10 Life Changing Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ Tips

Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ can be difficult to navigate. There are tiers and rules and, frankly, not a ton of Fastpass+ options that suit an entire family’s interest.

This post is dedicated to helping you plan and execute the perfect Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ strategy, so you can make the most out of your day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Animal Kingdom is the youngest Walt Disney World park and is often overlooked by guests and not given the attention it rightfully deserves. It is a gorgeous park that you should dedicate an entire day to.

It can be difficult to figure out which Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ options are worth it and which ones aren’t.

Hopefully these 10 tips will help you figure out exactly what Fastpass+ options you want to select at Animal Kingdom.

Selecting the right Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ options will either make or break your day, so you really need to know what you’re doing.

The good news is that you’ll be an Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ expert by the time you’re done reading this post!

P.S.- if you’re looking for more information on all things Disney World (especially Fastpass+ information), be sure to check out my other posts to help you plan the most magical Disney trip possible:

Animal Kingdom Tree of Life

1. Get a Fastpass+ for Kilimanjaro Safaris

I always recommend you get a Fastpass+ for Kilimanjaro Safaris.

It should be a no brainer!

There are 3 main reasons I recommend everybody get an Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ for Kilimanjaro Safaris:

  • It always have a really long long
  • The queue area can get uncomfortably hot
  • The animals decide how quickly the line moves

The Line is Always Quite Long

It is rare to see a wait time of less than 45 to 60 minutes for Kilimanjaro Safaris.

Kilimanjaro Safaris is one of the most popular attractions in the entire park, and I would argue it is the most popular attraction behind the Pandora ones.

It is also great for families with small children because there is no height limit. I’ve been in the same car as babies, so literally anybody can ride Kilimanjaro Safaris.

Which is a great thing, but it also means that it is an extremely popular Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ option, often runs out of Fastpass+ availability relatively quickly, and the stand-by line is super long as a result.

If you loath standing in lines like I do, you need to get a Fastpass+ for Kilimanjaro Safaris. It will save you a lot of time in line.

The Queue Area Can Get Super Hot

The queue for Kilimanjaro Safaris is 100% outdoors.

It has a room but no walls, and there are fans on the ceiling throughout to help cool you down a little bit.

Even with the fans, I often find the line uncomfortably hot and unbearable. This is especially true if you’re in the queue in the heat of the day.

The Fastpass+ line is the same, but it is significantly shorter and moves quickly.

I often find that I move through the Kilimanjaro Safaris Fastpass+ line so quick that I don’t have time to start getting uncomfortable from the heat.

I love Disney World, but as a lady from Northern Canada, I’m always disgustingly sweaty and try to limit the amount of time I’m standing around in an outdoor line.

The Animals Determine the Wait Time

This may be an odd concept, but it is 100% true.

The behaviour of the animals can increase your wait time, and increase it significantly.

If an animal decides it wants to stand in the middle of the road, then all the safari trucks have to wait until the animal moves off the road.

This essentially stops the entire attraction until the animal feels like moving and finds another place to hang out.

There have been many cases where a safari truck I was in was stopped waiting for an animal to move.

In many cases, it doesn’t take more than 5 or so minutes, but there are still times where it takes a long time for an animal to move.

The longest time I’ve personally been stopped in a safari truck was for about 25 minutes when a wildebeest decided to take a nap in the middle of the road.

It took an animal trainer bribing the wildebeest with food to make it finally move.

I cannot imagine how long we would have been stopped if the cast members had allowed the wildebeest to move at its own free will rather than encouraging it to move off the road.

And this can happen multiple times a day every day, and you could be stuck in a long, hot line just waiting to get on a safari truck.

In addition to both the stand-by line and Fastpass+ line having to wait for the animal to move before the attraction starts up again, people in the Fastpass+ line are given priority and are the first to get on a truck.

If you’re in the stand-by line, you’ll have to wait even longer to get on a truck because they need to speed up the Fastpass+ line and get those people on a truck quicker than people in the stand-by line.

Kilimanjaro Safaris Animal Kingdom

The Bottom Line

There are so many pros to getting an Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ for Kilimanjaro Safaris. It ultimately saves you time, heat exhaustion, and gets you on a truck quicker if an animal interrupts the regular flow of the attraction.

There really is no downside to prioritizing Kilimanjaro Safaris and getting a Fastpass+ for it.

2. Know What Days Have Extra Magic Hours in the Morning (& Avoid if You’re Not Staying on Disney Property)

Extra Magic Hours are a nice benefit Disney gives to guests staying on Disney property (or with a select few partner hotels in the area).

Hotel guests are able to be in the park without the general public. Extra Magic Hours take place either 1 hour before the park opens or 2 hours after the park closes.

Extra Magic Hours are spread out across the 4 Disney World parks, and not every park has Extra Magic Hours on any given day.

You’ll be given a schedule of Extra Magic Hours when your check into your Disney hotel. They’re also displayed on the home page of your room television when you turn your tv on.

