Off-Site Visitors Able to Make FastPass+ Reservations in Advance Beginning March 31st

Big news for guests staying off-site. Beginning March 31st, any guest with valid theme park tickets may connect their tickets via My Disney Experience/ and make FastPass+ reservations up to 30 days in advance of their visit. On-site guests maintain some advantage being able to book 60 days in advance, but all experiences should remain available at the 30 day mark (as well as being available much closer to any given date). Off-site visitors will be able to use My Disney Experience app and mobile site to make or change FastPass+ reservations, rendering the (currently) busy kiosks largely irrelevant for any guest with an Android device or iPhone.

MagicBands will be available for purchase (expected price is $12.95 each), but they are not required to use FastPass+. The RFID-enabled ticket media is all that’s required.


  1. David says

    Hooray! A sign that Disney isn’t going to stick it to the off-site visitors too badly.

    Wish this had been there when we were there last month.

  2. Melissa says

    Personally, I don’t think off site guests should get to make them in advance. People pay for the convenience of staying on property and the ADVANTAGES. If you want to book Fast Passes, then book a room on Disney.

  3. Bill says

    I expect some Fastpass Plus experiences to be unavailable 30 days out. I tried to book Cinderella and Rapunzel meet and greets 60 days out from our mid May trip but they were unavailable. Luckily, able to get Anna and Elsa for my girls but that was gone a few days later…

  4. Christine says

    >>Melissa March 26, 2014 at 11:58 am
    Personally, I don’t think off site guests should get to make them in advance. People pay for the convenience of staying on property and the ADVANTAGES. If you want to book Fast Passes, then book a room on Disney.<<

    Curious- are there any other things you do not feel offsite guests should be allowed to do?

  5. Bob says

    Melissa, Swan, Dolphin and Shades of Green are each non-Disney hotels. In your world are guests in those facilities eligible for the ADVANTAGES you feel entitled to for staying on property?

  6. Brad says

    @Melissa: With this development, onsite visitors still have a clear advantage in access, but offsite guests aren’t left to simply close their eyes, cross their fingers and hope for the best when they arrive – they can still do a reasonably good amount of advance planning and preparation and consider how they want to spend their time and their day.

    Prior to the implementation of FP+, the FASTPASS system was very (and I’ll say refreshingly) egalitarian in nature – everyone who purchased park tickets had the same ability and access to make use of the FP system to reduce the amount of time for riding certain rides, without purchasing special passes as done at various other parks. Providing 30-day advance access helps reduce the sting of the shift away from that purely egalitarian approach, and probably is a reasonable compromise in still providing a nice perk for Disney hotel guests while not shutting out those staying offsite.

    I’d still like to see them eliminate or reduce the tiering and same-ride-repeat restrictions, though.

  7. Kristin says

    This is fantastic news! We are staying at the Swan resort in September due to a conference and I was really disappointed to think that we wouldn’t have access to FP+ prior to arriving in the parks, so this excellent news!

  8. Anonymous says

    Melissa, Fast Pass has always been available to ALL guests..on or off property. They have just changed the way you get your Fast Passes. Why shouldn’t all guests be able to get them? WDW never said that it would be a perk for on site guests only and it has never been that way. On site guests have an advantage of getting them a month earlier. When they were paper fast passes, on site guests had no advantage.
    On site guests also have other advantages like EMH and ME. On site guests also get to book ADR’s earlier and now FP+ earlier.

  9. Anonymous says

    Our trip is May 10-16. Currently we have reservations at the Cabins at Ft Wilderness. If we wait to cancel this reservation until after they mail the magi bands, will we still be able to link our tickets to them? We are now staying at Doubletree Downtown Disney.

  10. Sarah says

    Nice! (Meant with sincerity, not sarcasm.) Hopefully this will end all the speculation, and we can all accept and move on.

  11. Melissa says

    I am also a Disney Vacation Club member and an Annual Pass holder, and I stay on the property and give Disney ALL of my money to visit their parks. I have advantages as a Vacation Club member and Annual Pass holder. I am entitled to my opinion. Just because you don’t agree with me doesn’t give you the right to be disrespectful and sarcastic. If you are not staying on the property, stop at a kiosk and make your fast pass selections when you arrive. I just don’t think you should be allowed to select them prior to coming.

  12. Melissa says

    Swan, Dolphin and Shades of Green—Technically those hotels are on Disney property, but are not Disney owned. As for Shades of Green, yes, because that is the hotel that service men and women use. I’m not sure about Swan and Dolphin–I do know they will be taken over by Disney when their contract is up with whoever owns those hotels.

