The Disney World Fastpass+ Mistake Even The Experts Make

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Fastpass+ ("Fastpass plus") can be tough to master. It's the most complicated of the Fastpass systems at all the worldwide Disney resorts by a big margin, and even learning the basic Fastpass+ rules can be tough. While for many people this just makes it a headache, a lot of us have taken the opportunity to become experts at the system, which allow us to squeeze more rides into a single day. But there's one thing we don't even hear the experts talking about. One mistake a lot of them are making.

You Can Start Moving Up Your Fastpass+ Reservations As Soon As You Use the First One

Everyone knows you have to make three Fastpass+ reservations per day, at the same park, in advance. They can't overlap, which means you'll typically wind up with a setup like the following:

  1. Ride 1 from 10AM to 11AM

  2. Ride 2 from 11:10 to 12:10

  3. Ride 3 from 12:30 to 1:30

Those are fine time slots, but if you were to jump between short lines until 11AM, then ride two rides at 11AM and 11:10, you'd be left with an hour and 20 minutes until your next ride. Or you could ride at 10AM, 11:10, and 12:30 and have two hour-long waits in between. None of that is ideal, especially because you can't start getting new Fastpass reservations until you use your first three.

The Action Starts When Your First Fastpass Opens

If you're really interested in getting the most out of your Fastpass+ options, you'll need to be ready with your official Walt Disney World My Disney Experience app open when your first Fastpass window opens.

In our example, you'll want to use your first Fastpass at 10AM, and immediately after you've passed the Fastpass checkpoints, open up your My Disney Experience app and see if you can move Ride 2 up. In fact, you might be able to move Ride 3 into the window between 10AM and 11:10 (Ride 2) if you're fast enough or if you spread out your bookings enough!

Once you use your first Fastpass+ reservation, Fastpass+ doesn't care whether you used it at the start of the window or the very end. All they see is that it is 10:03AM and you don't have a Fastpass until 11:10AM! That means you can have one between 10:03 and 11:10, if you can find one that works. We personally use this strategy every time we're looking to get more rides in at Walt Disney World.

But You Have to Modify An Existing Reservation!

You can't just add a new Fastpass+ into that slot, unfortunately. You have to modify one of your existing two. The easiest was is just to modify the time slot, but you can change the ride (within the same park) as well.

If you want to change parks, you can abandon your two remaining Fastpass+ slots. This might sound crazy, but if you can find something like Frozen or Flights of Passage, it might be worth ditching two for Tower of Terror and Star Tours.

Sometimes we hate to have to remind you, but Fastpass planning isn't done until you step off your last ride at Walt Disney World. And don't forget, this is only one part of our Fastpass+ strategy.

All Your Other Disney World Planning Questions Answered

Don't be overwhelmed by Disney World planning! Take a second to check out our most important content and you'll not only be an expert, but you'll save big $$$ along the way. If you're still picking dates, we've got everything you need to know about Disney crowd calendars. For picking your hotel, check out our Walt Disney World hotels guide.

When it comes time to book, we've got you covered with posts on how to book cheap flights, how to get the best deal on your Disney hotel, and where to find discount Disney World tickets.

Don't forget to master your Disney World Fastpass+ strategy a few months in advance. We'll keep you out of long lines so you can maximize the magical time in the parks!

Finally, before you head out, be sure to check out our to-the-point packing list, 10 essentials you forget to pack for every Disney trip. And if you're interested in saving, there's no better list than our 53 Ways to Save on your Disney trip from start to finish.

Have you made this mistake? Or is there anything worse you've done with Fastpass+?