You can also view the Extra Magic Hours scheduled here if you want to plan your Fastpass+ selections around which park has Extra Magic Hours on any given day.

Advice for Guests with Access to Extra Magic Hours

It is 100% in your best interest to go to Extra Magic Hours at Animal Kingdom. They’re only offered in the morning at Animal Kingdom, but they are worth waking up early for!

This is especially true if you weren’t able to get a Fastpass+ for Flight of Passage.

The line for both Pandora rides will be the shortest during Extra Magic Hours, and the wait time will only increase from there.

The line for Flight of Passage looks intimidatingly long during Extra Magic Hours. They don’t have the entire queue open, so the line normally stretches all the way to Africa.

The wait is normally less than 20 minutes. even though the line is so long.

If you were lucky enough to get an Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ for Flight of Passage, Extra Magic Hours is still worth attending.

Most people will be in Pandora, so you basically have the rest of the park to yourself.

A typical Extra Magic Hours morning where I have a Fastpass+ for Flight of Passage looks like this for me:

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Expedition Everest at least 3 to 5 times
  • Dinosaur 1 to 2 times

You get a lot of bang for your buck during Animal Kingdom Extra Magic Hours!

Whether you have an Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ for Flight of Passage or not, Extra Magic Hours is well worth it. You get so much done it is unbelievable.

You could basically knock out the entire park (excluding Pandora) during Extra Magic Hours.

If you were lucky enough to get a Flight of Passage Fastpass+ in the morning, you could do everything else in Animal Kingdom during Extra Magic Hours, go on Flight of Passage, and then hop to another park for the rest of the day.

Pandora Animal Kingdom

Advice for Guest Without Access to Extra Magic Hours

You should try to avoid Animal Kingdom at all costs on days with Extra Magic Hours!

The park will be filled with hotel guests, and the waits are often longer than on an average day.

Most hotel guests end up staying at Animal Kingdom the entire day after Extra Magic Hours, so it is normally quite crowded.

In addition to the park being crowded, you’ll also have a more difficult time getting the Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ selections you want.

The hotel guests will have snatched up the most popular Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ options, and you won’t have much to choose from when it is your turn to make your Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ selections.

It is a lose-lose scenario for guests who don’t have access to Extra Magic Hours.

I suggest going to Animal Kingdom the day after Extra Magic Hours.

This is likely the day the park will be least busy since so many people were there the day before.

3. The Shows are a Bit Overrated

When you’re researching Animal Kingdom and what Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ options you should prioritize, a lot of people tell you that the shows are incredible and you’re missing out if you don’t see them.

You’re also told that you need to get a Fastpass+ for them in order to see them.

I disagree with that line of thought.

The shows are good, but they’re not life changing.

If you have a choice between a show and another attraction you really want to get a Fastpass+ for, you should probably get the Fastpass+ for the other attraction over the show.

I think The Lion King show is the best choice if you want to get a Fastpass+ for a show.

It is the most popular, and you have to get in the stand-by line at least 20 minutes before the show starts to ensure you get a seat.

The Finding Nemo show, on the other hand, isn’t worth getting a Fastpass+ for. The theatre is only full during peak times (like mid-Summer and the holiday season). The rest of the time you can walk up 5 minutes before the show starts and get a seat.

As a side note, most people say The Lion King show is the best show at Disney World, but I actually like Finding Nemo better.

Whether you decide to use one of your Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ selections on a show is totally up to you.

You should do what works best for you and your interest.

Just know that you’re not missing out on a superb experience just because you choose not to get a Fastpass+ for a show.

Lion King Show Animal Kingdom

4. Mickey and Minnie are a Good Use of an Animal Kingdom Fastpass+

There are a lot of fun characters to meet at Animal Kingdom, but Mickey and Minnie are the only characters that offer a Fastpass+ option.

I think meeting Mickey and Minnie is a great use of one of your Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ options. They always have a really long line- like 45 to 60 minutes long. Mickey and Minnie are also wearing the most adorable costumes. I think their outfits at Animal Kingdom are the absolute best and cutest out of any of the Disney World parks.

I highly recommend everybody meets Mickey and Minnie at Animal Kingdom at least once in their lifetime.

Getting an Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ to meet them is the most time efficient way possible. You’ll be in and out in no time.

5. Take Advantage of Rope Drop

Rope drop is what Disney nerds call the moment the park opens. Essentially, doing park drop at a park means you get to the park at least 30 minutes before it opens and are one of the first people in the park.

Rope drop is the perfect time of day to get to Animal Kingdom.

It allows you to get to the most popular attractions and visit them before the lines get outrageously long. I’m looking at you Pandora!

You save so much time at rope drop. You get all the benefits as Extra Magic Hours, but anybody can participate in rope drop unlike Extra Magic Hours.

The biggest mistake you can make when planning Animal Kingdom rope drop is not looking at the calendar. You do not want to plan to be at Animal Kingdom for rope drop on a day with Extra Magic Hours.

