Magic Kingdom is the most popular Disney park in the world with a staggering 20.4 million visitors in 2017! It is always busy, so you need a Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ strategy to navigate (and survive) the park.
The 10 Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ tips discussed in this post will help you make the most out your Fastpass+ selections, save time in the parks, and avoid standing in long, hot lines for hours on end.
Nothing is worse than standing in an hour-long line and watching the people with a fastpass basically walk onto the ride. It makes me soooo jealous.
Of course, you’ll have to stand in some lines because fastpasses aren’t magic and take all the waiting away, but they can significantly reduce your wait time if you have the right Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ strategy.
It has been years since I waited in a line longer than 15 minutes at Magic Kingdom, and this is all thanks to knowing and implementing the fastpass tips and tricks discussed in this post.
I’m sharing my insider secrets with you, so you don’t have to waste away in a line in the hot Florida sun for nothing.
1. Book Your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ Choices at Strategic Times
Certain times during the days are better for booking a Fastpass+ than others. You don’t want to book it too early or too late.
There is a sweet middle spot that allows you to optimize your time.
You lose out on short queues if you book your fastpasses for too early in the day and don’t get the most value for them. Book them too late in the day, and you miss out on the opportunity to get additional fastpasses as the day goes on.
Thus a delicate balance between booking too early in the day and too late in the day exists.
I recommend booking your first Fastpass+ sometime after 10am and your last one before 3pm.
Booking all three of your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ options between 10am and 3pm gives you the best chance of optimizing your time in Magic Kingdom.
This time window, of course, may not work for you if you have children or are a late riser who doesn’t get to the parks before noon, but it should work for the average guest.
2. Book Your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ Selections as Soon as Your Booking Window Opens
You can either book your Fastpass+ selections 30 or 60 days in advance of your trip.
The difference in when you’re allowed to book your Fastpass+ choices comes down to where you’re staying.
If you’re staying on Disney property, you’re able to book your fastpasses 60 days in advance. If you’re staying off property, you can’t book your fastpasses until 30 days before your trip.
This means there is a huge advantage to staying on Disney property, and you’re more likely to get fastpasses for the most popular attractions.
It is possible that fastpasses for the most popular Magic Kingdom attractions like Seven Dwarves Mine Train will already be sold out when people staying off property can book their Fastpass+ selections 30 days in advance.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re staying on property or off property. The best practice is to book your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selection the second you’re able to. This gives you the best chance of booking a fastpass for the ride you want at the time you want.
You’re able to start booking your Fastpass+ selections for your entire trip either 60 or 30 days in advance of your trip at 7am EST. This means many people in different time zones will have to wake up super early to book their fastpasses (I certainly do), but it is 100% worth the effort.
You won’t miss that extra sleep when you’re riding all the best Magic Kingdom rides with no wait time because you scored the best Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ options a month or two earlier.
3. There Aren’t Tiers, but there are Good and Bad Choices
Every other Disney World park has a Fastpass+ tier system that allows you to only get one Fastpass+ for a ride that is very popular, and your other two fastpasses are selected from a group of less popular attractions.
The tier system makes it incredibly difficult to choose what Fastpass+ you want form the top tier, and the top tier fastpasses often sell out very quickly. Sometimes even people selecting their Fastpass+ options 60 days in advance can’t get a fastpass for their top choice in tier one.
Magic Kingdom is the only Walt Disney World park to not adhere to the tier system.
This means you’re able to choose three extremely popular rides and get a Fastpass+ for them all. It also means that it is easier to get a fastpass for some of the more popular attractions because there is a larger pool of attractions to choose from.
While there is no tier system when it comes to Magic Kingdom Fastpass+, you still have to choose what rides you want to get a fastpass for wisely.
There is no sense getting a Fastpass+ for an attraction that normally doesn’t have a very long wait time.
You want to use your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections on the rides with the longest wait times.
