An efficient day at Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea means using FastPass to skip long lines. Smart use of FastPass can literally mean saving hours in line, and will allow you to do the best and most popular rides (plus Raging Spirits) with minimal waits. This post offer a ‘how to’ guide for FastPass, plus which attractions you should prioritize in each of Japan’s Disney parks.
Not all FastPasses are created equally. At some attractions–like Tokyo DisneySea’s shows–the time spent pulling a FastPass, leaving, and returning might cost you extra time. By contrast, FastPassing Toy Story Mania could save over 2 hours. Hence strategy being important. Also important to efficient use is running to grab another FastPass once your window reopens.
Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea still use the legacy FastPass system, which means you obtain FastPasses via the “old school” paper slips, which require physical retrieval from in-park kiosks. Familiar territory for long-time Walt Disney World visitors, and our preferred method for using FastPass. If you’re not a fan of criss-crossing the parks to collect FastPasses, you may disagree.
In practice, obtaining paper FastPasses is relatively simple. For those who have never used this system, you go to the FastPass distribution area near the attraction entrance and insert your park ticket into the FastPass kiosks, receive a paper slip with an hour window for expedited attraction boarding, and then return at that time. In the meantime, you do whatever–shop, eat, or experience other attractions via standby.
At the bottom of the FastPass ticket you receive from the distribution kiosk, you’ll find the earliest time you can obtain your next FastPass. Typically, you will be eligible for another FastPass 2 hours after the time you pulled your previous FastPass, or at the start of your return window for that FastPass, whichever is earlier.
Tokyo Disneyland FastPass Priorities:
Monsters Inc. Ride & Go Seek
Pooh’s Hunny Hunt
Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
“it’s a small world”
The heavy-hitters at Tokyo Disneyland are Monsters Inc. Ride & Go Seek and Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, which are also the two unique E-Tickets at Tokyo Disneyland. Some fans favor Pooh’s Hunny Hunt for their first FastPass (we disagree with that) since most people believe it’s the better attraction (we agree with that).
This strategy is objectively poor. Not only do Monsters FastPasses go faster, but it has longer wait times all day long. By contrast, Hunny Hunt is usually a walk-on at the end of the night. Additionally, you should be able to get FastPasses for both attractions no matter the crowd level so long as you start with Monsters Inc. Ride & Go Seek. If you pull Hunny Hunt first, Monsters might be gone for the day by the time of your second FastPass.
On a light to moderate day, you should also be able to obtain FastPasses for all other attractions on that list if you run a tight FastPass game. If it’s a busier day, we’d recommend cutting Splash Mountain from the list. Even though it’s #3, it also has Single Rider, and doing it via that instead of a FastPass can be really helpful to your itinerary.
As of the time of publication, “it’s a small world” FastPasses are available at the Pooh’s Hunny Hunt distribution area. It remains to be seen whether this is permanent or just in light of this attraction’s renewed popularity post-refurbishment. If you don’t see these FastPass machines during your trip, that means it has been discontinued.
Tokyo DisneySea FastPass Priorities:
Toy Story Mania
Tower of Terror
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Indiana Jones Adventure
Nemo & Friends SeaRider
Mermaid Lagoon Theater
Magic Lamp Theater
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Seasonal)
When it comes to Tokyo DisneySea, you’ll want to focus your FastPass energies on the top 5–namely #2 and #3. If you’re an American visiting Tokyo DisneySea who has already done Toy Story Mania in a different park, skipping that to focus on Tower of Terror and Journey to the Center of the Earth are your best options.
We round out our FastPass priorities with Nemo & Friends SeaRider. Not because it’s a revolutionary attraction, but because the lines can get long and it’s unique to Japan. Also, since Indiana Jones Adventure has Single Rider, we almost always use that rather than FastPasses. Raging Spirits is a crumby roller coaster, so we typically don’t do that at all–but it also has Single Rider.
Then there are the shows. I can’t remember the last time we pulled FastPasses for Mermaid Lagoon Theater or Magic Lamp Theater as it’s almost always faster just to wait for the next showtime rather than getting a FastPass, leaving, and returning. We have gotten 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea FastPasses recently, but only as souvenirs since they are rarely being distributed during our visits.
In terms of other FastPass tips, the final big one is using a FastPass runner to save additional time. This is especially crucial in a couple of scenarios. First, at rope drop at Tokyo DisneySea when the quickest person in your party can dart to Tower of Terror while the rest of your party takes a leisurely stroll to Journey to the Center of the Earth to do that via standby. Same with Monsters Inc. Ride & Go Seek at Tokyo Disneyland while everyone else heads to Fantasyland.
Speaking of which, if you’re looking for strategy beyond FastPass, consult our 1-Day Tokyo Disneyland Itinerary and our 1-Day Tokyo DisneySea Itinerary. Those offer full-day efficient plans of attack plus restaurant suggestions, which entertainment to watch, and other things to do during your days at Tokyo Disney Resort.
FastPass runners are also helpful around mealtimes when waits can be long for restaurants. Having one person obtain FastPasses while everyone else orders food, secures a table, etc., is an efficient use of time. Finally, the same with saving parade spots and FastPass runners.
Overall, efficient use of FastPass is right up there with visiting on weekdays and arriving at rope drop in terms of the most important strategy for avoiding crowds and long wait times at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. Think of them as the Tokyo Disney Resort Crowd Avoidance Trifecta. Almost every single popular attraction in these two parks has FastPass, meaning that on a good day, you will never wait in line more than 30 minutes if you obey the trifecta.
If you’re thinking of visiting Japan for the first time and are overwhelmed with planning, definitely check out our Tokyo Disney Resort Planning Guide. It covers much more than the parks, from getting there to WiFi to currency and much, much more. For more photos and an idea of what we did day-by-day during our first visit, read our Tokyo Disney Resort Trip Report.
What are your FastPass priorities for Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea? Do you agree or disagree with our advice? Any questions? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!