As we reported in April, there have been a lot of changes to FastPass+ in the past few months. We took full advantage of these much needed enhancements during a brief visit to the theme parks last week.
When we arrived at the Magic Kingdom at 2 PM on a late June afternoon we expected to encounter large crowds and little FastPass+ availability. Boy, were we in for a surprise. Based on our arrival time, we set the meager goal of enjoying 10 attractions; by the end of the night we ended up hitting 17–15 of which were using a FastPass+ !
First of all, a brief disclaimer. My travel party was comprised of two 30-something Disney Park Fanatics. No kids. No strollers. Just two gals intent on seeing as much as we could in what little time we had. I’m not saying that a family couldn’t achieve as much as we did in this amount of time, but we were ready and willing to zig-zag across the park to nab the next available FastPass+. If we had kids and a stroller, I wager the decisions we made would have been different.
To review briefly, Guests can now choose to pre-book up to three FastPass+ selections before even getting to the parks. Guests are not forced to select three, but can also opt to book one or two FastPass+ selections in advance. Pre-booked FastPass+ MUST be in the same theme park. For example, Guests can not select one attraction from Magic Kingdom and two from Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
So here’s the greatest thing about the latest enhancement: once a Guest redeems their FastPass+ at the first touch point, either by tapping their MagicBand or their ticket, they can fire up the My Disney Experience App and secure a new FastPass+ immediately. Here’s a closer look at how it all works:
Download the My Disney Experience App. Make sure you’re logged in and ready to access the FastPass+ section.
Select the FastPass+ Party. Remember, not everyone has to have the same FastPass+ selection. Grandma can ride Peter Pan’s Flight while everyone else takes a wild ride on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Just remember to leave Grandma out of the FastPass+ party at this point in the process.
Select the date and desired theme park. At this point, Guests can choose to either stay in the same park or hop to another park. If a park is closed, it is indicated on the app.
Search for available FastPass+ by time. Guests will have the option to select from morning, afternoon, or evening and then more specific times within those categories. Have a Advanced Dining Reservation at 6pm? No problem! Manipulate the app to find a desirable return time window and you’re golden.
Select an attraction and FastPass+ return time. If the available window isn’t quite right, don’t fret! Guests can redeem FastPass+ five minutes before a the official return time and up to 15 minutes after the return time window closes. For example, in the case of the example below, we could have arrived as early at 9:10 PM or as late as 10:30 PM to redeem our Haunted Mansion FastPass+. This was something we used to our advantage several times over the course of our visit.
DIStracted Tip: Remember Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot separate their attractions into two tiers. Guests can select one attraction from the first tier (aka most desirable/popular attractions like Frozen Ever After or Toy Story Mania) and two from the second tier. Once the first three FastPass+ selections are redeemed you are able to select from the first tier attractions again. For example, we had pre-booked FastPass+ for Frozen Ever After, Meet Mickey and Friends at the Epcot Character Spot and Spaceship Earth. We were later able to secure a FastPass+ time for Test Track, a first tier attraction.
Confirm the FastPass+ selection. This last screen shows the selected attraction and FastPass+ return time as well as the FastPass+ Party. If everything looks good, click on confirm.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. As soon as everyone in the FastPass+ party taps their MagicBand at the first touch point, hop on the app and repeat the process. While the most desirable attractions won’t always be available when you want them, there will most likely be something available at a convenient time. Using an immediately available FastPass+ for Mad Tea Party is better than having to kill time waiting for a FastPass+ for Splash Mountain. If you do need to kill time before your next FastPass+, don’t forget you can access the latest wait time information via the My Disney Experience app.
Modify FastPass+ selections. Things come up and plans change. Disney makes it super easy for Guests to modify existing FastPass+ selections. Guests can modify the FastPass+ party, the experience, the return time or all of the above.
Keep on swimming. Don’t give up! Just because something isn’t available doesn’t mean it won’t become available. Keep refreshing the app. We nabbed FastPass+ for both Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Test Track using this technique.
The power to enjoy numerous attractions with little-to-no-wait has never been easier. It’s all in the palm of your hand. Have fun out there!
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