What are FASTPASS tickets?
First introduced at Disney World in July of 1999, FASTPASS is similar to making a reservation to ride an attraction and reduce your time standing in line. You place your park admission in the FASTPASS machine and receive a ticket that grants you access to the much shorter FASTPASS line.
FASTPASS is a huge hit with park guests. Savvy users of the system find that they can free up to 2 to 3 hours of time, usually spent standing in line, during a full day in the parks and get to experience more attractions.
Who can use Fast Pass, you ask?
Anyone with park admission. The exception is children under the age of 3, who do not require park admission. Not to worry, if they meet the attractions height and age requirements, there are cast members at the FASTPASS machines that can give your child a FASTPASS.
There are two important times on your FASTPASS.
The first is the opening and closing time of your ride reservation window, for example 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm. This time can be anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours from when you got the FASTPASS, depending on how busy the attraction is. You are usually given a one hour window in which to come back and experience the attraction. (It is rare that you will be turned away if you are late in using your FASTPASS ticket. If the cast members say anything at all, it will be a polite “Please try to be on time with your FASTPASS tickets.”)
The second and most important time listed on your FASTPASS, and the one people usually miss, is when you can get your next FASTPASS ticket. After getting a FASTPASS ticket, there is a set time you have to wait before you are able get another FASTPASS. This time is usually five minutes after your ride window opens. So using the above example, if you have a FASTPASS to ride Space Mountain between 1:15 pm and 2:15 pm, you cannot get another FASTPASS until 1:20 pm.
Here are some tips to make the most of the FASTPASS system:
Start making your FASTPASS selection at 7:00 A.M.. When the park opens, head for your most important ride of the day — your “Must See” attraction. Get a FASTPASS, then get in the stand-by line and ride it right away if the wait time is not longer than 20 or 30 minutes. This ensures that you will get to experience your favorite thing at least once, if not twice.
On especially busy days, the FASTPASS tickets for an attraction may be gone for the day by early afternoon. If the park is having evening Extra Magic Hours, go back that evening and check out the FASTPASS machines again. Disney has been turning them back on in the evening for Extra Magic Hours on occasion.
Do you know anyone who belongs to the Disney Vacation Club? One of Disney’s best kept secrets is the to take a DVC tour. Almost all of the time Disney is giving out FASTPASSES as a promotion to new perspective DVC members.