How to make Fastpass+ reservations at Walt Disney World, 2018 edition

April 4, 2018, 11:49 AM · With the opening of Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney is tweaking the tier line-up for Fastpass+ reservations once again.

Guests with club-level reservations at Walt Disney World Resort hotels who upgrade can book extra Fastpass+ reservations 90 days in advance of their visit, which is 30 days earlier than "regular" on-site hotel guests can and 60 days before the general public. Since we are within that 90-day window for the opening of Toy Story Land on June 30, club level guests can see the new Fastpass+ tiers for Disney's Hollywood Studios.

With Fastpass+, guests who hold Disney World theme park tickets can book three attraction reservation return times online for each day of their visit. In three of the four Disney World theme parks — Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and Disney's Animal Kingdom — the eligible attractions are separated into tiers. You can book just one Fastpass+ time among the Tier 1 attractions and the rest of your reservations must be for Tier 2 rides and shows. (We will explain how to make Fastpass+ reservations below.)

Here are the Disney World attractions you can book in advance using Fastpass+. Attractions marked with an asterisk(*) are the ones we most recommend using your Fastpass+ reservations on, based on reader ratings of all attractions, average standby wait times, single rider options, and availability of extra Fastpass+ reservations on the day of your visit (see below).

Disney's Hollywood Studios: Tier 1
*Slinky Dog Dash (new)
Alien Swirling Saucers (new)
Toy Story Mania!

Tier 2
*Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
*Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Beauty and the Beast — Live on Stage (show)
Disney Junior — Live on Stage (show)
Fantasmic! (show)
For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration (show)
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular (show)
MuppetVision 3D (show)
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster (single rider option)
Voyage of the Little Mermaid (show)

Disney's Animal Kingdom: Tier 1
*Flight of Passage
Na'vi River Journey

Tier 2:
*Expedition Everest (single rider option)
*Kilimanjaro Safaris
Dinosaur
Festival of the Lion King (show)
Finding Nemo - The Musical (show)
It's Tough to be a Bug! (show)
Kali River Rapids
Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost (character meet)
Primeval Whirl
Rivers of Light (show)

Epcot: Tier 1
* Frozen Ever After
Test Track (single rider option)
Soarin' Around the World
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth (show)

Tier 2:
* Mission: SPACE
* Epcot Character Spot (character meet, best use of a FP+ for this if you don't have character meals booked)
Spaceship Earth (often a walk-on in the afternoon)
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
Living with the Land
Journey Into Imagination With Figment
Turtle Talk with Crush (show)
Disney/Pixar Short Film Festival (show)

Magic Kingdom:
* Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
* Space Mountain
* Splash Mountain
The Barnstormer
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
Dumbo the Flying Elephant (has an indoor play area while you wait)
Enchanted Tales with Belle (character meet/show)
Haunted Mansion
It's a Small World
Jungle Cruise
Mad Tea Party
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Mickey's PhilharMagic (show)
Meet Ariel at Her Grotto (character meet)
Meet Disney Princesses at Princess Fairytale Hall (character meet)
Meet Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater (character meet)
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor (show)
Peter Pan's Flight
Pirates of the Caribbean
Tomorrowland Speedway
Under the Sea Journey of The Little Mermaid

Now, you always can just pick your family's three favorite rides and make Fastpass+ reservations for those. But if those rides always have short waits anyway, you can save yourself a lot of time during your visit by using your Fastpass+ reservations on other rides with longer standby waits, instead.

The best strategy, as always, is to be at the park before it opens, so you can go on the most popular rides before the lines get long. If a ride has a single rider option, you can use it instead of Fastpass+ to skip most of the wait... if you are willing to ride alone by filling in an empty single seat in a row somewhere.

Ideally, you want to use Fastpass+ for those rides with long waits that you can't get to first thing in the morning and that you won't be using single rider on, either.

We suggest using Fastpass+ only on rides, too. Shows tend to have large capacities and minimal wait times, so it can be a waste of a reservation to use your initial three FP+ selections on those. The only exceptions would be if you are not spending the whole day in the park, but just coming in the evening and you want to make sure that you can get a good spot to see Illuminations or Fantasmic! (Annual passholders often use their FP+ slots for this.) You also can book dining packages that come with reserved seating for Fantasmic! and Rivers of Light, in lieu of using a Fastpass+ reservation on them.

If you have young children who really want to meet the Disney characters, you can use Fastpass+ reservations for those, too. But we suggest that booking a character meal at one of Disney's restaurants is not just an easier way to see the characters, but also to spend more time with them, without having to burn any of your Fastpass+ reservations.

Once you have used your initial three Fastpass+ reservations for the day, you can book additional Fastpass+ times in the park, either by going to a one of the kiosks located inside the park or (much preferred) doing it on your cell phone using Disney World's official My Disney Experience app. So we also recommend making your initial FP+ reservations for early in the day, so that you can start booking additional reservations as soon as possible.

