I recently updated the FastPass+ recommendations for each of our 50 Magic Kingdom Touring Plans, using our latest computer models to save you the most time in line. The biggest change is that Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is recommended more frequently, because FastPass+ reservations are more readily available now than when the ride first opened.
As before, each of the touring plans suggests the FastPass+ recommendations you should make in advance of your visit, like this:
Suggested start times for FastPass+ reservations:
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train = 9 AM
Peter Pan’s Flight = 10 AM
Enchanted Tales with Belle = 11 AM
I also added new recommendations for day-of FastPass+ reservations you can get at the Magic Kingdom’s in-park kiosks, after you’ve used your original set. These are based on our statistician Steve Bloom’s excellent analysis of when day-of FastPasses run out for each attraction. Here’s what the new recommendations look like:
You should be able to get day-of FastPass+ reservations starting around lunchtime. Here’s what we suggest:
Buzz Lightyear = 3:30 PM
Pirates of the Caribbean = 7 PM
When I updated the plans, I kept count of many times each attraction was identified as needing FastPass+. If you’re building your own touring plan, or you prefer an unstructured tour, this list shows the hot spots in the Magic Kingdom:
While Magic Kingdom offers FastPass+ for more than 2 dozen attractions, our free touring plan software only identifies 10 as frequently needing FastPass+:
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Splash Mountain
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Jungle Cruise
- Space Mountain
- The Haunted Mansion
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Just like last year, Peter Pan’s Flight is the most frequent recommendation for FastPass+. Why? Probably three reasons:
- Peter Pan isn’t going to be anyone’s choice as the first attraction to visit. If you’ve got small children, you’re probably headed to Enchanted Tales with Belle or the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. If you’ve got older kids, you’re probably headed to Space Mountain or Seven Dwarfs. And no matter where you go first, you’ll probably visit at least one other attraction nearby next. That means you’re not getting to Peter Pan within the first 30 minutes the park is open.
- Peter Pan appears on virtually every Magic Kingdom touring plan. It appeals to every age group and demographic, and has no height requirement. It’s a classic, if simple, Disney ride.
- Although it’s not a headliner attraction, Peter Pan develops long lines throughout the day. Peter Pan’s wait times over Christmas exceeded 150 to 180 minutes fairly often. Peter Pan’s hourly capacity is around 1,100 guests, or a little more than half of Buzz Lightyear’s, and far less than half of Pirates of the Caribbean.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, in the second spot, is usually the first FastPass+ recommendation our software suggests, often with a start time between 9:00 and 9:30 AM. If you’re doing a comprehensive tour of the Magic Kingdom, that allows you to visit Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear as soon as the park opens, then ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with little wait. It also puts you in a good position to ride a couple of secondary Fantasyland attractions before a 10:00 AM Peter Pan’s Flight FastPass+ reservation, and that helps cut down on how much walking you have to do in the park.
Big Thunder and Splash Mountain are on the list, too. While they don’t normally get a huge influx of guests immediately at park opening, lines of 20 to 40 minutes can develop around mid-morning at Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain, as crowds make their way from Tomorrowland and Fantasyland.
Enchanted Tales with Belle makes the top five because it usually doesn’t make sense to visit it first thing in the morning. Counting walking time to Belle and the elaborate pre-show process, you’d probably be committing about half an hour to that one attraction, whereas you could probably visit 2 or 3 other attractions in Fantasyland or Tomorrowland in the same amount of time.
Pirates of the Caribbean and the Jungle Cruise are interesting additions to this chart, because our software usually recommends these as day-of FastPasses, not one of the 3 you’d get in advance before you arrive at the park. Take a look at the chart below and you’ll see that most of our Jungle Cruise recommendations are for late afternoon, day-of FastPass+ reservations. Why? These aren’t in the top tier of popular attractions in the park, and they’ve got enough capacity to move a lot of people per hour. Those two things help moderate waits, so other attractions are generally more important for your first set of FastPass+ reservations.
Space Mountain appears on the list probably because of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The Mine Train is still a hot attraction in Magic Kingdom, and it also has a shorter height requirement than Space Mountain (38 inches vs 44 inches), meaning more families want to ride it. Space Mountain is followed by Buzz Lightyear in many of our touring plans, to minimize how much you have to wait at these popular rides.
