FastPass+ Is Disney’s solution to minimizing wait times and maximizing fun at its Disney World Theme Parks. Amazingly this system is FREE to all and works incredibly well. However, we will love the same rides, and FastPass Reservations only work if there are limited numbers. This makes some FastPass+ Reservations incredibly hard to get. Not Impossible of Course, and with our guide on How To Get Difficult FastPass+ Reservations will show you everything you need to know to make sure you have the best FastPasses for your Disney World Trip.
What is FastPass+
Before we go too in-depth into how to get the hardest to get FastPass Reservations, it is important to understand the system. we have a Beginners Guide To FastPass+ At Walt DisneyWorld to help you understand the basics along with a FastPass+ Tips and Tricks Article to help you get the best out of FastPass+
In this article, we go look only at bagging those hard-to-get FastPasses for Disney MUST ride attractions, and that requires you already understand the fast pass system.
Which Fast Pass+ Reservations are the best and which are the hardest to get?
As we go through this post we will constantly mention things like “Best FastPass” or “The Hardest to get” What we really mean is “the one YOU want” it doesn’t matter what it is, if you want it that is the most important thing and this guide works for ANY fast pass. The truth is some fast passes are available nearly all the time, you can pull up the app and bag “Mad Tea Party” pretty much anytime, however you probably don’t want that if you are reading this. To understand the most desirable and best FastPasses for each park we have individual guides on which FastPasses work best, which to get, when for, and how best to tackle the park.
- Magic Kingdom FastPass+ Guide
- Disney’s Hollywood Studio FastPass+ Tier Guide – Inc StarWars Galaxies Edge
- Epcot FastPass+ Tier Guide
- Animal Kingdom FstPass+ Tier Guide
Book as Early as possible
The Obvious answer really, you need to be ready on the minute when the Bookings go live, have your plan in place and wait until the allotted hour and keep refreshing until the system stops showing this
NOTE – In this Article, we use the Desktop version of the Disney MyExperience, but you can use the App just the same. We find the Desktop version a little faster and easier to operate but those with Smartphones glued to their hands since birth may find the app easier, as far as this article goes there is no discernable difference, use whichever you are more comfortable with (we use both)
So When is the Allotted hour, When can you start booking. Well, that is different for two types of people. Those Staying at Disney Hotels and those Not Staying at Disney Hotels.
There are many reasons to Stay on a Disney Property but the Fast Pass Privileges are one of the Biggest. You can begin booking your FastPass reservations 60 Days before your Visit AND you can book them for every day of your stay from when that 60-day window opens. We will circle back to why that is SO important later.
On your MyDsineyExperince Page your booking window will be displayed like below:
The Window Opens at 7:00 am Eastern Time, 60 Days before your booking, wherever you are in the world! So that is:
- Sydney 11 pm*
- London (UK) 12 am*
- California (PST) 4 am*
*be careful if your booking time is around the Daylight Saving Time Shift as your Time Zone may shift at a different date meaning there is some crossover.
Be Ready with all your desired FastPass+ Selections and be ready 5 mins before and start refreshing the page as soon as the clock hits 7 am (ET). Even then you may find your preferred options unavailable or only very late in the daytime slots that are less than desirable. We come to that problem later and explain what causes it and how to get around it.
If you are not staying in a Disney resort you have it far worse. Your Time Slot is also 7 AM Eastern Time, however, you only get 30Days! that is only for a single day. So if you are going for multiple days, you have to wait until Each day of your trip is 30 Days out, meaning you can’t do all your fast passes at once.
The big problem with this is all the resort guests have already had their pick of the passes and there will be not much left for you, especially the big hitters like Flight Of Passage, Smugglers Run, Seven Dwarf Mine Train, etc.
There is little you can do about this but console yourself that you probably paid very little for your Hotel or Villa compared to Disney Prices and this is simply one benefit you didn’t feel was worth the extra cost. There are still chances to bag hard to get FastPasses outside of this as we will go into later.
Why are FastPass Selections gone when I was there at 7:00 am Eastern Time and at 60 Days before my Booking!!!
It hardly seems fair does it! You logged on right on time, had your spreadsheet open, everything planned, Rady to go. As soon as your 60 Day window opened, bang your chosen Fast Pass was gone, “Distribution Done” How can this be, There is no way others were faster than you! you were there at exactly 7:00 am Refreshing until it let you in!
There is a simple answer, and NO it wasn’t your fault, it is the Way Disney allows Resort Guests to book ALL their fast passes for their entire trip as soon as their booking window opens up.
let’s say they are staying on the 1st and they are staying until 11th, Your trip is from the 3rd Until the 13th. Once their 60-Day window opens up, they have the ability to book fast passes for every day of their trip. This includes the first 8 days of your trip! So these people are booking the fast passes for your trip while you are still locked out! This hardly seems fair.
However, Remember, you will be doing the same to people who’s trip is after yours, and near the end of your stay you are likely to have near-free reign on required FastPass+ Reservations so,
#1 Tip for getting Hard to get Fast Pass Reservations
Schedule the HARDEST to get Fast Passes for as late as possible into your trip.
