Disney World tweaks its Fastpass+ line-up, but our advice for using Fastpass+ remains the same
Published: June 11, 2014 at 7:08 PM
Using a Disney MagicBand wrist band to enter a Fastpass+ return queue. Photo courtesy Disney
To review, Walt Disney World allows visitors to make advance reservations for three attractions a day under Fastpass+, via the My Disney Experience link on disneyworld.com. Guests who have reserved a stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel may use the Fastpass+ system to reserve ride and show times up to 60 days in advance of their trip. Annual passholders and other ticket holders may reserve times up to 30 days in advance of their visit.
Once inside the park, Disney visitors may book additional Fastpass+ reservations, one at a time, after using their initial three Fastpass+ reservations. That's why we suggest that visitors consider try to schedule their initial three Fastpass+ times for early in the day, so that they can get additional line-skipping reservations during the rest of the day.
In Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's separated the shows and rides eligible for Fastpass+ reservations into two tiers. You can reserve only one "Tier 1" attraction (the really popular ones) in advance, and must select "Tier 2" attractions (the less popular ones) for your other two Fastpass+ times.
At Epcot, Disney's moving Living with the Land up to Tier 1, and demoting Maelstrom and the Character Spot to Tier 2. At Hollywood Studios, The Great Movie Ride moves up to Tier 1. Here are the tier lists, effective Monday, June 16:
Tier 1 (choose one)
- IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
- Test Track
- Living with the Land* (New to Tier 1)
Tier 2 (choose two)
- Epcot Character Spot* (Demoted from Tier 1)
- Maelstrom* (Demoted from Tier 1)
- Captain EO
- Journey Into Imagination
- Mission: Space
- The Seas with Nemo and Friends
- Spaceship Earth
- Turtle Talk with Crush
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Tier 1 (choose one)
- Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage
- Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
- Toy Story Midway Mania
- The Great Movie Ride* (New to Tier 1)
Tier 2 (choose two)
- The American Idol Experience
- Disney Junior - Live on Stage
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
- Lights, Motors, Action!
- Muppet-Vision 3D
- Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid
The tier changes do not change our recommendations for using Fastpass+, based on our average reader ratings for Walt Disney World attractions and the average standby queue waits for people not using Fastpass+.
At Epcot, we continue to recommend using your Tier 1 Fastpass+ reservation for Soarin' or Test Track, and one of your remaining Tier 2 Fastpass+ reservations on Mission: Space. Pick from among the Character meet-and-greet, Spaceship Earth, or The Seas with Nemo and Friends for the other. You might keep in mind that Test Track has a single-rider line, so if you're willing to use that to save time over the standby queue, spend the FP+ slot on Soarin' instead.
At Hollywood Studios, we recommend using your Tier 1 for Toy Story Midway Mania or Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. Use your Tier 2 spots for Tower of Terror and Star Tours. (Rock 'n' Roller Coaster has single rider, so consider using that option for the roller coaster and the FP+ for Toy Story.)
For what it's worth, we recommend using Fastpass+ for the Anna and the Elsa meet-and-greets and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom, which just happen to be the toughest FP+ "gets" at the moment. If the Frozen princesses are not of interest, a FP+ for the afternoon Festival of Fantasy parade during busy summer months can be a good choice, while still allowing you time to pick up additional FP+ times later in the day. The Magic Kingdom has, by far, the largest number of FP+-eligible attractions, with 28 eligible attractions. However, with the exception of the attractions we just mentioned, Fastpass+ does not offer a huge (hour-plus) time advantage in most situations for the Magic Kingdom's top-rated rides, so if you're not booking the parade, get your advance reservations out of the way early so that you can use the system to save a few minutes in waiting here and there with additional reservations throughout the rest of the day. Collectively, those savings do add up in allowing you to experience more rides by the end of the day in the Magic Kingdom.
Over at Disney's Amimal Kingdom, we recommend using your Fastpass+ reservations for Expedition Everest and Kilimanjaro Safaris, with your choice of Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo, or Dinosaur for the third. Again, if you are willing to use single-rider lines, you can use that to skip the regular queue on Everest, freeing a FP+ for one of the other highly-rated attractions in the park.
Again, these are simply our recommendations based on the average attraction-quality ratings submitted by Theme Park Insider readers. If you and your family really love a ride that other TPI readers don't, just skip the recommendations and reserve the attractions you love most. So long as you're having fun, there's no "wrong" way to visit a theme park!
How are you using Fastpass+ at Walt Disney World? Please tell us, in the comments.