Walt Disney World reportedly closes a Fastpass+ loophole

June 7, 2017, 2:12 PM · We're hearing multiple reports from readers on social media that the Walt Disney World Resort is closing a mind-boggling loophole that some fans reportedly have used to claim extra Fastpass+ ride reservations at the parks.

Apparently, Disney's Fastpass+ system wasn't programmed to check if a ticket or MagicBand that was trying to claim a FP+ reservation was used to get into the park that day. Since Disney allows guests to reserve FP+ times up to 60 days in advance — and Disney does not assign specific days of use to its multi-day theme park tickets — the company has been allowing people to reserve times on faith that they would use their tickets to enter the parks on those days. (You must have a ticket associated with your My Disney Experience account online in order to claim a Fastpass+ time via Disney's website or smartphone app.)

However, for guests using kiosks inside the park to make day-of Fastpass+ reservations, the system also supposedly wasn't checking to see if the tickets or MagicBands being used to make those reservations had been used to enter the park that day. That meant that people could use expired tickets/MagicBands or tickets that had yet to be activated in order to make additional FP+ reservations. That, in turn, reduced the supply of Fastpass+ reservations for guests who were playing by the rules.

I get why Disney can't guarantee that a ticket with unused dates will be used to get into the park on a future date for which its owner wants to reserve a Fastpass+ time. But why Disney World hasn't been checking that tickets/MagicBands used inside the park for FP+ requests are valid that day is beyond me.

Under this crackdown, Disney is locking out tickets and MagicBands from the FP+ system if someone tries to use them to claim a reservation without using them at the gate first. And we've also heard reports that Disney is locking out the MDE account to which those tickets are MagicBands are associated. Affected visitors will have to go to Guest Services to plead their case to get their ability to make Fastpass+ reservations restored.

Got a story about Fastpass+ or other Disney vacation loopholes? Please share it with us in the comments.

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Replies (25)

June 7, 2017 at 2:20 PM · Hate the fact that this bug existed, but love the fact that they cracked down HARD on the perpetrators.
June 7, 2017 at 2:52 PM · Could a person buy 3 park tickets, have 3 magic bands, and triple their FP+ reservations for the day? Perhaps they need to exit and re-enter twice, and obviously it would be a VERY expensive day at the park. But in practice, could a person do this if money was no object, and they simply wanted a ton of fast passes?
June 7, 2017 at 2:59 PM · Wow... I wonder how many people figured this out. Someone must have posted it on a forum. Those Disneyphiles are a crafty bunch. Remember the disabled tour guide fiasco?

This being said, and I know it goes against the "spirit" of Disney's original vision, they should simply offer a front of the line purchase (one ride per person per day, not unlimited like UOR).

This way, you can hit designated / E-Ticket rides once, just like every other theme park on the planet has.

June 7, 2017 at 3:02 PM · It'll be interesting to see if anybody complains about this, publicly. I'm guessing they won't.
June 7, 2017 at 4:39 PM · I wish they would close the entire hole and go back to the old system.
June 7, 2017 at 5:01 PM · A big culprit of this was private tour guides, they would show up early in the morning with old ticket media and snag FP at the kiosks for the same day.
June 7, 2017 at 5:24 PM · This still holds up a Fastpass for the frauds. It's amazing they haven't closed the loophole earlier. Maybe they were preoccupied with H1B hires.
June 7, 2017 at 9:22 PM · I would have never figured that out.
June 7, 2017 at 10:56 PM · My curiosity got the best of me, and I started to read about the seedy underworld of Fastpass abusers and all the ways you could cheat the system. Booking "throw away rooms" for on-site perks, hiring people with old tickets to snag extra FPs (as GeneP stated earlier).

One person found a glitch in the MDE app and used FP+ for 20 rides by changing reservations while in line and clicking "done" right after the second checkpoint. They have since fixed that problem, but clearly, that whole system was and is still broken.

It seems as though cheating the system takes a lot of work, but there is no shortage of people willing to share this info on the Disney forums. Just hearing about people planning these trips is exhausting...

June 8, 2017 at 3:31 AM · Just please go back to the old Fastpasses or make it so you can only reserve the day of in the park like Disneyland. WDW is so much more frustrating and less magical because the dependency on MDE.
June 8, 2017 at 3:54 AM · This is one those times that we're happy Disney reads the same forums these folks post their cheats in! :)
June 8, 2017 at 5:34 AM · Your information is slightly off. In order to book a fastpass u must have a VALID ticket that has just as many days on it as you are looking to book for. Expired or used tickets won't work. However, people were using unused tickets and booking fastpasses and so long as the ticket remained unused for entry they could continue booking more fastpasses with it.

June 8, 2017 at 6:05 AM · none of this matters, if you waited until that day to get a fastpass , all thats left is Its a small world (still a good ride), yeah... like your going to get a fastpass for frozen on the same day ... ha!
June 8, 2017 at 7:53 AM · "they should simply offer a front of the line purchase"

It sounds great in practice, but in reality, they would have to make a pass like that so prohibitively expensive that only the richest people could afford it. Overpriced events, dessert parties, behind the scenes tours, and after hours opportunities sell out rapidly even with prices 30-50% over the true value. A purchased FP that grants wait-free access to every attraction in a park (even if it's just once per ride), would have to be priced in the hundreds of dollars (at least $200 for a MK FP on a non-peak day) to strike balance between supply and demand and to ensure they don't sell out within seconds of becoming available. A pay for play system just would not work at WDW, and would result in all kinds of backlash from their most loyal fans.

