How to get difficult FastPass+ reservations

(Article last updated: January 12, 2018)

Sometimes even after you've done all of the research for your Disney World trip and you feel super well prepared, you come up empty on a couple of FastPass+ reservations that you had hoped to get.

It often happens to even the best planners. Here are some strategies to help get the most difficult FastPass+ at Disney World.

Which FastPass+ reservations are hard to get?

Most FastPass+ reservations aren't that hard to get, but you will likely run into the most issues with Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom, Frozen Ever After at Epcot, and both of the Pandora attractions (Na'vi River Journey and Flight of Passage) at Animal Kingdom.

Beyond that, you probably won't have any trouble getting any FastPass+ reservations, although you may not end up with your ideal times for a few other FastPass+ reservations.

For more details on which FastPass+ reservations are available and recommended, check out the touring plans and FastPass suggestions for all 4 parks.

Strategies you can try to get difficult FastPass+

Book FastPass+ reservations 60 days beforehand

Since off-site guests book FastPass+ reservations 30 days beforehand, this strategy is just for on-site guests.

Here's what you can do:

  • Get online just before 7 a.m. eastern time, log out of your account, and then log in fresh.
  • At 7 a.m. eastern time, the FastPass+ reservations for your whole trip will become available to book.
  • Do not make your FastPass+ reservations in chronological order; make them in order of difficulty (this is the same suggestion for people making dining reservations). That means you'll likely jump to your difficult FastPass+ reservations first to make those reservations before all others. You can make just 1 FastPass+ reservation at a park and then come back later to book the other 2, less difficult attractions.
  • The end of your trip will have better chances of availability than the beginning.

Book FastPass+ reservation for 1 person and then add others

Sometimes when you're searching for FastPass+ availability, the My Disney Experience system will tell you that it can't find something for your whole group but if you just search for 1 person, it will show up, and then you can try to add other people from your group.

You can do this on the phone app or computer. Here's how it works from a computer:

You will begin by going into the FastPass+ screens and make a FastPass+ reservation for 1 person in your group. Then, you need to go back in and try to add more people to it.

Do that by selecting the "Change Party" option on your FastPass+ reservation...

addfriendsfamily
Then choose who you'd like to add to the reservation...

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 5.09.25 PM

If there is availability, you'll be asked to confirm...

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 5.09.48 PM

Try to get FastPass+ with overlapping times

Searching for a FastPass+ reservation for your whole group but coming up with no availability? Try searching for 1 person at a time instead. If you're able to get them 1 at a time with overlapping FastPass+ windows, that will allow you to all visit the attraction at the same time.

Here's a video that helps explain this concept.

Check for FastPass+ reservations openings

People cancel FastPass+ reservations all the time, so it's good to check a day or two beforehand to see if anything has become available.

Make use of the My Disney Experience phone app during your trip to check for restaurant reservations or FastPass+ reservations that you weren't able to get beforehand.

Another thing to watch for is park hours being extended, therefore providing new FastPass+ openings. Disney publishes park hours updates all the time. If those park hours are updated so that the parks (happens a lot at Magic Kingdom) are open for more hours, then more FastPass+ reservations will pop up for those dates a few days after the park hours updates are published.

Sign up for alerts on the monthly dashboard for when you'll be traveling and you'll get an email immediately after park hours are updated so you'll know when this happens.

New! Some guests can pay to purchase FastPass+

Starting January 12, 2018, guests staying at some Disney World resorts who have 3+ ticket days (or an Annual Pass) can pay $50 per person per day to book an extra 3 FastPass+ reservations up to 90 days ahead. These FastPass+ can be in any park and include the option to book preferred viewing for nighttime shows.

Guests staying in these rooms are eligible:

  • Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Cabins
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Club Level
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Inn – Club Level
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort – Club Level
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Club Level
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – Club Level
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Villas & Bungalows – Bungalows
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – Club Level
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort – Club Level
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort – Club Level
  • Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels - select suites and premium rooms

What if you never get the difficult FastPass+ reservations?

Sometimes - especially during peak travel times - you'll try all of the strategies above and STILL find yourself empty-handed on a couple of things. Here are some ideas for how to handle that:

  • Show up to the park early (30-45 minutes before park opening) which will put you at the front of the line to go into the park and head straight there after the park opens
  • Take advantage of a morning Extra Magic Hour and visit that attraction first
  • Make an early dining reservation in the park, finish eating before the park opens and make your way there first
  • Visit the attractions during a party. Most parties (like Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party) have much shorter lines during the party so you could visit attractions during that time. Notes: 1.) some parties are quite busy and 2.) popular attractions will still have longer lines than less popular attractions but usually shorter than during regular park hours.
  • Remember that there's a single rider option available on Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, Expedition Everest, and Test Track

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Any thoughts on booking difficult FastPass+ reservations? Feel free to share in the comments.

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