Important Information: FastPass+ will not be returning to Walt Disney World. In its place will be a new paid service called Disney Genie+. Read our guide to learn the latest information on Disney Genie+.
Are you visiting Epcot? Are you looking forward to riding Soarin & Test Track? Epcot is a massive theme park that can involve a lot of walking. To maximize your day it is essential you develop an Epcot FastPass Strategy. Our Epcot FastPass Hacks, updated for 2020, will help you plan a great vacation.
Epcot is currently undergoing massive changes, and there will inevitably be changes to how you access FastPass during 2020. Keep checking this guide as you come closer to your vacation for the latest information.
The Basics of FastPass+
No matter which Walt Disney World park you are visiting, it is essential you understand the basics of FastPass+. FastPass+ is Disney’s attraction reservation system and allows you to book attractions in advance of your visit. Your reservation will enable you to join a much shorter line so you can experience the ride quicker. If you don’t use FastPass+ you will spend a more extended period in standby lines and experience fewer attractions.
To use FastPass+ you must have either:
- Valid Ticket or Annual Pass
- Walt Disney World Resort Hotel reservation plus theme park tickets
Guests who are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort(including select onsite none-Disney Resorts) can book 60 days in advance plus the number of days of their stay. Ticket holders not staying elsewhere have a much shorter 30-day reservation window.
You can book your FastPass Reservations on the Disney Website or by downloading the My Disney Experience App. You must plan to book FastPass reservations as soon as they become available.
You can make 3 FastPass reservations before you arrive in the park. Once these reservations are used, you can book an extra pass. You can make extra FastPass reservations as soon as you join your 3rd attraction line. You can continue booking one additional selection after each attraction until the end of the day or until no more FastPass slots are available.
You can learn more in Our Guide to Fastpass+.
Epcot FastPass Strategy Basics
Epcot does not allow an equal booking to all FastPass attractions.
There are 3 big attractions in Epcot:
- Frozen Ever After
- Test Track
Disney only lets you pick one of these Group A attractions, which also includes Epcot Forever, in your initial Fastpass selections. Group A previously included the Epcot Character Spot, but currently this is unavailable.
All other attractions are in Group B, and you can book up to 2 attractions. Guests who fail to book a Group A Fastpass can use all 3 Fastpasses at Tier B.
Only being able to pick one Group A attraction, presents a problem to anyone with only 1 day to visit Epcot.
Are you visiting Epcot on 1 or 2 days?
Epcot is a massive theme park with lots of things to see & do. In our opinion, you should treat the park as 2 separate theme parks i.e. Future World & World Showcase. Epcot is currently undergoing massive renovations, but there is still plenty to do.
Attempting all of Epcot in 1 day will usually lead to failure, tiredness & grumpy kids. If you have time, visit on 2 or even 3 days. This will also make your FastPass+ strategy easier.
If you only have 1 day, consider what your must-do attractions are. For many guests, especially those with small children, Frozen is a must-do. Thrill-seekers are more likely to prioritize Test Track.
Are you big enough to ride at Epcot?
Don’t create a strategy that includes all family members riding to realize too late; not all of you can. Many of the Walt Disney World attractions do carry restrictions, and they are
- Mission Space Orange at least 44 inches tall to ride
- Mission Space Green at least 40 inches to ride
- Test Track at least 40 inches tall to ride
- Soarin at least 40 inches tall to ride
When children are not big enough to ride at Epcot it does not mean
Those Big 3 Epcot Attractions.
There are 3 big attractions in Epcot:
- Frozen Ever After
- Test Track
All 3 of these attractions are in FastPass Group A along with Epcot Forever.
Disney only lets you pick one of these selections advance. Unfortunately, you are not guaranteed to obtain another FastPass later in the day. Frozen remains the most popular of all three and is usually the hardest FastPass to get. However, if you don’t have small children you might consider giving it a miss.
Soarin has recently had a 3rd theatre added, which has reduced waits considerably. You will often find a FastPass available after you have used your first selections.
Test Track has a single rider line. If you are happy not riding together, choose this option if you don’t have a FastPass. You will join a much shorter line and fill in a gap when one becomes available.
We do not think booking Epcot Forever is a good use of Fastpass as there are plenty of great viewing slots usually available. However, Epcot Forever is only a short term spectacular, and you should not miss it.
What other FastPass choices should I make?
You can book another 2 Fastpass selections before you arrive, assuming you have secured a FastPass for one of the big 3. Once you have used your initial selections, you can book more choices, one at a time, depending on availability.
The following 4 attractions rarely need a Fastpass at Epcot even on the busiest days:
- Disney/Pixar Short Film Festival
- Turtle Talk with Crush
- Mission Space (Green)
While obtaining a FastPass for the other selections in Group B is worthwhile, unless the park is bustling, they are often not needed. The majority of
Your other selections very much depend on what your must-do attractions are. We would consider Spaceship Earth and Mission Space(Orange) the best choice for most guests.
Help I am only visiting Epcot for 1 day!
It is still possible to do all the main attractions at Epcot even if you are only visiting for one day. We suggest arriving early, but to avoid visiting on Early Extra Magic Hour dates unless you are staying onsite.
You should prebook Frozen as your 1 Group A FastPass, and this should be for the early afternoon at the latest.
On opening join the line for Test Track, and if you are happy riding apart join the single rider line.
Once you have completed your initial FastPass selections, attempt to get a FastPass for Soarin. Alternatively, you will often find standby waits shorter during the last hour of park opening, and usually, this will be less time than advertised.
What changes will happen to FastPass+ at Epcot during 2020?
The big Epcot opening in 2020 is the opening of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure during the summer in the France Pavilion. Guests will wear 3D glasses, and the attraction will use a trackless ride system. During the ride, you will shrink to the size of a rat and cause mayhem in Gustav’s kitchen.
We expect Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure to be added to the Group A list. We expect the rest of Group A attractions to remain the same.
Also, opening in 2020 is “HarmonioUS” which will replace Epcot Forever. We expect this will be a straight swap in the FastPass booking tables and unlikely to be worth booking.
Do you have any further tips to create an even better Epcot Fastpass Strategy? Do you think we have made any mistakes? Leave a comment below so we can add to a future edition of this post.
Are you planning to visit Walt Disney World? Our Guide to Walt Disney World is a great starting place to plan and Disney World vacation.