Maybe you’ve heard about Pandora, the World of Avatar and knew you had to get to Animal Kingdom. And hopefully, your Disney vacation is pretty much booked. But wait….
You’ve also heard about those long wait times for Flight of Passage. So what do you do now?
Let me just tell you that I waited no time for both rides in Pandora. Because I toured the right way. The question is, did you get your Fast Passes yet?
FastPasses are available at no additional charge to all park guests and are a great way to save tons of time on your vacation. So, what is FastPass anyway? FastPass allows you, the guest, to avoid long lines at popular attractions give you more time to actually enjoy the park rather than spend your day waiting in line.
It is a virtual line created by a computer that basically saves your space in line. It has the ability to calculate how many guests are in front of you in the virtual line and how much time it will take for your virtual position to arrive in the front of the line. The time frame is printed on your ticket, so you know when you get your turn at an attraction. It sounds complicated but it’s an amazing time saver.
FastPass is only available on a few attractions and offered at a first come first serve basis. You can only use FastPass a limited number of times in a day, but it can really save you time on your Animal Kingdom adventure. All you need is your original entry ticket to the park to take advantage of the FastPass system. Keep in mind that everyone in your group that wants to ride together must have a FastPass ticket or else some of you are waiting in line.
Why FastPass is a Valuable Addition to your Animal Kingdom Adventure
The Animal Kingdom is an extremely popular destination for all ages visiting Disney World and the surrounding parks. This park has fewer attractions than most theme parks but that doesn’t hurt its popularity.
Crowds start to pick up late morning and continue to grow throughout the day, only dying down a few hours before the park closes. Because of this, you should get there early to get most of your thrills in before the crowds grow. FastPass is great for those who time block and schedule their day to make the most of the trip. Choosing to utilize FastPass will allow you to skip most of the lines and maximize your time at the park.
While waiting for your chance to enjoy an attraction you can visit another part of the park. Be sure to watch your time and stay close enough to the attraction of your FastPass ticket so you aren’t rushing to get in line before your time expires.
Attractions with FastPass at Animal Kingdom
There is a good amount of attractions at Animal Kingdom that offer the FastPass system. Because the number of times you can use the system is limited, I’ve compiled a list of the best attractions to use your FastPass tickets to make the most of your trip to Animal Kingdom.
Pandora- The World of Avatar
There are two attractions within Pandora, Avatar Flight of Passage and the Na’ vi River Journey. Disney introduced a tiered selection process for these attractions meaning you will only be able to select one of the two attractions of Pandora per day. If you want FastPasses for both you will need to visit Animal Kingdom on two separate days. Both Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey are extremely popular with extensive wait times. The Na’vi River Journey has on average an hour to an hour and a half wait time while Flight of Passage usually averages out at an hour and a half to two hours. This makes FastPass for each of these very beneficial to saving time and thoroughly enjoying Pandora.
Pro Tip: Flight of Passage is a must have FastPass. So get your FastPass for Flight of Passage and ride Na’vi River Journey as soon as the park opens.
Kali River Rapids
If you are visiting Animal Kingdom in the summer months, which is what most people do, you will need a way to keep cool. That’s where Kali River Rapids comes in with a refreshing and fun way to cool down. Be prepared to get soaked. Avoid standing in the scorching sun for this attraction by getting a FastPass ticket. This raft ride often has very long lines with a wait time of about one hour, sometimes longer depending on the time of day. It’s incredibly fun and worth using a FastPass ticket on.
Festival of the Lion King
Listed as one of the best shows across all of Disney World, Festival of the Lion King features amazing music, fun characters, and extremely lively performance. You would only need a FastPass for this if you are looking to see the show at a time and want to get a good seat.
If you trying to stick to a good schedule while visiting the park, FastPass is good for this attraction. However, if time is not an issue you can certainly save your FastPass for an attraction with a long line. This show is a great way to take a break from walking around the park and get an up close and personal feel for the Disney classic The Lion King. I would recommend this for families of all makes and models. .
You absolutely must have a FastPass for this attraction. If you are looking for something that is fun for the entire family, this is it. Kilimanjaro Safaris is one of the most unique and incredible attractions across the entire Disney World Theme Park. You and your family get to enjoy a real safari through the Savanna and get an up-close look at hundreds of species of animals native to the African Savanna.
Keep the time of day in mind when visiting this attraction because the animals are most active early in the day and later in the evening. If you go during the hottest part of the day you will see more sleeping animals than anything. The lines for this attraction are usually two hours long or more making FastPass essential to enjoying your adventure.
