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I don’t want to throw any of my regular readers off with today’s post, so I have to give some advanced warning. I think you can use today’s Unknown Magic with great success and I will be offering some tips to use this Disney service, that may border on being a Disney Commando*. But, I am not promoting nor do I encourage Disney Commandoism, as I believe you miss many of the Unknown Magics that Walt Disney World has to offer when you do rush through the parks and this goes against my whole philosophy of “Doing Disney”.

 For first time Disney visitors today’s Unknown Magic is one that will save you time and frustration, and also make for a Magical Experience for the family. Today’s Unknown Magic is the FASTPASS.

Disney FASTPASS is a service where you can use your park ticket, to basically cut in line. But it is much more civilized than it sounds. What Disney has done is set up a system at their busier attractions, which offers guests a chance to ride the attraction without waiting in the long lines. The way this system works is that you can go to the specific attraction and put your park ticket into a machine that will give you what is called a FASTPASS Ticket (a word of warning, please remember to get your park ticket back out of the machine after you get your FASTPASS Ticket). This FASTPASS Ticket will tell you what time to come back to this attraction. When you come back to the attraction, you don’t need to stand in the line, you go through the FASTPASS entrance and you walk right past all the people waiting in line for the ride. When you get to the front of the line, the Cast Member there will work your group into the front of the line, so that you will be given a seat as soon as possible. For little ones or for parents traveling with little ones (or teenagers), this is a Magical Experience.

As the Walt Disney World, Guest Services FASTPASS Service page states;

Currently, the following attractions offer Disney’s FASTPASS Service:

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park:

• Primeval Whirl

• Kilimanjaro Safaris

• DINOSAUR

• Kali River Rapids

• Expedition Everest

Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park:

• Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

• Toy Story Mania!

• Star Tours

• The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Magic Kingdom Theme Park:

• Space Mountain

• Splash Mountain

• Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

• Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

• Jungle Cruise

• The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

• Peter Pan’s Flight

Epcot Theme Park:

• Mission: SPACE Pavilion

• Test Track

• Captain EO starring Michael Jackson

• Maelstrom

• Soarin’

At the Attractions where there is FASTPASS, the machine that provides the FASTPASS tickets has a sign above it, telling you what time the FASTPASS tickets will be able to be used. At the entrance to the Attraction there is also a sign telling you when FASTPASS tickets are being accepted. One other thing to know about the FASTPASS System is that you can only get a so many FASTPASSES in a certain amount of time. The next time you can get a FASTPASS is always printed on your FASTPASS ticket.
When we first used FASTPASS a few years ago, I felt bad that we were walking past families that had been standing in line for maybe an hour or two and they looked frazzled because of the wait. But now when we use FASTPASS, I don’t feel that bad, knowing that anyone can use it, and they chose not to. We actually enjoy using it very much. The last time we used FASTPASS, was this past summer when we were in Disney Hollywood Studios. We went to the park for the Extra Magic Morning Hour and upon entering made our way right to Toy Story Midway Mania; my wife says I was almost a Commando that morning, but I don’t recall it that way. Anyway when we

got there, we got FASTPASSES for later in the day and then got in the queue to enjoy the attraction. I highly recommend getting these particular FASTPASSES as early in the day as possible. The one day we were there this past summer, all the FASTPASSES for Toy Story Midway Mania were gone for the entire day by 10:15 in the morning.

Which brings me to three thoughts, one, when the FASTPASSES are gone, they are gone. They do not restock later in the day. Two, is to make sure you can use the FASTPASS before you get it. The signs above them tell you when you will need to come back to use them. Make sure you don’t have a dining reservation at the time you are to be back, or that you will still be in the park when you are to be back. The other thought is that if you decide to leave the park after you get the FASTPASS and cannot use it pass it on to some family that has just as many members as you. It is a nice way to share the Magic.

Years ago we were in Walt Disney World with my sister and her family and they were going to Epcot one morning, we tagged along. As the rope dropped, they sprinted off in the direction of Test Track to get their FASTPASS tickets and then they ran over to Soarin’ so that they could ride Soarin’ then run back and ride Test Track with the least amount of wait time. We met them at Soarin’ then walked back over and got in the Test Track line and still enjoyed both rides, but without that whole running thing in between.

A very good use of the FASTPASS system is in Frontierland, in the Magic Kingdom. Both Big Thunder Rail Road and Splash Mountain offer FASTPASS. I suggest getting FASTPASS for one, soon after the park opens (no I am not saying to run to the attractions- No Disney Commandoing here) and then riding the other. Here it just makes sense to use the FASTPASS System, because the attractions are so close and so popular. This is also the case with The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Peter Pan’s Flight. They are both wildly popular attractions that get very busy, very early. Using the FASTPASS for one then standing in the queue for the other is a good idea, especially if you have little ones.

So, now you know, there are ways to beat the lines in Disney. To do it, you need to use the FASTPASS System, so you can create Magical Experiences for your family, by riding the attractions you want to ride, without going Commando.

*A Disney Commando is someone that runs from attraction to attraction or in some other way rushes through any of the Disney parks, trying to get as much done as Possible; thus missing the Details and Magical Experiences that can be had by enjoying the slower pace.

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