Everything You Need to Know | How does Disney World Fastpass work?

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Getting around Disney World is all great and fun! Every guest will enjoy the rides and take in all the sights and sounds. But there are days when getting on a particular ride becomes more of a hassle than anything. Nothing is more annoying with spending more time waiting in line than spending time on the ride itself.

Many would still wonder how does Disney World FastPass work, what they are, how much they cost, and where to get one.

For many decades, visitors would have to wait for a long time before they could get the opportunity to get on the said ride. And even with reservations, it would still cause problems. This would continue for many years before the introduction of the Disney FastPass. It reduces the wait time for many who purchased one along with the ticket. But even with its widespread use ever since, many are still confused on how they actually worked. Many would ask themselves, “How does Disney World FastPass work?”

Overview

Each ride in Disney World has a maximum number of people it can accommodate in a single day of operation. For example, Splash Mountain can hold up to 2,000 people per hour. In just 12 hours, up to dozens of thousands of guests would experience Splash Mountain. Before Fastpasses, people would hurry to buy a ticket as soon as possible. They always rely on the old “first come, first served,” and some rides would allow you to buy a ticket days or weeks prior. Also, during the opening hours, all rides are given a set time of 45 minutes. But with a FastPass, time intervals are pretty much eliminated. Though they won’t become necessary in the event that time intervals won’t be implemented. This is only one of the many Disney FastPass secrets given to holders.

Disney Fastpasses were first introduced in 1999. It is more or less a follow-up to a previous idea of a ride reservation system that was present in many world fairs all over the country. There are two different types of Fastpasses. These are Fastpass+ and MaxPass. Each type offers benefits to the holder such as extra entertainment and online functionality. These have become highly sought for letting visitors get on the rides much faster without having to fall in line, in addition to the benefits they provide.

But many would still wonder how does Disney World FastPass work, what they are, how much they cost, and where to get one.

How does Disney World Fastpass work?

Fastpasses give users the benefit of reserving selected rides throughout Disney Orlando. Besides the standard reservation features… holders get access to added benefits that non-holders don’t. This include Disney World FastPass tiers depending on which park you pick and some entertainment that you can have while waiting.

  1. Fastpass+

The first type of FastPass is the regular Fastpass+. This gives guests the ability to reserve and plan in advance for select FastPass+ locations, character greetings, entertainment, and viewing areas for parades and fireworks displays. The Fastpass system allows reservations of up to 30 to 60 days in advance, which can be changed at any time. Though it is advisable that these reservations must be done as early as possible. It’s also advised to check the day’s FastPass ticket availability as well as other details before purchasing the MaxPass. This is because attractions covered by the FastPass may not be available at the time of buying the MaxPass ticket as tickets are limited.

However, this is a great change over the previous FastPass system. Which is a queuing system that would take up a lot of time especially if the park is too much crowded and the lines are very long. Reservations are also made when you’re already at the park by visiting a FastPass kiosk or logging onto the My Disney Experience app on a mobile device.

When using Fastpass, you can schedule up to three FastPass+ rides for one park per day. As to how many fast passes per day at Disney World, it is determined by how many rides you want to go. For example, you can select up to three rides in Magic Kingdom, three in Epcot, three in Disney Hollywood and so on. There are a lot of select rides you can choose from.

In Magic Kingdom, Fastpass+ applies to the following rides:

  • It’s a Small World
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Meet Ariel at Her Grotto
  • Cinderella and Rapunzel at Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater
  • Tinker Bell at Town Square Theater
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • The Barnstormer
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid

In Epcot, you can select a single Tier 1 attraction. And then two Tier 2 attractions when choosing your initial three FP+ for a day.

Tier 1

  • Frozen Ever After
  • IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Test Track

Tier 2

  • Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
  • Journey Into Imagination with Figment
  • Living with the Land
  • Meet Disney Pals at the Epcot Character Spot
  • Mission: SPACE
  • Spaceship Earth
  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends
  • Turtle Talk with Crush

In Disney’s Hollywood Studios

You can select 1 Tier 1 attraction and then 2 Tier 2 attractions when choosing your initial three FP+ for a day.

Tier 1

  • Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage
  • Fantasmic!
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
  • The Great Movie Ride
  • Toy Story Mania

Tier 2

  • Disney Jr. Live on Stage
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
  • MuppetVision 3D
  • Star Tours
  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid

The same can also apply to Animal Kingdom. Here, you can select a Tier 1 attraction and then another Tier 2 attraction when choosing your initial three FP+ for a day.