Expedition Everest- Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
This attraction is a definite FastPass must for groups that want to stay together or with children that must be accompanied by an adult. The lines for Expedition Everest are ridiculously long. This is by far one of Disney’s most expensive attractions as well as the most expensive roller coaster in the world.
You can’t fully understand why until you enjoy this ride for yourself. This attraction does offer a single rider line which typically doesn’t have a very long wait and could potentially allow you to save your FastPass for another attraction.
Rivers of Light
Rivers of Light is a spectacular nighttime show featuring lasers, floating set features, water fountains, mist screens, fog, lights, fire effects and so much more all in one outdoor theater.
Its located in the Discovery River Lagoon between Discovery Island and Expedition Everest. It is by far one of the top two shows on Disney Worlds list. If you want to secure a good seat, then a FastPass is a must for Rivers of Light. Everyone in the whole family will enjoy this one.
Take a ride on a CTX Time Rover and be transported back to the age of dinosaurs in this fun-filled attraction. This adventure takes on you the hunt of a lifetime. The goal is to return to the present day with a three-ton Iguanodon in tow. The Dino Institute houses this amazing Dinosaur attraction.
Start by walking through the queuing area filled with fossil exhibits and a life-sized dinosaur skeleton. At the end of the exhibit, you enter the “pre-show” section of the attraction. The pre-show explains the creation of the time rover and the study of dinosaurs. There you are given your adventure agenda and asked to bring back the last iguanodon before the giant meteor hits the earth, killing the dinosaurs forever.
Once the show is over you board your Time Rover and the adventure begins. The ride takes you through a dark prehistoric forest where you see dinosaurs of all kinds popping up out of nowhere. The attraction lasts approximately eight minutes and is well worth every second. A FastPass is a good idea for this one, it’s an adventure fit for all ages!
How to Strategically Use FastPass
Implementing a strategy when using FastPass is a sure-fire way to maximize time and enjoyment when visiting the Animal Kingdom. Start with booking your FastPass reservations on the Disney Website or downloading the My Disney Experience App.
Before you arrive at the Animal Kingdom, you can book 3 FastPass reservations. Once you use those reservations you can schedule an extra pass. You can add additional passes after each attraction until the end of the day or until you use the maximum FastPass slots allowed.
It’s important to keep in mind that the Animal Kingdom doesn’t allow an equal booking to all FastPass attractions. For example, you can only pre-book one Tier 1 FastPass for either Navi River or Flight of Passage. All other attractions are tier 2 and allow you to book up to two attractions. If you don’t book a tier 1 FastPass you can use all 3 Fastpasses for tier 2.
Don’t Book FastPasses for Rides that Won’t Include the Entire Group
If there are members of your group that aren’t tall enough to ride a ride, then those members will miss out on the attraction which could result in a wasted FastPass.
- Avatar Flight of passage: at least 44 inches tall
- Expedition Everest: at least 44 inches tall
- Dinosaur: at least 40 inches tall
- Kali River Rapids: at least 38 inches tall
Length of Time You’re Visiting
It’s a common opinion that the Animal Kingdom is no longer a one-day park, but I think it still can be. Either way, you may find it extremely challenging to enjoy all the attractions in just one day.
If you are just visiting for one day, be sure to prioritize your FastPasses for the most popular attractions but also ones the whole group will be able to enjoy.
Arrive 30 Minutes to an Hour before the Park Opens
If you choose to stay in the park and the Animal Kingdom is offering Magic Hours, I would use them. Wake up early to get there on time. If you are not staying on the park and you choose to use the Magic Hours, keep in mind you will be behind hundreds of people also taking advantage of the extra time and might miss out altogether. People staying on the park tend to arrive as much as an hour early to get in first.
The FastPass system was designed to save you time and cut down on lines at the Disney Theme parks including Animal Kingdom. This park is full of amazing adventures sure to excite everyone in your family. If you’re planning a trip to Animal Kingdom, be sure to utilize the FastPass system to make the most of your adventure. Don’t waste time standing in long lines, especially if you plan to explore the whole park in one day. FastPass gives you the chance to make the most of your time at the park and doesn’t cost you a penny more.
If you’re really interested in making the most time of your time at the Disney parks, take a look at the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. I am a Disney World pro through and through and I still buy this book yearly. I just visited Animal Kingdom and rode both Pandora rides without a sweat, thanks to this book. Otherwise, I have a free FastPass guide to all of Disney World.