A FASTPASS Guide for Disneyland and California Adventure


The most common complaint I hear about Disneyland is about wait times. No one likes standing in line. And, while we can’t control the crowds at the parks, we can control how we navigate through them.

Utilizing FASTPASSES at Disneyland and California Adventure can make all the difference in your visit. Take a few moments to learn how this works and you’ll be glad you did while you’re at the parks.

Some FAQ:

  • What is a FASTPASS?  This is a paper pass given to you at FASTPASS distribution points at each park’s busiest attractions.
  • How does it work?  Insert your ticket or annual pass into the machine if the time slated to return works for you. Go enjoy another part of the park until the time frame printed on your ticket arrives. Then, return to the ride and skip ahead to the ‘FASTPASS’ line to cut out a considerable wait time for this attraction.
  • Can I save my FASTPASS for the next day if I didn’t use it? No. FASTPASSES are only good for the day of issue.
  • How much do FASTPASSES cost?  Nothing! They are included in the cost of your ticket.
  • Where do I find these FASTPASS distribution machines?  Most distribution points are located near the entrance of the attraction. There are a few exceptions, listed below.
  • What if I lose my FASTPASS?  Replacements are not available.
  • Can I schedule FASTPASSES for the entire day at once?  No. You can only hold one fast pass at a time.
  • Are there exceptions?  Yes. If you have plans to see World of Color at California Adventure, absolutely grab this FASTPASS upon entering. The World of Color FASTPASS gives you priority seating for the show that arrives much later in the day. (This FASTPASS is distributed at Grizzly River Run.) Holding this pass will not stop you from retrieving other FASTPASSES. The Fantasmic! FASTPASS is another priority seating pass that will not stop you from retrieving other FASTPASSES.  (This FASTPASS is distributed along Big Thunder Trail in Frontierland.) ***Fantasmic! is on hiatus until mid-2017.
  • Are there any other exceptions? Kind of. If the FASTPASS you pull is for a much later time in the day, a message at the bottom of your FASTPASS will include the time you may pull another FASTPASS. See this example:

FASTPASSextra(More often than not, you will not see this added message on your FASTPASS. In this case, the guest arrived at 8:30am and the soonest she was able to ride this attraction was over four hours later. Disneyland does not want you waiting for four hours. So, they open up this next FASTPASS window. Grab your next FASTPASS and be happy you have two scheduled attractions!)

Disneyland FASTPASS Attractions:


  • Big Thunder Mountain
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters – disconnected – grab this whenever you want!
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
  • Space Mountain – with the Hyperspace Overlay
  • Splash Mountain
  • Star Tours (distributed next to Buzz Light Year’s distribution point)


California Adventure FASTPASS Attractions:

  • World of Color (distributed near Grizzly River Run) – disconnected – grab this whenever you want!
  • Frozen – Live at the Hyperion Theater – disconnected – but very popular. More here.
  • California Screamin’
  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Radiator Springs Racers (distributed near It’s Tough to Be a Bug)
  • Soarin’ Over California
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • ***What does ‘disconnected’ mean? If a FASTPASS is disconnected, you are permitted to grab another FASTPASS while holding the one that is disconnected. Otherwise, you may only hold one pass at a time.


Here’s a short video showing how the FASTPASS system works. Note: Some attractions shown here do not use the FASTPASS system. They seem to come and go, as they’re needed to move guests through popular attractions in the most efficient way possible. For example, the FASTPASS option was removed from The Haunted Mansion because it simply didn’t make a huge difference in this already fast-moving line.

 More Details:

  • Everyone in your group must have a FASTPASS to ride. I recommend nominating one person in your group to hold all tickets or annual passes for the day. At the distribution point, have one person collect all the FASTPASSES. My kids like to pull their own FASTPASSES, but they all return their annual passes and FASTPASSES to me before we leave the distribution point.
  • Little ones (ages 2 and under) do not need a FASTPASS for attractions since they were not granted a ticket upon entry to the parks. (They wouldn’t have a ticket to insert for a FASTPASS.)
  • FASTPASSES are available on a first-come, first-served basis and they do run out. Start your day early and utilize these passes as often as possible.
  • The most common attractions from both parks that run out of FASTPASSES are Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Radiator Springs’ Racers and California Screamin’.
  • The FASTPASS system works independently for both parks. Meaning, you can grab a FASTPASS at Disneyland, leave the park and immediately grab one at California Adventure. So, if park hopping is your thing, go between the parks to accomplish the least amount of wait time possible.
  • FASTPASSES are not accepted AFTER the time frame on your ticket. Disney used to be flexible on this, but they have grown strict with the rules recently.
  • Finally, my Plan Park Touring page includes itineraries designed for little and big kids, with 1 and 2 day plans for Disneyland and 1 day plans for California Adventure. I have listed the most popular attractions at the parks with a schedule for when to ride what and included in that list is when to grab FASTPASSES. Take a look to see if this works for you.

