New FastPass+ Changes Coming Soon to Walt Disney World

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On Monday, Disney rolled out FastPass+ to all guests. Now anyone with valid park admission can make advance attraction reservations, but the testing of this new system continues.

Currently, Disney is working on two new enhancements to the FastPass+ experience. This is proof that Disney is listening to guest feedback about this new service, as both of these changes address common complaints about the FastPass+ system.

The first problem being addressed is the limited number of FastPass+ entitlements that guests receive in a day. Currently that number sits at three. Disney is working to add the ability for guests to book additional FastPass+ reservations during their visits. (Yay!) Here’s how it will eventually work. Once guests have used their original three FastPass+ reservations, they will be able to head to a FastPass+ kiosk (which can be found throughout the park) and add a fourth choice. This fourth FastPass entitlement will then be a rolling entitlement. As soon as guests use this fourth FastPass+ reservation, they can then go back to a FastPass+ kiosk to select yet another FastPass+, and so on.

The other issue that Disney is currently working on deals with the ability to make FastPass+ reservations in more than one park in a single day. Currently, guests who Park Hop cannot make FastPass+ reservations in all the parks they choose to visit; they can only make reservations in a single park. This will change. as Disney is adding a Park Hopping feature to FastPass+. (Yay, again!)

Currently, there is no official timeline that has been announced, but be on the lookout for these changes to take place over the next few months. We’ll make sure to keep you posted as the perks get rolled out.

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Posted on April 2, 2014

40 Responses to “New FastPass+ Changes Coming Soon to Walt Disney World”

  • Great update. Presumably you will also be able to book the fourth pass using the MyDisney App rather than having to go to a kiosk?

    • Disney specifically said that guests will need to head to the kiosks in the announcement. Whether that changes eventually, it will have to be seen.

      • Not much of an improvement if they make you go visit the kiosks. Yeah, sometimes there are no lines for the kiosks, but it is a pain compared to just doing it on my phone. At the very least, you should be able to do it through the app (as well as the park hop ressies) if you are staying at a WDW resort.

    • When this “enhancement” was active in (unannounced) in-park tests in January and March, it specifically required use of the kiosk rather than one of the online systems. In the case of park-hopping, this may have been so that they could guarantee the guest had actually gone to the park in which they were securing the additional FP reservations.
      But as we have seen that much of the new system has initially rolled out in a restrictive manner and then been relaxed after an initial shakeout period, it seems entirely plausible that online access would follow at some point.

      • We went just a couple weeks ago and were able to do everything online which was wonderful. Not sure if only a few were allowed to do this…

        • *Very* interesting – just to confirm – you were able to use the app to get a fourth (or fifth) FP reservation in one day? That would be the first I’ve heard of getting the additional reservations at other than a kiosk.
          (And was it in the same park as the original three, or in a different park?)

          • No, sorry, we didn’t get any additional fastpasses but were able to reserve our 3 fpp’s online days ahead of time for each of the 4 parks we visited (even as non-resort guests). However there were always long lines at all the kiosks and Disney employees were around to inform others of the fpp kiosks.

      • “In the case of park-hopping, this may have been so that they could guarantee the guest had actually gone to the park in which they were securing the additional FP reservations.”

        Doesn’t having USED the FastPasses pretty much guarantee that you were in the park?

  • I agree with Claire. This is a great update, but I imagine the lines at the FastPass+ kiosks getting awfully long (is there a FastPass+ option to skip the kiosk line?) It’d be great it they added it to the MDE App to help reduce that bottleneck. But it’s a step in the right direction!

    • This is a concern. Seems to me that picking a kiosk that is further into the park becomes even more important under this new scenario. We’ve already seen pictures on the TP blog that the kiosks at the front of the park are jammed, while those at the back are vacated.

      So now, any future touring plans should not only have the timing of when to book another FPP, but also the kiosk location at which to reserve it! LOL!

      • Perhaps though, later in the day after everyone has used their three “pre-planned” fastpasses, the lines might not be as congested. Who knows…

        • I am going to take a wild guess and say that now that Disney has allowed off-site guests the ability to make advanced FastPass+ reservations, the kiosks may not be so swamped. Sure, there will be some that are, but what kept them constantly busy were the off-site guests who could only make day of reservations. People should be able to make their fourth rotating FP+ reservation with hopefully a much less lengthy wait now. Just a hunch. I could be dead wrong.

