FASTPASS and Rider Switch

The old FASTPASS system is no more. As of now, the kiosks have been deactivated and covered. FastPass+ is now available to all guests. Everything here is for historical purposes for now. The Rider Switch section still applies, however.

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What is a FASTPASS®?

A FASTPASS is a ticket that is available at certain popular attractions at the parks. The ticket allows the bearer to use a special FASTPASS line instead of the normal line (now called the “standby” line) at a certain time, which will have fewer people and often allows the person to ride with at least a shorter wait time if any, whereas the standby line times can often exceed an hour or more. It is a bit like having a reservation at a restaurant.

A FASTPASS may also be used to provide a limited guarantee to certain fixed-seating shows, like “Lights, Motors, Action” or “Voyage of the Little Mermaid”. I say “limited” as there is no guarantee if you show up late and they have begun seating standby guests.

A limited number of FASTPASSes are available throughout the day, although the number is quite large. They are designed to spread the load of people out evenly during the day. It is possible for them to run out late in the day, especially on the more popular attractions, so don’t wait too long to get one.

Also, FASTPASS may not be in use at any particular attraction on a given day. Consult the Times Guide to see what attractions should have FASTPASS available.

Who can get a FASTPASS?

If the wait time is this short, you probably don’t need a FASTPASS…

Anyone who has a valid admission ticket to the park, and that ticket has been used to enter the park that day. If the ticket was not used for admission to the park, it is not “active” and will not be able to get a FASTPASS. This means that one person in a group cannot go to a park early with their tickets and get FASTPASSes for everyone, as the FASTPASS kiosk will reject their tickets.

A guest who is less than 3 years old would not have an an admission ticket, and does not need to get a FASTPASS. If they are otherwise eligible to ride (meet height/age requirements), they can accompany an adult who does have a FASTPASS in the FASTPASS line. If the are not eligible, see the Rider Switch section below.

How much does it cost?

Absolutely nothing. Other parks may provide this benefit separately for a price, or only to certain groups of people (on-site resort guests, etc.), but FASTPASS is available to anyone with a valid admission ticket.

How do I get one?

A FASTPASS Kiosk machine

Outside the attractions that use FASTPASS, near the entrance, there will be a kiosk with several FASTPASS machines. You insert your admission ticket/card into the machine, and it will give you a FASTPASS if you are eligible. And don’t forget to take your admission ticket back! Your ticket will come back out the slot you put it in, but the FASTPASS will come out the chute below.

Eligible? I thought you said anyone could get one? And when can I get another?

Yes. However, there is a restriction on how soon you can get another FASTPASS after you have already received one.

When you receive a FASTPASS, there will be a time printed on the ticket which states “Another FASTPASS ticket will be available after XX:XX”, at which time you can obtain another FASTPASS. It has no relation on whether you use the first FASTPASS or not – you cannot obtain another until this time arrives (I call it the “Exclusion Time”).

The Exclusion Time is in general either the Return Time (explained below), or two hours from when the pass was obtained, whichever is sooner. There may be some exceptions, such as for fixed-time shows like “Lights, Motors, Action”, where you may not need to wait as long before getting another FASTPASS. Disney may also decide to adjust that two hour upper limit shorter or longer as well. Always check the time printed on the pass to tell you when you can get another.

Here is what I usually tell people who ask about when they can get another FASTPASS:

Rule #1: You can get a new FASTPASS when it says you can get a new FASTPASS on the FASTPASS you most recently obtained.

Rule #2: How long it will be varies, but the general rule of thumb is either the return time of the previous FASTPASS or two hours after you obtained the previous FASTPASS, whichever is sooner.

Rule #3: There are always exceptions, so always refer to Rule #1.

And don’t forget – an attraction can run out of FASTPASSes later in the day.

It didn’t work – what now?

Depends on what “It didn’t work” means. There should be a Cast Member or two attending the kiosk if you have questions or issues.