*Helpful tip: To avoid missing the time frame on your FASTPASS, set an alarm on your phone for your start time.

FASTPASSES work well for groups, but if you’re OK with riding separately, consider the Single Rider option. This works well if you have one person in your group who wants to ride and you don’t want to wait the standard time for the attraction. Single riders must meet attraction height requirements and be at least 7 years of age.


Single Riders

Rider Swap

Rider Swap (or Rider Switch or Child Swap) might work for you. Here’s how it works: As you approach the line, let a cast member know you’d like to do a Rider Swap. Everyone (adults and children) will then stand in line together. When it’s your turn, one adult will ride (with an eligible child) and the other adult will stay with the remaining child or children. Then, the other adult will get a turn to ride without having to wait in line all over again. This means the eligible child can ride twice!

Rider Swap is available at these attractions in Disneyland:

Autopia (Tomorrowland)

Big Thunder Mountain (Frontierland)

Gadget’s Go Coaster (Toontown)

Indiana Jones (Adventureland)

Matterhorn (Fantasyland)

Space Mountain (Tomorrowland)

Splash Mountain (Critter Country)

Star Tours (Tomorrowland)

Rider Swap is available at these attractions in California Adventure:

California Screamin (Paradise Pier)

Goofy’s Sky Skool (Paradise Pier)

Grizzly River Run (Grizzly Peak)

Radiator Springs Racers (Cars Land)

Silly Symphony Swings – tandem or single (Paradise Pier)

Soarin’ Over California (Condor Flats)

Tower of Terror (Hollywood Land)

Tuck and Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies (a bug’s land)

Final Thoughts

I can’t think of many reasons why you shouldn’t pull a FASTPASS if it’s available. If there’s a short wait time or you’re leaving the park early and can’t wait for the next available time, go to the Standby Entrance. Otherwise, grab the FASTPASS and plan around it.

And, as with any crowded day at Disneyland, follow these three rules for the best results:

1. Arrive at least 30 minutes before the park opens and have a strategy in place for your day. Take a look at my post on how to start your day.


3. Take a break mid-day and return after a few hours.

No need to mingle during the meltdown hours with kids (and parents) falling apart. Go back to your hotel for a swim or a shower and return refreshed for the evening.

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Tickets I recommend (read why)
Enter code DLRPS at checkout to save an additional $2 on each ticket.


  1. So am i totally incorrect on how cold swap works then? I thought you get a pass, those riding first wait in line, then hand the pass over and the next group (limit two this time) can go through the fastpass line. Am i incorrect?? This is how I’ve always done it, but if there’s a much better way, I’d love to know!

  2. Thank you, thank you for all the info! It made perfect research for our DL trip last month. I was the runner for Fast passes and here is what we did thanks to all your advice! After hitting up the Mad Hatter and all the Main Street characters, we made our way to Peter Pan’s Flight. I ran to get our Hyperspace Mountain FPs. After Peter Pan, we did Dumbo, Tea Cups, Mr. Toad, the carrousel and made our way to Tomorrow land. I grabbed Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear FPs. After Hyperspace Mountain, we went into Star Wars Launch Bay and met Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, and Boba Fett. We separated our group and half went to Finding Nemo Sub and half to the Matterhorn. After, I ran to grab Indiana Jones FPs. After Buzz and Star Tours, we went to our Aladdin Oasis reservations and I tried to grab Splash Mountain FPs but the ride got shut down for the day 🙁 but grabbed Big Thunder FPs instead. So after a long great lunch break, we rode Indiana Jones, Big Thunder, Haunted House, Winnie the Pooh, and Pirates of the Carribean. Thank GOD for the frozen lemonade! We were exhausted!! We made our way to It’s a Small World and the kids and some adults went to ToonTown to ride Roger Rabbit and others. By that time it was Parade time and fireworks. We made the most of our day thanks to you, we did it!! GOD bless you! 🙂

  3. Awesome site! 2 nieces, 2 nephews and their moms visiting first week of August from Alabama and can’t wait to use your strategy. One day for both parks! A question about sending a runner to get FASTPASSES while others what in line for another ride. Will they allow the runner to catch up to the party in line? Or does the runner just miss out on that ride?

    • Hi, Scott.

      That’s tricky. Disney etiquette suggests no line jumping, but it doesn’t bother me for one person to catch up to his or her group. We’re all there to have fun and make the best use of our time, so I’m OK with it. I would try it out and see what your comfort level is and decide how to move forward with it after a few attempts. If you’re in my line, I’ll allow it. 🙂

  4. Hi Casey! Thank you for all the tips. Your blog has been very helpful for us who are planning our first time in Disney. Just wondering if i understand it correctly, i can get a fastpass for WOC and Frozen at the same time and get another fastpass for another attraction? Since WOC and Frozen are both disconnected?