Once you get 3-4 Days into your booking window, Availability will open up. FastPasses that were next to impossible to bag in the first few days will be available and ready to book. Try to be fair and not book for the sake of it, but if you can’t get what you want early in your trip, you will usually find them near the end.
For MAXIMUM availability you can even try booking in reverse order, making sure you bag what you need at the end of your trip and then snapping up what’s left at the beginning. Take a look at our trip example below (real trip btw)
On Day 2 of our trip, we were headed to Hollywood Studios, the best Tier-1 FP we could get was a Slinky Dog Dash at 3:20 pm, which means no more FP Selections until then! Pretty Sucky. There was Smugglers Run as late as 7:30 and no Mickey and Minnie left!
On Day 7 of our trip, Availability was MUCH better:
Getting FastPass+ Reservations AFTER your booking window
Ok, the booking window has come and gone, and most of your choices are suitable, but you missed out on one or two attractions, or the times you got are not the best. Remember early FastPass Bookings are best so you can bag on the Day reservations after your initial 3 choices.
All is not lost, you shall go to the ball, or more accurately, ride the giant dragon thing, pilot the Millenium Falcon, or take a ride into a cartoon.
#2 Tip for getting Hard to get Fast Pass Reservations
Keep Checking the App/Planning Page!
People’s plans change, people cancel trips, people visit Parks on Different Days and Fast Pass Reservations pop up all the time. Even the most desirable rides at the most desirable times. In reality, they vanish just as fast as they appear as people who regularly check back, again and again, reap the rewards of this perseverance. If you REALLY want the hard-to-get FastPasses outside the original booking period, YOU need to be the obsessive perseverant user constantly checking the App!
You need to be absolutely sick and tired of the interface, absolutely sure that every time you check there will be no new FastPass Availability, That the stupid website that told you to do this is wrong! Remember others checking will be feeling the same and will start quitting, or grabbing the FP before you, then dropping out of the race. With Perseverance and a little luck, the availability you want might just pop up. It, however, might not, there is an element of luck in all this and if the winds don’t blow your way there is nothing you can do. However, you can maximize your chances by checking at certain points.
7-7:30 am ET
The biggest changes in availability come around the 7-7:30 time in the 60-50days. This is where people alter their plans the most. Refreshing around this time of day you will see a lot of movement, it might not be the movement you want but things will shale up.
Before 30 Days
Sorry to non-resort Guests, this won’t apply to you, but to resort guests, this is the golden time, this is what you have paid extra for, as soon as that 3-day point rolls around a whole load more people have just arrived at the races! After 30-Days Availability plummets and you are far less likely to find what you want, less likely but it’s not impossible.
Non-Resort Guests have to be even more insatiable in their desire to bag the now incredibly rare top pick Fast Passes, but as you are far less likely to have got good ones in the first place that desire can be even stronger.
Less than 5 Days Out
As the dates approach, the chance of availability increases. This s the time when people finalize plans, realize they are overbooked or have found something else to do that day. Not everyone releases Fast Passes they know they won’t use (please do if that is you) but in this period it is the most likely, we have bagged more impossible FastPasses in the last few days before a visit than at any other time.
You are likely to be very busy in this period but find the time, and you may be rewarded.
#3 Tip for getting Hard to get Fast Pass Reservations
On The Day
Ok, we are cutting it fine now! Last Chance Saloon here, but on the day availability varies more than at any other time, This is why having early in the day Fast Passes work best as you can rattle off the initial 3 then pound the app to bag anything you have missed. But remember you can always change the ones you have on the day if something better pops up.
You are likely to be spending a lot of time in queues during the day so you might as well spend a lot of that time re-checking the app. Remember there is FREE Wifi all across the parks so there is no excuse for not hammering the App in the Ride Queues…What else are you going to do!
As the day wears on Availability really starts shaking up, this is when people really will give up fast passes for other things as their plans change in real-time. It is almost a guarantee at some point during the day, availability for even the most impossible to get a ride will open up at some point. You just need to be the lucky one that bags it!
In Short, the best chance you have to book the Best Fast Passes is as follows:
Stay in Resort, Sorry there are a lot of reasons to stay off property but Fast Pass Booking is one of the BIG drawbacks.
Be ready at 7:00 am ET or whatever that time works out to where you are, sorry if you are on the west coast as that is 4:00 am.
Back-book your stay with the most important rides near the end of your trip to maximize availability.
Keep Checking People give up FastPass Bookings all the time, Make sure you keep checking if you missed out in the initial distribution.
Listen for the Fat Lady! It’s not over until it’s over. Keep checking, right until you leave the park that day, you really never know when they might pop up!
Have Your Say
Let us know how you get on bagging your FastPass+ Reservations? Did you get everything you wanted? Did you get your selections in the initial rush or by finding one by perseverance? Let us know in the comments below, and if you have any questions just fire away.