The best FastPass and ride strategy for the Magic Kingdom at Disney World

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.

While the Magic Kingdom doesn’t have tiers for its FastPass options like other Disney theme parks, it’s still important to go in with a strategy due to the volume of attractions available.

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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.

Book as soon as your FastPass window opens.

What Rides Need a FastPass?

These are the most common rides that guests use a FastPass on at Magic Kingdom, per TouringPlans:

Peter Pan’s Flight
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Splash Mountain
Enchanted Tales with Belle
Pirates of the Caribbean
Jungle Cruise
Space Mountain
The Haunted Mansion
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

If the rides you want to visit are on this list, consider trying to book a FastPass for them early. You may be able to experience them by waiting in the Standby line, but plan on at least 20-minute waits (and in some cases much, much longer) depending on the crowd level.

What are the hardest FastPass selections to get?

Due to the size of the Magic Kingdom and the number of options available to guests, only a couple attractions are extremely difficult to get a FastPass for during an average trip.

Peter Pan’s Magical Flight
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Beyond these two, most other attractions should have a FastPass available during your trip if you check early enough.

Pick Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

One of the most popular rides in Disney World, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, has some of the highest waits in the Magic Kingdom. This coaster is family-friendly and a great way to introduce younger guests to their first coaster.

If you’re interested in riding, make sure you use a FastPass here. Without one, you’ll be facing a wait that’s usually over an hour long.

Note that Seven Dwarfs Mine Trains is a relatively short experience, but a fun one.

What about Peter Pan’s Magical Flight?

Due to its low capacity, Peter Pan’s Magical Flight is difficult to get a FastPass for and often has a very long wait.

This dark ride is a slow moving trip through the story of Peter Pan. If that doesn’t sound interesting to you, we’d suggest skipping this attraction if your time is limited.

If this is a must-see ride for your group, consider heading straight for this ride when the park opens to avoid a lengthy line. Or, consider using a FastPass on this attraction if you have a second day planned at the Magic Kingdom.

Ride the Mountains

Some of the Magic Kingdom’s most memorable experiences are its mountains – Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Space Mountain is usually the most popular of the trio, so consider a FastPass here if it interests your group.

Wait times for Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain vary considerably depending on the weather. You should be able to find a FastPass for either ride, so consider using your final FastPass here.

What about Characters?

If characters are a must-do item, you’ll probably want to use one of your FastPass reservations to see them. Waits for characters tend to range between 20 minutes to over an hour, depending on who the character is and what time of year your trip is.

Note that you can only see Belle during Enchanted Tales with Belle. This is not a traditional meet-and-greet, so be prepared that it’s more of a show and you may not have a personal encounter.

Fourth, Fifth and More FastPass Selections

After you’ve used your three FastPass reservations, did you know you can use the app to book an additional FastPass? And after you’ve used that fourth selection that you can book another? And so on? You can!

The most popular rides probably won’t have any availability, but you will be able to find same-day reservations for other rides around the Magic Kingdom. We like to tack on the Mad Tea Party and others with these “bonus” FastPass picks.

Parade and Fireworks

The Festival of Fantasy Parade and the Happily Ever After Fireworks Show are must-see events, particularly if this is your first trip to Disney World.

However, due to the popularity of these two events, wait times drop drastically around the Magic Kingdom.

Start Early and/or Stay Late

The Magic Kingdom is the best in the first hour its open and the final couple hours its open. This is when you’ll find the lowest waits and the smallest crowds.

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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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