By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.



yourfirstvisit.net—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor



Disney World in the Era of FastPass+



By Dave Shute

FASTPASS+ ONE YEAR ON

Disney World in the Era of FastPass+ from yourfirstvisit.net

Note: my recommended FastPass+ for each park are here.

On New Year’s Eve 2014, waits at Test Track peaked at five hours, and exceeded three hours most of the day.

Were it possible for everyone to have reserved times to ride Test Track (like at a restaurant) ahead of time, every single person that rode Test Track that day could have ridden it at the exact same time with hardly any wait.

This is both the promise and the problem of FastPass+. The way you fix a restaurant that’s so busy that no one goes there anymore is to convert most of its capacity to reservations. But that means those without a reservation are out of luck…

The most popular rides at Walt Disney World commonly have more people willing to ride them than they have capacity, especially during the more popular times of the day and days of the year.

This capacity has to be allocated to some people—and not to others—based on some system.

Traditionally, it was allocated based on willingness to wait, first come, first serve.

People willing to wait whatever the current wait time was entered the queue, and people unwilling went someplace else. All kinds of strategies developed to minimize such waits, such as showing up before park open, getting in line just before park close, and going to Disney World during times of the year when waits are lower.

But the whole reason these strategies work is that so many people can’t or won’t take advantage of them!

They don’t want to, or can’t, get their families up early, don’t want to, or can’t, keep going all the way until park close, or don’t want to, or can’t, take themselves out of work or their kids out of school except during the traditional vacation seasons.

About 15 years ago Disney changed “first come first served” with the introduction of paper FASTPASS, and just about a year ago—January 23, 2014—Walt Disney World shut down the last of its old paper FASTPASS machines at the last park that was using them, Epcot, and completed its conversion entirely to the brand new FastPass+.

Paper FASTPASS reduced waits by assigning a low-wait return time later that day. You had to be in the park that day and in front of a specific ride to get one for that ride that day, and FASTPASSES were issued in the same first come, first serve fashion—those arriving early could get the most FASTPASSES and those arriving late (or on crowded days) would see fewer opportunities.

These old-style FASTPASSES in essence allocated low waits based on willingness to arrive early, willingness to defer riding until later in the day—sometimes much later–and willingness to backtrack in the parks (once to get the FASTPASSES, a second time to use them).

FastPass+ from yourfirstvisit.net

The new FastPass+ are profoundly different. You reserve three rides in one park per day online ahead of time for specific one hour windows, beginning 60 days out for those staying at Disney-owned resorts or the Swan or Dolphin, and 30 days out for everyone else. (Standby lines are also still available for those willing to wait in them.)

So now low waits are being allocated according to both old and new principles—arriving before open, getting in line just before close, and going during lower crowd periods still greatly pay off, but beyond this, low waits are allocated to those

  • Who educate themselves and plan ahead—failing to do so is still the biggest barrier to a great Disney World trip, and why sites like this and books like mine exist…
  • Who can stay at a Disney resort, as sometimes the most popular offerings book out within moments of the 60 day window opening, and other offerings book out between the 60 day Disney window and the 30 day “everyone else” window
  • Who are willing to commit in advance to being in a specific park at a specific time

My MagicBandsFastPass+ presents the biggest changes in how to plan and tour the Disney World parks in more than a decade.

So, since the full conversion I’ve spent 59 days at Walt Disney World (and I live in Northeast Ohio, not Orlando lol) living with FastPass+, and plenty more days thinking and writing about it.

Some observations…

THE BASICS OF FASTPASS+

To use FastPass+, you need a My Disney Experience account and valid park tickets linked within it.

Then, beginning 60 days before check-in if you are staying at a Disney-owned resort or the Swan or Dolphin, or 30 days before use if you are staying anywhere else, you can book one hour windows to see three rides with minimal waits in one park. (Three different rides—no repeats.)

At two parks—the Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom—you can pick your three from any of the FastPass+ rides offered.

At Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios you pick one ride from a short “Tier One” list and the second and third from a longer “Tier Two” list.

