All information in this 2005 thread is correct as of April 2012 BLAB no longer has FP. Those machines are now dedicated to Star Tours. And Radiator Springs Racers at DCA will have FP starting in June, 2012. The DLR FastPass (FP) system is regularly changing, with rides being added and subtracted to the FP system, and connected and disconnected. See this comprehensive discussion of (almost) all the FP tricks here on MiceChat: "The Joy of FASTPASS" http://micechat.com/forums/disneyland-resort/142390-joy-fastpass-2010-edition.html Also see this link on DIS - http://www.wdwinfo.com/disneyland/fastpass.htm This posting will read a bit like a trip report, but that is only to show how we maximized FP. Check our full trip report to be posted in the next day or two. A few upfront facts for context: 1. This information is based on our trip Aug. 1-4, 2005. We are a family of six (four boys ages 9, 10, 12 and 13). We stayed at the Best Western Park Place Inn directly across the street from DLR. We had Magic Morning (MM) one day, which we used on Aug. 1. We got to the gates before the parks opened. We took afternoon breaks for 4-5 hours to cool off and sleep. 2. To get FPs you use your entrance media (parkhopper passes, AP, etc). To get FPs for a group, you do not need to have everyone present; you just need everyone's entrance media. This allows the group to send a "runner" with all entrance media to a FP Distribution area and get FPs for the whole group while the group does something else like wait in line, eat a meal, shop, return to the hotel, etc. I was the runner for the family. 3. The entrance media cannot be used to get FPs until they have been scanned at the gates. Thus you cannot send one person to the park when it opens to go get FPs for the group while everyone else sleeps late. Everyone must physically pass through the gate in order to "initialize" the entrance media so the FP machines will dispense FPs. 4. Currently, once the entrance media have been scanned at either DL or DCA, they are initialized for both parks. This allows a runner to get FPs for the group at the opposite park even though no one in the group (except the runner of course) has entered that park. 5. When you get a FP, at the bottom it will clearly show the next time you can get a FP for another attraction. PAY ATTENTION TO THESE TIMES! I will call these the "next available FP time". To maximize FP acquisition and usage, you need to always keep in mind the next time you can get another FP, and then do so as soon as it is practical after that time. 6. The FP system has a number of idiosyncrasies, many of which are unknown even to some DL and DCA workers/Cast Members. Thus the CMs may tell you that you cannot do certain things that you can in fact do. Again, DarkBeer's link above discusses all of these in depth. The two most important idiosyncrasies are the "late FP rule" and the disconnected FP rides. 7. The "next available FP time" shown on the most recently dispensed FP ticket is set either by the opening of the one-hour window or two hours from the FP dispensing, whichever comes first. During our trip August 1-4, the following DL rides had FP: Space Mountain (SM) Splash Mountain (Splash) Indiana Jones (Indy) Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (BTMRR) Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (BLAB) Autopia Roger Rabbit (RR) -- This was disconnected from the network The following DCA rides had FP: Soarin' Over California (Soarin') Mulholland Madness (MM) Tower of Terror (ToT) Grizzly River Run (GRR) -- This was disconnected from the network (in 2005, but as of 2009 is connected) California Screamin' (this was closed because of the July 29 accident) Which FastPasses to Get When Certain FP attractions are more popular than others. Right now the most popular at DL are SM, Splash and Indy. This means that SM/Splash/Indy runs out of FPs earlier in the day, and you cannot get any more. If you want to get a FP for one of these rides, it is imperative you do so earlier in the day. SM is still highly popular, and FPs were running out at 1-2PM. Splash and Indy are popular also, and FPs were available longer than SM but still ran out at 3-5PM. BTMRR, BLAB and Autopia FPs were much less popular. You could get FPs for BTMRR until after 10PM at night, BLAB until after 8PM, and Autopia until after 9PM. RR FP was also less popular, but RR was disconnected anyways so it did not matter very much. One can thus think of two groups of FP attractions. The popular group (SM, Splash, Indy) and the less popular group (BTMRR, BLAB, Autopia and RR). If you get a FP from the popular group any time later than early in the morning, the return time will almost certainly be at least two hours later and thus the two-hour rule will apply. This means you will not be able to get another FP for anything for two hours. The less popular group is different. For these almost any time of day you can get a FP and the return time will be less than two hours. Thus the next available FP time will be less than two hours away, sometimes only an hour. The only exception is BLAB, which seems right now to be the most popular of the less popular FPs. Once you get to the late afternoon, the FP return times are two hours away, but the FP machines are still up into the early evening. Note