Disney World

Best Rides to Get FastPasses for at Each Disney World Theme Park

Best Uses of Fastpasses

A huge perk of being a guest at Walt Disney World is the privilege of being able to book FastPasses for some of your favorite Walt Disney World attractions 60 days before your holiday.  For those new to Disney planning, under the FastPass system, guests are able to choose 3 attractions per day for each day that you’ll be in the parks. Booking a FastPass for a Disney attraction means that on the day, and during the designated FastPass time you are able to avoid the long stand-by lines for an attraction and instead line up in the much shorter Disney FastPass line where wait times (if any) will be minimal.

FastPasses can be booked using the My Disney Experience App.  The booking window will open up for guests around 7am, 60 days before you are due to arrive at the parks (30 days for offsite guests).  This is a milestone for families anxiously counting down the days until they arrive at Disney but it can be stressful trying to figure out which FastPasses (FPs) to book in order  to minimize your wait times at the parks.  Though I always encourage guests to book in the FastPasses that they think their family will enjoy the most, some FPs are just a better choice than others when it comes to drastically minimizing your time standing in line. Here’s a list of FastPasses you may want to consider booking when you reach your 60 day countdown.

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Magic Kingdom: Magic Kingdom has one category of FastPasses containing 25+ rides and attractions. Guests may pick any 3 from this list.  Here’s our top picks:

  • Jungle Cruise– This classic Disney attraction is a fan favorite for its cringe-worthy jokes and hilarious banter.  For that reason lines around mid-day will often sit around 6o minutes making it a great use of a FastPass.
  • Peter Pan’s Flight –  I love this ride, it is quintessential Disney but I’ve never understood the massive wait times.  I  wouldn’t even venture to ride this without a FastPass as it is common to see wait times in excess of 90 minutes.  If Peter Pan is a must don’t do it without the FastPass.
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – Probably the most popular ride at the Magic Kingdom just now. Lines can easily hit the 120 mark.  As one of Magic Kingdom’s newest attractions,  it is a must-do.  However,  the ride is short (coming in at just under 3 minutes) which always makes me feel a bit bad for families that have devoted 2 hours to get there.  Definitely FastPass.
  • Splash Mountain – a good strategy when it comes to Splash Mountain and its neighbor Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is usually to either ride first thing in the morning when there are no lines or use a FP.  With Splash Mountain in particular the stand-by wait times can be really deceiving.  On my most recent trip the Stand- By Line said 20 minutes when in reality we waited for 90.  It can be a bit unpredictable so if it’s a must-do think about using a FastPass.
  • Space Mountain – If you are a thrill ride enthusiast or a fan of this classic indoor coaster devote one of your FastPass slots to this Tomorrowland attraction.  Midday lines usually sit at around 60 minutes.

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Animal Kingdom: Animal Kingdom has two categories of FastPasses. The first category contains the two new Pandora attractions: Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey of which you are only allowed to choose one.  The second category contains 10 additional rides and attractions.  However, unlike the other theme parks listed below it isn’t essential that you book a Pandora attraction, instead you can pick 3 from group two.  Here are the choices that top our list.

Animal Kingdom Group 1: (can only pick 1) 

  • Avatar Flight of Passage – (pictured) Either of the attractions in Pandora are pretty much an essential use of FastPass if you do want to experience this new land during your upcoming visit.  However, Avatar Flight of Passage is definitely the much more in demand of the two with stand-by line ride times still snaking past the two hour mark quite regularly.  However, the big obstacle here is actually getting a Flight of Passage FP.  I’m having many clients report that even at 7am at the 60 day mark they aren’t seeing any availability.  If that’s the case then definitely default to Na’vi River Journey.
  • Na’vi River Journey –  Make this your preferred option in this category if you aren’t up for the intensity of Flight of Passage or if you simply can’t get a Fastpass for that attraction.  The Na’vi River Journey is still a Pandora at its best and is a wonderful way to explore this new land.  Lines for River Journey can still get quite long especially mid-day.

Animal Kingdom Group 2: 

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris – Families flock in droves to this attraction as soon as they enter Animal Kingdom. This means lines fill up really quickly from about an hour after park opening and remain steady throughout the day. Use a FP and spend the time you’ve saved to enjoy some of the amazing animal exhibitions.
  • Expedition Everest – This is Animal Kingdom’s big thrill ride and it certainly has big lines to suit.  Wait times will easily reach the 60 minute mark. Best to use your FastPass.
  • Festival of the Lion King –  This is one of the best live Disney’s stage shows at the parks.  Take some time out from the midday Animal Kingdom heat and enjoy this delightful combination of Broadway-style show meets African-themed circus.  Crowds start to swell come the middle of the day so use a FastPass. You’ll still need to arrive early to enter the theater but you’re guaranteed a seat!
  • Kali River Rapids – Using your FastPass for Kali River Rapids can be a bit season dependent. During off pick times I’ve seen lines as low as 20 minutes.  But,  during peak periods or in the summer heat wait times will climb to at least 60 minutes.   If you’re going on a crowded day make it one of your 3 FPs and bear in mind that you will get wet!

Fastpass

Epcot: Epcot and Hollywood Studios do things a little bit differently when it comes to booking your FastPasses. Rather than there being one big list that you choose from, Epcot and HS categorize their FastPasses with visitors having to chose 1 FP from Group A & 2 from Group B. This is problematic at Epcot these days as the most in-demand attractions all fall into the 1st category making it difficult for families to decide.

Group 1 Epcot (pick 1): There are 5 in this category to choose from but here’s our top picks.

