Baffled by the FASTPASS system? Seeing people heading into these short queues but uncertain as to how it works? Let me answer all your burning questions.
What is FASTPASS?
FASTPASS is a system that allows you to save yourself queuing time at some of DLP’s most popular rides.
How does it work?
- Go to a FASTPASS enabled ride
- Find the FASTPASS ticket machines. These will generally be near the ride entrance.
- Check out the times above the machines. This is the current times that will be on your ticket so bear this in mind if you have dining reservations or shows/parades you want to see. These times will be 30 minute slots. There are limited number of tickets for each slot and the times will increment by 5 minutes when the tickets run out. If there are no times showing at all it’s because the tickets available for the day have been given out. The earliest FASTPASS slot is 10:30-11:00.
- Scan your park entry ticket on the flat glass screen and a ticket will pop out of the slot below. If the ticket won’t appear, move your ticket around slowly or try another machine.
- Look at the time on your FASTPASS ticket, put it somewhere safe and go away and enjoy yourself.
- When it gets to your time, return to the ride and head to the FASTPASS entrance. These are clearly signposted.
- Hand over your FASTPASS ticket to the cast member there and join the much shorter FASTPASS queue
Do I have to pay for it?
Can anyone use it?
Yes. You don’t have to have a special entry ticket or Annual Pass. Any guest can get a FASTPASS ticket.
Can I book it in advanced like Florida?
No. You have to go to the ride on the day.
How many can I have?
You can only hold 1 ticket at a time per guest. On your FASTPASS it will tell you when you are able to get a new one (usually around the time your current ticket is valid from). If you try to pick up another ticket before then you’ll simply get a blank/invalid one coming out of the machine.
What about those who don’t have an entrance ticket?
For the under 3s who don’t need to pay for entrance, they don’t need a FASTPASS ticket for the rides they can go on.
What rides have FASTPASS?
In Disneyland Park:
Hyperspace Mountain, Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, Big Thunder Mountain, Indiana Jones, Peter Pan’s Flight, Star Tours.
In Walt Disney Studios:
Tower of Terror, Rock n Roller Coaster, Ratatouille, Flying Carpets.
Why doesn’t Crush’s Coaster have FASTPASS?
You’d think with its ever-massive queues, Crush’s Coaster would be the ideal FASTPASS candidate. However, this has been tested by DLP several times and in fact it SLOWS DOWN the whole system and makes the main wait times even longer.
The intention of FASTPASS is to reduce the main queue and get more people out in the parks (enjoying themselves and spending money), but Crush is so popular and has such slow throughput that in every trial FASTPASS simply made things worse.
They may find a way to make FASTPASS work on the EAC in the future but as of now it just doesn’t.
What if me and my friend/family get different ticket times?
This can happen if the tickets for one time slot run out as you’re scanning your entry tickets. No problem though as the time slots overlap – e.g. 10:30 – 11:00 becomes 10:35 – 11:05. Some of your party will be able to ride five minutes earlier than others but I’m sure they’ll wait.
Do we all have to queue up in the FASTPASS queue?
Not at all. You can send one person in with all the tickets and let them scan them all for you. The only limit is the system will print out one ticket per entry ticket scanned.
What if we’re early or late?
It’s up to the discretion of the cast member overseeing the entrance – sometimes if they know you’re hanging around they’ll let you in a little early, and if you arrive 1 minute late they’re generally reasonable about it. But there is a limit and letting in an excessive number of late arrivals just isn’t fair nor does it allow the system to work properly. Check the times before you take your tickets and plan accordingly.
What if the ride is broken down when it’s my time?
Big Thunder Mountain we’re looking at you…
Yes, this does occasionally happen, and the cast members are well used to it. Just explain to them that the ride wasn’t running during your allotted slot and you’ll be let in at any time once it’s up and running again.
Of course, you can’t carry tickets over until the next day so if it stops working entirely or it happens right at park close that’s just bad luck.
Are there other types of FASTPASS?
Yes, there are two special types that are given to hotel guests as part of their booking…
Hotel FASTPASS – Available to guests staying in the Club rooms at the Hotel New York, Newport Bay and Sequoia Lodge (Empire State Rooms, Compass Club and Golden Forest respectively). You get one of these special passes per person, per day and they can be used once on any FASTPASS ride of your choosing without you needing to go and scan for a ticket. The only restriction is they can’t be used between 1pm and 4pm.
VIP FASTPASS – Available to any guest staying in a suite or any guest of Disneyland Hotel’s Castle Club. These are valid for the length of your stay and allow you to join the FASTPASS queue of any ride any time you like.
Can I buy a FASTPASS?
It used to be possible to buy a VIP FASTPASS for the day from the hotel receptions, but this is no longer available.
If you see any available on eBay etc they are a scam – FASTPASS only works for the dates on them so it isn’t possible to sell them on.
Some people sell vintage FASTPASS for rides that have closed etc, but these are meant as souvenirs, not usable tickets.
- Use the system! So many people don’t bother because either they don’t think they’re able to or because they don’t understand the system. However, it can save you HOURS of queuing time over a typical holiday. If you’re uncertain there’s nearly always a cast member nearby to ask.
- Some FASTPASS tickets give you a bigger advantage than others. Big Thunder Mountain’s FP entrance takes you right down to the station. Hyperspace Mountain’s on the other hand only takes you to half way through the indoor queue.
- The most valuable FP by far is that for Big Thunder Mountain as it makes the ride all but walk on. With its (deserved) massive popularity it has huge queues most days. In fact, it’s the only ride that has regular queues for its FP. People wait for rope drop just to go straight to the FP. Yes, it’s that If you want to ride it, prioritise this and get there early – FPs can and do run out nearly every day.
- The second most valuable is Peter Pan’s Flight. A beautiful ride popular with the little ones, it’s FP can be very useful. However, the ride is also open during Extra Magic Times where, if you get there early enough, you can all but walk on.
- Buzz Lightyear and Ratatouille are definitely worth considering FP for on busier days although this is not always a necessity. Again, both are open during Extra Magic Times so can be quickly ridden then. A good plan with Ratatouille is to pick up its FP and then wile away the waiting time by queuing up for Crush.
- No, I don’t know why Flying Carpets has one. I didn’t even know it did until I started writing this.
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