The Best Magic Kingdom FastPass Strategy
Magic Kingdom is the most popular park at Disney World. There are so many rides and characters to meet there that it is hard to fit it all in. To avoid waiting in long standby lines for everything, you need to make good use out of your FastPasses and have a Magic Kingdom FastPass Strategy! This post will outline all the details of the best rides to FastPass at Magic Kingdom and includes our Magic Kingdom Itinerary
If you’re new to planning a Disney World vacation and don’t know what FastPasses are, start with this post that explains everything.
Let’s start with the basics. Here are the Magic Kingdom FastPass rides. There are NO Magic Kingdom FastPass Tiers. Only the rides in Epcot have tiers. And FastPass is FREE to use, it doesn’t cost you anything extra!
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Magic Kingdom FastPass Rides
These FastPass rides have height requirements (listed in inches):
Space Mountain (44”)
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (40”)
Splash Mountain (40”)
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (38”)
Barn Stormer (35”)
Tomorrowland Speedway (32”)
The rest of the FastPass rides at Magic Kingdom alphabetically:
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Enchanted Tales with Belle
It’s a Small World
Mad Tea Party (teacups)
Magic Carpets of Aladdin
Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Meet Ariel at Her Grotto
Meet Cinderella & Elena at Princess Fairytale Hall
Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater
Meet Rapunzel & Tiana at Princess Fairytale Hall
Meet Tinker Bell at Town Square Theater
Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor
Peter Pan’s Flight
Pirates of the Carribean
Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid
Magic Kingdom FastPass Strategy to Get Difficult FastPasses
The best idea when making your FastPass reservations is to try to reserve the most difficult FastPasses first.
At the time of writing this the most popular and most difficult Disney Magic Kingdom FastPass is Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. However, Disney is always coming out with new attractions so at some point there will be something new that overtakes this ride’s top spot.
Try to get the most difficult FastPasses first, then go back and fill in the rest of your schedule. This likely means you are hopping around days and parks when making reservations, and not doing things in chronological order.
How Do I Pick Which FastPasses to Get?
Everyone will have different priorities on what their family wants to do. Even trying to make everyone happy in the same family can be a challenge at times. I suggest picking one item per family member to prioritize if everyone has differing opinions.
In our family, our daughter is a big fan of Ariel so I knew I wanted her to be able to meet Ariel in her Grotto. This is the only place you can meet Ariel with her fin! Our son’s favorite character is Buzz Lightyear so I knew I would get a FastPass for that ride. And my favorite ride is Splash Mountain so I was definitely getting FastPasses for that!
Big Thunder Mountain is pretty popular and can build a long line, so that was another FastPass choice. I chose this instead of Space Mountain because everyone could ride Big Thunder Mountain, but only my daughter could ride Space Mountain due to the height requirement.
You can also split up FastPasses between family members and have some people do one ride while the other half of the group does something else, but I chose to get the same FastPasses for everyone.
Generally speaking the top fast passes for Magic Kingdom are the newest rides, and the big coasters like Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Those will have longer wait times.
If you have a little one who has a favorite character, using a FastPass to ensure they get to meet or see that character is also a good idea.
Some sites recommend never to get FastPasses for certain rides because the lines are never long, but if you love something and want to make sure you get a chance to do it, you should get a FastPass for it. It’s your vacation, do what will make you happy!
Magic Kingdom FastPass Strategy
Have a plan before you log on to make your FastPass selections! Check the height requirements, check your children’s heights, think about if some people will be too scared to ride certain rides, determine if there are any MUST do or MUST meet characters and go from there.
My Magic Kingdom FastPass Strategy for our first day was to concentrate on Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. For the second day, I concentrated on Adventureland and Frontierland. It’s best to pick FastPasses and dining reservations that are relatively near each other. This way you will avoid having to walk from one end of the park to the other to make all your reservation times.
Our First Day FastPass Picks:
-Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
-Meet Ariel in her Grotto
-Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
Our Second Day FastPass Picks:
-Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
-Enchanted Tales with Belle
Magic Kingdom Itinerary-Day One
Two of the top rides at Magic Kingdom are Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight. These rides are total opposites. Seven Dwarfs is a new thrilling roller coaster and Peter Pan’s Flight is a slow, older ride that is popular for nostalgia’s sake.
Since I was able to get FastPasses for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, we went to Peter Pan’s Flight first thing in the morning right after rope drop. You might not believe it but if you don’t ride Peter Pan at rope drop or with a FastPass, you will be waiting in line a long time!
In between our Fantasyland FastPass times, we rode on other Fantasyland attractions that had short standby lines. Getting to the park for rope drop is the best way to maximize your day. You can ride a lot of rides in the morning while the crowds and heat are still bearable. We were able to ride the carousel, teacups, and Dumbo in our first window between 1st and 2nd FastPasses.
Between meeting Ariel and doing the Buzz Lightyear ride we were able to ride Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid, the Barn Stormer twice and play in Casey Jr.’s Splash Pad. (Bring extra clothes if your kids will do this).
After we rode Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, it was perfect timing to grab lunch at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.
Make sure you download and are using the My Disney Experience App. At several quick-service restaurants, you can order food from your phone which significantly cuts down the amount of time you have to wait. Also, it’s nice to order from a table or while you’re walking over to the restaurant to keep the kids from going crazy in line.
Since we were finished with lunch and Fastpasses by the early afternoon, we had the option to add one more FastPass or call it a day and head back to the hotel for some ice cream and pool time.
When you’re at Disney World for more than a couple of days, it is nice to take the afternoon to relax sometimes. You can always head back to the parks in the evening if you choose or just spend time enjoying your resort.
