Here’s Why You’re Choosing the Wrong Walt Disney World FastPass!

Since they were introduced nearly two decades ago, FastPass (and now FastPass+) has become an integral part of the Walt Disney World vacation experience. Whatever the virtues of FastPass, however, there are still guests who are not maximizing the FastPass system.

Here’s why you’re choosing the wrong FastPass reservations at Walt Disney World and how ride design might change your approach.


Under the Sea FastPass Entrance

The concept of planning FastPasses is immediately fraught; booking FastPasses at 60 days out for Walt Disney World Resort guests and 30 days out for regular guests can be a bit (or a lot) overwhelming. Oftentimes guests will simply pick their favorite rides or (if it’s their first visit) popular and well-known attractions.

Space Mountain is a good use of a FastPass!

But sometimes this approach isn’t as effective as guests think it will be. That’s because the biggest variable in how long you’ll wait in queue is the attraction’s hourly capacity. For example, attractions that use the Omnimover ride system – Haunted Mansion, Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, Spaceship Earth, etc. – or large capacity boat rides – It’s a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean – move through large numbers of guests per hour. Those standby lines may maintain lower wait times when they’re operating at full capacity and therefore they don’t typically require a FastPass.

Haunted Mansion

On the other hand, attractions that are in high demand and have comparatively smaller hourly through-rates – Peter Pan’s Flight, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Flight of Passage, etc. – are your best choices to target for your FastPasses as waiting in their standby lines will often take large hourly chunks out of your day.

Peter Pan’s Flight

All that being said however, it’s definitely worth noting that if something is an absolute “must-do” for you on your DIsney World trip, there’s nothing”wrong” with choosing it as your FastPass. In other words, if Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, Pirates of the Caribbean, or Haunted Mansion is your favorite attraction, it’s worth using a FastPass on it!

Do you have any FastPass tips or attractions that you always head to first when booking? Let us know in the comments below.

Check out our searchable Tips Database for even more ideas to make your Disney Parks visit the best ever!

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7 Replies to “Here’s Why You’re Choosing the Wrong Walt Disney World FastPass!”

  1. I dont like the new fast pass system at all. If you dont book a month in advance, you wont be able to book snow whites mine cars or the avatar ride. It was much better years ago when everyone was allowed to partake in the fast passes by going to the ride and getting a pass to come back in an hour

    1. Totally agree with you, in the good old days of fastpasses, i am sure we could ride the more popular rides. It was just more efficient and i did ,not have to worry about,planning out my day 2 months in advance, Disney is just giving me,more reasons to stop visiting their parks. Just not happy with the changes in the last years. If my kids were too tired for the next fastpass ride, We would pick out a family to give our fastpasses, too, which was our little magic we could do sometimes, when the kids needed a nap

    2. Really ,, so you would rather walk up to say Space Mountain at say 11am and get a tick that tells you to come back at 9pm?? You are crazy.

      1. Robert maybe I’m crazy but I used to get 6-7 fast passes a day with the old system. We recently had to visit a sick relative in FL and used an unused ticket from almost 20 years ago to go for one day. I was not able to get a single fast pass so I would have to say 9 PM is better than none. The only thing I like about the new system is that if for some reason (60 days in advance) we know we are arriving late (usually our first day), we can book fast passes for late in the day. Previously there would be non left if you arrived late.

      2. Yes I would. The old system worked wonderfully, with maybe the exception of the CM’s allowing people to come back at anytime, despite their window closing. It afforded us the option to walk on many of the rides first thing in the morning, collect a FP on our way in/out, hit the next ride, rinse and repeat. It was especially beneficial when utilizing WITH the parent swap…but long gone are those days of Disney being truly magical.