Magic Kingdom Becomes FastPass+ Only Next Tuesday, Epcot and DHS by End of January

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Magic Kingdom Goes FastPass+ OnlyWe’ve heard from reliable sources outside and inside Disney that the Magic Kingdom’s legacy FASTPASS machines will be turned off by Tuesday, January 14, 2014. Magic Kingdom will use the FastPass+ system exclusively for ride reservations, for both on-site and off-site guests, from Tuesday on. (Note that at this point off-site guests are limited to making reservations via in-park kiosks on the day they are touring that park.)

Magic Kingdom joins Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which converted to exclusive FastPass+ in December. We expect Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios to move to FastPass+ only by the end of January.

All of our Magic Kingdom touring plans will be updated this weekend to remove FASTPASS instructions and to make suggestions for FastPass+ reservation times. Also, our free computer-optimized touring plans will end FASTPASS support for Magic Kingdom touring plan dates of January 14 or later.

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Posted on January 10, 2014

72 Responses to “Magic Kingdom Becomes FastPass+ Only Next Tuesday, Epcot and DHS by End of January”

  • This makes me sad. I sure hope they’re ready for the s***storm that’s about to go down.

    • Couldn’t have sari it better myself howie

      • Is the long term game here to just move to Universal like pricing? Deluxe resort guests or those who pay more get an Express pass? I just booked my first trip to Universal, and staying at Cabana Bay I see it’s basically like having to do Standby unless I will size up for the Express tickets.

  • We have used our Magic Bands twice now. We used Fastpass+ for the first time the end of December. We had no problem using it, however, since we were only there for 2 days we did utilize the regular paper fastpasses when we park hopped. The only part of this I dislike is being limited to 3 fastpassed in one park per day. It will limit the times we go just for the day to park hop and ride the more popular rides.

  • I’m still very shocked about the limits on this item… Why would you limit something that has proved to be perfect as it was? And also, 3 is a very very short number.
    Did animal Kingdom’s querues got larger when the restriction applied?

    • Hey Daniel- we have the stats team looking at this. The AK is a smaller park, so it’ll be interesting to see what the MK does. I expect we’ll have a blog post on it by the end of the month.

      • That’s another thing I was thinking about… 3 fp+ may be of some help in AK, but MK, Epcot and DHS have so much more attractions to go to… it doesn’t make any sense this. I really really think they’ll change it in no time. hopefuly before my next trip?

  • I am trying to help some friends with their off-site trip in March. Do I tell them to run immediately to a FP+ kiosk when they get into the park, or do they prioritize a few attractions first? I have already directed them to this site, and I imagine the updated Touring Plans will address this.

    Thanks for all that you do in helping us all through these dark and difficult times. :)

    • Hey Betsy-

      It depends on the attractions, but I think they could run to a few headliners, maybe until 9:30 or 9:45 or so, and they get Fastpass+ for the remaining headliners they want to see.

      • Thanks! They are traveling with a little girl, and won’t be doing the mountains, so I was planning on telling them to hit Enchanted Tales with Belle and then find a kiosk. I think there are some by Rapunzel’s bathrooms. Good luck with all the updates!

  • This is absolutely ridiculous. Especially the limit of 3. We go during off peak times and while it’s not as crowded, we still take advantage of FastPass more than 3 times in one day at MK. Just going off the top of my head, we’ve used it on Ariel’s Grotto, Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan, Buzz, Space and Splash Mountain the last time we went in September.

    • Also how crazy is Toy Story at HS going to be now?

      • I’m assuming Disney has all kinds of simulation technology and mathematicians that they know what they’re doing, but who knows I could be way off. It’ll be interesting how the normal standby lines are effected by all of this

  • And still no word on when Passholders will get to make FP+ in advance

  • So they’re turning off the Legacy FP machines Tuesday. Makes perfect sense, since we’ll be at the MK on Wednesday.

    Plus we’re staying offsite, so I’m really excited about sorting through the dregs of the FP+ leftovers at a kiosk instead of touring the parks.

    Plus only 3. Plus no repeats at any attraction. Plus only 1 park per day.

    I’ve never been to Disneyland. I think it’s time to give it a try. Ride rationing’s not my bag, man.

