Walt Disney World 101: Tickets & FastPasses
If you are planning a trip to Disney World, there is a lot of advanced planning that goes into it. This article will help you when deciding on tickets and booking FastPasses.
When you visit WDW, you generally will spend more time here than any other Disney property around the world. It is just so big and there is so much to do! Between the 4 parks, 2 water parks, extra activities, and Disney Springs, it is almost overwhelming. Best case scenario is spending 4 days at the parks to experience them all. For tickets, there are many options. Here is a breakdown to help you decide what you need to buy.
First, decide how many days you want to spend at the parks. You can always upgrade your tickets to include more days at the parks during your stay as long as you do it on or before your last day. As a family, we try to do 3-4 days at the parks depending on how much time we are spending in Florida. One day park tickets are available and have seasonal and park specific pricing, there is a calendar to see these prices is available on Disney’s website.
Secondly, decide on what parks you want to see and look how they fit into those days. If you want to visit all 4 parks, but only are there for 3 days you will need to add the “park hopper” option onto your tickets. This allows you to visit multiple parks in one day. If you are doing one park a day and have a 4 day ticket, you generally do not need to upgrade to a park hopper. Park hopper tickets will also include the ability to visit the water parks. (If you only want to visit a waterpark, you can buy these tickets separately).
Finally, make sure you buy the correct tickets according to ages. Children younger than 3 are free and do not require a ticket. Children till the age of 9 have a small discount on their tickets and then everyone else will require a 10+ ticket. Buy your tickets in advance as much as possible. There will be an expiration date on them, so don’t buy them thinking you can use them in five years. You can purchase your tickets online and we suggest doing it at least 60 days before.
You can purchase your tickets here.
A few years ago, Disney World discontinued legacy FastPass (paper FastPasses) and moved to a completely digital system. A majority of people were very happy with this decision, I was one of them! I can’t stress how important it is to book your FastPasses in advance!!
When should I book my FastPasses?
Again, as soon as you possibly can!! You must have purchased tickets in order to book your FastPasses. If you are staying at a Disney World hotel, you can begin booking FastPasses at 60 days in advance for your entire trip. If you are staying off property, you can book them at 30 days in advance. There are many attractions and shows that have FastPasses that will be completely booked at 60 days out. To secure the best ones, book them as soon as you possibly can!!
How do I book them?
You can book your FastPasses online via My Disney Experience. The process is very easy. You will select a date, select the park you are visiting, and then it will provide a list of all the options you have. You can book 3 FastPasses per day and it must be all at the same park for that day. EPCOT and Hollywood Studios have tier systems meaning you can pick 1 from tier one (bigger attractions) and 2 from tier 2 that are not the headliners.
Do I only get three per day?
You can book three in advance, but once you are at the park you are able to get more. In order to do this, you must use all three passes. Once they are gone, you can book a fourth and use it, book a fifth and use it, etc… There is no limit, it just is a matter of when all passes are gone for the day. You can book additional FastPasses on your My Disney Experience app or at kiosks in the park.
How do I use them?
You will either scan your MagicBand or your park ticket at the FastPass return location. It is very easy to do! It has an hour long return time for you to utilize, but you can only use the pass once during that hour, not as many times as you want.
What FastPasses should I get?
There are some rides that are extremely popular and have very long wait times consistently. These are the rides everyone wants FastPasses for, including yourself. They include Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Frozen Ever After, and Flight of Passage. Take a look at all the attractions you want to ride and see if they have a FastPass available. If they do, consider booking them.
How to I pick a return time?
The beauty of advanced booking means you can plan your day a little bit more. We always try to book our FastPasses as early in the day as possible. By doing this, we can use all three in the first few hours and have more time to book more during the day. You cannot overlap them in time, so be sure that they are as close to back to back as possible.
You can always change your FastPasses up until you use them, so if your plans change you have some leeway. Be sure to book them as soon as you can to get the best selections. Do you have a favorite attraction you always get a pass for? Let us know in the comments!