Master the FASTPASS!
This blog is not meant for the “seasoned” Disney traveler, but those who may be going for the first time and stumbled upon this site for a little research. It truly baffles me when someone returns from any Disney park and comments about how long they waited in line. When I mention the FASTPASS, most will say, “Yeah, I saw those machines but never figured out what they were!” First things first, one of the great things about Disney is if you see a cast member, they are always willing to help! They will go out of their way to explain to you the best way to experience Disney. So if you do not know, ASK!!
Some things you should know about the FASTPASS:
- There is no charge for this service (Universal does charge for their “Front of the Line Pass”)
- Read the FASTPASS! The time you can get another FASTPASS to a different attraction is clearly printed on the ticket.
- FASTPASS lines are far shorter than any standby line.
- Everyone in your party who wants to go on the attraction MUST have a FASTPASS.
- Use a FASTPASS Runner! All members of your party do not need to be present to GET a FASTPASS. Have one person gather all your park passes and go to get your FASTPASSES.
- Soaring in EPCOT, Toy Story Mania in Hollywood Studios and Splash Mountain in the Magic Kingdom are typically the first attractions to run out of FASTPASSES.
So the logical question now is, “What is a FASTPASS?” A FASTPASS is a “ticket” to go on an attraction during a specific time period. The time period is typically one hour long. So you may show up at an attraction, use your park pass to put into the machine, and receive a FASTPASS. You may show up to an attraction at 9:00am and the return time is between 12:00pm-1:00pm. At that time you turn in your FASTPASS and enter into the FASTPASS line. Typically the wait is less than 10 minutes. In most cases, you go right to the front of the line. Disney limits the amount of FASTPASSES to keep the line short.
The trick to mastering the FASTPASS is to have a plan! Remember, FASTPASSES are available at all the park’s major attractions. So with that being said, these are the most popular rides in the park. For example, the new Toy Story ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is always a 60 minute plus wait (unless you travel on off peak times). FASTPASSES go very quickly for this ride. You need to figure out how long you are going to be in the parks and what rides you want to go on. If you show up to Toy Story after 10:00am, your FASTPASS return time may not be until 4:00pm. So if that is a ride you want to go on, and you are only spending a half-day in the park, you can rush to the attraction when the park first opens, or get a FASTPASS and head over to another ride. When you become a master of the FASTPASS your wait times in line becomes minimal. For example, when I am at Animal Kingdom I will gather everyone’s park passes and when the park opens I will have them head to the Kilimanjaro Safari while I head to Expedition Everest. I will get FASPASS for Expedition Everest then meet them at the Safari (which by the way the morning is the best time to go if you want to see a lot of animals). When we are done the Safari, the time is usually between the time on my FASTPASS for Everest, so we head to that ride. On the way, I can get another FASTPASS, to Kali River Rapids. After we go on Expedition Everest, there is usually a short time before our next FASTPASS so we head over to see It’s Tough to be a Bug.
It does take some time to become a master of the FASTPASS, however with a little planning, you can go on all the rides you want. Of course the best way not to wait in line is to go during off-peak times. There is nothing better than to basically walk on to all your favorite rides.