  • This isn’t good. No reason to Park Hop anymore. Suppose that’ll some some people a bit of money. I would imagine the pools will get more crowded as people leave the parks once their 3 fast passes are done. If I don’t have a FP or the line is less than 30 minutes, we won’t ride. I didn’t spend $95 on a park pass to stand in line. Bad bad idea Disney.

  • Looking forward to hearing about everyone’s experiences.

    I’m going in about 2 weeks to Disney. Starting at AK & haven’t decided which park to end up at yet.

    I’d like some advice on the best way to tour with this new restriction.

    • Hey Duffy – Here’s our coverage of Fastpass+ at the Magic Kingdom: http://touringplans.com/magic-kingdom/fastpass. I’d also suggest our MK touring plans. Find or create one with the attractions you want to see, and tell the Touring Plan Optimizer you have 3 Fastpass+ opportunities. The Optimizer will give you a prioritized list with the best FP+ attractions and times for your plan.

      • Thanks Len! I will definitely do that! I’m bringing my special needs sister. Along with her mental disability she’s in a wheel chair & cannot transfer. The new DSA card is really of no assistance – (it’s actually more trouble than advantage & we’ve been treated rudely by CM’s.)

        So we definitely need to be doing more advance planning and create & follow our Touring Plans to enjoy our day.

        I also just bought a charger for my smart phone so I’ll be good using my TP’s optimizer all day & all night!

  • by Helen Wallace on January 10, 2014, at 1:54 pm EDT

    Hopefully Disney will change it when they realise that more people are tied up in queues for rides than spending their money in the Disney stores.

  • I have a friend today at DHS and they told him that, once they remove the fp machines, the fp+ will add 1 fp+ per attraction per day (but no park hopping alloud), on top of those 3 fp+ they’re talking now.
    Anyone heard anything like that?

  • Will annual passholders be able to use this?

    • What i’ve been told is that we can use the FP+ (all guests will be able to use FP+). However as of now we don’t have the ability to book them in advance. Right now (again this is just what i’ve been told) advanced booking is only available to on site guests.

  • I’m not a fan of FP+ because it hurts the planners and super fans, but I do see one possible benefit from the limit to three. In theory, I would think this would lessen the number of Fastpasses that were being used each day at the Magic Kingdom. That would subsequently keep the Standby lines moving faster because they aren’t waiting for all the FP people to queue. Of course, this also could mean more people in the Standby lines. It’s going to be interesting.

    • The line in FP+ queue will not necessarily be shorter than the queue was when they let FP people in it.

      I know that the FP+ for attractions that were not traditional FP choices (raceway; mansion) were not really that long or even had people in it.
      But the addition of FP+ where there was none before was not a boost to the standby line.

      But rides like Toy story mania won’t have any difference in the line except now instead of having personal control over getting a Fastpass (by being there at the rope drop) it’s like a lottery or you have to sign up 6 months out and stay on property.

      But the standby lines have the same wait times as typical.

      So basically, expect the same wait times, but much less ability to get fastpass.

      It looks like Disney is suffering price pressure on their hotel rooms in order to fill rooms. (Caribbean beach resort was a ghost town during a short non-peak stay last September).

      So now, it looks like you’ll have to stay on property. But even then you still only get 3 FP+ reservations.

  • I was hoping that my trip (1/15-1/18) would be in the clear of the Legacy FP machines being turned off…but it looks like that won’t be the case at least for MK. I have yet to link my park hoppers to my Magic Bands. Do you think I should go ahead and bite the bullet and link them, or take the gamble so I can get regular FPs for Soarin’ and Test Track? The only impact it has on my MK touring plan is that it would keep us from riding the headliners as many times. My DHS and AK touring plans shouldn’t really be impacted at all.

  • Ok, so where will these kiosks be? In order to make a FP+ reservation the day of? Has anyone tried using these kiosks? If so, was the availablity like?

    • Hey Bridget – here are the kiosk locations:

      Magic Kingdom FastPass+ Kiosks
      The Magic Kingdom’s FastPass+ kiosks are located throughout the park, including:
      -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
      -Outside Mickey’s PhilharMagic in Fantasyland
      -At the Storybook Circus FASTPASS machines, across from The Barnstormer in Fantasyland
      -At Splash Mountain’s FASTPASS machines, in Frontierland

      I expect Disney will add more too. See http://touringplans.com/magic-kingdom/fastpass for more info.

