Wednesday, November 6, 2013

BEST Rides to Pick for Disney Fastpass+

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With the introduction of Disney MagicBands have come Fastpass+. Fastpass Plus will be replacing Fastpasses as we know them in 2014. There are some advantages of Fastpass+ as well as some major drawbacks which you will want to know about. And most importantly, the best rides to choose for your Disney Fastpass+ – you only get 3!
best fastpass+ rides to choose at magic kingdom - Fastpass Plus

What is Disney Fastpass+

MagicBand Fastpass+ Help
Disney is changing the way they do Fastpasses. The changes won’t be complete until sometime in 2014. Until then you will continue to use traditional Fastpasses or selected guests using Disney MagicBands will have access to Fastpass+ (currently guests testing Fastpass+ still get a traditional key to the world card which allows them to use the old Fastpass system as well – this is in case of  hiccups in the system)

Basically, Disney has concluded guests have a more positive experience when they use Fastpasses. To allow more guests to have that positive experience they are giving out fewer Fastpasses per person. (There are rumors this system will eventually be limited to Disney resort guests or that guests may be able to get additional Fastpasses for a price. But at this point, those are all just that – rumors.)
Fastpass+ ties in with Disney’s new MagicBand technology allowing guests to customize their vacation from home, tweak it on the go through a mobile ap, and control it all from the convenience of a bracelet. Pretty nifty technology!

Like before, guests will have a 1 hour window in which to use their Fastpass+. However, guests must reserve their Fastpass+ onilne up to 60 days before their trip, through the Disney Ap or at one of two kiosks at the Magic Kingdom.  There are some great new rides and attractions that have been added as part of the program.

If you are visiting Disney within 60 days, don’t miss How to set-up your Disney Fastpass(coming Nov 16th)

Disney Fastpass+ Includes shows! Main Street Electrical Parade seen from VIP Fastpass+ Resrved Area

Advantage of Disney Fastpass+

  • You don’t need a runner any more! No one will need to run around the park throughout your day trying to grab fastpasses for future times for your group.
  • Additional Rides Included! There are additional rides included such as Pirates of the Caribbean®, Haunted Mansion®, and "it's a small world"®
  • Bring on the Shows! You can now get special reserved viewing locations for various shows through the day including the Main Street Electrical Parade
  • Plan your Day Better – You can plan out your Fastpass+ around your dining reservations, arrival time, and more.
  • You can Sleep in & still get to Toy Story Mania! – Previously if you didn’t get to the park to grab a fastpass to favorite attractions such as Toy Story Mania they would all be gone by 10am. That meant that guests just arriving at Disney or who choose to sleep in wouldn’t get a chance to snag Fastpasses. Now, all guetss have a chance to grab Fastpasses no matter if they are early birds or night owls.
  • No carrying around dozens of Fastpasses! – I always ended up carrying dozens of Fastpass tickets. It bulked up my pockets and was one more thing to keep track of. Now, with the Magicband technology there is no more paper to clutter your vacation.

Disadvantages of Disney's Fastpass+

What you Won’t Like about Fastpass Plus

  • You will end up getting WAY fewer fastpasses! With only three Fastpass+ a day that barely covers the top 3 attractions in each of the parks. That means more waiting time. And if you use your fastpass+ for shows or rides in the morning, you might as well leave in the afternoon! Those of us who used runners and knew how to plan our day could get 10-15 fastpasses a day. But that’s not possible with Fastpass+
  • You can only get a Fastpass+ for a ride ONCE! If you think you are just going to save all your Fastpass+ for Toy Story Mania? Sorry, no such luck. You can only pick a Fastpass+ for a ride once per day.
  • Disney Website & Ap is SLOW! Getting a fastpass was simple and quick. The only way to reserve your Fastpass+ or change them is through Disney’s website and ap which are currently tediously slow! It took me 5 hours to reserve our Fastpass+ for 10 days and I am pretty computer savvy –ugh! Who’s got that time?
  • You have to plan – Disney was never a relaxing vacation……. but for those who like to just take the day as it comes, that just isn’t possible with the Fastpass+ You snooze you loose!