How to Book Fastpass+ Reservations Times at Walt Disney World

Go to https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/plan/ and click "Create an Account" if you do not already have an online account with Disney. (If you do, just go ahead and log in.) This page, called "My Disney Experience," is where you start making all your Fastpass+ reservations.

Once you are logged in, the website will walk you through the steps of getting ready to make your Fastpass+ reservations. You can make three reservations in a single park for each day of your visit. The website will start by asking you if you have an existing Walt Disney World on-site hotel reservation. If not, that's no problem. But if you do, the website will link your reservation to your account and that will make your life much easier as you plan your vacation.

After that, the website will ask you to add the friends or family members that will be traveling with you to your account. They don't need their own Disney accounts and Disney won't give them your log-in — this is just so the system can book Fastpass+ reservations for everyone in your group at once, if you want.

Next, you will need link your Disney World theme park tickets to your account before you can make Fastpass+ reservations. If you haven't bought your tickets yet, you will need to do that before you can make your reservations. Don't wait too long to do this, because you if you want to reserve Disney World's most popular attractions, you will need to make your reservations as soon as you can.

Then set your alarm.

You can start making Fastpass+ reservations at 7am Eastern Time 30 days before your visit. If you are staying at an on-site Walt Disney World hotel, you can start making reservations at 7am Eastern 60 days before your visit. (But you will have had to link your reservation to your My Disney Experience account — see above.) And if you have booked a club-level room and opted into the Fastpass+ upgrade, you can book 90 days out.

Don't worry if you are not staying on-site, though. Disney does not make all its reservation times available 90 or 60 days in advance. It holds back some for people booking 30 days in advance, and it's believed that Disney holds back some for same-day reservations, too. And if worse comes to worse, you always can just wait in the stand-by line for any attraction.

Try to make your reservations the second that you are eligible. If you don't get what you want, keep checking daily, as rides that once were booked might have times come available. You can change your FP+ reservations at any time up until the return time. And once you've used your third FP+ reservation for the day, start looking for additional FP+ reservations to book.

The best way to do this is just to see if there is an available FP+ time for the ride you want to visit next. If there is, make it, and just skip the stand-by line and go right in at your scheduled time. Once you've used that FP+ reservation, you can make another one, and so on, and so on... until the end of the day!

Replies (9)

April 4, 2018 at 12:34 PM ·

One additional nuance here...On-site guests can book FP+ reservations for their entire length of stay (up to 10 days) beginning 60 (or 90 if they're club and pay the extra $$) from their check in date. That means you can theoretically book up to 100 days in advance if you're reserving for the last day of a 10-day stay in a club room with the upcharge FP+ option (70 for all other on-site guests).

Another item Robert doesn't note, reservations become available all the time, so if you don't get your top choices when you first log in, don't fret. Log into My Disney Experience (MDE) regularly until you arrive at WDW, and you'll be surprised at how many top attraction will suddenly pop up. It's not just Disney holding back reservations for off-site guests and same day visitors, it's also other guests changing what they have. Also, Disney only releases FP+ reservations based on a worst case scenario where attractions are running at their lowest capacity for that time of year. As you get closer to your visit, Disney may get more confident that an attraction can push more people through, and will subsequently release more FP+ reservations on the market. It happened with the Avatar attractions, and I wouldn't be surprised if Slinky Dog Dash is the same with very limited FP+ reservations available for the first month or 2 of operation, but as Disney gets used to running the coaster and can consistently reach a set daily throughput, they'll "magically" put thousands of extra FP+s on the market.

I can't believe they're putting FP+ on ASS (the Mater clone), and making it Tier 1 - talk about a waste of a FP. I highly doubt they will "sell-out" of both TSM and SDD FP+s, which would be the only reason to pick up an ASS FP+.

April 4, 2018 at 3:42 PM ·

I think it’ll be hard to into ASS this summer...I mean find fast passes for Alien Swirling Saucers. It has a low capacity in a brand new land in a park that hasn’t seen a new ride in ten years. Have decent capacity at 14 or so hundred an hour and Midway Mania will have all three tracks

