In today’s society, we’re totally about doing things fast and conveniently. Walt Disney World has given the people what they’re looking for. At Walt Disney World, every guest receives at least three fast passes per guest, per day. If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort (“on property”) then you can log in to your online login that you create at Disney’s website and reserve your fast passes 60 days in advance. If you are staying at resorts outside of Disney’s resorts (“off property”), then you can reserve fast passes 30 days in advance.
What is a Fast Pass?
A Fast Pass is like the key to the kingdom- well, really, it is a way to go through a faster, shorter line, instead of waiting in the typical line queue.
How do you get your Fast Passes?
When you book your Walt Disney World vacation, you create a user name and password at Disney’s website. Whether on a desktop or using the My Disney Experience app (we recommend the full website version for initial booking) you’ll be able to search time slots for your favorite and most popular attractions. If you just buy tickets and do not have a vacation package, you can still book fast passes because your ticket has RFID technology and you can link the passes to your daily tickets.
Trust Me, you want to reserve them as quickly as you can. Once the day comes along that you can pick your fast passes, jump online and book them quickly. Popular attractions can book up within minutes, and you might be left without a fast pass for your desired ride. Also, try to book your fast passes early in the day. Why? Guess What?? Disney is so awesome, that as soon as you are finished scanning your third fast pass, you can jump on your app or visit a kiosk in the park to search for additional fast passes. There is no limit to the number of fast passes you can use, as long as they are available, up to park closing.
Take Advantage of the Fast Pass system
The last time we went to Disney, in November 2018, we had up to 7 or 8 fast passes in one day when rides became available throughout the afternoon and evening.
Some of the most popular attractions for Fast Passes are the following:
Magic Kingdom – Think anything “Mountain” – Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain… also for the smaller kids, Peter Pan’s Flight is a top attraction to reserve for Fast Pass
Hollywood Studios – Rockin’ Rollercoaster, Star Tours, Slinky Dog, Tower of Terror (Coming late 2019 – the new rides inside Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge)
Animal Kingdom- Flight of Passage, Navi River Journey, the Safari, Everest, and Dinosaur
Epcot – Frozen Ever After, Test Track, and Soarin’
Tiered Fast Pass System
Right now, there is a tier system for fast passes for all parks except Magic Kingdom. More than likely, Magic Kingdom will move to the tier system when the new Tron Coaster is up and ready (This is slated for possibly 2021- just in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary).
How do I use the fast pass?
If you have a magic band, the fast passes are loaded onto your magic band. If you get a fast pass for 1:00 pm-2:00 pm for Soarin’ at Epcot, for example, you can show up at the fast pass line 5 minutes before your time, and up to 15 minutes after your time slot. Just hold your band up to the mickey ears, and once it turns green at the turn style, you are on your way into the fast pass line.
Remember- as soon as you swipe your third and final fast pass, begin looking on the My Disney Experience app for additional fast passes throughout the day.
This is a sure way to make sure that you do NOT stand in line at Disney?
What if you have little ones that cannot ride because of height restrictions?
Have no fear! There is a Parent -Swap!! What? This is amazing. The best way for me to share how this works is to provide an example of what my family did.
Our party is a party of 4, consisting of myself, my husband, and my two daughters who are 9 and 3 years old. Of course, my 3-year-old was too short for anything over 38 inches. What we would do is visit a cast member at the line queue and let them know we want to do a parent swap. We informed them that I and my 3-year-old would wait for them while my husband and 9-year-old rode Test Track. The cast member would scan my bracelet and my 9-year-olds (because you can take up to 3 people with you when you are the person waiting) and that loaded a parent swap pass on to my magic band. As soon as my husband and 9-year-old walked out of the ride, I would immediately get into the fast pass line with my 9-year-old and ride it. My oldest daughter had a blast because she basically got to ride every big thrill ride two times in a row.
Take Advantage of the Swap!
What is even more amazing? You can use the parent swap if you are a guest standing in the regular line, or if you have a fast pass. It really works out when you also have the fast pass, because in the situation with my 9-year-old, she was able to basically get two fast passes in a row- talk about magical!
Other Ways to not wait in line at Walt Disney World
Other ways to not wait in line at Walt Disney World are to be at the parks early-like before they open. This is referred to as a “Rope Drop.” A lot of parks will offer Magic Hours for guests staying “on-property” – this can be in the morning from 8:00 am-9:00 am or late at night from 9:00 pm-11:00 pm. There are other times available as well. We visited Animal Kingdom on my birthday last year for “Early Morning Magic Hours” from 8:00 am-9:00 am. So the park was available to be open at 8:00 am for Resort guests only. We showed up at the park to get in line at 7:15 am.
They let us in the park at 7:45 am and we walked back to Pandora to visit our favorite ride – Flight of Passage- because we didn’t have a fast pass. There was a mass line of people flooding this area of the park, but the good thing was that as all those people funneled through the long line queue, we ended up only waiting for around 25 minutes total for the ride. We were off the ride and on to our next adventure before the park even opened for regular park guests.
Last, but not least, there are also some attractions that offer single rider lines.
These attractions are:
Epcot – Test Track
Hollywood Studios – Rockin’ Roller Coaster
Animal Kingdom – Everest
These attractions are very popular, and Walt Disney World aims to keep the line moving. They can fill up a ride vehicle with a single rider line, to combine with groups who have an odd number of people. This helps guests who don’t mind riding with a stranger, get onto the ride much faster, and it also ensures that Disney maximizes the space in their ride vehicles.
Do you have any other tips and tricks for not waiting in line? Let us know in the comments below.
Oh yeah, we have an amazing community of Disney World Fanatics hanging out on our Facebook Page. If you want to join us and thousands of other Disney World Enthusiasts to get all of your Disney Vacation questions answered, check out our Facebook Group – Disney World Questions and Answers.