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 Fastpass! (Cue horror movie sound effects.)
Almost as bad- when people book Fastpasses, 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!
Let’s start with some of the questions I hear over and over again about booking Fastpasses.
Don’t you have to pay extra for those?
No, no, and NO! Unlike Universal, Disney includes 3 Fastpasses per day for EVERY ticket. You don’t need to be staying on site, 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 them ahead of time?
It not a requirement to schedule ahead of time, and most attractions will have Fastpasses available on the day of. However, if you want the best chance at those extremely popular attractions, you absolutely should book your Fastpasses as soon as you possibly can. There are a limited number of Fastpasses for each attraction, and the most popular rides do run out of Fastpasses well in advance.
When can I book my Fastpasses?
If you are staying onsite at a Disney resort, you can book your Fastpasses 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 Fastpasses for?
This 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 Fastpasses starting at 11am. They aren’t as necessary prior to that time, but you can still do them early enough in the day to take advantage of extra Fastpasses after your initial 3.
How can I get extra Fastpasses?
Once all your pre-booked Fastpasses 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 Fastpass, you can book a 5th.
For 4th Fastpasses 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 Fastpasses last minute however, so it’s worth checking.
What’s this I hear about “tiers”?
At Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios, Fastpasses 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 to Fastpass. 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.
For other tips to manage crowds and minimize wait times, be sure to check out this post!
Best Fastpass Selections 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 at Town Square Theater (this is the Mickey that TALKS!)
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Buzz Lightyear Spaceranger Spin
Tier 1 (choose ONE of these)
- Frozen Ever After
- 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. (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!)
Tier 2 Solid Choices
- Spaceship Earth
- Mission Space (if motion sickness is not a concern)
- Epcot character spot
The other attractions rarely get long lines so Fastpass should not be necessary.
Tier One (must choose one)
- Avatar Flight of Passage- Currently 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
Tier One (must choose one)
- Rockin’ Roller Coaster
- Toy Story Mania
Fantastic and the Beauty and the Beast Show are also Tier One options but are not a good use of Fastpass.
Tier Two Solid Choices
- Tower of Terror
- Star Tours
- Frozen Sing Along if the other two aren’t viable choices for you
Unsure if you’re able to ride these due to height restrictions or motion sickness? Check out my comprehensive guide to all the attractions at Walt Disney World!
Still have Fastpass questions? Leave them in the comments and I’ll do another Fastpass FAQ in my next Disney post!