The End of an Era: FASTPASS Removed from the Magic Kingdom

As of today, the traditional FastPass system which been in use for more than ten years at Walt Disney World, is no longer available at the Magic Kingdom. If you look for the FastPass machines, this is the scene you’ll see all over the park:

With this change, the Magic Kingdom joins the Animal Kingdom in only offering the new FastPass “plus” system, or “FP+” for short.

Disney has offered FP+ to hotel guests as a “test” for several months now, but until today, the system was unavailable to off-site guests and annual passholders not staying at a Disney hotel.

Now, instead of the traditional FastPass machines, Disney has FP+ kiosks installed in four locations around the park. These can be used by folks like me who aren’t staying at a Disney hotel to make FP+ reservations on the day of their visit.

FP+ kiosk sign
This sign marks the FP+ kiosk location near PhilharMagic

Before Liesle and I visited the park today, I created a RideMax plan that utilized FP+. Once inside the park, I went straight to a FP+ kiosk and made the FP+ reservations shown below. I matched the time slots on the reservations to the times shown on my RideMax plan for the FP+ attractions:

FP+ kiosk screen

I may write more detail about our day in a future post, but overall, the day went smoothly, although the park was very uncrowded today, so I’m sure that helped.

What are your thoughts about FP+? Is it a good thing, or was the old system better?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!


20 thoughts on “The End of an Era: FASTPASS Removed from the Magic Kingdom”

  1. Our trip is scheduled for President’s Day week; we already have the RideMax software (we used it very successfully in Disneyland a few years ago), but we’re definitely concerned about how this change is going to impact our trip. Do you know if they are going to let non-hotel guests sign up ahead of time at some point?

    I’d definitely like to hear more about how this new system is working in reality, like how early do you need to get the passes in order to get a slot, and how long of a wait it is just to get the passes.



  2. Yes, Matthew, the current limit is three per day. I think this reinforces the idea that it’s important to arrive early so that you can take advantage of the low crowds first thing in the morning.

  3. Matthew, I think it’s too early to tell what exactly will happen at Disneyland with regard to FP+. The customer bases between the two parks are very different, with a much higher percentage of locals visiting Disneyland versus locals who visit Disney World. I think we’ll have to stay tuned on this!

  4. Andrew, I do believe it’s Disney’s intention to allow annual passholders and perhaps those who buy tickets in advance to also reserve FP+ in advance, but time will tell. And it’s hard to know exactly what the state of things will be on any given date in the near future, since things are still in flux.

    I will say that the two times I’ve tested this (at Animal Kingdom during Christmas week, and at the Magic Kingdom on January 14th), I didn’t have any trouble getting the FP+ reservations I wanted by just going straight to the FP+ kiosk area right after the park opened for the day. In both cases I was able to secure reservations which matched the times shown on my RideMax plans. I don’t think this can always be guaranteed (especially with a high-demand attraction like Toy Story Mania, for example), but I’m at least encouraged by what I’ve seen so far.

    Also, I didn’t have to wait at all at the kiosks first thing in the morning, but the lines did get longer later in the day. I think the line at the AK during Christmas week was probably 30 minutes long by around noon (when I was leaving the park after completing my plan 🙂

  5. Assume you enter one of the parks with 6 other guests. Can you take their park tickets and create 6 fastpass+ reservations while they wait in a standby line (for another ride)?

  6. We are experiencing the FP+ system for the first time today. Unfortunately I purchased the season passes for Christmas for my husband and I. This was before I knew Disney was going to this system. It is very disappointing. We can only ride one “premium” ride a day and two others. We like to go from park to park so this is a terrible arrangement fir us. We do not like this system at all.

  7. Thanks. We’re coming from the West Coast, so the first day or two might be arrive late/stay late. I notice that the park is open until 1a on President’s Day. I assume RideMax doesn’t have any data for super late night wait times; do you have any general comments about whether the lines thin out after 10p, or do things stay pretty busy?

    Thanks again.


  8. For “Anonymous”: Yes, you can send a single person with all of the park tickets to secure FP+ reservations while others wait in line. This is actually a great way to go, as there’s no need for everyone to wait in line at the FastPass+ kiosks.

