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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Monday, October 6, 2014

What We Did Right With Fastpass+

Maybe you’ve done it. . . the summing up of what you did right during a day at Walt Disney World.  Turning to your traveling party while riding the bus back to your resort at the end of a long day of park touring to recap what went well or highlight the day or pointing out the best parts of a trip blow by blow at the airport or while flying home.  The husband and I have done this so many times that we now turn to each other mid-moment to indicate that we have/had done something right.  Here are few things that went well with our use of Fastpass +:
·         We pre-selected our 3 per day Fastpass +’s at the 60 day window prior to our trip.  Yes, we knew which park we were going to be in on each day of our trip.  Now, I did revise them at least once, okay, twice before we actually set food in Orlando.  Selecting and changing Fastpass+’s was easy when using MyDisneyExperience.
We had an incredible spot for parade and fireworks viewing!

On a day when we were only going to be in the Magic Kingdom for dinner and evening festivities, we made the best use of Fastpass+ by selecting both rides AND the evening’s parade.  I wouldn’t do this on any other day—the bullets below will explain more, but having a Fastpass+ for a reserved spot to watch the parade was sweet AND since we stayed put for the castle light show and Wishes we also had incredible views of both of them, too!
·         We were able to get more Fastpass+’s after our original 3 were used for the day.  This worked particularly well at the Magic Kingdom and we ended up using 6 Fastpass+’s during the day.  Our original selections began at 9:00 am for a morning with extra Magic Hours—Anna & Elsa Meet and Greet, Peter’s Pan Flight, and Splash Mountain.  We were able to get Fastpass+ for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad shortly after riding Splash Mountain.  When our Big Thunder Fastpass+ was used, we got Space Mountain, and when that was used, we got Buzz Lightyear—all before 5:00 pm.   All other attractions--and there were many--we used the regular queue.
·         It is important to know that guests wishing to make and use more Fastpass+ selections after their original 3 selections have been used need to use an in park kiosk, not a mobile device.  So, we made sure that we knew where the closest Fastpass+ selection kiosk was based on our location in the park.  Park maps and Cast Members can be very helpful.  But note that we were given incorrect information about the Fastpass+ kiosk location at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
·         We mirrored our Fastpass+ selections with our past touring plans when using legacy Fastpass.  Since we have usually used legacy Fastpass at Soarin’ then we used a Fastpass+ for Soarin’ and rode Test Track using the stand-by queue—as we had done on previous trips.
·         We had written down our Fastpass+ selections.  Others have recorded theirs using screen shots or other mechanisms just in case there is a delay or inability to log into MyDisneyExperience.
·         We had unofficial communication that the hour window for Fastpass+ return is, in actuality, an hour and 20 minutes.  The return time goes live 5 minutes prior to designated time and will stay live for 15 minutes after the deadline for the return time window.  We were able to get the Mickey shape to turn green 2-3 minutes prior to the official Fastpass+ return time window as we typically arrived early.  We didn’t try the 15 minutes past the return time window.  If you have, let us know if it worked for you.
I know that guests’ experiences with Fastpass+ and MyDisneyExperience have varied.  Some love it and others do not, which is a similar division for how guests felt about the legacy Fastpass system.  For us, using Fastpass+ was a pleasurable experience and we look forward to doing it again.

My only hope, wish actually, is that eventually, guests will be able to make Fastpass+ selections for more than one park on one day.  When this happens, Park Hopper sales will definitely increase!

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