Happy Monday, Mouse Lovers!
Today we take a trip over to Walt Disney World to talk about FastPass+ and Magic bands. FastPass+ is the fast Pass system put in place at WDW. This system has been in place for about the last 5 years and it replaced the older paper fast pass system you can still find in Disneyland today. The system allows you to book your fast passes in advance instead of waiting until the day of. This is all done through the My Disney Experience app or website and eliminates the need to run from ride to ride to grab your fast passes for the day. If you are staying on WDW property or you are an annual pass holder you are given a magic band included with your tickets. The magic bands are bracelets that you wear on your wrists that act as your park tickets, fast passes, room key, and even a payment option within the parks and at the resorts. If you aren’t staying on property and are not a pass holder you have the option of purchasing a magic band to use on your stay. You can purchase specialty magic bands as well with characters, park icons, and other stand out images. Magic bands can currently be purchased anywhere from about $14.99 – $48.00. An extra tip is that you can decorate your free magic band yourself! If you aren’t great at DIY you can check out Etsy for great stickers and designs to add. This can be a great activity for families before your trip and is cheaper than buying a specialty band. See below for more tips and information on FastPass+.
Do fast passes cost money?
No! Fast passes are included with your ticket. It is a great perk, as other theme parks do charge extra to use fast passes. There is an option for concierge level guests to purchase additional fast passes for a fee per person per day, but we can cover more details on this in a separate post.
How many fast passes can you make?
You can make up to 3 fast passes for a single park at a time. Once those 3 fast passes have been used, you can get additional fast passes, either at the same park or a different park.
When can you start making FastPass+ selections?
If you are staying on WDW property you can make your selections 60 days in advance of your check in date starting at 7am. You can find the exact date on you’re my Disney Experience app. Staying on property actually gives you an additional advantage because you also get to make selections for the remainder of your trip. So if you are staying for 7 days you get to actually make reservations 60 days from day one plus the additional 7 days.
If you are not staying on property can you make your selections up to 30 days in advance starting at 7am.
I know some of you may be thinking “this seems like a lot of planning, how am I supposed to know what I want to do two months from now?” Well, you’re right, it IS a lot of planning. But, keep in mind Disney World gets very busy and this really helps make sure you aren’t standing in line for hours for one attraction. That being said, if you still don’t want to plan that far ahead you are able to make selections the day of or the night before but you have to be prepared to miss out on some of the more popular attractions.
Tiered fast passes
Fast passes are not necessarily a free for all to get whatever you want. There are tiered systems, which allow you to pick certain rides. Magic Kingdom does not have the tiered system but the other three parks do. There are tier 1 rides – you are allowed to choose one tier 1 ride from your three initial fast pass selections. The rest fall under tier 2 rides and you can use that for your additional two selections.
Here is a breakdown of the tiered system:
Tier 1 (pick one)– Frozen Ever After, Illuminations, Soarin, Test Track
Tier 2 (pick two)– Spaceship Earth, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Living with the Land, Epcot Character Spot, Journey into Imagination with Figment, Mission Space, Disney & Pixar short film festival
Tier 1(pick one)- Avatar Flight of Passage, Nav’i River Journey
Tier 2(pick two)- Rivers of Light, Expedition Everest, UP! A Great Bird Adventure, Meet Disney Pals at Adventurer’s Outpost, Dinosaur, Kali River Rapids, It’s Tough to be a Bug, Primeval Whirl, Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo – The Musical, Kilimanjaro Safaris
Tier 1(pick one)- Alien Swirling Saucers, Slinky Dog Dash, Toy Story Midway Mania
Tier 2(pick two)- Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster, Tower of Terror, Star Tours, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Muppet Vision 3D, Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, For the First Time in Forever: Frozen Sing-along, Disney Junior – Live on stage, Beauty and the Beast, Fantasmic
Are fast passes necessary?
In short, yes. Fast passes help save a lot of time. Some of the popular attractions can have hours long waits. Flight of Passage in Animal Kingdom has been seen getting wait times 4+ hours long. Do you need them for every attraction? No. Living with the Land in Epcot, one of my great loves, almost never has more than a 20-minute wait and that’s on a busy day. But for new attractions like the ones found in Pandora or Toy Story Land, or extremely popular rides like Space Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Soarin, just to name a few, you definitely want to get a fast pass.
So… You have logged on to MDE to make your FastPass+ selections and OH NO! Your must do ride is all out of fast passes and you are devastated…
Do NOT freak out! There are a few things you can do here.1) keep checking for the fast pass! People change their plans all of the time. Check all the way up until the day of, I promise you, IT HAPPENS! 2) If you couldn’t snag a fast pass, there is still no reason to worry. Get to the park for rope drop and go straight to your ride. This ensures you get the shortest wait possible in the stand by line. If you are staying on property, check for extra magic hours in the park. Extra magic hours are special hours for on site guests only where the park either open an hour early or stay open an hour late. That is a great opportunity to hop on those hard to get to rides with fewer people in the parks.
Overall I am totally PRO FastPass+. Planning is one of my favorite things to do and I think it is great that you are given this option. What are your thoughts on FastPass+? Let me know in the comments!