19 Best Disney Fastpass+ Secrets, Hacks & Tiers 2019 Guide

19 Best Disney Fastpass+ Secrets, Hacks & Tiers 2019 Guide

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Looking for Disney Fastpass+ Secrets That’ll Work for You in 2019?

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!

Some of the best Disney FastPass+ secrets include booking passes 30-60 days in advance, planning FastPasses by Tier & location, knowing when lines are short so you can save your FastPasses for busier rides, downloading the My Disney Experience free app, and using a free app to show you real-time ride waits.

But there’s SO much more to go into to make sure your next Walt Disney World visit is outstanding!

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

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 2019 so you can make the most of your next visit.

Make sure to check out all my personal recommendations (just click to see my page) on saving money on hotel, rental cars, airfare, park tickets, and even saving money on costumes and toys!

Of course, we know our kids are going to want Disney swag for that next park adventure or just in general. So do what I like to do and NOT buy it at the park.

You can save a boatload and still get great quality Disney Princess Dresses, Disney World Backpacks, and even Lightsabers for a fraction of what you might pay in the park, so click those links to see current options and prices on Amazon.

What is 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.

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What if I miss my FastPass ride time?

Don’t sweat it!

Disney knows that trekking around the park isn’t always easy. So they built in a buffer on either side of the FastPass+ ride times. You can board your ride up to 5 minutes ahead of time or within 15 minutes after the ride time.

This is definitely one to the top FastPass+ secrets!

Do you have to use a FastPass to enjoy a Disney park?

No is the short answer.

That being said, it can DEFINITELY make your visit more enjoyable.  Last year over 20 million people went to Flordia’s Walt Disney World’s parks.

While Hollywood Studios is a little less popular than The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, or Animal Kingdom, all of them still got MILLIONS of visitors.

Honestly, it’s crazy that Hollywood Studios gets fewer people than the other parks, so if you want to see some shorter lines, check out What to do at Hollywood Studios (click to see my article now), home of Toy Story Land and the soon-to-open Star Wars Land (called Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge). 

But no matter which of the parks you visit, FastPasses, while certainly not mandatory, just make your visit a LOT better!

With a little strategy and maybe some of the free apps available that show you wait times, why wouldn’t you want to use the FastPass+ system? After all, it’s free and can literally save you hours of waiting in line.

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 7 am 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 (click to see the amazing selection on Amazon) can make it easier.”

He went on to 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.

They are waterproof as well in case you’re going to one of the Walt Disney World Waterparks.

Desperately wanting to go to a Disney park but aren’t sure how you’ll pay for it? Check out my article on crucial Vacation on a Budget tips you might not have thought of!

Are Magic Bands free?

They are free IF you are staying at a Disney resort property. If you are not staying at a Disney property (or if you want one of the fun customized ones), you will have to pay to get one.

Basic bands cost under $15 at current prices or you can spend $30 or more at park stores for character-specific ones. 

Customize Magic Bands with custom colors too! Or get a fully custom MagicBands on Amazon and link it to your Disney Account!

Among others, they have Belle Magic Bands (my middle daughter’s favorite), Ariel, Inside Out, Nightmare Before Christmas and many more.

Do you have to use a Magic Band?

The short answer is no; you do not have to use a Magic Band (it simply makes things easier).

How do I use a magic band?

Simply tap the Mickey icon (if using a basic Magic Band) on the face of the MagicBand when you see an electronic reader.

All Walt Disney Resorts use these to access hotel rooms. But you’ll also see them at most restaurants, stores, entrance gates, and at all FastPass+ rides and attractions.

If you’re staying at a Disney hotel, you can also use a Magic Band to charge merchandise or meals to your room by simply creating and using a pin number. You create your PIN at the time you check into your room.

What happens if I lose my MagicBand?

If you lose your MagicBand, go to the front desk of any Disney hotel or to any of the park guest relations offices immediately after realizing it has been lost (or possibly stolen).

Disney will deactivate the band to prevent others from using it to charge to your account, enter your room, or otherwise use it. For this reason, NEVER write your PIN on your Magic Band. Disney will next issue you a replacement Magic Band (a plain one).