Many rides that offer FastPass+ are unwise to choose, and the tiering at Epcot and Hollywood Studios makes it hard to see everything in one day without arriving before park open.

My suggestions on which rides to pick for each park are here, aimed for older kids and adults. You’ll find more good advice in Josh’s cheat sheets here, especially for families with younger children more focused on characters than I am.

The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit 2

And of course our guidebook, The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit, is the only guidebook written from scratch for FastPass+.

Once you’ve used your first three pre-booked FastPass+ you can then pick another from whatever might still be available that day, then another after you’ve used that, etc.

HOW FASTPASS+ IS DIFFERENT

Under the old FASTPASS system, you did not—could not—book rides before arrival. Rather, on the day of your visit you would walk to an eligible ride and grab a paper FASTPASS for it that would entitle you to return to it with minimal waits within a specific window.

Return times were delivered in order—as more FASTPASSES were taken, return times would stretch later and later into the day. For the most popular rides, all FASTPASSES could be distributed by late morning.

You could hold a limited number of FASTPASS at a time, and were eligible for another either two hours later or after your FASTPASS return time—whichever came first.

Within these constraints, so long as they were still available, the return times worked for you, and you had the stamina, you could get as many FASTPASSES as you wished, and could get them multiple times for the same ride.

This worked pretty well, especially for those who arrived before park open or on lower-crowd days.

An early arrival meant you could see at open one to four (depending on the park) rides with hardly any waiting that would later build long lines, and see several more longer-line rides with low waits via FASTPASS —e.g. at 10, 11, and 12.30ish.

After this you could keep going, but the most popular rides would see later and later return times, and the two hour gap between FASTPASS eligibility would begin to tell.

For late arriving guests on busy days FASTPASS did not work so well. Some rides would be out of FASTPASSES and other popular rides would have return times very late in the day.

The new FastPass+ brings its own set of challenges.

  • You need to commit to a park and a time of day ahead of time
  • You can’t pre-book the same ride multiple times in a single day
  • The most popular rides may be booked before the 30 day window opens—even at the 60 day mark, and
  • Tiering at Epcot and Hollywood Studios makes arriving before park open important for those who want to see the most popular Tier One rides in a day—seeing one at park open, and the other via FastPass+.

This has caused a lot of gruff among experienced returning visitors who are used to doing the parks in a certain way, and need to learn new ways to do them, and in particular those used to pulling FASTPASSES to re-ride a single ride multiple times over a day.

But for first-timers, FastPass+ is just great.

FASTPASS+ FOR FIRST-TIMERS

First-time visitors who want to experience the best of Walt Disney World already should know where they will be well in advance, as this enables them to book the best dining.

They should already be booked in a Disney hotel, as this gives advantages for booking both dining reservations and FastPass+ booking windows…and it’s more fun!

The lost opportunity to re-ride the same ride a lot in a day without waits matters less to first-timers, as most will be more interested in seeing the full variety of rides than in re-riding some at the expense of seeing others.

FASTPASS+ FOR RETURNING VISITORS

For experienced returning visitors with a particular way of doing the parks, FastPass+ often presents a difficult transition. Other than booking a few dining spots, they aren’t used to park commitments well in advance.

  • The lost opportunity for easy re-rides—and the tiering at Hollywood Studios and Epcot—means that some old ways of doing things just don’t work any more without much longer waits. Re-rides are still do-able—you can ride a popular ride three times easily, at park open, on a pre-booked Fastpass+, and by getting in line just before park close—but isn’t as easy as it used to be.
  • The limit of three initial reservations at one park represents a loss to those who in the olden days would go from open to close pulling 6 or more paper FASTPASSES along the way. More FastPass+ will be available after the first three, but availability is often scant at the most popular rides.
  • Standby by waits have gone down a bit at the most popular rides, but have gone up a lot at the next level of rides like Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Dinosaur and Spaceship Earth

You can buy your way out of some of these issues.

