Fastpasses (FP) are Disney’s version of front of the line passes. When you buy your tickets you get the ability to make 3 FP choices. If you buy a vacation package from Disney you can make your FP choices 60 days in advance. That sounds crazy doesn’t it? I have to predict in 60 days which parks I will be in on which days and what times I will want to go to the attractions or shows. If you want the best FPs to the most popular rides though that is exactly what you have to do. If you wait until you get to the parks and buy your tickets chances are very slim that you will get all the top rides your family wants. They set aside a certain number of FPs each day for each ride and once they are gone there are no more.
We are heading to Walt Disney World during peak season so I need to spend a bit more time planning our Fastpass (FP) picks than I normally do. During the slower season many of the attractions and shows my family loves are very short waits to 20 minutes. We only usually only use FP for the popular rides such as Soarin’, Frozen or Toy Story Mania. But, this time we will need them to do most attractions and shows.
I polled the family found out what one thing in each park was a must do for each family members and started there. I thought as long as they each get to do the one ride or show that matters most to them at least they will be happy. This trip is going to be so very different as we usually travel during the off-season and my kids are used to just going and getting in stand-by line for 20-30 minutes and riding even the most popular rides. This time the waits will probably 2 to 3 times that amount (if we are lucky). So, I have been talking about how different this trip will be.
Fastpass+ gets a mixed review from me. I loved the old paper FPs and the ability to just get a FP when you were in the park and near a ride (as long as all the FP for the day were not gone). You could only have one at a time, unless you were within 5-10 minutes of your first FP expiring, then you could grab a second one. There was some planning involved but not as much as there is now.
Same with Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs). Yes, you can go and get an ADR on the day you are in the parks or hotel but there is no guarantee that you will be able to eat where you want to eat, when you want to eat. This is true if you are looking to eat at some of the most popular restaurants such as Cinderella’s Royal Tables, Be Our Guest, and O’Hana.
So, I have my spreadsheets of what park we are in on each day, the FPs I secured and at what times, the times we will be dining and what special things we plan on doing each day. It kind of takes the spontaneity out of the vacation. But, we are going at a predicted 9-10 time so I have it all planned out.