If it spits your ticket back out without a FASTPASS, try turning your ticket the other way, or upside down. There are several magnetic stripe readers in the machine so it can read a ticket that was placed in it in any direction – but sometimes one of the readers is nonfunctional.

If it spits out a slip of paper that says “THIS IS NOT A VALID FASTPASS”, then there will be a message below that. I know of two:

“You are already holding a FASTPASS”: This means that the ticket you used was already used to obtain a FASTPASS, and the Exclusion Time has not passed yet.

“You may be using an invalid park ticket”: Either the ticket you used was not used to enter the park, or there is some malfunction.

Again, if there are any problems, speak with the attending Cast Member. Do NOT leave the machine you are having a problem with – call them over instead, especially if the machine took your ticket and did not return it!

If for some reason your park ticket/card just won’t work (for instance, the magnetic strip has gotten demagnetized), the CM may issue you a “FASTPASS Key Card”. This looks like a typical paper ticket (except for the design on the front), but it is only good in FASTPASS kiosks. It will work just like your ticket would, and is good for the rest of the day. At your next opportunity, you should visit Guest Relations to get your ticket re-issued.

We have a child under three who doesn’t have a ticket…

A child who is under three doesn’t need a park admission ticket to get in to the park, but of course you don’t have a ticket with which to get a FASTPASS either. You won’t need one – the child can enter the FASTPASS line with you (although you may need to tell the cast member their age), if there isn’t as height restriction, which if they aren’t old enough to need a ticket, they are probably not tall enough either. You’ll want to read about Rider Switch below to learn how everyone in your party that are tall enough can ride as quickly as possible while at least one person stays with the young one.

We’ve got a large group – what if the times change while we are getting our FASTPASSes?

Not a big deal. The times usually increment in 5-10 minute increments, but the return window is an hour long. So you might have some tickets with a 2:00pm return time, and some with a 2:05pm return time. If you all want to go together, just wait until 2:05pm.

The only time this may be an actual issue is for some fixed show time attractions, but I’ve never really heard of it being a problem.

OK, I have my FASTPASS – when can I use it?

On the ticket will be printed two times in large type where it says “Return any time between…”, indicating the times between which you can enter the FASTPASS line. This is your Return Time or Return Window. You cannot enter the FASTPASS line before the first time printed.

Wait a second, the Return Time is hours from now!!!

The FASTPASS Return Window clock – if you get a FASTPASS now, you need to return between these times to use it

It can be, on popular attractions that a lot of people have gotten a FASTPASS ahead of you. FASTPASS times are set up to be spread out evenly during the day. If an attraction is especially popular, FASTPASS for earlier times can go quickly – I have heard where a FASTPASS obtained before noon can have a 7pm return time, or even have no FASTPASSes left available!

To avoid getting surprised, you will note that above the FASTPASS machines, typically on the canopy covering them, there is a clock. It’s not telling you the current time, but rather the return time if you obtain a FASTPASS right then and there. If you cannot return then, don’t bother getting a FASTPASS.

For fixed time shows, be sure to show up early in the FASTPASS window. If you show up too late, seats may have already been filled by standby guests.

So what do I do with it?

Once your return time on your FASTPASS shows up here, you can enter

Once your Return Window opens (the current time should be on a clock above the FASTPASS line entrance or nearby), you simply show your FASTPASS to the Cast Member at the entrance of the FASTPASS line, who will verify that it is valid and let you into the line. Then follow the line up until you reach another Cast Member who will take your pass, and then you will usually merge into a common area with members of the standby line. The Cast Member will allow so many members of each line through at a time, with the FASTPASS line given priority.

Can I show up late?

No. Not any more.

Up until about March 7th, 2012, you could, about 99.999% of the time, as it was actual policy to allow FASTPASSes to be accepted any time after the start time, up to the end of that day (but not on a different day). Return times, however, are now very strictly enforced.

If you have extenuating circumstances (say, you had dining reervations but the restaurant was running behind, etc.), you can plead your case but there is no guarantee. It can help if you hold on to your dining receipt.

