Fortunately, Disneylands across the globe have established the FastPass Service to deal with this issue and to ensure you a fantastic trip to remember for life. They are essentially priority tickets that you can claim at the FP stations beside each ride by scanning the QR code on your park ticket, so when you come back at the scheduled time, you can skip the long queue and head to the front.
If you are visiting Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea soon, here is some advice for you to take on the road as you travel through Mickey and Friends’ Japanese home.
1) The Time-gap ruleFirst and foremost, you should understand that there is a time-gap between you getting the FastPass and the time you can get your next one. It also means that you CAN in fact, be holding multiple FastPasses simultaneously.
When you get your first FP of the day, the thing to immediately do is to look at the time indicated on the pass. It is the time you can snatch the next set, so match the time and plan your travel route accordingly. The maximum cool-down time is 2 hours and it could even be as quick as an hour, so don’t miss it.
2) Get the FP Before You Get on the RideSweet, your FP for Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blaster says 11:30-12:30, so you return to TomorrowLand and ride it at the first moment possible .That’s a rookie Space Ranger mistake, my friend. Look at your FP again. Does it say, “The time you can get the next FP is from 11:30”? If so, snatch your next FP first and come back later. As long as you’re within time range, your priority doesn’t disappear. At the same time, other FastPasses are running out and their priority scheduled time is getting later and later. This would also delay your next chance to get your next FP.
Therefore, the rule of thumb is: the earlier you get your FastPasses at the next possible time, the more FPs you can get during your stay overall. So, go get the pass, THEN come back to defeat Zurg.
3) High priority FP ridesWhen you plan your route in Disneyland or Disneysea, you should note the rides that have FP but run out very quickly. If you arrive at the FP station too late, your scheduled riding time might be in the evening, or the worst case situation, the FPs have already ran out!
The high priority FP rides are namely the following roughly in order:
In Tokyo Disneyland:
- Winnie The Pooh’s Hunny Hunt
- Splash Mountain
- Space Mountain
- Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blaster
- Monsters Inc.
In Tokyo Disneysea
- Toy Story Mania
- The Tower of Terror
- Journey to the Center of the Earth
- Raging Spirit
- Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull
If you miss out on getting a pass, prepare to spend 60 mins-150 mins in line waiting to get in. So make these the priority rides, even if that means you are putting the highlights earlier in the day.
NOTE: the moment Disneysea opens in the morning, there is actually a 30 mins-ish queue to get the FastPass for ToyStory Mania! So my recommendation is to have someone hold all the passes and get the FP for The Tower of Terror for the group, as the rest of the group to line up at the normal queue for ToyStory Mania which is hopefully around 50mins at the moment. Both rides have a high probability to run out of FPs, so ride these early on.
4) Low Priority FP Rides & No FP RidesOn the other hand, there are rides around the party that may or may not offer FP rides, but you’d definitely have no issues going in. Don’t waste your FP quota on these following rides (not in order) that you can likely queue and enter within 20 mins (and they might not provide FPs anyway):
In Tokyo Disneyland:
- It’s a Small World (no one will fight you for this, I promise)
- Pirates of the Caribbean (there’s like no line up for this, ever, despite being a decent ride)
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic (a popular show but likely the theater seats a LOT of people)
- Star Tours: The Adventures Continue (I guess Japanese kids still don’t know enough about Star Wars to care)
- All those transportation rides (huge vehicles for a lot of people)
- Aquatopia (funny story: I went there the day it snowed hard in Tokyo, and there was only a bunch of empty rides spinning on water)
- Sindbad’s Storybook Voyage (I didn’t even know Sindbad was related to Disney and I guess neither do most people)
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (I don’t get this one. It’s a lovely and exciting ride in my opinion by the line is ALWAYS like 5-10mins)
- Transit Steamer Line (a short way for a long ride, an excellent time-killer)
- Electric Railway (not really a ride, but a perfect transportation to travel between Discovery Port and American Waterfront)
Use these rides to fill your FastPasses cool down times. They might not be the highlights of your ride but are definitely still enjoyable and a better way to spend your time.
5) Download an AppLastly, bring a smartphone and download one of the many “TokyoDisneyResort Wait Time” apps on the platform of your choice. These will give you updated information on a) the standard wait time for the ride and b) the scheduled priority time if you can obtain the FP there now. Keep track of the situation and be prepared to change your strategy on the fly. Information is power, and at Disneyland, power equals FastPasses.
With these top 5 tips that made my trip wondrously satisfying and fulfilling as I was able to ride on all the rides I wanted to, hopefully they will help make your trip more magical than it already would be as well.