FastPass+ Availability at Walt Disney World – Update 4

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Since the FastPass+ system was introduced in 2013, Disney has made big changes, such as moving attractions between tiers, as well as subtle changes. One subtle change that we’ve noticed is that Disney has increased the number of same-day FastPass+ selections that are available while also decreasing the number of FastPass+ selections available in advance.

Giving out more day-of FastPasses can benefit both you and Disney. The benefit to you, of course, is that you might get a FastPass+ that wasn’t available when you made your advance FastPass+ selections 30 or 60 days ago.

The benefit to Disney happens when a FastPass+ ride breaks down unexpectedly. When this happens, the FastPass+ is changed to an “Multiple Experience” FastPass+ (often called an “Anytime” FastPass+). An Anytime FastPass+ can be used at most or all attractions at any time of the current day. This can cause big problems for operations. If a high-volume ride like Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down for several hours, the other FastPass+ attractions in the Magic Kingdom have to accept thousands of unplanned guests via the FastPass+ queue. By holding back on distributing all the FastPasses, fewer “Anytime” FastPasses have to be created and accepted. Basically, Disney will only release the “held-back” same-day FastPass+ inventory if attractions are running smoothly during the early part of the day. If there are technical problems, at least part of that “extra” inventory is used to accommodate the Anytime FastPass+ that had been issued due to operational problems.

For every FastPass+ that is selected, the capacity for the standby guests goes down. Below is a chart showing how long the wait time would be depending on how many guests are ahead of you, and how much of the capacity is allocated to FastPass+.

 

Peter Pan’s Flight has a ride capacity of 1,000 guests per hour. If the ride operated without FastPass+ and there were 500 people ahead of you, it would take 30 minutes to get on the attraction. If FastPass+ is allocated to 80%, the standby queue only has a capacity of 200 guests per hour. It would take 150 minutes for 500 guests in the standby queue to ride. If an unexpected flood of FastPass+ guests arrive, causing FastPass+ allocation goes to 90%, it would take 5 hours for 500 standby guests to ride!

This scenario can be even worse for attractions that can operate with less than 100% capacity. For example, Tower of Terror can run with only 1 shaft. We have seen where the standby queue at Tower of Terror barely moves because it is running at 50% capacity, and almost all the capacity has to be allocated to FastPass+.

Hollywood Studios after August 29, 2019

Once Star Wars: Galaxy Edge opens at Hollywood Studios in August, the tiering system will change. It should take longer for popular attractions’ FastPasses to “sell out” since guests will only be able to reserve one “good” FastPass in advance. The current tiering allows guests to get one Toy Story Land attraction and two additional FastPasses. The following analysis regarding Disney’s Hollywood Studios is only relevant through August 28, 2019.

FastPass+ Availability

The tables below show in blue how many days in advance FastPasses “sell out.” For days were FastPasses do not “sell out” in advance, the cell shows the time when FastPasses “sell out.”

With Disney releasing more day-of FastPasses,  it is possible to get a FastPass+ reservation for any attraction on the day of your visit. Attraction availability and time slots change continuously. If you keep refreshing the My Disney Experience app, it is possible that a FastPass+ reservation you want will appear.

Have you seen a change in the FastPass+ system? What is your FastPass+ strategy for Hollywood Studios after Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens? Let us know in the comments.

Steve Bloom

By helping TouringPlans.com continue to reach the most accurate crowd level predictions, Steve finally found a way to meld his training in statistical analysis with a lifelong passion for Disney. He first visited the Magic Kingdom in 1972, just a few months after it opened. Now he enjoys frequent trips with his two kids. At age four his son insisted on wearing cowboy boots to reach the height requirement for Test Track, and his daughter believes that a smoked turkey leg and Dole Whip make a perfectly balanced meal. Even though she doesn't quite get it, Steve's wife is supportive of his Disney activities.

17 thoughts on “FastPass+ Availability at Walt Disney World – Update 4

  • July 2, 2019 at 12:14 pm
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    That’s really helpful information! Curious though… If you can only get a FastPass 60 days in advance if staying on property, how can several of those be gone more than 60 days in advance?

    I can’t wait to see how the WDW version of Galaxy’s Edge changes this

    Reply
    • July 2, 2019 at 12:35 pm
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      When you stay on property it’s 60 days from the start of your reservation (for a max of 70 days). So when you are staying on site you don’t have to log in each day as the 60 day window hits to make your selections, you just log in once and book for your whole reservation period. There are also some people that stay concierge and get access to a 90 day (I think) window, but I don’t believe they materially impact availability…it’s mostly the larger window an onsite reservation gets you access too.

      Reply
    • July 2, 2019 at 12:55 pm
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      60 days from first day of trip…check in day. That is when you can book FP+ for every day of your stay/ticket combo.