Can I use it on another day?

NO. It is only good for the day on which it was obtained.

Can I get a FASTPASS during morning Extra Magic Hours?

If the attraction is operating during morning EMH, the answer is generally yes, but not 100% guaranteed. If it is not operating, then the FASTPASSes will not be available until after the attraction opens.

Can I get a FASTPASS during evening Extra Magic Hours?

It is up to the attraction manager to enable FASTPASS for evening EMH. If it is a particularly crowded night and the attraction is open for EMH, then there is a probability that they will enable FASTPASS for the EMH, but not always. During lower crowd times, FASTPASS likely will not be used at all. If the decision to use FASTPASS was made in time for printing, the EMH Times Guide will list which attractions will use FASTPASS. Otherwise it is unlikely but possible.

If FASTPASS is in use, FASTPASS times are “reset” at the start of EMH much like they are at park opening. You would not get a FASTPASS before EMH begins for a time that is after EMH starts, so that guests who are not eligible for EMH won’t get a FASTPASS they cannot use.

What is FastPass+®/FastPass Plus?

FastPass+ is the replacement for FASTPASS.

What is the Rider Switch Pass?

See our new Rider Switch page.

I see people selling FASTPASSes on eBay…what are those?

I’ve seen several different types of passes for “sale”. They may be regular FASTPASS tickets for a particular attraction, Rider Switch passes, or Attraction Re-Entry passes.

First, these passes are “not transferable”. That means they can’t be sold by one individual to another. So often, if you look at the actual text of the auction, you are often actually bidding on an envelope. That envelope just so happens to contain the passes. This supposedly skirts around some legal issues or eBay rules.

Second, you can get FASTPASS tickets (and Rider Switch tickets if eligible) for free as it is. The only thing you might gain is saving time or a few extra rides.

Third, these passes are more than likely expired, especially the regular FASTPASS tickets since they are only good on the day they were obtained. To use one, you are banking on the CMs not noticing that they are expired. And if they do, you can look foolish. The old Rider Switch and Re-Entry passes often don’t expire for some time, but they aren’t unlimited either. They are just printed in bulk and rather than waste a bunch, they are printed with an expiration time some days to weeks in the future.

Fourth, I would question how they seem to obtain so many passes, especially the Rider Switch and Re-Entry variety. It would appear to be difficult to get so many through legitimate means, and then simply not use them.

Fifth, some of these have been faked, and Disney is cracking down on them. They have have certain physical features that make it easier for the CM to notice fakes. In addition, they have changed the printing around to make the date more easily apparent to the CMs checking them.

It’s all up to you – but they can be very expensive slips of paper you might not be able to use at all.

I heard that you can buy a special FASTPASS that gets you in to every attraction as many times as you want, or VIPs get special FASTPASSes

No such thing has ever been confirmed to exist. In the case of VIPs, they are often accompanied by Guides who may lead them to the front of the line via an alternate way, usually for reasons of security more than as a special privilege. You can pay for a special VIP Tour which includes a Guide, but that itself does not provide a front-of-the-line privilege or pass. The Guide could take your tickets and go get FASTPASSes on your behalf, however, while you are doing something else.

Disney is also offering a Premium VIP Tour for an even higher cost that does apparently offer some form of Front Of The Line access, although it technically isn’t a FASTPASS and may not be possible at certain times or attractions. It also only applies to when you have your Guide.

Members of the media are also sometimes given special passes, usually during special events.

On occasion people who attend a special Disney Vacation Club presentation may be given a special FASTPASS card that allows them to get up to three real FASTPASSes at any attraction instantly, to compensate them for their time.

Some children and their families visiting WDW through organizations such as Give Kids The World may receive special passes as well.

But you said…and the Cast Member said…

There are always exceptions to the “rules” at Disney. Sometimes they make temporary changes due to the current situation. Sometime the CM doesn’t actually know the rules, and operates according to their interpretation of them. And of course Disney could officially change the rules at any time.