What about the Anna & Elsa meet and greet at Princess Fairytale Hall? Demand for those FastPasses still far exceeds supply on most busy days, so it’s unlikely that most families will get one. Because it’s unlikely that FastPasses will be available, the software doesn’t recommend trying. If you’d still like to meet the princesses, the waits are lowest first thing in the morning.
Attractions In Our Touring Plans That
Never Need FastPass+
Some FastPass+ attractions seem never to require FastPass+, either because the touring plan gets you to them before long lines develop, or because the attraction rarely sees long waits:
Magic Kingdom Attractions In Our Touring Plans That Rarely Require Advance FastPass+ Reservations
- it’s a small world
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- The Mickey Mouse meet & greet
- Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid
It’s also worth noting that we don’t usually recommend using an advance FastPass+ for the Main Street Electrical Parade, Wishes fireworks or many shows, so they don’t appear on this list. FastPass+ at parades, fireworks, and shows usually only gets you a guaranteed seat or spot to stand. You still have to arrive early to stake out a prime viewing location, so you don’t end up saving much time. We think you’re better off using FastPass+ to avoid long waits in line. The touring plans do recommend checking for FastPass+ reservations for the nighttime entertainment once you’ve used your last attraction FastPass reservation though.
The Best Times for FastPass+ Reservations at Key Magic Kingdom Attractions
Now that you know which attractions most need FastPass+, the next question is when you should make your FastPass+ reservations. Here’s a chart showing the times our Magic Kingdom touring plans use FastPass+ to avoid long lines (yellow=morning times, orange=afternoon):
In the chart above, yellow cells indicate morning FastPass+ reservations, and orange is for afternoon reservations. Grey represents day-of FastPass+ reservations, and all of these are made in the afternoon, after you’ve used your initial set of advance FastPass+ reservations.
Our touring plan software tends to recommend Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan, Big Thunder Mountain, and Enchanted Tales with Belle a lot in the morning. All of the other attractions tend to have their FastPass+ recommendations in the middle to late afternoon.
What To Do If You Have Other FastPass+ Attractions or Times
If you can get a FastPass+ reservation for the attractions shown, anywhere near the times listed, the touring plans will work exactly as shown, and your waits in line will be minimized. If you need to choose other FastPass+ attractions or times, our free computer-optimized touring plan software will incorporated those.
For what it’s worth, here’s the process I usually follow to create an optimized touring plan with low waits in line:
- Select all of the attractions I want to visit during the day, and enter in all of the meals and breaks I want to take. I don’t enter any FastPass+ times at this step, because I first want to see what the Optimizer identifies as the attractions with potentially long waits.
- Click the “Optimize” button and wait for the touring plan to be optimized.
- Find the first attraction with a wait over 30 minutes, and see if a FastPass+ reservation is available for that attraction around that time. If I find one, I enter in the FastPass+ time that’s available, and re-optimize the plan.
- I repeat Step 3 for the two FastPass+ eligible attractions with the highest wait times throughout the day. I re-optimize the plan after each attraction, because saving a bunch of time on one attraction may allow the Optimizer to uncover other ways to save you time throughout the day.
Another great resource for optimizing touring plans is our Lines Chat forum, where lots of folks are happy to offer suggestions.
Magic Kingdom FastPass+ Kiosks
Magic Kingdom’s FastPass+ kiosks are located throughout the park, including:
- In the walkway between Adventureland and Liberty Square, near The Diamond Horseshoe Saloon in Liberty Square and Swiss Family Treehouse in Adventureland
- At the entrance to Jungle Cruise in Adventureland
- Outside Mickey’s PhilharMagic in Fantasyland
- Near Stitch’s Great Escape in Tomorrowland
Other Tips and Advice for FastPass+ at Magic Kingdom
Tips and advice for specific attractions and touring FastPass+ attractions in Magic Kingdom:
- Space Mountain,
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train,
Peter Pan’s Flight,
Princess Fairytale Hall’s meet and greets, and
Enchanted Tales with Belle develop long lines within 30 to 50 minutes of park opening. Use FastPass+ if you are unable to ride these attractions early in the day.
- If you do not ride Space Mountain immediately after park opening, use FastPass+ if available.
- Those using FastPass+ for Space Mountain cannot play the interactive games in the stand-by queue.
- FastPass+ enables you to postpone a wet ride like Splash Mountain to a warmer part of the day.
- If it is a cold day (or if it will be cold at night), do not bother with FastPass+ for Splash Mountain. Lines will be short on cold days and once it gets cold at night.