Fastpass is really pretty cool, and that’s coming from someone who fell in love with WDW during long hot summers standing in long pre-Fastpass lines. Unlike Universal Studios and Six Flags theme parks, Fastpass comes free with your park admission. But what seems like something pretty simple and time-saving can actually be a huge bummer if you make the following mistakes.
1. Get a Fastpass for a line with anything less than a 20 minute wait.
This is a big waste, when summer lines for Soarin’ and Toy Story Mania are easily 90 to 120 minutes. You could be in and out in less time than 20 minutes, but you may have to wait to get another Fastpass for hours, depending on crowd levels. Stand in line for 20 minutes, and then Fastpass the more popular rides with way longer wait times.
2. Don’t get your Fastpasses early in the morning.
Disney only hands out a certain number of Fastpasses each day for each ride, depending on how many people can ride the ride each day. I have never been on Toy Story Mania, because I have never been able to get myself to the Fastpass kiosk in time to get the pass, or I got there to find the line to get the Fastpass was 45 minutes long. If there is a certain ride you really want to ride, you need to get to the park early and pick up the Fastpass.
I recently overheard an older woman talking on a monorail to a total stranger. She was detailing how she had gone to Epcot about 4 p.m. on an early June afternoon just to ride Soarin’. She arrived to find they had passed out all the Fastpasses already, and the stand-by time was 120 minutes. I didn’t point out she missed her early morning window. Why? Because my sons Fastpassed “Dinosaur” at Animal Kingdom (20 minute wait) just a couple hours prior, and I didn’t want to be a huge hypocrite.
And by pick up your Fastpasses first thing in the morning, I am talking about before say eleven o’clock. If you show up to the parks after that point, you run the risk of Fastpasses having run out. Good luck, because I stay up so late at Disney that I’m lucky to arrive by noon on some days. And by that time, the return time is 8 p.m., or they have run out for the day.
3. Drag the whole family along to pick up the Fastpass.
I frequently write about two regular common sense topics; Disney is expensive and you will walk your tootsies off on vacation. How about send one adult, or older child, to get the Fastpasses for the whole family. This will allow other family members to ride rides and put less mileage on your tennis shoes.
To get to Soarin’ for Fastpasses, ride some other rides, and head back to Soarin’ to actually use the passes at the proper time will require some pretty serious walking. I really believe it’s hard to do a full day at Epcot in under 10 miles of walking. All family members do not have to be present to get Fastpasses; you just have to have a park ticket that has been used that day. If dad stayed at the resort for the day but you have his ticket, that won’t get you a Fastpass for him. (Don’t ask how I know.) Send a family representative with the tickets to pick up a set, and you’ll all be glad and less tired later.
4. Miss your return time.
Oops, you decided to see a show or a parade and missed your Fastpass return time. In olden days, Disney Cast members would overlook your actual return time and let you on the ride. Now, updated Disney policy, you had better get there between your two specified times, or that Fastpass will be be useful only as a bookmark.
5. Leave your park tickets at the Fastpass kiosk.
Leaving your tickets behind is going to cause all sorts of issues that waste time and thus money. You might want to take a Zip Lock to hold them in, or Disney sells a small waterproof plastic case that is just the right size.
And then there’s baby swap!
Mouze Kateerz fan Lori reminded me of another way to utilize Fastpasses. “Getting fast passes for everyone when you have to baby swap is another. It took us 10 days before this finally dawned on us. When you baby swap, they let three other people on with you the second time. So only one adult needs the fast past to go on and gets the baby swap ticket. The adult going on second doesn’t need one as they will have the baby swap ticket which automatically sends them into the fast pass line. This leaves more fast passes for other people.”
Fastpass was designed to save you time, so work the system and save yourself some time! If you have any other ideas on how to waste a Fastpass, be sure to let us know so we can pass them on.
Thanks for stopping by for a photographical Disney ride, and we’ll see you in line to pick up those Fastpasses.
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