Complete Guide to Being Prepared for FastPass Day
You’ve been waiting so long for this day. Your Walt Disney World countdown clock is at 61/31. Tomorrow is the big day! You’ll get to book all of your FastPasses for your trip, bringing you one step closer to when the magic happens. Before you schedule your attractions, there are just a few things you need to understand. Here’s a guide on what to do on FastPass Day.
Understand the Timing
Your FastPass booking window opens at the 30-day window or 60-day window, depending on whether you’re staying at an official Disney resort. Clearly, this is Exhibit A for why you should stay onsite. By the time the 30-day window opens, many of the best attractions have already booked by then, leaving you with lesser options.
Presuming that you’re staying onsite, you’ll have plenty of great attractions available to book at 60 days out. Still, you’re facing unexpected competition. Some guests will spend 10 days or more at Walt Disney World. Their FastPass window is that much longer than yours at the start.
In simplest terms, you’ll have the most difficult time booking FastPasses for the first day of your trip. Attractions such as Avatar Flight of Passage, Slinky Dog Dash, Frozen Ever After, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train might not be available. Lean into this knowledge by choosing these E-ticket attractions on the later dates of your trip.
The other timing aspect to remember is that the booking window opens at 7 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. You will want to start trying to get reservations at 6:55 a.m., just in case Disney’s clock doesn’t line up with your own. As long as you’re ready to schedule your FastPasses at this time, you should have no problem getting most if not all of them.
Choose Your Daily Park(s)
A tangent to the popular attractions listed above is that you should think about your Disney vacation in segmented terms. You cannot book FastPasses at different theme parks on the same day. In other words, you can only book FastPasses at Epcot on one day, Magic Kingdom the next, and so forth.
The caveat here is that on the day that you’re at the parks, you can schedule a FastPass at Epcot once you’re done at Magic Kingdom and so forth. You just can’t do it in advance. You’ll have to account for this when you choose your parks.
I strongly suggest that you pick a primary park each day. Even when you’re able to Park Hop, select a theme park as home base for the morning. That’s where you should book your FastPasses. Once you’ve used them on that day, you can always add more. By having a primary park, you can schedule a lot of other activities organically. For example…
Factor in Meals
One of my favorite park strategies is to tie together a FastPass and an Advanced Dining Reservation. A couple of my favorite joint ventures are Expedition Everest with Yak & Yeti and Frozen Ever After with Akershus.
The idea is that you’re booking a full block of your itinerary. You’ll know which FastPass you’ll ride and where you’ll eat either immediately before or after the meal.
The best example is Akershus/Frozen Ever After, as the attraction’s FastPass queue is directly beside the restaurant entrance. Expedition Everest is in the same themed land as Yak & Yeti, although it’s not the closest attraction. That honor belongs to Kali River Rapids, but I don’t like to eat a meal while I’m soaking wet. Conversely, I don’t like to get on a boat immediately after eating. For whatever reason, roller coasters don’t bother me as much.
When you plan your FastPasses, think about where your favorite restaurants and attractions are in connection to one another. Are you going to Toy Story Land? Double up on the theme by eating at Woody’s Lunch Box! Is Peter Pan’s Flight in your plans for a morning at Magic Kingdom? Eat at Pinocchio’s Village Haus. And any FastPass at Pandora – The World of Avatar should end with a meal at Satu’li Canteen.
The tactic of combining lunch/dinner plans with a FastPass guarantees maximum efficiency during your park day. So, think of great combinations as you strategize about FastPasses.
As you schedule your Walt Disney World vacation, you should factor in the number of days you’ll visit. For a four-day vacation, you’ll want to visit each one of the parks on a given day (unless you don’t like one of them). So, your first day’s FastPasses would go to Magic Kingdom, your second day would go to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and so forth.
The decisions grow easier when you stay longer. As mentioned, you have a longer booking window during a lengthy vacation. Let’s say that you’re vacationing for seven nights. You should work backward with your FastPasses. Start with the last couple of days, angling for the most difficult ones at the end. You’ll face the least amount of competition on these days.
Here’s an example. During a recent trip, I traveled with a family that doesn’t visit Walt Disney World often. They hadn’t been to the parks since 2014. Since they were staying for six nights, I encouraged them to book FastPasses for Pandora – The World of Avatar and Toy Story Land on their final two days. They managed to get morning FastPasses for both.
The day after my family’s trip to Walt Disney World had ended, I received a text from them at 10:15. They had already ridden all three Toy Story Land attractions! I was incredibly jealous, but I also admired how well they had plotted their FastPasses.
By booking Slinky Dog Dash at 9 a.m., they opened up their morning. Rather than rushing to that attraction at Rope Drop, they headed to Alien Swirling Saucers instead. They discovered a short line there and had exited the ride by 9:20, at which point they used their Slinky Dog Dash FastPass. Afterward, they waited in the regular line for Toy Story Mania!, which wasn’t very crowded yet.
The same tactic is effective at Pandora – The World of Avatar. The catch is that you MUST get a FastPass for Avatar Flight of Passage, which isn’t easy. By vacationing longer and working backward, you give yourself a very good chance.
The key part of working backward is to recognize the most difficult FastPasses at Walt Disney World. Then, pick them on later days. During your earlier days, choose FastPasses for attractions that you love that aren’t as difficult to book. When your booking window opens at 60 days, you’re facing more competition for the first few days of your trip.
Aim lower on these days. Try targeting more attainable FastPasses like Test Track and Soarin’ at Epcot, Peter Pan’s Flight and Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom, Alien Swirling Saucers at Hollywood Studios, and Na’Vi River Journey (instead of Avatar Flight of Passage) at Animal Kingdom.
Remember that once you have your FastPasses booked, you can go back and look for “better” ones. It’s the bird in the hand versus the two in the bush. At 7 a.m. 60 days out, schedule what you can get. Then, spend the next hour or two finding the perfect combination of FastPasses for the duration of your trip. You should have tremendous success, thereby assuring yourself of an unforgettable vacation.
Of course, you can skip all of this aggravation. Speak with an expert at Mickey Travels about booking your Disney vacation. They can take care of the parts of scheduling that you’re not experienced enough to do on your own. Plus, their services are free! There’s literally no reason why you shouldn’t use them!