  5. Hello Casey, I loved your website, I have a lot of experience in Orlando but haven’t been too many times to DL so I have a question for you.
    I will be with a group of 52 teenagers and we plan to arrive at 7:45 at California Adventure on June 23 (park opens at 8am). Should I get a FP for Radiator Springs while the group heads to Soarin or should them do Radiator Springs first thing in the morning on stand by line while I get FP for the new Soarin?

  6. I want to thank you for this and every other post. I used DLR Prep School as a guidebook before our trip last year, and it made the park experience so much smoother and enjoyable. I’m looking forward to using your advice again this summer when we return. My colleague and I both turn to your site first for any questions when we plan our visits.

  7. Hi there, We are headed to Disneyland this coming week, and we have been before and used fastpasses, but cant seem to figure out if the new Frozen at the Hyperion is a disconnected Fastpass, or if its the only one I can hold at the time.. Do you happen to know the answer to this, I know its a brand spankin new show… buuuut all the more reason why I DONT want to miss out on it! 🙂 TIA

  8. I am a member of touring plans, and it is telling me NOT to get fast passes for RSR first…which I think is a mistake and according to you it is as well. However, I have never been to CA, so any suggestions?

    • We all have our different methods. RSR runs out so quickly and if you miss it because you’re pulling another FASTPASS that would interfere with the timing, you’ll regret it. I recommend taking care of that first.

  9. I’ve read that all members of the party need to be in the park to get a fastpass; so you can’t send one person early in the morning to start getting all the passes for everyone.

    I am wondering if this same issue happens between the parks. So if everyone enters Disneyworld we could start getting fastpasses there no problem… Would it then be possible to have just one person go to California adventure to get those fastpasses, or would everyone have to at least enter the California park (they wouldn’t be able to stay in the Disneyworld park)?

    • Good question. I have heard that you all have to physically enter the park in order for those FASTPASSES to be pulled. But since you are entering one Disney park, perhaps the other park would work. I’ll try to do this the next time I have my family here. Wish I knew exactly how to advise you now. I would definitely try this if I were you.

      • Thanks Casey, we will not be there until July so if you happen to get an answer before then would still appreciate any updates. If not I will let you know what happens after the trip!

      • Hi guys. We have tried to take passes and crossover without the holders to get FPs and it does not work. Of a groups is all in DLR and one runner crosses over to get FPs for a ride such as Soarin’, it only works for the runners ticket. The others are still not ‘checked in’ to DCA.

  10. So, if I go early and get a Fastpass (ex to Radiator Springs Racers) I cannot head to another ride and grab a fastpass for that ride, correct?

  11. Hi Casey.
    We go to Disneyland in 8 days. Your blogs are saving my mind! We were there three years ago but only my husband and two youngest daughters are going this time. I have a few questions… I have read on other sites that you can get a free cup of ice water from any restaurant so that we could fill our water bottles throughout the day. Is that correct? What would be the first Fast pass to get in DLR? I can’t wait to read more of your awesome tips in the morning. I have been reading your blogs until 1am now!

  12. My parents and son and I are going to disneyland in June and definetely want to see World of a Color. I read your posts about getting the dining package with priority seating. My question for you is, Is the priority seating you get with the dining package the same seating you get grabbing a fast pass for Woc? Thanks! 🙂

  13. Hey I’m currently planning a trip for me and my boyfriend at the beginning of November. I’m searching around for ideas and tips for our first time at disneyland. We are going to get the California City Pass so we can visit other places as well. I want to utilize the fast pass option. Do you know anything about how to get a fast pass at disneyland with a city pass? I believe from my research it’s a plastic card. I’m unsure if that would allow us access to gaining fast passes like a normal disneyland ticket would. Thanks!!

  14. Hey there! I’m new at all of this, and am thankful for your tips! I’m a bit confused on 2 things in particular: 1) if we want to do rider swap, so both parents can ride RSR and my older son can ride 2 times, but my younger son is too short to stand in the line, how does the parent not waiting in line know when it’s their turn to ride? And 2) can you get a fastpass but also stand in line and ride it right then, then come back and ride it again during your fast pass time? One last thing I’d just like your opinion on-if we are staying at the hotel and can go in for the extra magic hour, that is the right choice, correct, instead of going to the opposite park, as it might be less crowded that day? Thanks so much!

    • You should be able to transfer the rider swap pass you will receive from one parent to the next after riding it for the first time. And FASTPASSES should work with this system. Definitely use the extra magic hour. If anything, go for that hour and then leave to go to the opposite park if it gets too crowded. But you will get so much done during that hour. Take advantage!

  15. Hi Casey –

    Thanks for such a great site! I saw the thread from March 2015 and it is a matter dear to my trip this April. Will my 2.5 year old qualify for fastpass considering he won’t have a ticket?

