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Disney Tips: FastPass+ Strategies – The Ultimate Walt Disney World FastPass Booking Guide

When you’re visiting Walt Disney World and staying at a Walt Disney World Resort or Good Neighbor Hotel, you’ll have the opportunity to book FastPasses for your trip 60 days before your arrival date. At any other time, you can book them 30 days or less in advance.

FastPasses (properly called FastPass+ since they’re a change from the old FastPass system) effectively allow you to skip the line for an attraction. You can book up to three of them at a single park for any given day – then once those first three have been used you can book and use additional ones one at a time.

I’ve talked at length about the best tips and tricks to score the hardest to get Fast Passes at Disney Parks. But we’ve never really talked about which Fast Passes you should be booking. It’s a question that I find myself answering for people often, and so I thought it would be useful to fully address the topic here.

Note that these tips are nothing more than my opinion and my experience. And also that this post is up to date as of the date that it was written. With so many things opening and changing in the coming years, what’s “hard to get”, etc., will certainly be evolving. It’s also worth mentioning that this is in no way meant to be a list of the “best” attractions at Walt Disney World. It’s simply a strategy guide. Some of my all time favorite attractions tend to have little or no lines. So you simply don’t need a FastPass for them.

Cheat Sheet

I encourage you strongly to read the details that follow, because every park guest is different – but I know we all want a quick reference. So before we dig in, here’s a quick set of solid possible choices:

  • MK: 7 Dwarfs Mine Train, Space/Thunder/Splash Mountain, Buzz Lightyear/Pirates/Haunted Mansion
  • Epcot: Test Track, Spaceship Earth, Turtle Talk/Mission Space
  • Hollywood Studios: Slinky Dog/Toy Story Mania, Rock N Rollercoaster/Tower of Terror, Star Tours
  • Animal Kingdom: Flight of Passage, Kilamanjaro Safaris, Expedition Everest

Magic Kingdom

Fast Passes at the Magic Kingdom are available on a single tier – so you just choose any three available attractions that you would like. The most difficult one to get, and by far still the attraction with the longest lines at the Magic Kingdom, is Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. This is a very calm roller coaster that appeals to all ages and has a 38″ height requirement. If you have any desire to ride and are able to score it, this is probably the best Fast Pass to book at the Magic Kingdom.

Beyond that, it’s really just your choice as to what you’d like to book. Peter Pan’s Flight tends to have very long lines, so you might want a Fast Pass for it – but for what it’s worth, while it’s a classic attraction, it’s a pretty quick ride – and in all honesty I think that the queue (which you’d skip if you used a Fast Pass) is just as incredible as the ride itself.

Otherwise I would just scan the list of possible choices and select what appeals most to you. Space Mountain tends to have very long lines, so it’s always a good choice. Splash Mountain also always has long lines – especially on hot days. And of course, there’s always Thunder Mountain, which is a favorite for my family.

Attractions like Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, Enchanted Tales With Belle, the Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, and Pirates of the Caribbean can all have long lines – so just decide what your priorities are and book accordingly.

And last but not least, you also have the option of booking princess meet and greets with your Magic Kingdom Fast Passes. If you or a little one that you’re traveling with has your or her heart set on meeting a particular princess, that might also be a Fast Pass choice to consider.

Epcot

FastPasses at Epcot are two tiered. You can pick one of the top tier attractions and two of the second tier attractions. (Or you could always pick three second tier attractions.)

  • Tier 1: Test Track, Frozen Ever After, Soarin’, Illuminations: Reflection of Earth, Disney Pals Character Greeting
  • Tier 2: Spaceship Earth, Turtle Talk with Crush, Mission: SPACE, Living with the Land, Journey Into Imagination With Figment, The Seas with Nemo & Friends, Pixar Short Film Festival
Epcot – Tier 1

Your top tier options include Test Track, Soarin’, Frozen Ever After, reserved viewing for Epcot’s current nighttime show, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, and a Disney Pals meet and greet. Of these, Test Track and Frozen Ever After tend to have the longest lines.

Test Track is a fantastic attraction with a competitive design element that my kids love. It does move fast and is a bit of a thrill ride. If this appeals to you, I’d recommend Test Track for your tier 1 ride choice. It also has a single rider option, but it’s important to note that if you go this route you do *not* get to design a car. And, of course, you also don’t get to sit with your party.

