My Disney Experience: The FastPass Selection Process

My Magic +

My Magic +

Guests staying onsite at a Walt Disney World Resort are now wearing bracelets called MagicBands that act like a room key, theme park tickets and dining passes ( if you have added dining plans to your stay). We officially hit the 60 day mark of our Disney vacation countdown the other day, which meant that it was time to select the FastPasses that will be added to our MagicBands.

If you are unfamiliar with FastPasses; they are a way to schedule a ride, character meet and greet or a live show time so you do not have to wait in a lengthy queue. Guests arrive at a designated time (an hour increment) and wait in a much shorter line or get priority viewing at a nighttime spectacular…thus freeing up more of your day.

The new MagicBand technology allows guests to add FastPasses to the bracelet…so no more walking around with paper passes that could get lost in your backpack. Gone are the days of running to a FastPass kiosk in the morning to score those coveted gems. Guests are now scanning their MagicBands at the rides and experiences during their FastPass timeslots.

How does the new process work?

On your 60 day mark (or shortly thereafter), log on to the My Disney Experience site. Under the “Plan and Manage” section, select “FastPass+”.

You will select your vacation dates, park you will be attending each day and make your ride selections. Disney also asks you to list the priority for each ride, in order of most important to the least important to you. There is a limit of 3 FastPasses per day.

The Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom group their selections into one category from which you make your selections. Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot have separate categories since some of the rides in the parks are significantly more popular.

Here is the current breakdown of the selections for each park. They are subject to change as the FastPass process progresses.

Magic Kingdom

Select 3 from this group:

  • It’s a Small World
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyears’ Ranger Spin
  • Dumbo
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • The Haunted Mansion
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Ariel Meet and Greet
  • Cinderella Meet and Greet
  • Mickey Mouse Town Square Meet and Greet
  • Rapunzel Meet and Greet
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain (currently closed for refurbishment)
  • The Barnstormer
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Under the Sea- Journey of The Little Mermaid

Epcot

Select 1 from this group:

  • Illuminations: Reflections of Earth
  • Maelstrom
  • Epcot Character Spot Disney Pals Meet and Greet
  • Soarin’
  • Test Track Presented by Chevrolet

Select 2 from this group:

  • Captain EO
  • Journey Into Imagination with Figment
  • Living with the Land
  • Mission: SPACE
  • Spaceship Earth
  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends
  • Turtle Talk with Crush

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Select 1 from this group:

  • Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage
  • Fantasmic!
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  • Toy Story Midway Mania!

Select 2 from this group:

  • Disney Junior- Live on Stage
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
  • Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show
  • MuppetVision 3D
  • Star Tours
  • The American Idol Experience
  • The Great Movie Ride
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Select 3 from this group:

  • Dinosaur
  • Expedition Everest
  • Finding Nemo- The Musical
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Disney Pals Adventurers Outpost Meet and Greet
  • Primeval Whirl

 

The system will give you several Fastpass options and will specify if there is a conflict with a dining reservation. Once you make your selections, the FastPass times will be added to your daily itinerary. Guests must manually make selections for each day of their trip.

If you wish to change the times of your FastPasses, you can easily go into the itinerary and make the corrections. The system will even allow you to choose a timeframe if you ask to see all of the available timeslots.

Are there any drawbacks?

While selecting our FastPasses, I noticed that the system tended to plan most of the passes for the morning hours. When vacationing, we really like to take our time leaving the hotel and are not at the park as soon as it opens. There were several occasions when it gave us evening hours; however some of the times conflicted with our dinner reservations. Disney should consider allowing guests to select the times that work for them, prior to offering choices of timeslots.

After choosing the FastPasses, I continued to get a “Server is Busy” screen during every selection. It said that the system was down and suggested to try again later. Upon checking the itinerary, the FastPasses were indeed scheduled, so this is obviously a glitch they need to fix.

This new system does not take into account if the guest is park hopping between two or more parks a day. Your FastPasses can only be scheduled for one park per day.

With the introduction of any new process, snags and issues are to be expected.  While I encountered several situations that will surely require some adjusting, overall the process will simplify our days in the parks.  It will be nice to be able to use the My Disney Experience app on our phones to view our daily itinerary and note the FastPass times, rather than relying on my paper lists of the past.  While spontaneity is lost with this process, it will be nice to know we won’t be standing in hour long lines for our favorite rides.

Do you think this process will make your vacation more magical? Do you like being able to schedule FastPasses before your trip?

 

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