Is my toddler or preschooler too young for Disney World? · Planning Resources for Disney World

Tips for FastPass + at Magic Kingdom for Families with Young Children

Anna and Elsa Character Experience reportedly can have standby lines over 300 minutes long! With a FastPass+ you may wait 10-20 minutes.
The Anna and Elsa Character Experience reportedly can have standby lines over 300 minutes long! With a FastPass+ you may wait 10-20 minutes.

The first time I traveled to Walt Disney World (WDW) with my toddlers, I didn’t give touring plans or park strategies much thought.  We literally showed up at the parks and walked around at our leisure until we were tired or until the park closed.  Truthfully, we still had a great time on those trips and I would certainly have continued to do this if it wasn’t for the introduction of FastPass + in 2014.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with FastPass + it is meant to replace the old FastPass (FP) system where you could obtain return tickets at the entrances of popular attractions to return at a later time (with a 1 hour window) to enter the FP queue to get access to the attraction faster than waiting in the regular queue.  With FastPass + you are now able to reserve your FP’s 60 days (up to 3 each day) in advanced of your trip if you’re staying at a WDW Resort or 30 days in advanced if you’re staying off-site. There is much debate among Disney fans as to whether FastPass + has improved the Guest experience at WDW, which I won’t get into in this blog, but I think it’s important to be mindful that with these changes, if you wish to save time at the parks, you should plan to book your FP’s in advanced.  I’ll try to make this as painless as possible for you by sharing what I believe to be FastPass+ priorities for families with young children.

Below is a list of attractions at Magic Kingdom for children UNDER 40″ where you can book a FP for in order of highest priority (e.g. popular attractions that tend to have long standby wait times and/or are difficult to get a FP for) to lowest priority (e.g. less popular attractions and/or attractions that have standby lines that go quickly and tend to be shorter).

TIP #1 – Stroke off the attractions that you do not think your child/children would be interested in (e.g. if you have boys who would not be interested in meeting princesses, then forget about trying to get a FP for a character experience (meet and greet) with Anna and Elsa, which is probably the most difficulty FP to obtain).

TIP #2 – Aim to book the FP’s for anytime mid morning or later, because if you arrive early after park opening, you should be able to walk right onto, or have very short wait times for, most attractions, so you don’t need to waste a FP. If you have children like mine, who want to ride their favourite rides over and over again, then you may wish to secure a FP for those attractions with the intention of also riding them first thing in the morning without a FP. For example, my boys LOVE Peter Pan’s Flight, so we will usually ride that first thing in the morning by going through the standby line, and then using our FP’s for it again later in the afternoon or evening.

FastPass+ Priority List (that can be experienced with children under 40″):
1.Anna and Elsa at Princess Fairytale Hall (Character Experience)
2.Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (min. 38″ height requirement)
3.Peter Pan’s Flight
4.Enchanted Tales with Belle
5.Cinderella and Rapunzel at Princess Fairytale Hall (Character Experience)
6. Ariel at Ariel’s Grotto (Character Experience)
7. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
8. Tomorrowland Speedway
9. Jungle Cruise
10. Haunted Mansion
11. Mickey at Town Square Theater (Character Experience)
12. Pirates of the Caribbean
13. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
14. it’s a small world
15. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
16. Under the Sea Journey of the Little Mermaid
17. Barnstormer (min. 36″ height requirement)
18. Tinker Bell at Town Square Theater (Character Experience)
19. Magic Carpets of Aladdin
20. Mad Tea Party
21. Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
22. Mickey’s PhilharMagic
Note that I have not included any parades or the Wishes show, even though FP’s can be obtained for these experiences.  These include: Main Street Electrical Parade, Wishes, and the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade. If you wish to use a FP for any of these events, you will be able to watch the show from a reserved area near Cinderella Castle with less people around you. Some people feel it is worth it to use a FP for one of these events. My family would rather use the FP’s for a ride to bypass a long standby line. Generally, if you stake out a spot about 30 minutes before the parade start, you should be able to score yourself a pretty good view along the route.
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