The Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and the Animal Kingdom each offer an awesome array of thrill rides, dark rides, and attractions. Disney uses what it calls FastPass+ to let guests skip the regular standby line on at least three attractions per day.
FastPasses are free, but you have to be quick. FastPasses become available 60 days in advance of your check-in if you are staying in a hotel on Disney property (or in a Disney “apprproved” hotel) but only 30 days in advance if you are staying anywhere else.
The following are attractions we consider “FastPass Worthy”—meaning that getting yourself a FastPass could save you hours of time over the course of an entire day.
Take note that this isn’t a ranking of the best rides or a list of must-dos. We don’t think there is any experience at Disney that is guaranteed fun for everyone. “FastPass Worthy” simply means that these rides have really long waits for various reasons, and you’ll save yourself a lot of time by using a FastPass.
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The wait for this ride is very long because it’s still considered “new” and it’s a rollercoaster. Sadly, while the ride is beautiful and the queue is super cute, the ride itself is not the best. Which ironically makes us want to snag a FastPass for it even more because there is nothing worse than waiting two hours for a ride that is just so-so.
- Space Mountain or Splash Mountain. It’s a tie with these two. Everyone wants to ride Space Mountain because it’s so iconic and it’s a rollercoaster. The line can get up in the 70-90 minute range pretty quick. Splash Mountain’s wait time often rivals Space Mountain’s. It’s the only water ride in the park and it has a daunting drop at the end. It’s a pretty big thrill ride.
- Peter Pan’s Flight. Peter Pan’s Flight is classic Disney and made for all ages. It’s magical but, it can’t take on a lot of people at one time. Unfortunately, this creates the attraction’s extra long line (a wait of 70-minutes is pretty typical). A FastPass for this will save you an hour or more.
However, if you ever see a wait for Peter Pan’s Flight of 30 minutes or less (maybe early in the morning or late at night) definietly try the standby line. The queue into the Darling’s house is — well, “darling.” It’s worth the time.
Once Tron opens in the Magic Kingdom (2021), we suspect that we’ll need to add it to the list. New attractions always create extraordinarily long lines.
- Test Track. The 60-mile per hour lap makes this thrill ride a must do for most ride-goers. But unless you get on this attraction first thing after the park opens, you’ll have a very long wait without a FastPass. We also avoid the standby line during the day because Test Track seems to break down a lot and closes for rain. It’s less irritating to have this happen when you’ve only been in line a few minutes because of your FastPass, rather than after you’ve been in a standy line for an hour or more.
- Soarin’. We like to get FastPasses for this one because we find the line incredibly frustrating and we want to stand in it as little as possible. The wait for Soarin’ is always longer than the posted time. The queue is really, really boring. The wide lanes make you constantly monitor your place in line (because it’s very easy for the people behind you to sneak ahead). Then, just when you think you are nearing the end of the line, you find yourself in another line. Guests are shuffled from the main line, to a theater wing line, and finally a boarding line to enter the theater. Even with a FastPass, it feels like it takes FOREVER to ride Soarin’.
- Frozen Ever After. The movie’s popularity makes this ride a must do for almost all families with kids at Epcot. When it opened, wait times were listed at 300 minutes. It has gotten more reasonable since then, but it’s still a good idea to snag a FastPass for this one if you can. You’ll free up at least an hour of your day.
With new attactions like Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (2020) and Guardians of the Galaxy (2021) coming soon, this list will change in a year or less. Just remember, no matter what park you are in, getting FastPasses for new attractions is always a good idea.
- Millineium Falcon, Smuggler’s Run. FastPasses for this one will become available starting Feb. 19 and they will definintely be the most wanted FastPasses at the park. Make sure you book as soon as your window opens (and remember it’s 60 days before you check into your hotel, not 60 days before you plan to visit the park).
- Slinky Dog Dash This rollercoaster in Toy Story Land (which opened in the summer of 2018) still boasts one of the longest lines in the park. The worst part about its standby line is that it’s outside and mostly in the sun. Grab a FastPass for this one not only to save time, but to save yourself from a major sunburn.
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. The first attraction featuring the big cheese opens on Mar. 4, so put it on your bucket list for FastPasses. Lines will be long all year. For advance booking, this ride, Slinky Dog Dash and Smuggler’s Run are all considered “Tier 1” attractions, so you’ll only be able to choose one of the three ahead of time. The Railway is most likely the best choice for young kids.
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster’s standby line starts posting very long wait times in as little as 45 minutes after the park opens. The coaster is pretty intense, which to us is not something we want to do first thing in the morning. A FastPass for this ride saves time and gives us a chance to work up the courage to get into the limo.
For this rollercoaster, however, it has a handy single-rider line. So, if you can’t get yourself a FastPass, consider using single-rider. You can’t choose who you sit with, but the wait is significantly shorter. (Epcot’s Test Track and the Animal Kingdom’s Expedition Everest have a single-rider lines as well.)
- Flight of Passage. Best use of a FastPass in all of the Animal Kingdom. It’s the most innovative ride at Walt Disney World (although some report that they do experience motion sickness on it), which makes it a must-do for many people. Without a FastPass, you’ll undoubtedly spend close to two hours waiting to ride.
- Expedition Everest. This one is hit or miss. Since Flight of Passage opened, the standby line for this attraction has become much shorter. However, if you want to play it safe, do grab a FastPass. The worst case scenario is that you’ll ride it once with a FastPass and again using the standby line.
- Kilimanjaro Safaris. Kilimanjaro is such a fun experience that you may want to do it twice, that’s why we recommend booking a FastPass for one time of day and using the standby line to enjoy the animals in action at another time of the day.
To wrap up, here are some things you need to know about FastPasses:
- You need to have a valid park ticket or annual pass to book a FastPass (So, if your window opens 60 days out, make sure you’ve purchased your family’s tickets before then and linked the ticket numbers to your My Disney Experience account.)
- On the day you visit the park, once you use up all your FastPasses you are allowed to book more, but only one at a time.
- If you didn’t get the FastPass you wanted, keep checking. You could luck into picking up a popular FastPass that another person just canceled.
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