When planning a trip to Disney World, one of the greatest concerns is the long lines. Waiting in line can be miserable and ruin an otherwise good time. To counter long lines, Disney has created the Fastpass system.
For information of how to use Fastpass, Todd Christian wrote a great article, FASTPASS: How to Use Disney World’s Time Saving Ticket. Fastpass is your best tool to combat long lines.
But Fastpass is not an advantage in every situation. Here are three times when it is better not to use a Fastpass.
1. When the wait time is twenty-five minutes or less
Fastpass is meant to shorten the line, not eliminate it. Even with a Fastpass, it may still take a bit of time to get on the ride, especially, if you happen to arrive at the same time as several other Fastpass holders.
Disney parks can be large. If you get a Fastpass for a ride and then travel to the other side of the park, having to make a special trip back to use your Fastpass can end up taking longer than the original wait time.
Generally, if the wait time is twenty-five minutes or less, it is better to skip the Fastpass and just go through the regular line.
2. When attending a theater type show
Avoid using Fastpasses on shows or attractions that accommodate a lot of people. Even with many people waiting to see a show, most of the time, the theater will be large enough for everyone to get in.
Assuming a show is running every twenty minutes and everyone in line will be admitted, then logically, there is no way for a Fastpass to save much time. Even if the Fastpass gets you to the front of the queue, you will probably be asked to move all the way to the end of the row, leaving the prime center seats for those who did not have Fastpasses.
Attractions with large capacities include Mickey’s Philharmagic, Stitch’s Great Escape, Honey I Shrunk the Audience, It’s Tough to Be a Bug!, Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, and Voyage of the Little Mermaid.
3. When the Fastpass attraction rarely has a long line
Not all Fastpass attractions are equally popular. Certain attractions, although equipped with Fastpass, seldom have much, if any wait time. Since only one Fastpass can be obtained at a time, it makes more sense to save the Fastpass use for attractions that would be difficult to see using the standby line.
Attractions like this include Star Tours, Living with the Land, Maelstrom, Primeval Whirl, and sometimes Jungle Cruise, depending on whether it is a busy day.
I know some people dislike the Fastpass system, but if you know how to use the system (and how not to use it) to your greatest advantage, it can be a great way of saving time and reducing waiting in line during your Disney vacation.