Walt Disney World has a new way for guests to customize their vacations: FastPass+. The system, which has been undergoing extensive testing and implementation since the fall of 2012, works with MagicBands, vinyl bracelets equipped with RFID chips that sync with guests’ accounts on MyMagic+ via Disney’s website or smartphone app. There, guests can schedule FastPasses for attractions at the four theme parks; they can also use the bracelets as room keys and for charging privileges. While opinions are divided as to whether or not FastPass+ is a step in the right direction, it’s clear that it is here to stay. To help those vacationing, I’ve compiled a list of tips that might be useful for those looking visiting the parks in the near future.
1. Plan Ahead: Decide what you want out of this trip, accomplish it, and consider anything else a bonus. This is a strategy that I have used for years – well before FastPass+ (FP+) came about. For example, if you are going during the Christmas season, keep that purpose in mind; see the unique attractions and entertainment options only available then. If you experience something else along the way, great! If not, you still saw and did what you set out for.
2. Pick Your Headliners: Walt Disney world has a variety of attractions with some being more popular than others. Before leaving home, think about which you want to experience in the parks. Select your FP+s for those attractions and use standby queues for the others you are interested in. You can also spread your selections across a few days, something you will have to do in parks that tier FP+ availability. I have even heard that it is helpful to determine your headliners based on which have single rider queues or not with the logic being that single rider lines are shorter, so FP+s should be selected for those not offering them.
3. Book as Many FP+s as Possible: Utilize FP+. It allows you to significantly decrease your wait time at the parks. Make your selections before leaving if you can. For those who are less into planning, you can make FP+s the day before or even the day of your park visit. You can also move your selections to another day or time depending on availability during your trip.
4. Rope Drop/Extra Magic Hours: If you are a morning person, consider being at the parks when they first open. You can ride your favorites with less of a wait time in standby lines, and then go back to re-ride them using the FP+ system. Similarly, if you miss rope drop, but still see low wait times that morning, avoid using FP+ until later in the afternoon or evening when it’s more crowded. This strategy also holds true for days offering Extra Magic Hours in the morning or at night.
5. Stay Connected: If you have a smartphone, make sure to bring it with you when visiting the parks. You can use the My Disney Experience app/website to change your FP+ reservations on the fly, make dining reservations, and see current wait times. I also like to take a screenshot of the FP+ page showing my selections; it uses less battery life to look at a saved photo than to open up the app numerous times.
6. You Can’t Do It All: Face it, Walt Disney World is huge (about the size of San Francisco, mind you), and it’s impossible to do it all. Try not to overbook yourself while on vacation. Personally, knowing that I have pre-reserved wait times for what I want to see is a huge plus. I’ve been able to work in more pool and shopping time and even try something new. If you go in with this mindset, you will have a much more enjoyable experience.
I hope these tips help you during an upcoming visit to the World. If you have other strategies that have been beneficial, please share them below! Everyone vacations differently, so you just might help someone!
Category: Disney World