Good Fastpass+ Selections
Here is a list of rides that are good Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections. They normally have a long wait time, so you will save a lot of time by securing and using a fastpass:
- Seven Dwarves Mine Train
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Big Thunder Mountain
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- The Jungle Cruise
- Haunted Mansion
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- The Barnstormer
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Meeting Rapunzel and Tiana
- Meeting Cinderella and Elena
- Meeting Mickey Mouse
- Meeting Tinker Bell
- Meeting Ariel
I consider these all to be a good use of a Fastpass+ selection because they often have the longest lines. It is nearly impossible to walk up to any of the rides on this list and not have at least a 30 minute wait.
You don’t want to needlessly waste 30 minutes if you can get a Fastpass+!
That is clearly a long list, and you can’t get a Fastpass+ for every single attraction on that list, but it is a good place to start.
There is also a lot of variation on that list in terms of how long a line can be and how difficult it is to get a Fastpass+ for a particular ride.
The three mountains and Mine Train are the most popular, and they run out of fastpasses the quickest. If you want to ride Seven Dwarves Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, or Big Thunder Mountain, get yourself a Fastpass+ as soon as your booking window opens.
The Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin are the easiest rides to get same-day fastpasses for.
You can sacrifice not getting a Fastpass+ for any of those rides in order to get a Fastpass+ for one of the big rides and feel confident that you can snag a last-minute fourth Fastpass+ on the day you visit.
Bad Fastpass+ Selections
Just as there are a number of good choices you can make when making your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections, there are a number of bad choices you can make.
Here is my list of worst choices for Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections:
- Mickey’s PhilarMagic
- Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor
- It’s a Small World
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Mad Tea Party
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
- Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaid
Every ride on that list has one thing in common: it rarely has a wait time over 10-15 minutes.
You don’t want to waste a Fastpass+ selection on a ride that has such a short wait time when you can use it for a ride that has a wait time over an hour.
That simply isn’t optimizing your time.
I’m not saying any of the rides on this list are bad. I love a number of rides on this list, and, in fact, never go to Magic Kingdom without visiting Mickey’s PhilharMagic and Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaid.
You just don’t need a Fastpass+ to enjoy the attractions on this list, which is great! The fact that these rides have such a short wait time is amazing for you and your family.
You get to experience some outstanding attractions without a long wait and without burning up a Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selection.
It doesn’t get any better than that!
4. Get Fourth Fastpass+ Selection after You’ve Used Your First Three
You may have noticed that in the last section when discussing good Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ options, I mentioned that you were able to get some of the good rides as a fourth fastpass on the same day quiet easily.
The exciting things about Fastpass+ at Disney World is that you’re able to make an unlimited number of additional fastpasses once you’ve used up your original three in a day.
This feature is another reason I recommend you booking all your Fastpass+ options by mid-afternoon.
You can only make one additional Fastpass+ at a time, and you must use it before you can book another one.
For example, if you use your third Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ at 2:30pm, you can get a fourth Fastpass+.
Let’s say your fourth Fastpass+ is for 5pm. You’ve used your 5pm Fastpass+, you can get a fifth Fastpass+. And so on and so forth until there are no more options left.
You normally can’t get more than one or two additional Fastpass+ selections in a day, so don’t base your entire Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ strategy on the expectation that you can get a ton of additional fastpasses.
But if you’re struggling to decide between four rides what you should get a Fastpass+ for, keep in mind that some rides are easier than others to get a same-day Fastpass+ for.
The key to optimizing the additional same-day Fastpass+ selections is selecting a ride you want to ride that has the earliest Fastpass+.
If you want to ride both Haunted Mansion and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, get a Fastpass+ for the ride that has the soonest Fastpass+ return time, use it, and then get a Fastpass+ for the other ride.
That is the best way to approach your additional same-day Fastpass+ selections.
5. Change You Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ Selection if You’re Going to Miss You Return Window
A lot of people lose their Fastpass+ selections because they don’t realize that they can alter their plans.
If you’re going to miss your Fastpass+ window for any reason, you can and should alter your Fastpass+ selections.
You can change the time and selection of your Fastpass+ directly through the My Disney Experience app.
You have to alter your plans before the end of your Fastpass+ window so be sure you don’t miss that deadline.