      Reply
  • July 2, 2019 at 12:32 pm
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    This is a fantastic post, especially the FastPass availability table.

    Is that a product you think you could make more regularly available on the site? It’s the best resource I have ever seen for gauging which FastPasses you need to be worried about. It can even help as another factor when considering which days to go to which parks.

    I am very interested in seeing this type of data after the tier changes at Hollywood studios. I had been thinking you would have a greater window of availability for Slinky Dog Dash (e.g. a family with older children/thrill seekers might prioritize Rock’n Roller Coaster or Tower of Terror) but the availability for the other attractions (i.e. Rock’n Roller Coaster & Tower of Terror) would get pushed further out.

    Thanks again and please move this resource to the main TouringPlans site as part of the paid service- it’s too good!

    Reply
  • July 2, 2019 at 1:47 pm
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    Steve, why do you think that, at least for MK, the fastpasses tend to “sell out” more quickly for low-crowd days than high-crowd days? Just fewer fastpasses made available in advance, perhaps due to planned reductions in capacity?

    Thanks for the post, especially the table. I agree with Andrew above that it would be great to have it more regularly available.

    Reply
    • July 2, 2019 at 2:11 pm
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      Lower crowd days are typically days with early closing times. The shorter park hours means the total number of available FastPass+ reservations is lower. If Disney reduced capacity that would also reduce the available FastPass+ reservations.

      Reply
      • July 2, 2019 at 2:41 pm
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        Ah yes, reduced hours. Thanks!

        Reply
  • July 2, 2019 at 2:22 pm
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    Some of the numbers are off. At more than 60 days out (dates still before GE opens) Tower of Terror had zero availability on the days I need (and even at a crowd level of 10 this chart has it at 15 days). Also you don’t list Illuminations in EPCOT, but also at more than 60 days out that was completely unavailable too.

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    • July 2, 2019 at 2:29 pm
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      The numbers are based on observed data in the past 12 months. There will be variation on specific dates.

      Reply
    • July 2, 2019 at 2:53 pm
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      ToT is in a crunch currently due to capacity being halved during a refurb.

      That’s surprising to hear about Illuminations; maybe there’s high demand since it will end in September. Have you tried looking again recently? I’d bet on a glitch in the system rather than no availability. Touringplans shows current availability for every day this week except July 4. It’s also a Tier 1 fastpass, so if you already had 1 booked that day you wouldn’t see any Illuminations availability unless you were searching by modifying that other Tier 1.

      Here’s where I check for current availability: https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=835236.

      Reply
  • July 2, 2019 at 3:42 pm
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    This is so helpful! We were bummed we didnt get any SDD fastpasses at 61 days out, but seeing this makes sense.

    Reply
  • July 2, 2019 at 7:04 pm
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    Just for redundancy I’m going to echo all of what Hizouse said.

    What do you folks think contributes to the early sellouts on low days for some stuff (I think it’s probably Disney’s planned reduced capacity as guessed above)?

    Seeing this regularly updated, if it changes much, or just posted somewhere in the planning tools would be awesome for sure. I know I’m going to consult it when my 60 +10 gets near.

    Reply
  • July 2, 2019 at 8:49 pm
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    This is great information! I am going to WDW for the first time since fastpass+ has been implemented in November. According to this chart should I assume I’m probably only going to have 4 fastpasses each day at the Magic Kingdom. By the time I use my 3rd I should be able to get another same day pass, but if most of those sell out between 3-5pm I doubt I’ll get another after that. And I can’t stack them like disneyland right?

    Reply
    • July 3, 2019 at 2:17 pm
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      We used the FPP system for the first time this past May. You are correct in assuming that at best you are likely to acquire four fast passes in a day since you can reserve 3 ahead of time and probably get another after you have used your third. Your best chance, of course, is if you exhaust your fast passes as early as possible. When you are reserving your FPP at 60 days out (assuming you are staying at a WDW resort), the key is to reserve the most coveted attractions first on the last days on your visit. For example, book AK Flight of Passage (FoP) on the last day you’ll visit any park when there is most likely the best opportunity to get a fast pass.

      Reply
      • July 3, 2019 at 6:17 pm
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        We would be staying at Bonnet Creek so only 30 days for us unfortunately. I’m considering just going back to Disneyland instead for the easier fastpass system and lower wait times in general

        Reply
  • July 4, 2019 at 11:20 am
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    Does this make getting a useful (not constantly changing) touring plan more difficult? If you have to get FastPasses on the day of the park visit, I can’t plan and optimize my trip as far in advance to work around other rides and dining reservations.

    Reply
  • July 4, 2019 at 4:27 pm
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    This is a monumentally useful post. Great job Guys!
    How often can we expect an updated chart to be published?
    Perhaps once per quarter?

    Reply

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