Planning your next trip to Disney World? Don’t forget to book your FastPasses!
If you are staying at a Disney Resort, you can actually reserve your FastPass selections up to 60 days in advance of your check-in for your entire trip. Every other guest with tickets or passes booked can make FastPass selections up to 30 days in advance.
PSA: This starts at 7 a.m. Don’t be like me, waking up at 12:01 a.m. from the dead of sleep to book your dining reservations.
I can’t say anything about things you need to bring to Disney World without mentioning my favorite guide to Disney World, the Unofficial Guide. I read it cover to cover before we went and was so glad I did. (Not everyone is that over the top, but hey.)
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What is a FastPass?
The FastPass system at Disney World is totally free (which is a rarity, and awesome) and allows you to skip the standby line for certain experiences in the parks. This mostly applies to rides, but you can also snag FastPasses for shows and character greeting experiences, too.
With a FastPass, you select a specific window of time that you will get in line and board an attraction. You get three a day in advance, and once you’ve used all three, you can try to book more. I’ve never had success doing that, but you can.
Note that the FastPass system is now organized into tiers at every park except Magic Kingdom.
Best Choices for FastPass at Magical Kingdom
Unlike the other three parks, at Magic Kingdom, you can reserve FastPasses for any of the available rides, without tier limitations.
In my opinion, your No. 1 picks should be:
- The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Splash Mountain
- Space Mountain
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- The Haunted Mansion
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is an easy first pick – this is a high-priority ride for everyone at the park. The rest of the rides are guaranteed to have longer waits and be popular choices, so the FastPass line will make it easier.
Of course, you only get three – I recommend you rope drop whichever ride you can’t get a FastPass for that is your top priority. We rope dropped Space Mountain last year and walked right on, while we had a FastPass for Splash Mountain, The Haunted Mansion and Big Thunder.
Best Choices for FastPass at Epcot
At Epcot, rides are divided into tiers. You can make a total of ONE FastPass selection in Tier A (which includes rides like Frozen Ever After, Soarin’ and Test Track) and an unlimited number in Tier A (which includes all of the rest).
With that in mind, I recommend you go for Frozen Ever After (if that ride is on your wishlist) for your Tier A selection. Soarin’ lines will move a lot faster than Frozen, and if the Test Track gets too long, hop in the single rider line. (Or head there first thing in the morning, if you rope drop.)
After that, the decisions for Tier B are pretty easy. Grab one for Spaceship Earth, Living with the Land or The Sea with Nemo & Friends.
Best Choices for FastPass at Hollywood Studios
Of all the parks, it is hardest to make FastPass selections at Hollywood Studios. Changes are coming, also, which will move the Tower of Terror and the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster into Tier A. And it was already so easy to make a decision.
Tier A is a tough one – before the tier changes come into play, snag whatever ride you can in Toy Story Land. The wait for Slinky Dog Dash will always be longer than the wait for Toy Story Mania based on loading speed.
After the tier changes, I would prioritize Slinky Dog Dash over all of the others – but really, grab what you can.
For Tier B, before the tier changes are made, I recommend the Tower of Terror and the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. When these rides move into Tier A… it doesn’t really matter.
Best Choices for FastPass at Animal Kingdom
There are only two Tier A rides at Animal Kingdom:
- Avatar Flight of Passage
- Na’vi River Journey
I recommend fighting hard for Flight of Passage but taking the FastPass for either, if you can get it. I enjoyed Na’Vi River Journey fine, but will not feel the need to ride that a second time unless the wait is short. (It will never be short.)
After that, Tier B consists of the rest of the rides in Animal Kingdom. I would make my reservations in this order, personally:
- Expedition Everest
- Kilimanjaro Safari
- Kali River Rapids
You will never need a FastPass for It’s Tough to Be A Bug, even if the long walk from the entrance to the theater might make you think you do. You’re fine.