If you encounter a Cast Member who seems to be doing something other than what you expect, your best bet is simply to come back later and try a different Cast Member.

What is a Surprise FASTPASS?

On occasion, you may put your ticket into a kiosk for a FASTPASS at one ride, but two FASTPASSes will come out – one for the ride you wanted, and a bonus or Surprise FASTPASS for another attraction. This pass will be printed on the same card stock, but will say “This is a Surprise FASTPASS” and give details on the attraction and times.

Also, sometimes Cast Members may hand out pre-printed “Surprise” FASTPASSes for an attraction. These can look different than standard FASTPASSes as they are not printed from the kiosk but backstage, but they work like a normal FASTPASS. You might see these handed out to the crowds on really busy days for attractions like “Lights, Motors, Action”.

These passes can be used to help direct guests to another attraction that is perhaps underutilized that day. Interestingly, sometimes the attraction may not actually utilize FASTPASS (like Carousel Of Progress), so I am not sure how these passes are handled (although it is very unlikely you would need them anyways.)

What is a Dream FASTPASS?

Sweet dreams…A Dream FASTPASS

The Dream FASTPASS was given out as part of Disney’s Year of a Million Dreams celebration in late 2006 through 2008. Basically it is a plastic card on a rope lanyard with several plastic tabs, one for each FASTPASS attraction at that particular park. This allows you to enter each FASTPASS attraction once via the FASTPASS line at any time that day. You break off the tab for that attraction, and hand it in as you would a regular FASTPASS. You must also show the card on the lanyard when requested – you cannot hand the tabs to someone else without the lanyard card.

Dream prizes are given out by the Dream Team to particular groups or individuals based on time and location chosen at random by computer, such as everyone on the 5th ride on Expedition Everest, or the 3rd person exiting the Hall of Presidents after 11am. All such awards are chosen at random by computer – you can’t increase your chances of winning any Dream prize by doing anything in particular other than to be at a Disney location (not necessarily at a park) and visit attractions. The Dream FASTPASS is only valid in the park in which it was awarded and on the day it was awarded. Typically Dream FASTPASSes are awarded early in the day, probably to allow you time to take advantage of it.

The Dream FASTPASS you see to above and to the right was in fact mine – I snapped a picture of it just after winning it. We received it after arriving at the unload platform on Expedition Everest – everyone in our train received them. We immediately turned around and rode Everest again. Alas, it was the only Dream prize we won in three trips…

What is a Birthday/Give A Day FASTPASS Exchange Card?

A kiosk left open for Birthday FASTPASS cards

As part of the “What will you celebrate?” theme in 2009, if you attended a Disney park on your birthday and did not need to take advantage of the free 1-day base ticket, you could opt for a special Birthday FASTPASS card for you and up to 5 other guests with you. In 2010, this was changed to be a part of the Give A Day, Get A Disney Day (GAD) promotion. If you have other questions about the GAD promotion, see our FAQ page.

To get the FASTPASS Exchange Cards, your entire party must be present when you redeem your voucher at the Will Call window at the park, and they must have their park tickets with them. The person redeeming the voucher must have at least a valid multi-day ticket and a government issued photo ID (a copy of a birth certificate is acceptable for a child under 18). Note that Disney states that the FASTPASS Exchange Cards have a limited availability (i.e. only so many might be given out on a given day) and may not be available after 11:00am – but there have been ZERO reports that anyone was denied the cards because they were too late or ran out.

The FASTPASS Exchange Card takes the form of a card that would be inserted into the FASTPASS kiosk instead of your park ticket, and would give you a FASTPASS with a Return Window that starts immediately. These cards do not give an unlimited number of FASTPASSes, however, and they are only good at the park at which you received the card and only up until the regular park close time at the end of the day in which you received it.

