Day-Of FastPass+ Availability at Walt Disney World Update

by on May 6, 2015 22 Comments

Filed under: Attractions, Crowd Blog, FastPass+

We did our first blog post on FastPass+ availability back in September 2014. Since then, we started showing FastPass+ availability for the current day and the near future at http://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/fastpass-availability. Now that we have more than a year’s worth of data, we have sufficient information to dig a bit further into the analysis. The tables below show when same-day FastPass+ reservations run out based on crowd level.

FP+ Run Out - Magic KingdomFP+ Run Out - Epcot FP+ Run Out - Hollywood Studios FP+ Run Out - Animal Kingdom

The times listed are  the average time when all FastPass+ reservations ran out for each attraction and crowd level. Before this time it may be difficult to get your preferred return time or the quantity you need. If your group size is limiting your options, try breaking your group into smaller sizes and getting FastPass+ reservations that overlap.

A reasonable assumption would be that as crowds increase, the time when FastPass+ reservations run out would decrease. This holds up for the headliner attractions, but not so much for the lower tiered attractions. For the lower tiered attractions, the FastPass+ depletion time is more a function of when the park closes than the crowd level. The data also support the theory that Disney holds back some FastPass+ reservations for day-of guests: even if you see no availability in advance, you may find that availability once you’re in the park.

This analysis suggests that you can be somewhat spontaneous and make changes at the last moment. My last trip was over Presidents’ Day week, the crowds were high, and I was able to make FastPass+ changes every morning.

What has been your experience with using day-of reservations? Did you make changes? Were you able to get additional FastPasses after your initial 3?

Posted on May 6, 2015

22 Responses to “Day-Of FastPass+ Availability at Walt Disney World Update”

  • I’m confused by this chart. Fastpasses run out LATER in the day when the crowd level is higher?

    • A reasonable assumption would be that as crowds increase, the time when FastPass+ reservations run out would decrease. This holds up for the headliner attractions, but not so much for the lower tiered attractions. For the lower tiered attractions, the FastPass+ depletion time is more a function of when the park closes than the crowd level.

    • I would guess that a lot of those 1 and 2 crowd level days at MK coincide with hard ticket events when the park closes at 7pm.

  • This is incredibly helpful. What I’m astounded by is how early the FP+ for nighttime spectaculars get snatched up. This has to be a contributing factor to the increased availability of other attractions on day of, because so many people with Wishes or Illuminations FPs are locked into their selections, correct (or at least those people who choose it as one of the original three)? That has to help the rest of us.

    • I think most people choose not to use the Kiosks. Either they don’t know they can get additional FastPasses after they use their 3, or find the Kiosks to much of an inconvenience to try. If people could use their phones, the availability would deplete faster.

      • by jaystemple on May 6, 2015, at 9:20 am EDT

        …or they (like me) see people waiting in line to avid waiting in a line.
        Literally, I see people standing in a line that could take them 15-20 minutes to get additional fast passes… All so they can save 15 to 20 minutes in line for a ride.

        • Which is weird to me, because through several visits, I have yet to wait for a kiosk more than 2 minutes

  • We just went to Magic Kingdom over President’s Day, and did not have any advanced FPs. One issue is that the FPs we received were all for late in the day, so we ended up not getting more than 3 for the day. It was not a huge issue, since the park was open late we rode everything we wanted to ride.

  • So if I make FPP selections in advance when I arrive at the park in the morning do I have access to FP they have held back for day of guests or do I need to visit a kiosk to have access to those?

    • I would first check your phone and see if availabilty opened up. If that does not work, check the Kiosks. I have seen where My Disney Experience and the Kiosks shows different availability.

  • This is a great chart! Thanks! Glad I booked my FPs in advance. Any day-of FPs I might be able to score I’ll consider icing on the cake.

  • by Bryan Klinck on May 6, 2015, at 9:08 am EDT

    Great analysis! Do you have sufficient data now that you could make predictions for a given date in the future, taking into account both the predicted CL and the park closing time? That would be a really cool addition to the Crowd Calendar.