Frozen Ever After is a quick, lovely ride at the Norway pavilion that takes you through scenes from the movie while the characters sing. It’s the newest attraction at Epcot and is themed to a very popular movie, so lines tend to get very long. If you have a Frozen-obsessed kid in tow, you might consider it.

Lastly, Soarin’ is always a nice option for your Epcot Tier 1 choice. The standby lines tend to be a bit less long than for Test Track or Frozen Ever After, but if you don’t want to thrill of Test Track and want something more substantial than Frozen Ever After, it’s a great choice.

As a side note, I’ll say that you can always use your Tier 1 FastPass at Epcot for reserved seating for Illuminations – but I honestly think there are better places to view it. And by booking an end-of-night FastPass you give up the chance to use up your first three early and start booking them one at a time (to the extent available) afterwards.

Epcot – Tier 2

What you choose for your two Tier 2 Epcot attractions is really a matter of personal preference. Spaceship Earth and Mission Space tend to have the longest lines of that group, so I’d consider those if they appeal to you. Turtle Talk with Crush is a ton of fun for younger kids.

Hollywood Studios

FastPasses at Hollywood Studios are also two tiered. Like at Epcot, you can pick one of the top tier attractions and two of the second tier attractions (or three tier 2 attractions).

  • Tier 1: Slinky Dog Dash, Toy Story Mania!, Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Tier 2: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Star Tours: The Adventure Continues, Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, Muppet Vision 3D, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Disney Junior Dance Party!, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, Fantasmic!, Beauty and the Beast

Hollywood Studios – Tier 1 

Currently Hollywood Studios has only 3 Tier 1 attractions and they’ll all in Toy Story Land – Slinky Dog Dash, Toy Story Mania, and Alien Swirling Saucers. Slinky Dog Dash is a kid-friendly roller coaster that’s brand new and lots of fun. It also tends to have the longest lines. So this would be my first choice. Toy Story Mania is a family-friendly 3D shooting attraction that’s also not to be missed, that that’s also a great Tier 1 option.

Hollywood Studios – Tier 2

Everything else at Hollywood Studios is currently Tier 2. If you’re a fan of thrill rides, Rock N Rollercoaster and Tower of Terror are easy choices for your two Tier 2 selections. They’re great attractions and tend to have long lines. If you have a Star Wars fan in tow, Star Tours is another great option. If you have a Frozen-lover with you, you don’t necessarily need a FastPass most days but it’s a great way to get a good seat at the Frozen Sing Along Celebration.

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom is yet another park with a two tier FastPass system:

  • Tier 1: Avatar Flight of Passage, Na’vi River Journey
  • Tier 2: Kilimanjaro Safaris, Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids, Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo Musical, DINOSAUR, Primeval Whirl, Rivers of Light, It’s Tough to Be A Bug, Adventurers Outpost Character Greeting
Animal Kingdom – Tier 1

The Tier 1 attractions are the attractions in Pandora – Avatar Flight of Passage (44″ height requirement) and Na’vi River Journey. 

If you are able to get a Flight of Passage FastPass, do it. Most agree (myself most definitely included) that Flight of Passage is without question the best attraction at Walt Disney World – or anywhere, for that matter – and waits for it are often upwards of three hours. While I do think that that wait is worth it, and there’s a lot to see in the queue, a FastPass for Flight of Passage is a wonderful thing to have. 

If you can’t get Flight of Passage, book Na’vi River Journey. And then use my tips to keep trying to switch it to Flight of Passage. 😉 

Animal Kingdom – Tier 2

For your second tier choices, absolutely do not miss Kilamanjaro Safaris.

If you enjoy thrill rides, also get Expedition Everest. Kali River Rapids is also a good option on a hot day. And the two ongoing stage shows at Animal Kingdom, Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo the Musical, can be booked with FastPasses if you want to assure yourself great seats, although it is typically possible to walk into both without a FastPass. (In either case, don’t miss them. They are wonderful.) 

* * * * * * * *

So while I always stress that things like choosing FastPasses are really based on personal preference, I know it can be overwhelming going in for the first time and I hope that this has been helpful!! And always remember, you could spend an entire day in any park happily busy and not riding one single attraction. The planning process should ALWAYS be fun and no single FassPass (or dining reservation, or…) will make or break your trip, so don’t stress it!!

 

 

 

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