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.