FastPass+ Guide to Magic Kingdom

I find that FastPasses are the biggest source of frustration to first-time or infrequent park goers. Many people don’t know what FastPasses are, how to use them, or what to use them on. With this in mind, I’m going to write a guide to each U.S. park on when and where to use FastPasses.

Today concludes the Walt Disney World portion of this series.  I’ve already written about Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot.  Click on those links if you missed any of those posts.  If unfamiliar with FastPass+ as a whole, start with the Animal Kingdom post because there is a lengthy explanation of the system in that post.  Today, we’re on to Magic Kingdom!

DWMKFW

Are there differences in FastPass+ at Magic Kingdom than other parks?

Magic Kingdom uses the same system as Animal Kingdom, in that guests just select three attractions with FastPass+ capability and those are the three you start with.  There is no tiered system here like at Epcot or the Studios.  Of course, all of this could change at a moments notice but for now that’s where we stand. Guests can reserve their three FastPass+’s online 60 days in advance of their trip if staying on-site, 30 days in advance if staying off-site.  Once those three prearranged attractions are completed when in the park, you can go get more FastPasses at kiosks set up around the park.   Here are the attractions that offer FastPass+ at the Magic Kingdom:

  • Jungle Cruise
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • The Barnstormer
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • it’s a small world
  • Mad Tea Party
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Meet Anna and Elsa at Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Meet Ariel at Her Grotto
  • Meet Cinderella and Rapunzel at Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Splash Mountain
  • The Haunted Mansion
  • Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade
  • Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season (seasonal)
  • Main Street Electrical Parade
  • Meet Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater
  • Meet Tinker Bell at Town Square Theater
  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade (seasonal)
  • Wishes Nighttime Spectacular
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Space Mountain
  • Tomorrowland Speedway

As you can see, there is a ton of attractions here.  (There’s a reason I’ve been putting off this blog post!)  Narrowing a list from 30 to 3 is pretty hard, but that’s why you’re reading this.  That, or it’s because of my wonderful jokes…  As always, this list of attractions changes from time to time, especially the meet & greets.  I’ll do my best to keep it updated!

FastPass+ Strategy and Rankings

Since there are so many attractions here, I’m going to sort them a little bit differently than previously posts.  There are many attractions here that guests absolutely shouldn’t use FastPasses on, I’m going to eliminate those and then rank the ones that are left.

So, to begin, here are the non-contenders:

The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, Mickey’s Philharmagic, The Barnstormer, Dumbo, Mad Tea Party, Meet Cinderella and Rapunzel at Princess Fairytale Hall, Meet Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater, and Meet Tinker Bell at Town Square Theater.

dumbo

All of these attractions can be walked on to in less than 20 minutes, and most of them in less than 10 minutes unless it is a very busy day.  The Princess Fairytale Hall and Mickey meet & greets were nearly left off this list as they’re the only attractions that can rack up some wait times but, first of all, I don’t think utilizing a FastPass on a meet & greet is very valuable and the wait times never jump over other attractions that I haven’t listed yet.  That meet & greet might be an option to FastPass after you have completed your first three FastPasses.

Moving on, here’s a few more attractions that I probably wouldn’t FastPass:

it’s a small world, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Tomorrowland Speedway, Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, and the Main Street Electrical Parade.

These attractions are slightly more popular than those that I’ve listed above.  Still, I don’t think they are a great use of a FastPass as there are many still above them.  Journey of the Little Mermaid has queue that you definitely don’t want to miss, and wait times are never too bad there.  The other attractions here don’t have the most exciting queues but the wait times aren’t bad and they aren’t attractions that should take priority over something else.

FoF Peter Pan skull

The Main Street Electrical Parade is great but unless it’s the reason that you are going to Walt Disney World then it probably isn’t worth a FastPass.  If it is the reason you are going to Walt Disney World, you have a beautiful soul.

That leaves us with 15 attractions that are contending for 3 spots, it’s time to narrow that list down!

If you have read my previous FastPass+ guides then you know my philosophy behind using a FastPass on a show or parade.  I don’t think it’s worth it.  Now, if shows are your favorite part of the theme parks then I’d think about using a FastPass on one of them.  These FastPasses will get you an ideal viewing spot for fireworks or a parade.  If you were going to pick a show, I would choose Wishes for your FastPass as people are generally packed in like sardines there.  The same goes for the seasonal shows.