So what rides should I get Fastpass+ for at Magic Kingdom?

While it would be nice to get a Fastpass Plus for every ride, that is no longer possible. With only 3 Fastpass+ a day you will need to be very discerning as far as what rides or shows you pick. These things are a BIG commodity!
Fastpass+ highly recommended for Meeting Ariel in her Grotto

Highly Recommend Getting Fastpass+ for . . .

In no particular order, here are the 5 rides, attractions, and shows you really should get Fastpass Plus’ for while you are at Magic Kingdom of your family would enjoy the attraction.

  • Meet Ariel at Her Grotto – This is the only place to see Ariel with her mermaid legs. Plus you will get to visit her in a stunning under the sea surrounding. If your little one is an Ariel fan be sure to get a Fastpass+ as this line tops 45 minutes all day long!
  • Peter Pan's Flight® No surprise on this one, the classic Peter Pan ride is still a favorite with guests. You will wait more than an hour during the day to ride this attraction. Unless you can ride it in the first 15 minutes the park opens, you will want a Fastpass+. This ride will even have a 40 minutes wait up until closing time! And it is that good!
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle – If you want to see this interactive show (and everyone with kids 10 and under should at least once) you will want a Fastpass+. The wait for this show tops 60 minutes during most of the day!
  • Splash Mountain®Another favorite ride! Splash Mountain has it all – it is a 16 minute ride with elaborate animated theming and a thrilling plunge. This family favorite has an hour long+ ride throughout the day. For shorter waits try the first 40 minutes after the park opens or that last 35 minutes of the day. Note: They turn some of the spray down in the evening hours.
  • Meet Princess at Princess Fairytale HallIf you want to meet the Princesses at Magic Kingdom you will want a Fastpass+. Without it, even during magic hours, it has a long 35-60+ minutes wait. Personally, now that you only get to see 2 princesses at a time (either Cinderella & a Princess friend or Tangled & a Princess friend) I feel it isn’t really worth the wait. I’d much prefer having breakfast with the Princesses at Askerhaus in Epcot and seeing 5 Princesses from the convenience of my breakfast table, but you decide what’s right for your family.

Disney Fastpass+ recommended for Pirates of the Caribbean

Recommend Getting Fastpass+ for . . .

  • Pirates of the Caribbean® – There is now a Fastpass+ option for Pirates of the Caribbean. This classic ride seems to be in high demand especially in the afternoon. Although you won’t mind waiting 40 minutes in the cool indoor lines, you may want to bypass the lines by using the Fastpass+ option for this ride if you are planning to ride it in the afternoon. Note that this ride tends to be about 10 minutes long even using the Fastpass+, but still a worthwhile time saver if you are here multiple days.
  • Haunted Mansion® – You can visit the happy haunts first or last thing in your day and wait less than 15 minutes. But if you’d prefer to not wind around in the outdoor heat you can skip the lines with a Fastpass+. You will however miss visiting the cemetery where we enjoy playing the Organ, pushing in the books, and other fun elements from the interactive queue.
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad® – If you ride this first thing or after dinner you can often spend less than 20 minutes in line. But if that doesn’t work in your plans you may consider using a Fastpass+. This is my kids favorite roller coaster at Disney World – with fun theming and a thrilling ride this is a don’t miss for anyone who meets the height and health requirements.

Fastpass Plus recommended for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom

