11 Best Disney Fastpass+ Secrets That’ll Work for You in 2018

Disney World castle with fireworks FastPass+ secrets Middle Class Dad

Looking for Disney Fastpass+ Secrets That’ll Work for You in 2018?

In this post, we’ll dive deep into everything you need to know about the FastPass+ system, the tips, tricks and Disney FastPass+ secrets you must know to make the most out of your visit.

We’ll also look at the differences between the systems at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Lastly, we’ll take a look at what’s working great in 2018 so you can make the most of your next visit.

My family (pictured throughout this post) loves all things Disney; movies, characters and especially the theme parks. While perhaps not the most knowledgeable in the land; we’re certainly experts.

We have learned how to navigate even the biggest crowds and still avoid long lines while riding all the best rides.  Learning some of these Disney fastPass+ secrets is the key to doing just that, and so much more!

Speaking of rides . . .

Anyone hitting up Toy Story Land this year???

What is the FastPass & How Do You Use It??

FastPass is the system Disney came up with in 1999 as a way for guests of its parks to reserve a spot on the rides with the longest lines.

Traditionally you would insert your park pass into a little kiosk near the ride and it would spit out a paper FastPass ticket. It would display a 1-hour window of time during which you could return and skip the big line often saving hours of time.

The beauty of the FastPass system is that you can return to the ride anytime during your 1-hour window and go right to the FastPass line which would typically be SIGNIFICANTLY shorter than the regular line.

Timed correctly you could literally strategize your park visit knowing which rides traditionally had lines, which offered a FastPass and where they all were in proximity to one another.

What’s the Difference Between FastPass and FastPass+?

Currently, Disneyland in Anaheim, CA still uses the traditional FastPass system whereas in Walt Disney World in Orlando switched to the FastPass+ system.

FastPass+ allows guests to log in to their My Disney Experience (either Apple app, Android app or browser-based) and make reservations; no paper tickets needed!

You can book reservations as much as 30 days in advance of your trip starting at 7am that day. BUT if you are staying at a Disney resort you can book as much as 60 days ahead of time! That’s certainly a great Disney FastPass+ secret!

FastPass+ allows you to book a max of 3 rides at any given time, but once you’ve ridden or canceled them, book 3 more!

I spoke with Chef Jeff Johnston who also happens to be a Disney expert on his best Disney FastPass+ secrets for navigating the parks and using FastPass+ to the max.

Jeff noted For Walt Disney World, it is essential to plan ahead. While FastPass can be reserved online, having the Magic Bands can make it easier.”

He went on say that “The old school system required walking to the attraction, entering your admission ticket, and a Pass would print.

Planning ahead eliminates this, so you can plan your day going to the actual attractions (and getting into the line) vs walking to each one, to only get a pass for later in the day.”

What is a Disney Magic Band?

A Magic Band is an electronic wristband you wear with an embedded RFID chip. It seamlessly integrates with your MyDisneyExperience account allowing you to travel lighter.

As Disney states: “Use it to enter the parks, unlock your Disney Resort hotel room and buy food and merchandise. Plus, your MagicBand gives you FastPass+ access to all the experiences you’ve selected online”. Simply touch the wristband to a card reader and away you go!

It also unlocks special surprises throughout the park which are customized for you. Those surprises get uploaded as pictures to your Disney PhotoPass account and can be pulled up later for saving or printing.

Customize with custom colors too! Or get one of these awesome fully custom MagicBands on Amazon and link it to your Disney Account!

Disney FastPass+ Secrets Middle Class Dad Belle MagicBandDisney FastPass+ Secrets Middle Class Dad Jack Skellington MagicBandDisney FastPass+ Secrets Middle Class Dad Doc McStuffins MagicBand


Desperately wanting to go to a Disney park but aren’t sure how you’ll pay for it? Check out my 7 Ways You Can Have a Great Vacation on a Budget!


Is the FastPass at Disney World Free?

Yes, Disney has never charged for FastPass or FastPass+ at any of its parks (and hopefully never will).

Guests of Disney resorts do get additional lead time on reserving FastPass days and times, but FastPass (at Disneyland) and FastPass+ (at Disney World) are included in the price of your ticket.

What Time Can You Make Fast Passes For?

When staying at a Disney World Resort, you can start making FastPass+ reservations 60 days before you arrive, starting at 7:00 a.m. EST.

