FastPass+

FastPass+ Availability at Walt Disney World – Update 2

by on May 5, 2017

 

This is the third blog post on day-of FastPass+ availability. The first blog post was in 2014, and the second in 2015. In the three-plus years since FastPass+ was introduced at Walt Disney World, we have been tracking the availability of FastPass+ reservations. The last major change in the FastPass+ process is the that you can reserve additional FastPass+ reservations through Disney’s MyDisneyExperiance app. This is a significant improvement over having to stand in line at in-park kiosks. This also means that additional FastPass+ reservations are being grabbed up by more guests. For FastPass+ overview, tips, and advice go to https://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/fastpass.

By using the FastPass+ system, we and others have observed that reservation slots can come and go quickly. The tables below show the average time when availability runs out. It is possible that a FastPass+ reservation may pop up, but it is unlikely. The gray cells show the number of days in advance that FastPass+ reservations sell out.

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Using My Disney Experience: Do’s and Do Not’s

by on December 16, 2016

My Disney Experience: it’s the Walt Disney World vacation necessity! Your My Disney Experience account links together your ticket media, resort reservations, dining reservations, FastPass+ selections, and PhotoPass pictures. That’s a lot! With all this data to handle, My Disney Experience mistakes can and do occur for many guests.

Making FastPass+ Selections in My Disney Experience. Using character avatars helps you make sure you're using your Family and Friends' actual accounts.

Making FastPass+ Selections in My Disney Experience. Using character avatars helps you make sure you’re using your Family and Friends’ actual accounts.

Your vacation depends on its smooth operation, so getting your My Disney Experience account details right is an important part of your planning. This means everything from log-in and email notifications, to setting up your Family and Friends. If you’re getting started at home, you have time to play with the website and app, getting used to the interface. If you rush through the set-up, you might make a mistake which costs you time later.

Still, even the most careful planner can get caught by a quirk within My Disney Experience (known as MDX by Cast Members).  Here are some My Disney Experience do’s and don’ts, to help you plan a smooth, fun and maybe even relaxing Walt Disney World vacation.

Don’t: Make a new account because you forgot your password.

When you are prompted to set up your My Disney Experience account, you enter an email. If you’ve ever used that email for any Disney-owned account, from ESPN to Pixie Hollow, MDX is looking for the same password you used for that account. So if you enter in your primary email address on the first day you decide to use My Disney Experience, and are immediately prompted for a password you don’t remember, stop! Take the time to reset the password, even if it means calling in for assistance. Why is this so important?

Well, it’s mostly for your own convenience. If you use a secondary email address, at a certain point you’ll probably forget you were using it. Then, you’ll get important communications from Disney about your reservation, which you’ll miss because you didn’t get them in your primary email account. Disney uses your email for notifications about your reservations. For example: you might get a notification your FastPass+ reservation for The Jungle Cruise has been canceled due to weather, and you now have an additional FastPass+ to use on a specific set of rides in its place. 

There’s also the matter of duplicate accounts. If you create a second MDX account because your forgot a password, then inadvertently use your other email on reservations or to purchase tickets, you might create a duplicate version of yourself… and you really don’t want to do that! We’ll talk more on duplicates in a minute.

When you set up your resort reservation, be sure to enter everyone's names and ages correctly. This will matter when buying tickets and making FastPass+.

When you set up your resort reservation, be sure to enter everyone’s names and ages correctly. This will matter when buying tickets and making FastPass+. If you mark your children as adults to save time, you’ll make it up later when you’re trying to buy children’s tickets for them!

So take time to get your account set-up correctly the first time… right down to your children’s ages, if you have kids. That information will feed into your attempts to purchase many other vacation pieces, including resort reservations and theme park tickets.

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FastPass+ and Magic Kingdom Parties

by on September 6, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

A common question we get asked is if you can make FastPass+ reservations during a Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The technical answer is: no. Once a party starts at 7:00 pm, all attractions will only have their stand-by queues open. With a limited number of guest attending the party and special party activities, the lines generally don’t get too long.