You can also deactivate the Magic Band yourself using the MyDisneyExperience website or app. Just go to the manage MagicBand section in the app, tap your band, and then deactivate. You can get a replacement anytime.

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.

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

In terms of what time can you make your FastPass reservations for, that varies from ride to ride and park to park, but usually it’s 9 or 10 am, so you cannot typically make a reservation for right when the park opens.

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 (click to see on the Disney site) in Anaheim, CA or

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

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 most important Steps to Plan a Vacation (click to read my article)!

What are the FastPass tiers?

Disney FastPass tiers are something Disney just started doing to help spread out FastPass availability to all guests.

Of course, all of us tend to try and get FastPasses for the above mentioned most popular rides. Thus, they came up with the FastPass tier system to limit guests from just picking the popular rides.

While at Walt Disney World they have implemented this system at Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios, they have not (as of yet) introduced it to the Magic Kingdom.

To implement the tier system, Disney has taken the most popular rides and put them into categories they call tiers.

There are currently only 2 tiers. Tier 1 rides are the most popular rides, followed by Tier 2 rides. See my list below of the most popular FastPass+ rides which also list which tier they are in.

When picking your 3 FastPass+ rides at Epcot, Animal Kingdom, or Hollywood Studios, you can pick one ride from the FastPass+ Tier 1 list and 2 FastPasses from the FastPass+ Tier 2 list. 

Devon commented below with another killer Fast Pass Tier tip saying:

“You do NOT have to book a Tier 1 ride if you don’t want to.

Say you’re bringing Grandma along with you and she doesn’t want to do Slinky Dog Dash or Alien Swirling Saucers or Toy Story Mania! but she does want to make sure she has seats for her favorite musicals/shows – it is totally acceptable to book her three Tier 2 fastpasses right off the bat!”.

What FastPasses are the most popular?

One of the best Disney FastPass+ secrets is knowing which rides are the most popular.

These rides naturally get the most demand from the FastPass+ system. Thus, knowing that, you’ll either want to hit those rides right when the park opens (when the lines are short or non-existent) or build your FastPass+ strategy around getting FastPasses for these rides.

Since these can be hard to get, let’s review the most sought after ones, by park location:

EPCOT

  • Frozen Ever After – Tier 1 (this will only get worse when Frozen 2 opens in November 2019)
  • Mission: Space – Tier 2
  • Test Track – Tier 1
  • Soarin’ – Tier 1
  • Spaceship Earth – Tier 2

MAGIC KINGDOM (does not use tiers)

  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Thunder Mountain
  • Space Mountain
  • Thunder Mountain

ANIMAL KINGDOM

  • Na’vi River Journey – Tier 1
  • Avatar Flight of Passage – Tier 1
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris – Tier 2
  • Expedition Everest – Tier 2
  • DINOSAUR – Tier 2

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS (these will no doubt change when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens in late 2019)

  • Slinky Dog Dash – Tier 1
  • Toy Story Midway Mania! – Tier 1
  • Alien Swirling Saucers – Tier 1
  • Star Tours – Tier 2
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster® Starring Aerosmith – Tier 2
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – Tier 2 (yes, they still have this! They only closed the one in Anaheim)

Can you only get 3 FastPasses each day?

FastPasses have no limit!

Where people get confused is that you can only hold 3 reservations at a time. Your initial 3 FastPass+ bookings are done in advance (30 days normally but up to 60 days in advance if staying at a Disney hotel).

You also have to make those 3 at the same park. By that I mean you can’t book Star Tours at Hollywood Studios and then also book Peter Pan’s Flight at the Magic Kingdom. 

Once you use your 1st set of 3 FastPasses (of if you didn’t use them all but the time expired) book more. You can literally keep going all day until the park closes. 

Using the Park Hopper option (which my family always does), use your 3 FastPasses at one park, then book some more at another park and head on over to use them.

Make sure to check out all my personal recommendations (click to go to my page) on saving money on hotel, rental cars, airfare, park tickets, and even saving money on costumes and toys!

What is Disney Early Morning Magic?

Early morning magic is an option you pay for when you buy your tickets.

Currently, you’ll pay $69 per adult and $59 per child for early morning magic, and the number of tickets is very limited.

It allows you access to the parks 1 hour prior to the official opening times. But you also get all-you-can-eat breakfast. It does NOT, however, give you access to EVERY ride.

