All About Fastpass
Fastpass is a "virtual queue" that is one way
to minimize waits in the attraction lines at the WDW parks. By using
Fastpass, you can avoid standing in line (for the time being) and can
return at a specific time later in the day to the shorter Fastpass return
line. Some, not all, attractions are equipped with Fastpass.
Here's how you use Fastpass:
As you approach an attraction, you can easily see if
it's equipped with Fastpass. (Note that these photos are from
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at the Disney / MGM Studios, but the concepts
are typical at all other Fastpass-equipped attractions at all of the
A typical Fastpass distribution area.
The Fastpass distribution marquee displays current return
time for the Fastpass return time. Here's a hint... Before you
decide to get a Fastpass, check to see how long the regular, or "standby,"
queue wait time is. You might decide that waiting fifteen or
twenty minutes now is better than returning an hour and a half from
now if your plans will take you to the other end of the park.
The Fastpass distribution marquee
shows the return window times.
You insert your park pass or resort ID in the Fastpass
distribution machine, and it returns your pass and a Fastpass coupon.
Insert your park pass, the coupon
comes out of the machine in the slot down below.
The Fastpass itself has an hour-long return time window
printed on it so you'll know when to return. This time is generated
by the system, you can not choose the return time yourself. Do
not lose this ticket! When you come back, you will need
to give it to the Cast Member [CM] at the Fastpass return line or
else you will not be allowed into the Fastpass return line!
A typical Fastpass Coupon.
With your Fastpass coupon now in hand, instead of waiting
an hour in line for Rock 'n' Roller Coaster you can use the time to
stroll the shops along Sunset Boulevard, enjoy an ice cream break,
jump into the standby line for the Tower of Terror (effectively being
in two lines at one time), or whatever else you want to do. (Here's
another hint... Near all the Fastpass ride entrances there is a clock
just in case you forgot your watch. There are no excuses for
missing your window and on busy days, the Cast Member at the Fastpass
return line will likely prohibit you from using an expired Fastpass!)
When you come back to the attraction at the designated
time, simply get into the Fastpass return line (a different line that
the regular, or "standby," queue) and you'll skip a significant
part of the regular queue! For those attractions that have some sort
of pre-show, the Fastpass and Standby lines are merged at the pre-show,
so you'll still have some wait time, but the waiting is still reduced
You enter the Fastpass return line
during your return time window.
Here are some details and rules you need to know:
You cannot choose when you want to return and ride,
the Fastpass system assigns those return times based on a schedule
in the computer.
The assigned return times are intentionally spaced-out
throughout the day. You'll notice that early in the morning,
the return times are usually within an hour of the time when you made
the reservation. However, later in the day (and especially when the
park is very crowded) the assigned times can be several hours later.
Take careful note of the Fastpass distribution marquee to see what
return times are currently being assigned. If the return time
shown on the sign will be inconvenient for you, do not get the Fastpass
...you may get another Fastpass after the time that
is shown in the lower right-hand corner of the Fastpass coupon (that
is more clear on the newer coupons because it says, "You may
not get another Fastpass until..." I'll replace that example
coupon ASAP). Usually that time is two hours after you last picked
up a Fastpass, but it can be as quick as forty-five minutes. In order
to maximize your usage of Fastpass, then, you should get that second
Fastpass as soon as your window opens up. That way, you can mark time
on both Fastpasses for awhile (at least until you use the first one
up), and maximize your usage of the system.
...You can not "cancel" any existing Fastpass,
so you're locked into a Fastpass once you have it. There certainly
isn't any penalty for not using a Fastpass, but not using them
certainly wastes whatever time you've spent waiting for your window.
- ...I'll also share this comment from MousePlanet reader Anton:
more useful on some attractions than others, based on where the
"merge" point is with the standby line. On some attractions,
like the Haunted Mansion and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, you may still
have a ten-to-fifteen minute wait once you merge, whereas on Splash
Mountain, for example, the Fastpass line goes all the way to the
loading area. So using Fastpass when Splash Mountain has a 25 minute
standby line is more productive than when Haunted Mansion says it
has a 25 minute standby line."
Fastpass Unavailable printout.
Note that EVERY person must must have their own
Fastpass coupon to use Fastpass! However, if you have
a larger group of people, a single person can handle the Fastpass
distribution duties (in fact, that is actively encouraged at many
of the Fastpass distribution areas), but every person needs their
own coupon in hand to return!
Note, too, that if your entire party wants to enjoy
an attraction together, each member of the party must swipe their
passes at about the same time so that the return time windows match
If a ride goes down, Fastpass will stop issuing "reservation"
times. If you already had a "reservation", you can
use it like a rain check when the attraction comes back up.
The park guidemaps indicate which attractions have Fastpass.
This is what goes on behind the scenes:
The system doesn't operate on how many Fastpasses are
issued for each attraction, but rather is based on boarding times.
Blocks of return times are "released" in five minute batches,
which insures a steady flow of people to the Fastpass return line.
For example, if you arrive at the an attraction's Fastpass
distribution area at some time between 10:25 and 10:30 AM and the
wait to ride in the normal line is about 30 minutes, then your Fastpass
will most likely be issued for between 11 and 11:30 AM or pretty close
to that time window. Likewise, if you arrive sometime between
1:30 and 1:35 PM, the Fastpass you get then will say it can be used
between 2:05 and 3:05 PM. Get there at 1:45 PM, and the Fastpass
window might be is good between 2:15 and 3:15 PM, etc., etc. So
the biggest variable in the system that will affect you is how long
the regular line for the ride is at the time you get your Fastpass.
If the regular line to ride is about 90 minutes at 1:30
PM, your Fastpass will allow you to come back between 3 and 4 PM -
approximately a 90 minute delay or about what it would have taken
you if you had waited in line. The advantage to you is that
you were able to do other things in the meantime, and not just
stand in line.
Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide