Day-Of FastPass+ Availability at Walt Disney World

Getting a “Fourth” FastPass+ (and Beyond)

One of the first changes to the FastPass+ program was the ability to make more  FastPass+ selections after using your first set of advance reservations. Besides being able to get more FastPasses, this lets you get FastPass+ options that may not have been available to you previously. (For example, the advance FastPass “tiering” rules at Epcot and the Studios aren’t in effect for your 4th FastPass+ selection and beyond, nor is the once-per-attraction restriction.)

This means you have to choose a strategy. The two most common options are:

  1. Book your advance FastPass+ reservations early in the day and have more time for “extra” FastPass+ selections,
  2. Schedule your advance FastPass+ reservations during the busiest time of the day and use the standby lines early in the day, when the wait times are lower

To make this choice, it helps to know each attraction’s day-of FastPass+ availability.

The table below shows attractions that have availability throughout the day.

Magic Kingdom Epcot Hollywood Studios Animal Kingdom
Mad Tea Party
Barnstormer
Winnie the Pooh
it’s a small world
Magic Carpets
Under the Sea
Town Square Tinker Bell
Haunted Mansion
Buzz Lightyear
Dumbo
PhilharMagic
Jungle Cruise
Tomorrowland Speedway
Laugh Floor
Turtle Talk
Seas with Nemo
Spaceship Earth
Captain EO
Muppet*Vision 3D
Beauty & Beast
Great Movie Ride
It’s Tough to Be a Bug
Primeval Whirl

 

The chart below shows the attractions where FastPass+ selections run out the quickest. The chart shows the probability of FastPass+ reservations still being available at a specific time of day. These probabilities are for groups of 1 and will be lower as the group size increases.

FPP2

The analysis is based on 1.2 million day-of FastPass+ reservations available since June 2014. Attractions not in the above table or chart fall somewhere in between the two: their FastPass+ selections will run out, but not as quickly as the attractions in the chart. An upcoming version of our Personalized Touring Plan software will incorporate this FastPass+ availability analysis. In addition to recommending which three FastPass+ selections to make in advance, the software will determine if additional FastPass+ reservations will be available and whether they should be used in your touring plan.

FastPass+ Availability Factors

Many people assume that at midnight, 60 days out, all FastPass+ selections are available. The problem is that on the 60-day mark you can make FastPass+ reservations for your entire trip. This means that other guests arriving before you have already had the opportunity to make FastPass+ reservations on your vacation dates. As a result, the hard-to-get FastPass+ reservations may not be available, esepecially early in your trip.

Another factor that plays into getting FastPass+ reservations is your party size: it is harder to find a reservation for a large group than for a single guest. One strategy is to make your initial FastPass+ selections for a subset of your party and then copy the FastPass+ selections to the other members. In my case, I was not able to select Seven Dwarfs Mine Train for 4 people. But when I lowered my party size to 3, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was available. When I copied the FastPass+ selection to the fourth person, My Disney Experience found an overlapping FastPass+ reservation. This strategy does not always work: the Disney software will randomly insert a different attraction if it cannot fulfill the copy request.

With these overlapping selections, all 4 members of my party can ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train between 3:25 PM and 4:15 PM
With these overlapping selections, all 4 members of my party can ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train between 3:25 PM and 4:15 PM

One of the major complaints about FastPass+ is that guests “have to” make their FastPass+ reservations 30 days (or 60 days, for those staying in Disney hotels) prior to their vacations. For most attractions, there is still good availability a few days prior to your visit. This does not apply on a very busy day, or for the Frozen meet and greet at Princess Fairytale Hall and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attractions (both at Magic Kingdom).

How has been your experience making FastPass+ reservations? Have you had any luck getting useful “extra” FastPass+ selections (beyond the first three) in the park?

Steve Bloom

By helping TouringPlans.com continue to reach the most accurate crowd level predictions, Steve finally found a way to meld his training in statistical analysis with a lifelong passion for Disney. He first visited the Magic Kingdom in 1972, just a few months after it opened. Now he enjoys frequent trips with his two kids. At age four his son insisted on wearing cowboy boots to reach the height requirement for Test Track, and his daughter believes that a smoked turkey leg and Dole Whip make a perfectly balanced meal. Even though she doesn't quite get it, Steve's wife is supportive of his Disney activities.

41 thoughts on “Day-Of FastPass+ Availability at Walt Disney World

  • September 16, 2014 at 6:39 am
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    Made all my fastpasses well in advance, didnt use any of them, im on vacation, pre planning did not work for me

  • September 16, 2014 at 6:54 am
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    I’m just making sure. So on the first line is the chart saying that there is roughly a 90% chance that you can get a fast pass for Thunder Mountain at 9am?

