A good strategy for FastPass+ Reservations can make your vacation memorable or wishing that you did everything differently. This is a topic that is highly controversial, but the goal is to provide you with the top things to take into account while you are making your plans.
Not knowing about Early Booking
Are you staying at a Disney Resort? Then you’re able to make your selections 60 days prior to your arrival date. If you’re an Annual Passholder, then you’re able to book your selections for seven days out of the next 30 day period. If you’re staying off Disney property, you’re able to link your park tickets to your MyDisneyExperience account and make selections 30 days prior and if you’re a Day Guest, then you’re able to book your selections at the FP+ kiosks inside the parks.
Not writing down your reservations or taking a screen shot
This is a glitch-proof method, but having proof that you made a reservation will allow cast members at the attraction or Guest Relations to help you find a lost piece of data. This will also make sure that you don’t forget your times to be in line, as not every FP is valid for 60-minutes. Activities like Parades (Festival of Fantasy) or Stage Shows (Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular) may be 25-45 minute return windows.
Not making the best use of FP+ for your party
Let’s not sugar-coat this topic: Not every FP is valuable. Most of the Fastpass attractions will save you time in the schedule, which gives you the opportunity to see more and do more without standing in a line. The attractions that families look as being “important” could actually end up being a walk-on if you plan your days properly. If you want to experience the Haunted Mansion with your family, just go to that attraction at rope drop and then save your other reservations for things like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Splash Mountain.
Oh, and don’t use a FP+ Reservation for the following attractions (unless it’s a busy day or you are only there for a short time and really want to check it off your list)
- it’s a small world
- Mad Tea Party
- Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Meeting Ariel at her Grotto
- Meeting Tinkerbell
- Monsters Inc Laugh Floor
- Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
- Journey into Imagination with Figment
- Living with the Land
- Spaceship Earth
- Turtle Talk with Crush
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Disney Junior – Live on Stage
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
- MuppetVision 3D
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- Finding Nemo – The Musical
- Its Tough to be a Bug
- Meet Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost
- Primeval Whirl
- Rivers of Light
Remember to prioritize, but the above attractions are ones that you can either walk-on, stand in a short line for the first performance or be able to see during extra magic hours with little to no wait. Others are just not worth using a FP reservation for as Disney needs to keep their numbers up for offerings in the park for guests to have a variety.
Making FP+ selections for guests who can’t ride the attraction
Do you have a child who can’t ride Tower of Terror due to height restrictions or a fear of elevators or drops? Then why would you waste a reservation when you can maybe split up and have half of the group go to a relaxing attraction while the other group does the thrilling one. There’s no pressure for every member of your group to experience every single attraction, so knowing that you’re able to make separate reservations before hand is important.
Not Being Responsible for Your Reservation Times
If you choose to be on an attraction from 10am-11am, it’s your responsibility to go during those times. Getting on the ride early or late will not happen, as the entire point of the system is to spread out guest flow. If there is a chance that you’re going to be late, see if you can move your reservations on the app (which is completely do-able BTW). We were having a horrible time at a dining reservation at Crystal Palace due to being seated late and losing our waiter half way through the meal, so I knew that our Haunted Mansion time was going to pass us by. I went on the MyDisneyExperience app and just bumped our time back 30 minutes and all was peachy!
Not Planning Ahead
Think about your day as a whole BEFORE you make your reservations. Is there an ADR that you’re planning on being at, or maybe a parade that you want to see. Knowing that you’re able to make additional FastPass+ selections later in the day once your initial three picks are used could allow you to be a little more sporadic and flexible. Oh, and let’s talk for a second about not knowing where the attractions are in the parks….
- Space Mountain is not beside Splash Mountain
- Big Thunder Mountain is not beside Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Adventureland is not beside Fantasyland
- Meeting Mickey in Town Square Theatre is not beside Princess Fairytale Hall
All of these attractions are in the Magic Kingdom, but the park is over 100 acres in size and it takes time to walk from one end to the next. Putting your Fastpass+ reservations close together will help you out.
Additional FastPass Selections
After you’ve utilized your first three selections, you’re able to make additional selections on your MyDisneyExperience App or at the FP+ Kiosk for the rest of the day. This is dependent on availability, but don’t forget to use this added feature to possibly skip a few lines later in the day.
Picking the Wrong Attraction
Know what attractions are available before making your decisions is a good thing to know, but not as much as what the difference between Space and Splash Mountain or Living with the Land or Soarin’. Keep an eye on the description on the attraction page and you won’t have any surprises when you’re in line. According to cast members at Living with the Land, the number of guests who get in line to ride a slow-moving boat ride and think they’re in line for Soarin’ Around the World happens more than we’d like to admit.
Did we miss anything? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
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