The completely defeats the purpose of being at the park for rope drop.

But as long as you plan it properly and avoid days with Extra Magic Hours, you’ll get the amazing benefits of rope drop.

I don’t always recommend rope drop, but for Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, I think it is the best strategy to get the most out of your day at the park.

Mickey and Minnie Animal Kingdom

6. Know the Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ Tiers

Anybody who is researching the Walt Disney World Fastpass+ system has heard of the tier system.

The tier system was put in place to limit the number of Fastpass+ reservations a person could make for the most popular attractions. Every park except for Magic Kingdom has a Fastpass+ tier system.

The Fastpass+ tier system can get a little bit difficult to understand at times, but the Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ tier system is incredibly easy to understand.

You get one Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ option for a ride in Pandora and two Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ options to use for any other attraction that offers Fastpass+ in the park.

Essentially, you have to choose whether you want to ride Flight of Passage or Navi River Journey. Then you choose two additional non-Pandora Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ options.

I love how easy the Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ tier system is!

My Recommended Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ Selections

I pretty much book the same Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ selections every time I visit the park.

I’m a creature of habit and like what I like. But I think I also have a pretty good Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ strategy that allows me to get the most out of my day without waiting in many lines.

My Ideal Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ Selections

  • Flight of Passage
  • Kilimanjaro Safari
  • Meet Mickey and Minnie
Expedition Everest Animal Kingdom

If I’m able to get the Fastpass+ options I wants, I go to the park for Extra Magic Hours and ride Everest and Dinosaur a number of times. Sometimes I’ll even ride Navi River Journey if I’m in the mood.

If I’m not able to get my ideal Fastpass+ options and get a Fastpass+ for Navi River Journey rather than Flight of Passage, I make sure to be at the park a few minutes earlier, so I can have as short of a wait to ride Flight of Passage as possible.

I find that if I’m able to get on Flight of Passage within 20 minutes of the park opening, I can still ride Everest a time or two before it starts getting to be a 10 minute wait.

7. Take Advantage of the Walking Trails Between Your Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ Return Windows

The walking paths are one of the most underrated parts of Animal Kingdom.

They’re the perfect place to kill some time before your Expedition Everest or Kilimanjaro Safari Fastpass+, but so few people take advantage of them.

It isn’t that they are quiet, but they could certainly be busier.

There are 3 trails in Animal Kingdom you can explore:

  • Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail (the busiest)
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek (my personal favourite)
  • Discovery Island Trails (the least busy)

All 3 trails give you the chance to get up close and personal with some of the wildlife.

You get to see gorillas, tigers, bats, zebras, and so much more!

They don’t take more than 10 or 15 minutes to walk through, so they’re perfect if you get to an attraction before your Fastpass+ return window opens.

You can wander through the trails and see some animals. It is a much more enjoyable way to kill the remaining time before your Fastpass+ than standing around near the entrance to whatever attraction you’re riding next.

Jungle Trek Animal Kingdom

8. Get a Bonus Animal Kingdom Fastpass+

I always recommend that you try to get a bonus 4th Fastpass+ no matter what Disney World park you’re visiting.

You’re allowed to make 3 Fastpass+ reservations per day (they all have to be in the same park) in advance. You can make your Fastpass+ selections 60 days before your arrival if you’re staying on Disney property and 30 days in advance if you’re staying off-property.

A lesser known secret is that you can continue to book Fastpass+ selections after you have used your original 3 Fastpass+ selections.

You can only make one additional Fastpass+ at a time, but you can book as many bonus Fastpass+ as possible as long as they are available.

In order to get the most out of this strategy, you should try to book your original 3 Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ options as early in the day as possible.

This is easier said than done because you’re at the mercy of Pandora and whenever you can get a Fastpass+ for Flight of Passage or Navi River Journey.

Nevertheless, you should try to book your original Fastpass+ options as early in the day as possible.

Once you’ve used those 3 Fastpass+ options, jump on the My Disney Experience app as quickly as you can and book a bonus Fastpass+ for whatever you want.

Getting a bonus 4th Fastpass+ is easiest in Magic Kingdom where there are far more attractions to choose from. It is much more difficult at a smaller park like Animal Kingdom.

You most likely won’t be able to get a bonus Fastpass+ for the most popular attractions, but it is worth a try.

You’re most likely to get a bonus Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ for Finding Nemo the Musical or Dinosaur. But those are still great options!

You may even get super lucky and snag a last-minute Fastpass+ for Kilimanjaro Safari or Flight of Passage.

A Note About Online Safety

When you’re booking your bonus Animal Kingdom Fastpass+, you’re likely going to be using the complimentary wifi provided by Disney.

I love that Disney provides complimentary wifi! It makes it extremely easy to check wait times, book your bonus Fastpass+, and post all the fun you’re having on social media.

But using public wifi puts you at risk of having your data stolen and possibly sold.

You need to protect yourself from prying eyes when you’re using public wifi (like Disney’s wifi), and that is where a virtual private network (VPN) comes in!

