Sunday, March 2, 2014

Planning Fastpass+ for Animal Kingdom

So, your Disney vacation is so close, only two months until you step foot in the "happiest place on earth."  This also means that it's time to choose your Fastpass+ for your trip!  The nice thing about choosing Fastpass+ attractions in Animal Kingdom is that there aren't nearly as many to pick from, unlike Magic Kingdom, and there is no tier system, like Epcot and Hollywood Studios!

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Regardless of what you pick, you can make last minute changes with your smartphone.  This is especially important if you get to a ride you've reserved, and the line isn't very long.
  • The Fastpass+ system is new, and so rides that typically had long lines might not, and things that typically had pretty short waits might develop long lines.  At this point, we aren't sure.
  • In the case of Animal Kingdom, you might want to use Fastpass+ to concentrate your day in order to make it to another park, especially if your vacation is relatively short and you are trying to squeeze Animal Kingdom in to half a day.
  • For more information about reserving Fastpass+ in general, look at this post: Reserving Fastpass+

Because of the small number of rides available for Fastpass+ in Animal Kingdom, I'll be using a similar format to that of Magic Kingdom to analyze them, but not entirely the same.

Definitely Use Fastpass+

Animal Kingdom has a limited number of rides. And with 3 Fastpass+ spots and only 8 rides to choose from, I highly recommend using the first 2 on the following if you have any intention of riding them.

  • Why: This is one of the best roller coasters in Walt Disney World.  Expedition Everest has wonderful thumbing and an awesome story line, and it doesn't even need that because the roller coaster is so much fun!  As one of the main attractions in Animal Kingdom, and with few other high-thrill options in the park, you'll definitely want as Fastpass+ if you plan on riding this.
  • If not: If you don't get a Fastpass+, get to the park early and go straight there.  You can also do this if you want to ride Expedition Everest twice.  Right after park opening, the line is pretty short.

  • Why: Kilimanjaro Safaris is one of the most popular attractions in Animal Kingdom because it is so authentic.  Though there is some "Disney magic" thrown in, it mostly keeps the feel of a real African safari throughout.  You also get the chance to get up close and personal with the animals, if they are out and about.
  • If not: Get there early.  If you don't get a Fastpass+, go straight back to this attraction.  It fills up quick, as a ride that everyone, no matter height or age, can go on, so you'll want to go on it soon after entering the park if you want to avoid standing in a very long line.

Choose for Your Remaining Fastpass+

These rides all seem to have a pro and a con for using a Fastpass+ for them, so when taking your pick, keep those in mind.  You may want to change your selection based on wait times once your there, so be sure to keep your smartphone handy!

  • Why: Dinosaur, though not a roller coaster, is a high-thrill and action-packed ride that I highly recommend going.  It is so much fun, and sort of terrifying in spots.  It's very unique from everything else in the park, and the technology used to make the animatronic dinosaurs seem realistic is very impressive.
  • Why Not: The lines for Dinosaur are often somewhat short, depending on the time of day.  I would suggest making a Fastpass+ reservation for this, but altering it upon arrival if the line is short.  Also, don't ride this if you are easily scared, despite the fact that Dinosaurs aren't real.
  • Fear reference...

  • Why: Kali River Rapids is your typical rapids ride, but with Disney magic.  They do a great job with theming, and it has a lot of fun drops and splashes throughout!  The lines tend to be longer on hot days, because you will get wet on this ride.  Definitely consider the Fastpass+ if you want to ride this and you're coming during the hotter times of the year.
  • Why Not: Don't get the Fastpass+ if you are coming during a time when Florida isn't sweltering hot (or at least bring extra clothes if you do).  You might not want to ride it depending on the weather, and there is a chance that if it's cooler and you do want to ride this, the line won't be very long.

  • Why: Grab a Fastpass+ to guarantee yourself a viewing of this show.  I'm not sure, but I'd bet that a Fastpass+ for this puts you in the "Bubble Seats," which makes the Fastpass+ much more worth it if that's true (if someone finds this out before me, let me know?).
  • Why Not: The show is great, and I definitely recommend going if you have time, but you likely don't need a Fastpass+ in order to get a seat.

  • Why: With the newly renovated theater in its new location, the demand for Festival of the Lion King will likely be higher than ever.  An already popular show, get a Fastpass+ to guarantee yourself a seat!
  • Why Not: Like many of the other shows throughout Walt Disney World, you would likely not have too much trouble getting a seat without a Fastpass+.

Ride/Attend Without Fastpass+

These rides/attractions certainly have their own merit, especially in a park with limited attractions as it is.  However, they are unlikely worth using your Fastpass+ on.

  • Why Ride: This ride is in a portion of the park made to resemble a side-of-the-road carnival, with odds and ends that are quirky and fun.  This roller coaster accomplishes that well, and is cute and fun and worth going on.
  • Not Fastpass+/Skip: The line usually doesn't have a wait, and if it does, you should probably just skip this one.  It's not uniquely Disney, having a "wild mouse" type feel, so to save time and Fastpass+ selections, skip this one if there is a long standby line.

  • Why Go: If you haven't seen Mickey and Minnie, this is a fun place to meet the two characters and see their "travel memorabilia."
  • Not Fastpass+/Skip: Here, Mickey and Minnie aren't in their standard attire, so if you want to have that character photo of the icons of the park, this probably isn't the place to stand in line or use a Fastpass+ to get it.

  • Why Go: This attraction is really fun.  The technology used (I don't want to give away spoilers if you haven't ridden in) is awesome, and makes the show an immersive experience.  It's full of laughs, and will definitely be worth the likely-short wait accompanying it.
  • Not Fastpass+/Skip: The line for this is typically not very long, so I wouldn't recommend using a Fastpass+ on it.  Also, if you've gone on this before, you might want to skip it if you are trying to keep your time in Animal Kingdom to a half-day trip.

And now you should be all set! If you missed any other my other posts about Fastpass+ reservations, I'll include the links below, or click the "Fastpass+" tab at the top of the page:

So now I'd like to know, what aspect of Disney planning would you like advice on next?
Leave your suggestions in the comments!

Until next time!

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