Saturday, November 5, 2016

Disneyland FASTPASS Selection Guide and tips

Disneyland FASTPASS Selection Guide

Disneyland Park

·         Space Mountain this ride is fast and in the dark, you must be 40 inches tall to ride, this attraction is very popular, and has often distributed all fast pass by mid-day on busier days and late afternoon on medium days. Expect to have to return to this attraction about 2 hours after getting the fast pass unless you get it first thing in the morning, please note this ride has 2 overlays, Ghost Galaxy (where a scary looking ghost chases you thru the dark ride, during Halloween time), and Hyperspace Overlay (same space mountain with X-fighter shown thru out the ride and you destroy a battle cruiser)
·         Indiana Jones Adventure this ride is fast and jerky, you must be 46 inches tall, because this attraction is popular, you should grab a FASTPASS early and except over 2 hour before you can return to the attraction with the FASTPASS, exceptions are on slow days and if you grab it early
·         Star Tours (Distributed Next to Buzz Light Year) motion simulator ride, you must be 40 inches to ride, it is a great first time ride for those that just hit 40 inches, as it is the gentiles of all the BIG rides. This ride is somewhat popular and you are looking at about an hour return time if you get a FASTPASS, exceptions of course is if you get one first thing in the morning.
·         Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters during slow days they don’t even have this fast pass machine on, but when they do turn it on, it is not connected to their system so you can grab a fast pass whenever you want regardless if you have a fast pass or not. (see below in FAQ for more information) the FASTPASS returns are usually for 20 minutes later which is what all FASTPASS machines are set at, whether they gave out enough pass the last 20 minutes or not.  Only time this is not true is during the super busy times.
·         Haunted Mansion This machine is sometimes turned off during slower seasons, but is ALWAYS on when they overlay the Haunted Mansion with the Nightmare before Christmas. When the overlay is on this is a VERY VERY popular attraction with long waits and long return times, so if you are going between September and the first week in January, I highly suggest getting this fast pass early and expect to have a 2+ hour wait to return to the attraction.
·         Splash Mountain You must be 40 inches to ride this attraction. The FASTPASS return time is based off of the weather…the warmer it is the more popular the attraction is so the longer return time. I have gone on somewhat warm day with return times 20 minutes later, and then on hot days you can expect 1-2 hours, in the summer, this attraction has been known to distribute all there FASTPASS by late afternoon.
·         Big Thunder Mountain You must be 40 inches to ride this attraction. This is the second attraction, I always recommend trying when your little one finally is tall enough, it is fun and has more twist and turns but is smooth with no big drops, plus it’s easy to hold on tight to your little ones as they enjoy their first thrills. This attraction will sometimes have their FASTPASS distribution station close on slower days, but not always. It’s rare that your return time will exceed the 2-hour wait (which is the longest you would have to wait to get another FASTPASS if your first FASTPASS return time is over 2 hours), this usually only happens on very crowded days. Most of the time you are looking at a 20-min return time.
·         Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin to be honest, this attraction is not my favorite and I have only used the FASTPASS system maybe a handful of times in the 20 years this attraction has been open, and I don’t know much about it except what I have heard. I heard that it is not connected to the system so you can get a FASTPASS anytime, and then I have heard that isn’t true.  Most of the time if I walk by and see a 20-minute wait for the attraction I will just get in line, but if its longer I don’t even bother…but I know if this is a once in a life time trip or not often you would want to hit this ride. I would say if the wait is over an hour grab a fast pass.
·         Fantasmic! This FASTPASS is not available right now as the show is down due to Star Wars land being built, but when it is open, you can picked up the FASTPASS near Big Thunder Mountain. All show tickets are not connected to the system and may be picked up at any time, but they should be picked up relatively early, and for sure early on busy days if you want to see the show.

