Updated – Disney has done away with the FastPass and FastPass Plus system (pretty much a bummer as you can tell by our name that we really loved the FastPass Plus Set-up). Disney has since implemented a Disney Genie, Disney Genie Plus, and Lightning Lanes which we will be writing about soon. While Disney Genie is free to use to plan your day, the Disney Genie Plus system will cost about $15 per day per person and will be the best thing we can get for now. Again, we will update you with a full write-up and review soon!
When it comes to planning your next Disney World vacation, one of the most important tasks (also our favorite task) is prioritizing, choosing, and booking your fast passes. Remember, if you are staying on property, you can book 60 days in advance. If you are staying off property, you can book 30 days in advance. If you are looking to get fast passes for the biggest attractions, please believe me when I say, log in the first day that you can and make your selections! This means that you need to have a plan before logging in (what days will you be in what parks, how early will you be in the parks, what rides are the most important).
My recommendations for booking
If you will be getting to the park at rope drop, I would suggest that you not book your first fast pass until about an hour and a half after the park opens. If you are there at rope drop, you can prioritize a ride or two that you did not get fast passes for. Most likely, you will be able to head in and get one or more rides knocked out before the crowds start getting heavy in the parks.
The other thing to remember is that you want to book all your fast passes by about 2 pm. You can book three fast passes in advance per day. The good news is that once you use these three fast passes, you can then book one at a time for the remainder of the day. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS!!! Once you get in line for that third fast pass, open up your My Disney Experience app and start looking for your next fast pass. Keep this going into the night.
How We Prioritize our Fast Pass Selections
Fast Pass Prioritization for Magic Kingdom
First off, I want to stress that this is my opinion. This plan is what my family does, and this is what has been the most successful for us. This is assuming that we are there for rope drop.
Rope Drop at Magic Kingdom – Head into the park and go back towards Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain. If the park opens at 9 am, you can get both in by 9:30 or 10 am. From there, we will head over to Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise and try to get both in before our fast passes start. If I did my job right the time should be about 11 am.
Fast Passes at Magic Kingdom – I try and have fast passes booked in the 11 am hour, the 12pm hour, and the 1 pm hour. The three that we prioritize are Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Space Mountain.
As soon as we get in line for our third fast pass, I then head into the app to start looking for whatever will be next. If you follow this, you should be able to get to every ride that you want, even if it is a busy day in the parks.
Fast Pass Prioritization for Epcot
Epcot uses a tiered system for fast passes, meaning that you can only book one attraction from tier one. For Epcot, the tier one rides are Frozen Ever After, Test Track, Soarin’, Epcot Character Greeting, and Illumination: Reflections of Earth.
Fast Passes at Epcot – I want to start this by saying that you should choose what ride out of tier one you cannot live without visiting. For us, this was Frozen Ever After. Out of the tier one rides, this is the only one that our youngest daughter could ride. After that, you get to choose any two other rides from tier two.
Rope Drop at Epcot – Because of our fast pass selection for this park, we go straight to Soarin’ when the gates open. With the additional screens that have been added, if you get in and head over here, you will get on quickly, allowing you to head over to Test Track where you can either wait in line or head into the single rider line.
After you get your three passes knocked out, you can book what you want from there, but there isn’t usually much left that you will need a fast pass for. You can check and see if a tier-one that you may have missed is available, or you can just cruise around the world showcase and enjoy all the food, beverage, and shopping that the park has to offer.
Fast Pass Prioritization for Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Disney’s Animal Kingdom uses a tiered system for their fast passes, but this one is much easier to choose if you can make it happen. Rope drop and fast pass selections will depend on what you are able to book before you go. I try for Flight of Passage, but if you are unable to book Flight of Passage, go ahead and book Na’vi River Journey (the only tier one rides).
Rope Drop at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – If you can get Avatar – Flight of Passage, I would recommend rope-dropping Na’vi River Journey. If you are unable to book Flight of Passage, then you should rope drop it. For well over a year now, this has been the longest wait out of any ride in all of Disney World. It is not unusual for wait time to top out at four to five hours. Do anything you can to get this done as early as possible!
Fast Passes at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – As discussed, your tier one ride will be one of the two rides in Pandora – Land of Avatar. After that, the other two can be whatever is most important to you. I would suggest getting Kilimanjaro Safaris booked in the 10 am to 11 am time frame as the animals tend to be more active earlier in the day. For me, the third is going to be Kali River Rapids. I tend to not book fast passes for Everest because the single rider line is usually a viable option. If you knock out your fast passes early enough in the day, you should be able to get everything else done using your additional fast pass selections.
Fast Pass Prioritization for Hollywood Studios
I intentionally left this last, as what is important today, is going to be changed so many times in 2019 to even try and predict what to do. As of February 1st, 2019, the three different tier-one rides are the ones that you will find in Toy Story Land (Andy’s Backyard) which are Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers, and Toy Story Mania. Here is how we handled this park.
Rope Drop at Hollywood Studios – We rope dropped Slinky Dog Dash, and because of its popularity over the other tier-one rides, from there, we were able to ride it and then get on to Alien Swirling Saucers quickly afterward.
Fast Passes at Hollywood Studios – We went with Toy Story Mania! As our tier-one followed by Rockin Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. After knocking out these five rides (two at rope drop and three fast passes), we were able to get to everything else easily. As I mentioned at the beginning, this is how we plan our days at Disney World in Orlando. I know that every family is different, and every family prioritizes differently. Leave me a comment or send me a message and let us know how your family takes advantage of Disney’s fast pass system. Please like our post and be sure and share the magic with all of your fanatic Disney friends!
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.