There is no guarantee that you will be able to change your Fastpass+ selection to the same attraction or exact time you want, but at least you won’t lave a Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selection on the table.
In fact, for the most popular attractions, you probably won’t be able to get a Fastpass+ for the same attraction.
You will probably have to select a different attraction.
That is why it is best if you can make the Fastpass+ return window for every ride you have one for, but things happens. Especially if you’re travelling with young children.
6. Use Rope Drop and Extra Morning Magic Hours to Your Advantage
Before I go any further in this section, I’m going to define what rope drop and extra morning magic hours are. Just in case you’re not a Disney nerd and long-time Walt Disney World goer like I am.
Rope drop is basically Disney-speak for when a park opens. You queue up before the park opens, and you’re there for rope drop.
It is, in my opinion, the best way to get as much Disney in as possible with little to no crowds.
Walt Disney World parks normally open around 8am or 9am, so a lot of people are still tucked away in their beds sleeping. This means the people who are at the parks right when they open are treated to little to no crowds and can get a lot done in a short amount of time.
I’m an early bird. Like naturally wake up at 6:30am on a Saturday early bird, so taking advantage of rope drop is perfect for me.
It is honestly my favourite time to be in the parks!
But I can see how many people recoil at the thought of being at Magic Kingdom right when it opens. You have to be up and going far earlier than 8am to get to the parks for rope drop.
You have to leave time for getting to the parks, getting through security, and being at the parks 15-30 minutes before they open to ensure you’re on the first people in.
I get that rope drop isn’t for everybody, but if you’re a morning person, be sure to take advantage of it!
Early Morning Magic Hours
Early Morning Magic Hours is when a particular Walt Disney World park opens an hours early to people staying in a Disney hotel or on property at a select non-Disney hotel.
A basic rule of thumb to figure out whether you’re eligible for Early Morning Magic Hours is this:
- You’re eligible if you were able to book your Fastpass+ selections 60 days in advance
- You’re not eligible if you had to wait until 30 days in advance to book your Fastpass+ selections
Early Morning Magic Hours are similar to rope drop, but they are much quieter.
Not everybody is allowed into the park during Early Morning Magic Hours, so you’ll encounter even smaller crowds than at rope drop.
This is the perfect opportunity to ride the most popular attractions with little to no wait time. It is amazing how much you can get done in a single hour!
The last time I was at Magic Kingdom for Early Morning Magic Hours, I rode Peter Pan’s Flight, It’s a Small World, Space Mountain, and met all the princesses.
And it only took me 45 minutes to do all that!!
So while you have to get up quite early, it is well worth it if you have a limited amount of time in Disney World and want to get the most out of your time.
A word of warning though.
Only Fantasyland and Tomorrowland are open during Early Morning Magic Hours.
You will have to wait until the rest of the park opens to explore the rest of the park.
How to Take Advantage of Rope Drop and Early Morning Magic Hours
Everybody flocks to Seven Dwarves Mine Train as soon as the park opens. It is the most difficult ride to get a Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ for and is extremely popular with children and adults alike.
If you weren’t able to get a Fastpass+ for Seven Dwarves Mine Train, I recommend you flock to it with the rest of the guests. The queue will be the shortest first thing in the morning.
If you were able to get a Fastpass+ for Seven Dwarves Mine Train or don’t want to ride it, this is your opportunity to take advantage of a very quiet Magic Kingdom.
I suggest riding the most popular attractions you don’t have a Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ for or meeting any popular characters you want to meet.
Your strategy will depend on whether you’re there for rope drop or Early Morning Magic Hours.
Your options will be limited to Fantasyland and Tomorrowland if you’re there for Early Morning Magic Hours, but there are tons of popular things you can do in those two lands before you’re allowed into the other lands.
You should, of course, choose what you prioritize first thing in the morning based on your personal preference, but I recommend riding Peter Pan’s Flight, the three mountains, and meeting characters during rope drop and Early Morning Magic Hours.
You will only be able to ride Space Mountain during Early Morning Magic Hours so keep that in mind.
