Florida Guide > Disney Parks
The Disney Fastpass system is designed to make your park experience even more enjoyable by reducing your time waiting in lines. It is available at many of the most popular attractions and shows throughout the parks and the park map leaflets (readily available throughout the parks) will show which rides have this system.
So how does Fastpass work?
Each Fastpass ride will have a Fastpass distribution area near the entrance of the ride. You will also see different entrances for the ride, at least a standby and a Fastpass entrance, and perhaps a single rider entrance. Above the standby entrance will be an expected wait time, above the Fastpass will be the return time. At the Fastpass distribution area will also be two clocks, showing the time window for which Fastpasses are being issued.
Perhaps the easiest way to see how it works is to go through an example. So imagine you want to ride Big Thunder Mountain and it is now 10. 00 am. As you arrive at the ride, you can see that the standby entrance is showing a wait time of ninety minutes. A glance over at the Fastpass distribution shows that you can get a Fastpass for 1. 00pm – 2. 00pm. So go over and insert your park entry ticket into the machine and it will give you a ticket with your return time window stated on it. You are now free to enjoy other park facilities and attractions until your return time window. When you return within your time window (and not a moment before or after! ) then you can go on the ride with minimum wait. Just show your Fastpasses, displaying a correct return time, and saunter down the Fastpass line, bypassing all those waiting people.
Great, isn’t it? Well, as a system, it works very well, there are a few features that you need to watch out for, though. If you look at your Fastpass ticket, you will see another time stated on the ticket, this is the time that you can next get a Fastpass issued. All of the distribution machines are networked through the park and it is not possible to simply go around and get Fastpasses for all the rides. You also need to have Fastpasses for all of the people who wish to ride.
There are a restricted number of Fastpass tickets available for each time slot, so just as the most popular attractions will have the longest lines, their allocation of Fastpasses will also be used up the quickest. For exceptionally popular rides, you may find that a day’s allocation of Fastpasses has been completely distributed by mid-day or earlier. It is also frustrating at times to have to go to the ride to collect the Fastpasses to then have to come back later to ride again, this can make for a lot of criss-crossing of the park. Most parks have a central board showing what the wait time and Fastpass distribution times are, so you can perhaps save yourself a long trek, if these information boards are on your route.
When the Fastpass system works really well in your favour is when the park is slightly quieter and there is perhaps a twenty minute wait time and Fastpasses are being distributed for a time starting in thirty minutes. Collect your Fastpasses, go and wait in the line, do the ride and then do it almost immediately again, using your Fastpasses.
Best of all, there is no charge for the Fastpass system, you just use your park entry ticket.
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Page added on: 16 January 2009
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