April 4, 2018 at 5:46 PM ·

Another nail in the coffin for us ‘30 day’ people .... when will it ever end !! One thing I found when I was playing the fastpass+ game earlier in the year, if there is ride you want to go on but, let’s say, the only time available is way past your expected stay-in-the-park time ... book it. The strange quirks of the FP+ system seems to allow you to change the time easier than trying to book the ride at a later date. Yes I know, it doesn’t make sense, but it happened too many times during my 4 park visit to be mere coincidence.
Another thing that I didn’t see Robert mention, is after the initial 3 you only have 1 rolling FP+ selection to get you thru the day, so once you use the first fastpass start to look to move the other 2 forward. When I was at MK in January my last FP was due to start at 11:30 .... by 10:15 I was walking off my 3rd FP ride and ready to start using my “extra” one. Same thing applies for the single FP ... book anytime you can get and keep checking and checking. It’s a chore, but you will come out on top.
Also the FP+ times came come up differently if you check for a time compared to a morning or afternoon. Maybe it’s just the speed they are being made available and people on the app searching for them? Again, it doesn’t make sense, but it works.
As an example as to how crazy it is ..... my friend and I wanted to go on Haunted Mansion. We both opened the app at the same time and pressed the exact same time option and I got a FP+ over an hour early than she did. After taking that one and “working the system” she eventually got one within 5 minutes of mine.
Crazzzeeee indeed !?!?

April 4, 2018 at 11:23 PM ·

several times on a week stay, i saw same day availibility for popular rides, in the morning (jan). I wanted to think about it for 3 min. then they were all gone. does that makes any sense? i asked several cast members if they release new fp, on the day of visit in the morning. they all said know, they are all available in advance. Does anyone know anything about that? I also swear, I say some other guests, book things, that was unavailable in my acct, at the same time. Yet. the cast members, say hotel guests have no advantage when we get to the day of visit. Any inside knowledge anyone?

April 5, 2018 at 5:01 AM ·

Book early fast passes and use your 4th, 5th, 6th etc.. And refresh refresh refresh if you want to find your desired FP. That is all you need especially if you want to see many attractions in a day.

April 5, 2018 at 5:45 AM ·

We're just going to abbreviate the alien saucer ride straight up, and pretend like nothing's there? Really? Do I have to be the person to notice that?

April 5, 2018 at 8:33 AM ·

@Makorider - You make some good points. I also noticed some of those strange quirks with the system when we were at WDW last fall. What we were doing is making sure our first 3 reservations were as early in the day as possible (before noon preferably), even if it meant that 3rd reservation was for an attraction that wasn't necessarily one of the top 3 in that given park, and then once we tapped into that 3rd ride (while we were still in line to board), I was checking to see what was available later in the day. Most times, I was able to get a FP+ reservation for a time within 20-30 minutes of the current time even before we boarded (meaning we were going from FP line to FP line without having to wait at all). Some rides require a "double tap" (you tap at the FP+ entrance and then a second time at the merge point), so don't be frustrated if the attraction you're boarding hasn't cleared when you tap at the FP+ entrance (it will clear when you tap the second time).

All four days we spent at WDW, we were able to utilize the additional FP+ reservations beyond our first 3 pre-reserved attraction, and on every day we were able to get a headliner as one of our day-of reservations (including FoP - twice, Space Mountain, Soarin', and TSM). As Makorider mentioned, for whatever reason, the system appears to provide more and "better" options if you're searching by a specific time as opposed to "morning, afternoon, or evening". Another trick is if you're picking up FP+ reservations on the fly, don't be afraid to grab one for a time close to the current time, even if it's not the specific attraction you're interested in riding. That attraction you" want" may never come back up, but it's better to have something to ride than nothing, and once you have that FP+ reservation locked in, you can use the "modify FP+" function to continue to search to see if the ride you really want pops back up. This happened to us frequently in MK. The system was very happy to hand out FP+ reservations for the Tomorrowland Speedway, Buzz, and Monsters Inc, but the Space Mountain FP+ times were often late in the evening, so we were grabbing Buzz FP+s (we definitely don't mind riding that one over and over), then refreshing over and over, and on 3 different occasions, a Space Mountain FP+ within the next 10-15 minutes would pop up.

You're going to stand in lines no matter what (even through FP+), so you might as well be searching for additional FP+s while you're standing in line or waiting to get off attractions. We rode 12 attractions via FP+ in a single day during our most recent visit. Yes, it's a pain, and requires a lot of dedication and patience with the MDE app, but it was certainly better than running back and forth around the park picking up paper tickets like it used to be. I still loathe the entire system, but if you know how to use it and work it to your advantage, you can get a leg up on the rest of the guests in the park.

April 5, 2018 at 8:39 AM ·

..........and the elitist separation of the guests continues until the revolution puts a dramatic halt to it.

Whatever happened to spontaneity as part of the enjoyment/entertainment process?

Appreciate the update as Mrs Plum has insisted on WDW parks this winter during our visit. I'll let her sort.

April 5, 2018 at 9:00 AM ·

"Whatever happened to spontaneity as part of the enjoyment/entertainment process?"

Agree here, but I have no idea how Disney would have fixed their overcrowding and line problems without some sort of caste system (either financial or intellectual). They can only push so many guests through each attraction, so the only other crowd control method would be raising admission prices so high that only the richest of the rich could afford to go.

Honestly, I much rather prefer a system that favors the smart, clever, and persistent over ones that you can just pay your way to the front of the line.

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