With the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays quickly approaching, I thought a quick “PSA post” was in order today.
Those of you who use RideMax to plan your day at Walt Disney World or Disneyland know that along with a custom itinerary, RideMax plans include several tips for helping you get the most from your day. Some of these relate to our recommended arrival time for each park, as well as tips for certain individual rides to help you save time in line and/or get more from a particular attraction.
If you’re visiting Walt Disney World, however, there is ONE TIP that many first-time visitors, or guests who haven’t visited in a while, need to know, and that tip is simply to BUY YOUR PARK TICKETS IN ADVANCE. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that you should buy those park tickets as soon as you’re sure you’ll be going on that trip.
Let me repeat: BUY YOUR WALT DISNEY WORLD PARK TICKETS IN ADVANCE!
If you read my recent post on the 10 advantages the Disneyland MaxPass system has over Walt Disney World’s FastPass+ system, you’ll know that the main reason you need to buy your park tickets ahead of time is because you need those tickets in order to make your FastPass+ reservations. (This is different from the Disneyland FastPass or MaxPass system, where you make your FastPass reservations on the actual day of your visit.)
If you’re not familiar with the FastPass+ system, you’re allowed to make advance FastPass+ reservations for your group for up to three attractions for each day of your visit. Those with FastPass+ reservations skip the normal “standby” line and are usually able to board the attraction much more quickly than those who don’t hold reservations. If you’re staying at a Disney-owned hotel, you can make those reservations up to 60 days in advance of your trip. Otherwise, you can make those reservations up to 30 days in advance.
The catch is that these FastPass+ reservations are given on a first-come, first served basis. So the sooner you make your reservations, the better your choices in terms of attractions and available time slots.
As I’ve said previously, I’m not a huge fan of the Disney World FastPass+ system (quite the opposite, in fact), but as long as it works the way it does, we might as well take maximum advantage of it.
If you ARE visiting over the holidays and don’t yet have your park tickets, the easiest way to purchase them is through Disney’s own app. Just search the app store for “My Disney Experience,” download the app, and go from there. You can tie your tickets directly to your account in the app, then use the app to go ahead and make those FastPass+ reservations. (Buying tickets through the app, you won’t have physical possession of the tickets until you get to the park, but you can still make those FastPass+ reservations as soon as you’ve purchased them.)
A final note is that if you’re using RideMax to plan your Walt Disney World visit, be sure to pay attention to the “FastPass+ Options” section of the main RideMax planning screen. There you can tell RideMax which attractions you want to use FastPass+ for. You can also have RideMax tell you the time at which it would be optimal to set up your FastPass+ reservations in the context of your own individual RideMax plan. (If your time slots are limited and you can’t change your FastPass+ reservation times, you can also tell RideMax the time at which you want to use them, and it will work these into your plan accordingly.)
So… buy those Disney World park tickets in advance, get those FastPass+ reservations set up EARLY, and have a great trip!