Top Picks for FastPass+

Top Picks for FastPass+

by Richard
(Burleson, Texas)

I'm going back in late September and just found out I get to use the new FastPass+ feature. With this great power I'm overwhelmed with the best way to use it. I get to pick 3 attractions a day and the times I want to go to them. I'm taking 6 kids (13-1) and 4 adults. Do you think it would be best to pick the later times when the parks are more crowded or go with spreading them out through out the day?

If you could pick 3 from each park that are at times difficult to get a Fastpass too or the lines get long what would you go after?

Peter Pans Flight entrance

Yes, you might consider this for FastPass+ - Photo by WDW Shutterbug

Dad’s Perfect Picks Answer

Richard,

First let me apologize for not getting to your question before your trip. I'm a little backed up on the questions right now, but here's what I would have said.

The new FastPass+ system is a huge technological leap forward for Disney, but they’ve had years to prepare for it, and many guests are feeling overwhelmed with the new options and rules. It’s perfectly natural to be a little unsure, but you’ve come to the right place! Dad’s been staying on top of all the FastPass+ news and developments and has some great advice to share.

Right now, Disney’s FastPass+ system is in the testing phase with specially selected resort guests. Since you have received an invitation to participate in the testing, you’ll need to login to the My Disney Experience section of the Walt Disney World website (you can also login to the MyDisneyExperience smartphone app to access the FastPass+ features).

Since you are going in September and that’s a low-crowd level time of year, you don’t need to worry too much about your FastPasses – yes they will be useful and the new technology will be fun, but you won’t be fighting your way through hour long lines like at other times of the year.

Dad’s September Crowd Calendar


Dad’s best advice to is to head to the parks for opening and tackle attractions and shows when the wait times are at a minimum, and use your FastPass+ reservations for the late afternoon when crowds peak, or in the evening if you plan to swim/nap in the afternoon (which is highly recommended with kiddos in tow!). I’d pick all of the FastPass+ times to coincide rather than be spread out, unless there’s a show you want to see at a specific time and rides you’d like to ride later on.

As for my own top picks for each park, I’m happy to share them – but keep in mind every family may have their own needs and preferences! Be careful too – the new system allows many more attractions to have FastPass than did previously, making attractions that are typically walk-ons seem like they are more in-demand than they are. You can use the My Disney Experience app to check the usual wait times before your trip and get a sense for where the long lines are – and that’s where your FastPass+ comes in handy.

In the Magic Kingdom, Dad’s top picks for FastPass+ are Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. But, since you’re traveling with kids, you might also want to consider reserving a time for Peter Pan’s flight which always has a line, and the many character greetings throughout the park.

At Epcot, the best options for FastPass+ are Mission Space, Test Track, and Soarin’. For Animal Kingdom, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Dinosaur, and Expedition Everest are the top picks – you might also consider getting a FastPass for Finding Nemo – The Musical, so that you can show up right before showtime and get a seat.

Finally, at Disney Hollywood Studios you have some choices. The three “big” rides to reserve are Toy Story Midway Mania Tower of Terror, and Rock ‘n Rollercoaster. But, if your family is into Star Wars, then getting a Fastpass for Star Tours is a good idea. You might also consider getting a FastPass for Fantasmic! seating to skip the long wait in line!

If I could just pick 3, I'd pick Toy Story Mania, Soarin' and believe it or not, Peter Pan's Flight (it's almost impossible to get Peter to fit into our plan).

Oh, and by the way – I can’t confirm whether this is true, but a little mouse told me that during the test phase when you use FastPass+ with your Magic Band, you can also use the regular Key to the World Card to access the FastPass kiosks… meaning you can maximize your FastPass experiences!

Dad's Bottom Line

Richard, Fastpass+ is going to take some getting used to for all of us, but in the end it will hopefully help us have more magical vacation experiences. Your trip is almost here – wishing you and your family a Perfect Vacation!

Comments for Top Picks for FastPass+

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Oct 10, 2013
My FastPass+ experience
by: Mississippi Mom

To give everyone an update, we just got back from Disney World and had a fantastic time! I can tell you that although we had FastPass+ reserved for several different days, the only time we really used them was for Toy Story at DHS and when my son wanted to do the Haunted Mansion at MK again late one afternoon. Most every other ride we walked right on with waits of 10 minutes or less due to low crowds at this time.

I WOULD recommend FastPass definitely for Splash Mountain, Big Thunder, Jungle Cruise & Haunted Mansion even on slow days. We were lucky and did those first when we arrived and able to walk right on. But wait times by the afternoon were up to 45 minutes. It poured rain on Monday while at Animal Kingdom so I can't give you accurate feedback there since the drenching rains cleared out a lot of people from the park. We were able to walk on to EVERYTHING after it cleared up the rest of the day.