No matter what your personal preferences are, be sure to ride the most popular rides that you don’t have a Fastpass+ for first thing in the morning. It will save you a lot of time standing in line throughout the day, and you’ll be amazed at how much you’re able to do in a short amount of time.
7. There is a Short Grace Period
A lot of people don’t realize that there is a short grace period for using your Fastpass+.
You can typically use it 5 minutes before your return window starts and 10-15 minutes after your window ends.
If you show up outside of that grace window, you probably won’t be able to use your Fastpass+ selection unless you plead your case to the cast member at the fastpass queue, and they are kind enough to let you in.
Don’t rely on that strategy though!
I personally try to take advantage of the short 5 minute grace period before my Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selection. This is especially true if it is my third fastpass of the day.
The sooner I redeem my Fastpass+, the sooner I can book my fourth Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ for the day!
I’m also just naturally the type of person who thinks you’re late if you show up 5 minutes early. I’m normally hovering around the ride I have a Fastpass+ for about 10 minutes before my return time begins.
This short grace period is perfect for people who are rushing across Magic Kingdom to get to their next Fastpass+ and get bottlenecked because there is a parade or stage show. Or for people who are rushing to use their Fastpass+ after a meal or hopping over from a different park.
If you’re hungry and want to grab a bite to eat but are worried about being late and missing your Fastpass+ window, I suggest eating at a quick service restaurant rather than a table service restaurant.
It is a nice feature that Disney includes, and really helps to keep the parks running smoothly and guests happy.
8. Choose Rides that Make Sense for You
I’ve made a lot of statements about what rides you should try to get a Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ for and what rides aren’t worth getting a Fastpass+ for.
But it really comes down to what you value and want to experience.
My mom suffers from motion sickness, so she can’t ride any of the rollercoasters, so it doesn’t make sense to get a Fastpass+ for them.
If you really want to ride something on my list of bad fastpasses, then go ahead and get a Fastpass+ for it. I may not think it is a good use of a Fastpass+ selection, but you may.
Don’t let yourself get pressured into thinking you’re wasting your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections if you don’t get fastpasses for the most popular attractions and choose medium popular attractions instead.
It boils down to what you personally find value in.
That’s how you’re going to get the most out of your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections.
I personally despise Splash Mountain. I hate drops, and I hate water. So I never get a Fastpass+ for the ride. I have friends who think I’m stupid to get a Haunted Mansion fastpass over a Splash Mountain fastpass because Splash Mountain normally has a very long wait time.
But, to me, getting a Splash Mountain fastpass makes no sense. I get no joy out of it, and I get a lot of joy out of riding Haunted Mansion.
The Bottom Line
Try to think of it that way when trying to decide what Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections you’re going to make.
Decide what attractions you really want to ride and a list of attractions you definitely don’t want to ride.
From there, try to figure out how to get the biggest benefit from your Fastpass+ selections. once you know what you want to ride, try to get a fastpass for the most popular attractions within that group.
This way you’ll be maximizing your time and using your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections wisely.
There is no sense getting a Fastpass+ for something you don’t like just because it is a popular attraction, and you feel pressured into getting it!
9. Don’t Forget About Characters!
A lot of people neglect characters when deciding on their Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections.
There are a lot of different characters in Magic Kingdom that you can get a Fastpass+ for, and many of them have a long line to meet them.
You should definitely consider getting a Fastpass+ to meet a character if that is really important to you. It can be a huge timesaver in the long run.
Popular characters like Tinker Bell, Mickey Mouse, and the princesses can have wait times for over an hour. That is just as long as some of the popular rides!
Decide whether meeting characters in the Magic Kingdom is an essential activity for you. If it is, you may want to use a Fastpass+ selection to make sure you meet your favourite character.
10. You Can Use Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ when Attending the Halloween or Christmas Parties
This is a bit of a complicated Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ feature and needs to be done in a very specific way in order to work.
The short way of explaining this is that you’re able to make Fastpass+ selections from 4pm to 6pm on the day you have a ticket to either the Halloween Party or the Christmas party.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party starts in August and ends in October. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party runs in November and December. Parties are only held on certain nights so be sure to check the events calendar in advance!