The flip side to all this is that if returning visitors do commit to a park, have enough days in the parks, and book their FastPass+ well ahead, they can sleep in a lot more than they used to be able to, as the ability to pre-book top rides in the afternoon or evening makes arriving at the parks before open less necessary.

Ditto for being at Disney World on higher crowd days. While all those people were waiting three to five hours for Test Track on New Years Eve, thousands of others had pre-booked their rides for the day via FastPass+ and had short waits even on the busiest day of the year.

An early arrival, FastPass+, and a mid-day break make higher-crowd days much more bearable than they used to be.

And remember that the reason that early arrival or certain dates works is that most people can’t or won’t get up early enough to hit park open, or are unwilling to take their kids about of school to go during lower-crowd periods.

So FastPass+ can make the experience of such people better, as it better ties their ability to book great rides with low waits to the times they actually want to be in the parks.

THE FUTURE OF FASTPASS+

FastPass+ has two purposes: improving guest experiences (although, as noted, that doesn’t work for all old ways of touring the parks) and improving Disney’s economic performance.

The economic part has multiple pieces, but the most important point is keeping people in the Disney parks.
Jay Rasulo, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, commented on this a few weeks ago at the January 2015 Citi 2015 Global Internet, Media and Telecommunications Conference

“…[A]ll of the communications about MyMagic+ have really emphasized that the biggest benefit we believe to our company and our company’s financial performance will be that people who pre-plan spend more time with us on their trip to Orlando.

So for the last 30 years, people have come to Orlando basically for an eight-day vacation, on average…The question is how many of those eight days are they going to spend at Walt Disney World and how many of those eight days are they going to spend elsewhere among other attractions that are in the Orlando area?

We know that when people plan at home before they arrive they spend more time with us. So enabling them with this planning tool called MyMagic+ has [meant that] … they will spend more time with us. So that’s what you are beginning to see in the financials.

…[W]hen you bring technology to it, there are whole new ways that guests can experience … everything … from better planning,[to] more insightful planning, itineraries that they carry around with themselves electronically, the recognition of where they are, the ability to tap into a system that tells them where the park is less full than where they are right now, etc., etc., [it] really does enhance their experience.

And I think that you are going to see that as a fundamental belief system that every one of our guests enters our parks carrying their own personal computer. We’ve enhanced our knowledge of their whereabouts with technology and we are going to continue to build on that… at Walt Disney World…”

Another piece of the both the customer experience and economic rationales is that people waiting in lines aren’t having fun and aren’t spending money. Consider Fantasmic, where even with FastPass+, because the best seats are still first-come first-served, up to ten thousand people wait 30-90 minutes. They don’t want to be in this line, and they aren’t spending money elsewhere.

The answer is an all-reservation system, where every bit of capacity can be reserved in advance. There’s a lot of arguments against this, the most important being that theme parks are designed to have tens of thousands of people in queues. As a result, they don’t have enough circulation space for the same numbers out of queue (this is why the Disney parks can “feel crowded” on low-wait days—because hardly anyone is line).

It would be very hard to retrofit the current parks to an all-reservation system. But I wouldn’t be too surprised to discover that some of the new areas being developed at the Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios launch as FastPass+ only…

What do you think?

(Note: there was much discussion of this post on my Facebook page. For responses to some of the points there, see this.)

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35 comments

1 Karen { 01.27.15 at 12:53 pm }

We’ve been to Disney World for times:

me with a friend in 1986;
my husband and I on our honeymoon in 1991
us with our children in 2005;
and us with our children last month.

The first two trips were obviously without fast pass, the first one in August and the second in February. Obviously, our honeymoon, in February, was an amazing experience of getting in line, immediately getting on a ride, riding it, getting off the ride, running around to the line and immediately getting back on the ride again!

I don’t remember doing too much planning ahead on the computer into thousand five, but the trip last month, METICULOUSLY planned on the computer, up until a couple of days before we left, was awesome! We were able to eat at Cinderella’s Castle and Be Our Guest and ride just about everything we wanted to! My son and I even rode Mission: Space four or five times in a row!