  • Frozen Ever After- If you have Frozen fans in the family Epcot’s newest attract is the must-do for this category.  Newly opened, it is unlikely that guests will see wait times under 60 minutes for quite some time. Don’t take your chances, FastPass it.
  • Soarin’ –  If Anna and Elsa aren’t your cup of tea then Soarin’ is a wise alternative.  The newly re-vamped attraction now takes visitors on a hang gliding journey around the world.  Lines for this ride are often, daunting, winding and massive.  Use a FastPass.

Please Note: The ever popular Test Track also falls into this category. With lines often around 45-60 minutes its also a valid choice.  If you decide to select Test Track as your Fastpass, visit Soarin’ first thing in the morning when lines are minimal.  If you choose to go with Soarin’ as your FP, I would hit Test Track first thing in the morning.

Group 2 Epcot (pick 2): This is tough as all of the attractions on this list tend to have shorter lines to begin with but here’s a few suggestions:

  • Spaceship Earth – Being the first attraction that the majority of Epcot visitors see as soon as they walk through the gates means that lines can be pretty steady.  Though not reaching the 60+ minute wait times of other headline attractions, it still saves you some mid-afternoon wait time to be able to walk straight on to Spaceship Earth.
  • Turtle Talk with Crush – Now I’ve never been a fan of this show but I know a lot of families that love it.  Its recently been updated to include characters from Finding Dory which is likely to make it even more popular. Also, the room that those on standby have to wait in before entering the theater is downright claustrophobic.  If you’re a fan of the Finding Nemo family (especially Crush) then use a FastPass.
  • Mission Space – If you can withstand the G’s of space travel then Mission Space is also a valid choice.  It would definitely shave time off of your day to get a Fastpass but it is not for the faint of heart (or stomach).

Fastpass

Hollywood Studios: The system at this theme park is identical to Epcot.  Guests pick 1 FP from Category A and 2 from Category B.

Group A Hollywood Studios (pick 1): There are 5 FastPass options in this category.  Here are our top 2:

  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster – If its big thrills you’re after than this coaster should top your FastPass list. Lines for this attraction stay consistently at the 60 minute mark making FPs a great way to avoid the lines and save time.
  • Toy Story Midway Mania – This is the headlining attraction in the Pixar-themed section of the park and is wildly popular with kids and families. The lines remain pretty busy throughout the day so if you want to play along with Woody and friends a FastPass would be the way to go.

Group B Hollywood Studios (pick 2):  There are 7 attractions in this category here are our top choices.

  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – Casting an eerie shadow over the entire park the Tower of Terror is probably one of the most perfectly themed attractions at Walt Disney World.  It’s definitely worthy of a Fastpass for those that don’t mind being dropped down an elevator shaft. Standby lines can be upward of 45-60 minutes.
  • Star Tours- Though I’ve seen this ride at peak periods have lines as low as 20 minutes, it can be a bit unpredictable with a long inside corridor that can be deceiving.  If you’ve got huge Star Wars fans in the family then add this to your FastPass list.

What if I’m visiting Hollywood Studios with small children? Then there are two other options that may be more your style: Disney Jr Live On Stage or For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration. Though you may be able to stand-by these shows with minimal wait times, if you’re on a schedule or traveling with tiny tots then getting a Fastpass for either attraction will help you plan out your days.

Why isn’t my favorite ride/attraction on your list? The attractions above are those that generally tend to have the longest wait times.  If your favorite ride didn’t make the cut, it doesn’t mean you should skip it, it just means that the lines aren’t typically the longest. That being said you should always go with the attractions that you think are going to work the best for your family.

Any other FP tips or tricks? I’ll leave you with 3 really quick pieces of FastPass advice:

  • Don’t schedule your FastPasses for first thing in the morning.  This is the one time of day where parks have the shortest lines. Use the first hour or so after a park opens to enjoy some of the rides you didn’t get Fastpasses for to avoid longer wait times later in the day.  Save your Fastpasses for early afternoon when you know the lines will start to peak and you’ll be able to breeze past the crowds.
  • Don’t schedule your Fastpasses too late in the day. Though it may sound contradictory,  it’s also not a good idea to schedule your FastPasses toward park closing . The reason being is that once you’ve used up your 3 FPs,  Disney allows you to pick a 4th and once you’ve used up that one you can pick a 5th.  However if your last Fastpass window is in the evening it doesn’t allow for ample time to book in something else.  Shoot for late morning, lunchtime or into early afternoon and you may be able to squeeze in those extra 2.
  • If the Stand-By Line is short then re-schedule your FastPass.  Let’s say you arrive at Kilimanjaro Safari at 10:30am to find there’s only a 20 minute Stand-By line.  Get onto your My Disney Experience App, cancel your FastPass ride in the Stand-By line and reschedule your FP for something else.  Remember the passes are there to cut wait times. If there’s no wait times don’t use the passes.

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If you find tips like these helpful, why not consider working with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I can help you find your perfect package, nab those hard to get dining and FastPass reservations and share my tips and tricks for helping you plan out your days at the parks. Best of all my services are absolutely FREE.  There are no hidden costs and you’d pay the same as if you were to book through Disney. Get in touch at 1.800.801.4025, via email at [email protected] or follow along on Facebook

 

Images copyright Disney



Melissa Roden
Follow Along

Melissa Roden

Agent Specializing in Disney Holidays at MickeyTravels
Melissa is a Disney-loving mom who can often be found at the parks with her six year old daughter.  When not euphorically eating a Dole Whip at Walt Disney World, Melissa enjoys helping others plan their magical vacations with MickeyTravels and sharing her Disney knowledge at Chip and Co. and Disney Addicts. Follow along on Facebook or Twitter.
Melissa Roden
Follow Along

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