Disney World. Thinking about this place makes me smile. My family and I have been fortunate to be able to visit this magical land. Once you arrive, the parks can be daunting to navigate. They are large, spread out and packed full of people. If you are not prepared, you can waste valuable vacation time. When we visit, our goal is to maximize our vacation time and minimize the wait time. The wait time is the ultimate challenge.
Fast Passes allow you to reserve access to select rides and character greetings. Basically, Fast Passes allow you to skip the long lines and head to the front of the line.
If you stay on Disney property, you are already at an advantage. You can book fast passes 60 days in advance. We were unable to get fast passes last time for the Avatar ride (an extremely popular ride) the result was that we waited in line for 2 1/2 hours. In case you think this is long, my daughter waited in line for 5 hours.
As we prepare for our upcoming trip, my daughter (exactly 60 days from the date of our trip) woke at 6 in the morning, and when the fast passes opened at 7 AM Eastern Time, was able to obtain fast passes to the Avatar Flight of Passage ride. YAY!
If you do not stay on Disney property, you can get Fast Passes 30 days in advance of each day of your theme park visit. You can get 3 Fast Passes per park per day. Trust me, we tried getting 2 Fast Passes at one park and 1 at another park, it didn’t work. Once you use your 3 Fast Passes, you can get one additional Fast Pass the day of your visit. If you use this additional Fast Pass, or the time frame on the Fast Pass expires, you can get another Fast Pass.
If you have a smart phone, I highly recommend getting the Disney World app. The app allows you to book Fast Passes, dining reservations and it also lists wait times at the various attractions. The maps of each park are also useful in navigating.
Help! I didn’t get Fast Passes and I’m headed to Disney World in 15 days. What do I do? Don’t despair. Get whatever Fast Passes are available. Sometimes, Fast Passes become available. One time, I wasn’t able to get a Fast Pass for the Seven Dwarfs Mine. I checked every day on my phone and, the day before our trip, I was able to get Fast Passes for this ride.
Other ways to book Fast Passes are online, via a computer, or at Fast Pass Kiosks located in the parks. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to visit disneyworld.disney.go.com.
Last, another perk to staying on Disney property (and some non-Disney property–check with the hotel) is extra magical hours. Extra magical hours are offered on certain days of the week at certain parks. The extra magical hours allow you to enter one hour early or stay up to two hours later than normal park operating hours.
I’m going the middle of October when schools are back in session. Do I really need Fast Passes? I’ve gone in the middle of October and the place is still packed full of people. Disney World is so popular and there are always events going on from Food and Wine Tasting to Star Wars events. Fast Passes are free, so there’s no reason not to get them. You can also cancel and/or select another available Fast Pass.
Fast Pass your way to a magical day!