2 Josie { 01.28.15 at 12:25 pm }

You seem to have left off that you can actually get more than three fast passes per day with the new system. If you book them all early in the day, you can book more, one at a time as a fast pass+ kiosk in any park. You can still have up to 6 or more fast passes per day if you plan well. The frustrating thing for park veterans is choosing the park so far in advance and then having weather or family not cooperate with the events you chose for the day. Like booking MK and Splash Mountain on a day it’s uncharacteristically cold and or raining or when someone ends up being sick. Also, the parks are crazy to navigate even for those who know their way around and sometimes it’s hard to keep schedule ride times when faced with crowds, bathroom breaks, and time to eat.

3 Dave { 01.29.15 at 7:27 am }

Josie, right above “HOW FASTPASS+ IS DIFFERENT” is this:

“Once you’ve used your first three pre-booked FastPass+ you can then pick another from whatever might still be available that day, then another after you’ve used that, etc.”

4 Nanci { 01.29.15 at 11:31 am }

My fear with the possibility of new attractions becoming FP+ only has come to fruition with Be Our Guest restaurant…if you aren’t a WDW resort guest, sorry but you aren’t welcome here.

5 Mark { 01.29.15 at 2:38 pm }

Hi Dave,

This is a terrific article. We visited WDW this past October. I planned the trip using a combination of advice from your web site and Josh’s web site.

My experience with FastPass+ is that there are a lot of positive aspects and just a few drawbacks. My biggest complaint is that WDW was experimenting with only allowing people with FastPass+ to ride Toy Story Mania and to dine at Be Our Guest for lunch while we were there. A second ride (as stand-by) and the BOG lunch were the only things we did not accomplish from our plans for the trip. It was more of a problem of thwarted expectations than with FastPass+.

I remember the trip we did with my parents in the 1970s with the old paper ticket system. I remember that each of us were given a book with a certain number of tiered tickets in it. If you wanted to ride more rides, you had to buy more tickets. Do you think WDW might move back to an electronic version of that system using FastPass+? It would have the advantage of planning exactly the vacation one wants, within budget constraints. It would have the disadvantage of taking much of the spontaneity out of a WDW vacation.

6 Kelly B - Agent with Destinations in Florida { 01.30.15 at 9:44 am }

Ive never been a FastPass sort of person. We’ve traveled with my Uncle, known as the “FastPass King”, so I had my fare share of using them. I’m a planner by nature (which really makes sense that I’m a Disney Vacation Planner LOL), but Disney was the one place I liked to “not” plan. Unfortunately, Disney has changed a lot in the past few years and planning really is required no (especially if you plan to dine).

So pick “Must See” rides and attractions (Soarin’, Anna and Elsa Meet and Greet, etc.). Things that no matter the time, crowd levels, dates, you’ll need a FastPass+. Make them early in the day (so you can take advantage of additional FastPass+ and can change parks if you have the Hopper option.

Special Note: Look at a map when planning (it’s right there at the bottom of the screen on My Disney Experience. You’ll see markers on the map where each of your selections is located). Plan your day with a Flow of travel in mind. If you are planning on going to Magic Kingdom and starting in Tomorrowland. Don’t plan a FastPass there followed immediately by one in AdventureLand followed immediately by lunch in Fantasyland. You’ll spend more time going back and forth between attractions, and end up with tired feet and cranky kids, than you will save using the fastpass.

So schedule the fastpass+ selections. Then enjoy your day. Don’t stress or panic if you miss one. Enjoy yourself. It’s all about creating memories.

7 Jackie { 01.30.15 at 3:40 pm }

We were at Walt Disney World two weeks ago (second week in Jan 2015). It was off season and I had a horrible experience with the new fastpass system. My disney experience was down for half of our trip and disney has too few kiosks in the parks. You will end up standing in line at the fastpass kiosk for the same amount of time as it would take for you to wait to ride whichever ride you are trying to fastpass. It takes so much time at the kiosks because the touch screens don’t work very well. I can’t imagine what the lines for the kiosks are like during peak season.

