Are you planning to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom during 2020? The Animal Kingdom is a busy park, and since the opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar, it is getting busier. You must have an Animal Kingdom FastPass Strategy to get most from your visit. Our Animal Kingdom FastPass Hacks will provide you with tips and tricks to have a great vacation.
The Basics of FastPass+
Before visiting the Animal Kingdom, it is essential you understand the basics of FastPass+. FastPass+ is Disney’s attraction reservation system and allows you to book attractions in advance of your visit. Your reservation will enable you to join a much shorter line so you can experience the ride quicker. If you don’t use FastPass+, you will spend a more extended period in standby lines and experience fewer attractions.
To use FastPass+ you must have valid park tickets either purchased or booked as part of a Walt Disney World Resort reservation.
Guests who are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort(including select onsite none-Disney Resorts) can book 60 days in advance plus the number of days of their stay. Ticket holders staying elsewhere have a much shorter 30-day reservation window.
You can book your FastPass Reservations on the Disney Website or by downloading the My Disney Experience App. You must plan to book FastPass reservations as soon as they become available.
You can make 3 FastPass reservations before you arrive in the park. Once these reservations are used, you can book an extra pass. You can make extra FastPass reservations as soon as you join your 3rd attraction line. You can continue booking one additional selection after each attraction until the end of the day or until no more FastPass slots are available.
You can learn more in Our Guide to Fastpass+.
Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Basics
The Animal Kingdom does not allow an equal booking to all FastPass attractions. You can only pre-book one Tier 1 FastPass for either Navi River Journey or Flight of Passage. Due to the popularity of these attractions do not expect to get an extra FastPass later in the day.
All other attractions are in Tier 2, and you can book up to 2 attractions. Guests who fail to book a Tier 1 FastPass can make 3 reservations at Tier 2.
Are you big enough to ride?
Don’t create a strategy that includes all family members riding to realize too late not all of you can. Many of the Walt Disney World attractions do carry restrictions. At the Animal Kingdom these are:
- Avatar Flight of Passage at least 44 inches tall to ride
- Dinosaur at least 40 inches tall to ride
- Expedition Everest at least 44 inches tall to ride
- Kali River Rapids at least 38 inches tall to ride
- Primeval Whirl at least 48 inches tall to ride
Also, many small children do find It’s Tough To Be a Bug petrifying & Dinosaur many guests will find a little scary even if big enough to ride.
When children are not big enough to ride at the Animal Kingdom it does not mean other party members can’t. Rider Switch, also sometimes known as child swap, allows guests with small children to take turns riding while another adult stays with the child. You can learn more in our Guide to Rider Switch.
Are you visiting the Animal Kingdom for 1 or 2 days?
The Animal Kingdom is no longer a 1-day park. Although you will still have a great time, it will be challenging to complete all the attractions in just 1 day.
If you are visiting just for 1 day, your priority should be to get a Flight of Passage reservation before you arrive. If you fail to get Flight of Passage, book Na’vi River Journey.
If you are visiting on 2 days, plan to book a Fastpass for either Flight of Passage or Na’vi River Journey on each day.
Why Flight of Passage?
Flight of Passage is currently one of the top attractions at Walt Disney World. It attracts massive multi-hour waits and it is worth the hype. Flight of Passage is a superb attraction.
Attempt to book a FastPass for Flight of Passage as soon as your reservation window opens. If you can’t get one, keep checking as sometimes they do become available.
If you are with a big party break your group up, it usually is easier to get FastPass reservations for 1 or 2 guests.
I’m only visiting for 1 day what should I do?
If you are only visiting for 1 day and have a Flight of Passage FastPass join Na’vi River Journey line on rope drop.
If you do not manage to get either FastPass, join the Flight of Passage line on park opening but be ready to wait.
Alternatively, lines do go quieter during Rivers of Light. Join the line about half an hour before Rivers of Light starts. I’m not a great fan of Rivers of Light, and I would happily sacrifice it if I could not get a FastPass.
If you are not staying at a Disney Resort, do not go to the park on Early Magic Hours days. The lines will already be massive
Also, check the park opening times in advance of your visit. The Animal Kingdom can close early if there is a special event
What other FastPass choices should I make at the Animal Kingdom?
You can book another 2 FastPass selections each day, assuming you have secured a FastPass for an attraction in Pandora. For 1 day visitors, I would suggest these should usually be Kilimanjaro Safaris & Kali River Rapids.
Guests staying for 2 days should add Dinosaur & The Adventurers Outpost if you want to meet
We are reluctant to suggest either Expedition Everest or Rivers of Light for reasons highlighted below.
Why not Expedition Everest in your Animal Kingdom FastPass Strategy?
Expedition Everest attracts some very serious waits. However, for most guests, we think it is a very poor use of FastPass. Instead, we recommend you use the Single Rider Line.
Riders simply join the Single Rider Line and when a gap becomes available a cast member will fill it with a single rider. However, you will not be seated with your friends and family.
If your family does want to ride together, we would suggest replacing one of our recommended
Rivers of Light
I don’t make any secret on Modern Life is Good that I don’t rate Rivers of Light that highly. In my opinion, there are much better nighttime shows in the other Disney World parks. Even the recent upgrade has not excited me that much.
However, many guests do enjoy the show, but I do think it a poor use of FastPass. The main problem with using Rivers of Light as a FastPass selection is that the show is towards the end of the park opening hours. This prevents opportunities to book extra FastPass selections once your initial 3 are complete.
When we book FastPass reservations, we aim to finish our first FastPass selections by early afternoon so we can reserve more attractions.
Do you have any further tips to create an even better Animal Kingdom FastPass Strategy? Do you have any Animal Kingdom FastPass Hacks you want to share? Do you think we have made any mistakes? Leave a comment below so we can add to a future edition of this post.
Read More Walt Disney World Planning Tips
Our Guide to Walt Disney World is a perfect place to start planning your Disney World Vacation.