  • Sometimes too much technology is a bad thing. I still think the old, paper, “legacy” fastpass system worked just fine. I think this new system over complicates the entire concept! I’m sure Disney has devised a way to (eventually) increase revenue with this system. Otherwise, why bother investing all the money into it?

  • It’s nice that Disney is listening to feedback and continues to make tweaks to the system. It’s by no means perfect, but these will be welcome changes. I’m wondering if they’re requiring the trip to the kiosks as a way to ensure that the guest is still in the park, thus making it more likely they’ll USE the fastpass they booked? Just a thought…

  • My initial thought: you would never want to use a FastPass+ for an evening event (Fantasmic, fireworks/parades, etc.) anymore – correct? If you can only access the extra passes after the original three are used, then this would change the prior Touring Plans advice (as I understood it) to schedule the FastPass+’s for later in the day (while enduring what lines there are earlier). It would appear to make more sense to use the first 3 FastPass+ early, then take advantage of additional passes you need later in the day. Thoughts?

    • We had a dining reservation at Brown Derby so we could get our FP for Fantasmic, instead of using up 1 of the 3 FP’s. Worked out great, but $$$! Some of the other restaurants have that, too. At Magic Kingdom, we loved the fireworks dessert party at Tomorrowland Terrace (same reason – not to give up an FP). My 1st thought to the article was with you on the fact that we should try for early FP’s, so we still have time to use a 4th! Problem is, when planning the day, some rides were only available after dinner hours. We’ll see how this plays out!

    • That is something I hadn’t considered… Hmm.

      I suppose that’s the trade off— since you can pretty well guarantee that you’ll be able to see parades or fireworks, though not necessarily from a good vantage point. (Of course, that doesn’t exactly hold true with Fantasmic.)

      But yeah, it would be nice if they exempted the evening parades/shows/fireworks from that necessity.

    • Would not be surprised if FP reservations for those evening events would be treated differently. You use your FP for Toy Story and Tower of Terror, and then since your only remaining FP is for an evening “event”, you are now eligible to reserve additional FP

      Such an approach might actually make those evening reservations more desirable, as one could schedule a fourth reservation that much earlier in the day.

  • What about which rides that can be picked? For example, when my siblings went in Dec they were only allowed to choose a FastPass+ for Soarin OR Test Track. Would we now be able to go to the kiosk and pick the one we didn’t schedule on-line?

  • Blake, I am also wondering what affect this will have on evening event FPs. I would think that if you really wanted a parade FP, you will probably have to settle on three FPs for the day.

    • I could see if you were deadset on getting a Wishes FPP, you’d have to settle for three. However, my guess is that fewer people will want Wishes FPP for this reason, and you could probably grab one as your 4th or 5th FPP option day of.

  • So basically, they’re bringing back traditional fastpass without having to admit they were wrong when they got rid of it in the first place. The only difference is that you have to us up your first 3 FP+ before you can get them. Now there’s more of an incentive to schedule your 3 FP+ before noon.

    The bottom line is that the people who “get” the system will make it work and the people who don’t are destined to wait in lines like dummies. Congratulations. Even more of a reason for me to never visit the World during peak times.

    • Agree with you, Howie.

      And actually, what Disney does in this move is to make staying at their resorts even more valuable. For example, I can schedule my 3 FP+ before noon for my stay at the Polynesian in June more easily because of the 60 day window than an AP holder or a off-site guest can who makes their FP+ choices from 30 days in advance up to the day in the park. Thus, I would conceivably be eligible for more FP+ options, since I have a head start on reserving.

      • Exactly. It’s a thinly-veiled caste system made to look like Disney democracy. And a brilliant move on their part–if they can pull it off.

      • Ah, but then you run into the problem my co-worker did when he and his family visited MK for one day in early March with little pre-planning on staying offsite.

        They arrived at about 11:15 am (so, say, the same kind of time you would be looking to now add a 4th FP+ time).

        They went to book their 3 FP+ times at one of the kiosks. After waiting through a 45 minute line they got to the kiosk at about noon. The only available slots for some of the headline rides was **11 PM**. Yeah, not working with little kids. So, they chose lesser rides and braved rhe standby line for some headliners.

