WDW is Making Changes to FastPass
Walt Disney World guests will see some pretty big changes with the FASTPASS system starting this spring. Everyone will be affected, so keep reading!
When a guest obtains a FASTPASS, they’re given a 1-hour window during which they may return to enjoy the ride or show. While Disney enforces the start time, and typically requires guests to wait until their return window starts, they do NOT enforce the ending time. This means that if you have a FASTPASS that allows you to return between 10am and 11am, you can actually return anytime after 10am.
Beginning March 7, 2012, we understand that Disney will begin enforcing the return time. They’re still going to offer a “grace period” before and after the return time, but they will no longer allow guests to return at any time throughout the day. The grace periods will allow guests to return up to 5 minutes before their scheduled time, and up to 15 minutes afterwards.
Anyone arriving outside these times will not be granted access to the FASTPASS queue, and this is where most Disney veterans will be significantly affected. Guests accustomed to returning to use their FASTPASS late will have some adjustments to make. This will require a bit more time management than before, and more careful planning.
For example, if you have an Advance Dining Reservation, or plan to see a parade, you’ll need to keep that in mind when obtaining your FASTPASS. The signs above the distribution kiosks always tell you what time frame being printed on the current FASTPASSES, and it will be important to obtain a FASTPASS that fits your schedule.
Another thing to remember when using the FASTPASS system is that you may only get one FASTPASS at a time. Of course, there’s an exception…you can get another FASTPASS after 2 hours, or after the start-time of your current FASTPASS, whichever comes first.
Yes, the fact that they’re finally enforcing the return times is a bit of a downer to those of us who enjoyed the flexibility of the current system. However, this is just Step 1 in their roll-out of a more advanced NextGen FASTPASS system (referred to now as xPass). We’ll talk more about that later!