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FastPass+

Walt Disney World has finished making 3 major changes to its FastPass+ ride reservation system, each of which should be a major improvement.

FastPass+ has replaced the legacy FastPass system at all of Walt Disney World's theme parks. It allows guests to reserve time slots during which they can head to a popular attraction and experience it without waiting in the normal, standby queue. It has been undergoing testing for some months, with resort hotel guests being equipped with RFID-enabled "MagicBands" to identify them as part of the system (the bands also act as a room key and a virtual wallet).

In its initial guise, FastPass+ was hamstrung by several significant limitations. Most notably, guests were limited to just THREE reservations per day, and only ONE of these could be for a "top-tier" attraction such as Toy Story Midway Mania or Soarin'. ALL of the reservations had to be at the same park, negating the benefits of a Park Hopper ticket. And OFF-SITE GUESTS (those not staying at Disney hotel) could only make reservations on the day of their visit.

Disney has now moved to address these limitations by making some significant changes. One of these was implemented at the end of March, while the remaining two will go live to guests on Monday, April 28, 2014. Let's take a look at what they are...

1. Advance FastPass+ reservations for off-site guests

MagicBand

Image © Disney

As of March 31, 2014, guests with a Magic Your Way ticket are able to make FastPass+ reservations 30 days in advance. This is the same rule that applies to Annual Passholders.

To begin making FastPass+ reservations, guests simply need to link their Magic Your Way ticket to the My Disney Experience website. That also allows the guest to manage his or her FastPass+ reservations from the My Disney Experience app on their smartphone. If a guest does not have a smartphone, they can still make advance FastPass+ selections at home and the kiosks will be available as well.

Resort guests will retain the advantage of selecting FastPass+ reservations 60 days in advance.

2. The removal of the three reservation limit

MyMagic

Image © Disney

From April 28, Disney will be lifting the three reservation limit. It will still only be possible to make three reservations in advance. However, guests can now make additional reservations on the day of their visit. Once they've used one of their FastPass+ reservations for the day, they'll be able to to select another attraction at kiosks in the parks (Disney is working on implementing the feature in the My Disney Experience app, but hasn't added it just yet).

3. The introduction of Park Hopping with FastPass+

FastPass+

Image © Disney

Guests can still only make advance reservations for three attractions in one park per day. However, from April 28 they will be able to make additional reservations for attractions at any other park at in-park kiosks.

What do you think?

Essentially, the second two changes here are really only restoring features that were available in the old FastPass system. What do you think the overall effect will be - will FastPass+ ultimately be a more useful tool than the original FastPass, or would you prefer Disney to have stuck with the previous system? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Comments

Still no reason to stay at luxury hotels or to be a DVC member

This is more like it! This is what I've been waiting for. I think that this will definitely make life better and make people forget about the old Fastpass system. I'm very excited that you don't have to use all 3 before you get another one. I'm also super excited because it's just in time for my 15th anniversary trip in 2 weeks!

We tried it for our multiple visits recently. It was really a good system! I loved the app, the card readers at the fastpass+ line, and the wristbands!!! The wristbands especially, i dont have to worry about the kids losing their annual pass cards! The app was super informative and easy to use. I hope this stays and more parks follow this idea.

Any chance of these coming to Disney land?????

We just arrived at Disney yesterday, for our fourth trip. It was BY FAR the most enjoyable day we've had! Usually, on our arrival day, we have to wait in a lot of lines, since we don't get to the park first thing. With this new system, we got right on a ride! We were also able to enjoy more of the less popular experiences while we wait for our next FP, since we don't have to rush across the park to get the FP, then wait for the timeslot to begin. I was skeptical, but in the end, I'm very happy! We didn't wait in one line! We arrived at noon. We rode Buzz Lightyear, Peoplemover twice, Carosel of Progress, Tomorrowland speedway (twice, with rider swap), Haunted Mansion, Hall of presidents, saw the parade, and had ice cream, bought sunscreen...all before 3:30!
Tip: your concierge can print your itinerary at your hotel. It is a nice format to see what FP you have planned each day. (Especially if different family members have different Fastpasses booked.)

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