I just got back from my 10-day Walt Disney World vacation. When I arrive home it is very hard to decide what to write about first as there is so much to say. Since the Give A Day, Get A Day volunteers must use their vouchers by December 15 or lose them, I decided to cover the Give A Day (GAD) Fastpass option for anyone planning to use their voucher during an upcoming trip.
If you are among the one million people who have volunteered this year and received a voucher, you know that there are several options for using the voucher: a one-day theme park ticket, a special GAD fastpass, an EarHat figurine with exclusive trading pin, or donating the park ticket to a participating charity.
My family of five volunteered, so we received five vouchers. We decided to use them on the fastpass option, so I am going to make using the voucher for a special GAD fastpass crystal clear so there will be no guessing involved on your part.
Since each of us volunteered, I had a voucher with my name on it, one with my husband’s name, and one for each of my children bearing their names; five vouchers in total, each one good for one park for one day. We decided to use them on the most crowded days during the Thanksgiving holiday. We used one voucher on Sunday at Epcot (I will use that example for the purposes of explaining how to use them), one on Monday at Hollywood Studios, one on Tuesday at Magic Kingdom, one on Wednesday at Animal Kingdom and the last one on Friday at Hollywood Studios again.
First and foremost, be sure to pack your voucher(s) and make sure that you take a valid ID for the person named on each voucher. A valid ID is considered to be one of the following: valid government-issued passport, valid driver’s license including a photo, or valid government-issued photo ID. For children under 18 who do not have any of the previously listed IDs, a copy of a birth certificate is acceptable. School IDs are not considered government-issued photo IDs and will not be accepted.
Take your entire party to the Will Call window at the park. This window is located in the front of the park before you enter the gate. Take the voucher, a valid multi-day park ticket and the appropriate bearer’s ID with you to the Will Call window. Give the cast member the voucher and the appropriate ID and tell them you would like to get the special fastpasses for your party. The cast member will give you a volunteer button to wear.
The Honorary VoluntEAR button is very special. Cast members all around the park thanked us for volunteering.
The cast member will then ask to see the room key for each person in your party. You may have up to 6 people in your party. Once he sees the room keys for each member of the party, he will give each of you one of these little beauties – a special fastpass card. It is a hard card similar to your “key to the kingdom” park ticket.
These will be used for inserting into the fastpass machine at your favorite rides. My nephew joined us at the park, so we got a total of 6 GAD fastpass cards.
The cast member will then give you one of the Disney’s Fastpass Special Exchange Card Guides that explains how to use your card. The one shown below is from Epcot.
As you can see, there are two different groups of fastpass rides: the Donald Group and the Daisy Group. On that day, the Donald Group included Test Track and Soarin’. The Daisy Group included Mission Space, Living with the Land, Captain EO and Maelstrom. Each of the special fastpass cards allows the bearer to ride 3 rides from each group.
Insert your special GAD Fastpass into the fastpass kiosk (just as you would your park ticket) and it will give you a fastpass with a return time that starts immediately.
In our case, we had 6 people and each of us could ride 3 rides from Donald and 3 rides from Daisy; for a grand total of 36 free, immediate rides while in the parks during the busy Thanksgiving holiday season. In other words, when we got to the line for Soarin which was 70 minutes, we put our card into the fastpass machine and it issued a fastpass with the current time on it and we rode right away.
For this park, since there are only two rides listed in the Donald Group, we used two on Test Track and one on Soarin’. Other parks have 3 listed under this group, such as Hollywood Studios that listed the choices as Aerosmith’s Rock N Rollercoaster, Tower of Terror and Toy Story Mania. In that case, all 6 of us rode together, one time on each ride.
The fastpass is good at the park you are visiting for that day only. They are only good until the regular park closing time at the end of the day in which you received it. During Extra Magic Hours they are not supposed to be valid, so I didn’t try it.
Even if all the fastpass machines are out of passes and closed for the day, you can still get fastpasses with these cards. Please note that in some instances, the machines were completely out so a cast member had to write us a special fastpass. Also be aware that not everyone knows what the special passes are. We had someone who appeared to be a manager at the Kilimanjaro Safari ride at Animal Kingdom that went ahead and tried our card even though their fastpass machine was out, and it worked. When another guest asked him how we were able to get fastpasses, he told her because we had these special cards that happened to work. He told her she could get them from the front of the park and I had to explain to her that they were for special Give A Day volunteer passes.
Please remember that these special fastpasses do not affect your regular park ticket at all. So, you are still able to use your park ticket to get regular fastpasses for a later time. We used ours in conjunction with our room keys for the maximum time-saving capabilities. They were great for us to use during this busy season and we really appreciated having them.
Hope this will make using your voucher for a GAD fastpass card easier. Enjoy your trip and remember to let us know all about it!
Brenda is a native Texan born and raised on the Gulf Coast. She visited Disney World twice as a teenager and always dreamed of growing her family Disney. She took her first-timer husband and their three children to Disney World in 2000 and they now spend every Thanksgiving there. Brenda writes with a comedic twist on various Disney topics. She will be sharing tips she has learned during her travels and also hopes to enlighten people on little-known freebies that Disney has to offer. She wishes she could have met Walt Disney and considers herself to be a student of Walt. In parallel to his dream it is her wish that everyone would take at least one trip to Disney World in order to share in its magic with their families.