        But if you had done your 3 FP+ and were now wanting to book your 4th (at noon-ish) and the only slot was for 11PM (when the standby line may be shorter anyway), does it do much good do have a 4th ??

        Booking the FP+ to make it *work* requires a lot of strategy, and probably not going on tier 1 rides more than once via FP+.

    • One difference would be Disney having more of an idea ahead of time on fastpass use wouldn’t it?
      Also instead of running for that first fastpass, perhaps they think people will spend more time/money on the way through the front of the park.

  • So what is the point to staying on property then if everyone who has a ticket is being issued fastpass+ options – the benefit of staying on property used to be that you were the ONLY ones that had a fastpass option- so now I am restricted on the number of rides I can use my fastpass for when before if I did it right – I could have rode Splash Mountain up to 3 times a day with fastpasses, Space Mountain the same and others – by handling my fastpass times correctly. So now – outside of the the buses – I am staying on property to be treated like everyone else????

    • Actually, traditional FastPasses have always been available to every guest with a ticket. The only time where they have been restricted to just on-site guests was the last few months as they were rolling out FP+. The only in-park benefit that resort guests got over off-site guests was Extra Magic Hours.

      • I hope they keep the magic hours!
        I still think that at some point resort people will get extra FPs, and the higher end resorts will get more – so a tiered system tied to resort level.

  • I have to wonder if they’re seeing a large amount of unused FastPasses at certain times in the day and they’re rolling this out to try to fill those gaps in.

    Honestly, I’m perfectly happy for it. I know it’s nothing guaranteed, but it’s at least the opportunity to continue to get FastPasses— it’s giving us something in addition to the new system, and doesn’t appear to be at the cost of something else. Most of all, it’s not adding some new restriction— if people don’t want to do it, they don’t have to. So, I’m willing to give it a shot!

  • Questions: how will this work in a tiered park like Epcot? Since Test Track and Soarin’ are in the same tier, will I get to ride Test Track using a fourth Fastpass if I have already used one of my 3 original Fastpasses to ride Soarin’? Also, how does Disney allot the Fastpasses? Could all the a.m. Fastpass times for a ride on a particular day be booked by on-site resort guests using their 60 day window before off-site and AP guests have a chance to book theirs within their 30 day window (also leaving none for day guests). Disney must control this somehow….any idea how, and what those numbers or percentages look like?

  • I’d hope that they also allow people to select less than three too. I have a toddler so when I go to the parks I really don’t need 3 fast passes at Epcot or DHS (at least given the tiers). I feel bad that I’m forced to take 1 or 2 that I won’t use and possibly take one away from another person.
    I do think this is great for Magic Kingdom (the only park where I really think more than 3 is necessary / useful given the tiers)

  • Ok… one more question. Let’s say I go to Hollywood Studios. I use my Toy Story FP, my Tower of Terror FP, and Star Tours FP. Could I then get a RnRC FP?

    If I can get a RnRC FP, what if the only rides I was interested in were Toy Story, Tower of Terror, and RocknRoller Coaster? Would I be forced to ride Star Tours to burn up my 3rd FP before I was allowed to book RnRC?

  • Best news ever!

  • I’m curious if after you’ve used your 3 FP+, can you use your 4th on a ride that was one of the first 3? For example if one of the first 3 was for SM, could the 4th (and 5th, 6th etc) also be for SM?

  • I finally got to use the FP+ system during Spring Break 2014. Normally, I only NEED one or two passes. However, I see so many of these non-headliner attractions with a lot of capacity still unused. Also, the show Fastpasses are actually very helpful, especially in Magic Kingdom!
    So in that vein, I am excited to see more FP+, because I really enjoyed opening my smartphone and just finding a random thing to do. This is great news!

  • I’m very interested to see how this shakes out. We have a trip coming up: May 28-June 5th. We’re staying at AKV Kidani and BLT, so I literally *just* finished optimizing our Fastpass+ selections under the current rules this past weekend. I have quite a few scheduled in the afternoon/evening. If the new Fastpass+ rules roll out in time for our trip, and they play out as suggested, I’m going to be making a lot of changes for early morning Fastpass+ selections!