Requirements and Basics
For simplicity, most of the remaining references to FastPass+ are as FastPass or FP. Keep in mind that FastPass+ only exists at WDW and is inherently different from the FastPass systems in place at all other Disney resorts (Disneyland Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort, etc.). The information in this thread applies only to FP+ at WDW.
Before FPs can be scheduled, the following two requirements must be met–there are no exceptions. Note that an onsite room reservation at a Disney-owned hotel is not required, but does determine how far in advance FPs can be scheduled (see here in Booking Windows).
- A guest must have or be listed on an account created in My Disney Experience (abbreviated MDX) using a valid email address, and
- A guest must have valid ticket media linked to their name on this account. In most situations, ticket vouchers (including those for Annual Passes) can be linked as well as tickets from third-party resellers such as Undercover Tourist.
Once the MDX account is created, anyone named on the account with tickets attached to them can have scheduled FPs.
FastPass is Disney’s ride-reservation system that allows guests to bypass an attraction’s normal “standby” queue with the intent of waiting less time in line. There are currently 60 permanent FastPass attractions at Walt Disney World and include rides, shows, and character Meet-and-Greets (M&Gs). For rides and character M&Gs, this access is provided via special FP queues separate from the standby queue and given priority over the standby queue.
FPs for some shows allow entry to a reserved viewing area and usually in a preferred location. FPs for other shows offer access to the same seating areas as standby guests via a FP queue that may or may not be allowed access before the standby queue. There is a wide range of opinion on the relative worth of show FPs and there is no right answer.
– FP is included free with admission.
– FPs can be booked for as many days as there are valid tickets for. APs are generally limited to 7 days of FPs at any one time (for exceptions, see here in Booking Windows).
– It is rare for any FP wait at any normally-operating attraction to exceed 15-20 minutes. This includes the most popular or lowest capacity attractions such as Avatar Flight of Passage or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. However, be aware that some attraction preshows (FOP, notably) can take 5 minutes or more, and for purposes of this thread FP wait is not figured into total attraction time (to include pre-show, boarding, and attraction time).
– MagicBands are not required to use FP, any current ticket media will work. MagicBands are automatically issued to onsite resort guests and AP holders. All other guests can purchase MagicBands if desired at numerous in-park locations or various websites. A guest with multiple MagicBands connected to their MDX profile can use any of them interchangeably for most purposes, including FP. For purposes of FP, the main advantage of MagicBands is convenience.
– All guests entering an attraction’s FP queue must have a valid FP for that attraction, including all character M&Gs. The only exceptions to this are small children under 3yo, who do not need FPs.
– While technically nontransferable, in practice MagicBands (or tickets) can be swapped with others in your party to use their FPs (assuming everyone is together inside the park). Castmembers (CMs) do not care if 47yo Mike enters a FP queue with 15yo Sue’s MagicBand. If uncomfortable with swapping bands, the Change Party function in MDX can legitimately be used to move FPs between members of the same party who have all entered the park. Transferring FPs from profiles linked to tickets not used for park entry cannot be discussed on this forum.
– All guests may preschedule up to 3 FPs per day, for as many days as they have tickets for. All 3 must be in the same park but for different attractions. For certain guests participating in the FP+ Pilot Program (additional fee and room requirements apply), an additional 3 FPs can be scheduled per day. These additional 3 FPs can be prescheduled in multiple parks if those guests have the park-hopper option. These additional FPs can only be scheduled by calling Disney, not by using MDX.
– For Magic Kingdom only, any 3 attractions are selectable for FP.
– Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom use a tiering system and there are restrictions regarding which attraction combinations can be scheduled. Tiering is explained here in Suggested Priorities By Park. For certain guests participating in the FP+ Pilot Program (additional fee and room requirements apply), an additional 3 FPs can be scheduled per day. These additional 3 FPs are not subject to tiering limitations. These additional FPs can only be scheduled by calling Disney, not by using MDX.
– FPs are not available at Typhoon Lagoon nor at Blizzard Beach.
– FP return windows for most rides and character M&Gs are 60 minutes long. The FP system normally allows a grace period of 5 minutes before and 15 minutes after the return window, but guests are advised against relying on the grace period. CMs have the ability to override the system and deny entry during the grace period depending on the situation.
– FP return windows for some rides and character M&Gs can be less than 60 minutes long, but only in the last hour that FPs are offered (the last hour of park operation not including EMH or hard-ticket events).
– FP return windows for all shows vary between 15-25 minutes long and are scheduled within the last 30 minutes before the show begins. There is no defined grace period for these attractions.
– Some FP queues have two automated “Mickey Head” scan points that can read either MagicBands or tickets: one at the entrance to the queue and another further in where the FP queue merges with the standby queue (the “merge point”). Only the first scan point matters with regard to the return window. Returning within the window with a valid FP will result in a green light, otherwise the MDX system will reject it with a blue light. CMs are nearby all scan points to monitor and assist as needed.
– FP return windows cannot overlap.
– FPs can be scheduled only during regular park hours, including the first and last hours of operation. All FP attractions can be scheduled for any part of the regular day.
– FPs can be used in conjunction with child swap (available on all attractions with minimum height requirements and groups with guests who do not meet them).
– Children under 3yo cannot get and do not need FPs (since they don’t have tickets) and can accompany an adult with FP. If named on an onsite reservation, children will receive a complimentary MagicBand but it is not needed nor can it be used for FP.
– All guests may use FP kiosks located in each park. The kiosks can be used to schedule FPs only for attractions in that park and on that day. If FPs are desired for other parks, the MDX app or website can be used.
– FPs can be scheduled for different attractions, different times, and even different parks for individual members of any group.
– All FPs are subject to availability.
– If an attraction is closed temporarily due to weather or technical issues during a guest’s scheduled FP window, the FP can be used for that same attraction at any time for the remainder of the day (assuming it reopens). In addition, the FP can be used for specific other attractions (located in the same park) for the remainder of the day. CMs at the affected attraction can provide a list and MDX may send an email to the MDX account holder to alert them of their options.