Disney FastPass Secrets

Picture of Epcot ball from Disney World with text overlay “Disney World FastPass Secrets”

So you’re going to Disney World-Hooray! You will have a wonderful time! Disney World is the ultimate family fun vacation but you need to know how to plan. Gone are the days of simply showing up to the parks and riding rides!

These days the crowds are high and the rides have wait times to match. To combat this and make the most out of your visit you will need to have a FastPass strategy. It can be a little overwhelming if it is your first visit to Disney World, but not to worry! Here are some Disney FastPass secrets to help you plan the best Disney World vacation!

Little girl in purple and green mermaid dress with mermaid Mickey ears with little boy in Buzz Lightyear t-shirt in front of the castle in Magic Kingdom at Disney World.

What is FastPass+?

FastPass+ is Disney World’s system for ride reservations. FastPass is FREE, so you should absolutely take advantage of using it. Let me say this again, you do not pay extra to use FastPasses!

Disney will let you make 3 FastPass+ selections per day. After you use all 3 on the day of your visit, you will be able to make one more selection for the day. You must make the first 3 selections for the same park. 

Each reservation is for a 1 hour window of time. For example, you will make a selection that will say 9:30-10:30. You can not overlap FastPass reservations. This means you can not book a FastPass for Splash Mountain at 11:30-12:30 and a FastPass for Big Thunder Mountain at 12:00-1:00. The earliest you could book the next Fast Pass is 12:40-1:40. 

Read next, how to get the best FastPasses for Magic Kingdom!

Picture of the rock formations and train from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride at Magic Kingdom in Disney World.

How do I Make A FastPass+ Reservation?

The first step to make a FastPass reservation is to set up a My Disney Experience account online. Go online to disneyworld.go.com to register. Next, you will need to have a ticket already purchased and have the ticket numbers linked to your account. You will not be able to make FastPass selections until you have done this.

If you are staying at a Disney World Resort, you will be able to choose your Fast Passes 60 days before the first day of your park visit. If you are not staying at a Disney Resort you can make your FastPasses 30 days before the first day of your park visit.

One Disney FastPass strategy I suggest is to make your FastPass selections as soon as the window opens for you to have the best chance to ride the rides you want. This isn’t always possible, but the earlier you make the reservations, the better.

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Cinderella’s castle at lit up at night at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World.

You can either make a FastPass+ selection online via disneyworld.go or on the My Disney Experience app on your phone. I suggest you use your computer to make the FastPass selections, as I have heard of people having issues with the app.

When you log in to make your selections, you will be asked to choose a date, the park, which people in your party you want the FastPasses for, then a ride or experience.

When traveling with a group, it is easiest if one person makes all the FastPass selections for the entire group. We traveled with another family and I linked them all into my Disney account before our FastPass window opened. Then I went online and made reservations for both of our families at the same time. 

Who Needs a FastPass?

Every ticketed member of your party that you want to ride will need their own FastPass. Babies under 3 do not need FastPasses as they will not have tickets. Your young children will need their own FastPasses and can not use the parent’s FastPass.

Babies do not need FastPasses but they will show up as members of your group when you are making the reservations. You need to deselect them when choosing who you are making FastPasses for. Otherwise, Disney won’t let you book the FastPasses because the babies won’t have ticket numbers associated with them.

Family of 5, Dad, Mom, baby, little boy, and little girl posing with Buzz Lightyear at Toy Story Land in Disney World.

FastPass Strategy and Disney FastPass Secrets

Ideally, you will have a plan before you log-in to make your FastPass+ selections. Here are my best Disney World FastPass tips. 

  • Know the heights of your children and the height requirements of the rides you want to ride. Nothing would be more disappointing than to show up to a ride and find out one of the kids is not tall enough to ride it. Don’t let this disappointment happen to you! It’s best to not even bring attention to rides that little ones might not be able to ride.

  • Have an idea of what rides and experiences will be best for your family. Do you have kids who might get scared by roller coasters? Do you have a certain character you HAVE to meet? Knowing your families interests and priorities will help you choose the best rides for FastPass for your group.

  • Check the map and think about any dining reservations you have. This is especially important for the Magic Kingdom as it is so large. It is wise to know where you will be eating so you can choose FastPasses that won’t require you to walk to opposite ends of the park and back in order to make it to everything on time. You can find park maps online at the Disney World website.

  • Make FastPass selections in order of difficulty, not chronologically! Did a new ride just open at Disney World? Well guess what, that’s going to be the most popular for FastPasses and therefore harder to get. Make those hot ticket item selections first before making the rest. For example, I made my FastPass selections in this order: Slinky Dog Dash (Hollywood Studios), Avatar Flight of Passage (Animal Kingdom), Seven Dwarves’ Mine Train (Magic Kingdom), and then Frozen Ever After (Epcot). Once I secured these, I went back to fill in the rest of the FastPasses for each day.

  • I suggest trying to make your FastPasses in the earlier part of the day. Remember, once you use your first three FastPasses you can make one more for the day! Just a caveat here, don’t expect to get a fourth FastPass for one of the big ticket rides. In our experience, the passes available for a fourth selection were some of the rides that are not exhaustive to wait in standby lines for anyway. Rides like Jungle Book, It’s a Small World, Finding Nemo, etc. 

  • When you are making your 4th FastPass selection, you can use the My Disney Experience App on your phone or you can visit a FastPass Kiosk located throughout the parks. I think the app is more convenient, but if for some reason you are having trouble using it or are low on battery there is another option.

Mom and son riding on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom in Disney World.

What If I Don’t Get the FastPasses I want?

If something you wanted was unavailable, don’t panic. You can keep checking to see if something opens up. People change their plans all the time so you never know what might pop up. Alternatively, you can plan to go to the park before it opens for “rope drop” (when the park opens up for rides which earlier than the posted opening time). 

Head to that ride you didn’t get first thing in the morning for the best chance at waiting for a short time. Other times where wait times could be shorter are late at night (an hour before closing), during a parade, during the night time show.

How Do I Use My FastPass?

Your FastPasses will automatically be attached to your ticket. If you get Magic Bands, the FastPasses will be loaded on them. You can use either your ticket or your Magic Band to scan at the FastPass entrance to each ride.

Each ride has a standby entrance and a FastPass entrance. The FastPass entrance will have a time posted above it. You won’t be allowed to enter until your designated FastPass window. Scan your ticket or Magic Band at the silver Mickey balls at the entrance. Wait for it to light up green and go on in!

Do you have any other Disney FastPass secrets? Add them in the comments below to help other families plan their best Disney World vacation!


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