One great feature about Disney’s parks is their FASTPASS service. This is a great timesaver, especially during the busy seasons. It’s also great if you are traveling with small children or anyone who doesn’t take well to standing in long lines.
To use the FASTPASS service, you simply put your ticket into a FASTPASS machine for one of the attractions for which it is offered. These are typically some of the most popular attractions, ones for which you might otherwise have a long wait. When your ticket comes back out, you also receive a FASTPASS ticket with an hour-long window of time printed on it. You simply return to the attraction during your time window & essentially “skip” the line for the attraction.
However, many people don’t use the FASTPASS feature simply because they don’t understand it or have some misconceptions about it. Some people think you have to stay on Disney property or pay extra money to use the FASTPASS. This is not true! Everyone who has a valid ticket for the theme park that day can use the FASTPASS once they’ve entered the park (and you won’t be entering the park if you don’t have a valid ticket!). And the FASTPASS service is Free!
So, what’s the catch, you ask? This sounds too good to be true! Well, there isn’t too much of a catch, but there are some rules.
You have to have entered the park yourself in order to get a FASTPASS. This means you can’t send an early riser from your party over to a park to get FASTPASSES for everyone while the rest of you sleep in. However, once you’re all in the park, one person can take all your tickets & get FASTPASSES for the whole party.
You typically can’t have more than one, or sometimes two FASTPASSES at once. Once you have one, you can’t get another until after your first FASTPASS expires, or two hours are up, whichever comes sooner. (Don’t worry, the FASTPASS even tells you when you can get your next one, so you don’t have to do math on vacation!) This means you can’t run around the whole park & get a FASTPASS for everything right away.
Sometimes, the FASTPASSES may all have been given out for the day (they’re limited in number) or the return time might not work for you. However, the return times being given out are posted right above the FASTPASS machines, so at least you know before you try to get a ticket if it will work for you or not.
In most situations, the FASTPASS can be a great tool to use to help enhance your Disney vacation. You can help avoid meltdowns from your toddler waiting to go on the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. You can skip the two hour line for Space Mountain during your Christmas vacation trip. During a slower season, where the waits are minimal, you can get a FASTPASS for your favorite ride, wait in the regular line, ride, then get off & use your FASTPASS so you can ride twice in a row!
Here’s Stacy from Disney World video fame explaining how to use the FASTPASS.
As of September 20, 2009, taken from the Disney World website:
Currently, the following attractions offer Disney’s FASTPASS Service:
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park:
* Primeval Whirl
* Kilimanjaro Safaris
* It’s Tough to be a Bug!
* Kali River Rapids
* Expedition Everest
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park:
* Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
* Toy Story Mania!
* Star Tours
* The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Magic Kingdom Theme Park:
* Space Mountain
* Splash Mountain
* Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
* Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
* Jungle Cruise
* The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
* Peter Pan’s Flight
* Mickey’s PhilharMagic
Epcot Theme Park:
* Mission: SPACE Pavilion
* Test Track
* “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience”
* Living With the Land
and taken from the Disneyland website:
Autopia, presented by Chevron
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
Indiana Jones™ Adventure
Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
Disney’s California Adventure® Park
Grizzly River Run
Mulholland Madness, presented by Alamo
Soarin’ Over California
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™