A VPN protects you and your data by putting up an invisible forcefield around your devices that keeps any prying eyes away from your information.

I’ve used a lot of different VPNs in my time, and the only one I’ve every really liked is NordVPN.

NordVPN allows you to connect up to 6 devices with one account, so you can easily protect your entire family with one account!

Plus they often run huge sales where you can save up to 70%, so you can protect your family for an entire year for less than $50!!

So there is no excuse not to sign up for NordVPN before you start using Disney’s public wifi!

Lion King Animal Kingdom

9. Take Advantage of Rider Switch

Rider switch is a great program to take advantage of if you have younger children.

It allows one parent to ride an attraction while the other stays behind with the child. After the first parent is done riding, the second parent is able to ride the same attraction without waiting in the stand-by line.

You simply speak with a cast member at the entrance to the attraction and tell them you want to use rider swtich.

The cast member will scan your magic band or ticket and get you all set up to use the program. When it comes time for the second parent to ride the attraction, they enter through the Fastpass+ line and not the stand-by line.

You can also use the rider swap strategy if you have a Fastpass+ for a certain attraction. When you’re making your Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ selections ahead of time, simply book a Fastpass+ for half the group or however many people want to ride a specific attraction.

When you go to redeem your Fastpass+, make sure your entire party goes with you, and they can arrange the rider switch there.

That is the best way to maximize your time.

But please don’t abuse this system! Disney has this system in place to help people travelling with young children who can’t or don’t want to ride everything. Don’t try to scam the system or hack your way into a shorter wait time. It isn’t worth it. Disney will probably figure it out, and you may even get in trouble or kicked out of the park.

Donald's Dino Bash Animal Kingdom

10. Visit Pandora at Night if You Didn’t Get an Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ for Flight of Passage

Here we are again talking about strategies to ride Flight of Passage.

It is such a difficult Fastpass+ to get, and it often isn’t even available to people 60 days in advance it is so popular.

A lot of people can’t get a Flight of Passage Fastpass+ and need to figure out the best time to ride it.

Outside of rope drop or Extra Magic Hours, right before park close if the best time to ride Flight of Passage.

Animal Kingdom is least busy in the evening, and Flight of Passage will have a fairly short wait time compared to the rest of the day.

This is the perfect time to pop in line and ride this fabulous attraction.

The time posted outside of Flight of Passage may not be entirely accurate at park close. Sometimes the wait time displayed is significantly longer than the actual wait time, so it shouldn’t deter you from jumping in the queue.

I suspect Disney show the wait time slightly longer than it actually is as a way to deter people from jumping in the queue moment before the park closes.

But jump in that line!

If you’re in the queue for a ride before the park closes, you’ll be allowed to ride it. You can get in line one minute before the park closes and will still be able to ride Flight of Passage.

My ideal hierarchy of when to ride Flight of Passage is:

  • Get a Fastpass+
  • Be there for Extra Magic Hours or rope drop
  • Get in line right before the park closes

I don’t recommend trying to ride Flight of Passage during the height of the day. The line is always super long, and it isn’t the best use of your time.

Pandora Animal Kingdom


Animal Kingdom is the most unique park in Disney World. It is part zoo and part theme park, it has one of the most popular attractions in all of Disney World, and doesn’t have a ton of attractions with Fastpass+ options.

It is a perfect storm, and you need to make sure you have a strong Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ strategy in place before it is time to make your Fastpass+ selections.

The tips in this post are designed to get you thinking about how you need to approach making your Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ selections.

There are a lot of things to consider.

You also need to be flexible in your Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ strategy. Your entire strategy basically relies on whether or not you’re able to get a Fastpass+ for the Pandora attraction of your choosing.

Not being able to get a Flight of Passage Fastpass+ will completely change your Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ strategy, and you need to be prepared to be flexible.

No matter what Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ options you end up getting, you’ll have an amazing day at Animal Kingdom.

It is such a fun park and has a vibe unlike any other theme park I’ve ever been to. And I’ve been to a lot of theme parks.

Let me know in the comments below what your favourite Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ tip is and whether you’re team Flight of Passage or team Navi River Journey.

Oh. And don’t forget to say hi to Mickey and Minnie for me!

10 Secret Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ Tips

Let’s talk Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ tips and tricks that’ll make sure you have the best day in Hollywood Studios!

Disney’s Hollywood Studios has undergone a huge transformation in the past few years. It went from a half-day park to a park that has some of the most sought after rides in all of Disney World!

Now that Hollywood Studios is an incredibly popular and busy park, you need to know the best Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ secrets.

You’ll waste a lot of time standing in line if you don’t use these Fastpass+ secrets! You may not even be able to ride all the attractions you want to!

So read on to become a Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ expert!

1. Know What You Don’t Need a Fastpass+ For

Just like in every Walt Disney World park, there are certain rides in Hollywood Studios you need a Fastpass+ for and some you don’t.

It is important you understand what rides don’t need a Fastpass+ for.

Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections are difficult to make, so if you know exactly what you don’t need a Hollywood studios Fastpass+ for, it will make your life easier.

Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ Tiers

The first step in figuring out what you do and don’t need a Fastpass+ for is understanding the Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ tiers.

Hollywood Studios has two Fastpass+ tiers.

You’re allowed to select one Fastpass+ for a ride in tier one and two rides in tier two.

So what rides are in each category?

Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ Tier One Rides

  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ Tier Two Rides

  • Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster
  • Tower of Terror
  • Toy Story Mania
  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Star Tours
  • Muppet 3D Vision
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
  • Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Disney Junior Dance Party!
  • Fantasmic!
Slinky Dog Dash (Disney Hollywood Studios)

Deciding What You Don’t Need a Fastpass+ For

There are certain attractions that you simply don’t need a Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ for.

I don’t suggest you get a Fastpass+ for the following attractions:

  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Disney Junior Dance Party!
  • Muppet 3D Vision
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
  • Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that all of the attractions that you don’t need a Fastpass+ for are in tier two.

You can often walk up to these attractions and get on them within a few minutes. For the shows, you can show up 5-15 minutes before and generally get a seat.

It isn’t worth using your Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections on these attractions when the rest of the attractions in Hollywood Studios always have a long line and are a much better use of a Fastpass+.

2. Take Advantage of Single Rider Lines

Hollywood Studios has the most single rider lines of any of Disney World parks. Technically, it is the same number of single rider queues as Animal Kingdom, so both parks are tied for the most single rider lines.

Fun fact: Magic Kingdom is the only park in Disney World that doesn’t have any rides that offer a single rider line?!

Check out this post if you’re interested in learning about how to perfect your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ strategy since you can’t take advantage of single rider lines!

Single rider lines are one of the best ways to get a lot done in a short amount of time. They are often way shorter than the regular lines.

What Exactly is a Single Rider Line?

A single rider line is a queue that is used to fill vacant seats on popular rides.

Let’s say a ride vehicle seats three people, and there is a party of two in line. One person from the single rider line will be sat with that group of two, so the ride vehicle is always filled to capacity.

This helps the line move quicker and the ride operate efficiently.

You’re able to use the single rider line if you’re a party of two or more, but you will be separated when you reach the front of the line.

You will not be able to sit with your group if you use the single rider line. You will ride the attraction with a group of strangers.

Hollywood Studios Rides that Offer a Single Rider Line

  • Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

How Do I Know if the Single Rider Line is Right for Me?

The single rider line is a great option, but it isn’t for everybody.

I personally love it and use it all the time, but I also have friends who hate it. It really comes down to personal preference.

Rock 'n' Rollercoaster (Disney Hollywood Studios)

You may not enjoy using the single rider line if:

  • It is the first time you’re riding the attraction, you’re a bit scare, and you would feel more comfortable riding with a familiar face rather than a stranger
  • You have small children in your group that you don’t want riding alone
  • You want a ride photo of you with your group rather than with strangers

How Exactly is this a Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ Tip?!

Good question! You may have read this entire section and been like thanks for the valuable information, but how exactly is this a Fastpass+ tip?

Well, if you take advantage of the single rider lines, you’re able to use your Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections on attractions that don’t have single rider lines.

I’ve found the Millennium Falcom: Smugglers Run single rider line moves very quickly and is significantly shorter than the regular standby line.

If you want to ride all three rides in tier one and are comfortable using the single rider line, then you can use your tier one Fastpass+ selection for either Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway or Slinky Dog Dash.

Using the single rider lines strategically will help you make better Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ choices.

3. Get a Bonus Fastpass+

Every Disney guest is allowed to make three Fastpass+ selections per day.

Most people think that once they use their three pre-chosen Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections, they’re out of luck and have to use the standby line the rest of the day, but that isn’t true.

You can book a fourth bonus Fastpass+ as soon as you’ve used up your original three Fastpass+ selections!

Yup. You read that right! You can keep making additional Fastpass+ selections one at a time after you’ve used your three pre-selected Fastpass+ options.

This is a great way to see more of Hollywood Studios without spending a lot of time in line.

How to Make a Bonus Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ Selection

It is incredibly easy to make your bonus Fastpass+ selection!

You can either book it directly through the My Disney Experience app or use one of the Fastpass+ kiosks around the park.

You can book a bonus Fastpass+ for any attraction. It doesn’t have to be an attraction from tier two. You can book an additional Fastpass+ for a tier one attraction (if there are any left)!

Tower of Terror (Disney Hollywood Studios)

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Bonus Hollywood Studios Fastpass+

As with all things Disney, there is a way to get the best bang for your buck.

Here are a few tips to help you make the most out of your bonus Fastpass+:

Book Your Bonus Fastpass+ as Soon as You Scan Your Last Fastpass+

The best way to get the most out of your bonus Fastpass+ is to book it as soon as you’ve scanned your magic band or park ticket to use your last Hollywood Studios Fastpass+.