that from late Sept to early January the Haunted Mansion Holiday version (HMH) offers FP and this usually falls into the popular group category. Since DLR does not enforce the end of the FP one-hour window, I will talk here only in terms of the FP window opening, as that is the only time that matters both from a FP usage point of view as well as when you can get your next FP. The basic FP strategy we used and I recommend is this: get FPs for the popular rides in the morning, and get FPs for the less popular in the afternoon or evening. Use a runner to collect the FPs while the group you are with does something else. There were two days when we got into DL at the 8AM opening. One was the MM day when we were in by 7AM. On these days I made a beeline to one of the popular FP rides (it was SM on both days) to get FPs. Being that it was early in the day, the return time on one day was 8:45AM and on the other day was 8:55AM. Thus I could get another FP at these times. Note that I never intended to actually go on SM during the FP window. We then proceeded to go on rides and pick up FPs as soon as we possibly could. By the time 1:30 rolled around and we left for a break, I had a whole bunch of FPs to use after our break. To help folks understand how to use this information to their advantage, let me summarize what we did on Mon Aug 1 and on Tue Aug 2 when we went to DCA. Note than on each day we went on rides in both DL and DCA. Here is how we maximized FP on Mon Aug 1: 1. We were in the park for MM (did seven rides during MM but not SM or BLAB), and at 8AM when the FP machines opened I was at SM and got FPs for a window that opened at 8:45AM. Next available FP time was thus 8:45AM. While getting the SM FPs, my family was making their way over to the Indy standby line. 2. After getting the SM FPs, I hoofed it back over to Indy where we walked on thru the standby line at 8:05AM with a 3-5 minute wait. 3. We then walked onto Jungle Cruise. 4. After JC it was getting close to 8:45AM when I could get another FP. While my family made their way to BTMRR I scooted over to Splash and got FPs. The FP window for Splash opened at 9:30AM, so the next available FP time was 9:30AM. 5. We walked onto BTMRR thru the standby (a 2 minute wait), and because the line was still so short we did BTMRR again with another 2 minute wait. Because BTMRR is a less popular FP ride, it was not worth thinking about getting FPs for BTMRR in the morning. After the second BTMRR ride it was 9AM. 6. We decided to do Splash in the standby line, which took 19 minutes. It was nearing 9:30AM (the next available FP time) when we finished Splash, so I scooted over to Indy to get FPs while my DW looked at and decided to buy the Splash picture. I got Indy FPs which had a return opening of 10:30AM. We met at Haunted Mansion at about 9:35AM. And I had FPs in hand for SM, Splash and Indy, with the next time I could get FPs at 10:30AM. 7. We rode Haunted Mansion with a 2 minute line, and finished at about 9:50. We then rode POTC, which had a 5 minute line. Then we spent some time shopping in the store at the exit of POTC. By this time it was 10:30AM, which was the next available FP time. We made our way to SM, where I got another set of FPs for SM at 10:50AM with a return window opening of 3:30PM. Thus the two hour rule applied for the next FP, and the next available FP time was 12:50PM. 8. We rode SM (with our first FP set from 8AM) and then Monorail, because there was almost no line for Monorail. 9. By this time it was nearing noon. While my family stopped to get slushy drinks and made their way to Small World, I scooted over to ToonTown to get FPs for RR, which I could do before the next 12:50 window because RR is disconnected. The RR FP window opened at 1:00PM. I met my family in the Small World line at about 12:15. 10. We waited 15-20 minutes for Small World, and by the time we finished it was about 12:50. 11. We walked to Toontown and shopped until 1PM, and then used the RR FPs. After RR it was about 1:10PM. 12. It was now after my next available FP time of 12:50PM, and it being about 1PM I could still get FPs for any DL ride (although time was getting short for SM). I decided to get FPs for BLAB since I had them already for SM/Splash/Indy. The BLAB FPs had a return time of something like 2:45. 13. At 1:15 we headed back to the hotel for lunch and an afternoon break. Since we were leaving the park for a long break, the next available FP time did not matter anymore because we would be returning at least two hours later and we could FPs as soon as we returned. However, no more SM FPs would be available, and probably not Indy or Splash either. The only FPs we could get after returning would be for the less popular FP rides. 