  16. Hi! Great site. Is there any talk about Disneyland using the magic bands that Walt Disney World uses? They are so convenient and easy. Thanks!

  17. Hi. Thank you for all the great info. We are going to visit both parks next week. I’m so excited, it is our first family trip. My question is, will whichever park has the magic morning be the busier park for the day? I’m assuming the busier the park the faster they run out of fastpasses. Also, it may rain one of the days we are there. Which park is best for the rainy day, if it does indeed rain(it may just sprinkle though)?

  18. Hi! We are a family of 5 with three kids aged 12,14 and 16 visiting for the first time. We only have one day to visit but which park is best? We like thrill rides but does DCA have the same charm as DL. Disney characters, fireworks etc? Can’t decide… Can you do both parks in one day? Help!!

  19. Hey. Thanks for this site! I love the disconnected Buzz Lightyear fastpasses, and it really bugs me they don’t advertise it! We do fastpass and parent swap on every ride we can, it’s a shame more families don’t know about it. I rarely get hassled by cast members, and the friendlier you are the better. Talk to them, many are eager to share tips, advice, stickers whatever!

  20. I thought I posted this comment yesterday but it doesn’t look like it took. Hopefully I’m not double posting.

    Is BLAB still disconnected? My wife and I are visiting tomorrow through Wednesday and I’d hate to grab a fastpass to it only to find out that it’s not disconnected any more. My fear is that’d ‘waste’ a FP for me if that were the case as there are other rides that are a higher priority to get at DL.


  21. Are the above disconnected rides still accurate? My wife and I are visiting for the first time in ages this coming weekend into next week and it’d be helpful to know before going and pulling a ride that we think is disconnected (such as BLAB) and finding that it really wasn’t.


  22. Hello I was wondering if anyone has used the link above to buy discounted passes. I’m trying to be causious about ticket sites not owned by Disney such as the parksaver.com listed in this article? Thoughts/concerns! Thanks.

    • Anyone else is welcome to chime in. I have used them and only promote legitimate businesses. They are safe! Use code DLRPS by the end of February at that link for an extra $2 off each ticket. Those tickets will be good trough 2016. Enjoy!

      • One big tip to save. Buy Disney gift cards at Sam’s to save 5%. We just used this method to get annual passes for 5 and saved $225. We also get cards for all of our in-park spending to save an extra 5%.

  23. This explains why my husband and I went on Astro Blasters more than any other ride. We did zero planning before our honeymoon in 2006. Still had a great time.

  24. Hi – I heard that the official Disney hotels in Disneyworld Florida have a 60 day pre-booking window for fast passes. We are going to Disneyland CA and haven’t booked our hotel yet. Is this the same for Disneyland?

  25. FYI We just used rider swap on Radiator Springs Racers yesterday. When my husband and daughter went in, they gave him a lanyard to wear in line. Once he got up to the front, they traded the lanyard for a rider swap ticket good for up to 3 people to return.

  26. Do you have any information on the new DAS? We’re going for the first time since the switch and I don’t want to be completely blind sighted.

  27. on the first day of our Disney trip my son and I are going to go to early in the morning and my husband will meet us later in the afternoon/evening. Does anyone know if I could use his ticket to get a fast pass to WOC then meet him at the entrance with his ticket to get in?

  28. We were just at DCA on New Year’s Day. RSR was allowing rider switch. They – and every FP ride we went on – allowed us to combine FP and Switch options, and only the people in the first group had to have FPs.

  29. Hello!

    My boyfriend and I have 2 days at Disney in the 3rd week of Jan – 1 day at each park, however we will have one shorter day as we’re flying in and then heading straight to a park from LAX (possibly around noon-1pm) – which park would you suggest we should spend the shorter day at? I want to try and use as many fast passes as possible for shows & rides, but am worried about the day we arrive late.

    Thanks so much!

  30. Hello. Quic question.
    My girlfriend and I both have APs. If she doesn’t come with me to Disnelyand, can I still use her AP to obtain a fastpass?
    Since it isn’t a regular ticket but an AP, I was just wondering if I can use her AP with my AP to receive fastapasses. Thank you!

  31. Hi Casey! I really love your website!
    We, the family of 7, are heading to DSL for NYE. I have a 4 years old who is probably still too short to ride the most of height restricted ones. The last time we visited WDW (last year), I was able to break up into 2 groups and book different FastPass+ for rides that a little one couldn’t go on. For example, 1 group had splash mountain, dumbo, and big thunder mountain, and the other group had 7DMT, dumbo, and space mountain. We used FastPass+ for one group while the other group waited with a little one then used swap pass to go ride later that day.
    I heard you can still do this at DSL. But I also heard the cast member was asking all group to have FastPass when you go to ask for a ride switch pass even though half of group won’t go in there right away.
    Could you confirm if this technique is still available at DSL next time you visit there?
    Thank you!