The parties start at 7pm, but you’re able to enter Magic Kingdom at 4pm. Cast members start to clear the park of people who do not have a ticket to the party at 6pm when the Magic Kingdom officially closes for the day.
The process for booking a Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ before a hard-ticket event differs depending on whether you’re visiting another park that day or not. I’ll explain both methods seperately.
If You’re Visiting a Park Before Attending the Party
The process of booking a Fastpass+ before a party is pretty straightforward when you’re visiting another park the same day as the party.
Essentially, any fastpass you have for the party will be a bonus Fastpass+ selection you can make after your three original fastpasses are used up for the day.
You follow the same process as you would for booking any same-day Fastpass+.
You can book your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ through the app on your phone, but you’ll only be able to make one Fastpass+ selection at a time as you’ve already used your original three Fastpass+ selections for the day.
If You’re Only Attending the Party
Booking your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections becomes more complicated if you’re only attending that party for the day.
You’re able to book multiple Fastpass+ selections because you don’t have any selected for that day.
You probably will only be able to book two Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections before the party. This is because you’re only allowed one Fastpass+ per hour, and you can only book them from 4pm to 6pm before the party.
That may sound simple enough, but you have to book your Fastpass+ selections in a very specific way in order for it to work.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to book your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ before the party if you’re not visiting any other park that day:
- Be sure you have purchased your ticket
- Book your Fastpass+ selections for every day you have a park ticket. This means if you have four days’ worth of park tickets, you need to book all 12 Fastpass+ selections
- Select your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections for before the party
It is ESSENTIAL that you book all your Fastpass+ selections for regular park tickets BEFORE you book Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections on the day of the party.
The system gets very confused if you don’t book all your regular park ticket Fastpass+ selections before your party selections. It thinks you’re booking regular Fastpass+ selections rather than pre-party Fastpass+ selections.
The system will think you’ve made all your Fastpass+ selections and are out of Fastpass+ entitlements if you try to book a Fastpass+ for the day of the party when you haven’t selected your Fastpass+ options for every other day you have a park ticket.
You must also have your party ticket purchased before you’re able to make Fastpass+ selections on your party day. Your party ticket essentially signals to the system that you’re entitled to make those pre-party Fastpass+ selections.
Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should
The fact that you can get a few extra Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections before a Halloween or Christmas party is great! I love taking advantage of this little loophole and booking the extra fastpasses.
There are a few reasons why booking the extra Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections may not be the best option for you:
- You want to meet some of the popular characters in their party costumes. If you want to meet the most popular characters at the parties, you have to line up for it early. Like as soon as you get to the party early! It wouldn’t be worth your time to book the extra fastpasses in this instance.
- You don’t want to be rushed getting to the party. Many people have a relaxed resort day or spend time at Disney Springs before the party. Getting to Magic Kingdom for a 4:15pm Fastpass+ can really eat into your day, and you may not want that pressure.
- You’re travelling with a small child. The parties run late into the night. You may want to let your small child nap a little later into the afternoon the day of the party, so they can stay up a little later to enjoy the party.
Tips for Visiting Disney World Alone
Making your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ selections may seem easier than in the other three Disney World parks because there is no tier system, but that can actually make it more difficult.
You have to have a thorough plan about what you want to get a Fastpass+ for and what you’re willing to stand in line to ride.
You can’t get a Fastpass+ for everything you want to ride, so you have to make difficult choices.
I highly recommend you do some research on each of the attractions you can get a Fastpass+ for. Figure out what you want to ride and determine what Fastpass+ strategy will work best for you.
Be sure to take into account what you’re able to ride at rope drop and during Extra Morning Magic Hours. Try to create a Magic Kingdom plan that allows you to maximize quiet times in the parks and the Fastpass+ system.
You’ll be amazed at how much you can do and see in a single day in the Magic Kingdom if you have a solid strategy and maximize your Fastpass+ selections.
I hope this post has helped you plan your Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ strategy. These tips should help you make the most of your day in Magic Kingdom and understand the Fastpass+ system a little better.
Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or if you have an amazing Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ tip you want to share!