  • Len. Don’t worry about my cousin. I know that you’re giving good information. We’ll see what happens in the future. Have a trip scheduled and looking forward to it however am a little disappointed that I might be restricted to only three fast passes per day.

  • Len, the Annual Passholders are really getting a raw deal here, being treated the same as single day off-site users. The Mickey Monitor last year said that AP’s would have access to the advance reservation system and MagicBands by now. (I don’t care about the band, as I’d rather not wear it; the AP card will scan fine). Also, there seems to be a limit to the number of FP’s available to about one per hour, even when availability is high. For example, I arrived at AK 3 hours before closing and could only pick two FP+ selections (and not for EE or FOTLK) even though the park had FP availability for minor attractions. Previously I could have gotten 3-4 in that time frame. How can we get Disney’s attention on this?

    • I’m an annual pass holder and a local and tried to link my cards bu was told that I can’t make any reservations until the day of. I go to Disney every other Saturday. I’m switching to Universal as soon as my passes expire. Keep treating the locals this way Disney and watch us go elsewhere

    • On my most recent trip I was told that they would be getting magic bands by the end of 2014. I agree with you about the bands…i don’t plan to wear one if it’s offered. but it seems like we won’t get the advanced booking until we get the bands. Disney seems to forget the passholders everytime something big like this changes. it’s pretty sad. :(

  • Went and toured MK last Friday (Jan. 3) with some first time guests. I was able to get them through most headliners and made great use of legacy FP for such a crowded day. We were able to get FP 4 times before noon. Plus I got them Dumbo and Town Sq Mickey FP for later in the day along with some very late return time space mountain FP’s. So a total of 7 sets of FP by the time I left them at 1pm.
    I cant imagine with trying to do rope drop and get in line for headliners fast how they would ever have time to stop at a kiosk and get ride reservations for later in the day. Epic fail if you don’t have magic bands… as most locals and AP holders currently do not.

  • It’s the slowest time of the year at the world’s most popular vacation destination. It is a major change…that’s been tested for months and has a couple months until spring breaks kick in to work out kinks. People with a little patience and the willingness to seek help from actual CMs should something go wrong (instead of whining online) will likely find they’re having a very good time…as usual at WDW.
    Seriously, if I had that much anxiety I would just stay home or go somewhere else instead of choosing to work myself into a tizzy.

    • I could not agree more. I am honestly tired of the constant complaining about FPP. Move on people or stay home. Life is full of changes. Embrace it.

      • I agree as well. While I have no data to back this up, I assume Disney is still giving out the same number of FP per day as they always have been. This seems more like an attempt to distribute them to a wider group. It prevents the rope droppers from potentially getting multiple FPs for the same ride, and allows others to arrive late at the park, and still jump right on Soarin’ or Toy Story. (almost like ‘everybody-gets-a-trophy’ mentality)
        Also, this means the FP lines are not going to get longer or shorter. The standby lines probably won’t change much either. As it has always been, the best method will be to use FPs on the must do rides, and get there early for eveything else. I don’t see the sky falling like many nay-sayers are predicting.

  • I am an annual passholder who is an avid park hopper, this new program is for the birds, and frankly not what I bought into. Furthermore I have several park hopper tickets with no expiration dates that my family uses, so they can’t do anything, this isn’t fair, they offer no equitable exchange. They are ruining the experience, there can no longer be spontaneity with any trip. As an annual passholder I went on line to make fast pass+ reservations and they are so late in the day it’s not worth it. And this was during one of the slowest weekdays of the year. If all I get is three, let me have them where I want them, Disney is going way overboard in dictating where people go.

  • Hey Len (and staff)… is it just me or does the FP+ system seem a lot more complex and less convenient than the “Legacy” FP system? If so, then why would they do this? Is there really a benefit to park guests? Or does it just benefit Disney? Or perhaps both?