  • Great chart concept but one tweak to make it more useful change the numbers to hours before close. It is deceptive to do it by actual time as on busier nights the parks are open later so you get the weird distorted effect of busier times seeming to run out later due to longer hours and vice-versa.

  • by Kathy Lowe on May 6, 2015, at 10:10 am EDT

    This is very interesting data. We were at the World last week and found that we were able to make several changes to our FastPasses during each day tht we were there. Since we were mostly interested in mid-late afternoon FastPasses, this worked out well for us. I agree that if we didn’t have to use the kiosks for additional FastPasses and could use our phones to get them, I would be more inclined to try for extra ones.

  • We were at WDW over Spring Break and got the magical 4th FP autoadded. It was for certain attractions to use at anytime. Very fun. We did not have any luck trying to change FPs but crowd levels were 9s and 10s. The funny thing was that it got really cool at night and then we were able to walk on most attractions at MK (not 7DMT or Peter Pan) so we didn’t even need a FP+

  • by Cheesehead Dave on May 6, 2015, at 11:02 am EDT

    Is this something you could incorporate into the Touring Plans, i.e. if one of the attractions has a >15 minute predicted wait time and the chart predicts that there should be FP+ availability at a kiosk, add a reminder note to the TP to say “Check for FP+ availability!”

    • by David Davies on May 6, 2015, at 4:53 pm EDT

      Good idea! We are planning to incorporate FastPass+ Availability statistics into our touring plan software. What form that will take and when that will happen are to be determined.

    • That would be extremely helpful. I have been running my own analysis of FP+ availability after 12p and adding that very statement to each attraction for which I wanted additional FP+’s. It would be great if TP did that for me! It would also be helpful to add a note onto each park’s plan as to where the FP+ kiosks are located. I copied and pasted this info into each of my plans, but it was a little time consuming.

      This was a great article and, as always, very helpful!

  • Thank you for the great article!

    It would be great if you could incorporate the expected slot time of the available FPs based upon time of day, assuming same day FPs would be more available towards the end of day (although not sure if this applies as my first FPs+ experience will be in September), this could potentiallly allow to maximize FPs use as per previous system if first 3 FPs are used early in the day.

  • I was in Disney at the end of September. It was an “odd” week to say the least between the torrential down pours that last for hours at a time and pretty high wait times considering it’s “off” season. We had a great time and it was our first time going in off season – always went during spring break or early summer. The stand by times we experienced were very similar to spring break. I am not sure if this truly was an “odd” week or if Disney doesn’t offer the same ride capacity in slow season as it does during peak season?

    With that being said, we had no problem booking additional fast passes after we used our first three. We employed the strategy that we are in the off season, so get the fast passes for late morning/early afternoon and then go back for multiples. We had no problems getting fast passes at any of the parks. I think we got a total of 6 at HS and 7 at MK (this of course includes our 3 from the app). Of course certain headliners weren’t available, but we had no problem getting something that we liked. Towards evening the kiosks were EMPTY. It’s almost like people didn’t know you could keep going back for more? We felt as though availability was the same as before under the old fast pass program BUT we didn’t have to run half way across the park then back to get a fast pass. A lot of people say it takes away from the spontaneity but for us it actually allowed more free leisure time instead of the hustle and bustle back and forth!

    We are going again over Memorial Day weekend and we’ve employed the same strategy. I am pregnant now, so it’s like not I can go on headliners that run out of fast passes super quickly during peak seasons. Looking at MK especially I feel comfortable that we’ll be ok!

  • I’m jumping way ahead here and we go in 2016. It would be great to see a day by day analysis seeing as there is over 12 months data now. It could help in choosing what to specifically prebook in advance and what likely to be available p/day on the day. If you know what I mean?

    • You look at a the anticipated crowd level for your date in the future and match it up with the chart. Day to day wouldn’t be the same as May 9th in 2015 may not have the same crowd level as May 9th in 2016.