Fastpass +

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If you haven’t visited the Walt Disney World theme parks in the past year, or ever, you may not have had the chance to get acquainted with the all-new Fastpass+ system. To make the most of your trip, you should take the time to learn how it can benefit you. Like the system’s predecessor, which had previously distributed tickets throughout the day with a time and an hour gap to return and ride, it too adapts the same return method however we now have the opportunity to plan three Fastpasses per day 30 days in advance or 60 days in advance if you'll be staying at a Disney Resort. Utilizing new technologies such as the Magic Bands, kiosks, the My Disney Experience app and site, planning your vacation has never been easier.

 

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            Perhaps the most fun of the new Fastpass+ system is receiving and using your brand new Magic Bands. When scheduling your stay and purchasing your tickets, you will be able to select Magic Band colors and they’ll be mailed out to you in a cute box, each one inscribed with the family member’s name who will be using it. What looks like a cute little accessory is actually an advanced piece of technology that will serve a number of purposes during your trip. Previously, you would have had to keep tabs on your room key, your park tickets, a credit card, Photopass cards and all of your FastPass tickets. Now, all of this information is easily accessed with just a tap of the wrist on any of the touch points throughout the park. Initially there were concerns about the amount of information these devices hold, but just like a credit card, purchases cannot be made without a pin, and a lost band can be deactivated at any time by calling or visiting any guest services location either in the park or at your resort.

 

            To make your FastPass selections, start with the My Disney Experience website. Initially you’ll pick a park and a date to plan for and then you’ll be directed to a list of attractions divided by tiers. You will be able to select the designated number of attractions from each tier and then four groups of options based on your preferences will be presented to you. You will be able to select which group you would like based on the rides and times and those FastPasses will be applied to your account and Magic Band. Just make sure you take a note of when these times are or stay active with the app so you’re on time to your selected attractions.


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You’ll notice that some popular attractions may already be fully booked such as the new Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train and the ever popular meet and greet with Elsa and Anna. FastPasses for high-interest attractions may be gone with in days of becoming available three months before, so make sure you’re on top of it before you’re stuck waiting in a two-hour queue.

 

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For some who aren’t so well versed with technology or have yet decided to take the leap to a smart phone, there are still opportunities to book FastPasses through the in-park kiosks with the help of teams stationed on site. Gone are the days where waking up at the crack of dawn and camping out the gates to get good FastPasses, but you can always get a jump on the stand-by line.

 

One of the biggest criticisms I hear from families, especially those with young children, is the inflexibility of planning on the day of your visit. How will you know a month, or even a week in advance what rides your three year old will want to ride? How can you predict that the kids will want to sleep in that day, the number of times that your group has to hit the restroom and eat, that unexpected tantrum in the gift shop, or that the ride before your FastPasses was temporarily shut down and you had to wait a little longer than anticipated? There are so many factors that you just can’t plan for ahead of time. If you missed the window for your passes, more often than not cast members will work with you if you politely explain the situation. If things just didn’t pan out that day for whatever reason, you can always hit a kiosk and schedule another set of fast passes after your others have been used or expire.

 

Your party should also be informed that you cannot schedule FastPasses for multiple parks in one day. Even if you’re purchasing a Hopper pass, you can only make plans for a single park in advance at this time. However, if you get to another park and would like to make FastPass selections, you can always visit a kiosk and see what attractions are still available but likely many of your favorites will be filled for the day so emphasize on planning, planning, planning!

 

Use these tools to make your vacation a smooth experience for all involved. Above all, remember that the system is a work in progress with room for error but bumps in the road won’t define the wonderful experience that you’re in for. Be sure to enjoy the magic and the special moments spent with your loved ones! 

 

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Have A Magical Vacation!

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