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.
Magic Kingdom: Magic Kingdom has one category of FastPasses containing 25+ rides and attractions. Guests may pick any 3 from this list. Here are 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 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.
Animal Kingdom: Like Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom has only one Fastpass group from which you can pick three Fastpasses. However, with when it comes to the Pandora: The World of Avatar attractions, you can only choose one of these attractions per day to get a Fastpass for. The other attraction you will either need to wait in a stand-by line for or get a FP for it if you are visiting Animal Kingdom again on another day.
- 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 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.
- 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!
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 attraction 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 are 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 is simple and straightforward here. You can choose one ride in Toy Story Land and 2 in the rest of the park which is a welcome change. In years past I agonized over having to choose between Toy Story Midway Mania and Rocking Roller Coaster. Not so anymore!
Book in Advance :
The hot commodity right now is Slinky Dog Dash, and (at least until Star Wars: Galaxies Edge opens) that is why I would recommend as your Tier 1 pick. Slinky Dog Dash is a family-friendly coaster that delivers a moderate level thrill. To put it in more tangible terms- Splash Mountain was too much for my 3-year-old but he loved Slinky Dig Dash). If that isn’t your cup of tea a great alternate choice is Alien Swirling Saucers.
I don’t recommend Toy Story Midway Mania anymore for two simple reasons: 1. the queue here really adds to the storyline of the ride and 2. it is the only air-conditioned queue in Toy Story Land.
Book in Advance:
Rockin Roller Coaster (if you plan to ride I strongly recommend a FastPass here. The ride is fantastic- one of my favorites and waits often exceed an hour. There is a single rider option here but it is notoriously slow. In fact, we timed it and found the single rider line actually went slower here than the standby line!)
Tower of Terror ( highly popular and there is no single rider option available. Though this one can be a bit scary and given the relatively low height requirement, you may want to consider how your travel companions will fare in almost pitch black settings before booking).
Fantasmic (a solid choice – only if – thrill rides aren’t your thing or your traveling companions don’t meet height requirements. While it offers no real time-saving advantage, you do get a better seat and you don’t have to arrive nearly as early for the seat).
Grab the Day-of:
Star Tours (another favorite attraction in our house but same-day passes are typically readily available).
Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, The Voyage of the Little Mermaid,Disney Jr Dance Party (opening December 22, 2018), Muppet Vision 3D & Beauty Beast-Live on Stage (In addition to no time-saving advantage due to being a theater based attraction, neither of these shows have special seating areas for FastPass so we personally do not see the advantage)
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 FdontpahinkinaboutheadinWal8below to find out how you can get your FREE quote.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or follow along on Facebook.
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