FastPAss+You can, however, make FastPass+ reservations before a party starts and still take advantage of them with your party ticket. With that ticket, you are allowed to enter the Magi Kingdom anytime after 4:00 pm, but the park doesn’t close to day guests until 7:00 pm. You could easily get two or more FastPass+ selections in that 3-hour window. The last FastPass+ reservation you can make is 6:30 pm; if, for some reason, the Disney website lets you book a later FastPass+ reservation it is likely it will be canceled, so don’t fall for that.

dress for success

Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – (c) Disney

But don’t you need a park ticket to make FastPass+ selections you ask? Yes and no. While you do need park admission, your Halloween or Christmas party ticket will also allow you access to My Disney Experience to make FastPass+ selections. To further sweeten this pot, if you are going to use another park admission before 4:00 pm, you can use that ticket to make another set of FastPass+ reservations. But there is a catch, My Disney Experience will not recognize that you are going to use two tickets on one day and does not know you are eligible to two sets of FastPass+ reservations.

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Daisy’s Best Week Ever August 25, 2016: Magic Kingdom, and Epcot, and DISNEYLAND. Oh my!

by on August 25, 2016

Hello, my lovebugs! I’m so excited to be able to share this week with you. Hopefully I’ll be getting back into rotation with the team moving forward, so we’ll be seeing a lot more of each other! This week I visited the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and had a surprise two night adventure at Disneyland. (I know, right??) So let’s get started with one of my favorite views in the Magic Kingdom.

1

I know, it’s a bathroom, but doesn’t it look majestic? Of course, I was excited to see anything after 67 days away from the parks. We decided to downgrade to silver passes this year and while I had a couple of tough days missing my “home” over the summer, it was overall a positive experience. I think we’ll continue with passes at this level in future years. What would you do? Do you think we’re crazy skipping the summer and peak holidays? Let me know in the comments.

There’s so much more to see – click to read more. 🙂

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Taking Your Parents to Walt Disney World: The Interview

by on June 29, 2016

Copyright Claire Nat 2016After a whole year of planning and preparation, my parents and I took our week-long trip to Orlando at the beginning of June! It was hot, it was muggy, and we endured a heavy dose of Tropical Storm Colin, but we had a great time!

But don’t take my word for it; I’ll let my parents speak for themselves!

Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 before you read on! A big thanks to Jan from MEI and MouseFan Travel for setting up our resort and dining reservations and tickets!

 

Overall, how did this trip to Orlando go compared to previous trips you took in 1988, 1995, and 2000?
Dad: We certainly did more and had a better idea about what we were doing in advance, which made the whole trip successful.
Mom: I think I enjoyed this trip a bit more than all the others because it was based solely on what we wanted to do and we didn’t have to accommodate any small children. I always loved seeing the attractions through the eyes of my children, but this time I got to be the kid!

Copyright Claire Nat 2016What was your favorite part of the whole week?
Dad: I enjoyed the unexpected diamonds in the rough – Captain Jack’s Pirate Tutorial, The Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, the Dapper Dans – things I wasn’t expecting to enjoy so much.
Mom: This was tough! My sentimental favorite attraction is it’s a small world because I was at the 1964 World’s Fair when the ride debuted.

What was your least favorite part of the whole week? 
Dad: Waiting so long for Fantasmic, only to have it canceled 30 minutes before showtime. (That was the night that Tropical Storm Colin came through.)
Mom: My exhaustion in the heat. I wish I could someday visit Florida in any other season than summer. I also thought Stitch’s Great Escape was a waste of time. (Author’s note: I did warn them!)

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Disney Makes Change to FastPass+ Reservations

by on May 18, 2016

MagicBandDisney has decided to adjust the time in which Guests can begin to make their FastPass+ reservations for their vacations. Prior to today, Guests were able to book their reservations beginning at 12:00 a.m. EST in advance of their trip, however, as of today, the FastPass+ selection window will now be open for Guests at 7:00 a.m. EST within their applicable window.

The manner in which FastPass+ selections are made will still remain the same. Guests who are staying onsite at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel will still have the ability to make their FastPass+ reservations up to 60 days in advance and Guests who are staying off-site, but have their ticket medium purchased will continue to be able to book reservations up to 30 days prior.

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Walt Disney World FastPass+ Strategy Update

by on May 4, 2016

Kiosks? We don't need no stinkin' kiosks!

Kiosks? We don’t need no stinkin’ kiosks!