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is not worth a FastPass that you reserve 60 days in advance but is a great choice if you have completed your 3 attractions at the park and are looking for something else to FastPass.  The line isn’t usually long except during extremely busy times of the year.

Backside of MK Castle

Here is where the list gets hard.  If you are a family with a young girl then making a FastPass for Enchanted Tales With Belle or the Anna and Elsa Meet & Greet is a great choice.  Both attractions have long lines (although Anna and Elsa is slowly dropping in popularity) and are a fine use of a FastPass.  Of course, if it’s an adult trip then these probably aren’t as interesting to you.  If your family is able to stay up late, the Anna and Elsa M&G doesn’t have long lines once the fireworks are over.  With that in mind, I think Enchanted Tales With Belle is a more valuable FastPass.  Some would absolutely disagree.

The Haunted Mansion and Jungle Cruise come next on our checklist.  Both are wonderful attractions but don’t have the longest lines.  The Haunted Mansion takes in so many people at a time that the queue moves relatively fast.  Plus, there are many things to look at while waiting.  The Jungle Cruise isn’t as popular as the Mansion and doesn’t have crazy wait times (usually).  These two attractions follow my show philosophy, if they are your favorite parts of Walt Disney World then use a FastPass on them.  If not, just brave the line.

Pirates of the Caribbean is similar to the Haunted Mansion.  It loads quite a few people at a time.  The queue is awesome and indoors so you stay out of the heat.  Depending on the day, you may be able to score a day-of FastPass for this attraction.  So, I wouldn’t reserve this one.

That leaves the big five: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, Peter Pan’s Flight and Splash Mountain.  Eventually, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will be slightly less popular but it’s still got that new shine on it so the wait times are pretty high.  FastPass+ that one.  If it’s summer, FastPassing Splash Mountain is a no-brainer.  From November to March though, I’d skip FastPassing that and just wait it out in the line.  That leaves one spot for Big Thunder, Peter Pan’s Flight or Space Mountain in the summer months.  They all have interactive queues, which can make the time go faster if you are into that sort of thing.  Peter Pan’s Flight loads the slowest of all of them, which makes it the one that I would FastPasss.  Whichever one I didn’t FastPass (in this case Big Thunder and Space Mountain) is where I would head immediately as the park opened.

Dwarves

So, here are my rankings of the attractions that are worthy of the coveted FastPass consideration (Include the seasonal shows with the normal parade and fireworks):

13. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – It’s not worth reserving a FastPass+ 60 days out but could be worth a day-of FastPass.

12. Festival of Fantasy Parade – A wonderful parade but there are many good locations to see it without a FastPass.

11. Wishes – The same as the parade but with more crowds.  If you get claustrophobic, a FastPass might be a good choice (although I’m not positive how crowded the FastPass area is).

10. Anna & Elsa Meet & Greet – This shoots up the list if you or your child is Frozen-obsessed.

9. Pirates of the Caribbean – This loads fast and there’s a chance that there will be day-of FastPasses available after you’ve completed yours.

8. The Jungle Cruise – Usually the least crowded of the marquee attractions.  Being in line on the roof when the sun is out is not fun though.

7. Haunted Mansion – This loads incredibly fast and has a fun queue.  But, most of it’s outside so it can be quite hot.

6. Enchanted Tales With Belle – If you have children, get a FastPass.  If you don’t then it’s probably not worth it.

5. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – If you don’t FastPass this one then head straight for it at park opening.

4. Space Mountain – You can flip-flop this one and Big Thunder, it just depends on your preference.

3. Splash Mountain – A must, especially in the summer months.

2. Peter Pan’s Flight – A slow loading line for a must-do attraction puts this near the top.

1. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – For now, this is the most popular attraction in the Magic Kingdom.  I don’t think that will last much longer though.

Seven Dwarves Mine Train

Did you agree with my rankings?  If not, let me know in the comments.  I’d love to hear what other people think.  Also, if you have any questions please let me know in the comments.  I hope this was helpful!  Thank you for reading!

– Andrew

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4 thoughts on “FastPass+ Guide to Magic Kingdom

  1. Great article. I am planning my first WDW vacation for my wife and I in May. I grew up in SoCal and have been to Disneyland a lot, but this whole FastPass+ thing is difficult to figure out. Thanks for the tips!

    Like

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