Magic Kingdom Itinerary-Day Two
We had a pre-opening breakfast reservation at Crystal Palace at 8:00. We got to the gates by 7:45 so we would have time to take some photos with the castle in the background. We knew this was our chance for the least amount of crowds behind us.
We had breakfast with Winnie the Pooh and Friends at Crystal Palace-great food and wonderful experience even if your kids aren’t super into Winnie the Pooh. By the time we finished, we were on the My Disney Experience app checking wait times for rides.
Splash Mountain was only a 10-minute wait! Since we were heading over that direction anyway, it was a perfect choice. We were able to ride Splash Mountain twice by using the standby line before our FastPasses for Big Thunder Mountain.
After Big Thunder Mountain, we had FastPasses for Splash Mountain. Everyone was happy to ride again, so we did that.
Bonus tip: If you have a baby or child to small for Splash Mountain, there is a small playground under the bridge next to the ride. It is shaded and has fans. It makes a great place to wait while your family rides Splash Mountain! In the picture below the playground is on the right, under the overpass.
We knew we were going to Harbor House for Lunch, but before that, we made a stop to buy Christmas ornaments at the store in Liberty Square. Once again we utilized the My Disney Experience App to order our food in advance. While one adult is ordering/waiting in line the other adult goes to find a table and sits down.
Our final FastPass for the day was Tales with Belle. The Haunted Mansion would’ve been another convenient FastPass to have for our path.
I was skeptical about Tales with Belle but saw it recommended more than once so decided to go for it. My middle son was tired and not interested in it and the baby fell asleep walking over to it. You can’t take strollers inside this attraction, so my husband decided to wait outside with the boys while I went in with my daughter.
She loved it! Each child gets assigned a role in the story of Beauty and the Beast (if they want, shy kids do not have to participate). You are then led into the Beast’s library and Belle comes out to join you. With the help of Lumiere and the Cast Members, the children act out the story of Beauty and the Beast.
After their performance is finished, each child gets a chance to meet and take a photo with Belle. They only allow the PhotoPass photographer to take the pictures, they will give you a card with a code that you can add to your Memory Maker if you have it.
After Belle, we hopped on the app for one more FastPass and took a cruise through It’s A Small World. Then we decided to go back to the hotel for swimming for the rest of the afternoon and evening.
Extra Evening at Magic Kingdom
You may have been thinking we missed a lot at Magic Kingdom like the parade, Adventureland rides, and the night time show. Our first day in the parks was spent at Epcot. We finished our FastPasses there and then decided to head to the Magic Kingdom for the rest of the day.
We arrived just in time to see the parade go by. Then we went for an early dinner at The Plaza restaurant. From there we headed into Adventureland where we rode Pirates of the Caribbean, Aladdin’s Magic Carpets, went to the Tiki Room (classic!), and treated ourselves to Dole Whips. We were then able to keep walking to Big Thunder Mountain and wait about 30 minutes to ride standby. Finally we made our way to the Haunted Mansion before scouting out our spots to watch the light and fireworks show at the castle.
We were able to squeeze a lot into that first evening. That’s why we didn’t feel the pressure to stay all day long on the other days we visited Magic Kingdom. This just goes to show you, you can’t do it all in one day, but you can do a lot! I would advise anyone to allow 2 full days at Magic Kingdom if possible.
4th FastPass Selection
After you complete three FastPasses for the day, you will be able to make one additional selection. You can make the FastPass reservation from your phone on the My Disney Experience App or you can visit a FastPass kiosk, Magic Kingdom has them located near:
Pete’s Silly Side Show
The Diamond Horseshoe
Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
You can see a map of these locations here.
In our experience, the Magic Kingdom FastPass options on the 4th ride were never the big roller coasters. The FastPass options were rides like It’s A Small World, Jungle Cruise, and Pirates of the Caribbean.
What if I Don’t Get the FastPasses I Want?
If you wanted a FastPass for a particular ride or attraction and didn’t get it, don’t give up! Keep checking on My Disney Experience to see if something opens up, people change plans all the time.
If you can use Early Magic Hours, you can arrive at the park a few minutes before the start of Early Magic Hours (usually 7 AM), and head straight to the ride you weren’t able to get a FastPass for.
If that still doesn’t work, show up to Magic Kingdom for rope drop (on a day where there are not Early Magic Hours) and go to that ride immediately. Other times where the standby line may not be as long are during any kind of parade or night time show. Those are great times to squeeze in some rides as the parade/show will draw a lot of crowds away from the attractions.
One more way is to have a Magic Kingdom breakfast before the park opens. Make a reservation at one of the restaurants in Magic Kingdom for a pre-park opening breakfast. Ideally, you have a reservation for one hour before the park opens. Eat your breakfast quickly and get into position for rope drop or even head over to a ride and get in line!
If you dine at Cinderella’s Royal Table or Be Our Guest, you will be able to enter the area of Fantasyland and then be able to potentially ride a ride (Seven Dwarfs Mine Train) before rope drop!
Magic Kingdom Restaurants That Offer Pre-Opening Breakfast Reservations:
Cinderella’s Royal Table
Be Our Guest
Don’t let the Disney World Magic Kingdom FastPass planning process overwhelm you! It’s pretty simple once you understand how the system works. Even if you don’t get some of the FastPasses you want, there is enough at Magic Kingdom to keep everyone happy and entertained. After all, it is the Happiest Place on Earth!
If you still have questions about FastPasses don’t forget to read this post too! You can also drop a question in the comments and I’ll do my best to help you out!