    • September 16, 2014 at 7:57 am
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      Correct. If you went to a kiosk or the Disney website, Big Thunder Mountain will still be available at 9am, 90% of the time. At noon there is only a 46% chance that Big Thunder Mountain will be available.

      • September 16, 2014 at 8:33 am
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        This chart is a big help in pre-planning. I preplanned our fast passes on our Jan 2014 trip and it worked well for us especially that first evening which was a Sunday on Martin Luther King weekend. Now that I know the best times to fast pass (oh dear, fast pass is now a verb) it will be even better. It’s great knowing you can basically just walk up, swipe your band and wait very little time for your favorites. Will you be adding days of the week? (I assume that might make a difference).

    • September 16, 2014 at 8:36 am
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      I would bet that is for people doing day trips or not getting their tickets until they arrive.

  • September 16, 2014 at 7:56 am
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    I really can’t say enough bad things about fast pass +. We used it on our trip in August. If we hadn’t stayed in a WDW resort, I can only imagine it would have been worse. Not one good thing to say about it. And I am the BIGGEST planner! I’ve used touring plans every trip. In fact, it made the touring plans useless. Even when we optimized and put in our FP+ times. Hope Disney figures this one out or many life long Disney fans may be turned away.

  • September 16, 2014 at 8:34 am
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    Honestly, I’ve had a pretty good experience with it so far. At 60 days out, I was able to book everything I wanted and for the exact times I wanted them for our upcoming trip. We were part of the FPP test last September and had a great experience with it then too (although we were able to use paper fastpasses with FPP last trip). I’m looking forward to trying it out again in November. Thanks for the helpful information on picking additional ones.

  • September 16, 2014 at 8:42 am
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    I went back and forth with my plans whether to do fastpass+ early in the day and try to get a 4th pass or get prime time passes to avoid lines later in the day. I opted for best times and it has worked out for me. I am on day 6 of our vacation today and have only had to change times once. I use standby lines early in the day when crowds are low and fast passes later on or at another park when I decided to hop to another park where the predicted crowd level was higher. (Thanks for that on the site) I also look at the standby times and decide what to do. Like yesterday tower of terror had a 10 min standby wait time at the same time as my fastpass so I opted for standby. Then went back immediately for another ride. This time standby had jumped to 40 min so I used my fastpass and rode again not having to wait in line. One way to beat the system when you can’t get multiple passes for the rides you love. I didn’t trust the rides I really wanted would be available late in the day and I was right. Book what you really want when you want it and go standby on the rest. Worked for me.

  • September 16, 2014 at 9:03 am
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    Love this chart..I booked my FP+s a few weeks ago and my biggest hurdle was decided whether to book them early to enable the use of more FP+s later, or to use them at the busiest times. I’m printing this chart to take with me to the parks for our Halloween trip. Thanks Steve!

  • September 16, 2014 at 9:06 am
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    FP+ actually worked very well for us. I put together an itinerary before our vacations based on what we want to ride, typical wait times, and ride popularity. This time I added our FP+ rides and it worked out much better than we anticipated. The only things we don’t like about FP+ are the tiers at Epcot and Hollywood Studios, the fact that you have to go find a kiosk beyond your third FP+ because the app is too slow to accomplish anything on your phone, and the fact that CM’s will hold up the regular line for 5+ minutes at rides like Barnstormer and Speedway to wait for people to enter the FP+ side when there is A TON of room for people to move forward and no one entering the FP+ line.

    • September 16, 2014 at 10:06 pm
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      Totally agree. Disney needs to do something about their app. It’s super slow especially on the park’s wifi. You could stand in a standby line by the time your app links up

  • September 16, 2014 at 9:10 am
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    We went in April and really liked FP+. Although we made initial reservations at around the 60-day mark, we made significant adjustments after arriving at WDW, including changing the day we went to a park. It made it easier to do the things we really wanted without waiting in line.

  • September 16, 2014 at 9:35 am
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    Argh to Faspass+. Argh, I tell you.

    Our 2nd trip with kids 8+11 coming up and trying to schedule ALL OF THE THINGS we think they’ll want to hit is reaching the level my breaking out Euler Equations homework from my college knapsack.

    I understand why Disney has tiered attractions and all, but it seems to me I won’t ever need Fastpass for many of the Tier 2 rides and shows.

    So, then I end up having to decide the “should I burn through them early and pray to the holy mouse that a single shining Tier 1 attraction Fastpass+ is available on that day” or just suck it up and hope the seemingly unneeded Tier 2 Fastpasses at least take some edge off the wait.