Currently, this is available at Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom, and Toy Story Land in Hollywood Studios.

How is Early Morning Magic Different from Extra Magic Hours?

Essentially the difference is that Extra Magic Hours can be prior to park opening, or after park closing and they are only available to park guests staying at the following Disney resorts:

  • Disney Resort hotels
  • Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
  • Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
  • Shades of Green® Resort
  • Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels
  • Four Seasons Resort Orlando
  • Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
  • Waldorf Astoria Orlando

See the complete list of rides available for Extra Magic Hours on the Disney site.

Because of the additional crowds on those days (it’s not offered every day), I would not, necessarily, try to rope drop at Disney World on those days. So make sure to check the calendar and see if it’s an Extra Magic Hours day.

What is rope drop at Disney world?

The world of Disney can get complicated and confusing.

You might think if the park opens at 9, it opens at 9, right?

Well, that is except for Early Morning Magic and Extra Magic Hours. But even on top of that, the turnstiles at the parks open up to an hour prior to the official park opening. That doesn’t mean you can ride anything yet, but it does get you one step closer.

Then, some areas do what they call a rope drop, where they let people in early to certain rides like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Toy Story Mania! sometimes up to 45 minutes prior to the official park opening.

Want to know all there is to know about Rope Drop at Disney World? (click to read my article)

Check out one of my latest articles that details everything you need to know about rope drop at all 4 parks in Walt Disney World.

What is a Park Hopper?

A Park Hopper is an option you have when you buy your tickets.

This option allows you to switch back and forth between all of the parks at Walt Disney World on the same day – Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. Or if you’re in Anaheim’s Disneyland, you can switch between Disneyland and California Adventure.

Without a Park Hopper, you can only visit 1 park per day for however many days you purchased when you bought your tickets.

BUT, with multi-day tickets, after you use your 1st-day ticket, you generally have 7 more days to use the remaining tickets, thus, you can take days off in between park visits.

My family LOVES the Park Hopper option and we always get it even though it does raise the costs (but then no matter what you do, this isn’t a cheap vacation).

With current prices listed on the Disney website, a 4-day ticket for ages 10 and up is $340, or $85/day.  If you add the Park Hopper option, however, it will cost anywhere from $113 to $121 per day (varies based on the day you choose).

Thus a 4-day park hopper on the most expensive day would be  $484.

A family of 4 doing that will spend a total of $1,936 instead of $1,360 without the Park Hopper, or a total of $576 more.

In my experience, that’s totally worth doing!

We find the kids sometimes need a nap midday (especially if you visit in summer when it’s beastly hot). Thus, you can head back to the hotel and relax and then head back out later and go to any park you want. 

It’s also true that some families prefer 1 park over the other and may not want to spend an entire day at one when they could be riding Star Tours. My family, for instance, gets a little bored in Animal Kingdom and usually find a few hours is just fine.

Every Disney park is different in terms of the size and how long it takes to enjoy.

Want to know Which Disney Park is the Biggest? (click to read my article) Or maybe which is the most crowded or how different parks compare to one another? Definitely take a moment and review one of my newest posts on that as some of the answers WILL surprise you!

So let’s review the . . . 

19 Best Disney Fastpass+ Secrets, Hacks & Tiers 2019 Guide

1. Get the My Disney Experience free app

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. Know the difference between park opening, turnstile opening & rope drop

Just to make things interesting, Disney parks have a scheduled opening time, but in addition to that and Early Morning Magic Hours, there are turnstile opening times and rope drops.

Disney often opens the turnstiles at Hollywood Studios up to an hour before the scheduled opening time. 

That doesn’t mean you can ride anything, but it does allow you into the park which gets you one step closer to the rides.

At that point, they still have the most popular rides, like Toy Story Mania! roped off. 

But they often drop the rope up to 30 minutes prior to the official park opening time. So get there early, and know exactly where you’re going first.

3. Know the Best Times To Ride Without a FastPass at the Magic Kingdom

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).

Park Hours vary both by park and time of year, but generally speaking, 9 am to 9 or 10 pm is average for the summer months, but always check before you go.

Also, remember that Early Morning Magic Hours can get you limited access an hour or more before the park opens.