Check out all the amazing deals on Disney Resorts in Orlando.

When staying elsewhere, you can begin making your FastPass+ selections 30 days ahead, also starting at 7:00 a.m, EST.

Remember too that FastPass and FastPass+ are only available for select rides at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Want to know which rides are available for FastPasses?

Check the FastPass Rides at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA or


Check the FastPass+ Rides at Walt Disney World in Orlando by park

Campbell girls with Minnie Mouse Middle Class Dad


Speaking of time, the best time to plan your Disney trip is at least 6 months ahead of time (or more)! Check out the 7 Summer Vacation Planning Steps Your Family Needs to Know.

So let’s review the . . . 

11 Best Disney Fastpass+ Secrets That’ll Work for You in 2018

1. Get the My Disney Experience free app/strong

FastPass+ allows guests to log in to their My Disney Experience (either Apple app, Android app or browser-based) and make reservations; no paper tickets needed!

Traveling with kids, friends or family?

Make sure to register everyone under your Family & Friends list for easy FastPass+ booking! That way you can book FastPasses for everyone.

Not ready to go mobile?

No problem! There’s plenty of kiosks in Walt Disney World. Check the complete list of kiosks here.

2. Best Times To Ride Without a FastPass

Campbell family with Buzz Lightyear at Disneyland Middle Class Dad

Chef Jeff Johnston commented above on the importance of planning with your FastPass+. However, there are also plenty of times and instances where it’s not needed (and thus a waste of your FastPass).

He goes on to say “While FastPass is a great tool, I also encourage Single Rider attractions, when available. While FastPass+ is great for a family, you are only limited to a certain number of attractions in a day, and after different “classifications” of attractions.

But if a Single Rider is available, you’re cutting off even more time in the line.” Single Rider attractions generally allow 1 person to go right to the front of the line and thus you don’t even need Disney FastPass+ secrets to get right on.

Want to know which rides have Single Rider available? Check out the options for Disneyland (Anaheim) and Walt Disney World (Orlando).

But Johnston elaborates that “No, you can’t necessarily get the same Splash Mountain pic by your loved one, but you can re-enter as much as you like. If children are old enough, (single rider) is definitely a good option, if they want to go on the same ride more than once. WDW has it offered, but this option is more available at Disneyland in California. Either way, I find it more useful.”

Right now, CheapOAir has flights to Orlando as low as $111, round trip!

3. Best Times to Schedule FastPass+

Johnston goes on to say that “While most people arrive super early, to catch the prime rides, I tend to arrive later in the morning, IF I have Magic Band Extra Magic Hours, or the park stays open later into the night.”.

Since Walt Disney World allows all visitors to schedule 30 days in advance and resort guests 60 days out, definitely take advantage of this. Get those top rides booked and out of the way so the stress is off.

What are the most popular rides at Walt Disney World?

Travel & Leisure ranked every single one from least to most popular, so check out their complete list and plan accordingly.

4. Proven Ways to Schedule Even if it Says They’re Full

Let’s be honest. A LOT of people go to Walt Disney World.

A LOT of people use mobile devices. Thus there are a LOT of people all trying to book FastPass+ reservations for the same rides you want.

You may find that the rides you want are full at the times you want them. This is especially true if you aren’t a resort guest (and thus guests have an extra 30 days you don’t to book). But it’s also very true during the hot (literally and figuratively) summer vacation times too.

Think that means you’re out of luck? Think again!

Keep checking FastPass+ reservations for the rides you want. People are changing their reservations all the time and you just might catch Star Tours at just the right time.

You can also reserve just 1 spot and if you get it, later go back and add the other people in your group; the ultimate of the Disney FastPass+ secrets.

When flying into Orlando (or Anaheim), don’t forget the rental car!

Neither city is easy to get around in via public transportation so a car rental makes family travel MUCH easier; especially going between parks at Walt Disney World. Check out the amazing deals on rental cars on Travelocity

Campbell family with Mater at Disneyland Middle Class Dad

5. Plan Rides and Fast Passes by Location

Chef Johnston notes the following Disney FastPass+ secrets “Another big factor at the Disney Parks is having the app on your phone. The app, plus having the Park Hopper option.

In Anaheim, I can examine the app, review wait times, and switch between parks, depending on wait times. Also possible at WDW, but transportation can slow that down (since you can’t just walk between parks like you can in Disneyland).