8 Dave { 01.30.15 at 5:03 pm }

Yeah, Nanci, they also did some FP+ only ride tests.

9 Dave { 01.30.15 at 5:05 pm }

Mark, E tickets and such disappeared because there was no good way to charge for World Showcase. I don’t see that changing…

10 Dave { 01.30.15 at 5:05 pm }

Jackie, sounds like a real mess…

11 Matt { 02.02.15 at 3:11 pm }

Dave –

Great article.

I see both sides of the argument for FP+. Being a planner I have no problems with the system. I really disliked the FP ticketing system since I was the one that had to do the runs and inevitably, the kids always wanted to ride something that was on the opposite side of the park.

My only complaint is the problems I read about the IT system being down or not working. Being an IT guy, I take many of the complaints with a grain of salt; must “system” problems occur between the computer/mobile device and the person who is controlling that system. However, I also understand that when you introduce mobile technology it can cause major headeaches. First off, it appears that Disney spent most of it’s initial mobile technology on the iPhone peripherals. For those of us that think Apple is the most evil invention ever made (i.e Android users) it caused a real problem. I looked at a lot of the initial code for the MDE Android app and it looked like Disney realized a huge mistake and put an intern on the Android developer team and rushed the product. I’ve seen it get considerably better, but, all in all Apple still rules the WDW kingdom. I haven’t had any issues with the MDE app for my Android Device, but, I also haven’t been in the parks recently, so, I hate to draw a conclusion just off what I can do now at home, in a solid WiFi connection.

Right now, I think WDW is really going through some difficulties because they realized too late that it was time for some major updates to places like EP, HS, and AK. I just don’t buy that MK is harder to do with FP+ given the fact that during a 7 day stay, you can easily fit MK in 3 whole days if you wanted and still have time left over for EP/HS/AK and other activities.

I got to test the initial roll-out of the FP+ system; it was during the period where the FP tickets were still open and you could have both FP+ and FP tickets. I told Disney in my survey that, that was a horrible test given that it wasn’t going to stay like that in the long run. However, I loved being able to change a FP+ on the fly for the park I was in on MDE. I guess until we go in April I really can’t say yea or nay to this system. My 60 day window in in two weeks; I will gladly report on what FP+ reservations I was able to do during a “recommended week” in April.

MB

12 Dave { 02.03.15 at 6:44 am }

Very thoughtful post Matt–I’m not an IT guy but in my experience there’s two different problems: First, the back ends are down too much–including the websites–not just the apps. Second, the databases are not lining as they should. E.g. on this latest trip (ending today boo hoo) the readers would get my sister’s FP+ but not mine–but I’m the guy who linked her to me and made FP+ for us both…

13 Nicolò { 02.09.15 at 6:52 pm }

Hi Dave,

really a fantastic article.
I had both experiences, with old fastpasses and Fast pass +. I visited disneyworld first time in 2010, during thankgiving week and the weeks after that. I was really afraid about huge crowds, but I was really surprised because, apart from some hours, the parks were really not so crowded and we never waited more than 40 minutes for a ride. and we didn’t used so much fastpasses, excepts in Hollywood studios.
Last time I went there one year ago, january 2014. And yes, I was surprised because parks were not crowded but many rides had really strangely long queues (haunted mansion, Pirates ecc). Now, reading the article, I’m understanding why…apart from that, for me going to disneyworld is always a big occasion, so planning several month ahead is part of the fun and excitement. I’m planning on returning there next year and I’m really curious on how my magic + will change or enhance.

14 Matt { 02.16.15 at 1:21 am }

“…My 60 day window in in two weeks; I will gladly report on what FP+ reservations I was able to do during a “recommended week” in April.”

That 60 day window hit about 15 minutes ag0 (it’s 0015 CST).

I had no problems booking SDMT on two separate days for 7 total people. All of my FP+s were booked within a matter of 7 minutes. Granted, I’ve already taken the time to pre-plan what days we were going to be at what park, but, still, it was easy-peasy to get this done.

