Last month I took my family to Walt Disney World to celebrate my birthday, attend Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival, and attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Several weeks before our trip, I received a letter in the mail asking my family to participate in a preview of the FastPass+ system.
The traditional FastPass system allows guests of the parks to insert a valid park admission ticket into a kiosk and received a FastPass, a paper ticket with a one hour window scheduled for a time later that day or evening. This ticket allows the guest to return to that particular attraction during that one hour window, and enter the attraction via a FastPass line, which is typically shorter than the StandBy line.
When I first learned that the system was changing — even if just in a testing phase — I was honestly concerned. I have mastered the art of making the most of my family’s time in the parks, and that mastery includes utilizing the existing FastPass sytem. Yes, my technique sometimes required my husband to sprint across the park, our admission tickets in hand, but you do what you have to do for your family, right?
I’m here to tell you that I’m a convert. I say old FastPass system, farewell! FastPass+, I’m in love with you! It took just one weekend of making the most of our FastPass+ testing experience to completely change my tune and not just jump on the FastPass+ bandwagon, but offer to lead its parade down Main Street.
I know you must be curious about what could cause such a dramatic transformation, so behold, the 7 reasons I’m in love with FastPass+ (and why you will be too…):
7 Reasons I’m in Love with FastPass+ 1 of 8
During a recent trip to Walt Disney World Resort, I fell in love....head over heels in love with the new FastPass+ system. I'm pretty sure you will, too, and these are just a few of the reasons why.
FastPass+ is Part of My Disney Experience 2 of 8
While it has long been possible to create an account at WaltDisneyWorld.com in order to track your reservations and more, the completely redesigned MyDisneyExperience.com is the most comprehensive system yet, allowing guests of the park to link a variety of reservations and plans in one place. The previous FastPass system existed entirely in the parks via kiosks, completely separate from all other reservation and ticketing systems. Now FastPass+ is part of this robust online portal, providing not only convenience, but ease of scheduling and tracking of FastPass+ reservations.
FastPass+ Allows You to Plan Ahead 3 of 8
The previous FastPass system required guests to be in the park and actually at the FastPass attraction's kiosk in order to receive a spot in the FastPass line. This meant at times that you had to be at the park at rope drop in order to schedule your spot on an attraction for many hours later. The new FastPass+ system allows you to schedule your FastPass+ reservations days, weeks, or even months in advance. You can sleep in on your EPCOT day knowing that your place in the FastPass line for Soarin' is secured for 2:00 that afternoon, or spend the morning swimming knowing that you're all set for Thunder Mountain at 7:00 that evening. It's pure genius.
FastPass+ Includes Experiences, Not Just Attractions 4 of 8
I selected my family's FastPass+ options from my home computer, long before actually flying to Florida for our Walt Disney World vacation, and I'm fairly sure that the entire neighborhood heard me gasp when I realized I could reserve a prime viewing location for IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth via FastPass+. Game changer, folks. GAME. CHANGER.
FastPass+ Reservations Can Be Changed 5 of 8
One of the potential problems that exists when planning a vacation - including FastPass+ options - so far in advance, is that you may want to change your mind. With the previous FastPass system, receiving a FastPass ticket at one kiosk locked you out of receiving a FastPass ticket from another kiosk during a certain period of time. You used your park admission, you got your FastPass, you were locked in. However, with the FastPass+ system, you are actually able to change your FastPass+ options as often you like and whenever you like, including the day you are in the parks. Should you notice, for example, the the wait time for Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin is only 10 minutes, you can opt to change your Space Ranger Spin FastPass to a different attraction if available and simply ride via the StandBy line instead.
FastPass+ is Accessible via the My Disney Experience Mobile App 6 of 8
I am admittedly not an app girl. I have a few things that I like to do on my phone, but they generally just involve social media, texting, or checking the weather. The My Disney Experience app, however, is absolutely incredible, and FastPass+ is one of the reasons why. Guests are able to view, change, and share their FastPass+ selections via their mobile devices through the app, making utilizing FastPass+ incredibly simple, even while you're in the parks.
Guests Can Make FastPass+ Reservations for Each Member of Their Party 7 of 8
My daughter is a daredevil. My son likes to take it easy. When we visit Walt Disney World, my family sometimes ends up going off in separate directions. The FastPass+ system allows you to choose a specific guest when selecting a FastPass+ option. This allows my son to ride Space Ranger Spin with his father while my daughter and I scream at the top of our lungs on Space Mountain.
FastPass+ Works with MagicBands 8 of 8
Unlike the tickets (that I may or may not have constantly worried about losing...) of the past FastPass system, the new FastPass+ system is tied to guests' MagicBands along with park admission, room keys, dining reservations, and optionally, credit card information. To enter a FastPass line, guests simply touch their MagicBand to the Mickey Ears at the front of the line, and a green light indicates that their FastPass window has arrived and they may enter. It is so incredibly smart, simple, and honestly, a little mind-blowing at the same time. I love it!
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