  13. Robert says

    Don’t all pile on Melissa. She didn’t say offsite guests shouldn’t have FP+ she just thought they should obtain same day rather than 30 days in advance. Given the reduction in EMH and rising prices the value of staying onsite is diminished by requiring planning to be completed in days 60-31 to get the first choice FP+ whereas now you have 60 days.

    While Josh says all attractions will be available, I think Bill’s comment is a pretty likely scenario or the top tier attractions. We all have dealt with 180 day reservations for Be Our Guest – is it really unlikely that the Mine Train FP+ available for pre-reservation will be gone before the 30 day mark (even with a greater capacity)? So in that regard, being onsite may end up being the only way to get FP+ for Anna/Elsa, Mine Train, etc. for awhile which may compensate for the loss of 30 days of exclusive FP+ reservations for onsite guests.

    Of course Disney has no need to be “fair” and regardless of what they do someone will think it is “unfair”. I don’t think it is long before they announce an option to buy additional same day FastPass+ (i.e. just walk up and tap your mickey band to get on any ride with minimal wait! Small fee applies).

  14. josh says

    Sort of like science it really doesn’t matter what you think. I don’t mean this to be unnecessarily derogatory, but any person’s opinion is of absolutely no consequence, mine included. It is what it is.

  15. Tommy says

    I am a DVC owner who has never stayed off property and I think this is great for off-property families. If you spend hard earned money (a lot of it) on park tickets you should absolutely be able to plan ahead and schedule the rides and shows (for me planning is half the fun). And on property folks still have the perk of getting earlier picks, seems like a good call. However, I do have a question. Is it common for people to book at FW and stay off? kinda confused by that.

  16. Melissa says

    Christine–If you want the advantages stay on property. Disney is trying to get more people to stay on property, this was an incentive. Competitor hotels are taking money away from Disney, which means less refurbishments and updates, rising ticket prices and meal costs, which we’ve already seen this year. I understand some people try to cut costs by staying off property, but there are value hotels and a campground on property.

  17. Nina says

    I think it’s great to be honest, I had magic holiday last year and love seeing happy faces

    I hope this will make offsite guest to have better experience then the current booking in the park

  18. Mike says

    If Disney were smart, they would do something like this:
    60 days: Resort Guests
    45 days: Annual pass holders
    30 days: $$$off site partner hotels$$$
    15 days: Everyone

  19. Melissa says

    Opinions matter to Disney–they are always asking for feedback. I did a vacation journal survey for Disney and I participated in the Magic Band and FP +pilot program. There are a lot of kinks to this system, so take those surveys when you go to Disney if you want your opinion to be heard.

  20. josh says

    Disney cares in regards to making more money and the minimum satisfaction level they need to achieve for positive word of mouth and a return visit as soon as possible. Allowing off-site visitors to make FP+ reservations ahead of time will (likely) increase off-site guest satisfaction immensely, improve word of mouth, and cut costs because it requires far fewer FP+ cast members on the ground. It’s a no-brainer.

  21. josh says

    I will also mention this has always been the plan even if it’s 18 months behind. On-site visitors will look forward to additional perks, but even those are going to be a little bit of giving and a whole lot more taking.

  22. ellie says

    @Tommy. People were booking one night ‘throwaway’ reservations at FW. They’d thus be onsite and get magic bands mailed. You didn’t have to check in and could make your FP+ reservations for all your ticket days and get onsite benefits for the one night (parking, EMH). As campsites could have I think 10 folk considered it worth the cost even if they weren’t going to stay there.

  23. Chris says

    I’ve already purchased our 14 day passes for May…..they’re the plastic credit card sized ones….are these RFID?

  24. Kyle says

    I am a Disney resort guest everytime I visit WDW, and I do agree with Melissa that when paying Disney resort hotel prices, it would be nice to have a few more perks. However, I cannot imagine arriving on the day of visit, having to stand in line for an hour to save an hour of standing in line later in the day. And, it would also really bite having to make reservations for your 6th, 7th, 8th days of your trip on your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd days. So I do think that Disney should open up FP+ reservations for all guests at some point preferably at least 2 weeks in advance (and obviously Disney feels a month). The resort guests know to get their reservations made before that mark because it will be open to the public at that time. I look at it like this: the perk for “on site” guests such as myself by allowing “off site” guests to pre-fastpass+ is that *hopefully* everyone at the park is in a slightly better mood. I think standing in line for an hour to make FP+ reservations would severely dampen anyone’s mood.

