Beginner tips to booking Disney Fast Passes

You may already know that I am running the Disney Marathon.  With that, of course comes planning our Disney trip.  I booked our resort as soon as soon as I registered for the marathon.  We are staying at the Beach Club Resort.  I booked our dining at around 175 days out. You see, I am so new to Disney, that this will only be my second trip.  My first trip was in March 2018 along with a Disney Cruise.  So, I am learning as I plan my trip.  I didn’t realize that I could book my dining 180 days out.  It worked out ok though because I was still able to reserve at the character dining restaurants that I wanted.  That’s not what this is about though.  This is about getting your Fast Passes.  There are a few things that I learned on my own when I was trying to book my Fast Passes, and I want to pass these tips onto you.  I am sure that you have already read which rides or meet and greets you should book and which rides are not worth using up your Fast Pass for, so I won’t get into that.

I will rewind to Friday night, the night before I was able to book my Fast Passes.  There are 8 of us going to Disney.  My parents and my in-laws are coming along with us.

Tip #1 – Don’t wait until the night before to make sure that your entire party is linked to your reservation.  The newbie in me didn’t realize if we all wanted to get Fast Passes at the same time that we needed to be linked.  Given that it was Friday night, my in-laws were out and couldn’t get back to me until later that night with their confirmations numbers. My mother was not getting back to me so I didn’t have her confirmation number until Saturday AM.

Let’s move onto 7AM Saturday morning.  The long awaited 60 days until Disney.  When you stay at a Disney property you can book your Fast Passes 60 days in advance.  If you are not staying at Disney, then you need to wait until 30 days in advance to book.

Tip #2 – Don’t depend on the Disney My Experience App or website to work to get your party linked.  It was a big fail for me.  Expect to have to wait on hold with Disney for about 25-30 minutes when you call to get your party all linked.

So, once you have that taken care of, you are most likely all set to book your Fast Passes.  I was not.  I went to book them, and found that my parents had booked their hotel but they had not bought their tickets.  I then spent the next hour chasing down my parents to book their tickets.  Their My Disney Experience was not working, so my mom had to call Disney and wait on hold for another 30 minutes to get that all squared away.

Tip #3 – Make sure that everyone in your party has purchased to their tickets prior to Fast Pass booking day. It is a pretty obvious tip, but you should double check.

This whole process was about a 3 hour ordeal. I thought it was going to be simple; get online and book.  I will absolutely not make these newbie errors again.  I read up on all the other details, but missed out on some of these no brainers.

So, what did I get for Fast Passes?  For Magic Kingdom I initially booked The Jungle Cruise, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Pirates of the Caribbean.  For Animal Kingdom, I booked Kilimanjaro Safaris, Avatar Flight of Passage, and Dinosaur. I had been hoping for Peter Pans Flight, but it looks like it will be closed from January 7, 2019 until Feb. 1, 2019.  That’s ok though.  I have read numerous times that many people don’t think it is worth using a Fast Pass on.

Tip #4:  Study the park maps when planning your day.  I mentioned “initially booked”. It dawned on me after that I should really be looking at a map of the parks to make sure that I am not all over the place trying to get to my Fast Pass rides.  So, I noticed that I booked the Jungle Cruise for the AM and Pirates of the Caribbean PM.  They are both in Adventure Land. It wouldn’t make much sense to visit Adventure Land at two totally different times.  I had to give up my Fast Pass to the Jungle Cruise because there are no more Fast Passes available.  I will check back though.  So, we will start our day in Tomorrowland where I booked a Fast Pass for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.  Not too long after that I have a lunch booked at Ohana’s.  So we will spend our AM in Tomorrowland and Main Street.  We will make our way around the park ending in Adventureland.  So, pretty much, we will go around the park clock wise.  We have a late dinner booked at The Plaza, which will finish up just in time for the fireworks.  I am undecided if I will cancel that dinner.  I am going to keep an eye on to see if I can get an earlier dinner time.  People start to change up their dining plans a few days before their trips.

Onto Animal Kingdom, which I am so excited for because I have never been, I ended up rearranging the times of my Fast Passes after looking at the park map.  We have lunch booked at Donald’s Dining Safari Lunch at Tusker House.  I moved the Kilimanjaro Safari to happen right before lunch since lunch and the Safari are both in Africa.  I initially booked the Safari for the evening.  So, we will start our day in DinoLand, where I booked Dinosaur.  I used our third Fast Pass on Avatar Flight of Passage.

Tip #5 – You can book additional Fast Passes the day of your visit to the park.  Just look for the kiosks in the park or go to your My Disney Experience App.  In addition to that, you will want to be using the App to tell you how long the lines are for rides and character meet and greets.

To make our trip extra special I ordered special magic bands for the twins. They will be stocking stuffer gifts for them. Ethan is Buzz Lightyear obsessed and Evan it Stitch obsessed.

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Twin boy parents hoping to motivate and inspire others along our adventure!

21 thoughts on “Beginner tips to booking Disney Fast Passes

  1. Some great tips right here! I have never been to Disney before – it is definitely on my travel bucket list. I will save this post for later 🙂


  2. Awesome post. I went to Disney many years ago (before I had kids) and things were a lot different then. Back then there was an argument suggesting it was cheaper to book parks etc there as opposed to beforehand….??


  3. Gitl I have been to disney once when I was 10 I really wanna go back and I read your entire post on how to definitely e prepared for this because i wanna go back there so you say the fast passes is the best option?


  4. I am booking marking this for our trip coming this October! My mom and dad both did the Disney marathon and they loved it ! Good luck on your upcoming race and have so much fun with your family!


  5. Wow, I feel like this has changed a lot since the last time I was there. I seem to remember not being able to get fast passes online. Instead, you had to show up at the park, scan your ticket, them you get a pass to use for later. And you only got one at a time. So you had to use the one you were saving before you could get another.
    Did you have to pay extra for it?
    And, you’re gonna love the Buzz Lightyear ride!


  6. I live in Orlando and you girl have all the secrets for having the best time at Disney World with all those tips for Fast Passes which are a lifesaver because who wants to make a 2 hours line on Avatar. An online option is definitely an improvement from the past way of issuing fast passes.


  7. I am saving this post for later. This looks amazing tips for those who are planning to visit Disney we already planned. We are going next year. Tell then we always bookmarked those post which is related to Disney whether its about tips or about experience. Thanks for sharing


  8. Those magic bands are soooo cute! By the way, i know about the passes but during our 2-day trip to Hk Disneyland, we never got to use them. I dunno why. They lines were pretty quick though, so it was okay.


  9. After reading this, I more than saw the importance and benefit of getting fast passes. thanks. we’ve been to HK Disneyland and never did it occur to me to avail of such pass.


  10. I never been to Disneyland an dit was awesome for you to diligently update us about upcoming Disney marathon. Yey, we are excited for you!


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