I just tested an update with my LG G3 cell phone, running Android 4.4, using the mobile MDE app. No problems changing times and updating new experiences on that either.

15 Dave { 02.16.15 at 8:21 am }

Matt, thanks for the report!!

16 Chasity ballard { 02.18.15 at 1:26 pm }

I have a question…we will be going in October with myself and my husband and our 8 year old son …so let’s say my husband and I want to ride tower of terror but my son decides it’s too scary for him …forcing my husband and I to ride separately? Do you think we will both be able to ride in that one hour time period that the fast pass + allows?

17 Dave { 02.19.15 at 8:32 am }

Chasity, there’s an option called Rider Switch that lets the two of you ride one after another. Ask the cast member at the front of the ride how to do it…

18 Chasity { 02.19.15 at 9:40 am }

Great! I had heard of that, but didn’t know if anything had changed with fast pass +. Thanks for all or you great advice! I think we all wish we had your job haha

19 Marion { 02.25.15 at 4:12 pm }

Northeast Ohio? Graduate of the College of Wooster and big Browns fan here!

I am actually looking forward to the FastPass+ experience when my son and I do it for the first time in October 2016. What park what day seems to be the hardest part as schedules won’t come out for EMH and park hours for many months to come. Have some days left on old tickets so those days will be left for standby lines I think.

20 Dave { 02.26.15 at 1:10 pm }

Yup, marion, Rocky River!!

You might be surprised at how well Disney can connect old tix to your My Disney Experience account…

21 Kelly B - Agent with Destinations in Florida { 02.26.15 at 1:52 pm }

Marion-Disney can connect your old tickets to your reservation. You’ll then be able to get FastPass+ for each ticket day of your stay. You’ll be able to book the 60 days before if staying on property and 30 days before if staying off.
If you need any help, let me know. I’m Kelly, the dedicated Destinations In Florida Travel Agent for YourFirstVisit.net. You can reach me at kellyb@destinationsinflorida.com or 980-429-4499

22 Matt { 03.17.15 at 4:48 pm }

Dave –

Does the MDE app allow customer’s to book their 4th, 5th, 6th…Fast Pass Plus attractions or are customers mandated to go to the FP Kiosks?

I’ve gotten mixed answers on this from other forums; figured I’d go to the guy that seems to actually know.

MB

23 Dave { 03.18.15 at 8:20 am }

Matt, you can’t get a 4th (etc) FP+ without going to a kiosk, but once you have it, you can mess with it (like try to change times) via MDE.

24 Stephen { 03.28.15 at 9:00 pm }

Dave, I’m trying to link my tickets to select Fast Pass +, but my childrens tickets (ages 4 and 7) do not have a barcode to scan. In order to see the entire 12 digit code, I have to scratch off the section where the last 4 digits are hidden. Is this ok to do? i don’t want to mess up the tickets. Thank you!

25 Dave { 03.29.15 at 9:32 am }

Jeff, have you seen the examples on this page (you need to be signed in to get to it) https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/link/tickets-passes/ If your tix aren’t there, I think I’d call the number on that page before scratching stuff off..

26 Scott { 05.05.15 at 5:24 pm }

Dave, when trying to get the 4th, 5th, or 6th FP in a day, when does the window open that you can go to a kiosk and get the 4th. If I remember with the paper FPs you could get another once the hour window began on your paper FP or 2 hours had passed since you got the FP.
Thanks, Scott

27 Dave { 05.06.15 at 7:36 am }

Scott you can get your fourth FP+ once a. you’ve completed using your third or b. (if you skip the third) its window for use has expired. then fifth etc work the same way

28 Tracy { 07.24.15 at 3:02 pm }

We experienced FP+ on our first big trip in Jan of 2014 – overall wasn’t impressed. I found the website and how they make you select confusing and you couldn’t just change one ride – it made you redo everything and at the risk of losing what you already had.