Either way, you can have lunch, or shop, when the lines are super long. Wait till later in the night, and you can visit many attractions, and for multiple times.”

Lastly, he notes “Everything is so full during the day, but you can walk on anything later at night. What would be a 2 hr Space Mountain wait, is maybe 20-25 mins“.

Looking for more budget-friendly alternatives to staying at Walt Disney World? TripAdvisor has loads of great deals, including some 4 stars under $100/night!

6. You Can Book Up to 3 Fast Passes in Advance Each Day

When staying at a Disney World Resort, you can start making FastPass+ reservations 60 days before you arrive, starting at 7:00 a.m. EST.

When staying elsewhere, you can begin making your FastPass+ selections 30 days ahead, also starting at 7:00 a.m, EST.

7. As You Use Those Bookings, Book More!

FastPass+ allows you to book a max of 3 rides at any given time.

Think you’re done once you’ve done 3? Nope. One of the best Disney FastPass+ secrets is that once you’ve ridden or canceled them you can book 3 more! But you do have to use all 3 before you can book more.

8. Fast Pass+ Isn’t Just for Rides – Book Character Visits, Parade Spots & More!

Think FastPass+ is just for rides at Disney World? Think again!

Use it to book character visits with your favorite princess. Or get special viewing areas for parades, fireworks, and events such as Fantasmic! & the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!

Log in to your MyDisneyExperience account to book restaurant reservations too!

9. Staying at a Disney Resort? Book Your FastPass+ events 60 Days in Advance!

When staying at a Disney World Resort, you can start making FastPass+ reservations 60 days before you arrive, starting at 7:00 a.m. EST.

Check out all the amazing deals on Disney Resorts in Orlando.

Campbell family with Evil Emperor Zurg at Disneyland Middle Class Dad

10. Not Staying with Disney? You Can Still Reserve 30 Days in Advance!

When staying elsewhere, you can begin making your FastPass+ selections 30 days ahead, also starting at 7:00 a.m, EST.

Let’s face it, Disney resorts are not the low-price leader. TripAdvisor has loads of great deals, including some 4 stars under $100/night!

11. Check Wait Times with the App – No Need to Waste Your FastPasses!

One of my favorite Disney FastPass+ secrets is to not waste a FastPass if I don’t have to. I use the Wait Times for Disney World app to check wait times for all rides in real time.

Download it for free on Android or Apple.

Going to Disneyland in Anaheim? No problem! They have Wait Times or Disneyland apps too! Also on Apple and Android.

With these apps, you can literally see in real time if the Star Tours ride happens to only have a 20-minute wait or if there’s another ride you can do near a FastPass ride you’re waiting on.

Dive in deeper with The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2018!

4.5 stars on Amazon Prime and well over 1,000 reviews tells you this is THE book to have for your next visit!

Disney FastPass+ Secrets Middle Class Dad Unofficial Guide

Going back to Disney expert Jeff Johnston, he also notes that “At Disneyland, and every other park, I tend to forego parades and fireworks, if I’m staying for multiple days. Once the larger crowds start to form, as they are waiting for these shows, this is prime time for shorter lines and empty shows.

While Mine Train or Space Mountain still have a wait, they will be much shorter, during these times. After 9 PM is another great time, if you get the kids to nap during the day. ”

Pirates of the Caribbean at Noon: Hour long wait. After 9? Walk right on.”

Right now, CheapOAir has flights to Orlando as low as $111, round trip!

I hope this post gave you all the details on the Disney FastPass and FastPass+ system you need to make the most of your next trip to Disneyland or Walt Disney World.

We looked at all the tips, tricks and Disney FastPass+ secrets known to mankind that are guaranteed to make your trip in 2018 (and beyond) an amazingly memorable trip.

These aren’t called the Happiest Places on Earth for no reason and they are among my families favorite places to visit.

Come to think of it, my family is overdue for a Disney adventure!


Did we cover everything you wanted to know about Disney FastPass+ Secrets?

In this post, we dug in deep on everything you need to know about the Disney fastPass+ system currenly in use at Florida’s Walt Disney World.

Specifically we looked at the Disney fastPass+ secrets you need to know to make your trip go smoother and to help ensure you get to ride all the rides you want to do.

Any tips, suggestions or questions on your next Disney trip?

If you like this post, please consider sharing on Facebook, because if it helped you, it just might help someone else!

 

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