  • Jungle Cruise® – This classic ride often has quite a long line throughout the day. On top of that, the lines is all outdoors in a cattle corral style without much theming to distract you from your wait. Although ride isn’t a priority for our family, for the one time we ride it during our vacation – we like to skip the wait!
  • Space Mountain® – This ride doesn’t seem to be as popular after the renovations from a couple years back. Personally I find it too jerky. If this is a favorite of yours you may want to consider riding it first thing or after dinner to spend about 20 minutes in line. You can always opt for a Fastpass+ if you’d prefer.
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid – Although the line for this newer ride does get upwards of 45 minutes, the line itself is cool and beautifully created. Your kids will love spotting the blue crab in the decorations and listen to Scuttle talk while you wait in the cool air conditioning. Like most rides, riding first or last thing will keep your wait at a more reasonable 15 minutes.
  • Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin® – This is my son’s favorite ride! We love to do this just before the park closes and ride it again and again when the wait is at 5 minutes! But if you need to ride it from lunch through the afternoon hours, the wait can top 45 minutes. Consider using a Fastpass+ for this short, but action packed, 3 minute ride.
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – This delightful ride through the Blustery Day is a must for families. The line can quite long, although you can usually see it first thing or last thing in the day with only a 15-20 minute wait. This line is fun because it has an interactive queue – your kids can climb through Eeyore’s House, play in Rabbit’s garden, fly bees, and move the honey to find the picture of Winnie the Pooh. Maybe even a 35 minutes wait wouldn’t be so bad . . . .
  • Main Street Electrical Parade  - I love that the new Fastpass+ offers VIP areas for guests. You will be allowed access into a special roped off section in front of the castle. It offers unbeatable views of the Parade with the castle as a backdrop. Just stunning. As a perk you can also stay there after the parade for front row view for the evening fireworks. I will let you know that guests behind the roped off section were not always so kind with their words (or language)  to guests as they expected everyone even the elderly to plop on the floor so they could see better. I will also point out that the fireworks are now launched differently and I don’t think that directly in front of the castle is the best place to see them anymore! I’d go down to the park entrance on main street or for a less crowded unique perspective try by Rapunzel’s tower or the Haunted Mansion.  NOTE: Opinions are the same for other parades that have a Fastpass+ option.

 No need to waste a fastpass+ on Dumbo the Flying Elephant - kids will want to play in the new circus play area while they wait!

Not Worth wasting a Fastpass+ on …..

  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant® (with the addition of a 2nd Dumbo we found there to rarely be more than a 15 minute wait. My kids actually wanted to wait to get a chance to play in the Circus themed play tunnels.)
  • "it's a small world"® – This ride rarely has over a 15-30 minutes wait. If the line is long, it is probably due to technical difficulties. See another ride & come back later to the happiest cruise that ever sailed. This charming, colorful ride is a favorite with the young & young at heart guests.
  • Mickey's PhilharMagic® – This is a don’t miss show in my book. It is a beautifully done 3D movie with effects. But we’ve never waited more than 15 minutes – it’s a large theatre.
  • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor® – This fun comedy show is a great way to get out of the heat. I’ve never seen a wait of more than 15 minutes. So don’t miss it, but don’t waste a Fastpass either!
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin – This fun ride seldom has a wait longer than 30 minutes no matter when you visit. It is a Dumbo style ride, but allows for guests to ride 4-5 per carpet with a control in the front and the back. This is a nice attraction especially at night during the picturesque lighting.

Don't waste a Fastpass+ on The magic Carpets of Aladdin, the wait is seldom over 30 minutes!

Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ Choices

Epcot Fastpass+ Choices

Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ Choices

Disney World Planning Help

What is a Disney MagicBand and How to use it!
How to setup your Disney Fastpass+
Ultimate Guide to Disney World from a Mom that’s been there done that
What to Pack for your Disney World Vacation
8 Best Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits at Magic Kingdom
Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party Review
FREE Disney Stroller Labels

Where to Book Your Disney Vacation

Magical Moments Vacations - the best place to book your Disney vacation

When you’re ready to book your next magical Disney vacation, allow me to recommend Magical Moments Vacations. MMV is a full service travel agency with over 160 travel agents who are ready to help you plan a seamless trip.  You’ll get the same prices as booking direct, but with the added benefit of having ONE agent who is looking out for YOU! They will take care of everything to make your trip the best trip ever! They even price match and are on the lookout for new offers to help their booked customers save! Trust me, I’ve booked through them and you are going to love the personalized service! You can also follow Magical Moments Vacations on Facebook.

Contact Magical Moments Vacations for your FREE, no-obligation quote now!


    1. Thanks for the great recommendations! Do you have Fastpass+ recommendations for the other parks? Thank you!

    2. When did you travel? we are planning to go at the end of April just wondering if the traffic is the same as when you attended


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