Here are the best rides to ride without a FastPass by time and park:

MAGIC KINGDOM

Arrive when the park opens (9 am) and go right to these rides and ride without a FastPass: 

  • Space Mountain
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Splash Mountain
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Then ride the Jungle River Cruise or go to the Haunted Mansion anytime before 11 am and ride without a FastPass.

Save Pirates of the Caribbean and It’s a Small World for after the sun goes down and waiting until the parades start is even better.

4. Know the Best Times To Ride Without a FastPass at Epcot

Arrive when the park opens (9 am) and go right to these rides and ride without a FastPass: 

  • Frozen Ever After
  • Soarin’
  • Test Track

Also know that at peak meal times, people are often in the Epcot World Showcase area since there are so many great restaurants there. So that can be a great time for shorter lines elsewhere.

5. Know the Best Times To Ride Without a FastPass at Hollywood Studios

Arrive up to an hour before the park opens (9 am) to take advantage of turnstile opening and rope drops and go right to these rides and ride without a FastPass: 

  • Tower of Terror
  • Rock n’ Roll Rollercoaster Starring Aerosmith
  • Toy Story Mania!

Then at night when everyone is watching the fireworks, that’s a great time to ride Slinky Dog Dash!

6. Know the Best Times To Ride Without a FastPass at Animal Kingdom

Arrive an hour before the park opens (9 am), as, like Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom often opens lets people in up to 45 minutes early.

Your first goal should be to go right to the Pandora – The World of Avatar area and ride Avatar Flight of Passage when the line will about as short as you’re likely to see. 

Then and go right to these rides and ride without a FastPass: 

  • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
  • DINOSAUR
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris

7. Ride as a Single Rider and Skip the Lines!

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+ 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.”

8. Know the Most Popular Rides

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. But it’s one of those articles that makes you tab through page by page to see them all (which I hate), so let me share the top 20 with you here:

  1. Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain – Animal Kingdom
  2. Haunted Mansion – Magic Kingdom
  3. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – Hollywood Studios
  4. Soarin’ – Epcot
  5. Space Mountain – Magic Kingdom
  6. Toy Story Mania! – Hollywood Studios
  7. Splash Mountain – Magic Kingdom
  8. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – Magic Kingdom
  9. Avatar Flight of Passage – Animal Kingdom
  10. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – Magic Kingdom
  11. Kilimanjaro Safaris – Animal Kingdom
  12. Pirates of the Caribbean – Magic Kingdom
  13. Rock n’ Roll Rollercoaster Starring Aerosmith – Hollywood Studios
  14. Slinky Dog Dash – Toy Story Land (part of Hollywood Studios)
  15. Star Tours – The Adventure Continues – Hollywood Studios
  16. It’s a Small World – Magic Kingdom
  17. Monsters Inc, Laugh Floor – Magic Kingdom
  18. Peter Pan’s Flight – Magic Kingdom
  19. Jungle Cruise – Magic Kingdom
  20. Mad Tea Party – Magic Kingdom

9. Know the Best Times to Schedule FastPass+

Remember that you have to use all 3 FastPasses before you can book more.

If you finish your 3rd FastPass at 6 pm, that doesn’t give you a lot of time to book the next 3. So book your 1st 3 FastPasses to be finished by noon.

That way you get those rides out of the way by lunchtime and then you book 3 more and still have hours before the park closes.

10. 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.

11. Plan Rides and Fast Passes by Tier and Location

Remember that Walt Disney World now makes you select only 1 Tier 1 ride at a time (and two Tier 2 rides). So review my list of those above and map out which ones to go to and when it makes the most sense to ride them.

In Anaheim, I can examine the app that shows wait times, and switch between parks, depending on wait times. While that’s also possible at WDW, switching between parks is much slower since it’s so much larger. So that can slow you down (since you can’t just walk between parks as 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“.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. 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!

15. Avoid using your FastPasses for firework shows

Having said the above, unless you’re staying at Walt Disney World for a whole week, don’t waste your FastPasses on fireworks shows. Chances are no matter which park you’re in, you’ll be able to get a decent view of the show anyway.

Plus, that’s a GREAT time to ride a lot of the normally busy rides.

16. 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.

