Animal Kingdom is becoming one of the premier parks to visit at Walt Disney World and with its growing popularity having an Animal Kingdom fastpass strategy is becoming a (bear) necessity. With the addition of experiences like Pandora: the World of Avatar, which houses one of the most innovative rides in the world, and Rivers of Light, a night time water projection show, Animal Kingdom is entertaining guests longer and better than ever before. 

Magic photo pass at the Animal Kingdom entrance sign

With a constant flow of new rides appearing and its added popularity, it is becoming more and more important to learn how to implement Disney fastpass strategies at Animal Kingdom in order to really get the most out of your day. In fact, I personally believe that Animal Kingdom is still a one day park, meaning you can get about everything done in one day by having a fastpass and park strategy ready. Animal Kingdom is manageable and this post is going to teach you how you can work the Animal Kingdom fastpass system in order to maximize your time and avoid waiting in line.

Before we dive into the complexities of my Animal Kingdom fastpass strategy, let’s take a quick look at the fastpass system and the tools you will need in order to properly implement this strategy. To beat the fastpass+ system, you must first understand it. 

If you are heading to Disney World for the first time, or would like a more in depth explanation of the fastpass system, how it works, how to use it, and why you need magic bands, I suggest you pop over to my Disney Fastpass secrets and hacks post. The Disney fastpass secrets post gives an extremely detailed explanation of the fastpass system and will help you to understand it. For the purpose of this Animal Kingdom Fastpass strategy article, I will just touch on some of the basics to get you started.

If you are familiar with how to make a fastpass: 

Click here to jump to a list of Animal Kingdom rides

Click here to jump to the strategy

What is a fastpass?

Animal Kingdom entrance photo with characters

Fastpass+ is an online booking system available at Walt Disney World which enables guests to pre-book their rides and experiences 30-60 days in advanced. The fastpass system is essentially a way to ‘skip the line’ and to improve wait times at the park by allowing each guest to pre-book 3 rides or experiences per day. 

By using Walt Disney Worlds unique fastpass+ system, and I say unique because this paperless fastpass system is only available at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, guests can guarantee themselves at least 3 rides on each day of their visit to Walt Disney World.  Minimizing time spent waiting in line for rides definitely maximizes the fun of Walt Disney World. If you are willing to learn how to optimize your Disney fastpasses, you can add a lot more magic to your Disney day.

When can you make a fastpass?

A Disney fastpass can be made up to 60 days in advance if you are staying in a Walt Disney World Resort or Hotel and up to 30 days in advance if you are staying off property or are an annual passholder. The earlier you book, the more likely you will be able to book particular fast passes at specific times, so booking early is one of the best practices of a Walt Disney World fastpass+ strategy. You can book fast passes for 7 days in a row (21 per/person). After that you must use them before you can replace them.

How do you make a Disney Fastpass

how to make a fastpass at walt disney world

Fastpasses are easy to make, don’t worry! There are three ways to get a fastpass at Disney World.

  1. You can create an account on the Disney World Website and select your fastpasses from your computer after you’ve logged on.
  2. You can (and should) download the free My Disney Experience app, create and log into your account, and book your fast passes from your phone. Not to mention the app will allow you to modify fastpasses while you are in the park, see wait times, find photographers, book and order food. It is important! You get me?
  3. Located in the parks are a few fastpass kiosks where you can tap your card or magic band and select your fastpasses. This is my least favourite option because there can be a line, you can only book same day fastpasses, and you will have to walk around the parks to find them…and that can be a long walk sometimes. 

What is the Tier System at Animal Kingdom?

The tier system at Animal Kingdom prevents guests from choosing to fastpass only the more sought-after rides and experiences in the park (Avatar). This means that all guests must extend their fastpass choices to include a variety of experiences in their Animal Kingdom touring plans from roller coasters to more educational rides. The tiered system will work to your advantage as it opens up more fast passes on the more popular rides so a larger number of people can have the opportunity to experience them, including you! 

At Animal Kingdom the Disney World fastpass tiers designate only the rides in Pandora, the World of Avatar as premier rides. These tier one rides include the amazing Flights of Passage, and the Na’vi River Ride.  Everything else in the park is considered tier two and fair game.  Check out the info graphic below to see the Animal Kingdom attractions listed by tiers. 

Like Animal Kingdom, Epcot also has a tiered system and you can find out more on how to maximize your time at Epcot here!

 

Best Rides at Animal Kingdom in 2019

This is just a quick list of the best Animal Kingdom rides which use the fastpass systems. I have gone ahead and ranked them from best use of fastpass to most useless, including wait times.

