When it comes to planning a vacation at Walt Disney World trying to figure out how to choose your FastPass+ selections can be quite overwhelming. Our guide aims to cover the best FastPass+ strategies for utilizing your FastPass advance reservations in the most efficient way.
To begin, we recommend first reading our overall guide to FastPass+ so you fully understand how this reservation system works and then you can better understand our advice for FastPass+ strategies.
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General FastPass+ Strategies and Tips
Consider staying on site if you can because on-site guests have a much larger advantage to securing their FastPass+ reservations since they get to book starting 60 days in advance from their trip while guests staying off-site have to wait until the 30 day mark.
If you stay on site at a Disney owned hotel you also get access to Early Magic Hour at the four theme parks which allows guests to access the parks an hour before their official opening.
Plan to arrive early and spend the morning riding popular park attractions and save your FastPass+ reservation times for later in the day.
Become familiar with the My Experience App and make sure everyone's tickets are linked together on the app so you're not scrambling to figure it out when you arrive inside the park.
Keep in mind that you can only book advance FastPass+ reservations for one park per day so knowing that in advance helps you decide if you want to purchase park hoppers or if you want to save a little extra money at just do 1-park per day tickets.
You can also go in and modify FastPass+ reservations to change the time or swap it out with something else. This is helpful to keep in mind- you can use the app, the kiosks, or the Disney website.
If you are already using child swap you only need FastPass+ reservations for your first party. So if mom, dad and child one want to ride but child two doesn't- mom and the child one can ride with their FastPass+ reservation while dad and child two wait. Then once they're done, dad can ride with child one (who gets to go twice- woohoo!) while mom waits with child two. Dad and child one won't need a FastPass reservation to ride after mom's turn is up.
FastPass+ Strategies and Priorities by Theme Park
The most common question guests ask is: which reservations should they try to get with their advanced FastPass reservations?
While this will vary based on personal preference, we tried to organize the most popular attractions in these categories which will see the longest standby lines anytime of year you visit. Getting a FastPass+ for these rides is a great time saver so you can avoid those long standby lines.
Magic Kingdom FastPass+ Priorities
Magic Kingdom is the one park that doesn’t separate your FastPass+ selections by tier or offer any restrictions. You can pick up to three FastPasses per day. The three most popular attractions in the Magic Kingdom to use for your FastPass+ reservation are:
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Space Mountain
If thrill rides aren't on the list for your family, we suggest replacing Space Mountain with Pirates of the Caribbean or your favorite character meet and greet. Enchanted Tales with Belle is extremely popular so if Belle is on your agenda, I would book a FastPass+ reservation to avoid the long standby line.
Epcot FastPass+ Priorities
Epcot has a tier system for their FastPass+ selection which means you can only select one reservation from the Tier 1 group and two reservations from the Tier 2 group.
The top three most popular Tier 1 FastPass+ selections are:
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Frozen Ever After
- Test Track
You can only pick one of these per day so pick which one is the highest priority for your family here. Frozen Ever After is extremely popular so if your family is into Frozen, definitely grab that as your selection to avoid the huge standby lines.
As for the Tier 2 reservation, you get two choices and these are the most popular attractions/experiences from this list to choose from:
- Spaceship Earth
- Mission: SPACE
- The Seas with Nemo and Friends
After those three, the rest of the experiences/attractions are reasonably easier to access FastPasses for during the day you are there or have shorter standby lines. It's always wise to get your FastPasses for the most popular experiences so you avoid those longer standby lines!
Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Priorities
In this park, guests are restricted to only one Pandora- The World of Avatar attraction option per day. So you will need to choose between Flight of Passage or Na’vi River Journey if your family is interested in Pandora for each day spent in this park.
Flight of Passage is hands down the most popular so I recommend grabbing your advance reservation for that ride and trying to ride Na'vi River Journey on standby early in the morning.
Here are the most popular attractions and experiences in this park:
- Expedition Everest- Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
- Avatar Flight of Passage* (Only one per day)
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Na’vi River Journey* (Only one per day)
- Rivers of Light
Rivers of Light is the nighttime show at the Animal Kingdom and is quite popular- definitely use your FastPass+ for this show if it's on your list. You could also book a dining package for Rivers of Light which comes with reserved seating for the show so you don't have to use a FastPass+ reservation on seeing it.
Also keep in mind, that our list just shows the most popular FastPass+ attractions which tend to often have many thrill rides. If you have small children or aren't interested in thrill rides, you might be better off consulting the larger FastPass+ list for each park and pick attractions that fit your family the best.
Hollywood Studios FastPass+ Priorities
Hollywood Studios also has a tier system for their FastPass+ selection which means you can only select one reservation from the Tier 1 group and two reservations from the Tier 2 group.
The Tier 1 FastPass+ selections are:
- Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway
These are all quite popular especially since Toy Story Land is a newer addition to the park. We recommend getting there early so you can take advantage of shorter morning standby lines for whichever one of these rides you don't get a FastPass+ for! Slinky Dog Dash is by far the most popular with the longest lines so I recommend using your advance reservation for that one- definitely utilize that for your FastPass+ strategies agenda.
The most popular Tier 2 FastPass+ selections include:
- Toy Story Midway Mania!
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Fantasmic! is another nighttime spectacular that you can reserve your spot with a FastPass+ selection. Or you could also book a dining package for Fantasmic! so that way you don't have to use one of your FastPass+ selections on it. This is a great way to utilize those FastPass+ strategies to help you maximize your time in the parks.
Tips for Getting FastPasses at the Park
After your three FastPass+ reservations for the day have been used or the reservation windows have passed, you can then select FastPasses from whatever is available while your in the parks.
Each theme park has 3-4 different FastPass kiosks spread throughout the park so you should always be close by to one. Use the My Experience App to help you find the one closest to you. Once you do, head there straight away after you've used your reservations to book another one and keep doing that throughout the day.
One large mistakes guests often make is to simply stop using FastPass once their advance reservations are up- there may still be plenty of options left at the kiosks and it's worth the few minutes to stop and see what you can get.
It's also common for the kiosks towards the park entrances to be the most crowded, especially earlier in the day, while the ones towards the back end of the theme parks tend to be less utilized. If you see a large line at a kiosk, try finding another one because the chances are the line will be shorter.
Keep in mind that the most popular rides, the ones that tend to fall under those Tier 1 categories, will likely not have any remaining FastPasses left when you head to the kiosks. This is why it's so important to get those right away with your advance reservations or arrive early to try and get in the shorter standby lines.
Plan Your Walt Disney World Vacation with Our FastPass+ Strategies!
Now that you have your FastPass+ strategies list covered, read more about your vacation on our site! For more tips and tricks to make Disney vacations magical, sign up for our current newsletter.
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