    When it comes to the Disney Faspass reservation system itself: yikes. Did they design that wearing 3-fingered gloves? Trying to split *some* FP+ reservations between two attractions for our family of 4 and then get other FP+ all together means essentially creating 2 separate itineraries for us and then trying to get some FP+ to overlap.

    I’m a long time IT pro, and if it took me a fair amount of time (and selective swearing) to figure out the angles, yeesh.

    Also: absolutely NO FP+ for Anna & Else or Mine Train in the first seconds of my window opening up, even working backwards from the end of my trip.

    The only good thing I can say right now is that TouringPlans has been a HUGE help in my picturing how to massage the day to fit into my FP+ reservations and the expected wait times. Kudos to you guys.

  • September 16, 2014 at 10:05 am
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    Do you have any data on same day availability for parades and fireworks? Those tend to go somewhat quickly when done in advance, and it was wondering if Disney holds any back for same day.

    • September 16, 2014 at 10:14 am
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      Parades and fireworks are attractions that fall in the middle. They are available day-of, but do run out.

      • September 16, 2014 at 4:23 pm
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        When I went to book our fastpasses 60 days out I was unable to get a parade fastpass. So you’re saying I still have a shot if I keep checking on the day we are in MK?

        • September 17, 2014 at 8:21 am
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          Yes. It appears the Disney may hold back on Parade and Firework FP+. Since schedules can change, I assume they do not want to make available FP+ reservations for something that the times may change.

  • September 16, 2014 at 10:17 am
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    This is really helpful, although a little depressing. We go during very busy time periods and were able to obtain fastpasses for Big Thunder and Rock and Roller Coaster up until 5 PM. It looks like those days are over!! Thanks for all your work!

  • September 16, 2014 at 10:19 am
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    We are possibly planning a last minute trip to WDW in October or November. I am concerned that we won’t get any good FPs at all since they will be “sold out”. Should I be concerned?

    • September 16, 2014 at 2:45 pm
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      Besides Anna & Elsa and The Seven Dwarfs Mine you should be able to get FP+ reservations for what you want. The exact time you want may not be available.

      • September 16, 2014 at 9:19 pm
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        We went last week of August,a slower time, and the parade and fireworks FP were never available and we checked multiple times. Besides AE and 7DMT they seemed to go the fastest.

  • September 16, 2014 at 10:39 am
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    Did I miss Pirates somewhere?

    • September 16, 2014 at 2:49 pm
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      Pirates of the Caribbean is an attractions that fall in the middle. They are available day-of, but do run out.

  • September 16, 2014 at 12:37 pm
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    This is great, thanks! I’m a bit confused by Toy Story, though. Why does the likelihood of getting a FP go up as it gets later in the day? There are some others that don’t go steadily down, too. I’d think it would start off at one number and the percentage would progressively go down.

    Thanks for any insight…

    • September 16, 2014 at 2:08 pm
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      Not exactly sure. It is likely that most of the variation is explained by sampling error. I assume the number of FP+ reservations that are cancelled is low. I assume Disney does not add FP+ availability, but they could. I could see Disney limiting the number of available FP+ for later in the, since it often has limited shut downs. On those days, people with a Test Track FP+ can use it anytime regardless of the return window.

  • September 16, 2014 at 1:11 pm
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    Our experience: We were in WDW June 10-17. FP+ worked really well for our family of five. I generally scheduled all of them before lunch, as in roughly 10-11, 11-12 and 12-1. We’d be at the parks early, do rides while lines were shorter, then hit up our first FP+ towards the end of its window, followed by the next FP+ at the beginning of its window, then eat lunch, then use our 3rd one. After using the 3rd one, we’d go to a kiosk and select a 4th for later in the day. (We’d be headed out of the park for our afternoon rest/swim break.) One day at MK we got a 4th, 5th, and even 6th FP+. At midday when we were selecting our 4th, we’d usually see availability for BTM and Space for our whole family of 5 at MK. On our full Epcot day, we secured a 4th FP+ for all of us to ride Test Track about 8:30 that night. And it doesn’t hurt to break up your party and see if you can get overlapping FP+ if you can’t get everyone at the same time. We had to do this once when we changed plans and decided to spend our last day at Epcot instead of MK. The day before, we were able to get 5 different FP+ for each of us for Soarin’ that overlapped enough that we had about a 15 minute golden window!