  32. Taking my daughter to California Adventure in a few days. We are doing a character lunch but I am concerned about getting Anna and Elsa return ticket as well as FASTPASS for the sing a long. The concern being what do I do if the time conflicts with the character lunch time? Is there any way to avoid that?

    • If your character dining meal conflicts with the return time to see Anna and Elsa, simply bring your receipt to the meet-n-greet and they will work you in. They don’t offer FASTPASSES for the singalong anymore and they’re not needed, actually. You should be able to get into it at any time. Enjoy!

      • Thanks so much. Been using your website for a lot of planning 🙂 Good to know about the sing-a-long and also that I should just ask a cast member at the meet and greet if we get a conflict. They seem very accommodating from everything I’ve been reading.

  33. I can’t tell you how much we appreciate your tips! We’ve been to Disneyworld and had the Fast Pass Bands because we stayed on the resort and it was super easy. I was concerned when I didn’t see this option at Disneyland, but am so glad you can get ticket Fast Passes! Are we limited to only 3 Fast Passes a day like at Disneyworld?

    We are coming next week for two days (October 8-9) but heard the park is closing early on one of those days? Do you know anything about this? Also, do you suggest we start at California Adventure or Disneyland? Should we do 1 park/day passes or park hoppers? Our boys are 4 and 6, so just trying to make the most of our short visit. We will definitely be using your suggestions, so thank you so much!!

    • Hi, Monica. Thanks! You are not limited to three FASTPASSES and we don’t have the bands here at Disneyland. Be sure to review this post to know how to handle the FASTPASS system here since it’s quite different from WDW.

      The park will close a few days a week right now for the Halloween Party. I would start at California Adventure on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and Disneyland on all the other days. That way you are avoiding the early entry crowd.

      One day tickets or park hoppers work. Check out this link for discounts: http://www.parksavers.com/tickets-home-dlr-prep

  34. We are going to DL for the first time at the end of October. Rather than getting a day ticket we have opted for the Halloween Party tickets. My question is as we will have a wrist band rather than a park ticket I’m guessing that means we can’t use fast pass in the park?

  35. Just wanted to add that single rider never guarantees a shorter wait time. There’s a strong possibility that the guest will be waiting as long or long than the posted wait time. Sometimes an attraction doesn’t have empty seats. I’ve had guests test this while one waited in the stand by queue and the other waited in the single rider line. The single rider waited an additional 20 minutes vs the stand by. Just a heads up. 🙂

    • I had an experience at WDW where the cast member in charge of the single rider line had NO IDEA how it was supposed to work. She did not add single riders in to fill up cars; instead she waited forever and then sent a whole group of single riders through. Needless to say, it took a long time to get through the line!

  36. Hi Casey,

    Kudos on a VERY helpful website.We (three adults) are planning a trip to DLR and DCA for early October 2015, and I have some quick questions. A. What days do you think we should go that you believe would be less crowded? B. Is it better to get a 3-Day Park Hopper, or a 4-Day Single Park ticket? C. Is it better to get a FASTPASS for Fantasmic or a Dinner w/a FASPASS for Fanstasmic, we saw that they offer a 59.99 dinner that guarantees a great spot for Fantasmic, is it worth it? D. Lastly, do you have any itineraries for adults only?

    Thank you for all your help and dedication.

    – Sal

  37. I have a question about the rider swap pass…I have a 5, 7, and 9-year-old…Are we allowed to get swap passes if the whole family isn’t waiting in line? My daughter will not be tall enough to wait in line for the ride, but me and my husband will want to ride with the older two…So if my oldest rides with my husband, can he get a swap pass for me and my other son if we are waiting outside? Thanks!

    • We used to use (and abuse) the Switch pass system. Sometimes CMs only give you a switch pass if you can show them the little one who can’t ride. In other words, getting a switch pass for RSR for your wife and kids who are currently on another ride will not work if CMs are following guidelines.

      Also, you can get a switch pass if there is any child not going at any age or size if the parent deems they need supervision.

  38. Hi, such great tips! I have a question about the rider switch – my family will be going to Disneyland on Friday, and we’re all adults but we just found out my sister is pregnant so she won’t be able to ride some of the bumpier rides. Will a rider switch only be available with children, or can you also request them with expectant mothers so someone can sit out with her but still get to ride? Thanks!

    • Excellent question. I’d ask a cast member, as I’ve never encountered such. Disneyland is very accommodating, but I’m not sure how they handle child swap without a child. Let me know what you find out!

  39. Hi, Casey! Love your site, thanks for all your hard work!

    Two questions. Does storytelling at Royal Theatre have a fastpass and how does it work?
    Also, now that Olaf isn’t on a fastpass, what’s your recommendation on seeing him and balancing fp pickup for racers?

