Magic Kingdom FastPass+ Strategy 2019

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This post discusses our Magic Kingdom FastPass+ strategy, including what rides to FastPass+ at Magic Kingdom and how to spend as little time in line as possible at the park.

You should also read our Walt Disney World FastPass+ strategy for a full understanding of FastPass+. If you'd like to hear what we think of specific rides, check out our Magic Kingdom rides guide, where you can learn about the best rides at Magic Kingdom. And our Magic Kingdom one-day itinerary shows an example of this strategy at work.

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If you’re totally new to our website and just planning your trip, you might want to check out our Walt Disney World planning guide or our guide to Magic Kingdom. Finally, we always recommend reading our latest trip report to see how this strategy is holding up, or just to see it in action.

Important Message For Visits August 29 Through November 2

This post is impacted by changes, some temporary and some permanent, at Walt Disney World beginning August 29. People visiting between August 29 and November 2 are highly encouraged to click here to read our dedicated post especially for those dates.

THE BASICS OF Magic Kingdom FASTPASS+

Again, you'll want to check out the full Walt Disney World FastPass+ strategy post to make sure you really understand FastPass+, but we want to give those of you who are just looking for the basics a quick intro. Or click here to jump to the specifics for Magic Kingdom.

FastPass+ Allows You To “Skip The Lines” At Walt Disney World

With FastPass+, a person can book an hour window to come back to certain rides and skip the lines. Since waits for some rides can get to three or more hours (even six hours on New Year's Eve), FastPass+ is an important part of planning your day at Magic Kingdom.

We’ve started putting “skip the lines” in quotes because you’ll usually still have some wait with FastPass+, it’s just much shorter than the regular wait. A long wait with FastPass+ might be a 20 minute wait for a ride that has standby waits of 100+ minutes.

You Can Book FastPass+ 30 or 60 Days In Advance

Guests at Disney hotels can book FastPass+ for their entire stay 60 days in advance of the first day of their stay. If you're not staying at a Disney hotel, you can book FastPass+ 30 days in advance. You can make bookings on the My Disney Experience app or online via the Disney website.

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Advance Bookings Are Limited (And Go Fast)

When booking FastPass+ in advance, you can book three rides each day. Those three rides must be at the same park. Bookings often fill up 30 to 60 days in advance, though you'll see sporadic availability pop up even on the same day.

Does all this FastPass+ stuff have your mind running wild? Well, there is one tool we recommend for people who want help planning their days. Touring Plans offers a suite of tools, including a crowd calendar, wait time predictions, and customized day-by-day itineraries, all for the annual price of $14.95!

Tap / Grab / Modify Gets You The Most Out of FastPass+

Once you've used your three advance FastPass+ bookings, you can get new FastPass+ reservations throughout the day. You simply:

  1. Tap” your Mickey at the start of the line to use your last FastPass+

  2. Open the My Disney Experience app on your cell phone and “Grab” a FastPass+ for the next ride you want to ride

  3. Modify” that FastPass+ to the best time you can find

Tap / Grab / Modify will keep you out of lines all day long.

Magic Kingdom Has No Fastpass Tiers

FastPass+ in Magic Kingdom is arguably simpler than the other three parks because the rides are not tiered. While at the other three parks you have to pick only one Tier 1 ride and two Tier 2 rides, Magic Kingdom does not have tiers. You can use your three reservations however you'd like.

Disney is sort of laughing at us here, though, because Magic Kingdom doesn't need tiers due to every ride being so popular every day. Planning Magic Kingdom is probably the most stressful part of a Walt Disney World vacation.

Magic Kingdom Attractions That Use Fastpass+

There are TWENTY-FIVE attractions at Magic Kingdom that use Fastpass+. They are:

  1. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

  2. Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin

  3. Barnstormer

  4. Dumbo

  5. Enchanted Tales with Belle

  6. Haunted Mansion

  7. “it's a small world”

  8. Jungle Cruise

  9. Mad Tea Party

  10. Magic Carpets of Aladdin

  11. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

  12. Meet Ariel at Her Grotto

  13. Meet Cinderella and Elena at Princess Fairytale Hall

  14. Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater

  15. Meet Rapunzel and Tiana at Princess Fairytale Hall

  16. Meet Tinker Bell at Town Square Theater

  17. Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor

  18. Peter Pan's Flight

  19. Mickey's PhilharMagic

  20. Pirates of the Caribbean

  21. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

  22. Space Mountain

  23. Splash Mountain

  24. Tomorrowland Speedway

  25. Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid

Advance FastPass+ at Magic Kingdom

Okay, that list is a bit overwhelming. The first step is easy, though. Book a FastPass+ reservation for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It’s a fantastic ride and one of the most popular at Walt Disney World. It’s the hardest Magic Kingdom reservation to get.

