The Optimal Use of the New FastPass+ System

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IMG_8129If you read this blog regularly (as you should), you are undoubtedly aware of Disney’s multi-million dollar infrastructure renovation called MyMagic+. Over the past few months, extensive testing of the first phase of MyMagic+ has been taking place at Walt Disney World. For general questions and to familiarize yourself with what is going on I recommend fellow blogger Erin Foster’s two excellent pieces on initial observations and her personal experiences with the test.

Like Erin, I have been cordially invited by Mickey himself to participate in the MyMagic+ testing for my trip next week. Since much of what occurs during the test has been covered so well on this site, I have decided to turn an analytical cheek toward the process (as I do with most things). For the purpose of this article I will be discussing strategies for using the new FastPass+ system.

Some FastPass+ Background

Image 1

Image 1

So what is this crazy sounding FastPass+? (Geez, that +? looks weird…silly Disney marketing). I will assume that you are familiar with Disney’s current FASTPASS system (and if you are not, check out this page). In simple terms, the difference is that with Plus you will be able to schedule some of your FASTPASS windows well in advance of your trip. For instance, if you are traveling in December, you may be able to schedule a FastPass+ for Soarin’ at 4:30 pm on December 6, even though it’s only September!

Now you, like many, many other vacationers, might be thinking, “Holy cow! I have to plan out my entire trip?!” Well, yeah, kinda. There are kiosks in the park as well as the My Disney Experience smartphone app that will allow you to select FastPass+ times even as you walk the park, but the availability of times and attractions is finite. Therefore, if you wait until that morning, you may be snagging FastPasses for The Seas with Nemo rather than Soarin’, which doesn’t really need it in most cases.

Which FastPasses Should I Choose?

Okay, so now you’ve resigned yourself to at least doing some advanced planning. How can you best utilize those FastPass+ reservations? Under the current testing phase, every ticketed visitor is entitled to 3 FastPass+ reservations per day in any one park. These parameters are likely change, but the theories I will discuss won’t, so these are the parameters I’m going to use.

Image 2

Image 2

As you, the Touring Plans user, know parks get more crowded during the middle parts of the day (which is why you, the smart one, are there at park opening). Therefore, scheduling any FastPass+ time for before 11am is not the most efficient use. You are also aware that certain attractions just plain get longer lines than others. Even though attractions like it’s a small world and The Great Movie Ride are options for FastPass+, they would very, very rarely be efficient uses either since they don’t normally have lines longer than a few minutes.

So that leaves us looking at afternoon times and headliner attractions. But wait…there’s more (said in your best 80s gameshow voice)! FastPass+ reservations are also available for many parades and fireworks displays, such as Main Street Electrical Parade, Wishes, and Fantasmic. From what I have noticed, these reservations seem to be the first to disappear, even in this limited test phase. These parades and fireworks have special viewing areas for those with FastPass+ so (theoretically) one could show up shortly before the start of the event and get a great spot.

Image 3

Image 3

Clearly, the play here is to work backwards for the end of your day. Try to figure out where you are going to end your night and get FastPass+ reservations for that park, starting with the fireworks. The example I will use here is for a day when I will be visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

So Really, Which FastPasses Should I Choose?

I started by looking at my proposed schedule and determined a day that we will (hopefully) be at Hollywood Studios in the evening. This is a little more complicated for my family because I still attempt to get my young children to calm down long enough to fall asleep. Some people call this a nap. We tend to go to a different park following naptime than the one we visited in the morning, therefore any FastPass+ reservations have to be late enough that we could get there after nap.

I started my planning in the same place all good planning starts: TouringPlans.com! I created a Personalized Touring Plan for September 18 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios that started at 4pm. After selecting the attractions we would like to visit, I was shown my yet-to-be-optimized plan. Just below the summary window, you will see a link that reads “FastPass+ Options (skip if not using).” Clicking this will open the window seen in Image 1.

