The best FastPass and ride strategy for Animal Kingdom

Managing your FastPass selections is one of the most important parts of planning a Disney World vacation. The ability to skip lengthy waits for the most popular attractions is a power that should be used strategically. Animal Kingdom is a particularly unique park as it requires you to plan your FastPass selections based on tiers that separate the rides, though it’s much easier than if you were planning your FastPass selections for an Epcot trip.

Here’s a solid strategy on how you can optimize your selections to hit the most popular attractions.

Other theme park FastPass guides:

Complete Disney World Vacation Guide

Hollywood Studios FastPass guide

Epcot FastPass guide

Magic Kingdom FastPass guide

On to your Animal Kingdom selections.

Book FastPass selections ASAP

The most obvious tip is to book your FastPass selections as soon as you can. It’s amazing how many trips are booked where guests wait too long and are then surprised a FastPass for a popular ride is no longer available.

It’s all about Flight of Passage

Flight of Passage within the land of Pandora is one of the most popular rides in all of Disney World. It’s a thrilling ride that takes the best aspects of Soarin’ and cranks it up to 11.

Make this your top priority when booking a FastPass. You’ll see Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey as Tier 1 selections. Unless your group doesn’t meet the height requirement (44 inches), or unless your group really wants to see a dark ride, avoid Na’vi River Journey. While the Na’vi River Journey is a beautiful ride, it doesn’t make much sense to use a FastPass on it unless you’ve exhausted your time on Flight of Passage.

We like to hunt for a Flight of Passage FastPass and then plan the rest of our trip around whatever availability there is. Read about securing a FastPass for Flight of Passage in more detail.

Two tips for Kilimanjaro Safaris

Kilimanjaro Safaris is one of the best attractions at Animal Kingdom and falls into the must-do category. Don’t miss this spectacular journey through the African savanna. Early morning rides and rides around dusk are the best for animal activity.

Tip 1: Enter Animal Kingdom at opening and head straight for Kilimanjaro Safaris, saving a FastPass for a different attraction. Going on the safari in the morning will not only cut down on any waits, but it’s also the best time to see animals out and about.

Tip 2: Use a FastPass if you don’t think you’ll make it to Kilimanjaro Safaris at park opening. It’s a great experience you won’t want to miss and it often attracts some fairly long waits.

Consider a FastPass for Expedition Everest, unless you’re solo

Expedition Everest is one of those must-do attractions for roller coaster fans. It’s well worth a FastPass, unless your group is comfortable splitting up. With a single-rider line greatly reducing waits, you may be able to save a FastPass for a different attraction by riding solo.

DINOSAUR & Na’vi River Journey

Let’s say you were unable to secure a FastPass for Flight of Passage, Expedition Everest or Kilimanjaro Safaris. What should you look for next? We recommend either Na’vi River Journey or DINOSAUR.

Na’vi River Journey is still attracting long lines, which we feel aren’t worth waiting in for a ride that doesn’t quite live up to expectation. It’s a fun ride, but waits over 20 or 30 minutes seem a bit too long. A FastPass here, assuming other options weren’t available, is a wise choice.

DINOSAUR is another fun and thrilling ride, but waits are usually manageable (compared to other attractions) and FastPass openings are often available on the same day of your trip. We’ve been able to grab them during busy park days within an hour of when we were hoping to ride.

Don’t use a FastPass on these attractions

There are several places within Animal Kingdom where a FastPass would be a bit wasteful. That being said, by all means use one after you’ve gone through the top attractions if they’re available.

Festival of the Lion King – Multiple show times and a large theater make it easy to secure a seat without a FastPass.

It’s Tough to be a Bug! – Wait times are very manageable and your FastPass would be better off elsewhere.

Kali River Rapids – In all honesty, we skip this ride. There’s nothing fun about walking around Animal Kingdom, a park with loads of walking, in wet shoes and clothes.

Primeval Whirl – Use a FastPass here after you’ve used your primary three FastPass selections. It’s a fairly standard ride and other Animal Kingdom attractions should take priority.

Finding Nemo – The Musical – Like Festival of the Lion King, you’ll have no issue finding a seat for this show. Festival of the Lion King is far more popular, but both shows have enough times and room for everyone.

Animal Kingdom FastPass Priority List

  1. Flight of Passage
  2. Expedition Everest
  3. Kilimanjaro Safaris
  4. Na’vi River Journey
  6. Everything else

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David is a Disney travel expert who created Notes from Neverland in 2018 after visiting Disney theme parks countless times. Previously, David spent way too much time writing about sports, and was featured in Sports Illustrated, MSN, Yahoo!, and in many other publications. Learn more or contact us.

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