Disneyland Fastpass Guide (2007)

We have now survived a trip during a busy time without the benefit of Enhanced Fastpass that was previously offered to people using AAA travel to go to Disneyland.  While I had written this strategy before we lost our enhanced Fastpasses, I want to mention again that this strategy does work!

First, for those who have never used a Fastpass before will be a brief explanation of what Fastpass itself. Each person who enters the Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World will automatically get access to Fastpass by using their entry ticket. This applies to all passports, as well as annual passes. Using your ticket to get a Fastpass you will then receive a ticket that has a special 'window' of time in which you can use your Fastpass. This allows you to enter a special queue during that time to bypass the majority of the other line, which is called the standby line.

The time window on your Fastpass is a two hour window. You cannot use your pass before the first time in that window, but once a pass is issued, you can use it anytime after your window opens up. Say for example that you get a Fastpass for Splash Mountain, and your time window is 1:00 - 3:00. You can then use the Fastpass anytime that same day after 1:00. It is also important to note that you cannot get another Fastpass until 1:00, which is the first time in your two hour window. Now the exception to this is that sometimes your two hour time window won't be until much later in the day. Say for example you get a Fastpass at 10:00 in the morning, but the time window isn't until 6:00 that night. This doesn't mean you can't get another Fastpass before then. Instead, you have to wait two hours to get another Fastpass, so you can get another one at 12:00.

Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure are also two different parks, so you can get a Fastpass in each park, and in essence be holding two fastpasses at the same time. Since it is important to get some fastpasses very early in the day, this could be very important.

You can only get one Fastpass at a time for each attraction, with a few exceptions. Those two exceptions are Roger Rabbits Car Toon Spin in ToonTown, and Grizzly River Run at Disney's California Adventure. These two machines are totally independent from the others. Keeping this in mind, you can get a Fastpass for a different attraction and immediately run to one of these independent machines and grab a Fastpass there. Once you get a Fastpass at one of the independent machines, the same rules will apply. You won't be able to get a new one at either machine until your time window opens up or two hours have passed.

Now that you know what Fastpass is and how it works there are a few tips to help you maximize your Fastpass use and minimize time spent waiting in lines.

If you can get to Disneyland or California Adventure at opening, you will find that in most cases if you get a Fastpass immediately after entering the park your return time will be pretty quick. For example, say Disneyland opens at 8:00. You immediately head to Buzz Lightyear for a Fastpass. Often the Fastpass return time will be around 8:30, meaning you only need to wait 30 minutes before you get another Fastpass. If you are traveling with children this comes into play in two ways. First, young children have favorite rides that parents sometimes get tired of going on again and again. So, grab that first Fastpass to your favorite or your child's favorite ride, then take the children to one of those rides that make you tired. Give one of the adults all of your passports, and that adult can go on a Fastpass hunt. Using the time example above, say you get your Buzz Fastpass with the 8:30 return. At 8:30 be positioned at the next ride you want to use a Fastpass on such as Space Mountain, Autopia, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain or Indiana Jones (and add Small World Holiday for the Holiday Season), or even Buzz Lightyear. Keep in mind that if your children are too small to ride Splash Mountain you can skip this Fastpass and use single rider instead.

At 9:00 when ToonTown opens, have the adult with all the tickets head there for Roger Rabbit fastpasses.

If this strategy is used, by 9:00 in the morning, just one hour after Disneyland has opened, you have 3 fastpasses that can be used anytime later that day. For those of you with young children I highly recommend stocking up on Fastpasses for Buzz Lightyear and Autopia. This same strategy can be used at California Adventure. Keep in mind that at this park you can use single rider on California Screamin', Mullholland Madness, Grizzly River Run and Soarin' over California in combination with those fastpasses.

Once you have those coveted fastpasses in hand it is time to hit some rides. This time of day the lines should still be short. Leave the fastpasses in your pocket and have fun! When lines start to get long, you can begin to pull the fastpasses out and enjoy some shorter lines.

So now that you know all this, here are the attractions that offer Fastpass:

At Disneyland:

Autopia (Tomorrowland) - these Fastpass machines have been turned off at this time due to construction of the Finding Nemo attraction.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Frontierland)
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (Tomorrowland)
Haunted Mansion Holiday (New Orleans Square) - this attraction only has Fastpass for the Holiday version which operates from October to early January)
Indiana Jones Adventure (Adventureland) - there is talk that Fastpass will be removed from this attraction
Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin (ToonTown)
Space Mountain (Tomorrowland)
Splash Mountain (Critter Country)

At Disney's California Adventure:

California Screamin' (Paradise Pier)
Grizzly River Run (Golden State)
Mulholland Madness (Paradise Pier)
Soarin' Over California (Golden State)
Tower of Terror (Hollywood Pictures Backlot)

Please note that the following attractions may not offer Fastpass while you are at the Disneyland Resort. These rides usually only have Fastpass on weekends during the slow season. Fastpass is offered on peak times though, including summer and Holidays.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Disneyland)
Mulholland Madness (Disney's California Adventure)
Grizzly River Run (Disney's California Adventure)
Tower of Terror (Disney's California Adventure)

One very important tip for using fastpasses that you need to keep in mind: Never use a Fastpass without getting a new one first. When the time opens up on your Fastpass be sure to get one for any Fastpass attraction you want, and then go use the one that is now available by time. This way you will be holding at least one Fastpass at all times, making it easier to ride your favorite attractions.

This should help maximize your use of Fastpass, making for a more enjoyable trip to the Disneyland resort if riding the attractions is what you want to do most.

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