Disney Tip: FastPass

On our recent trip to Disney World, I had the chance to talk to so some folks who had never been before. They did not quite understand how to fully leverage the power of the FastPass.

Here's what a FastPass slip looks like

FastPass is like making an appointment to go on a ride. You go to the ride you want to ride, but instead of standing in line, look for a sign that says “FastPass Distribution.” Go to the distribution machine and put your tickets in the slot (you don’t have to have your party with you, just their tickets). It then spits out appointment slips (see photo to the right). Now you can go do something else and return at your appointment time. The appointment time is a one hour window of opportunity. For example, if you head straight for Space Mountain and enter your tickets to the FastPass distribution machine, it will spit out a slip of paper that will tell you to return between 11:35 and 12:35. If you would like to see what the FastPass looks like for each attraction, check out this site.

There are only a certain number of slots for each time period, so after a few people swipe their tickets, it will advance to 11:40 – 12:40. This means that FastPass can run out. For popular rides (like Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios) the FastPass runs out quickly. We went to Toy Story Mania an hour after the park opened and the FastPass was already up to 3:00 PM.

That brings me to the most important rule governing FastPass: Each ticket can only have one active FastPass appointment at a time. That means when we got a FastPass for Toy Story at 3:00, we could not get another one until after 3:00.

A Sample FastPass Strategy for Fantasy Land:
The best way to get the most out of FastPass is to FastPass a long-wait ride, and then hop on a short-wait ride. Here’s an example strategy for getting the most out of Fantasy Land when Magic Kingdom when it opens:

  • FastPass Winnie the Pooh
  • Ride Snow White
  • Ride Teacups (which is only no-wait when the park opens)
  • Ride Carousel
  • Return to Ride Pooh
  • Fastpass Peter Pan
  • Ride Small World
  • Ride Haunted Mansion
  • Return to ride Peter Pan
  • See PhilharMagic (or move to Tomorrow Land… I tend to save PhilharMagic for the hotest parts of the day… it is air-conditioned and has little wait)

Just like that, you can experience 8 attractions in just over two hours without waiting in long lines.  Before FastPass, it was hard to get 8 attractions in a day!

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