Home » 8 FastPass+ Strategies You MUST Use This Summer at Walt Disney World

    8 FastPass+ Strategies You MUST Use This Summer at Walt Disney World


    Summertime at Walt Disney World…these words conjure up images of long afternoon naps, late park closings, almost daily rainstorms, and crowds of sweaty people packed close together in queues. It definitely has its own unique feel, and I personally recommend making the trek during the summer at least once, even if you’re normally a hard-core slow season visitor. However, the same things that make summer an interesting time to visit can also wreak havoc with your off-season FastPass+ plans. Here’s how to modify your schedule.

    1. Book early


    During the slow season, it is often possible to score prime FastPass+ reservations in the days leading up to your trip, or even on the same day. During the height of summer, however, this is extremely difficult if not impossible. Thoroughly familiarize yourself with the FastPass+ system, know exactly when your booking window opens, and choose your selections well in advance. When your window opens, click as fast as you can to get the reservations you want.

    2. Use your scheduled FastPass+ early in the day

    Toy Story Midway Mania

    While many touring strategies suggested using legacy FastPasses late in the day, FastPass+ requires a complete reimagining of your plan. Since you can only book additional FastPass+ times once the first ones are used, it makes no sense to reserve times late in the day (except for your arrival day, of course, as well as any days you are doing Disney parks after something else). Make your reservations for early in the morning, but not too early. Instead, arrive at rope drop and hit as many Standby lines as you can before the crowds start growing and your FastPass+ windows open.

    3. Reserve your must-dos

    Space Mountain

    Although this should be common sense, some people leave their top attractions up to random chance, instead booking FastPass+ reservations for things they perceive as harder to reserve but not as important. This strategy isn’t terrible during the slow season, when Standby waits are generally less than an hour, but can torpedo a summer vacation. Decide which attractions you absolutely can’t live without and book them, even if you’re pretty sure you could get in without a FastPass+.

    4. Give up on afternoons

    Summer afternoons are ridiculously hot, humid, and crowded, and quite often rainy. A lot of people go back to their hotels for a siesta, but if you want to stay in the parks, take the opportunity to see shows or smaller attractions. Don’t try to fight the crowds at popular ones, and don’t plan to spend protracted amounts of time outside. Hall of Presidents, Carousel of Progress, It’s Tough to Be a Bug, and the American Adventure are great afternoon selections that don’t typically require a FastPass+.

    5. Try for same-day FastPass+ late in the evening

    FastPass Plus Kiosk

    A lot of people simply don’t have the stamina to last all evening, and they decide not to book FastPass+ that many hours into the future. Although you won’t be able to get a second same-day reservation until you use the first, this can be a great way to score hard to obtain FastPass+ reservations during the summer season.

    6. See the second parade

    Image (c) Disney

    The first parade or evening show of the night is almost always the most crowded, since a lot of people tend to leave right after. Instead of fighting for a prime viewing spot, take advantage of this time to ride Standby on some of the most popular attractions. Later, you can see the second performance at your leisure, even walking up to a reasonably good spot at the last minute.

    7. Stay until park closing

    Jungle Cruise at Night

    The parks tend to clear out fast after the fireworks or first closing show performance, with people leaving in droves and clogging the transportation network. While you are waiting for the second parade, or even after it if the park is still open, book another FastPass+ and enjoy short Standby lines until your window opens.

    This strategy is especially valuable during evening Extra Magic Hours, which can last until the wee hours of the morning. Even the most die-hard fans often have trouble staying that late, making it possible for those who are still awake to take in numerous popular attractions in a short span of time. Some summer visitors even claim that they get more done in the last hour of the night than in the first hour of the morning.

    8.  Don’t over plan

    Image (c) Disney

    FastPass+ and the dining reservations system heavily reward those who do a great deal of advance planning. Failing to plan at all could be a disaster for a summer vacation, forcing you to spend hours in Standby lines and not get to everything you had hoped for. However, summer is a peak season, which means that the amount of street entertainment and alternative things to do ramps up dramatically. Leave enough time in your schedule for magical moments and lucky happenstance events that you would walk right on by if you were completely booked. Slow down, remember that the parks are open for many extra hours each day, and take time to look around.

    What do you think? Have you done a summer trip with FastPas+? How did the crowds and longer park hours alter your planning strategies? I personally think that 3 per day makes sense on a slow day, but that we should be able to reserve 4 or even 5 FastPass+ times on days when the parks are open especially long hours. Would that help clear out some of the congestion, or make Standby waits even worse? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!