Campbell family with Evil Emperor Zurg at Disneyland Middle Class Dad

17. 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.

18. 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.

19. Get in line to your favorite ride before the park closes

Disney always allows anyone officially in line to complete a ride even if that is after the park has officially closed.

You just to have to be in line before they announce the park is closed. So while everyone else is rushing to the gates, that’s a great time to jump in line at Star Tours, Toy Story Mania! or other favorites!

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.”

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 is guaranteed to make your trip in 2019 (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!

Make sure to check out all my personal recommendations on saving money on hotel, rental cars, airfare, park tickets, and even saving money on costumes and toys!

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 currently in use at Florida’s Walt Disney World.

Specifically, we looked at the Disney fastPass+ secrets, hacks, and tips 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. We also broke down the new FastPass Tier system so you know how it works and which rides use it.

One of my latest articles covers everything you’ll want to do at Hollywood Studios (click to read), home of Toy Story Land and the new Star Wars Land (called Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge).  You won’t want to miss that. So check it out now!

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

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12 thoughts on “19 Best Disney Fastpass+ Secrets, Hacks & Tiers 2019 Guide”

  1. Just some clarification comments:

    1. You have to use ALL 3 of your pre-booked (from 60 or 30 days prior to check-in) fastpasses before you can start booking additional fastpasses – you cannot use the 1st and book a new 3rd immediately. This sentence: “Once you use your 1st FastPass, book another one. Then use another one, and book another one. You can literally keep going all day until the park closes.” is misleading. You can keep going all day. But you have to use your first 3 before you can book any new ones, and you can only have one new one at a time.

    2. An extra secret you could include if you so desired: You do NOT have to book a Tier 1 ride if you don’t want to. Say you’re bringing Grandma along with you and she doesn’t want to do Slinky Dog Dash or Alien Swirling Saucers or Toy Story Mania! but she does want to make sure she has seats for her favorite musicals/shows – it is totally acceptable to book her three Tier 2 fastpasses right off the bat!

    Thanks for your post!

    Highly recommend Disney’s Moms panel for any points that aren’t 100% solid!

    Thanks,
    Devon

    • Thanks, Devon!

      You’re awesome! Not sure why I had a brain fart on that, but thanks for pointing it out and thanks for the extra tip on tiers! I even included you in my update!

      Thanks again,

      Jeff

  2. Great post! But I just want to let you know that you can use a 4-day base ticket in an 8-day window, it doesn’t have to be used in just 4 days. That could mislead folks.

    • Thanks, Mary!

      I didn’t realize that so thanks for clarifying! I’ll get the post updated today!

      Thanks again,

      Jeff

  3. We are coming to WDW with our daughter and her family, we are linked to together in MY Disney experience. We thought about arriving 1 day later than her, but would that make it impossible to get same fast Passes for all of us, since she can a day earlier? Same question for dinning?

    • Hi Sherry

      Great question! Bear in mind, I’m not officially affiliated with Disney and they are known for their great customer service so it could be worth a call to them to ask. But as I understand things, you would be able to schedule your FastPasses exactly 30 days ahead of time (or 60 if you’re staying at a Disney property). Thus, if your daughter arrives 1 day earlier, she could book her FastPasses 1 day before you can. That being said, as I understand the system, she could also just wait a day and book them at the same time as yours.

      She could also book her 3 and then the next day you try and book those same 3 and if you can’t get them, she could cancel 1 (or more) of hers and book fresh to get the same ones as you. Depending on when you’re going the ones she books one day earlier may not fill up by the time you try.

      Hope that helps! If you find a trick that works, I’d love to hear about it!

      Thanks for being here,

      Jeff

  4. The last time we went to Disney World I must have heard 15 different theories on how to optimize the fast passes from other guests. One other note because our daughter is autistic Disney would allow us to reserve her a spot on rides in addition to the fast pass reservations. We could only reserve one ride at a time for her, but it was helpful.

    • Hi Ben

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

      Hopefully, some of those theories worked for you! That’s also great to hear that they helped out your daughter! I wasn’t aware they did that. I hope you get to return to the park soon!

      Jeff

    • Thanks so much Danielle!

      I appreciate your taking the time to go! I’m overdue as well.

      Thanks!

      Jeff

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