Disney’s new FastPass+ program is now available to all Walt Disney World guests, so part of planning your itinerary will be planning your FastPasses. The FastPass+ program has given many attractions FastPass eligibility that did not have it before, including stage shows and parades.
This is how it works: at shows, guests with FastPasses will be allowed to enter the theater first to pick their seats. Note that, if you show up only a few minutes before the show, your FastPass may not make any difference, because the guests waiting stand-by will be let into the theater before the show starts. For some shows, like Wishes and Fantasmic, and for parades, FastPass holders report to a reserved viewing area. Guests may still want to arrive early to get the spots they want within the viewing area. Of course, the question really is: Should you use a FastPass on a show or parade instead of a ride?
At the Animal Kingdom, if you want to use a FastPass for a show, use it for Festival of the Lion King, so that you can have a seat near the front. Since the show just reopened in a new theater, it may be busier than usual this summer, as well. FastPass is not necessary for It’s Tough to be a Bug, and you do not need to be up front for a good view of Finding Nemo: The Musical.
At Epcot, guests can obtain a FastPass for reserved viewing of the park’s nighttime spectacular, Illuminations – however, because of the tiered system at Epcot, guests choosing Illuminations could not choose Soarin’ or Test Track, so unless you will be at Epcot multiple days I do not recommend this option. Turtle Talk with Crush is the only other show at Epcot where I would consider using a FastPass.
Hollywood Studios has a bunch of shows, almost all of which are FastPass-eligible, but they are also all housed in sizable venues. It is unlikely that you will not be able to find a seat at most shows. Fantasmic and Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage, like Illuminations at Epcot, can only be selected at the expense of a FastPass for Toy Story Midway Mania or the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. In general, I would plan to use your FastPasses for rides and simply arrive early to the shows you wish to see – at the end of the day, it will save more time.
The Magic Kingdom is the only park that currently offers FastPasses for parades: Festival of Fantasy Parade and the Main Street Electrical Parade. There is also a FastPass option for Wishes, the park’s nighttime spectacular. These are all popular events, so it is convenient to have reserved viewing spots, but keep a couple of items in mind: First, you do not need a FastPass to have great views of any of these – you just need to stake out your spot early (how early will depend on how crowded it is). Second, guests are not able to select additional FastPasses outside their initial 3 selections until the time frame has passed for those initial 3. If you have a FastPass for Wishes at 10pm, it is unlikely you will be able to select any additional FastPasses that day. For my upcoming trip, I am not planning to use FastPasses for these – I believe I will save more time using my FastPasses for rides instead.
Elizabeth lives in Kansas City with her wonderful parents and sister. She enjoys long walks, happy thoughts, and Disney magic! Elizabeth first visited Disney as a child, and when she prepared to visit Walt Disney World as an adult, she foolishly thought she may have ‘outgrown’ Disney. Happily, Elizabeth was proven wrong. After planning a second trip to Walt Disney World, Elizabeth is now her family’s go-to resource for Disney. She even has her own blog, planningformagic.com, with advice on how to plan your next Disney trip. Someday, she even hopes to be an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Elizabeth’s Disney wish list is a mile long, so she’s always ready to plan her next Disney adventure.