For all you Disney fans that have been traveling for years and took a break, don’t expect the same old vacation! With Disney’s FastPass+, touring through Disney parks is a whole new game. As of January 2014, all of the paper FastPass kiosks are gone and don’t expect to get a FastPass same day for some of the headlining attractions. It’s important to understand what’s changed and what is important, so listen up!
You’ll need to know ahead of time which park you’re planning on going to. No spur of the moment decisions unless you have park hoppers and no dining reservations. This also needs to be decided WELL in advance of your arrival 60 days to be exact. Disney is now allowing resort guests to book 3 FastPasses 60 days before their arrival. It’s becoming as competitive as dining reservations are at the 180 day mark, so it’s nothing to laugh at!
Unlike dining, you won’t need to set an early morning alarm. You will need to drink an extra cup of coffee because the day switches over at midnight EST. For those on the west coast it’s easy peasy compared to the 3 am wake up call for dining.
It’s not uncommon to find little or no availability for Anna & Elsa during the first two days of your trip and limited options later in your trip if you don’t hop on at exactly midnight! While this is the most dramatic of possibilities, it’s best to be prepared for other popular attractions like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Soarin’ and Toy Story Mania.
Strategy wise, it differs for on site and off site guests. I’ve talked extensively on this topic. Please see the FastPass+ strategy post for complete details!
In short, make sure you know the FastPass+ rules and what is included with your package. It’s completely free, so take advantage of what Disney is offering and embrace the change! I found it to be less walking than with the old paper system. As an on site guest you do have the opportunity to earn more FastPasses throughout the day, so it’s not terribly different than the previous system!
A brief synopsis for those new to the system:
- FastPass+ allows you to skip the line for your favorite Disney World attractions
- You are allowed to choose 3 attractions each day you have park tickets (this must be in the same park if you are park hopping)
- Once that 3rd FastPass is used, you are able to schedule additional reservations (one at a time) once you inside the park
- FastPasses are not available during special events or extra magic hours
- Reservations open 60 days in advance to your arrival – this is for your length of stay you are an on site guest
Questions? Feel free to ask!