At this stage, you only want to put in the number of FastPass+ allotments in the “FP+ Opportunities in Group One” box. As I mentioned, I am allowed 3 per day, so that’s what I added. I then scroll down and click “Optimize” (Image 2). As you can see in Image 3, following the optimization some of the attractions are now marked that “This would be a good candidate for FastPass+.” My particular plan listed four of these: Disney Junior – Live on Stage, Star Tours, Toy Story Mania, and Fantasmic.

Image 4

Image 4

As I mentioned, Fantasmic is a no-brainer for me because I despise having to queue up an hour early for that show (and because I have no brain). Since my projected wait on my Touring Plan for Toy Story Mania is 59 minutes, that seems like another easy choice. For my third one I decided on Disney Junior - Live on Stage because a) my kids cannot see that enough, and b) I’m hoping there is reserved FastPass+ seating for it.

I Need To Know…Did You Score Your FastPasses?

I did! I logged onto My Disney Experience, went to the FastPass+ selection and checked out Disney’s Hollywood Studios on September 18. As you see in Image 4, I was also lucky to get all of my reservations later in the day.

What Do Those Reservation Times Do to the Touring Plan?

Image 5

Image 5

After making my reservations, I went back to my Personal Touring Plan and back to the FastPass+ screen. Under “Reservations I have already made…” I entered the attractions and times as you will see in Image 5. One important note here: You need to keep that 3 in the “FP+ Opportunities” window in order for the optimizer to know you want to use them. Then…Re-Optimize!

Now these are results!

Check out Image 6, the final plan, and you will see why I did this. The plan is now optimized to include my FastPass+ reservations. The big difference is that prior to adding my reservation it was estimated that I would wait 105 minutes. After…70 minutes. So adding my FastPass+ reservations potentially saves me 35 minutes in line in only 4 hours in the park!

Is This All Worth It?

The actual results will be seen on my trip, and I will update you when I get back, but so far, so good. Touring Plans helped me decide which attractions would be the best to choose for FastPass+ and told me how to best plan my other attractions around those reservations. I found the My Disney Experience FastPass+ system easy to use and the reservations were seamlessly added into my Touring Plan.

Image 6

Image 6

Have any of you tried FastPass+? What did you think? Feel free to post any questions below, and thanks for reading!

 

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Posted on September 8, 2013

59 Responses to “The Optimal Use of the New FastPass+ System”

  • by Tleshia Farrar on September 8, 2013, at 7:42 am EDT

    We are headed to Disney the first week in December. I thought it would be less crowded than the next week b/c of the sports thingie that is taking place and b/c of the free dining….looks like that is not the case our week the resorts are BOOKED up so it is important I use my fastpass + correctly. Am I correct that right now during this phase of testing that they are only letting you reserve your fastpasses and pick your color of bracelets 30 days out from your trip?? Can I go ahead and do the work on touringplans.com and have that all set for when I can pick or would you wait?? Thanks for the detailed info.

    • by Brian McNichols on September 8, 2013, at 8:08 am EDT

      First let me say that the hotel occupancy is not a perfect representation of crowds. In the off season many resorts perform minor refurbishments and other things that reduce their capacity. We have had quite a few instances in the past couple years where resorts were showing no availability, but crowds were not higher than predicted.

      I believe that you are correct with the 30 day window, but I booked my trip very late, so I can’t say for sure. I love planning, so I would always make my plan as early as possible (and then change it approximately 6 thousand times). If a FP+ you wanted is not available on a given day, you can always change your Touring Plan on the fly.

    • We’re going right before Thanksgiving, and I was surprised to be able to start making my FastPass+ selections and customize our Magic Bands a couple days ago, at 57 days out, I think. For what it’s worth, I had to call Disney on another matter the day before that, and while chatting with the lovely CM, I joked about checking daily to see whether I could choose my FPs yet. Lo and behold the next day I could. Pure coincidence, or Disney magic, I don’t know… At any rate, the 30 day window does not seem to be the rule.

  • Thanks for the info on the Personalized Touring Plan update. Could you please report back and let us know if Disney Junior does indeed have reserved FP+ seating?

    • by Tleshia Farrar on September 8, 2013, at 11:22 am EDT

      Yes, I want to know because that would be a great one :-)

    • by Brian McNichols on September 8, 2013, at 5:38 pm EDT

      I most certainly will!