14. After exiting DL and getting our hands stamped, my family walked to the hotel. But I entered DCA. Because all entrance media were initialized at DL earlier that morning, I did not need anyone to actually enter DCA with me in order to get FPs. Note that the DCA FP system is independent of DL, and thus the DL FP availability does not apply at DCA. I took all entrance media with me, and got FPs for ToT at about 1:30PM. The return window opened at 2:30PM. I also got FPs for GRR since it is disconnected [NOTE: GRR was disconnected in 2005 but as of 2009 is connected so you can no longer do this]. I did not think we would have time for GRR, but I got them just in case. We ended up not riding GRR that day. 15. I headed back to the BWPPI where my family was eating lunch and getting ready for a quick swim and nap. We did not reenter the parks until 6PM that evening, but by 1:30 we had already used one set of SM FPs and the RR FPs, ridden Indy, Splash and BTMRR (twice) on standby, and had in hand FPs to use after 6PM for SM, Splash, Indy, BLAB, ToT and GRR. We ended up using all of these except GRR. Over the four days, I tended to follow similar plans as above, collecting as many FPs as possible. Except for the first day when we used almost all our FPs, we usually ended up with a number of unused FPs each day. I reasoned that having FPs for all possible rides gave us the flexibility of going on whatever rides we wanted to in the evening. We usually gave away the extra FPs. On one evening my family split up and some used the FPs for SM while others used the ones for Splash and Indy. At DCA, I paid most attention to the FPs at ToT, GRR and MM. I did not pay attention to Soarin' as we rode that during the morning when they opened DCA early, and of course California Screamin' was down so I got no data there. The GRR FP seemed to be the most popular out of this group, but even so you could easily get GRR FPs in the late afternoon. It appeared to me that all DCA FP attractions behaved similarly to the less popular DL FP attractions, whereby you could still get FPs later in the day and into the evening. This makes the collection of DCA FPs fairly easy. Here is how we maximized FP on Tue Aug 2: 1. This was our "DCA day". After being out until after midnight the previous evening, we decided to sleep in a bit and skip DL in the morning. We arrived at the DLR gates at 9:15AM. We all went thru the DL gates to get the entrance media initialized so I could get FPs in DL before we went into DCA. My family then immediately exited DL, got their hands stamped, and got in line at DCA. 2. I hoofed it over to SM and got FPs at about 9:25AM with a return time of 12:25PM, but the return time did not matter because we were not planning to re-enter DL itself until after our afternoon break - some time after 6PM. 3. I then hoofed it out of DL, got my hand stamped, and joined my family in line at DCA at 9:30AM. They opened the gates for DCA at 9:30 even though official opening was 10AM. 4. We got in the standby line for the only open ride, Soarin' Over California. 5. We exited Soarin' at about 10:05AM, and went to Paradise Pier by the GRR route. We stopped by GRR and got FPs with a 10:50AM return time [NOTE: GRR was disconnected in 2005 but as of 2009 is connected so you can no longer do this] and proceeded to MM, where we got FPs with an 11AM return time. Our next DCA available FP time was thus 11AM, except for the disconnected GRR. 6. We then got on the Maliboomer at about 10:10AM with a 5 minute wait time. 7. We decided to ride the Sun Wheel inner gondolas next. 8. By this time it was 11AM. We used the FPs for MM right at 11AM. 9. We then returned to GRR and used our FPs. When we finished I got another set of GRR FPs in case we wanted to ride it again later that day, but we never used them. 10. By this time is was approaching noon and we wanted to attend the 12:30 Aladdin show. We made our way to HPB. My family got in line for the mezzanine area right after 12 Noon, and I snuck over to get FPs for ToT in case we wanted to ride it afterwards. The ToT FP return time was 12:45PM. 11. After the excellent Aladdin show we went to the Animation Studios, where we ended up spending 90 minutes. We thought Turtle Talk With Crush was a hoot. 12. It was now approaching 3PM. We were ready for a break. I had ToT and GRR FPs in case we wanted to return to DCA, but we wanted to do the Remember fireworks show and the 10:30PM Fantasmic! show at DL that night, so we never used these DCA FPs. 13. While my family returned to the hotel at 3PM, I again re-entered DL to get FPs for another attraction which we could use during the evening after our break. I got FPs for BLAB with a return time of 7:25PM. Then I exited DL and returned to the hotel for a nap with my family. 14. We took a long nap and re-entered DL at 7PM as the POD was starting (I wish we were 5 minutes earlier to get down Main Street before the parade!). We fought our way down Main Street. We wanted to go to SM, but we were stuck on the AdventureLand side of Main Street until the parade finished. While my family waited in the line to cross Main Street, I scooted over to BTMRR and got FPs at about 7:15PM with a return time at 8:05PM. I then rejoined my family, the parade finished, and we crossed into TL to ride SM and use our FPs before the 9:25 fireworks. SM had had problems that day and had been down a lot, and the line to get on SM thru FP at 7PM was about 30 minutes long. So we did HISTA and returned to SM later that evening when the FP return line was shorter. After HISTA I got FPs for Autopia (at about 8:15PM) with a window opening at 9PM. We never used these. 15. We then made our way out of TL into the hub at 8:25PM to see the fireworks show. We ended up using the FPs for SM and BTMRR, but not the BLAB or Autopia FPs, or the ToT or GRR ones I had from DCA.