Remember a couple of months ago when we released a three part series on Disney’s FastPass+ service at Walt Disney Worldhow to use it, the best strategy for getting the most out of it, and then hacks and tips to make it even better? Well, Disney had to go and enhance the service, rendering some of our advice outdated. Well, consider it outdated no more. Read on to find out how these changes impact the process of making your picks, and the strategy to using the FastPass+ system!

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Big Changes for FastPass+ at Walt Disney World

by on April 9, 2016

MagicBand / FastPass+ / My Disney ExperienceMyMagic+ and FastPass+ have been ever evolving for the Walt Disney World Resort. Tweaks and changes to both programs have occurred due to demands of how Guests wished to utilize the technology, including allowing Guests to make a fourth rolling FastPass, changes in the tiering system, being able to make reservations at a park you park-hopped to, and more. Throughout the years, news and tips about FastPass+ have been plentiful and the questions have been many and varied.

Well, today I bring more news that I think will be greatly appreciated. Going forward, Disney is going to be making it easier to make and customize FastPass+ choices.

Beginning this Sunday, Guests will now no longer need to visit a kiosk to make their fourth rolling FastPass+ choice. Instead, Guests will now be able to use the My Disney Experience app to make additional selections after your first three FastPass+ reservations have been used. (Hooray!) Guests may still choose to visit a FastPass+ kiosk, which will still be located in strategic locations around the four theme parks, if they so choose. Let me tell you though, it will be great to finally be able to make the additional choices on my phone going forward.

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The Magic Kingdom with ride breakdowns and limited FastPass+ options

by on March 18, 2016

MBig Thunder (4)y visit to the Magic Kingdom last Sunday could have been a disaster. I waited too long to make FastPass+ reservations, for one thing. When I did – three days before my trip – none were available for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and only late afternoon reservations remained for most Fantasyland attractions. Even worse, there were 3 long ride breakdowns during the day I visited – at Pirates, Big Thunder, and the Peoplemover – that would have been hard to handle without a computer to adjust my plan. But it gave us some great ideas for improving the Optimizer, our touring plan software. Here’s how my day unfolded.

Before I left, I made a copy of our standard Magic Kingdom One-Day Touring Plan for Adults. The Magic Kingdom was open from 9 AM to 10 PM, and we’d predicted a crowd level of 6 on our 1-to-10 crowd calendar. I was able to get these FastPasses:

Space Mountain at 9:15 AM

Big Thunder Mountain at 10:15 AM

Peter Pan’s Flight at 5:05 PM

I also set the touring plan walking speed to its fastest setting, and told it to minimize waiting in line. Here’s the touring plan the Optimizer came up with:

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Disney Hacks #3: FastPass+ Hacks & Advanced Tips

by on March 8, 2016

disney hacksOK, so you know what FastPass+ is, you know how to use it, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of how to get the most out of it? Now you’re looking to crank it up to 11 and take this ninja level, right?  

First of all, full disclosure, the glory days of being able to hoard multiple FastPasses and then use them at the end of the day in a headliner free-for-all are unfortunately behind us, and there’s nothing in here that reaches that level of awesomeness. Moreover, everything here falls squarely within Disney’s rules and practices. With that said, information is power, and knowing what it will and will not let you do can help you make the most of it, and hopefully do some things you hadn’t considered. 

Split Your Party to Get Hard-to-Get FastPass+ Reservations

Sometimes, you’ll try to make a FastPass+ reservation for an attraction for your group and there’s simply nothing available (this is probably most frequent when trying to make reservations on relatively short notice for in-demand attractions). Before you relegate yourself to waiting in the regular line like a plebeian, you might try splitting your group into smaller groups to see if that changes the availability.

©Disney

©Disney

For example, let’s say that you have a party of 4, and you want to experience the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, but the FastPass+ system is telling you that there’s no availability. It could be that they don’t have an hour of time for a party of four, but they might for two groups of two, or even four single reservations. Accordingly, try breaking your party down into smaller groups and see if that changes the availability. Moreover, those time blocks for the smaller groups might overlap, such that you could still experience the attraction together (e.g., if one window starts at 1 pm and the other starts at 1:30, there is a 50 minute window, including the grace periods, where both groups could ride at the same time).

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