I think the cheat here is not really that clever, though Disney's solution is not terribly elegant especially if guests legitimately have multiple forms of non-expiring ticket media they've been carrying in their MDE account since FP+ started. It's really no different than any of the other FP loopholes that have been "discovered" and then quashed by Disney (i.e. zones at DL that allow you to hold a FP for an attraction in each zone, the FP return window loophole that allowed you to ride an attraction hours after the return window closed, and the 5-minute rule that allowed you to reserve your next FP 5 minutes before your current FP return window starts). Disney guests are quite resourceful, but I'm not really sure how exploiting this loophole really affected the supply of FP+ reservations. The most popular attractions typically don't have any FP+ reservations available on the same day (you're lucky to get any for the most popular attractions 59 days in advance, assuming your staying on site), so those exploiting this loophole are only affecting wait times and FP+ availability on the least popular attractions.

What worries me most about people exploiting, then flaunting, loopholes like this is that Disney's response may not simply be to close the loophole, but enact new policies that affect everyone, even those not exploiting or even aware of these loopholes.

I'll admit that I've exploited a number of Disney procedural loopholes over the years, and it really bothers me to see people posting how smart they think they are on social media and message boards only to see Disney pick up on those attempts to break the "spirit" of the rules and enact new procedures that make things worse for everyone. "You pulled the rug over Mickey's eyes", great, but that doesn't mean you need to post how you did it and how clever you think you are on the internet for the whole world to see. Be happy that you got a slight advantage over the average guest and call it a day.

June 8, 2017 at 7:53 AM · I wonder if this will have any noticeable effect on FastPass wait times/availability.
June 8, 2017 at 8:12 AM · They still haven't closed a loop hole I know ;)
June 8, 2017 at 8:35 AM · So THAT'S why I could never get a fast past for Peter Pan...
June 8, 2017 at 8:37 AM · Just get rid of fast pass entirely. Make people wait in line. Problem solved.
June 8, 2017 at 9:12 AM · I'm totally bummed they are closing this. I've exploited the heck out this hack for a couple of years. It makes it possible to do everything you'd like in less time which helps with a family of 6. But, it is cheating so I do understand the frustration of some and guess that my queue time just got a whole lot longer.
June 8, 2017 at 10:36 AM · You should not be able to get a fastpass or reserve a time on a ride unless you are inside the park.
June 8, 2017 at 11:06 AM · My family of 4 all have season passes. My son doesn't love the rides and I will often use his fastpass as extra for my daughter or my wife.

Under the old paper system the paper ticket had to go through the reader at the turnstile to be able to get a fast pass from the dispensing machine at the line. So if I took my daughter only we couldn't bring wife and son's ticket to get extra fast passes.

With the Magic bands I was able to schedule the rides all in advance. And when my son decided to go to a water park I brough his magic band with me and was surprised it worked since my son hadn't been admitted at the gate.

June 8, 2017 at 11:32 AM · @ - That's the conundrum. FP+ was rolled out as a way for guests to plan their vacation ahead of time without having to scramble around the park collecting slips of paper. It also is a way for Disney to incentivize guests to stay on-site since confirmed resort guests get a head start on making reservations over non-resort guests. If guests cannot reserve FP+s before walking through the gate, resort guests have no advantage, and it reverts back to what the old Fastpass system was. The old system wasn't necessarily broken, but it had its drawbacks including having crowds not spread evenly around the parks and creating confrontational situations at FP stations.

The problem stems from the non-expiring tickets that guests can theoretically hold onto forever. Disney cannot predict when guests will use these tickets, so they have to assume that when you go online to make your FP+ reservations with your MDE account connected to an old admission media, that you're going to use that ticket when you walk through the gate. However, there's nothing right now forcing you to use that specific ticket to enter the parks on a given day. Disney can cancel the FP+ reservation if the ticket associated with it has not been scanned when the re-entry window opens, but that doesn't really help anyone since the reservation is gone, and cannot simply be placed back into the system as an available reservation for other guests to use.

Clearly Disney should be able to fix the issue with guests using expired and already used tickets to procure FP+ reservations pretty easily, but it's going to be a tricky proposition on deciding how to handle guests that have old non-expiring passes (for the record, I'm one of those people with a stash of non-expiring passes bought over 10 years ago). As much as I would personally hate it, I think they need to say to those with non-expiring tickets that they cannot make advanced FP+ reservations, and can only access the system after they've entered the park. The only exception to that would be if those tickets are linked to a resort reservation and converted to current tickets that will expire 14 days after checkout. That would obviously devalue my non-expiring passes, but considering that I paid an average of $35/day for what I have and FP+ didn't even exist when I purchased them, I think it's fair for Disney to prevent those ticket holders from pre-reserving attractions without forcing them to stay on site and force the tickets to expire.

June 8, 2017 at 11:44 AM · Thank goodness we closed the door so Russians can't hack the fastpas system.
June 8, 2017 at 11:46 AM · Of course if they close the loopholes, that will make it easier for the rest of us to get 4th and 5th FP+ that are actually useful. The abusers of the system were taking their extra goodies away from all of us!
June 12, 2017 at 1:48 PM · Right on, Court E. The hell with FastPass. I enjoyed the parks more when you just queued up and rode the attraction you wanted, when you wanted, regardless of how long the line looked, and without FastPass holders making the StandBy line 200 minutes long. FULL DISCLOSURE: Does riding Big Thunder half a dozen times during the parade count as exploiting a loophole? If so, I was the Wildest Outlaw In The Wilderness at age 12.

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