  • September 16, 2014 at 2:05 pm
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    My family was at WDW the first week of August. Big improvement in Fastpass+ since visiting in March. With the availability of additional fastpasses after using the first three, it brought back the “faspass runner” which we always loved. (I like an excuse to move alone through the parks as quickly as I can, even if it is August)We were able to use our original three, and then use eight more(in MK). Biggest bottleneck was waiting in line at Fastpass kiosks. second biggest was waiting for people in Fastpass line who just cant seem to understand that the time on the clock has to be within the return time. I found that it was easiest to pick the first Fastpass that popped up on the screen, and then change it on my phone while I walked back to the family. (A dangerous activity, but everyone is staring at there phones in the parks) Only two things I miss about the old system now are not being able to collect paper passes as souvenirs, and not being able to hand a batch to a family on my way out of the park.

    • September 16, 2014 at 2:18 pm
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      Well, Good to hear the positive use of Fastpass in real life, so I’m feeling better about things now!

  • September 16, 2014 at 5:23 pm
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    By stalking the MDE site, I’ve gotten everything I want, when I want it, more or less. The only thing I don’t like is the wide reservation windows. Even though I could do two or three rides in an hour with FP, I can only schedule one, and three over three hours. Makes planning even more difficult! Thank goodness for TP and Optimization!

    • September 16, 2014 at 9:23 pm
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      I agree with the overlap issue. They should allow some, maybe 15 minutes.

      • September 17, 2014 at 7:49 am
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        Ultimately it is fast pass. Remember the old fast pass rules. You had to wait 2 hours to get the second one… Unless your window for your first one was past. So you really never could use 2 fast passes within a very short window. In fact, using one every hour for the first 3 hours is far faster than you ever would have been able to before. Hating the system for something is not and something it never was is unfair.

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  • September 17, 2014 at 1:36 pm
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    This is wonderful. Will you keep updating these statistics?

    • September 19, 2014 at 11:22 am
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      Yes. The analysis will be rolled into the Personal Touring Plans software. Future versions of tree software will recommend attractions to get FP+ in advance and what attractions to get additional day-of FP+. There will be days that the software will determine the the probability is too low for additional FP+, and just use the initial three FP+.

  • September 17, 2014 at 5:15 pm
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    I used FP plus on my trip in early April and had a few snags. We travelled with another family and it was quite cumbersome to link our reservations together. Also the Wi-fi in the park is terrible and with so many people trying to use it at once makes it even worse. Since this is basically a requirement now Disney should look at boosting their connectivity with distributed antenna’s.. Another note, I am an annual passholder and generally stay off property which means I cannot make a fast pass res until 30 days out. With the cost of an annual pass I feel I should get a benefit of booking fast pass sooner not be penalized and have to wait longer. Definately something disney needs to fix!

  • September 17, 2014 at 5:48 pm
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    @Steve Bloom, this is tremendously useful info! Kudos! TP ROCKS!!! Can’t wait to see how this is integrated into the TP software.

    I was wondering if you have the breakdown for these based on crowd level? Is there enough useful data for that kind of breakdown yet?

    Surely these numbers are far different on a crowd level 8 day, than a level 2? Or is there less of a difference than one might think (i.e. fpp capacity is reached in a similar manner because larger crowds have a higher percentage of non-fpp-using newbies or locals?)

    Great research. Len should give you a raise. 😉

    • September 19, 2014 at 11:41 am
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      Now that we have moved into September we are getting data for low crowd days. It will take some time get enough data from days with different crowd levels to do the analysis by crowd levels.

  • September 17, 2014 at 9:45 pm
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    So this data seems to have only been collected during summer this year is that correct? The reason I ask is is there a possibility of more avaibility later in the day during the quieter months (i.e. we are heading to the World next February) or do you think this will be standard across the board no matter what time of year you visit? Thanks for the data! It’s really good to be able to get an idea of what FP we might be able to make after we’ve used our other ones.

    • September 19, 2014 at 11:53 am
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      Ye, the data starts in June. We are continually collecting more data. Once we have enough data from different days we will be able to adjust the probabilities based on crowd level, time of year, and park hours. For the purpose of the blog I tried to simplify the results from the analysis. The Personalized Touring Plans software will adjust the probabilities based on your selected dates.

  • September 18, 2014 at 11:18 am
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    I’m kind of surprised that Enchanted Tales with Belle is in the middle for fastpass plus availability. Before the Frozen meet and greet and Seven Dwarves were open, that was our rope drop attraction! I guess Magic Kingdom just offers so many options after everyone goes for Seven Dwarves and Frozen.

  • September 21, 2014 at 6:36 am
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    Hi Steve, Great article, thanks. When are you expecting the personalised plans to start incorporating the 4+ FP+ recommendations? I’m a week off my 60 days to go spot.

    Thanks, Rach

Comments are closed.