      • Were there any reserved FP+ seats? As of now, I have FP+ scheduled for Disney Jr. Live, but if there are no real benefits of choosing that option, I’d like to utilize the pick differently.

        • I used our FP+ for Disney Jr 12/20 at 9:30 am. I would say it was a waste. At that time in the morning, there was no one in line. Also, FP+ guests were let in first, but up were front and center, and it was almost too close to the stage to see the puppets. the area wasn’t reserved, so you still need to be there a bit early to make sure you get in before the other guests are let in and fill that area. Of course, a lot of my issues have been due to timing – if you are going at a very busy time or want to go later in the day, it may be useful.

  • Good write up Brian; however, as someone who just tested last month and had the same theory as you (best FP+ use later in the day) I’d like to give you a heads up. While the theory sounds good, I think the late day FP+ booking will result in a large number of unused FP for people similar to me. Over our trip we had 14 FP+ booked and only used 8 of them.

    My family usually park hops and decided to book the FP+ in the park we were going to hop to. Also, our plans are always in flux as we’re “go with the flow” people. Well one day we didn’t get to the 2nd park until later than expected, so we lost out on 3 FPs – we tried to reschedule but there weren’t any left. The other day, because of timing circumstances we didn’t park hop at all, but we couldn’t change to other experiences in the park we were staying because none were left.

    I don’t know the amount of FP+ that are allotted for the test, but once this fully rolls out and traditional FP is gone I fear FP+ will not be available same day for any attractions one would care about. If this is the case, I guess I could make FP+ reservations for the morning at the park I know 100% I will be in, but I don’t see the point as the lines are usually shorter…I want the FPs in the afternoons when the lines are longer. The question then becomes, is park hoping worth it? Will going back to a park at 6pm and trying to more than 2 rides be an exercise in futility since you can’t get a FP?

    As you can see, this new process appears to deter those from park hops or have any flexibility in their plan whatsoever, something that does not sit well for my family.

    • by Brian McNichols on September 8, 2013, at 5:40 pm EDT

      This is one of my concerns as well. One of my problems with the Dining Plan was that I felt too scheduled with all the ADRs, so this seems…well…I guess we’ll see :)

    • We had the same issues. If we were going to park hop, we scheduled our FP+ for the park we were hopping to. We really had to scramble a few days to make our FP+ reservations. One day we stayed later than planned at EPCOT and another day we lost track of time at the pool.

      One day we were able to move our FP+ reservations around to accommodate our tardiness. The other day we were not so lucky.

      Since the FP+ limit is three (four in the MK), missing even one FP+ seems like a big let down. I can’t see the ability to change headliner FP+ reservations on the fly once this rolls out for everyone. Definitely a downer for those of us who like to dial it down a bit on the touring.

  • Thank you for yet another very informative article on this system. I have been following Erin’s updates and in fact referred countless confused folk to read what she has written about her experience.

    Regarding the “+” at the end of the name, I may be way off here, but I had assumed (perhaps incorrectly) from the get-go that this was because of Walt’s continuous drive for improvement; always striving to make things better; and his reference to the process of improvement as ” let’s ‘Plus it’ ” Perhaps not, but that was my interpretation on the otherwise very strange appearance of a + symbol alongside any new feature of this system.

    I am loving your optimized plans and cannot wait to go test them out next year. We are going to be there for 4th of July so needless to say I will be studying everything and anything on TP very thoroughly!

    • by Brian McNichols on September 8, 2013, at 5:41 pm EDT

      I agree, I think that’s exactly where the name comes from. I still think it’s awkward to write the name followed by a punctuation mark, such as FastPass+!

  • Hi! I really enjoy the blog. Thanks for all the info! My family is heading to Disney for the first week of Dec. We are staying off resort. How will this affect our fastpass options? Will we get our bands the first day of park attendance and not be eligible for fastpass+? Thanks again!

    • by Brian McNichols on September 8, 2013, at 5:42 pm EDT

      I am honestly not sure. I doubt the full FastPass+ system will be in use by December, and offsite hotels are not eligible for the test. The good news is that regular old FASTPASS will still be available during the testing phase, so that should still be available.