  25. Christine says


    What makes you think I don’t stay on property? I am free to make the choice of where my money goes just as you are free to make the choice to give Disney ALL of your money. I am sure that makes Disney very happy.
    Sometimes I find it advantageous to be offsite, sometimes onsite. Where I stay should not matter to you.

    The fact that you own DVC and are an AP holder does not give you the right to determine who else should get special privileges. How do you know I am not also an AP holder and DVC owner?

  26. Jo D says

    :-) Perfect timing. Arriving 14th April, won’t need to queue at fastpass+ kiosk on the day

    :-( now need to replan as I won’t be queuing at a fastpass+ kiosk for the first half hour after rope drop. Back to the crowd calendars & cheat sheets!!!!

  27. Sarah says

    Regardless of what I think…Disney hotels are not hurting here. They are consistently about 90% full. More competition for Disney rooms means less discounts. Think of the mutiny there would be if you always had to pay rack rate!

    Disney is about guest satisfaction–satisfied guests return, and spend money, whether in their hotels, or in their parks and restaurants. I’m pretty sure guest satisfaction (and CM satisfaction for that matter) has been pretty low with the long lines at the kiosks to just book FP+. More people going to the parks (on site and off site) mean more money for Disney…so we need both.

  28. Melissa says

    Christine–the comment “IF YOU WANT ADVANTAGES STAY ON PROPERTY” that was rhetorical, not directed towards JUST YOU. Obviously you do not agree with my point of view, I get that. I am sorry that you took my comment that way, it was not directed towards you. You misunderstood me, I didn’t say that I have the right to determine who gets special privileges. I meant as an APH and DVC I have advantages, such as discounts at Disney.
    I have no issues with people staying off property or choosing to not give Disney all of their money. We actually tried it before we joined DVC and it just wasn’t for us, no matter how much money we saved. We like the perks too much. You get what you pay for. And to quote you ” I am sure that make Disney very happy”.
    Let’s agree to disagree.

  29. Michael says

    On-site visitors should have highest priority because they are what keeps Disney in the biggest assets. Then it should be the annual placeholder because they make Disney a lot of money with often visits and spending money throughout the year. Other than tickets the offsite visitors don’t have to spend any money at Disney why do they get the same privileges as the annual passholder. Disney is really messing up and before they know it universal studios will be ahead of them as the primary amusement park in Orlando area. Disney takes almost a year to add a kid’s rollercoaster and in the meantime universal has been very busy adding several great rides if Disney doesn’t get it together I am afraid they might find out people can spend money elsewhere and will be appreciated a whole lot more.

  30. Alisa says

    Too bad we stayed off-site in February and weren’t able to take advantage of this.

    There are a number of people (including us) who are timeshare owners. If we did not have a timeshare I don’t know if we would go to WDW at all. It cuts a lot of the cost for us (a family of six). So we’re not choosing on-site vs. off-site. We’re choosing off-site vs. no trip.

  31. Ezra says

    I just called disney and they claim that this is completely untrue, that offsite guests cannot make fastpass reservations 30 days in advance. Josh, you are generally spot on, but I just wanted to let you know that at least some disney employees are not in on this latest info. Just wondering josh where you have this information from. It would be unfortunate if it were in fact a false rumor. Thanks again for your fantastic website.

  32. siskaren says

    Josh doesn’t post rumors, at least not without saying that they’re rumors. Phone CMs have a reputation for not being as fully informed about some things as they should be.

  33. David says

    I was an offsite guest the week of March 7-13 but was lucky to have been selected to try FastPass+ a few days before we arrived. I had lunch and dinner reservations for three of the parks. I was able to link my existing tickets from a prior trip and was able to make FastPass+ selections. After seeing the lines at the parks to schedule FastPass+ for guests arriving that day, I was very thankful we were able to make selections ahead of time. The one thing I did notice with FastPass+ and heavy crowds, is by early afternoon, it was impossible to make adjustments to FastPass+ times because they were all gone (Mission Space, Big Thunder Mountain, Star Tours). Disney was really advertising the FastPass+ upon entering the park and I think more people are using the system than in the past. We had to wait in lines for several rides that had longer wait times than on previous trips.

  34. sara says

    I just chatted w/cm on Disney World site and she said that it’s true but they haven’t released a start date yet.