  40. I heard that with the FastPass return of Buzz Lighter, it is no longer connected to the network. Which means I can get another FastPass after Buzz without having to wait. Is this true? Are their other rides that are not in the network, ie: Roger Rabbit, Grizzly River Run?

    • Buzz is not connected. Mostly, it’s just shows and meet-n-greets that are not connected. Not Roger Rabbit or Grizzly River Run. Those are connected. Anna and Elsa, World of Color, Fantasmic!, the Frozen Show in Disneyland, etc…….all disconnected.

  41. We are headed to California Adventure next Saturday and plan to be there well before the rope drop. Is it still recommended to get Anna & Elsa fastpasses first, followed immediately by Radiator Springs? If so, how fast does the Anna & Elsa line move? We are worried about getting fastpasses for both.

  42. Thank you for the wonderful website and tips. I read older articles stating that certain rides (buzz light year astro blaster and radiator springs fast pass systems are independent from the overall fast past system) similar to the firework show fastpass. Is this still true?

    • Totally welcome!

      RSR is connected to other rides. I heard recently that Buzz is not, but I’ll be checking this week. Stay tuned to facebook.com/dlrprepschool for info on this.

  43. Question about Fastpasses for Anna & Elsa’s Royal Welcome. My 6 year old daughter is getting the Anna makeover at Anna & Elsa’s Boutique at 10:30am (the earliest we could get it) and then we wanted to meet Anna and Elsa later in the day. The park is scheduled to open at 10am that day. What would be your recommended strategy for getting the “return ticket” for the character greeting? Go in at park opening and get the FASTPASS first, then go to the Boutique, and hope the return ticket is scheduled for later enough in the day so we will be able to make it there? Or (while I’m at the boutique with my daughter) send my husband to get the “return ticket” using his park ticket, along with my two sons’ tickets? That way we would have three return tickets that we could use (my mom, myself, and my daughter want to go meet Anna & Elsa). Can the return tickets be transferred to a different person or are they linked to the specific park ticket?

    • Good question. I often recommend doing the makeover the night before so that you don’t run into this issue with timing, but if your appt is set, I think your plan to send your husband over with the boys tickets is a good idea. Make sue everyone’s tickets are scanned for entry that day, of course. FASTPASSES “or return tickets” are transferable.

  44. Hi Casey, Your website is such a wonderfully thorough collection of advice and plans to help us all have a wonderful trip! It’s been a few years since we’ve been to Disneyland and we usually just enjoy the rides as we go, but sounds like having a plan, including which/when to get Fast Passes is really important these days. I do have one suggestion for you: when adding links to your site, you might want to have them open in a new tab. Once I started clicking from one page to the next to the next, it took me a bit to get back to your home page, which I didn’t want to lose! You know how it is once you get clicking! Thank you so much for sharing this greatly appreciated information!

  45. Thank you so much for this info! It has been a bit overwhelming planning for our first family vacation to Disney for my daughter’s 9th birthday. We are planning on going to both parks but bought single day tickets. Do you have any tips or itinerary ideas? Our game plan so far was doing 1 park first day, 1 park second day, and then deciding what to do with the next. I am a bit nervous about the whole fast pass system, and was also wondering if you would recommend purchasing the dining/fast pass combos for World of Color and Fantasmic. They seem pricy, but we don’t want to miss either one. Do you think just getting a fast pass will work? Thank you again and sorry for so any questions from this newbie!

  46. Thank you so much for providing useful info re: Disney Resort! I read your Fasspass guide and I’d like to get your insight. We (two adults) are going to do park hopping and will get there before the rope drop (or whatever it’s called). We want to do both RSR and WOC fastpasses. I know WOC is independent from other fastpasses but which line should we line up first? I could go to WOC with two passes and have my husband line up for RSR but not sure which line would be shorter in general. Any insight will be appreciated!

  47. I’m planning on going to either disneyland or California adventure but I’m having trouble deciding due to my son probably not being any requirements for the rides at CAL ADV, he’s 3 yrs old… are there many rides at all he’d be able to get on??

  48. Hello,

    If we buy etickets and print them at home will they work for the fastpass or will we have to exchange them when we get to the park?

    Thanks for all the helpful info. I’m having a blast just reading and prepping for our trip to DL in August!

  49. Hi, Casey! I just discovered your site, and as a Disney fan, I’m loving it! I just was wondering if your list of fastpass attractions is current or not. I was just in Disneyland a couple weeks ago and know both Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean offer fastpasses. I want to say It’s A Small World does too, but that might only be at WDW, not at DLR. Anyways, thank you for running such an awesome site!

    • Hi, Abigail.

      Haunted Mansion is doing passes temporarily – I believe due to the Hatbox Ghost excitement. I had not noticed Pirates. Will look the next time I’m there – in just a few days. I’ll look for Small World, too. Thanks for the tips!

