How to score hard to get Walt Disney World FastPasses & Dinner Reservations!
You’ve planned the trip of a lifetime to the most magical place on earth, the almighty Walt Disney World. But as much planning as you can do, sometimes things don’t work out right.
You’ve set your alarm for 7am at 180 days out from your arrival to book your ADR's (Advanced Dining Reservations) and you don’t get that hard to get ADR. Fast forward to that 7am alarm at 60 days out from your arrival to book your FastPasses and you don’t score it.
While you might feel like having a meltdown, all hope is not lost my friends! We’re seasoned WDW enthusiasts and have some great strategies/tips to help you in the future. Yes, we've utilized strategies and they do work!
Here are strategies that we can offer you:
- Be ready to go at 6:45am that morning and REFRESH, REFRESH, REFRESH the MDE app (My Disney Experience)! Being ready and logged in ahead of time is the most prepared you can be for booking ADR’s or FastPasses.
- Make sure ahead of time as well that each member of your party has been linked correctly to you in MDE. If they aren’t, you will NOT be able to make FastPasses for them. A phone call to Disney will remedy issues if you have them. We've had to do this and they even threw us some extra pixie dust with bonus FastPasses for our troubles!
- The easiest and most effective way to get hard to get ADR’s or FastPasses is to plan on booking those for later in your trip. For example if your trip is going to be a Sat-Sat trip, it is much easier to get these hard to get reservations the 2nd half of your trip say Wed-Sat. The reason is actually pretty simple. As your 180 day or 60 day marker approaches, the other Guests that are vacationing the week leading up to your trip were able to book their reservations already. This leaves little availability for you in the 1st half of your trip. Be Our Guest ADR's and Slinky Dog Dash FastPasses are easier to book in the 2nd half of your trip, believe us we scored both of these on our last trip!
- A great trick to try to get hard to get ADR's is to be FLEXIBLE and look for less desirable time slots. If you are willing to sit down for lunch, many times you can get some hard to get ADR's. Also, super early 8am Breakfast reservations are easier to get as well as 7pm-9pm Dinner reservations.
- It’s always harder to book a larger group of people for the hard to get FastPasses! Party of 1 or Parties of 2 make it much easier to score hard to get FastPasses 60 days out or even the day of. But, we know many people are not traveling with a small party. Here’s an example of what you could try. Say you are traveling with a party of 8 people. Try booking FastPasses for just 4 of the 8 people first for that hard to get FastPass. If you secure FastPasses for those 4 people at 2:15pm-3:15pm, try now to secure FastPasses for the other 4 people with a time block that overlaps with the first groups time. Remember since your FastPass times overlap, redeem it during the overlapping time so that you can all experience the attraction together.
- Our last piece of advice is a great one and many people still do not seem to know it surprisingly! For example, if you’re in Hollywood Studios for the day. Once you’ve used up your FastPasses and that literally means as soon as your touch your Magic Band to use that FastPass, go on MDE! While you’re walking thru the FastPass line, check to see if any hard to get FastPasses are available. REFRESH, REFRESH, REFRESH that app! We’ve used this strategy and were able to score hard to get FastPasses like Toy Story Mania the day of, 30 mins before riding!
If you are able to secure those hard to get FastPasses or ADR's, pat yourself on the back and grab that Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar to CELEBRATE. Everything does take better Mickey shaped, why that is will always be a mystery!
Of course there are always exceptions to the above advice, including Holiday Weekends or extra crowded times of the year. BUT, we can say that with as many times as we have gone to Walt Disney World that these are tried and true strategies have worked personally for us!