Travel & Places Other - Destinations

Using Fastpass at Walt Disney World"s Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World's FastPass is a wonder of crowd control (for Disney) and time management (for you).
Instead of waiting on the traditional Stand By line for hours to go on a single ride, FastPass allows you to visit other less crowded attractions, eat, or simply rest, and not lose your place on line.
With a little bit of planning, you can greatly increase not only the number of major attractions you go on, but also how often.
Here are a few tips on how to optimize use of your FastPass at The Magic Kingdom.
The night before you go to the Magic Kingdom, answer these few simple questions:
  • What is our "Must Ride" attraction?
  • Where is it located?
  • What's the best route to get there?
  • Do we want to ride it more than once?
  • What other major attractions do we want ride?
  • Are they near or far away from the "Must Ride" attraction?
  • If traveling with a group (family) is everyone going on the same ride(s)?
With answers in hand, or written down, grab your park map and let's have some fun.
For my family, the 'must see' attractions are Splash Mountain, The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Space Mountain.
Hint: If traveling with a group, once you enter the park give all of your park passes to one person who can go ahead and get the FastPasses for the group, then meet everyone else after.
To improve crowd control, Disney now has Cast Members walk in front of the crowds to the major attractions to eliminate running, etc.
With that in mind, arrive at least 20 minutes before the park opens as you will need to get through security and want to be as close to the gates when they open as possible.
Now, as soon as the Magic Kingdom opens, head straight down Main Street, and turn Left at the end (in front of Casey's Corner, not in the circular walkway in front of Cinderella's Castle).
Follow the path and go straight (not left) over (2) small bridges towards Liberty Square.
Around here is where you will run (walk) into the Cast members who will escort you to Splash Mountain.
If you're lagging behind, pass the Liberty Tree Tavern, go left and head straight for Frontier land.
The FastPass distribution for Splash Mountain is to the right of the Stand By and FastPass entrance.
Get FastPasses for your group.
Since there is no Stand By line, either go directly onto Splash Mountain (and use your FastPass for a 2nd ride later) or go to The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
During peak attendance times (summer) the park will get crowded very quickly so get your FastPass first.
If you're visiting during off-peak times, and the park is less crowded, go on Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Railroad one or two times each, then get your FastPass.
This way your Return Time will be at least 90 minutes away, giving you time to head over to ride the Walt Disney World Railroad over to Mickey's Toontown Fair (the closest station to Space Mountain).
Since our 8 year old twins think they know how to drive (I blame the Wii Mario Kart) when we arrive at Mickey's Toontown Fair, we walk straight through and head for the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway.
This ride has no FastPass so it is best to arrive early because this line will get long and hot.
If you have younger children, head over to Dumbo, again before the line gets too long and too hot.
Do not get on line for Space Mountain.
Still in Tomorrowland, we love Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin which is continuous loading so if it's not too crowded you might be able to get two rides in.
Now, check your FastPass return time, since once it starts, you can now go and get a new FastPass at Space Mountain.
It's now time to head back to Splash Mountain for our 3rd soak of the day.
Depending on our return Time for Space Mountain, we will either go to the Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, It's a Small World, or Mickey's Philharmagic.
Again, check your FastPass Return Time, and head over to Space Mountain.
We typically get on all of our favorite rides (multiple times) before lunch (I recommend Cosmic Rays in Tomorrowland), and now have the rest of the day to see shows, shop, and go on the less crowded attractions (still getting FastPasses to return to our favorite rides).
Of course you can always just keep getting FastPasses for your favorite Attractions in order to go as often as possible.
It's up to you.
Next time you're at the Magic Kingdom, don't neglect to use the FastPass service.
It's free with any theme park ticket and you'll spend more time screaming with joy on the rides, then sighing with frustration on line.

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