If used correctly, Disney’s FastPass system can be a lifesaver on a busy day at the Magic Kingdom, (especially if you’re short on time, or have small children in tow.) If you take just a few minutes to sit down and plan out your FastPass strategy before you arrive on property, you could save yourself hours of waiting in lines. To have the most options, try and book your fast passes as far in advance as you’re able (60 days with a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel reservation, 30 days without one), as some of the most popular attractions sell out very quickly. Below are my recommendations for ten attractions that may make sense for your family to FastPass. I’ve divided them into three categories, based upon typical availability, and average wait time. Depending on the make-up of your vacation group, some of these options may make a lot of sense for you, while others may not. With only three advance reservations allowed per day, be sure to choose wisely, and you’ll be guaranteed to have a great day in the park!
These are rides and attractions, that, in my experience, consistently have wait times exceeding an hour, and often longer than that. They’re all very popular fan favorites, and are enjoyed by children and adults alike. These are also the attractions that tend to book up very quickly, so if something in this category is on your “must do” list, I’d recommend getting on your “My Disney Experience” app, and booking FastPasses for them as early as you possibly can. The attractions in this category include:
1. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – One of the newest rides at Walt Disney World. A family friendly, swaying rollercoaster, that takes riders on a journey through the Seven Dwarfs diamond mine.
2. Meet Anna and Elsa at Princess Fairytale Hall – Currently the only place in Disney World to meet the Kingdom’s most popular royal sisters.
3. Peter Pan’s Flight – A charming, classic dark ride that flies riders over famous scenes from the animated film.
Known as “the mountain range,” the three rides in this category are tried and true favorites of many thrill-seeking park goers. These attractions also tend to have very long wait times, but, with a little luck, and some planning, it’s sometimes possible to catch a break and find a shorter wait depending on the season, weather, and time of day. For example, Splash Mountain tends to have a shorter line when it’s cold, or raining. Space Mountain and Thunder Mountain sometimes have shorter lines very early in the morning, or very late in the day, particularly during slower times of year. All three are generally easier to get on during the Main Street Electrical Parade, as well.
4. Space Mountain – A twisting and turning, pitch-black, indoor roller coaster thrill ride that takes passengers on a rocket ship ride through outer space.
5. Splash Mountain – An indoor and outdoor flume ride that takes riders on a tour through scenes from the animated film “Song of the South,” and culminates with a hair-raising 47 degree, 52.5 foot drop.
6. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – A fast-paced, twisting and turning trip through an abandoned mine, on a runaway train.
The attractions in this category are either rides that can get busy during peak hours and seasons, or entertainment events where it benefits to be up close and personal with the action. Except for the very busiest times of year, the average wait times for these attractions are generally under an hour, but often over 30 minutes, at least in my experience. This category is full of classic, beloved attractions that are entertaining for guests of all ages.
7. Haunted Mansion – A dark ride through a mysterious old house that is famously full of 999 haunts, and always looking for just one more.
8. Tomorrowland Speedway – A bustling race track where even the smallest drivers can test their skills and race to the finish.
9. Pirates of the Caribbean – A dark boat ride through several scenes filled with pirates, cannon battles, and lots of treasure. Be on the lookout for everyone’s favorite Captain, the one and only Jack Sparrow!
10. Main Street Electrical Parade – A reboot of an old favorite, for a new generation. An evening parade full of brightly lit floats and characters, that has withstood the test of time to delight audiences young and old alike. FastPass for this parade ensures a prime front row seat, allowing kids to be right near the action, and easily accessible to receive a wave or a shout out from the parade characters.
There are two rides that also tend to be very popular with the preschool set, but that I did not include, due to their amazing waiting areas and activities. These are The Many Adventures Winnie the Pooh, which has tons of interactive games and play areas within its queue, and the newly refurbished Dumbo the Flying Elephant, which features a revolutionary buzzer system and indoor playground waiting area. Additionally, I did not include Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, because although it’s very popular (and one of my family’s personal favorites), the last few times I’ve been to the Magic Kingdom, I’ve rarely seen it have a wait time longer than half an hour. This is not to say that I don’t recommend securing FastPasses for these attractions, just that it’s possible to enjoy them as a standby rider.
The Magic Kingdom boasts the biggest and most diverse selection of rides and attractions of any Disney World Park, and no matter what FastPasses you choose, you’re guaranteed to have a wonderful time. I hope that on your next trip, these tips will help you make family memories to last a lifetime.
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