  • As a pass holder I chose to stay on property which opened up access to advanced fast pass plus reservations. Currently I am a reformed park guest. Long gone are the days of three parks in one day park hopping. I prefer one park per day and enjoying myself. Now my cousin on the other hand wants to park hop and hop. This new system is not conducive for park hopping at all and will take enjoyment away from their Disney experience

  • Will fastpass plus and magic bands kill pin trading? One no longer has a need for a lanyard.

  • This reminds me of when Coke changed their formula. They quickly realized their error and changed back. One can only hope Disney does the same and changes back to the Legacy FP system. It wasn’t broke, so why fix it?

    • There is no going back from this very large monetary boondoggle.

      There are way too many “savings” to Disney.

      But I could walk through WDW on any given day and find SO MANY “wastes” of money. Why do they need to pay staff to stand next to a closed attraction?

  • We will be at Disney next weekend. We are planning on heading to AK Saturday morning and hit Safari and Everest. Heading over to MK after that. ( really annoyed that we have the hopper option, but can’t get fast pass + in multiple parks). Created a personalized touring plan, that starts at noon at MK. However, when I “optimize” it says to start my plan at 9:00. Can’t do this if we need/want to hit AK first. Theory was get those 2 done bright and early and then head to MK with fast pass plus reservations. Thoughts??

    • You should be able to set the start time of a personalized touring plan to noon. You may have too many attractions, or perhaps there is an item on your plan that requires being in the park at 9:00 am? If you are having problems with a specific personalized touring plan, email webmaster@touringplans.com with the web address for your plan, an explanation of the issue, and a request for help.

  • Amy idea how far in advance people staying at the resorts can make fast pass + reservations?

    • If you are staying on site, you can start making FP+ reservations 60 days out. And that’s from your first park day, not check-in.

  • I know it is a big change and will change the way people tour, but honestly with a good touring plan, I rarely used fp anyway. We don’t like backtracking. We went in October and really liked fpp. My biggest fear is that it will change rope drop. What are the chances that the masses catch on and rope drop is no longer a benefit? Any numbers on that from ak yet?

  • I’m not gonna lie, I really liked the original fastpasses, and I liked that anyone who had a ticket and planned well could use them to their advantage. I am sad to see that wonderful system go,especially since I loved taking pictures of my fastpasses because they looked cool!! This system better prove worth it. Since I haven’t used it I can’t say.

  • Most of us have been going to WDW since we were kids…waited in lines for hours until Disney changed their system and gave us the original Fastpass… to allow us to wait less and do more. Now they want to try to change their system again and we read that people want to stop going? As if Fastpass was the reason we were going to WDW in the first place…..

  • The new system significantly degrades the experience for off-site guests like myself, who will be limited to selecting the leftovers from the Fastpass+ kiosks. For now, anyway…at some point they are going to limit the new system to resort guests only and off-sites will have to use standby for everything. Seems like an odd reaction to the competitive pressure they are feeling from Universal Orlando.

  • We always go for 12 days around Thanksgiving–more often onsite, sometimes offsite. Only 3 FastPasses during that time, with 4 kids with very different interests, will be a seriously downgraded experience.

    I’m thinking I’ll drop our Disney trip down to 3 nights onsite–one park per day and then switch offsite and go to Universal, Busch Gardens, Sea World, Legoland, the beach, etc. It will probably save me a ton of money! Not only no more Annual Passes, hoppers are out the door, eating offsite will be the norm, and will be get accommodations 20x better at a third of the price. Maybe this isn’t so bad…?

  • Inevitably, although surprised they went with MK as the 2nd park to try this. I’ve not heard much feedback on how this went at AK – can anyone offer any insight?

    Do we know if the intention is day guests will be able to book FP+ via MyDisneyExperience (ahead of the day of use) in the future like resort guests can now? We are there in May initially onsite then offsite after a cruise but with the same tickets throughout (UK 21 day ticket) so will be interesting to see how the system works with this and whether we get to make reservations for the period after we check out the resort…

    • I think that’s the intention, Andrew, although it remains to be seen how offsite guests with tickets will be able to do this. Perhaps you’ll also be required to register your tickets online?

