Amazing FastPass Strategies for Magic Kingdom
Ah, the FastPass. It’s the invention that improved the lives of all Mickey Travelers. With one of these in hand, you can skip the longer line at a Disney theme park attraction and enter a much shorter one. In the case of some rides, a FastPass can cut an hour or more off your wait-time. The FastPass is your most important tool when you visit Walt Disney World. Let’s go over some FastPass strategies for Magic Kingdom.
Know Which Rides Have the Longest Lines
The first thing that you need to understand about FastPasses is that you don’t want to waste them. You only start with a maximum of three during a Magic Kingdom visit. Each one has tremendous value, as it enables you to reduce your wait-time for a ride. What you must keep in mind is that a FastPass for a ride is pointless when that attraction doesn’t have a long line anyway.
You should research average waits for all the major Magic Kingdom attractions. TouringPlans is the gold standard for these calculations. They’ll be the source for much of the information on FastPass strategies in this piece.
The TL:DR news about rides is that you shouldn’t waste FastPasses on The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, the Barnstormer, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, Mickey’s PhilHarmagic, Mad Tea Party, Pirates of the Caribbean, or Dumbo the Flying Elephant. The only caveat is that one of these attractions might be a favorite. If so, ignore this advice. As always, individual tastes matter the most.
The overriding point is that you can ride any of these quickly just by standing in the regular line. Based on exhaustive TouringPlans data, the average wait for each of these attractions is 30 minutes or less. You should target the longest lines for your first three FastPasses.
Take All the FastPasses You Can Get
The above is the rule. Let me now explain the exception. Once you use your initial batch of FastPasses (or time expires on the last one), you can get more. You simply need to pull out your smartphone and pull up the My Disney Experience app (MDE). The system empowers you with the ability to add another FastPass once you’ve used your allotted amount. It’s also limitless in theory. There’s nothing stopping you from getting 50 FastPasses in a day. Experienced FastPass users can churn through 20 attractions during a single daily visit.
The core concept of FastPass churn isn’t complex. Disney constantly adjusts FastPass availability for various rides. You don’t need to know about the underlying tech, only how it helps you. ANY time that you look at MDE, you have a chance of grabbing a valued FastPass. At a minimum, you should reasonably expect to find a good ride that has a FastPass available within the next 90 minutes.
In a perfect world, you’d see one of the best options like Peter Pan’s Flight or Space Mountain. The catch is that you can’t find any of these FastPasses unless you monitor MDE. So, don’t be too discriminating with your options. Take anything that you can get, knowing that you can always get more FastPasses!
Check My Disney Experience for New FastPass Opportunities
You should think of the FastPass system as working in two phases. The first phase is the time leading up to your vacation. When you are 60 days away from check-in, you can book your FastPasses. Those three attractions should be ones that have the longest lines.
The second phase is once you’re in the park. Now, your situation becomes fluid. A FastPass for Mickey’s PhilHarmagic in 30 minutes makes a lot of sense when you’re standing in line for Peter Pan’s Flight. The buildings are virtually side by side.
Once you understand how the FastPass system works, you can churn your way through a lot of FastPasses. In the process, you’ll ride many more rides than without FastPass. That’s actually the purpose of the system from The Walt Disney Company’s perspective. They want to maximize customer satisfaction during your vacation. The best possible way to achieve that goal is by helping your ride plenty of amazing attractions.
While you’re at Magic Kingdom, your phone is your best friend. Whenever you’re standing in line and not doing anything else, use MDE to scan for FastPasses. Most of the time, you’ll see options for less crowded attractions. You’ll see a fair share of rides with moderate waits, too.
During the secondary phase of FastPass usage, attractions like Disney’s Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Splash Mountain are wonderful options. You’ll want to ride each one anyway. Why should you wait in line longer than needed? By constantly scouting for FastPasses, you can do a lot more during a single day’s visit.
Pick FastPasses in the Same Themed Land
One of the worst mistakes that rookies make at Magic Kingdom is circling back too much. Due to the size of the park (107 acres) and some of the awkward paths to certain themed lands (Adventureland!), you could crisscross that land repeatedly. Here’s a suggestion to avoid this fate.
Prioritize FastPasses in your general vicinity. Look for ones in your current themed land or the one closest to it. You can oftentimes find a FastPass within the hour for a less heralded attraction. Since ALL Magic Kingdom rides are great, you’ll have plenty of fun and virtually no wait in line. Getting a FastPass for a ride with an already-minimal wait-time gives you a chance to be through the line and off the ride in 15 minutes or less! A few FastPasses like this really livens up your park experience and enrichens your day!
There’s a corollary to this concept. When you’re almost done with a particular themed land, look for FastPasses in an entirely different part of the park. Target a FastPass window that’s an hour or so from your current time. Then, take a casual stroll through the hub of the park, the Cinderella Castle area, or grab a bite to eat. When done properly, you will divide your walking into two segments, saving your feet a bit of stress. Hey, every bit counts!
With some clever FastPass strategies and tactics, you will finish your day at Magic Kingdom feeling triumphant. You’ll have the sensation that you’ve conquered the park and done so much more than you (or Disney) had anticipated. You win Walt Disney World for the day!
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