The FASTPASS attractions are divided into two groups. The list was as follows, but could vary slightly based on attraction availability:

  • Magic Kingdom
    • Donald: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain
    • Daisy: Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Jungle Cruise, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Stitch’s Great Escape!
  • Epcot
    • Donald: Soarin’, Test Track
    • Daisy: Honey, I Shrunk the Audience/Captain EO, Living with the Land, Maelstrom, Mission: SPACE
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios
    • Donald: Rock N Roller Coaster, Toy Story Midway Mania, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
    • Daisy: Lights Motors Action Extreme Stunt Show, Star Tours, Voyage of The Little Mermaid
  • Animal Kingdom
    • Donald: Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safaris
    • Daisy: Dinosaur, It’s Tough to Be a Bug, Kali River Rapid

In general, you will get between 2 and 4 FASTPASSes per card from each group. The number can vary by park and day, but there is no known way to predict it in advance. You will be given a sheet with the card that explains everything, including how many FASTPASSes you will get from the card. 3 seems to have been the most common number and has thus far held steady for 2010. If it is 3 on that day, what you get is three FASTPASSes for any combination of Donald rides, and three FASTPASSes in any combination of Daisy rides. You do not choose them in advance – you choose by putting the Exchange card into the kiosk of the ride you want.

The easiest way to think of it is to consider that you have X Donald credits and X Daisy credits on the card. If you go up to a Donald attraction and put the card in the kiosk, you will get one immediate FASTPASS and use one Donald credit. You can use all the Donald credits at the same attraction, or spread them out among other Donald attractions.

Even if all the regular FASTPASSes are gone, you can STILL get an immediate FASTPASS using your FASTPASS Exchange Card – usually there will be one kiosk left open for this purpose. In some cases, all the kiosks may be covered – in that case, please let the Cast Member at the entrance know and they should be able to get the FASTPASS for you.

This only applies up until regular park close. If there are Evening Extra Magic Hours, there is no guarantee you will be able to use the Exchange Card at any particular attraction.

Note that using the FASTPASS Exchange Card in no way affects your being able to use your regular park ticket to get regular FASTPASSes. You can use both independently, and your ability to get FASTPASSes with your park ticket follows the same rules as always as to when you can get another FASTPASS.

The Birthday promotion ended on December 31st, 2009. The “Give A Day, Get A Disney Day” ended on December 15th, 2010.

What attractions can I get a FASTPASS for?

Note that not all attractions that have the FASTPASS system use it all the time. Some will only be in use during peak times or on certain days. Always check the Times Guide for the park, which should list those attractions that are not using it on that day/week. Attractions marked in orange or with a “*” have FASTPASS or Disney advertises it but appear to use it rarely, if ever. Attractions in green or with a “**” may not require the typical exclusion time before you can get another FASTPASS.

This list last updated on 2013-Jun-17 – it is subject to change:

  • Magic Kingdom
    • Barnstormer
    • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
    • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
    • Dumbo
    • Jungle Cruise
    • Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
    • Mickey Mouse Meet & Greet **
    • Peter Pan’s Flight
    • Princess Meet & Greet
    • Space Mountain
    • Splash Mountain
    • Stitch’s Great Escape!
    • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
  • Epcot
    • Captain EO *
    • Living with the Land *
    • Maelstrom
    • Mission: SPACE
    • Soarin’
    • Test Track
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios
    • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! *
    • Rock N Roller Coaster
    • Star Tours
    • Toy Story Mania
    • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
    • Voyage of The Little Mermaid *
  • Animal Kingdom
    • Dinosaur
    • Expedition Everest
    • It’s Tough to Be a Bug *
    • Kali River Rapids
    • Kilimanjaro Safaris
    • Primeval Whirl *

Disclaimer: All information has been obtained from various sources, including Disney’s official web sites, various community forums, and personal experience. Disney can change operational aspects at any time that could make this information incorrect or invalid, and information could simply be incorrect, but every effort is made to insure that it is correct and is updated as soon as changes are known.

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