  • Am I correct that you can only use Fastpass+ in a single park each day? Any ideas whether this will change at any time? It seems to me that once they pull the legacy fastpass system, then Fastpass+ becomes much less advantageous.

    • by Brian McNichols on September 8, 2013, at 5:43 pm EDT

      Yes, only one park per day and no, I have no idea if that will be the final result, although I hope it changes.

  • We tested FP+ in late August. We did have trouble using our pre-booked passes, just because it was very difficult to predict where we would be, even with the hour time window. Note that I was traveling with an easily exhausted/distracted three year-old, along with two easily exhausted grandparents, so we were not exactly swift on our feet. So a couple of times we faced the situation: “Do we do the March of Death from here to Under the Seas in the blistering heat to use our FP’s? Or do we just blow it off?” And we mostly just blew it off, but we often couldn’t make this decision until within the FP window, causing us to lose our passes.

    That said, a more efficient touring group could probably get great value out of them. We did use some and it was great when they worked.

    Also, since you mention it: we used a FP+ for the Electrical Parade, showed up at 8:55pm, and scored front row places in front of the castle. Which is pretty ideal for people with a wiggly and tired kid with them.

    • Allison — I hope you will share your experience in the feedback that Disney asks for. I’m one of those people who just can’t imagine how this new system is going to work well.
      I like the reservations for parades and fireworks and such — fastpasses for rides made months in advance — not so much!

  • I am a little confused about the testing phase. Will everyone be able to use the new system or must you be invited into the test? I am 56 days out for my trip and was not able to reserve any passes. How early do you recommend reserving fast passes? Thanks!

    • by Brian McNichols on September 8, 2013, at 5:47 pm EDT

      Yes, if you are in a resort that is part of the test you will get a fancy UPS delivered letter inviting you to take part in the test. From what I’ve heard, these go out about 30 days prior to your trip.

      Once the testing is done (and who knows when that will be), I’m not sure what the reservation window will be. I would probably recommend reserving things like fireworks as far in advance as possible, but we’ll have to just see how it plays out for now.

      • by KeithC (TheFugitiveGuy) on September 8, 2013, at 10:39 pm EDT

        Inspired by this post, I decided to pay a little more attention to the MDE app than I have in the past, since I have a trip coming up at the end of October. I was surprised to see that I had FP+ capability in the app, even though I hadn’t received any email or snail mail about it yet. There was no splash screen or anything either in the app, it was just there as one of many menuitems. Then I tried going to the Disney site on my iPad, but again no fanfare from the mobile site. But then, when I tried connecting to the Disney site on my laptop, finally I saw a splash screen on login telling me that I had MagicBands I could customize and FP+ I could reserve.

        Something to keep in mind, that the desktop web site seems to be the most robust at this point, and also that you can apparently start setting up this stuff well in advance, and far before you get mail from Disney about it.

        I never would have thought to look if it weren’t for this post! :)

      • Our test notification came 15 days prior to our trip. We tested the last week of August.

        This was odd timing as our window to customize magic bands closed before we were notified. I just happened to be changing an ADR and noticed the Magic Band/FP+ pop-up. We were one day away from defaulting to the generic grey bands.

  • As a go with the flow personality type, this new fast pass + situation gives me a headache. Getting to the parks early, going on the more popular rides first, then grabbing a fast pass for later has always been our MO. I don’t see how anyone will be able to do multiple rides in one day. The park hopping thing worries me too. Also, how will people who rent DVC points be effected? Will the owner have to do the booking? I admit, I’m confused about all of it!

    • by Brian McNichols on September 8, 2013, at 5:49 pm EDT

      I share your frustrations and confusion. Don’t worry, I will be honest (and brutally honest if necessary)when I review it after my trip :)

    • by Brian McNichols on September 8, 2013, at 5:50 pm EDT

      Oh, and DVC renters can make their own FP+ reservations. That I know, because I am renting points.

