Magic Kingdom FastPass+ Strategy 2018 - 2019

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This post discusses our Magic Kingdom FastPass+ strategy. 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. You should also complement this post with our Magic Kingdom Rope Drop strategy post.

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.

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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.

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.

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

How to Approach 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. 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+. There are plenty of FastPass+ mistakes that even experts make.  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.

Filling Your Remaining Two Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ Slots

More than the other parks, Magic Kingdom is a fun-for-all-ages experience. What you put in your other two slots really depends on what your family wants. Let's break it down with a few rules.

Rule 1. If You Must Meet Belle, Use a FastPass+ Reservation

Enchanted Tales with Belle is a fun attraction where you meet and interact with Belle (Beauty and the Beast). This isn't a typical meet and greet, and this means it takes much longer than a typical meet and greet. As a result, you really shouldn't plan to go there are rope drop (you sacrifice too much time). You can plan to get a day-of reservation, but we generally think those are better for some other rides.

Rule 2. If You Must Ride Peter Pan's Flight, Use a FastPass+ Reservation

We don't get it, but this ride is super popular and has long waits at every Disney castle park in the world. It's not even super easy to get day-of reservations for. For most people, we recommend this as your second FastPass+ reservation.

Rule 3. If You Don't Get a FastPass Reservation, Rope Drop Space Mountain

Mickey Mom recently featured a tip that we go with most days when rope dropping parks. It's the tip to "go left" to Adventureland while everyone else goes right to Tomorrowland. But we only take this tip when we have plans to get on Space Mountain some other time in the day!

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From Space Mountain, we prefer to head over to Frontierland, but those with small children may head through Fantasyland.

Rule 4. 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 EMH starts, a small selection of rides will open. Then, an hour later, when the park actually opens, the rest of the rides will open.

This means you can rope drop two rides - one at EMH rope drop and one when the rest of the park opens. As the Walt Disney World website currently reports, morning magic hours are confined to Tomorrowland and Fantasyland. That means you'll want to plan to head to one of the major rides in the other lands (Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, Pirates, Haunted Mansion or Jungle Cruise) once the park fully opens.

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Rule 5. Thrill Seekers Should Prioritize The Mountains

Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and Space Mountain are all tough FastPass reservations to grab. We prefer to cover Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at rope drop, but you can swap one of these for Space Mountain.

Rule 6. Character Seekers Should Prioritize Mickey

The Mickey Mouse meet and greet is tough to grab and has consistently long lines throughout the day. 

Rule 7. Plan to Grab These Four Rides The Day-Of

Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Haunted Mansion are popular rides that usually have day-of availability or lines that are shorter than rides we previously mentioned. Overall, it's just hard to justify advance planning these rides.

Rule 8. Pair Your Fastpass+ Reservations With Nearby Lines

You can often "tap and grab" Fastpass reservations to many Magic Kingdom rides while in the park, but it doesn't always work out. If you're struggling, then grab what you can and wait in line at a nearby attraction. For example, at 1PM, grab a 2:30PM for Splash Mountain and then wait in line for Big Thunder Mountain (for, say, about an hour). It's not ideal, but it will help you see everything in a systematic fashion.

Rule 9. Put Your Walking Shoes On

Look, if you're turning down a Fastpass for Pirates just because you're in Tomorrowland, you're going to run into problems. Not everyone is so fortunate as to be able to hustle across the parks, we understand that. But if you are, then you need to take advantage. 

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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 Stich's Great Escape

  • 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+. If you're staying at a Disney resort (or other select resorts), Extra Magic Hours is a great way to get Magic Kingdom attractions in while still making rope drop (or close to it) at another park. Because it packs such a punch, the keys to Fastpass+ at Magic Kingdom are really flexibility and keeping your fingers moving (on the My Disney Experience app) and feet moving (in the park).

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. 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.

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!

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?