Also – I REALLY REALLY REALLY think they need to not count a character visit against the parent’s allotment and here’s why. a) WDW is not going to let a kid visit a character without a parent. b) there are many rides a parent wants to ride (for example Tower of Terror) that a kid either doesn’t want to or can’t ride. How they have it now, parents lose out. They HAVE to let a parent go with a kid to a character visit appointment or a show. So count it as a kid reservation but don’t ding the parent. That way – a parent can make a reservation for Tower of Terror while say the other parent is taking kids to the Sofia show or while on a lunch break. And then parents can switch – the other goes and rides the ride they want while other parent is on kid duty. This way – everyone still has their allotments that work out. Something like Toy Story Mania does count for everyone. They really need to keep adjusting.

But we did find for the popular rides in parks we got to early, we didn’t need to waste a FP+ reservation on as the line was the same. For example, we got to AK first thing and headed for the safari ride – FP+ line and regular had no difference since it was first thing – we then saved reservations for other popular rides that would have longer wait as day went on. But this was January and probably doesn’t work for busier times of year.

29 Teresa { 08.07.15 at 4:31 pm }

Hi

I’ve read a whole bunch of your site and found it quite helpful- thanks. I am one of the large families of 6 that doesn’t fit well into many rooms and is therefore considering staying offsite. I read somewhere that a good way to still get many advantages of staying on resort (esp the 60day access for fastpass) is to book a cheap Disney room for your first night as a “dummy” room to gain access to privileges. I’m not quite sure if it was on your site (didn’t write down where I found the idea) and now I can’t find the details. Assuming it was you, can you give me some guidance on how it would be best to do? We are looking to arrive late May 8, 2016 and are not quite sure if we’ll start our first park on the 9th or 10th. We plan to spread our time out by doing at least 6 park days (maybe more) with some rest days in between. Our 4 kids will be between 4 and 9 at that point. First questions that come to mind are 1- can I book fast passes for all those days going forward even though I only have 1 night booked and 2- does the room I book have to fit all 6 of us in it or will any (cheaper) room do? If this idea wasn’t on your site, I’m curious about your thoughts anyway since, in general, while my family circumstances require us to sometimes deviate from your suggestions, I definitely like how you think! Thanks in advance!

30 Dave { 08.09.15 at 9:34 am }

Teresa, if you do do this, you can only get FP+ at 60 days for the length of your resort stay–not the length of your tickets. And the room has to fit the number of people you plan to book FP+ for. The least expensive way to stay at DInsey is to book two value resort rooms. While WDW won’t guarantee connecting rooms, when you have more kids than parents and don’t fit a standard room they will move heaven and earth to get you at least adjacent, if not connecting…

31 Becky { 01.06.16 at 3:49 pm }

Hi Dave, I have a question regarding Soarin’ which I understand is closed for 6 or so months. We’re booked for the end of August, at which point I’m hoping it will be back up and running. How will it work in terms of booking FP+ for then if it’s currently out of action at my 60-day mark? Thanks (love the book btw, mine’s filled with notes and markers already)

32 Dave { 01.07.16 at 4:11 pm }

Becky, if it opens after your 60 day window, go ahead and do your Epcot FP+, then when it does open for FP+. you’d chnage your tier 1 FP+ to it.

33 Becky { 01.09.16 at 4:35 am }

Thanks Dave, that makes perfect sense

34 Mike { 02.21.16 at 10:32 pm }

Hi Dave thanks for the very informative website, this will be our third visit, we did our first visit without much planning and quickly realized how overwhelmed we were. We used your website for our second visit which helped tremendously! We have now bought your book for our third visit and still find ourselves learning new info on the parks. My question is about booking a 4th fastpass after you have used you’re initial 3, I understand that all of the first 3 are at one park, but can you use a 4th fast pass at a different park if you are hopping? Thanks again for all that you do.

35 Dave { 02.22.16 at 8:08 am }

Mike, so glad to be helpful, and yes, after you arrive in the hopped-to park, you can book another FP+ there.

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