Disney World’s FastPass+ is a paperless virtual queuing system that allows guests to make reservations for shows and attractions in advance of their vacation.  Bottom line – it saves you time in the parks.

As a Disney World guest, you don’t have to run around getting paper tickets, and you also don’t have to wait until the day of your visit to do it.

We talk a lot about the FastPass system such as what to choose and when to make reservations, but if you’re one of the many people wondering how to begin using this free perk, this article is for you!

Let’s take a look at the five steps for using FastPass+. Hopefully this will simplify your reservation-making process.

1. Create a MyDisneyExperience Account

Before you can make a FastPass+ reservation, you have to have a MyDisneyExperience account.

If you have a Disney account already, you don’t need to make a new one. The same log in works for all Disney websites including Disney Parks and Disney Store. Simply go to the Disney Website, and click “Sign in or Create an Account.”

Once you create your account, you can start linking your information. If you’re staying at a Disney Resort Hotel, you should put in your reservation number so the site knows that you’re staying on property. This will be important in the next step.

Set up your accounts and make your reservations as far in advance as possible.

Set up your accounts and make your reservations as far in advance as possible.

Whether or not you’re staying at a Disney Resort Hotel, you should also add your traveling companions. This will allow you to make reservations for them when the time comes. They don’t have to have a MyDisneyExperience account, but if they do, they’ll get an invitation to connect with you.

Finally, you’ll need to link your tickets. If you haven’t purchased park tickets yet, you’ll want to do that at least 60 days before your trip if you’re staying on property and 30 days before if you’re staying off property.

2. Be on time

On-site guests can make FP+ reservations 60 days before the first day of your vacation and for every day of your vacation. Off-site guests can get in 30 days in advance, but they do not have access to their whole vacation yet.

On the day that you have access to your FP+ reservations, set your alarm and be on the website at 7am EST. This is when the FastPasses become available. If you’re not a Disney Resort guest, don’t worry; Disney doesn’t release all of its FP tickets at the 60-day mark. Some have even rumored that Disney reserves the last of the FastPasses for same-day reservations.

3. Choose Wisely

While it might seem logical to choose a FP for your favorite attractions, if these attractions have short wait times anyway, you might be wasting your time. If there are attractions with longer wait times, these are better options even if you don’t like Magic Kingdom‘s Space Mountain as much as Haunted Mansion. Since Space Mountain has very long wait times and Haunted Mansion is usually shorter, you’ll save time in the FP line.

Another consideration when thinking about which attractions to choose is whether the ride has a single rider line. Entering the single rider line may mean that you don’t get to ride with your traveling companions, but you’ll get through the attraction much faster. This line is used to fill empty seats in ride vehicles. While Soarin‘ Around the World often has a longer wait time than Test Track, Test Track has a single rider line. If you’re willing to use this line, you’ll save a lot of time, so Soarin’ would be a better choice in Epcot. Since Disney recently increased the capacity of this ride, you won’t wait as long as you used to. If you are visiting with a Frozen fan, Frozen Ever After should definitely be your top choice for FP at Epcot.

Research wait times so that you can make FastPass+ reservations that will save you the most time in line.

Research wait times so that you can make FastPass+ reservations that will save you the most time in line.

You should also only FP rides and not shows or character meets, like Epcot’s Character Spot.  A character dining experience is a much better wait to get quality interaction with your favorite characters if you’re willing to splurge. While Fantasmic! might seem like a good FP in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the amphitheater has a very large capacity, so there’s a good chance you’ll get a seat even without a FP. With Toy Story Mania, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Star Tours, and Rock n Rollercoaster being the main attractions in this park, the lines are very long. Therefore, these are better choices than the fireworks show.

Before making any reservations, be sure that everyone that you’re including is eligible to ride. Check height restrictions if you’re traveling with young kids. It would be a shame to waste their FP on something that they can’t ride then not be able to get them a FP for something they can like Peter Pan’s Flight or The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

Finally, choose FastPasses for attractions that you won’t or can’t visit first thing in the morning. The wait time for Kilimanjaro Safaris in Disney’s Animal Kingdom can get really long later in the day, but you can almost always walk on first thing in the day. In this park, Expedition Everest is the best first choice with Dinosaur being a close second.

4. Download the App

If you have a smart phone (Android or iPhone), be sure to download the Disney World app before you arrive on property. This app is really helpful. It not only makes it easy to keep track of your FastPass+ reservations, but it also shows you current wait times and allows you to make and change your FastPasses. The app also has maps to help you get around plus many other cool features like the ability to make and changes Advanced Dining Reservations.

5. Make More Reservations

Many people don’t realize that you can make additional reservations after you’ve used up your first three. You can do this from your app, or you can visit one of the FP+ Kiosks in the parks.

The most efficient way to take advantage of these additional reservations is to schedule your first three FastPasses around mid-day after the lines are too long to walk on but before it’s too late to make more reservations.

If you want to FP IllumiNations or a character meet and greet like Enchanted Tales with Belle or Meet Disney Princesses at Princess Fairytale Hall, you can usually still get a FP for these on the day of.

You can also make reservations in another park. If you’re visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the morning then going to Magic Kingdom at night, use your first three in Hollywood Studios then make more once you get to Magic Kingdom.

Do you use Disney’s FastPass+ system?