How to Skip the Longest Lines at Disney with Child Swap and FastPass+

Dreams really do come true with the new FastPass+ at Walt Disney World where you can legally skip in line.

Dreams really do come true at Walt Disney World Orlando. You can now legally skip in line using FastPass+. Where other parks like Universal charge you for this benefit, Disney's new system is free to all ticket holders. You essentially make a reservation at a set time for up to three attractions per park per day. This planning ahead allows guests to maximize their valuable time at Walt Disney World, and alleviate any meltdowns from smaller children who simply cannot wait in line. 

How to Reserve Your Rides

Once you have your tickets, download Disney's mobile app or go online to My Disney Experience. You can reserve your FastPass+ rides 30 days before your visit or 60 days prior when staying at a Disney resort. (The sooner the better since popular rides book up fast!) You first select the day and the park you're visiting, then you can select three attractions. You will be given a one-hour window to show up to the attraction at the FastPass+ line, bypassing the poor souls in the standby line. If you need assistance once at the parks, just follow the signs for a FastPass+ kiosk, and a Disney employee will set it up for you. If you are traveling with another party, you can simply link your plans with theirs so everyone can stick together. Once you have used all three FastPasses for the day, Disney will allow you to add a bonus attraction at one of the kiosks. 

What Are the Longest Lines at Walt Disney World?

Since you only get three passes for one park per day, use them wisely. For instance, the teacups, the carousel and It's a Small World at the Magic Kingdom do not have long wait times, so instead use them for riding the ever-popular Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, meeting Anna and Elsa, or hopping on Peter Pan, which can all have wait times of more than an hour. Popular rides at other parks you may want to reserve with your FastPass+ are Soarin' and Test Track at Epcot; Toy Story Mania, Aerosmith and Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios; and Everest, the Rapids and the Safari at Animal Kingdom. Of course, if there is something your child really wants to see or do, like a show, parade or favorite character meet-and-greet, reserve your FastPass+ for that attraction. You can also check your My Disney Experience App throughout the day for up-to-the-minute wait times.

How to Use Child Swap

Disney generously allows both parents to ride an attraction without having to wait in line again. Let's say you and your spouse both want to ride Space Mountain, but your child is too small. Sign one parent up for a FastPass+ for Space Mountain, and at the entrance, tell the Disney employee that you'd like a Child Swap pass. (You'll need to present your child as proof.) They will give you a voucher to return to the attraction any time that day with up to three guests, so that you and the rest of your party can ride without waiting in the line again. 

Plan Ahead

The FastPass+ does require some planning and logistics, but having an agenda is smart. You've bought your valuable theme-park tickets, taken time off work or school, and now it's time to maximize your experience. Using FastPass+ is an easy way to shave hours off your day, diminish family frustration and fit in even more rides and fun.

Now if only there were a FastPass+ for the Starbucks line ...

Laura Lee
About the author

“A Southern hostess at heart, I love sharing all the best places, from restaurants, beaches and theme parks to ...