      • Thanks Len. I’d assume that would be the case (although we will already by in the system and have magic bands from the stay at the start of our holiday). I guess a key issue they might be worried about is people speculatively making FP+ reservations and then not using them – whilst it can and does happen with on-site guests I’d assume the rate of no-shows is significantly lower. Echos of ADRs…

  • My personal favorite part has been waiting in the queue behind people with bands that are early. Waiting for them to scan in, only to find out that they are a few minutes early. With no physical ticket with a time printed on it, many people are forgetting their time window and not checking times to preserve their smartphone batteries for the day. And FP queues have been bottlenecked as a result.

    • We noticed this when we were there in October. Mass confusion at the FP return lines. Some bracelets would scan, some wouldn’t. Some were green while others in the party were red. The FP return entrance went much faster for us legacy FP users. It was quicker to check a time on a paper ticket than to go through the scanning of the bracelet routine.

  • Will you be updating the Two-Day Touring plans, or just the One-Day touring plans for FastPass+ suggestions?

  • I have been following this closely as we have a trip coming up in June. While I can appreciate the concept of FP+, I agree about offering more of them at MK. There are currently 27 options for FP+ at MK. I think they should bump the options up to at least 6. As it is they are limiting the number of “E” attractions by dividing them into groups and allowing only 1 per group.
    I decided to book some different things to whittle down our overall need for FP+s: Character meals remove the need for most character FP+. At HS, we booked the Fantasmic Dinner pkg instead of FP+. At Epcot we booked R&C dinner at 7:45 instead of Illuminations FP+ (did this last time and it worked beautifully). At MK we booked the Dessert Party instead of the Wishes FP+.
    I am thinking that we should book the FP+ during the busy 2pm-8pm busy times, but still be at rope drop and hit the E tickets that we don’t have FP for? To me, this seems to be a good plan so far, but I am concerned about MK. I might book some late FP+ for our first night (which will be a half day)at MK just to be sure, then get 3 more for our full day there.
    We normally would have rested the first night and work the old Fast Pass system (but that was when they didn’t monitor the time return)
    Oh well, I’ll be watching for info!

    • Hey Dena – we’ll have a blog post on Thursday showing which attractions you should prioritize for FP+ at the MK. Also, all of our MK touring plans are updated now with new FP+ suggestions.

  • For the little I could check on historicals, fp+ is giving strange numbers. Like last week, low season, Exp Everest had a 20 minutes stand by line and in the same timeframe, Dinosaur had 60 minutes.
    WHich we all know it’s nos ussual…
    I’m guessing the atractions with less fp preferences in the audience will tend to grow?

    Another thing I was thinking is, remember how when the crowd is most concentrated in a part of the park, so, you request a fp for some atraction and it gives you that fp AND another fast pass for another atraction that’s low on guests? that’s about to desapear as well!

    Can get my head around this change… looks even more awful the more I think about it

  • And one more thing, for those of you saying “why are you complaining” and stuff like that? WDW reads this forums a lot, not only this page’s I mean every forum that’s dedicated to the parks.
    No one is saying wi’ll burn WDW down, we’re just talking pros and cons, give each other advices, brain storming on possible solutions, and mostrly, we’re hoping for them to make some sense on this one…

    It is unanimous for everybody that this fp+ thing kills the park hopper advantage, and WDW is doing that on the year that universal will turn the park to park option a must?

    one can only hope they get it right again before WWOHP opens it’s second park…

  • Has anyone done a split stay? We may start onsite and then move offsite to be with extended family. I am curious what will happen when I am no longer onsite. Can I book FP+ for the full length of my ticket? If I link my tickets to my MB, will the band work after my stay onsite? If not, how does park entry work? Don’t want glitches because of this. Not going until June. Does anyone know how this is working?

  • Hi everybody. Isn’t that “clear as water” to all of you that:
    1) Fastpass plus will be the Express pass for Disney; That means more money to Disney and “benefits” for those staying in property;
    2) Once it is fully implemented, those who ara in-property will have it free and more options than 3 will be available ( if not all),Those who are off site and willing to pay, will be able to ( there should be packages of 3 atractions, 5 , 7 or all in )depending in how much you wanna spend…
    That may reduce the need of extra money spent with early or late entry to in-site guests….think about it.
    Looks like to me almost like pay per attraction , back there in the 70′s !!!! ( but now you pay big to get in !!!! )