animal kingdom fastpass+ strategies and tips

Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Strategies and Tips

Being that we posted our full overview of the park, I thought it would make sense to share our best Animal Kingdom FastPass+ strategies and tips for Animal Kingdom as well. Of course, there is no one master plan that works for everybody, so I’m going to break this down into three different categories based on age and interest.

There are two tiers that the FastPass rides are broken down into, so first, lets layout which rides are in each tier.

Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Strategies and Tips 1

Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Tiers

Tier 1

  1. Avatar Flight of Passage
  2. Na’vi River Journey

Tier 2

  1. Kilimanjaro Safaris
  2. Expedition Everest
  3. DINOSAUR
  4. Kali River Rapids
  5. Primeval Whirl (Seasonal)
  6. Rivers of Light
  7. It’s Tough to Be A Bug
  8. Festival of the Lion King
  9. Finding Nemo Musical
  10. Adventurers Outpost Character Greeting
  11. UP! A Great Bird Adventure
  12. The Animation Experience at Conservation Station

Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Strategies and Tips 2

Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Strategies For Kids

Let’s first look at families traveling with kids, this is specifically helpful for groups with toddlers too short to ride some of the thrill rides; or if your kids are at different heights and you’re trying to please all the little ones.

I want to just point out that I think everybody visiting Animal Kingdom should consider a fast pass for Kilimanjaro Safaris no matter what age you are. This is the park’s signature attraction and it’s an incredible one at that, it’s also a great ride for everyone from toddlers to grandparents.

Kilimanjaro Safaris also fits the bill for those focusing on accessibility. If anyone in the group is using a wheelchair or ECV, the Safaris trucks can easily accommodate these vehicles, again, this is a must-do FastPass+.

As you all know there is a tiered system when it comes to Animal Kingdom FastPass+. You can choose one of the new Avatar-themed rides for your tier one choice and then pick any two other attractions in the park for your tier two choices.

Obviously, if your kids are too small to ride Flight of Passage then you’re going to be limited to Navi River Journey for your tier 1 choice. This ride is really beautiful, however, it’s a little short. Therefore any time over 30 minutes isn’t really worth it in my opinion; so book a FastPass here to skip the line.

Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Strategies and Tips 3

Splitting Tier 1 FastPasses

If any of the parents want to ride Flight of Passage or if you have kids of different heights and at least one wants to ride it then split your tier 1 FastPasses. This means that the adults should specifically be the ones splitting up their reservations, one for Navi River Journey and the other for Flight of Passage.

If one kid wants to experience both rides without waiting then keep all the kids together with the adult using the FastPass for Navi River Journey. This means that when the adult riding Flight of Passage enters the line make sure that the whole group is there. That way you can tell a cast member that you are using riders switch.

Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Strategies and Tips 4

The members of the group not riding Flight of Passage right away will scan their magic bands and be given a digital rider switch ticket, with a specified return time window. Think of this as a bonus FastPass that will pop up on the my Disney experience app. This means that one adult rides Flight of Passage alone while the rest of the group uses their FastPass to ride Navi River Journey.

Then the group riding Navi River Journey can ride Flight of Passage through the fast pass line and not wait at all and if you have a child that’s too short to ride they can sit out with the first adult. The only downside to splitting in Pandora is that the adult who rode Flight of Passage alone will not get to skip the line at Navi River Journey since it doesn’t offer rider switch. So that takes care of your tier one choices in Pandora, but let’s look at your tier two choices.

Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Strategies and Tips 5

Best Ride To FastPass+ – Kilimanjaro Safaris

Like I’ve already said, Kilimanjaro Safaris is my personal recommendation on a tier two FastPass. No two safaris are ever the same and I like to try and choose my favorite time to ride which guarantees no wait at my personal preferred time to ride which is sunset.

We are left with our third FastPass choice and this is a bit of a toss-up. It really depends on what your family likes best, personally I would go with a major daytime show right around 12:00 noon when the Sun is too much to bear and you need a break. Between The Lion King Show and Nemo, I think Lion King is the one to get because that theater is constantly more crowded than the Nemo show.

Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Strategies and Tips 6

But if shows are not your thing you can do a similar split to the one in Pandora over in Asia. You can split fastpasses between Cali River Rapids and Expedition Everest. The good thing, in this case, is that both attractions offer riders switch, that way you can maneuver this so that everyone tall enough to ride can go on both attractions without waiting. Also, remember you’ve always got that single rider line at Everest as well.