Book your next Fastpass+ while you’re standing in the Fastpass+ queue waiting to get on the ride!

This will allow you to maximize your time in Hollywood Studios, and you’re more likely to get a bonus Fastpass+ for the ride you want.

You’re Able to Book More than One Bonus Fastpass+

You can make as many bonus Fastpass+ selections as you want!

You can only book one bonus Fastpass+ at a time, but once you use it, you can book another one right away.

The competition to get a desirable Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ is fierce. It is difficult to get a bonus Fastpass+ for a tier one attraction or some of the more popular tier two attractions.

But keep trying as soon as you use your last Fastpass+, and you might just get lucky!

Book a Bonus Fastpass+ for an Attraction with a Nearby Return Time

One of the best ways you can get the most out of your bonus Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ is by choosing a ride that has a return window that is close to the time you’re booking it.

If you have the choice to book a bonus Fastpass+ for a ride that has a Fastpass+ return time in an hour from when you’re booking versus a ride that has a return time that is five hours from when you’re booking, it is in your best interest to book the Fastpass+ for the ride you can get on in an hour.

This will help you get the most done in Hollywood Studios, and you can potentially book an additional bonus Fastpass+ for the ride that has a later return time once you’ve used your first bonus Fastpass+.

Be Strategic When Making Your Original Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ Selections

You’ll have a better chance of getting a good bonus Fastpass+ selection if your’e strategic about when you book your original three Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections.

The earlier in the day you’ve used your original Fastpass+ selections, the earlier in the day you can get a bonus Fastpass+. The earlier in the day you can get a bonus Fastpass+, the better your chances of there being a Fastpass+ available for the ride you want.

It is a win-win!

I suggest trying to book all your original Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections for before 2pm.

And even earlier than that if possible, but it can be difficult to get an early Fastpass+ return time for the attractions in tier one.

4. You Can’t Get a Fastpass+ to Meet Characters

Hollywood Studios is the only Walt Disney World park where you can’t get a Fastpass+ to meet your favourite characters.

You can get a Fastpass+ to meet Mickey and Minnie in Animal Kingdom and a Fastpass+ to meet Minnie, Mickey, and Goofy in Epcot. There are tons of characters in Magic Kingdom you can get a Fastpass+ to meet. They include Mickey, Tinker Bell, and the princesses.

But no such luck in Hollywood Studios.

If you want to meet any characters in Hollywood Studios, you have to wait in line, and the line can get really long for popular characters.

You need to be strategic about when you book your Hollywood Studio Fastpass+ selections if you want to meet characters.

To have the lowest wait time to meet characters, you’ll want to meet them either right when they start greeting guests at 10am or wait until the end of the night and try to sneak into the line when everybody else has left for the day.

Mickey Mouse (Disney Hollywood Studios)

5. Fantasmic! Isn’t a Great Option

Fantasmic! is one of my favourite nighttime Disney shows (although the Disneyland version is way better), but it isn’t the best use of your Fastpass+.

There are a couple of reasons for this:

  • It prevents you from being able to get a bonus Fastpass+
  • You still have to show up fairly early to get a decent seat
  • A lot of the time you can get a Fastpass+ for the second showing of Fantasmic! in the afternoon as a bonus Fastpass+

I’ve used one of my original three Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections for Fantasmic! in the past, and it wasn’t a great experience.

I got to the Fastpass+ line half an hour before the show starts (as it said to do on my Fastpass+), entered the theater, and discovered that nearly all the Fastpass+ seats were already filled.

The only seats left were in the very last section, and it was difficult to find a place for two people to sit.

The standard advice people tell you about Fantasmic! is that if you’re using the stand-by queue, to be there an hour early, so I don’t see the value of using a Fastpass+ selection for Fasntasmic! unless it is a bonus Fastpass+ I get the day of.

From my experience, you have to show up about 45 minutes early if you have a Fastpass+, so you’re not really saving that much time by getting a Fastpass+ for Fantasmic!.

There are much better ways you can use your Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections. You can save a lot more time by using your Fastpass+ for a ride that normally has a queue that is an hour or longer than for Fantasmic!.

But you should still try to see Fantasmic! while you’re at Hollywood Studios. It is a lot of fun!

Fantasmic! (Disney Hollywood Studios)

6. Adjust Your Fastpass+ if You’re Running Late

It is easy to lose track of time and then realize that your Fastpass+ window for your favourite attraction is nearly over!

It is an anxiety-inducing moment, but there is a sneaky way around it!

You simply go into your My Disney Experience app and alter the time of your Fastpass+. You can push it back (or even change what attraction it is for) in the app, and you don’t have to worry about losing your Fastpass+.

There is no guarantee that you will be able to push your Fastpass+ back and get a later Fastpass+ for the same ride, but it is worth a shot.

You probably won’t be able to push back your Hollywood Studios tier one Fastpass+ and expect to get another tier one Fastpass+ (there won’t be any left), but this strategy often works for the rides in tier two.

