due to height or other restriction!)
Tier Two Solid Choices
- Expedition Everest
- Kilamonjaro Safari
- Kali River Rapids (one of my 5 most underrated Disney attractions)
The addition of Toy Story Land has completely rearranged the Fast Pass tiers for this park. I imagine that, after the newness wears off, they will restructure the tiers again. For now, they look like this:
Tier One (must choose one)
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Toy Story Mania
Your best bet is to get a Fast pass for Slinky Dog and try to ride the others standby or with a 4th Fast pass or higher. The wait times for Alien Swirling Saucers have died down recently so should be the most reasonable of the three. Also, the queue for Toy Story Mania is a fun one, which helps if you choose to ride it standby.
Tier Two Solid Choices
- Rockin’ Roller Coaster
- Tower of Terror
- Star Tours
Check out this post for a closer look at the best rides at Hollywood Studios!
Still have Fast pass questions? Leave them in the comments and I’ll do another Fast pass FAQ in my next Disney post.
If you are planning the ultimate family Disney vacation, don’t miss my picks for kids’ favorite Disney resorts and kid’s favorite Disney restaurants!
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