Another toss-up for this third choice is Rivers Of Light, I’m not a fan of using FastPass here because it’s not my favorite show, and a nighttime show means it’s likely you won’t be able to score a fourth Fast Pass on the day. If anything I would consider a dining package or the new dessert party if getting reserve seats to the show is high on your list of priorities.

So to recap this group should split the two Avatar-themed attractions if you can, then book Kilimanjaro Safaris, and use your third FastPass on a daytime show or even split again for the two thrill rides in Asia.

Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Strategies and Tips 7

Animal Kingdom FastPass+ For Adults and Teens

Now let’s switch gears and focus on the teens or young adults who want to focus on the thrill rides. This is for those of you not traveling with kids and you can’t use that rider switch pass or if character meet and greets and shows are not a high priority.

When it comes to tier 1 and Pandora definitely book Flight of Passage over Navi River Journey. This is currently Disney’s most advanced and exciting attraction across all four parks, and it’s a must-do experience. Navi River Journey is pretty to look at, but it would be unfair to compare the two.

If you’re staying off property it’s very likely that you won’t be able to score a fast pass for Flight of Passage. If so, you can use your tier 1 on Navi River Journey, just to keep that wait time down and consider either rope dropping the park to get on Flight of Passage or try riding it at the end of the night after you’ve done everything else in the park.

Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Strategies and Tips 8

Tier 2 FastPasses For Thrill Rides

For tier 2 you have some options… if you’re visiting in the summer months you’ll probably want to get on Cali River Rapids. If that’s the case then definitely get a FastPass, especially in the middle of the day when it gets really hot and you really want to cool down. I personally don’t always like to get wet so I tend to skip this attraction more often than not, and I like to use my tier 2 fastpasses on Expedition Everest and Kilimanjaro Safaris.

If the Safari is not a high priority but you still want to experience it along with all the other thrill rides in Asia then consider booking both Kali River Rapids and Everest and simply do stand by for Kilimanjaro Safaris at night. The wait time goes down significantly after the Sun Goes Down because visitors assume that they won’t see anything. But again don’t be fooled this is a great time to ride that attraction.

If you want to keep the thrills going it’s very likely that you can score a 4th FastPass for Dinosaur. Out of all the thrill rides at Animal Kingdom, Dinosaur is the easiest to get a 4th FastPass+ for and it’s also probably the shortest wait times for the standby line.

Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Strategies and Tips 9

Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Plans For Grandparents

Finally, let’s not forget about the grandparents. I always think of my parents traveling with their granddaughter for this category. I tried to specifically take note of what they like to experience the most when we visit the parks together. First of all if Flight of Passage is just too intense for the grandparents then obviously use Navi River journey for your tier 1 choice.

However, there is a small chance that this group might not be interested in these attractions at all. If you find this to be true remember that all three of your Fastpass choices can come from that tier 2 category.

You are not required to use a tier 1 Fast Pass in Pandora if you don’t want to. But even if you haven’t seen the Avatar movie the relaxing ride on Navi River Journey can be very enjoyable too. Like I’ve said before this group should definitely get a fast pass for the Kilimanjaro Safaris as well, which allows you to pick and choose your desired time to ride the attraction.

Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Strategies and Tips 10

Now your third choice can be a bit of a toss-up between the shows. A FastPass first show like The Lion King can be a really fun experience for grandparents with the little ones this is a very popular show. Finding Nemo is very easy to do via the standby line. This group may also be interested in Rivers Of Light, another entertainment venue that fills up quickly.

My optimum choice for grandparents is to book Navi River Journey, Kilimanjaro Safaris, then do your preferred daytime show, like The Lion King and consider a dining package for Rivers Of Light. I especially recommend this if you are already planning on dining at one of the participating restaurants.

Conclusion

That’s our recommendations for FastPass+ strategies while visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Keep in mind there is no sacred Bible on how to do FastPass and these are just my personal recommendations. From my experience, many of these FastPass+ plans are very adjustable and you can change them based on what you and your family like the most. But if you’re a first-timer or you haven’t been to this park in a while then this list of recommendations is a perfect way to start planning your next Disney World vacation.

Click here for more information about Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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