Booking your FastPass+ reservations is an essential step when planning a visit to Walt Disney World. Not all FastPasses were created equal, however, and it’s important to make the best choices when making your selections. I’ve put together a guide to the most important FastPasses at each Disney park. I factored in the popularity of the ride and the usual standby wait time along with my own personal preferences. Your choices will obviously vary based on your tastes and the people in your travel group, but here are my best recommendations for your initial three Disney World FastPasses.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
The Magic Kingdom’s newest ride routinely draws the longest wait times in the park. It’s a great family-friendly roller coaster – we even got my mom who is terrified of anything wild on it – that also features a unique swaying car system and some top-notch animatronics. On some late nights, the line will dwindle a bit, but if you want to avoid a long wait, you’ll want to Fastpass this one. Mine Train FPs book up quickly, especially during busy seasons, so be sure to grab them as soon as you can.
Your next two selections: Space Mountain and Peter Pan
Space Mountain typically has a long wait, though I’ve caught it as a walk-on at closing time a few times. Peter Pan always has an inexplicably long line. It’s my favorite out of the dark rides, but there’s no chance I’d ever stand in line for over an hour for it.
If thrill rides aren’t your thing, substitute the Jungle Cruise or Buzz Lightyear for Space Mountain. If you’re looking for thrills, swap Splash Mountain for Peter Pan.
Don’t waste one on: Stitch’s Great Escape
The toned down retrofit of the terrifying Alien Encounter ride disappoints pretty much everybody. There’s no need to burn a FP on this one unless you’re a die hard Stitch fan and you’re there during the peak season.
Frozen Ever After
Located in the Norway pavilion, Frozen combines immense franchise popularity, novelty, and low capacity. These three factors combine to make the Fastpasses hard to get. If you want to wait less than an hour for the ride, you’ll need a Fastpass, and you’ll need to book it as soon as possible. If you can’t get Frozen, either Soarin’ or Test Track are great choices. Now that the third theater has been added to Soarin’ wait times have lessened a bit, but Test Track has the advantage of a single rider line if you can’t snag a FP, so I’d pick based on your interests. You may be able to snag additional FPs for Soarin’ or Test Track later in the day, but Frozen will be almost impossible if you don’t book it as one of your original three.
Your next two selections: Character Spot and Mission: Space
Epcot runs on a two-tiered Fastpass system, so your next two will have to come from the lower tier. Your two best options here are Character Spot and Mission: Space. The second tier choices are pretty mediocre. You’ll be able to ride all of the options without waiting too long on most days, so your choices are less important. I always pick Character Spot because you get a chance to meet several of the characters (one at a time) from only one line, and that line is usually pretty lengthy.
Don’t waste one on: Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival.
This thoroughly forgettable collection of short films is the kind of thing you do when you get caught in a storm and you’re looking for a way to kill some time while it’s raining. Use your FPs on something else.
Toy Story Mania
Toy Story Mania’s wait times have decreased a bit now that the third track has been added, but wait times are still perpetually lengthy. This 3D, interactive ride is loads of fun, and should get rave reviews from all ages. It just edges out Rock’n’Roller Coaster as the top choice because of longer waits and the fact that the coaster has a single rider line.
Your next two choices: Tower of Terror and Star Tours
Like Epcot, Hollywood Studios has a tiered Fastpass system, so you’ll have to make two selections from the lower group. Tower of Terror is my favorite thrill ride on property, and I have to ride it at least once per visit. Star Tours is another favorite, though if you’re sensitive to motion simulators, you might want to swap it out for one of the other options.
Don’t waste one one:
MuppetVision 3D. Even on the busiest days, the wait for this show is usually negligible. Indiana Jones would also fall into this category most of the time, but I’ve actually seen showings fill up enough that people in line got cut off on super busy days.
Flight of Passage
Since the Pandora area opened, the two rides located there have drawn the biggest wait times. A tiered FP system was implemented here, with only Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey in the top category. Of those two, Flight of Passage has consistently drawn longer waits. And while I haven’t ridden either one, Flight of Passage sounds cooler too.
Your next two choices:
Expedition Everest and Dinosaur. The opening of Pandora has thrown the Animal Kingdom wait times off a bit, but you can always count on Everest and Dinosaur to draw lines. Everest’s unique backwards track section is one of my favorites, but if you’re not a coaster fan, you can swap this one for Kilimanjaro Safaris. Dinosaur has never lived up to the hype for me, but it’s worth checking out the cool ride system and animatronics.
Don’t waste one on: It’s Tough to Be a Bug
The last time I was there, on a Saturday in July aka one of the busier times of the year, the Cast Member working the entrance to this show was practically begging people to enter the queue. The theater rarely fills up, and it would be a shame to waste a FP reservation on this.
Ready to book? Head here to start claiming your FP+ slots or log in to the WDW App!
Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments.
For more Disney tips, check out these posts:
- The Grown-Up’s Guide to Disney World
- The Grown-Up’s Guide to the Magic Kingdom
- The Grown-Up’s Guide to Epcot
- The Grown-up’s Guide to Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- What to Pack for a Disney Vacation
- How to Visit Disney Parks Solo