  9. Andrew, we do actually have wait times for some very late-night closings at the parks. And yes, I’d expect the crowds to thin out late — especially the last hour. Of course, one problem with this is that it makes it hard to get up early the next morning, so you can get stuck in a vicious cycle if you’re not careful. The early morning is still the best time to beat the crowds, IMO.

  10. I have heard that in Epcot and MK the fastpass+ are tiered….ex. can not get Soarin and Test Track fastpasses but only one of those tier one choices and then the other two from tier two choices. I don’ t know, though, what the choices are in each park and therefore I’m not sure which rides to choose fastpass+ for when using ridemax to make my schedule. Can you post a list of the rides and what tier they are in for each park. Is Disney using this “tiering” system in all 4 parks? Also do you recommend going straight to a high priority ride at rope drop and then scheduling the fp+ at a kiosk?

  11. Joanne, this is a great question! While you can choose any three attractions for FP+ if you’re creating a plan for Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom, there are “tiers” in effect at Epcot and Hollywood Studios. The “tier one” attractions for RideMax planning purposes are as follows (you may only choose ONE from this group, along with any two others not in this group):

    Epcot “tier one” attractions:
    Test Track

    Hollywood Studios “tier one” attractions:
    Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
    Toy Story Midway Mania

    (There are also several shows and an Epcot character meet which are tier one, but RideMax doesn’t list these as FP+ attractions at this point, though we may change this if we see enough demand.)

    Note that we are still working on FP+ enhancements in RideMax, and I do expect that we’ll add “enforcement” of the tiers in the RideMax user interface, so stay tuned!

  12. I am an annual pass holder who lives close to Disney World. Before the new fast pass system we would go to park, grab a fast pass at a popular ride, watch a few shows, go on a ride with little or no wait, eat lunch, then use the fast pass on the popular ride and go home. It was a real nice day and a great benefit being so close to the park and never really waiting in lines with 3 small children. Now is different. First thing to do is wait in a line at a fast pass kiosk line. We don’t need fast passes for 3 rides. we don’t want to stay that long at the park even. It has really affected the benefit of having an annual pass and being able to come and go as we please.

  13. Thanks again for all your help. One more question: is there any way to have the system automatically pick which rides to use for FP+, or do you just have to play around with picking different sets to see which work out best? Sorry if this information was covered somewhere already, but I couldn’t find it.


  14. Andrew, right now choosing which attractions to use FP+ for is trial-and-error, though having RideMax choose them for you is definitely something we’re considering.

  15. Jason, I don’t want to be an “apologist” for Disney on this new system, as I agree it does have some disadvantages over the old system. In your case, though, the new system might actually work out OK, especially if/when Disney allows you to make your FP+ reservations from home in advance. You could even end up getting to ride more than just one popular ride using the new system (for example one right when you arrive, and another one after lunch). Just a thought…

    I actually visited DHS today and didn’t get to the park until after 10:00am. I had no trouble getting a FP+ reservation for Toy Story Mania at 10:30am, something I wouldn’t have been able to do under the old system arriving that late. I got the impression they may be “holding” FP+ spots for annual passholders, as the Cast Member at first thought I wouldn’t be able to get a TSM return window until mid-afternoon. She seemed surprised that the system allowed her to change the time to 10:30am, as this was only 15 minutes away by the time I checked in at the kiosk.

  16. The new system is quite poor. First, instead of distributing fast passes throughout the park at the specific locations, now they funnel you into a few locations resulting in long lines just to be told that you can only pick one from one category two from another category. After that, if you try to add more than one guest half of the systems don’t process that properly and you end up with people getting fast passes with different times.
    Then, when you show up to the ride, like we did at Soarin’, there is a huge fast pass line because the verification of the system requires everyone to stop and scan and get verified before entry. This functions much slower than the single person looking at your fast pass card and time slot. This just slows up everything and is a horrible experience for the customer.
    On top of that, if you don’t have a smart phone, you better have a good memory, because they no longer distribute paper for when your fast pass times are. They either email it to your phone or you end up having to guess and remember what your fast pass times are.
    Overall, we are extremely disappointed in the new system. On top of being dictated how many fast passes you can have per day (3) and having an automated system pick some for you whether you want them or not, this whole experience has been horrible.

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