Disney's Fastpass System
What is Fastpass Anyway?
Fastpass is the fancy term for Disney's "ride reservation" system. This system allows you as a guest to obtain a "reservation" to return to an attraction at a provided time. Reservation really isn't exactly the correct word, but basically once you acquire a Fastpass Ticket you will be ushered to a very short wait at the front of line for the attraction you obtained that ticket for. Right now waits for Fastpass ticket holders range from about five to fifteen minutes depending on the attraction.
It's 10:00 am and you want to ride Space Mountain, one of several Resort attractions that offer the Fastpass reservations, but you don't want to wait in line. Well, this is what you do: Simply visit the Fastpass distribution center at Space Mountain, insert your admission ticket into one of the machines, and presto! You'll receive a slip of paper that has a Space Mountain logo at the top and an hour time frame during which you can return to this attraction. For this example, we'll say the time frame is 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm. This means you've got 5 hours to hop around the park, shop, eat or visit other attractions. Once the time is anywhere between 3:00pm and 4:00pm, head back on over to Space Mountain and walk right up the Fastpass Line. You will be asked to show your Fastpass Ticket to multiple Cast Member throughout the line and ultimately sacrifice that Ticket to a Cast Member before boarding the attraction. Once you have made it through the multiple checks you will find a line that is about 10 minutes long and find that you have saved yourself around two hours of waiting in line.
Now that you have a little bit of an overview of how the Fastpass System works, lets look at the details to see exactly how you go about obtaining tickets, entering Fastpass Lines, Standby Lines, learning about return times, and a myriad of other Fastpass related details.
What Attractions Currently Offer Fastpass?
Right now there are a few different flavors of Fastpass, two to be exact. Most attractions that offer the system offer it year around, while others only offer it during specific seasons. The following is a break down of attractions that currently offer the system. **Most attractions are on the Disneyland Resort network (some smaller ones are not). If the attraction is on the network, you must wait 2 hours after getting a Fastpass before you can obtain a second Fastpass for a different attraction. **
Disneyland Year Round
- Big Thunder Mountain
- Indiana Jones Adventure
- Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Star Tours
- Haunted Mansion Holiday
- it's a small world holiday - offered during the Christmas season.
Disney's California Adventure Year Round
- California Screamin'
- Grizzy River Run
- Goofy's Sky School
- Radiator Springs Racers
- Soarin' Over California
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- World of Color (distributed at Grizzly River Run)
Step By Step To Obtaining Your Shorter Wait
- First choose an attraction that currently offers Fastpass to obtain your Fastpass Ticket from.
- Visit that attraction and look at the entrance area for clues on where the Fastpass Distribution Center is located.
- Obtain your Fastpass Ticket by inserting your admission ticket into one of the Fastpass machines.
- Have fun at Disneyland Resort until the time your Fastpass Ticket says to return to the attraction. **When you aquire a Fastpass for an attraction on the Disney network, you must wait 2 HOURS before obtaining a new Fastpass on a different attraction. **
- Look once again at the signs at the entrance of the attraction of the location of the Fastpass Line.
- Enter the Fastpass Line, and be sure to have your Fastpass Tickets ready to show the Cast Members along the way.
- Wait five to twenty minutes and you're on the ride.
The Attraction Entrance and The Standby Line
When you first approach the entrance to an attraction it will become very apparent that the attraction you are currently standing at offers Fastpass. Signs adorn the entrance to the attractions advertising the new system as well as giving guests clues as to where they may find the Distribution Centers, Standby Lines, and Fastpass Lines. Use these signs as your clues to where to go to pick up your Fastpass ticket, and where to return when your Fastpass time is upon you.
The signs at the attraction entrance will also clue you in on a few very important items. These include:
- Current Standby Wait Time
- Current "Fastpass" Time, i.e. what time it currently is
- Current Fastpass Return Time
You will want to use the information provided here to choose whether or not it will be worth waiting in the Standby Line, or obtaining a Fastpass Ticket. If the Standby Line is 30 minutes or shorter it might be worth your effort to wait in line, depending on what you have planned and what you would like to see. Generally Standby Lines will be shortest in the early morning, and very near closing time, when the line for the attraction would normally have been shortest without the Fastpass System. Also you may use the Standby Line and Fastpass together to be able to ride your favorite attraction twice. If the wait time for the standby line will place you on the attraction roughly about the same time as the Fastpass Return time, it may be to your advantage to get a Fastpass Ticket and them hop into the Standby Line. This will allow you to ride the attraction once, and then get right back into the Fastpass Line and ride it again with a much shorter wait.
The entrance signs will also alert you as to whether or not the Fastpass System is full for the day. Usually the signs for the Fastpass Return Time will blink with dashes instead of a time. This usually occurs late in the day, closer to closing. During the summer all Fastpass' can be used up as early as 8:00pm, depending on the attraction. If all Fastpass' are currently taken then you'll have to make a choice between the Standby Line and other attractions. If it is still fairly early in the evening the Standby Line may still be very long, so other non-Fastpass attractions might be a good choice.