There is a height requirement of 38”, though, and you should always mind Walt Disney World’s height requirements when booking FastPass+. Now you've got two slots and 24 rides.

Before we start discussing how to fill those two slots, it's important to direct you back to our overall FastPass+ strategy. The details of the strategy are more important in Magic Kingdom than any other park. You can see the other parks in a single day (outside peak season) with basic FastPass+ skills.

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Getting through any significant chunk of Magic Kingdom requires that you really know what you're doing and understand the ins and outs of FastPass+. If you haven't been to Walt Disney World in a while, you should probably not go to Magic Kingdom your first day. Go to another park and practice your FastPass+ skills. Seriously.

Let’s start with our ideal FastPass+ lineup.

The Ideal Magic Kingdom FastPass+ Lineup

We consider the idea Magic Kingdom FastPass+ lineup to be (in order of priority): Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, and Peter Pan’s Flight. There are a two major reasons we like this lineup.

First, these are three of the most popular rides and they pretty much always have some of the longest waits in the park. For that reason, when you don’t get a FastPass+ for them, our rope drop strategy usually recommends starting with them.

20 minutes into the day, Peter Pan at 35 minutes

20 minutes into the day, Peter Pan at 35 minutes

Second, this lineup allows you to start on the west side of the park in Frontierland and Adventureland. This area of the park is relatively slow to get going in the morning, so you have the chance to cover a wide range of great rides—Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean—with short waits.

We try and schedule our FastPass+ times for 11AM, 12PM, and 1PM. You can to leave a comfortable amount of time in the morning so you can take advantage of short waits, and you want to finish early in the afternoon so you can grab your fourth (and fifth, and sixth, and…) FastPass+ ASAP.

Building a “Not Ideal” FastPass+ Lineup

There are lots of reasons you might not wind up with that FastPass+ lineup—maybe you just can’t get them, maybe you prefer another ride, or maybe you just didn’t think that much when your first booked on FastPass+. Here are some tips to follow in building a FastPass+ lineup that doesn’t include those three rides.

Tip 1. Remember Rope Drop + FastPass = Winning

You simply cannot understand which FastPass+ selections at Magic Kingdom are good without understanding rope drop at Magic Kingdom. Rope drop is how you spend the earliest part of your day, right when the park opens.

The best day at Magic Kingdom combines a good rope drop strategy with a good FastPass+ strategy. Generally, if you don’t get a FastPass+ for one of the three we highlighted above, we’re going to tell you to start your day there.

Tip 2. Prioritize Space Mountain Over Peter Pan’s Flight

We recommend prioritizing those three FastPass+ in that order—Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, and Peter Pan’s Flight. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is easily the most popular ride and difficult to get a FastPass+ for.

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We prefer to have a Space Mountain FastPass+ over a Peter Pan’s Flight FastPass+ because we’d rather start our day at Peter Pan’s Flight and then go to Frontierland rather than starting all the way in Tomorrowland. If you wind up have to start with Space Mountain in Tomorrowland, you might consider a Tomorrowland rope drop.

Tip 3. Splash Mountain Is Usually The Best Alternative

Splash Mountain is a good backup FastPass+ if you can’t get one of the three we recommend. Because it’s a long ride, you usually won’t want to ride it in the morning. If we can’t get those ideal FastPass+, we try to get an early afternoon Splash Mountain so that we can catch it when the heat is highest.

Starting mid-November and through February, Splash probably isn’t worth a FastPass+. Cold temperature will keep demand for the ride under control. On those days, Tomorrowland Speedway is probably the best option.