  35. RebeccaMcK says

    I saw another site today say this news as well, with the start date of March 31st just as Josh has reported. I think it’s good news, since not everyone living in Florida (or just staying in FL for a vacation of sorts) will stay on site or have APs – they may come in for a day’s visit to one of the parks. I’ve already passed the info along to three friends I know who will appreciate this news. They’ll all be somewhat close (Daytona Beach, Tampa) or further away (Ft. Lauderdale area) and want to just come in for a day. This way they can buy their tickets and pre-plan for FP+ 30 days prior, maybe even join me during my on-site 10 day trip in October at some point (let’s see if they could get the same FPs I plan to get 60 days prior, though – that would be interesting).

  36. Christine says

    Melissa- Typically when a comment begins with a person’s first name- it is assumed that comment is directed at said person.

    The fact that you are a DVC owner and AP holder is irrelevant to how Disney allocates access to FP+.

    As has been known from the start and noted above- this was always the plan.
    FP+ would be available to all guests.
    You have expressed concern about Disney losing money on offsite guests- it surely must be costing them a lot to staff and operate all the in park kiosks to keep those disadvantaged offsite guests happy.
    Allowing all guests to utilize MDE to schedule their selections ahead of time just makes good fiscal sense.
    Really a no brainer.

    It’s fine if you feel offsite guests don’t deserve the same or similar access to attractions and all the features of MDE that onsite guests get.
    I hope you let them know next time you do a survey.

    I for one, am glad Disney does not feel that way.

  37. sara says

    Christine- Thank you for your opinion! Sincerely. I live in Washington state and can afford a trip once a year. Just because I don’t have the money to stay at a Disney resort doesn’t make me or the millions of other people any less deserving of FP+. Being able to plan in advance will really help w/ the grumpy one I drag along for the ride.Unlike some people have mentioned above, I also don’t think we should have to stay at a campsite instead of a nice off-site hotel for close to the same price. Again, Thank You.

  38. katie_gal says

    Melissa, what are these “on-site perks” you speak of? I’ve been going to Disney World since 1983 (more than 20 trips), and have stayed on-site all but 3 times. Fifteen years ago I saw a few perks with the EMH and bus service. In the last 5 years? Mmmm, not so much.

    Last May we stayed at OKW for 8 days and even with the military discount, it cost us a fortune! The busses ran about every 5-10 minutes the first day but every day after that averaged 25-40 minutes. Getting from AK back to our hotel, we waited over an hour for a bus but saw 6-8 busses in that time frame for each of the value resorts. Leaving Blizzard Beach was even worse. At night, returning after the parks close, the busses are crammed like cattle trucks. And with the strollers, and whiney, overtired children, and having some stranger’s butt (or worse) in my face for 25-40 minutes …. NO THANKS! That’s not a “perk”, that’s a violation of my personal space. The bus drivers are not nearly as friendly as they used to be and the night crew is the worst. I guess all the Pixie Dust is gone by noon.

    The rooms (unless you book a deluxe/multi-room/home-away-from-home type of resort), are small. VERY small! When my 2 boys were little, we would stay at Dixie Landings (now known as POR). But even then it was cramped. When they became teenagers and we realized that one bathroom was no longer an option for 4 people, we had to book two rooms. Again, even with the military discount of 40% off, it cost a fortune … just to have a place to sleep. So the cleaning people come by every day and make the bed and empty the trash, so what? We have never needed (nor wanted) that “perk”.

    Two weeks ago we were there for 4 days and stayed at WBC off-site, in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath deluxe with a full kitchen. It cost about 1/3 of what a Disney resort would have. The employees weren’t especially friendly but as previously stated, neither are some Disney employees. We had our own vehicles and it took us about 10 minutes to get to the T&T center and about 15 to Epcot. Waaaay faster than the “perk” of Disney transportation. We had reservations at Kona one night and it took us no time at all to get there. Last year, while at OKW, we had dinner reservations at Boma and almost missed them because of the resort shuttle service. The resort sent a van for us and the driver got lost on the way to Boma. THE DRIVER GOT LOST! My husband had to get him turned around. We were 10 minutes late but luckily, they let us dine anyway.

    And don’t even get me started on EMH. That’s a complete sham. Thankfully, Josh and this site opened my eyes to that one awhile back. Since then we have NEVER seen EMH as a perk. Everyone knows that’s where the crowd is going to be all morning.

    Lastly, and bringing my point full circle now, FP+. We were told several times by several CM’s that the system was designed to afford everyone the same Disney experience. Cow cookies!! With Disney, it’s always all about the money. FP+ is a complete soup sandwich. (Or as we military folk like to say, FUBAR.) Even for those staying on site, you only get 3 passes. After that, you’re just like the rest of the peasants.