The Fastpass Distribution Center
The first thing you need to do is locate the Fastpass Distribution Center. Do this by looking at the signs above the entrance to the attraction. These signs will point you to where the Fastpass Distribution Center is located. Usually this area is very easy to notice, as there will be a series of small boxes about 4 feet tall, with a crowd of people attempting to figure out how to use them.
Obtaining Your Fastpass from the Fastpass Distribution Center
Now that you have decided to use the Fastpass System, know where the Fastpass Distribution Center is location and know what it looks like for that matter, it's time to obtain your Fastpass Ticket. Usually when you approach the Fastpass Distribution Center there will be a mob of people that is a. confused at what they are doing, and b. trying to create some sort of organization that forms a line. Hop into this "line" and make your way toward one of the machines. You will notice that there is a Cast Member stationed at the machines to help you and other guests with any problems you might have. Once you have found an open machine, have your admission tickets ready.
Please note, and this is extremely important, you must obtain a Fastpass Ticket for every member of your party who is planning on returning and riding the attraction. That is one Fastpass Ticket per person, who wishes to return and ride the attraction. One ticket for the entire group will NOT work.
When you approach the machines you will need the tickets you used to enter the park to obtain a Fastpass Ticket. It is now very important to hold onto your admission tickets. Not only are they important for you to reenter the park, but they are now also used so that you may obtain a Fastpass Ticket. If you do not have your admission tickets, the Cast Member at the Fastpass Distribution Center will give you Fastpass Tickets for each member of your family.
Guests who do have their admission tickets, whether it is a one-day admission, flex pass, annual passport, or most other admission media, will use them to obtain a Fastpass ticket. Simply insert the ticket, barcode facing up, into the slot provided, and keep it there until the light on the upper portion of unit turns green or hold it there for a seconds or two as not all machines have green lights. You may then remove your admission ticket and a Fastpass Ticket will be provided to you. Do this for each member of your group, using each ticket only once. If you happen to put in one ticket more than once, no ticket will come out of the Fastpass machine or you will receive a ticket with an error saying, "You already have a Fastpass Ticket for This Attraction."
Please note there is currently a limit of one Fastpass Ticket at a given time. You may obtain another Fastpass Ticket for any attraction only when the time on your current Fastpass Ticket has arrived. So if you have a Fastpass Ticket that says 3:00pm and 4:00pm, you may acquire another Fastpass Ticket at 3:00pm.
Also note that the service provided for guests without tickets can easily be abused to obtain more than one Fastpass Ticket at a time. If this is abused, the Park may revoke this service, and not allow guests without tickets obtain Fastpass Tickets. So, please do not abuse this privilege!
Finally, it is important to note that the Fastpass system costs you as a guest nothing to use. You may use the Fastpass System throughout the day on any attraction that offers it for no extra charge.
After you have put all your tickets into the machine, you should have a Fastpass Ticket for each member of your party. If this is the case you are all set and ready to return during the time period indicated on your Fastpass Ticket.
Now that you have a return time, it's up to you what to do. You can shop, eat, relax, head back to your hotel room, or ride other attractions, any number of options. One thing you cannot do is obtain another Fastpass Ticket. You may wait in the Standby Line for any attraction that offers Fastpass, but you cannot use the machines and get another Fastpass ticket.
You have just spent the last few hours exploring the park and now you're ready to hop into the Fastpass Line and get onto your attraction. When you return to the attraction again make note of the abundant signage above you to find the location of the Fastpass Return Line location. Once you have found this location, make sure you have your Fastpass Tickets out and ready, because you'll have to show them a number of times throughout the Fastpass Line. Also double check and make sure that the Fastpass Time listed on the signs corresponds with the time on your ticket. The Cast Members will not let you into the line until the time is exactly what is listed for the return time on your ticket. Even if it's 2:59 pm and you're supposed to return at 3:00 pm they will make you wait that extra minute.
If it's time, you are all set and can walk right through the Fastpass Line. Somewhere near the end you will be asked to forfeit your Fastpass Ticket to a Cast Member, who will let you into the line. From here you have anywhere between a 5 and 15 minute wait for the attraction. Usually they try to keep the wait down to around 5 minutes, but often it can climb a little higher, so be sure to plan for this short wait upon your return.
There is also a small caveat if you are late for your Fastpass time. Just as if you are early you will not be let into the Fastpass Line. An hour return time should be long enough as it is. However, if you do miss your time, you might get lucky and the Cast Member there will let you in. This will only occur if there are very few people waiting to board the attraction.
Now that you're acquainted with the Fastpass System, you can repeat this process again and again throughout the day, on the same attraction or any of the attractions that offer the Fastpass System. HOWEVER, keep in mind that when you aquire a Fastpass from an attraction on the Disney network, you must wait 2 HOURS before obtaining a new Fastpass. Most attractions are on the network (especially newer and larger attractions) but some smaller ones are not, in which case you can obtaina second Fastpass immediately. There are many different tactics you can use when obtaining your Fastpass. So be sure to think through all your options, and all the attractions you wish to see and use the system to your benefit.