Even if you’re not able to get a Fastpass+ for the same ride, it is better to push your Fastpass+ if you’re going to miss your window.

It is better to have a Fastpass+ for something rather than for nothing!

What if I’m Only Running a Little Late?

Good question!

It is super easy to be running five minutes behind- especially when there is a kid in your group!

Disney World has a very short grace period. You can normally use your Fastpass+ five minutes before the start of your return time and 10-15 minutes after your return time has ended.

This is not guaranteed, and you should not rely on this policy.

A lot of the time it is up to the discretion of the cast member to decide whether or not you’ll be able to use your Fastpass+ once your window is over.

You can explain why you’re late and hope you win over the caste member.

The very best way to solve this issue is by not being late in the first place! You work hard to book your Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selection in advance, and it would be a shame not to be able to use them!

Muppet 3D Vision (Disney Hollywood Studios)

7. Book Your Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ ASAP

You need to book your Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections as soon as your selection window opens!

Of all the parks in Disney World, I think the Fastpass+ competition is the most fierce at Hollywood Studios. It can be extremely difficult to get the Fastpass+ selections you want, and you often have to be very flexible about what time you book your Fastpas+ for.

Basically, you need to scoop up the Fastpass+ selections you can even if they are at a less desirable time.

You can make your Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections:

  • 60 days in advance if your’e staying on Disney property
  • 30 days in advance if you’re not staying on Disney property

Your Fastpass+ booking window opens at 7 am EST.

This is true whether you’re allowed to book your Fastpass+ 60 days or 30 days in advance.

You have to be on your computer (or in the My Disney Experience app) at exactly 7 am EST, know what you want a Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ for, and make your selections as quick as possible.

It is quite the rush first thing in the morning!

Your chances of getting the Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections you want are way better if you’re on the computer at 7 am EST making your selections 60 days in advance.

You’ll still be able to get some good Fastpass+ selections if you book 30 days out, but you may not be able to get a Fastpass+ for every ride you want and certainly not at the times you want.

Your chances of getting a good Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ significantly decreases the longer you wait to book your Fastpass+. There will be basically no tier one Fastpass+ options 29 days before your vacation, and you’ll have trouble booking a Fastpass+ for some of the more popular tier two attractions.

Star Wars

8. Take Advantage of Park Closing

That last section may have scared you a little bit, and you may be thinking that trying to get the very best Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections is a lost cause. But is isn’t.

You’ll be able to get some great Fastpass+ selections whether you book your Fastpass+ 60 days or 30 days in advance, but not matter what you do, you’ll never be able to get a Fastpass+ for everything you want to ride.

This is where taking advantage of park closing comes in.

It is similar to my tip about taking advantage of single rider lines. It isn’t really a direct Fastpass+ tip, but it helps you make good Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ choices.

What’s so Special About Park Closing?!

Park closing is one of the best times to take advantage of short wait times.

Not many people stay until Hollywood Studios closes, and if they do, most of them are watching Fantasmic! or the fire works.

This means the ride lines are very short!

And that is great news for you!

You’re able to ride one of the most popular rides in Hollywood Studios (typically a tier one ride or Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster or Tower of Terror) with little to no wait time.

If you know that you want to stay until the park closes, you can plan to visit one of the most popular attractions at night and plan the rest of your Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections around that.

I suggest trying to ride Slinky Dog Dash at the end of the evening because it is really fun to ride under the pitch black sky. The rest of the rides are indoors, so you won’t get a special experience by riding them at night.

Liar! The Wait Times Always Seem Just as Long at Park Closing

This is a sneaky tactic used by Disney to deter a lot of people from jumping in a ride line just as the park closes.

A lot of the time rides will display a long stand-by wait time right at park close, but the wait is never as long as it says.

Sometimes it is only half as long, which can still be fairly long in some cases.

I once jumped into the Slinky Dog Dash line about five minutes before Hollywood Studios closed. The wait time was displayed at 60 minutes, but, in reality, it was only about 30 minutes.

That’s a pretty substantial difference!

It may not always be the case, but I’ve never had an experience where the wait time displayed just before park closing was completely accurate.

The wait was always shorter in reality. It just depends on the day how much shorter it is.

But you can guarantee that it will be shorter than if you were waiting in line in the middle of the day.

Slinky Dog Dash (Disney Hollywood Studios)

One Final Note on Park Close

You will be allowed to ride a ride if the park is officially closed as long as you’re in the line before the park closes.

If Hollywood Studios closes at 9 pm, you can get in the Tower of Terror line at 8:59 pm and be able to ride it no matter how long the wait is!

So don’t think that just because a wait time is 30 minutes and the park closes in 15 that you won’t be able to get in line.

You can get in line, and you will be able to ride the ride!

It is a great little trick to squeeze just a little bit more out of your Disney day!

9. Show are a Time Suck

There are a number of different stage shows in Hollywood Studios that you can get a Fastpass+ for, but I don’t really recommend any of them.

