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How to Use Disney's FastPass+ Effectively

By Donna Suddeth [ 4 ]

Rating: rating is 5 out of 5 for How to Use Disney's FastPass+ Effectively (3 votes)  

This listing is current for July ’14, but is subject to change per Disney. FP+ is included free with admission. The FP+ system is the only system available, and went in full effect January 23, 2014. The legacy paper FastPass system has been taken out of service, and the old distribution machines have been covered.

All onsite guests, which now includes guests at the Swan and Dolphin, can prebook attractions up to 60 days in advance of the beginning of an onsite stay. You can do this on the website or using the My Disney Experience (MDE) app. You may prebook for the same number of days as your admission tickets are for.

Prebooking of FP+ usually open up 60 days prior to your first day on site at Disney. Midnight Eastern time is the time new booking periods begin. This is when you will be allowed to book your FP+. There are a few exceptions such as Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes. These tend to not be available until just a few days in advance, and become available at totally random intervals -there is no pattern to the time they appear as options for booking. Most FP events - including super popular ones such as Soarin’ and Toy Story - do not disappear super quickly. The Anna and Elsa meet and greet is an exception ( as anything Frozen is currently).

Each guest will get a prebooking date. When this window opens the guest can then select up to three FP+ per day. However, all three must be in the same park. So, if planning to park hop, choose which park your passes will be most valuable at. These original three FP+ have to be for three separate attractions. You cannot pick your favorite ride and get two FP+ for that ride. You also can’t ride your FP+ ride and then edit one of your remaining FP+ to that same ride.

Annual passholders can prebook their FP+ attractions up to 60 days in advance of their onsite stay. They can prebook for 7 days or the length of their stay, whichever is greatest. If an AP holder is planning a visit without onsite reservations they can book their FP+ attractions 30 days in advance and for a maximum of 7 days. If they need longer once those 7 days are used or pass they can then prebook an additional day of FP+, ad infinitum. The website or MDE app can be used to accomplish this.

If you are planning a visiting as an offsite guest you can prebook your FP+ attractions up to 30 days in advance. You can book for the number of days on your ticket. You may use the MDE App or the website.

A few scheduling rules do apply. You cannot schedule a FP+ during Extra Magic Hours (EMH). You cannot allow FP+ time windows to overlap. You must schedule three separate rides/attractions. Once your three FP+ selections are made you can go in and individually edit them. If you have a child under three years old in the group, they will not need a FP+. However, if you name them on reservation they will receive a magic band. Original child swap/rider swap rules are still in place. Everyone in your group entering a FP+ queue must have a valid FP+ for that time and attraction - this includes meet and greets.

After the 3 prebooked passes are used the guest can select one additional FP+. Once this 4th FP+ is used, the guest is then allowed to book another single additional FP+. This can continue on throughout the day until park closing (or until the beginning on Extra Magic Hours, if applicable). Use your FP+ then book another. These single "day of: FP+ can be chosen to use on a ride/attraction previously scheduled as one of original 3 FP+. In theory, there is no limit to the number of FP+ you may obtain in this manner; the only limiting factors are overall availability and time left in the day. Therefore, if you schedule your original three FP+ for as early in the day as possible, you do open up the chance to obtain more total FP+.

These single "day of" scheduled FP+ cannot be used with the MY Disney Experience. The only way to schedule them is at an in the park kiosks once the 3 prescheduled ones have been used. Only one person in your party has to be at kiosks to schedule everyone’s FP+. However, Disney has announced the intentions of adding this functionality to the My Disney Experience (MDE).

When you originally book your 3 prebook FP+ they must be in the same park. For instance, you can’t book one in Magic Kingdom and the other two in Epcot. After you use these three, you can book your 4th FP+ in a different park if you have the park hopper option - but you must have already traveled to the desired park before you can get this additional single FP+, as the in-park kiosks can only schedule FP+ for the park in which they reside. The only possible exception would be if you can find a cast member who has an iPad who would be willing to schedule them for you.

If you don’t have the MDE app, you may of course use the FP+ kiosks located in each park. Remember, though, that they can only be used to schedule FP+ attractions in the park where the kiosk is located. You can take a picture of the screen to make note of your return times.

Epcot and Hollywood Studios have a tiering system in place. These are the only 2 parks that you can’t choose any 3 attractions of your choice for your original prebooked FP+. Tiering allows guests to choose one attraction from group 1 and 2 attractions from group 2. This is to cut down overcrowding at the FP attractions in these 2 parks. Naturally, group 1 attractions are those most often considered to be "headliners" (i.e. Test Track, Soarin’, Toy Story Midway Mania, Rock ‘n Roller Coaster, etc). Once you have used original 3 FP+ passes, the single “day of” FP+ are not subject to tiering limitations.

Your FP+ will include a time to be at that attraction. The window for this time is 60 minutes. Cast members will allow you a grace period of 5 minutes prior to time and 15 min following time. However, one should not rely on that grace period as it is discretionary. If your return time is missed you can go in (either via kiosk or MDE) later and choose a different time – subject, of course, to availability.

In addition to being able to prebook up to 60 days in advance, onsite guests may also obtain a Be Our Guest FP. It has to be booked through a separate site (https://beourguestlunch.disney.go.com) and does not take the place of one of your 3 FP+ attractions.



FastPass+ Attraction Priorities

Now, to decide which attractions to use those valuable FP+ on!

These are my personal recommendations. Your interests may be different. In my experience these are the options that will most enhance your Disney experience. These are not necessarily favorites or what I consider the best attractions, but rather the ones that FP+ usage may save you the most time when using.

