Disney World Tweaks Fastpass+
Walt Disney World today announced changes that it has made this week to its Fastpass+ attraction reservation system. Fastpass+ allows confirmed theme park ticket holders to reserve times on most rides and shows in the four Walt Disney World theme parks, up to 30 days in advance of your visit. Disney's on-site hotel guests can make reservations up to 60 days in advance of their trip.
Up until now, visitors have had to make Fastpass+ reservations in blocks of three. You could reserve three Fastpass+ times for each day of your visit for each ticket-holder. Then, once you'd gone on all those rides, you could make three more Fastpass+ reservations for later that day, by visiting one of the Fastpass+ stations in the park.
Now, you don't have to make your reservations in blocks of three. Want just one or two reservations? Go ahead. And once your reservations are used, you can make additional reservations on the day of your visit through Disney's official My Disney Experience app on your smartphone or tablet. You no longer have to see a cast member at an in-park Fastpass+ station.
How long will we see how long those stations last, now that they're no longer essential for making additional reservations? I suspect that Disney will keep them staffed early in the day, for people who didn't know that they could make their reservations in advance. But with more fans using the app to book their fourth Fastpass+ and beyond, I wouldn't be surprised to see the stations going away by mid-day.
If you've not used Fastpass+ for a Walt Disney World visit before, you will need to go to disneyworld.disney.go.com/plan and create an account, if you haven't made an account with Disney's website before. If you have a Disney World hotel reservation, you can link that reservation to your account. If not, you'll need to add the family and friends you will be visiting with, then link their theme park tickets to their accounts, so that you can start making Fastpass+ reservations. (So, yes, you will have to have bought your tickets in advance.)
Do all this well in advance of your 30- or 60-day window opening, so that you can log on and start making reservations as soon as you are eligible. If you want to get reserved times for high-demand attractions — meeting Anna & Elsa or riding the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train — you should log in just after midnight on the day you can make reservations. Otherwise, logging in anytime that day should be fine. We recommend going for your choice of up to three among the high-demand, long-wait attractions in each park for your advance reservations.
- Princess Fairytale Hall (Anna & Elsa)
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Space Mountain
- Peter Pan's Flight
- Soarin' or Test Track (or the Frozen ride, when it opens - you can pick just one of these three)
- Character Spot
Disney's Animal Kingdom
- Rivers of Light, when it opens
- Festival of the Lion King
- Expedition Everest
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
Disney's Hollywood Studios
- Toy Story Midway Mania
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
Then go for other popular attractions for your "extra" reservations:
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Splash Mountain
- Haunted Mansion
Disney's Hollywood Studios
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
- The Great Movie Ride
- Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Disney's Animal Kingdom
- Finding Nemo - The Musical
- Kali River Rapids
- Whatever you didn't get in advance, if they're still available
Get the rides you want first, then go back and change the reservations to nail down the specific times you want. We recommend reserving for early in the day, but not in the first hour that the park is open.
Plan to arrive at the park for the opening, then do the other popular rides you don't have reservations for, before the lines build up. Your Fastpass+ reservations should come into play after that - typically between 10am and 1pm. As soon as you check in for your third Fastpass+ reservations, get out your smartphone and try to make additional reservations for the rides you missed.
If you are traveling by yourself, or you are willing to ride separately from your family or friends, using single rider lines can be a great alternative to Fastpass+, as they allows you to skip much of the wait without having to make an advance reservation. Here is a list of rides with single-rider lines, at top Disney and Universal theme parks.
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They shouldn't get rid of the kiosks. Not everyone has a smartphone, and having one should not be mandatory to enjoy a day in the parks.
You can change your fastpass with a tablet or PC and wifi connection. You don't always need your smartphone.
I'm glad Disney is allowing reservations through their app. Seems easier than going to the kiosks. I have yet to experience Fastpass+ at WDW, but it looks like a nice service. The only thing I don't like is having to reserve before even arriving at the park. On another hand, I think you forgot to include the list of attractions with a single rider line.
I have yet to use Fastpass+, but from what I've heard this sounds like a much-needed change. It is useless to make reservations if there's a 30 minute wait to reserve an attraction with a 45 minute standby line but I've heard that happened regularly. While I highly doubt the kiosks will disappear as some guests will still need to use them, I could see staffing cut significantly to only one or two cast members per kiosk instead of one for every terminal or two. I also like the fact that you're not forced to make three reservations as some parks (particularly Epcot, but also Hollywood Studios if you don't like thrill rides) don't seem to have three reservation-worthy attractions. However, this brings up a question: If you only reserve one or two attractions in advance at a park with tiers, can you then reserve another upper tier attraction immediately or must you have made one upper tier and two lower tier reservations first? If the former, it could fundamentally alter the Fastpass+ strategies for Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
It's been a long awaited update. Better late than never. I do agree that a kiosk should be available to those who need it. Great recommendations for reservations by the way. Spot on.
Has the in-park wifi improved much over the last couple of years? When I last visited in 2014, it was really patchy. For a visitor from abroad, switching from wifi to your own data coverage is an expensive alternative - not something I'd want to be doing just to pick up a FP+. So I hope the kiosks remain as an option.
I don't really see this as a major improvement, but an improvement nonetheless.
I thought you still could only reserve at one park a day. I could see after you use your three for the day then a new park option would work. But doing one at magic kingdom and two at Epcot wasn't allowed to do. Did they finally fix that?
The only real tweak here is the ability to reserve additional FastPass+ reservations after the first 3 through your phone. Honestly, this should have been a feature of the system since its inception, so I'm not terribly impressed. I do think this will allow Disney to reallocate staffing resources, because the kiosks would not be in such high demand. However, they will still be needed for as long as the current online system remains in place. Disney cannot alienate guests by requiring everyone to have a cell phone or tablet with them to make FastPass+ reservations. There are plenty of guests who simply don't own or want to own a device, while others will be from foreign countries that will not have their devices with them to avoid foreign roaming charges, so the kiosks will never go away.
This works wonders! I just used my last of my 3 fast passes and as we were walking through the queue we pulled up the app and selected our next one. Very convenient.
As an anonymous troll, I will have to use it to see how good it works. I think the paper fastpass system worked much, much better, and all this system has done is make the lines longer. The fact is that there were attractions that did not use fastpass at all (Pirates, Haunted Mansion) that are fast loading rides. Their wait times were traditionally 15-30 minutes during non-peak times. Now, due to the new system, they are 45 minutes during non-peak times. Even during peak times I could time the parades to get 15 minutes wait times, but no longer. Honestly, it has sent me to Universal since I can stay at one of the three hotels and jump to the front of the line. Yes, it is expensive, but the hotel that allows the unlimited express pass is on par with a Disney moderate resort. So, I hope the new system works, but they could use the armbands with the old system to the same effect. They need to eliminate the tiered attractions, remove the older fast loading attractions from fast pass, and eliminate the one park per day restriction. I simply am not going to pay the thousands of dollars to ride six attractions per day. I hate to imagine what it will be like when Star Wars opens. I wish the brains in their movie division would share with the theme park division.
To my fellow anonymous poster above.
I'm thrilled they made the change, and it does work for me. However, I do wonder how it will work out for people who don't use smart phones if the kiosks go away. Regardless, this definitely makes me see the value in FastPass Plus a lot more than before. I'm curious to find out if having the option on the app makes availability even less for the extra FastPasses. They're already pretty limited, so this could make it even tougher. We'll see.
I've heard people get excited about not having to book the initial "3", but instead, being able to book 1 or 2. What's the advantage of not booking 3 from the beginning? Isn't it better to book 3 while they is still some availability?
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