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How does fastpass work?

A reader recently sent in a great question, how does fastpass work at the Disney parks in Florida? In this post I’ll give you everything you need to know about how the fastpass system works, as well as some information about how the new fastpass plus system will work.


Picture this. You and your family have arrived at Walt Disney World, after traveling for hours by plane or in the car. You didn’t get to Magic Kingdom early enough and now you find you have to park the car in the parking lot furthest away from the entrance. You board the tram that will take you to the monorail station (Ticket and Transportation Center). You board the monorail or boat that will take you to the entrance to the Magic Kingdom. You wait in line to get your bag checked. You wait in line to get into the park. And after making a mad dash down Main Street USA, you finally arrive at Space Mountain only to find that dreaded sign... 50 gazillion minutes WAIT TIME?!?! NOOOOO!!!

But do not fret! There is a way. Introducing the wonderful, marvelous, mysterious, extravagant... You get the picture. Disney’s FASTPASS. With this nifty ticket, you can avoid that long line, and get straight to the front! “But how do you get a FASTPASS? And how much does it cost?” you ask as you start to weep while reaching for your wallet.

How does Disney's FASTPASS work?

Unlike Universal, Disney do not charge for their front of the line privileges. To get your hands on one of these babies all you need is a valid park ticket, which unless you jumped out of a jet plane and parachuted into the park, you will have!

Simply find the FASTPASS distribution machines, usually close by the entrance to the attraction, slip your park ticket into the machine then collect your newly printed FASTPASS ticket!

Your FASTPASS will be valid for some point later in the day. Just return during the 1 hour window printed on your pass and you get to bypass the regular line and get straight to the front!

Now please be aware that Disney have recently changed their rules when returning with a FASTPASS. In the good ol’ days, you used to be able to return any time after your FASTPASS had started. But recently Cast Members (Disney employees) have been given strict instructions to enforce the stated return time window.


FASTPASS+ is a newly updated version of the original FASTPASS, and offers some very good advantages.

To begin with, experiences can be reserved prior to your trip. This can make it possible for families to select their desired offerings ahead of time and not worry about losing out. There can also be less of a need to head to the park extremely early to acquire a FASTPASS for several of the more popular attractions.

Next, FASTPASS+ is a really flexible system. You may switch out your return time or experience (if available) right up until you redeem your experience. Should you miss your return window, with the old system you would have simply lost out. However with the completely new system you can rebook for a later available time.

With the existing FASTPASS system, should you lose your FASTPASS ticket, you will have lost out on that attraction as well as the time you need to wait to get hold of a new FASTPASS. However with FASTPASS+, cards can be looked up in the system and replaced with your reservations still in tact.

Here is a video from the wonderful Attractions Magazine (if you’re reading guys, seriously I love you!) which will give a demonstration of the new FASTPASS+ system:

So, what attractions offer the FASTPASS option?

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park:
  • Expedition Everest
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Primeval Whirl

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park:
  • Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  • Toy Story Mania!
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Magic Kingdom Theme Park:
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Jungle Cruise
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid

Epcot Theme Park:
  • Captain EO starring Michael Jackson
  • Maelstrom
  • Mission: SPACE Pavilion
  • Soarin’
  • Test Track

And finally, you can find great vacation tips and find out how to get free disney tickets at

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This entry was posted on Monday, 7 January 2013 and is filed under ,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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