      • Wicked – im not off until February but I rented points with Davids and booked tickets on disneyworld.com and have everything linked on MDE

        Although I have quirk. We are doing 5 nights at Jambo house and 2 nights at Bay Lake – will this affect our ability to use magic bands, FP+ ect? We only have 5 day tickets (as we are also visiting universal) so the 5 days will be spread over both reservations – does anyone know, can we have 1 magic band/card (as I am greedy and hate lines so i want to use fastpass as well as FP+ :P ) across the whole week?

    • Karen — I’m with you. I like to pre-plan, in general, but this is sort of crazy.

    • I feel your pain, although for different reasons. We were fastpass collectors, rope droppers, park hoppers, fast paced zig-zaggers to accommodate anything called for in a touring plan….. We stand to lose a lot from the way we used to tackle the parks because we had a strategy perfected over the years that worked so well for us. But it is what it is and I am hoping that we can make this work for us. The consolation for us having been TP subscribers since our first trip is that we have learned that rope drop and a good touring plan can get you through pretty much anything you want to do in a day. Heck, our first trip was Easter week and it fell right in the middle of Spring Break. I followed TP to the letter the first week and the second week we started modifying the steps to suit. Ironically, not knowing any better, we didn’t really appreciate how busy it was until we went back in October and we didn’t use many FP’s that first trip. The point is, FP may not be as vital to success as we have become accustomed to think it is. (I’m trying to look on the bright side since I can’t undo the fact that FP+ is coming :D )

  • Thanks, Brian, for feeling my pain! Just like anything new I guess we will have to deal. Or go to Universal. Probably both!

  • We went to Disney for the first time last May and will be going again next May. My concern about the new system involves last minute changes. It rained for two days on our trip. We switched parks at the last minute from MK to Epcot because we felt like there were more indoor rides at Epcot. It worked great for us, but with the new system if we have to switch at the last minute we will have to give up previously booked FP. Do you know when the system will go into full effect?

    • Disney provides a smartphone app that allows you to review and change your FP+ reservations at any time. My family was part of the test last month and I tinkered with our reservations quite a bit. But I found it was much easier to make the changes the day before, and so I didn’t make many changes the day of the FP+ reservations. I think that once the machines start dispensing the paper fastpasses, your ability to change your reservations drops.

  • I just helped do FP+ for an active senior couple visiting the parks for 5 days. I felt like I spent hours trying to get the personalized Touring Plans to do what I wanted it to do. I realize that part of the genius in the TP software is to let it do the work for you. But they wanted to use FP+ for shows in the Studios at certain times, and it took me a long time to get the Touring Plan “right” even though I had defined their FP+ reservation times as you mention here. The software kept overriding my entries, saying I could save more time by not using the FP+.

    I would love to see an option in the personalized Touring Plans that lets us lock in reservation times, forcing the TP to optimize around them using the other criteria we’ve chosen (walking speed, less walking or waiting, etc). Sometimes we will choose FPs for reasons that seem illogical to the software but work for our real world scenarios (For example, maybe we’re planning to meet someone else for FPs at a predetermined time). I know I could have added those steps in as a manual break, but i love that TP will show predicted walking time and waiting time, as well as knowing how long an attraction will last.

    For the most part, I loved using the TP software along with FP+. But with the Studios, where are so many shows, it didn’t work as well for me. I finally forced it to do what I needed, but I really did seem like work!

    This couple is also visiting the parks with no smartphone, but also on days where the crowd levels are 1-3. I’m anxious to hear if they use or need to use most of their FP+, and if they attempt to use a kiosk or have a cast member help with changing anything around. If it were me, I would use the app as long as I had battery to do so (which I fully expect to be exhausted by noon). But that is another topic entirely!