For Toy Story at DHS, the wait times were up to 2 1/2 hours so FastPass is a must for it, Aerosmith and Tower or Terror.

One BIG complaint that many people had during our trip - the Disney Experience app was VERY glitchy. This is pretty much the only tool you have for updating your FastPass+ selections while in the park...and many times it wouldn't update and kept giving errors. I was speaking to other people on the bus one evening, and they were having similar problems.

I also know several people stated that you can use your FastPass+ and then also get other Fast Passes. It completely depends on how your Fast Pass+ is spread out and what the park decides to do. At MK on Saturday, they weren't issuing ANY Fast Passes to ANYONE after 3 pm and 4 pm on several attractions including Haunted Mansion even though the park was open late that night due to Wishes.

Also, keep in mind that even with FastPass+, there are a limited number that are issued for given times during the day. So while someone said I could go in and change the auto-times it selected for me before my trip to whatever time I wanted, that's not the case. It completely depends on what FastPass+ and paper FastPasses have already been issued and what the stand-by line wait times are at that point in time. Many times no other options were available.

Hope this info helps!

Oct 02, 2013
Just Returned
by: Richard

Just got back and the Magic Bands worked great. The lines were short enough to go to the stand by line then get off and use the magic bands. I was able to use the key card also to get fast passes but there really was not a need little crowd. The biggest crowd problem we had was at the Riverside Resort itself. 1st and last time to stay there not a fan of big waits to get on a bus to go get rest. Ended up just getting a cab each time we left the parks. It was always less than $15 and fast. Over all the bands will help if you can stick to the plan. I built my picks that would put my in the locations where we had dinner reservations. I took little children and older parents with me. I needed to reduce the amount of walking for them. The bands help build in break times for everyone.

Dad Adds

But did you have this problem?

Sep 29, 2013
Fast pass+ and Hotel key card both work!
by: Seth R.

I can confirm that during the test phase when we used FastPass+ with our Magic Band, we could also use the regular Key to the World Card to access the FastPass kiosks… meaning you can maximize your FastPass experiences! I was there a few weeks ago but did not discover this until the last day... too bad, but still loved the fastpass+! In addition, attendance was so low that we really did not need anything more than just 3 fast passes per day. Love the new magic bands!!!

Sep 27, 2013
Response to Miss. Mom
by: Seth R.

Sorry to hear that you're stressed with the magic bands and the fast pass+ process. When you arrive onsite, the hotel should give you room keys to go along with the magic band. These keys can be used to request additional fast passes for that day. You still have the same limitation of having to wait for awhile (i can't remember if it is 1-2 hours) between fastpass+ or fast pass requests.

When using the internet -- it should give you options to choose the fast passes+ for the day per one park. You can then go and edit each request to make it fit your schedule better. In other words, you can modify each request to a new hour in the day. You can use 3 fast pass + in the morning at one park and then use your room key (old fast pass) at another park that evening.

If you have a smart phone, you can also adjust on the fly. For example, I would ahve a fast pass+ for haunted mansion at 10am. If I saw at 9:30 there was no line, I would use my phone to change events and times to another ride in the afternoon.
This is easy to do but must be done before your time slot starts.

We seldom had to wait in line and we were there the first 2 weeks in September. Hope this helps. I also hope you can start enjoying the experience again...

Sep 27, 2013
FastPass+
by: Mississippi Mom

A couple of things to add to this as we will be at Disney next week and have received our MagicBands. When I went to the Disney site to check out FastPass+, I found out there there is a max of 3 passes per day even if you park hop. You cannot go back in after you've used all your FastPasses for the day and request more either. Also I could not go in and just choose what time I wanted my FastPasses for that day. The system selected either 3 or 4 options for me, and I was forced to choose one of those options for times or forgo FastPass+ on my selections for that park on that date. Personally, I'm not loving the new system at all as I feel like Disney is scheduling guests to death. It takes the fun out of the whole Disney experience for me.

Sep 26, 2013
Fast pass+ and Hotel key card both work!
by: Seth R.

I can confirm that during the test phase when you use FastPass+ with your Magic Band, you can also use the regular Key to the World Card to access the FastPass kiosks… meaning you can maximize your FastPass experiences! I was there a few weeks ago but did not discover this until the last day... too bad, but still loved the fastpass+! In addition, attendance was so low that we really did not need anything more than just 3 fast passes per day. Love the new magic bands!!!

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