I’m a planner. A big planner. I drive my family completely crazy in the months and weeks that lead up to our Walt Disney World trips by sending them links to various articles, planning strategies and drafts of my plans. I probably need a support group.
Over the years I have grown accustomed to how to plan my daily itineraries and rarely need to consult any resources, but I still do it anyway. Like I said, support group intervention may be necessary. However, Disney has been testing a new FastPass Distribution method that is going to change the way I plan my Disney Days. FastPass+ is a great new feature of the FastPass program, that makes planning your days and FastPass usage even easier. So, to get started, lets go over the FastPass basics.
For those unfamiliar with the Disney FastPass program, here are the basic details. In 1999 Disney launched an unheard of initiative, the FastPass. This program was designed to allow a guest to “reserve” a ride time for some of Disney’s most popular attractions. In short, it is a computer-generated program that has a predetermined number of FastPasses for a given day. It saves considerable wait time, and makes for an all around more enjoyable theme park experience.
Each Disney Theme Park has certain attractions where you and your party can obtain a FastPass, and return to the ride at a specific time later in the day with little to no wait time. You insert your ticket or Key to the World card into the FastPass machine, and the machine will return one FastPass for that attraction. Each ticket will grant one FastPass at a time, but one member of a party can go and collect FastPasses for everyone as long as they have each person’s Key to the World card in hand. Children under three do not need a FastPass. For each card you insert you will receive a small ticket that is your FastPass. It looks much like this:
At the time listed on your FastPass ticket, simply go to the ride and show your FastPass to the ride attendant waiting at the FastPass entrance. They will collect the FastPass shortly before you board the ride.
With the new FastPass+ program, the passes will no longer be paper tickets. They are rolling out a new credit card style pass, that will have all of your FastPass ride selections programmed directly into the card. You can now plan your FastPasses from your computer ahead of time, rather than worrying about rushing to the specific desired attraction at park opening and throughout the day. This program has been operating in test mode at Magic Kingdom recently, and for the test is allowing guests to choose up to four attractions from the FastPass list to load to their FastPass cards. To operate the system guests visit a website, chose their selections, and then select from proposed times for their ride. Upon arrival to the ride guests scan their card at a specified location to enter the line, again just before boarding the attraction, and voila! Easy Peasy!
I’m really excited about this new program. It seems like a great time-saver for me, and my poor husband will appreciate not having to run around collecting FastPasses for our party. Plus, he can load FastPasses for rides that only he enjoys without us having to make a special trip to that ride location. I’m hoping to be able to test the system when I return this Thanksgiving.