  • I’ve been playing around with FPP and the TP optimizer, and have come up with the following strategy for getting a good plan with FPP.
    1) Set up the personalized plan with all the desired attractions, breaks, etc., let it know how may FPP opportunities you have (this method assumes 3), and then run the optimizer several times until the results stabilize.
    2) Look at the top three recommendations for FPP, and choose the earliest of them. Enter a FPP reservation that covers the time that the optimizer says that you will be at that attraction (I usually have the TP time in the exact middle of the return time). Run the optimizer several times until the results are stable, making sure that your FPP reservation still covers the attraction in question.
    3) Look at the top two recommendations for FPP, and again choose the earliest of them. Enter an FPP reservation that covers it – note that you may have to tweak your first FPP reservation in order to avoid overlaps. Run the optimizer several times until the results are stable, making sure that your FPP reservations still cover the attractions in question.
    4) Enter an FPP reservation for the top recommendation, avoiding overlaps like before, and then optimize until stable.
    5) Book your desired FPP reservations in My Disney Experience.

  • Just wanted to add a bit concerning FP+ selections for attraction closures. This was our experieince, but should be the same for everyone.

    We had FP+ windows of 5:00PM to 6:00PM for Splash Mtn and 6:00PM to 7:00PM for Big Thunder. We arrived later than we planned, but still hoofed it over to Splash by 5:40 only to find Splash had recently closed due to weather (thunder). Cast Members said we should be able to come back later to ride Splash, if it reopened that night.

    We then went to Big Thunder and found that was closed for the same reason as Splash. While talking to Cast Memebers at Big Thunder, I received the following email from Disney Destinations (at 5:49PM)

    “FastPass+ Change Notification

    Hello, David.

    We’re sorry, your previously confirmed FastPass+ selection for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad® from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM on 08/31/2013 needs to be changed because the experience is temporarily unavailable.

    As a replacement, you may now visit any one of the following FastPass+ experiences on 08/31/2013, starting at 6:00 PM through anytime during normal Theme Park operating hours (Valid Theme Park admission is required and your FastPass+ selection cannot be redeemed during Extra Magic Hours):

    Experiences*
    Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor®
    Space Mountain®
    Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin®
    Tomorrowland Speedway
    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad®
    Pirates of the Caribbean®
    Splash Mountain®
    Haunted Mansion®

    There is no action needed to select the experience in advance. During the designated day and time, just arrive at the FastPass+ entrance to one of the experiences above and touch your MagicBand to enter!

    *Note that you may be able to still experience your selection for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad® if it becomes available again today, unless you opt to visit one of the other listed experiences.

    Visit My Plans on My Disney Experience for more details.”

    We came back around 9:00PM and rode both Splash and Big Thunder back-to-back with no problems.

    So my takeway is that if an attraction is closed before your FP+ window, you may get an email with an offer to visit other attractions, even the big ones like Splash and Space. If an attraction becomes closed during your FP+ window, you should be able to come back later that day, even if out of your original FP+ window.

    Long post, but hopefully useful information.

  • Great post. We are heading to WDW in a couple of weeks and decided that we could use our FP+ in one of two ways: 1) doing what you are planning, one park in the morning and making FP+ reservations for another park in the afternoon; or 2) use our FP+ to ride popular attractions twice. We are going with option 2 as, like someone mentioned above, we just aren’t sure when we’ll make it to the other park. We’ll see how it goes….

  • I get the impression that this will work very well for those who want to plan, but are unaware of this site. For those not into planning, it’ll just be confusing. Those of us who are fluent in TP’s and Lines may find this to our disadvantage. Though I must admit, I am excited for this to fully roll out.

    • You’re right. I don’t plan to the letter like we used to, but having done several very similar trips we’ve developed a bit of a routine. However next summer we have traded our quiet September trips for a 4th of July one. It’s been a few years since we visited in peak times so needless to say a LOT more planning is going into this trip!
      I think there are those who don’t plan because they don’t want to; and then there are those who don’t plan because they don’t know they need to. It is the latter group who stand to lose the most in my opinion. Yet that said, many return with no idea of what they missed so I suppose that’s all relative.

  • by Robyn Parrino on September 9, 2013, at 5:40 pm EDT

    How about if they put a watch on the magic band, so you can easily see what time it is?

  • We are a group of six friends/family traveling to Disney World the first week of December. We have 2 family suites and one Little Mermaid room at the AoA. My daughter contacted Disney tech support as she was having trouble linking and as part of that conversation, was told we would be having 3 FPP per day. Yesterday I was told by Disney we would have ONE FPP per day. I remember you predicted this (value resorts would get one FPP per day). Any news on this and how will it affect our TP.