California Adventure

·        World of Color night time show, distributed near Grizzly River Run. This FASTPASS is disconnected from the system, which means you may have this FASTPASS and get another at the same time. Because of this you can grab a FASTPASS whenever, I usually suggest when you are near Grizzly River Run. Unless you are there on a very busy day, they usually have FASTPASS for the show all day long. On very busy days I would suggest getting there before noon.
·         Radiator Springs Racers (Distributed near It’s Tough to Be a Bug) You must be 40 inches to ride this ride. This is another great ride for your child that just hit 40 inches to go on, as there are no big drops and except for the race at the end, it’s a very calm ride. This is also a very VERY popular ride. Even on slow days, FASTPASS will conclude for the day before noon, and on busy days within an hour or two of the park opening, so I highly suggest getting this FASTPASS first thing in the morning. Your return time for this ride will more than likely be over 2 hours even if you get it first thing in the morning unless you happen to be in the front of the fast pass line, a line that starts to form even before the park opens.
·         Soarin’ Over World you must be over 40 inches for this ride. This ride takes you high up in the air so if you have a thing about heights, you might want to skip it but it is so beautiful. This ride is 20 minutes long so the wait is hard because the line doesn’t move for 10 minutes or so (there are two theaters and they try to stagger them) and then it moves a lot as each theater can hold over 100 people. FASTPASS return times for this ride are usually about an hour on low to medium crowd days and can be over 2 hours on busy days.
·         California Screaminonly ride where you must be over 48 inches tall, because of the loop. This attraction usually has a short FASTPASS return time, (about 20 minutes). Again unless it’s a very crowded day then you can see longer wait times but rarely even on super busy days have I scene this attraction be over 2 hours for a return time, and on slow times the wait for the ride is usually faster than the posted return times if you grabbed a fast pass at that point
·         Goofy’s Sky School you must be 42 inches tall for this ride. This is a strange ride, the drops look huge, but most kids I take on this ride who are tall enough love it. Sometimes the FASTPASS distribution is turned off because the wait for this ride is too short. With that said it is rare for you to have to wait more than an hour for your return time to this attraction, even on busy days.
·         Grizzly River Run you must be 42 inches tall to ride this ride.  Which is strange because my son says its less scary than Splash. This ride is like splash, based on the weather is the wait, the hotter it is the longer the return time would be, and sometimes on really hot days they conclude giving pass for the day.
·         The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (soon to be renamed Gradian of the Galaxy Tower) you must be 40 inches tall to ride this ride. Because it is closing in January for the new ride, it is very popular and has long wait times, once it is renamed…I may update this, before the renamed the wait time was average of about an hour most of the time with 2 hours on busy days, but right now this attraction has been concluding for the day by midafternoon.

Some FAQ:

How does it work? Insert your ticket or annual pass into the FASTPASS distribution machine (which is usually located next to the attraction unless noted above). The machine will give you one FASTPASS per ticket entered in the machine. Everyone wishing to ride the ride must have a FASTPASS.
How much do FASTPASS cost? This question is asked more often than you think, and the answer is: NOTHING! The FASTPASS system is free for everyone to use. Now if you want to enter the FASTPASS line without having to get a FASTPASS or wait for your FASTPASS to be good…then you must pay for VIP tour, which is very costly…think $300-$600 an hour, with a minimum booking of 6 hours in a day. (but it is good for up to 10 people…lol)
How many FASTPASS can I get? You can get as many FASTPASS as you like, but you may only hold one FASTPASS at a time. The exceptions are: show FASTPASS which are disconnected from the system and Buzz Light Year Ride. Another exception is if the return time for your current ride is more than 2 hours from when you pulled it. Also, you can grab another FASTPASS as soon as the first FASTPASS return time window opens. I often recommend getting your next FASTPASS before going on your current FASTPASS, unless no attractions are nearby while you are going on the first.  Please refer to the example below

Please note that if you got the FASTPASS at let say 1:00 pm, it would say another FASTPASS ticket will be available at 1:40 PM.

Somethings to keep in mind

  •  FASTPASSES are on a first-come first served bases. I noted some attractions which often disturbed all their FASTPASSES for the day. Disney released so many FASTPASS PER 20-minute window, and when they reach the time for the end of the day for that attraction they stop giving out FASTPASS.
  • FASTPASS systems work independently of each other, which means you can have a FASTPASS for a ride at Disneyland and then immediately head to California Adventure and grab one there, but the walk is rarely worth it, unless you are limited to one day at the park I don’t recommend doing this.
  •   Note when your FASTPASS expires, Disneyland has been extremely strict lately with not allowing people to use expired FASTPASS, exceptions are if the ride broke down during your FASTPASS window.
  • Little ones (age 2 and under) of course will not have a FASTPASS as they don’t have a ticket, but since children under the age of 7 always needs someone over the age of 14 to ride with them, they except everyone else to have a FASTPASS.

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