Fastpass and Magic Band

Everything You Need to Know about Fastpasses

Fastpasses can be one of the biggest assets in Walt Disney World, if you understand how to make the most of them! We know how confusing they can be, so we’ve compiled this list of frequently asked questions about fastpasses!

If you have a specific question click on the links below! Or, read through all the questions to get a complete understanding of the Fastpass+ system at Walt Disney World!*

*Other Disney parks use different systems, this is exclusive to WDW

What is a fastpass?
How do fastpasses work?
Where do I book fastpasses?
What time should I book my fastpasses for?
What does the tier system mean?
What fastpasses should I book?
What happens if I miss my fastpass window?
What happened to the paper fastpass system?
What is the Disney disability access service card?
What is a rider switch pass and how does it work?

What is a fastpass?

A fastpass allows you to skip the standby line for select attractions, shows, and character greetings. A fastpass is completely free and included in the admission of your park. It is linked to your ticket and/or magic band.

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Disney Fastpass

Fastpass, Courtesy of Orlando Informer

How do fastpasses work?

A fastpass is hooked up to your ticket or magic band. You can book three fastpasses per day in advance of your trip. 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. Note: you can book 30 or 60 days ahead of the first day of your trip, meaning if your trip is 8 days long you can book all eight days when you are 30 or 60 days out. Read our Guide to Planning Your Disney Trip article for more details about when you can plan fastpasses.

You can book three fastpasses at a time per day for one park. After you use these three fastpasses, you can individually book one fastpass at a time for any park. There is limited availability for the fastpasses you book day-of.

When you show up to the ride, there are two entrances: stand-by and fastpass. Go to the fastpass line, and have your tickets or magic bands ready to swipe. Make sure you’re in the right window of time, which is listed above the fastpass entrance. After you enter, don’t put your fastpasses away. You will need to swipe at a second point later on.

Fastpass Entrance

Fastpass Entrance, Courtesy of Theme Park Insider

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Where do I book fastpasses?

You can book fastpasses on the My Disney Experience app, or at kiosks located throughout the park. The kiosks in various locations, and cast members are stationed at the kiosks to help you if needed. Booking fastpasses is more convenient on the My Disney Experience app. For more information about the app, check out our Guide to Planning Your Disney Trip article.

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What time should I book my fastpasses for?

There is much debate in the Disney community of what time to book your fastpasses for. We recommend booking them for the morning and mid-afternoon. Early in the morning you may have short wait times for rides since everyone is not in the parks yet. About one to two hours after park opening is a great time for your first fastpass. We recommend using all three before the end of the afternoon, or around 3 o’clock. Otherwise, you will not be able to book more fastpasses for later in the day.

Exceptions to this rule include if you want a fastpass for a nighttime showing, or you want a fastpass for a specific ride at nighttime (i.e. Kiliminjaro Safari, Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, Seven Dwarves Mine Train, Everest, Test Track, or Tower of Terror).

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What does the tier system mean?

The tier system can be confusing for fastpasses. We have outlined the system in the table below. A brief overview: at Magic Kingdom, you can book any three fastpasses you want (assuming they are available). At Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom there are different tiers you must select fastpasses from. The image below outlines the tiers and how many fastpasses you can select from each.

Fastpass Tiers

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What fastpasses should I book?

Magic Kingdom

The attractions we suggest booking fastpasses for include:

The rides in red we consider to be thrill rides.

  1. Space Mountain (44″)
  2. Peter Pan’s Flight
  3. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (38″)
  4. Princess Fairytale Hall
  5. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  6. The Haunted Mansion
  7. Splash Mountain (40″)
  8. Big Thunder Mountain (40″)
  9. Pirates of the Caribbean

Depending on the days at Magic Kingdom you may want to book these fastpasses for different days. You will also have to prioritize some attractions, since it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get fastpasses for all the attractions.

Epcot

The attractions we suggest booking fastpasses for include:

The rides in red we consider to be thrill rides.

  1. Soarin’ (40″)
  2. Test Track (40″)
  3. Frozen Ever After
  4. Spaceship Earth
  5. Turtle Talk with Crush
  6. Living with the Land*
  7. The Seas with Nemo and Friends*

*If you have extra days in your trip, these attractions could be good for fastpasses.

Hollywood Studios

The attractions we suggest booking fastpasses for include:

The rides in red we consider to be thrill rides.