    • I would call Disney and ask that question again. Getting only one FastPass+ per day is a big cutback and maybe you should decline to participate in the trial if that is true. My family and I were at a value resort (Pop Century) last month and participated in the FastPass+ trial. All four of us got three FastPass+ choices per day for each theme park, and even a bonus fourth FastPass+ for the days we visited the Magic Kingdom.

      • Thank you I will. Though I am wondering if by December the new system will be out of testing and will be the only option.

        • We will be in the World 10/16-19 staying at AS Movies and I was able to set up all 3 of my FP+ for each day via MDE.

          • I was able to set up 3 FPP per day. Even though I did not want 3 fast passes for the AK as Kali River Rapids will be closed during my trip, I had to pick a third one, according to the site. Either that or my computer non-know-how is showing. Thank you for your help.

  • Just curious about your Fantasmic! fastpass. We won’t be coming until September of 2014 but that is definitely something we are interested in. Could you let me know where the reserved seating is located? I’ve heard rumors that they have moved the dinner package reserved seating to the middle and the fastpass reserved seating is in the witch section where the dinner package’s was previously. Any info would be awesome, Thanks!

  • Some attractions are close by and of relatively short duration. If you want to FPP both, can you use the same time slot so you do not have to wait around for the second window?

    • by Brian McNichols on September 22, 2013, at 10:23 pm EDT

      Technically no, they will not let you overlap times. There is the same “grace period” for FP+ however as there is for the paper FP system, which is that you’re allowed entry 5 minutes before and 15 minutes after your time. If you pick two consecutive times you can overlap them using these grace windows.

  • I got the invitation to be part of testing in the mail and without thinking ordered our personalized magic bands prior to ordering our tickets. Should I still be able to link the bands with the tickets and have time to make the fast pass reservations before our trip on the 15th?? Without tickets entered into MDE I just get an error message when I click on fastpass +.

    • by Brian McNichols on September 22, 2013, at 10:19 pm EDT

      Yes, if you go into My Reservations you should be able to enter your ticket numbers and Magic Band numbers. Once they are all in, everything *should* link together.

  • Hi Brian
    We are on pins and needles waiting to read your follow-up post about your trip!!! How did it all work out for you? Where was the Fantasmic seating? What are your opinions about the system overall? etc. etc. etc. !!!!!

    • by Brian McNichols on September 26, 2013, at 12:35 pm EDT

      The article has been drafted and should be up within the next few days…stay off those pins and needles, they’re pointy! :)

  • Great post! I love that you started the plan with a late afternoon entry in the park, a reality for families with “nappers.” May I suggest a future blog post on WDW tips for families with nappers? We’re traveling to WDW in May with a 3 year old and 5 year old and I always have questions about how best to use the touring plans with nappers, and other considerations in planning for nappers (i.e. eat lunch at park or back at hotel? a quick swim before nap or after? schedule fast passes for right before leaving the park in the a.m. shift or when we return? for what preschooler attractions should you skip the fastpass? what preschooler attractions are must-do’s for fastpass?) Thanks!

  • by Jennifer Trussell on October 27, 2013, at 12:07 am EDT

    I have booked a Disney Resort for my stay the first of January. We are Annual Passholders and I was thinking when I made reservations she told me if we were selected to particpate we would get em :)ail. I thought since we were AP holders we would be given bands automatically. Are you familiar with this? Too many different answers seem to be given out on this topic :)

  • by Tiffany Bolton on February 21, 2014, at 1:54 pm EDT

    Could you please give advice for NON-RESORT guests who are trying to factor Fastpass+ into the personalized touring plans? I don’t have the advantage of planning Fastpass+ 60 days in advance. I can’t make Fastpass+ reservations until we walk through the gates of the park. I can only get as far as your Image #3 described in the blog before my trip? How do I quickly make the decisions I need to make and update my touring plan when I’m at the Fastpass+ kiosk and under pressure!!!!

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