      • Any update on those fast passes for Pirates and It’s a Small World? My family and I are headed there this week and I am just trying to do my research! Thank you for all of this great information!!!

        • Hi, Amy.

          They recently added Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and Haunted Mansion has a semi-permanent FASTPASS now. But, nothing yet for Pirates or it’s a small world. I’ll update this post as I see such. Thanks!

          • My family has annual passes and though we have always avoided the summer months in past years we did go last week to the parks for my son’s birthday. When getting fast passes for Indiana Jones I received a great surprise of a bonus fast pass to Buzz Lightyears Astro Blasters good for up to 6 people. The day before we were asked as a party of 3 if we wanted to join another family of 3 on their 6 person bonus fast pass. It was such a pleasure to have that to offer someone else ourselves. We invited a mom and 2 kids from Chile who were waiting at the end of a 50 minute line. The kids just didn’t believe it. Not only is this a great idea meant to celebrate the 60th Anniversary it really generates sharing and kindness for people to reach out to others with smaller parties. Another great reason to love Disneyland!

  50. Thank you for all the wonderful information on your website. We are going to Disneyland in less than week and getting really excited! We will be able to enter Disneyland park early one day during Magic Morning hours. I’m curious as to when Fast Passes can be pulled. Are Fast Passes for all rides available during the early opening hour or only after the park opens?

    • You’re welcome! Most passes are available during early entry, however, I have heard lately that they’re not as available…..perhaps because of the summer crowds. If that is the case, ride as much as you can and then get in line closer to official opening for the passes you want. Enjoy!

  51. We are going to disneyland next month. We have 3 kids, 2 of which are top little to ride some attractions. There are some sites that say that we can use Fastpass in conjuntion to Rider Swap. Saying that we could pull enough fastpasses for the first set of riders then ask for a rider swap for the others (up to 3 I think) to go through that way after the first set rides. Then the group that isn’t pullong fastpassed for that ride could pull fastpasses for another ride and then use ride swap on that ride as well. Can you say whether this would work or not.

    • Hi, Jodi!

      I’ve heard that this both works and does not. Rider Swap was created to keep people from standing in line twice…..FASTPASS was created to cut down on line time, too. Some cast members will let them work together. Some won’t. If I find out anymore information on this, I’ll get back to you asap!

  52. Hi! Is it absolutely necessary to get the fast passes for the nighttime shows? It will be my first time at Disneyland and I want to be able to see everything during fantastic and world of color, but I also do not want to run to a fast pass machine at rope drop, I want to enjoy seeing the park for the first time. How much time would we have to make our way to get the fast pass?

  53. I discovered your website today, and I love it! I’ve been to Disneyland many times, but I still enjoy reading tips/tricks and ideas. I did want to say that they will not allow children not tall enough to ride in the lines. You mention on rider swapping that everyone stands in the line, but that is not true at Disneyland. You have to get a swap pass instead. This is actually nice as some times the lines can be scary (like Indiana Jones), and also it allows the non-riders to go do something else like have a snack or experience an age appropriate attraction.

    Also, I wish your site had a list of articles. I have clicked on several links within articles, but it would be easier if there was a way to see all the information available on the site.

  54. Thank you so much for the detailed information on your website, it was by far the most helpful in my pre-travel research. My family and I just arrived back in Europe from a California vacation that included a highly anticipated visit to Disneyland Anaheim. My son (3) is a huge Cars fan and my daughter (6) loves the Frozen movie, so we decided to go to the California Adventure park. Thanks to you, I knew exactly what to do upon arrival: Get the return tickets for the Anna&Elsa Meet&Greet and the Fastpast tickets for the radiator springs racers. It worked out beautifully and the kids had a blast. My husband and I enjoyed the surprisingly stress-free visit and the short waiting times! Without your wonderful Disneyland preparation page we would have wandered aimlessly about, spent long times in line and probably missed out on both of these highlights that were once-in-a-lifetime for our kids. Grateful greetings from Germany, Anne

  55. Just wanted to thank you for the outstanding information you have provided on this blog. This was my first time at Disneyland and got to enjoy this with my wife and two kiddos. Your fastpass guide and info on child swap was amazing and allowed us to pretty much ride everything our hearts desired and got to watch both Funtastic! and World of Color with an amazing view! Thank you so much and can’t wait to come back to experience the Magic that is Disney once again!!!

  56. Hello. I have a question regarding parkhopping for fastpasses. Can my family stay in Disneyland while I take all of our parkhopper tickets to California Adventure to get fastpasses for RSR? Hope that makes sense.

    • Good question, Micah. The theme park tickets must be scanned for entry in order to use them at the beginning of the day. Let me check this Friday at my visit for re-visting the parks without your actual family and with tickets only. I’ll reply back to this comment after I find out. Want to make sure I’m correct in my answer.

        • Micah! I’m so sorry. I thought for sure I had replied to you on this again.