  1. Tower of Terror (40″)
  2. Toy Story Mania (this summer there will be no fastpasses available until June 30)
  3. Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster (48″)
  4. Star Tours (can induce motion sickness) (40″)
  5. Disney Junior
  6. The Little Mermaid*
  7. Beauty and the Beast*

*If you have extra days in your trip, these attractions could be good for fastpasses. Also good options if you don’t like thrill rides.

You’ll note that we did not include Fantasmic as a fastpass option. We recommend waiting in line early rather than getting a fastpass for it, since until you use all three fastpasses you won’t be be able to book more.

Animal Kingdom

The attractions we suggest booking fastpasses for include:

The rides in red we consider to be thrill rides.

  1. Flight of Passage (these fastpasses are very difficult to get. If you don’t get one, check out this article to see how to beat the standby line). (44″)
  2. Navi River Journey
  3. Expedition Everest (44″)
  4. Kiliminjaro Safari
  5. Dinosaur (40″)
  6. Kali River Rapids (38″)
  7. Finding Nemo the Musical
  8. Festival of the Lion King

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What happens if I miss my fastpass window?

If you miss your fastpass window, unfortunately you will not be able to use that fastpass for the attraction you missed it on. However, you can book another fastpass instead, although there are no guarantees you’ll get the same ride or attraction you had before. If you arrive several minutes after the fastpass window (about 5-10) the cast member is likely to let you in. No guarantees, but generally they let you in.

The same goes with showing up early. You can generally get in about 5 minutes early, but not always.

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What happened to the paper fastpass system?

If you went to the parks before 1999, you may remember there were no fastpasses. Between 1999 and 2014 Walt Disney World used a paper fastpass system. You had to go to a kiosk with all the tickets and would get a printed fastpass. In 2014 Disney introduced the Fastpass+ system, which is done almost exclusively electronically. The only paper fastpasses are when guest services and cast members give out paper fastpasses for special circumstances. The DAS program is also similar to the paper fastpass system, as is the rider swap.

Disney Paper Fastpass

Disney Paper Fastpass, Courtesy of WDW Untangled

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What is the Disney disability access service card?

We definitely don’t consider ourselves experts on this subject, so to give you the best information we are quoting directly from the Disney website:

The DAS Card is designed to accommodate guests who aren’t able to wait in a conventional queue environment due to a disability (including non-apparent disabilities). DAS will be issued at Guest Relations main entrance locations and will offer guests a return time for attractions based on the current wait time. As soon as the Guest finishes one attraction, they can receive a return time for another. This service can be used in addition to Disney’s FASTPASS Service and Disney FastPass+ service.

Disney has accommodated almost all of their lines for wheelchairs and scooters. Most attractions will not require a DAS Card for wheelchair or scooter users, however Disney understands some are in unique situations. Disney will work to accommodate your needs to make your trip as best as possible. For more details, refer to the Disney website at this link.

Image result for disney das card

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What is a rider switch pass and how does it work?

Rider switch is a complimentary service offered by Disney. If guests in your party don’t want to ride the attraction, you can use a rider switch pass. You can use a rider switch pass with a fastpass or wait in the regular stand-by line. We recommend using it on a Fastpass attraction as it reduces wait times for the other party, and the other group can get a different fastpass. *Important note: recently, cast members have been enforcing the official Disney rule that all members of the party with a park ticket need a fastpass. This is mainly on Flight of Passage and 7 Dwarves*

The rides you can use a rider switch for are outlined below. We linked each attraction to its official Disney page to see height requirements and thrill level.

Magic Kingdom Park 
The Barnstormer
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Space Mountain 
Splash Mountain 
Stitch’s Great Escape
Tomorrowland Indy Speedway

Epcot
Frozen Ever After
Mission: SPACE
Soarin’ 
Test Track

Disney’s Hollywood Studios 
Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith 
Star Tours® – The Adventures Continue
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park
Avatar Flight of Passage
DINOSAUR
Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain®
Kali River Rapids
Primeval Whirl

The infographic below will help explain the process of a rider switch.

How to Use Rider Swap Infographic

 

Wrapping it Up

We hope these tips have helped you out with the fastpass system! Any additional questions, feel free to reach out to us using our contact form!

Did you know? The Mouselets are on Etsy! Check out our shop for mini AP and DCP pins, ride-inspired magnets, Disney jewelry, Citizens of Hollywood pins, castle wallets, and more!

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