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Disney World Fast Pass Secrets - How to Use Disney Fastpass

Updated on October 4, 2010
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Emma's been to Disneyland and Disney World many times and has lots of tips to share with you for your own Disney Parks adventure.

Fastpass is Disney's brilliant answer to long lines at the most popular rides at their Walt Disney World and Disneyland theme parks. It is surprising though how many people simply don't take advantage of the Fastpass opportunity and continue to wait in two hour theme park ride lines that they could have easily avoided.

I think there's a lot of misunderstanding how Fastpass works so let me explain how you can avoid some of the worst lines at Walt Disney World on your next vacation. Let's start with the most important point.

Fastpass is free!

First of all, Fastpass is free to anyone holding a Disney parks admittance ticket. So if you've got your ticket to enter Walt Disney World (or Disneyland), then you've got your ticket to use Fastpass.

Disney's Fastpass Distribution

Put your ticket into the machine, get a fastpass
Put your ticket into the machine, get a fastpass

How to Use Fastpass

In order to use it, all you need to do is place your Disney theme park ticket into the Fastpass machine at any ride where it is available and it will then give you a ticket with a return time for that attraction.

You then return to that attraction anytime during the "return time" which is usually an hour long, so you don't have to race back to get on the ride the moment the Fastpass becomes valid.

Once your fastpass return time has rolled around, all you have to do is return to the attraction, get in the fastpass line and hand it over to the Disney cast member. You will still sometimes have to wait a bit before getting to ride the attraction, but usually it is no more than 10 minutes.

Note the time indicated for getting your next fastpass
Note the time indicated for getting your next fastpass

How often can you get a fastpass?

When Disney first started the fastpass system, you could only hold one fastpass at a time, but they've since relaxed the rules slightly. Now, you can get your next fastpass either at the start of the "return time" for your current pass or two hours after the one you are holding was issued.

Because you will generally be holding only one fastpass at a time, it makes sense to have an attack plan for the attractions where you want to use it. Fastpass attractions tend to be spread throughout the park to prevent bottlenecks in one area of the theme park, so you'll want to plan a route that keeps you from criss-crossing the park all day long.

Arrive early for popular attractions

Because Disney uses an algorithm based upon the number of fastpasses issued for any particular attraction, it's important to go and get your fastpass early for the most popular rides on very busy days. Otherwise you may find yourself with a fastpass that isn't good until late in the evening, after you've long since left the park.

On the busiest days, some attractions will run out of fastpasses very early in the day. This is a common occurrence at Animal Kingdom's Everest rollercoaster and Disney-MGM's Tower of Terror, so get your fastpass early for both these attractions if you're at Disney World in the summer or on a holiday weekend.

Fastpass Attractions

Fastpass isn't available at every attraction in the Walt Disney theme parks, but it is usually in place for many of the most popular rides, including: Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom; Soarin', Mission Space and Test Track at Epcot; Rock-n-Roll Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror at Disney-MGM Studios; and Kali River Rapids, Dinosaur and Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom.

Get Your Park Tickets Early

Once you know when you'll be visiting Walt Disney World and how long you'll be staying for, it's a good idea to order your Park tickets in advance. The best prices are from Undercover Tourist. They sell tickets for WDW and all of the other Orlando attractions as well. So if you have time to order in advance, they're a great way to save money -- particularly since they are cheaper than buying from Disney direct in advance.

Click here to get your Discount Orlando Attraction tickets from Undercover Tourist.


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