          The answer is no. The park tickets must be scanned for entry (even on subsequent visits) in order to pull FASTPASSES, therefore, the family would have to be in the park in order to get tickets. Does that make sense?

          • Ok that’s what I figured. Oh well, guess they’ll just have to hop with me. Thanks for finding out, though!

      • I just did this with 14 passes – my group was in DL and I took everyone’s tickets and ran over to CA Adv to get RSR fast passes – no problem. My ticket was the only one scanned for admission, but I got a FP for everyone.

          • I was wondering this same thing. Casey, have you tried this again since Coralyn posted her comment? We’re using our Magic Morning at DL on our first day in the parks (Tues.), and plan to start the rest of our days in whichever park does not offer early entry to resort guests. That means we won’t start the day in DCA until Thurs. I have a feeling if we don’t park hop by 10 am on Tues. or Wed., then RSR fast passes will be gone by the time we cross over. What do you think? (BTW, there are 8 of us. We’ve got 5 day hoppers and will be in the parks Tues.-Thurs., Sat. & Sun. taking Fri. off to rest and catch our breath.) Also, so much has changed since our last visit in 2013, especially with Fantasmic! offering FP. We used to stake out a spot and sit for an hour waiting for the show. Are all the spots by the water reserved for FP seating now? Thanks for taking the time to answer everyone’s questions. I really appreciate getting the insider view as it’s often hard to get these answers via Disney.

          • Hi, Elizabeth!

            Absolutely grab FASTPASSES for reserved seating for Fantasmic! In fact, take a look at this post from my Facebook page for 2 strategies – one which includes one for seeing Fantasmic!, the fireworks and the parade all in one night with a small amount of wait time.


            Regarding, RSR FASTPASSES and hopping, you might want to send someone over with everyone’s tickets to see if he or she can pull RSR FASTPASSES without everyone being present in the park. Disney insists that you have to be in that park to pull passes, but I’ve had several readers that have made it work without that recently. If that’s not an option, you might make it by 10am. Otherwise, Single Rider might be your best bet to avoid a huge wait.

  57. I just had one of the worst and most expensive days of my life at California Adventure. No where in the park are clear instructions about the fast passes given. Disney’s own website makes it sound as if those purchasing regular admission for the day are not eligible. After spending $300 just to be there, my daughter and I only managed to ride 4 rides in an entire day there, and walked out after discovering the “24” minute (listed) wait for Radiator Springs Racers was actually going to be 4 hours!!! We found this out from the cast member who refused to allow the “standby” line to increment at all as Fast Pass holders from all over the park swarmed the ride. We paid hundreds of dollars to stand in the hot sun for hours, only to be considered “standby” by your “cast members”? Very interesting terminology here showing who Disneyland values (their employees who are now put on a pedestal as “actors”), and who they don’t (Joe Q Public who pays a normal fare to stand in the hot sun for hours-only to be corralled and ignored for hours as “Standby” while other more elite people who have not waited at all march right onto the ride)? Pardon my run on here but Walt would be spinning in his grave if he found out how twisted his vision of the happiest place on earth had become! The whole fastpass elitist discrimination needs to be shut down!!!

    • TangoAvenger,

      I’m so sorry you had a bad experience. I hope my guide will help should you decide to try again with Disneyland or California Adventure. Can you let me know how I could be clearer in my post? Or can you recommend what information could have made your day run smoother? Happy to help in any way I can.

  58. FYI children under 3 will need a pass to see Elsa and Anna. We were not told this when my husband got passes for the rest of our group and when the 8 of us walked up at our designated time they refused to let all of us in bc we only had 6 passes. How they expected us to get passes for our two little ones (under 2 years old) when they didn’t have park tickets to begin with is beyond me. It was mainly just one woman on a power trip refusing to let us all in.

    • Thanks, Jennifer. For a long time, children under 3 were given passes, however, with them moving to DCA, that was changed. I’ll check into it today. I appreciate you letting us know.

    • Jennifer, I spoke to several cast members last night about your situation and they were surprised. You should have absolutely been allowed to bring children in without FASTPASSES. I’m so sorry this happened.

  59. is there a way of getting fast pass online instead of in person at the park, we will be going to Disneyland and California Adventure

  60. I have a question about using the rider swap versus the single rider line. I have a 5 year old and there are some rides she will not want to ride, but her father and I will both want to ride. Would we be better off utilizing the rider swap or the single rider line? Or is it possible to implement both?

    • Hi, Whitney!

      You can’t utilize both in the single rider line, unfortunately. I do recommend it over FASTPASSES and other options on most attractions. However, Rider Swap will work best where the single rider option is not available.

  61. My husband and I are headed up to Disneyland for a date on Thursday. We’ve never seen World of Color and are so glad it’s finally open! When should we get fast passes for he show? We’ll be there most of the day.