Everything you need to know about booking FP+ for Christmas week at Disney

The FP+: making or breaking people’s trip since 2013.

Maybe that’s a little dramatic, but as the final plans of your Walt Disney World vacation, booking your FP+ can be a pivotal moment for your trip. After securing your FP+ selections, all you have to do is wait—your trip is now completely planned.

While the FP+ is an added luxury during a normal Disney World vacation, it’s a necessity during Christmas week. Because it’s the most crowded time of the year, standby wait times, especially for popular attractions, often reach colossal lengths. Rides like Soarin’ and 7 Dwarfs Mine Train will often see wait times eclipse two or three hours. Even the less-popular rides, such as Pirates of the Caribbean or Spaceship Earth will see wait times of 90+ minutes. The only way to ride these attractions at a reduced wait time is to book a FP+.

What is a FP+?

FP+ stands for FastPass+. The FastPass is Walt Disney World’s ride and show reservation system that allows guests to book a one-hour window in which to return and experience the attraction at a significantly reduced wait time.

A Brief History Lesson

Before FP+, it was just “FastPass.” The original version was introduced in 1999. It was essentially a timed ticket that allowed you to spend your time elsewhere within the park, rather than waiting on line. Guests would insert their park ticket or resort key into the FastPass machine, which would distribute a FastPass with a predetermined time to return. Guests would then return at their scheduled time and bypass the standby line.

In 2013, Disney began rolling out the new FastPass+ service. With FastPass+, guests can select up to three attractions and/or entertainment attractions per day through the MyDisneyExperience website or mobile app. This can be done before leaving home and heading to Disney World and guests are now able to make changes on the go. Upon completing the three FP+, guests can then select a fourth, fifth and so on attraction based on availability.

How Much Does it Cost?

FastPass+ is included in your admission to the park. There is NO extra charge to use the system.

This Sounds Great…When Do I Book?

Funny you should ask. Guests staying on-site at a Walt Disney World Resort may book their FP+ selections up to 60 days before checking in. Those staying off-site may book up to 30 days before arriving at the park.

Upon booking, guests staying on-site may select FP+ for the day they check-in, plus 14 days thereafter.

It should be noted that FP+ selections may now be made starting at 7am EST the day your window opens. In past years, guests were able to make selections starting at 12am. 

So, I Can Book Any Attraction?

Yes and no. Here’s a list of the attractions that are eligible to FP+. Do know that EPCOT and Hollywood Studios have a tiered system in place. Guests may choose ONE attraction from Tier 1 and TWO attractions from Tier 2. Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom do not have a tiered system in place.

In Magic Kingdom

“it’s a small world”
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Enchanted Tales with Belle
Haunted Mansion
Jungle Cruise
Mad Tea Party
Meet Ariel at Her Grotto
Meet Cinderella and Rapunzel at Princess Fairytale Hall
Meet Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater
Meet Tinker Bell at Town Square Theater
Mickey’s PhilharMagic
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
Peter Pan’s Flight
Pirates of the Caribbean
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Space Mountain
Splash Mountain
The Barnstormer
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Tomorrowland Speedway
Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid

In Epcot
You can select 1 Tier 1 attraction and then 2 Tier 2 attractions when choosing your initial three FP+ for a day.

Tier 1
Frozen Ever After
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
Soarin’ Around the World
Test Track

Tier 2
Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
Journey Into Imagination with Figment
Living with the Land
Meet Disney Pals at the Epcot Character Spot
Mission: SPACE
Spaceship Earth
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
Turtle Talk with Crush

In Disney’s Hollywood Studios
You can select 1 Tier 1 attraction and then 2 Tier 2 attractions when choosing your initial three FP+ for a day.

Tier 1
Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
The Great Movie Ride
Toy Story Mania

Tier 2
Disney Jr. Live on Stage
For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
MuppetVision 3D
Star Tours
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Voyage of the Little Mermaid

In Animal Kingdom

Expedition Everest
Festival of the Lion King
Finding Nemo – The Musical
It’s Tough to be a Bug!
Kali River Rapids
Kilimanjaro Safaris
Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost
Primeval Whirl

How Do I Book?

When your FP+ window opens, log onto MyDisney Experience.

Once logged in, hover the cursor over the MY DISNEY EXPERIENCE link on the right side of the top navigation bar.

Under the heading Plan and Manage, select FastPass+:
Select the day you want to make plans for.

Select Make your FP+ Selections.
Select the members of your party you will be making plans for.
Select the park you will be visiting.

Select up to three preferences. All must be in the same park.

Sounds Easy Enough, Any Tips?

Why yes, I can give you some tips!

  • Upon booking, Disney will give you three combinations. One combo may be all three of your selections in the morning; the second may be 2/3 of your selections in the afternoon; the third may be 1/3 of the selections at night. The combinations may not always work for you. It may not be all three rides you want or the timing may be a little off. Always select the combination with your “anchor.” The “anchor” is often the most popular ride that you absolutely need to go on, such as 7 Dwarfs Mine Train. The other two times or attractions may not work for you, but you can select a new time and swap out attractions once it’s reserved. Attractions like 7 Dwarfs Mine Train and Frozen Ever After will be the first to go, so you wanna make sure you secure them.
  • You have the best chance of securing a FP+ for ultra-popular attractions (such as 7 Dwarfs Mine Train or Soarin’) later in your trip. Most people will head to Disney for Christmas or New Year’s Eve. Rarely both. If you’re heading down for the entire week,  you’ll have a better chance booking these selections later in your trip. When your FP+ window opens, you’re competing with everyone checking in at the same time as you; and choosing from whatever selections remain from those who booked before you. Basically, you have a better chance of scoring a FP+ for 7 Dwarfs Mine Train on December 29th than December 24th.
  • On that note, save the bigger attractions for non holidays. Everyone will be going for Frozen Ever After on Christmas. You have a better chance of securing it on December 26th.
  • …But book the holidays first. Start with Christmas, then make your choices for the remainder of your trip.
  • Book your selections later in the day. It’s often recommended that you book early FP+’s, that way you can use your fourth and fifth selections for later in the day. Because the parks are so crowded, it’s very rare that any FP+’s are available later in the day. To get the most value out of your FP+, book your selections from 11am on. That’s when the parks will be the most crowded and the wait times will be highest.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Book something—even if it’s not your first choice. Then, keep checking back. Also keep your eyes on the park hours. Disney will most likely increase park hours as we get closer to Christmas week. Once, say, Magic Kingdom goes from closing at 10pm to 11pm, another hour of FP+’s should become available.

Any Last Words

Yes—log into your MDE account before your FP+ window opens and make sure your tickets are linked and any existing reservations are listed. The last thing you want is to log in at your 60-day window and not be able to make selections because your tickets aren’t linked!

I hope this helps! Good luck!


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