  • + - Most would consider these no brainers for a FP+ use. Anna and Elsa meet and greet temporarily here until Frozen fiasco "cools" (hahaha) off

  • - These attractions tend to have considerable stand by times , so FP+ used here will optimize the time saved

  • - FP+ will save you some time as there is a standby wait typically

  • - FP+ time very closely will equal typical standby time


Attractions are listed in alphabetical order in their priority ranking.

MAGIC KINGDOM
  • Meet Anna and Elsa at Princess Fairytale Hall * See special note below

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

  • Enchanted Tales With Belle

  • Peter Pan's Flight

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

  • Space Mountain

  • Splash Mountain

  • Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin

  • Festival of Fantasy Parade (Reserved Area - interior Hub across from Castle) Not available at 60 days prior

  • Haunted Mansion

  • Jungle Cruise

  • Main Street Electrical Parade (Reserved Area - interior Hub across from Castle) Not available at 60 days prior

  • Meet Ariel at her Grotto

  • Meet Cinderella and Rapunzel at Princess Fairytale Hall

  • Meet Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater

  • Meet Tinker Bell at Town Square Theater

  • Pirates of the Caribbean

  • The Barnstormer

  • The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh

  • Tomorrowland Speedway

  • Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid

  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant

  • It's a Small World

  • Mad Tea Party

  • Mickey's PhilharMagic

  • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor

  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin

  • Wishes (Reserved Area - Rose Garden, off-center but uncrowded) Not available at 60 days prior



ANIMAL KINGDOM
  • Expedition Everest (Single Rider also available)

  • Kali River Rapids

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris

  • DINOSAUR

  • Festival of the Lion King (Priority Access)

  • Finding Nemo (Priority Access)

  • Primeval Whirl

  • It's Tough to be a Bug

  • Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost


Now the two parks with tiering setup. Remember - one FP+ from group 1 and 2 from group 2.


EPCOT (Tiering)
  • Soarin' GROUP 1

  • Test Track (Single Rider also available) GROUP 1

  • Maelstrom

  • Mission: Space

  • Spaceship Earth

  • Turtle Talk With Crush

  • Captain EO

  • Illuminations: Reflections of Earth (Reserved Area - World Showcase Plaza)

  • Journey Into Imagination With Figment

  • Living with the Land

  • Meet Disney Pals at the Epcot Character Spot

  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends



HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS (Tiering)
  • Rock 'n' Roller Coaster (Single Rider also available) GROUP 1

  • Toy Story Midway Mania GROUP 1

  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror GROUP 1

  • Star Tours

  • The Great Movie Ride

  • American Idol Experience

  • Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage (Priority Access)

  • Disney Junior - Live on Stage (Reserved Area, center-front section, poor viewing)

  • Fantasmic! (Reserved Area, left-front section)

  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular (Priority Access)

  • Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show

  • Muppet Vision 3D

  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid (Priority Access)



Certain attractions only occur at scheduled times. This is where FP+ falls into two categories.

Reserved Area - Only FP+ guests may use this exclusive section. This is more to secure preferred viewing than to save time.
Priority Access - FP+ guests enter at same time as regular guests but via a different entrance. Little value in saving time or guaranteeing certain viewing seats.



FastPass+ Kiosk Locations (reported via guests)

At Guest Relations at City Hall on Main Street
In the Town Square Theater on Main Street
Near The Diamond Horseshoe Saloon in Liberty Square-reported to be in the breezeway to Adventureland
Heritage House has reportedly been taken over by a kiosk (next to Hall of Presidents)
Outside Mickeys PhilharMagic in Fantasyland
At the Storybook Circus FASTPASS machines, across from The Barnstormer in Fantasyland
At Splash Mountain's FASTPASS machines, in Frontierland
In Tomorrowland by Stitch's Great Escape

Epcot
At the Mission: SPACE FASTPASS kiosks
At the Soarin' FASTPASS kiosks, downstairs at The Land pavilion
At Guest Relations in Future World
At the digital "tip board" in the middle of Future World Plaza (behind Spaceship Earth and the Future World fountain)
At the International Gateway entrance to the park
In the Future World West walkway, on the way to The Land pavilion

Hollywood Studios
At the FastPass+ service center, immediately to the left once you get past the entrance turnstiles
At the "wait times" board on the corner of Hollywood and Sunset boulevards
Outside Voyage of The Little Mermaid, in Animation Courtyard
Outside the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, near its FastPass machines
Reported by a poster-near Muppet Vision 3D
At Guest Relations outside the park

Animal Kingdom
Expedition Everest
Kali River Rapids
Primeval Whirl
In front of the Disney Outfitters store on Discovery Island
In front of the FastPass+ Service Center near Creature Comforts on Discovery Island
Dinosaur
Kilimanjaro Safari -according to Kathy Werling's blog



Basic FP+ musings and strategies
Heavier crowd times will be when FP+ benefits are most easily seen. Daily peak times are afternoon and early evening, so you may want to schedule in these times. The fall back to this is you are then left waiting to get single additional FP+. You have to weigh which is greater use to you. Guaranteed shorter times in peak crowded times or ability to obtain more FP+ in a single day.

Park hopping - if you are going to a busier park later in the day, you may want to schedule your FP+ selections there. However, that leaves you with no FP+ options at your initial park of the day. Obviously, the use of additional FP+ single passes is decreased if one chooses to use a FP+ original booking on a night show. The time is too late to leave much time to get a single FP+ additional pass (or none in such cases as Illuminations). Personally, I do not see the value in these type of FP+.

Article Copyright By Author. All Rights Reserved.    Date Added: July 04, 2014

View More Free Articles By Donna Suddeth

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