Tip 4. If You Must Meet [Character], Use a FastPass+ Reservation

The characters with greetings on FastPass+ can get lengthy waits. While we almost never use a FastPass+ on a character, there’s no doubt that these greetings are so important for some families that they just can’t miss them, so go ahead and book that character greeting FastPass+.

Tip 5. Mind the "Rolling Rope Drop"

If you're staying at a hotel that gives you access to “Extra Magic Hours” in the morning, then at Magic Kingdom you need to know this involves a “rolling” start. That is, when Magic Kingdom’s morning Extra Magic Hours starts, a small selection of rides will open. Then, an hour later, when the park actually opens, the rest of the rides will open.

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This means you can rope drop two rides — one in Tomorrowland or Fantasyland at Extra Magic Hour rope drop and one in Frontierland, Adventureland, or Liberty Square when the rest of the park opens.

Same-Day FastPass+ at Magic Kingdom

Look, how much you want to be on your phone grabbing FastPass+ slots during the day is up to you. I spend a ton of time on mine during the middle of the day, and it pays off in terms of rides. You can see our one-day Magic Kingdom itinerary where we got through six rides in 90 minutes during the peak of the day. Or there’s the recent trip report with eight rides in three hours, with a break in there to watch the parade.

During this midday surge of tapping and grabbing FastPass+, we’re typically targeting: Barnstormer, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Dumbo, “it's a small world,” Mad Tea Party, Magic Carpets of Aladdin, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid.

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Obviously if you missed out on Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Tomorrowland Speedway, Jungle Cruise, or anything else in the morning, you can fit those into this time as well.

The major thing to remember with FastPass+ at Magic Kingdom is that it’s better to be riding something than nothing. If you have a full day at Magic Kingdom, you’ll always have time for a few rides at night, and you can hop in one last line before you leave. Really consider whether you need to sit in a 120-minute line a 2PM if instead you can find other rides available on FastPass+.

Holiday Parties

On dates when Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party are ongoing, FastPass+ distribution ends at 6PM. We don’t recommend changing your strategy for these days, as the parties are best spent enjoying exclusive treats and entertainment.

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Final Things to Know About Magic Kingdom Fastpass+

While we always recommend using Disney's official, free My Disney Experience app to snag Fastpass+ reservations, the physical kiosks are located at:

  • In Tomorrowland at Buzz Lightyear AND Stitch Character Encounter

  • In Fantasyland in the far back of the park at Pete's Silly Sideshow

  • In Fantasyland at Mickey's PhilharMagic

  • In Liberty Square at the Diamond Horseshoe

  • In Adventureland at Jungle Cruise

We suggest checking the Walt Disney World website to confirm kiosk locations in case they change before we update this post.

In many cases, Magic Kingdom probably merits two days of Fastpass+ selections, or at least one day of rope drop and one day of rope drop with FastPass+.

All Your Other Disney World Planning Questions Answered

Don't be overwhelmed by Disney World planning! Take a second to check out our most important content and you'll not only be an expert, but you'll save big $$$ along the way.

Just starting out? Check out our Walt Disney World planning guide! If you're still picking dates, we've got everything you need to know about Disney crowd calendars. For picking your hotel, check out our Walt Disney World hotels guide.

When it comes time to book, we've got you covered with posts on how to book cheap flights, how to get the best deal on your Disney hotel, and where to find discount Disney World tickets. And of course everyone wants to know whether or not they should get a Disney World dining plan!

Don't forget to master your Disney World FastPass+ strategy a few months in advance. We'll keep you out of long lines so you can maximize the magical time in the parks! We've got park-specific guides as well: Magic Kingdom FastPass, Epcot FastPass, Animal Kingdom FastPass, and Hollywood Studios FastPass.

Know what to ride with our guides to: Magic Kingdom rides, Hollywood Studios rides, Epcot rides, and Animal Kingdom rides! Plus learn about the water parks with our guide to Blizzard Beach and our guide to Typhoon Lagoon!

Finally, before you head out, be sure to check out our to-the-point packing list, 10 essentials you forget to pack for every Disney trip. And if you're interested in saving, there's no better list than our 53 Ways to Save on your Disney trip from start to finish.

Do you have any additional tips for Fastpass+ at Magic Kingdom?