Friday, April 29, 2011

The Friday Fast Pass: The Fastpass!


It's been a while since we did one of our Friday Fast Pass segments! We figured what better way to get back into the groove of offering up some Days In The Park tips than to focus on the very thing we took our segment's namesake from: the Park Fastpass.

What people did before the invention of the Fastpass system is beyond us! Well, we know they stood in line a lot more, but we're sure you get what we're trying to say. And when it comes to line bypassing, nobody does it better than Disney! You need only look to other theme parks and the example they set (charging you above and beyond your park admission for the privilege) to see just what a great thing The Parks have going for them here, and you'd do best to take advantage of it as often as you can.

If you're uninitiated into the world that is Fastpass still, it's really simple to explain. As mentioned before, it's basically a "line bypassing" system The Parks have implemented meant to save people time and cut down on long lines. You get it automatically with your Park admission ticket, so you don't have to do anything except go to the attraction you want and, if it has a Fastpass option available, get a Fastpass ticket to come back at a later time and ride (or see in the case of  World of Color) it without having to wait in the long lines to do it. The attractions that have Fastpass options have little ticket dispensing booths near the entrance and all you have to do is insert your Park ticket (or Annual Pass if you're a passholder) and it will spit out a ticket for you to bring back at a later time to enjoy your attraction. Easy enough, right?

Each of the two Parks has their own set of attractions that are "Fastpass enabled". They are:
Disneyland Park:
  • Space Mountain
  • Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin
  • Autopia
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Splash Mountain
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Disney's California Adventure:
  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Soarin' Over California
  • Grizzly River Run
  • California Screamin'
  • World of Color
We also have reason to believe that they will be adding a Fastpass option to the new Star Tours: The Adventure Continues and The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure in the future (having taken those from Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and we're still unsure about the ones that were at Mulholland Madness previously), but we guess that only time will tell.

So, do we actually use the Fastpass system ourselves? You bet we do! Over the years it's become an integral part of our Park excursions, and it's even more important for people who don't make it to The Parks as often to use this fantastic system.

With that in mind, we present our top 5 tips for using the Fastpass system in The Parks for maximum enjoyment!
  1. Begin early! It just stands to reason logically that the earlier you get into The Park, and the earlier you begin racking up Fastpasses, the more you can get throughout the day (barring an attraction running out which does happen, especially with some of the more popular attractions like Space Mountain). You're allowed to get one Fastpass every hour (from when you got your last one - your Fastpass ticket will tell you on the front when you're eligible to get another) so do it! And although we tend to fly by the seat of our pants most days, when we do go to The Park with a mind to ride something, we occasionally do know which attractions we want to get Fastpasses for, and we make sure to move down the list and get our next as quickly as we possibly can so we get everything in before the end of the day. Starting early will help you do that.
  2. Double the pleasure! Using the Fastpass system to your advantage you can almost get two rides for the price of one. Many times we'll get a Fastpass, sacrifice ourselves to the lines, and by the time we're done with the first ride, our Fastpasses are up and we can get right back on for a second go-around. It's a really great way to do rides like Space Mountain, Splash Mountain or the Tower of Terror if you've a mind to. And sometimes we've even been able to triple our pleasure! If you have members of your party who aren't riders, if they're willing, you can even borrow their tickets or passes to get extra Fastpasses and do it again! We don't do this one often but we have been known to from time to time.
  3. Know what to use your Fastpasses for! In our experience, some of the attractions that have Fastpass options aren't necessarily the best ones to be using it on. The lines are usually pretty negligible and are fast moving so we don't like to use them there. Our suggestions would be Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland Park, and Tower of Terror, Soarin' Over California and Grizzly River Run at Disney's California Adventure. These are the ones that typically have the longest lines during the busiest seasons which can run anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 hours. 
  4. You can go past your time on your Fastpass ticket to ride. Each Fastpass ticket has a return time on it ("Return Anytime Between 9:30 and 10:30AM for example). For the longest time we thought it was a rule that must strictly be adhered to, but that's not the case. You can go ride anytime after that. We'll never forget when our friends found out that we didn't know this. Their laughter and mockery are still ringing in our ears. We still try to get back to the attraction as quickly as we can, but it's nice to know that if we miss our time for some reason (such as standing in another line) that we can still use our Fastpasses anytime we want.
  5. And lastly, pay the kindness forward! We can't count the number of times we've been moving about The Parks, and a family or something has come up to us and offered us their unused Fastpasses. We make it a point (the passes in the picture at the top of this article notwithstanding) that if we have Fastpasses on us that are unused to do our best to give it to another group or family that might be able to use them. If you're not going to use them, do your best to pass them on and make someone else's day just a little more magical. Isn't that what it's all about?
So there you have it: our Days In The Park tips for this week all about the Park Fastpass system. We know that a lot of people already know about this stuff, but you never know when it might come in handy, or when one of our tips might be something even users might not have thought of before.

Do you have any tips of your own concerning Fastpasses? Let us know and we'll do a follow-up article soon and include them. 

Now get out there and ride it up!


4 comments:

Jason Tucker said...

"back in the day" some of the disneyland rides that had fast passses were "disconnected" from the rest, as in they were unable to verify if you had a pass for another ride. It was cool because you could get a fast pass for that ride regardless of the status of your current fast pass. I think the only ride that still does this is Roger Rabbit which isn't worth ridding even with a fastpass and barely when the park is empty.

Days In The Park said...

Jason-

Pretty sure we remember those days too :)

Bhappylove said...

These are really great fast pass tips. I miss when Haunted had fast passes (it would really be helpful during the holidays.) and its a must for busy days on Space or Indy. Soarin' is one of my favorites to get a fast pass for. I always sit Tower out so usually my group gets to use my freebie. :)

Days In The Park said...

Thanks Bhappy! :)

Yeah, the machines just sit there now. I think they use them from time to time during the holiday overlay, though. We got FPs there this past Christmas for it hoping for a special ticket for our collection, but it was just the regular Haunted Mansion logo :/

Sounds like we think alike! :)