Tier 1

  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Na’vi River Journey

Tier 2

  • DINOSAUR
  • Expedition Everest
  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Finding Nemo – The Musical
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug!
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost
  • Primeval Whirl
  • Rivers of Light

In addition to the bookings, Fastpasses give you the option to include more entertainment options for select venues and rides. This includes character introductions, as well as meet-and-greets for various Disney princesses. But basically, the main function of the Fastpass is to let you skip lines while allowing you to change reservations any time you want.

  1. MaxPass

The second type of FastPass is MaxPass. It’s basically a pass that works in conjunction with the FastPass+. Introduced in January 2017, it became Disney’s very first virtual queue system. It requires a daily payment of $10. MaxPass allows the pass holder to receive their FastPasses return times via the Disney Fastpass app whenever they’re inside the park. This would mean that you would no longer have to visit a Fastpass kiosk to verify your Fastpass, using the app to scan in your code at the entrance. Additionally, MaxPass users can also download pictures from PhotoPass free of charge and as many times as they want.

Where and how do I get one?

You can apply for a Fastpass by visiting any Fastpass kiosk located throughout Disney World. The Fastpass kiosk locations are as follows:

Magic Kingdom FastPass+ Kiosk locations

  • The walkway between Adventureland and Liberty Square, near The Diamond Horseshoe Saloon in Liberty Square
  • Outside Mickey’s PhilharMagic in Fantasyland
  • At the entrance to Jungle Cruise in Adventureland
  • Near Stitch’s Great Escape in Tomorrowland

Epcot FastPass+ Kiosk locations

  • In the Future World West walkway, on the way to Mission:SPACE
  • 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

Disney’s Hollywood Studios FastPass+ Kiosk locations

  • At the “wait times” board on the corner of Hollywood and Sunset boulevards
  • Outside Toy Story Midway Mania
  • Outside the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror entrance
  • Near MuppetVision 3D in Muppet Courtyard

Disney’s Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Kiosk locations

  • At the Discovery Trading Company on Discovery Island
  • Near Kali River Rapids
  • Kiosk at Island Mercantile on Discovery Island
  • Kiosk near Harambe Market

Please be advised that locations are subject to change at any time.

So now that you know where they are, here are the steps on how to get a Fastpass from these Kiosks.

  1. Download the Disneyland app for your mobile device or tablet. The app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and the Google App Store.
  2. Using the tickets you bought, enter the park you wish to visit.
  3. Open the Disneyland app on your phone or tablet.
  4. Tap the circular character icon at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Sign in to the app using your Disney Account.
  6. Select “Get FASTPASS”.
  7. Select who wishes to use the Disney MaxPass feature. So if someone is not listed, be sure to link their ticket or pass.
  8. Purchase the Disney MaxPass feature for any Guests who do not already have it.
  9. Make your FASTPASS selections.
  10. Enjoy your Disney PhotoPass downloads!

How much does it cost?

As part of the Disney Trip Payment Plan, Fastpasses are free of charge over the price of your ticket, vacation package, and even annual passes. As it’s the main function is to simply enhance your enjoyment of the park itself by reducing the waiting lines for you and your party. It’s best to make selections with the FastPass as early as possible if you want to make your ticket price count. On the other hand, you still need to pay the fee for a valid park admission. And as explained above, a select number of rides are only covered by the FastPass.

Conclusion

Fastpasses are a must and are usually a part of any Disney Planning Guide. In essence, Disney World is already a very large park to explore through and to spend the day in… even for just a few hours or so. But with a Fastpass, you don’t know how big is Disney World until you get your hands on one yourself. Fastpasses do more than just help cut waiting times short. As it also provides some neat benefits to pass holders. It can also give pass holders with even more what Disney World has in store for them. The introduction of the MaxPass has also further enhanced the usefulness of the Fastpass when it comes to online functionality.

Of course, there will always be someone who is asking about how does Disney World FastPass work. But don’t worry, Fastpasses are easy to use but it takes some time to get used to. Especially with how Disney continues to grow as a theme park. Unfortunately, Fastpasses are only applicable to Disney World in Orlando. Meaning, they do not apply to other parks like Disneyland in Anaheim, California, or Hong Kong Disneyland. No Disney World Florida Package is complete without a Fastpass to maximize things further. And while it may cost extra, the benefits are always worth the price.

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