If you’ve been to Walt Disney World lately, you know the crowds only seem to be getting bigger and bigger.
With the new Toy Story Land set to debut June 30 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in 2019, it’s a safe bet that we can count on even more crowded parks in the future.
Disney does have a system that helps you manage your time in the parks, and hopefully cut down the time you spend waiting in line. It’s called FastPass+, and it lets you skip the standby line with the simple wave of a MagicBand.
To get started with FastPass+, all you need is a valid park ticket or Annual Pass and a free My Disney Experience account. Once you’re connected, it’s time to get planning!
If you have a Walt Disney World Resort hotel stay planned, you can make your FastPass+ selections up to 60 days in advance. If you’re staying off-property, or just going over for the day, you can make them up to 30 days out.
You’re allowed to reserve up to three FastPass+ selections in advance per day, all of which must be in the same park.
Then, when you’re in the parks, just go to the FastPass+ entrance for each attraction you selected at the designated time, tap your MagicBand, and fly!
Tips and Strategies
FastPass+ is easy to use once you understand the concept, but like anything, there are strategies to make the system work best for you.
- After using your pre-scheduled three FastPass+ selections, you can make one more. After that one is used, you can make another, and another, and so on (depending on availability) until the end of your Disney day. Also, these “rolling” FastPass+ attractions don’t have to be in the same park, so hop on your My Disney Experience app and park hop away.
- Try to schedule your FastPass+ attractions for the middle of the day, when crowds are heaviest. Standby waits are usually shorter first thing in the morning or near park close, so those are good times to hop on lots of rides with little wait and not waste your FastPass+ options.
- Your FastPass+ selection will show up as a one-hour window of time for you to ride the attraction, but you can actually tap in 5 minutes before the window opens or 15 minutes after it closes. The extra time is a big help when you’re running from a dining reservation to a ride.
- FastPass+ selections for the most popular attractions tend to run out very quickly. If you’re having trouble, keep trying! Sometimes extra times will open up when guests cancel.
- If you do see a FastPass+ opening for a time that doesn’t work for you, go ahead and grab it and try to modify it. It’s often easier to change an existing FastPass+ reservation than to find a new one.
Kathy Karalekas is a past Panelist on the Disney Parks Moms Panel, an online forum where guests can have their Disney vacation planning questions answered by a group of everyday moms and dads who are seasoned Disney travelers. Currently, Kathy is a contributing writer for the Tampa Bay Moms Blog and appears on MouseLife, a Disney-fan podcast. She’s also a frequent visitor to Walt Disney World with her husband and 8-year-old son.