How do you plan your Disney Parks vacation with Disney Fast Pass+? Do you get the most out of your park day by planning ahead and finding the best ways to have shorter wait times?
I am a Disney Parks planning fanatic. We visit at least one Disney park every few years, and I spend a lot of time planning, looking at ride wait times, and scheduling calendar reminders so I can get the Disney Fast Pass+ plans that we need.
(Planning ahead also means we can get the dinner reservations we want - did you know you can make Disney Parks and Disney Resorts restaurant reservations 180 days in advance? For the most popular character experiences, you need to do just that.)
Tips for making the most of your Disney vacation by scheduling Disney Fast Pass+:
#1 - Know when you can reserve. If you are not staying at an on-property resort hotel, you can book Fast Pass+ 30 days in advance. If you are staying on property, you can book 60 days in advance plus the length of your stay. Look up the details that pertain to your own visit and mark that date on your calendar. I jump on the My Disney Experience app at the earliest moment so I have my full pick of the Disney Fast Pass+ options. This is really important if you want a Fast Pass for some of the most popular attractions like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom or the brand new Frozen attraction at Epcot. Princess and Mickey character meet-and-greets also book up almost instantly.
#2 - Get the My Disney Experience app - and use it. This is your lifeline to planning your Disney Parks vacation. You can book restaurants, experiences, Fast Passes, and keep all reservations and info for your entire family in one place. The app is also the best way to know what ride wait times are like on the days you visit and to quickly snap up any extra Disney Fast Pass+ reservations after the initial ones are used. You can also use park maps to make sure you are not scheduling Fast Passes in a way that leaves you running cross-park several times.
#3 - Know which attractions have long waits. Don't reserve Disney Fast Pass+ for rides that do not usually have long waits. Thrill rides, Peter Pan's Flight, new rides, and most character experiences are the best ones to reserve via Disney Fast Pass+. Also, some attractions sell out of Fast Passes by morning while others have availability until evening. You can look at ride wait times and Fast Pass + afternoon availability with the app at any time. Look at a similar day of the week to match what you may experience on your own vacation dates.
#4 - Reserve in advance. This may be obvious given my #1 tip above, but do not delay. The popular Disney Fast Pass+
attractions fill up quickly.
#5 - Schedule your Disney Fast Pass+ attractions early in the day. You want to schedule them early in the day
so you have a chance to snag more Fast Passes later. However, if you arrive at the park at opening time, it is likely you will be able to experience at least two attractions with little wait. So schedule your first Fast Pass about one hour after park opening. And immediately go to different attractions when you enter the park.
#5 - Look for more Fast Pass availability on park day. As soon as you
have used your third pre-reserved Fast Pass, open the app, browse the
ride wait times, and see what additional Fast Passes are available. This
will allow you and your family to have another ride or attraction
experience with little or no wait. You can only get one at at time this
way, but we are usually able to
get at least one in the late afternoon and another in the evening.
This may sound like a lot of planning and while that suits me just fine, some of you may not be planners. But this is so worth it! Also, if you do not like to wait in long lines, get familiar with the busy seasons at Disney Parks - and avoid them. September and February are fantastic months to visit!