The problem with them is that they are a time suck.

You have to show up to the show at least 15 minutes early, watch a 30-minute show, and then go about your day again.

I have nothing against watching the stage shows (some of them are quite fun!), but they aren’t the best use of your Fastpass+ for two reasons.

You Can Show Up at the Same Time and Use the Stand-by Line

This is the same complaint as I have with the Fantasmic! Fastpass+.

You’re not really getting an advantage by having a Fastpass+ for a stage show.

You have to show up at the same time as people in the stand-by line. The only difference is what part of the theater you’re allowed to sit in.

In some cases, you can even show up just a minute or two before the show and get a seat in the stand-by line.

The fact that you have to dedicate extra time to take advantage of your Fastpass+ doesn’t seem like a very good deal to me.

In fact, I think it is a bit of a rip off.

It Makes Planning the Rest of Your Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ Selections More Difficult

You’re dedicating at least 50 minutes of your time to watching a stage show by the time you get there 15 minutes early, watch the show, and then get out of the theater.

This makes it quite difficult to know when to schedule your other Fastpass+ selections for.

You can easily make the mistake of getting a Fastpass+ for another attraction too close to the time of the show and then either have to run to your next Fastpass+ or miss it all together.

Not a great situation to be in.

If you do decide to get a Fastpass+ for a stage show, you shouldn’t make another Fastpass+ reservation for at least 75 minutes after the show starts.

That gives you 30 minutes to watch the show and then 45 minutes to funnel out of the theater, use the washroom, and get to your next attraction.

My Suggestion for Shows

I enjoy the shows at Hollywood Studios, and I think you should consider taking some time to watch one or two of them.

My strategy when it comes to shows is to be aware of when their show times are and then go to the one that fits best into my schedule.

Maybe I have a multi-hour gap between my Fastpass+ reservations. Maybe I’m exhausted and want to sit for an extended period of time.

There will likely be a chunk of time in your day at Hollywood Studios that needs to be filled, and there is no better way to fill it than by watching a show.

It certainly beats standing in a long queue outside in Toy Story Land or wandering through the shops for hours on end.

Voyage of the Littler Mermaid (Disney Hollywood Studios)

10. Choose What is Most Important to You

You’ve heard me give a lot of advice in this post.

You shouldn’t get a Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ for this ride or shows aren’t a great use of your time. But it all comes down to what is important to you!

You can read every blog about Hollywood Studios Fastpass+, take all the advice, follows everything to exact detail, and have a crappy day in the park.

All because you took the advice of someone on the internet rather than listening to your gut and doing what is the best for you and your group.

You should educate yourself on how to get the most out of your Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections, but you should ultimately do what makes sense for you.

If you adore the Muppets (how could you not?!), then maybe it is worth it to get a Fastpass+ for Muppet 3D Vision on the off chance that there is a short line, and you don’t want to wait.

Or maybe you have a child in your party who adores Elsa and would be heartbroken if they didn’t get to see the Frozen Sing-Along Celebration. Then get a Fastpass+ for that.

It all comes down to what will make your day the most magical.

Hollywood Studios

BONUS Rise of the Resistance Tip

Rise of the Resistance is the hottest ride at Disney World right now.

You can’t get a Fastpass+ for it, and it can throw your day for a complete loop!

The only way to ride Rise of the Resistance is to get a boarding group. The only way to get a boarding group is to be inside Hollywood Studios the moment it opens, log into your My Disney Experience app, and pray for a miracle.

If you’re lucky enough to get a boarding group, you will be notified on the app when your boarding group is ready to board the ride.

Once you get that notification, you only have a limited amount of time to get to Rise of the Resistance, or your right to ride the ride is lost.

You never know when your boarding group will be called, so it may unintentionally interfere with the Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections you made in advance.

You have to have a plan in place in case this happens. This is especially true if you’re traveling with children or people (like me) who aren’t great at going with the flow.

Decide ahead of time whether you’re willing to sacrifice riding a tier one attraction to ride Rise of the Resistance. And have a conversation with your group, so everybody knows the plan.

In a lot of cases, you’re able to work around your Fastpass+ selections and Rise of the Resistance to do both, but there are cases where that just isn’t possible.

Have a plan in place and know what is more important to you.

This will help you with any hard decision you need to make on the day you’re visiting Hollywood Studios.


Hollywood Studios is quickly becoming the park where you need a rock solid Fastpass+ strategy in order to conquer it.

Gone are the days where there were hardly any waits, and it had a more laid-back vibe.

Now it is filled with people eyeing up their favourite rides at rope drop, disappointment because you didn’t get all the Fastpass+ selections you wanted, and, frankly, not enough indoor quick service dining locations.

These Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ tips will help you plan the perfect Hollywood Studios strategy for you.

You’re armed with all the knowledge you need. All that is left to do is make the best Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ selections you can and enjoy your day at Hollywood Studios.

May the Force be with you!