    So I ask you again, what are the perks of staying on site???? Just to be able to say you are a DVC member? Big deal. I’m a Sam’s club member. I don’t think either one of our memberships are worth what we pay for them but at least I get a free danish and coffee with mine.

  39. Selena says

    “Big deal. I’m a Sam’s club member. I don’t think either one of our memberships are worth what we pay for them but at least I get a free danish and coffee with mine.”

    Wait…I’m a BJs member and I don’t get a free danish or a free coffee. No fair.

  40. Melissa says

    Katie_gal and Christine–
    Like I said before, I am sorry that we do not have the same opinion. But I am entitled to mine, you are entitled to yours. Let’s agree to disagree.

  41. John says

    Great news! My family will be off site guests in two weeks. Burning up some hotel points nearby and got in on the 20% ebates/orbitz rebate last month on our 7 day tickets! I already linked them to the iphone app so I’ll try it out on the 31st. Thanks for the great info!

  42. Willie says

    Transportation–We stayed on property and still drove to the parking lot because we were angry about the buses. IT TOOK US LONGER to park, walk to the tram, and catch the tram to the front than it would have to catch the bus. Yes, catching the bus was not fun, but so was driving to the lot. Also, Epcot area resorts are within walking distance.
    Restaurants on Site/Dining Plan–Nothing sucks more than having to cook at Disney. Some may like it, but not for me! I like the fact that I pay for everything and just keep track of how many meals I’ve used.
    Knowledgeable and Magical Staff–I enjoy the fact that if I have a question, I can pop on down to the front desk and their smiling faces can help me.
    Clean Facilities–I am confident that when I check into my Disney hotel, it will be clean, and if it is not Disney will move me or rectify the problem.
    The trick to doing Disney right is to make mistakes and learn to correct them the next time you go. If you don’t like your resort, don’t stay there again, or bring your concerns to Disney and they will relocate you if possible. If you weren’t happy about your MB FP+experiences, it looks like Disney has solved the problem for you.

    Sara—-Not to sound disrespectful, but you are LUCKY that you get to go once a year. Some people can only afford to go once every 5 years. And there is nothing wrong with staying in Fort Wilderness. It is the NICEST campground in the country. You should try it out next time you go. They also have great boat transportation to MK.

    Again, I think the point Melissa was trying to make was that Disney has incentives for people that are going to pay a little more money to stay on-site and she is entitled to that opinion, however much you may not agree with it.

  43. Katie says

    OMG I feel like I’ve stepped into the surreal world of the DIS boards!!! Chill out people and just assimilate the info and move on. Josh, I thought you possibly gotten eaten by the Yeti or taken to polo prison so it’s nice to see you back in action. Missed you bunches

  44. Rick says

    Josh — it’s obviously a low priority for Disney, but any idea if they’re going to open FastPass+ up to Disney cast members to use anytime soon? Right now cast members have to use the kiosks the day of. But now that they’ve opened advance FastPass+ up to more people (Passholders and now offsite guests), I can’t imagine there will be a lot left to choose from on the day of a visit?

  45. Tia says

    I linked park tickets to my MDE account last week, and although I don’t have resort reservations, it looked like I could make FP+ reservations last week and it’s currently showing me availability up until April 26th, so are you sure it doesn’t start until March 31st? I haven’t tried to make any selections because I don’t plan to go until the fall.

  46. LifeontheDrupe says

    The only thing I’ve taken away from all this… Is that for the last 8mo, my Sam’s Club membership has deceived me… depriving me of my rights to a complementary danish. When a girl walks in to buy an 82ct box of “sticks”… you can bet it’s in everyones best interest to toss a damn danish in her direction.

  47. Heather H. says

    I think Katie is being too nice. I firmly believe offsite guests should pay substantially more for their park tickets, snacks, etc.

  48. Marie says

    I definitely wouldn’t want off-site guests to have to spend more on tickets, food or get less perks than they already do. That would create more competition for on-site rooms, and less availability/selection for my family.

    I think allowing off-site guests the ability to pre-book FP is a great idea.

  49. shannon f says


    I was able to do the same thing on 3/26. While in EPCOT, I linked my same day tickets, and I was able to add and manage my FP+. Did you have a previous resort stay where you received MB’s? I wondered if that was the glitch, or if they have the functonality turned on and not advertising.

  50. Tia says

    Hi Shannon,

    Yes, I have a MagicBand from my November 2013 trip linked to my MDE account, so that might’ve been it.

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