Animal Kingdom rides and wait times list at Walt Disney World

Flights of Passage

Average wait time without a fastpass: 2-3 hours
Average wait time with a fastpass: 20 minutes
Average wait time without a fastpass but by implementing proper avatar strategy: 40 minutes

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Average Wait time without a fastpass: 1-1.5 hours
Average wait time with a fastpass: 20 minutes
Average wait time without a fastpass but with my Animal Kingdom Fastpass strategy: 20 minutes

Expedition Everest 

Average wait time without a fastpass: 1-2 hours
Average wait time with a fastpass: 10 minutes
Average wait time without a fastpass but with my Animal Kingdom Fastpass strategy: 6 rides in under an hour.

Dinosaur

Average wait time without a fastpass: 1 hour
Average wait time with a fastpass: 20 minutes
Average wait time without a fastpass but with my Animal Kingdom Fastpass strategy: 2 rides in under an hour.

Kali River Rapids

Average wait time without a fastpass: 1-2 hours
Average wait time with a fastpass: 15 minutes
Average wait time without a fastpass but with my Animal Kingdom Fastpass strategy: 10-30 minutes (depending on the weather that day)

Primeval Whirl

Average Wait time without a fastpass: 45 minutes – 1 hour
Average wait time with a fastpass: 10 minutes
Average wait time without a fastpass but with my Animal Kingdom Fastpass strategy: 10 minutes

Na’vi River Ride

Average Wait time without a fastpass: 1-2 hours
Average wait time with a fastpass: 20 minutes
Average wait time without a fastpass but with my Animal Kingdom Fastpass strategy: 20 minutes

Its Tough to be a Bug

Average Wait time without a fastpass: 10 – 20minutes
Average wait time with a fastpass: 5 – 10 minutes
Average wait time without a fastpass but with my Animal Kingdom Fastpass strategy: 5 minutes

Finding Nemo: the Musical

Average Wait time without a fastpass: 20 minutes
Average wait time with a fastpass: 20 minutes
Average wait time without a fastpass but with my Animal Kingdom Fastpass strategy: 20 minutes

Festival of the Lion King

Average Wait time without a fastpass: 20 minutes
Average wait time with a fastpass: 30-40 minutes
Average wait time without a fastpass but with my Animal Kingdom Fastpass strategy: 5-20 minutes

Up! A Great Bird Adventure

Average Wait time without a fastpass: 20 minutes
Average wait time with a fastpass: 20 minutes
Average wait time without a fastpass but with my Animal Kingdom Fastpass strategy: 20 minutes

Meet Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost

Average Wait time without a fastpass: up to one hour
Average wait time with a fastpass: 10-20 minutes
Average wait time without a fastpass but with my Animal Kingdom Fastpass strategy: 20 minutes

Rivers of Light: We are One

Average Wait time without a fastpass: 5 minutes
Average wait time with a fastpass: 40 minutes
Average wait time without a fastpass but with my Animal Kingdom Fastpass strategy: 50 minutes

Which rides actually need a fastpass?

Using an Animal kingdom fastpass to ride rollercoasters

This is actually a complex question. To me, none of the rides really need a fastpass if you only intend to do 1 or 2 of them. However if you wish to ride and play all day long, fastpasses are necessary to beat the busyness of the afternoon. Using strategy, one could theoretically get a fair amount of rides in during the morning and in the evening, but would be destined to wait in the afternoon without using fastpasses. My goals are to help you to enjoy all of the rides and experiences in the park without waiting all day long…I mean that is why you are here isn’t it, to learn Animal Kingdom fastpass strategy.

So what is the best ride to fastpass at Animal Kingdom?

Flights of passage at Pandora

The best ride at Animal Kingdom that benefits from having a fastpass is without a doubt, Flights of Passage….but these are hard to get. This ride has the longest wait and is the most unique experience available in all of Walt Disney World. If you can’t get a fastpass for this ride…which is likely…as most fast passes are scooped up from those who are able to fastpass at 7:00am 60 days in advance (fastpasses are numbered). Check out this article I wrote that details 2 strategies to getting on Flights of Passage without a fastpass. Use this strategy and you will be guaranteed your ride, I promise.

Other Animal Kingdom Fastpass rides of importance should include Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safari’s, Kali River Rapids, Dinosaur, and Na’vi River Ride. Everything else should be accessible without fast passes, assuming one uses strategy. What is the strategy you might ask? Well it is your lucky day! My Animal Kingdom fastpass strategy is listed below, simply follow the tips and hacks and you can accomplish everything in Animal Kingdom in one day. 

18 Animal Kingdom Fastpass Strategy Hacks 

1. Book your fast passes as early as possible….30-60 days in advanced…to the day

Animal Kingdom tree of life panoramic

If you can book 60 days in advance you should….

The Disney fastpass plus system provides each of its guests with the opportunity to book their fast passes long in advance. If you are staying on the resort, you can book fast passes 60 days in advance and this is a perk you should definitely take advantage of! With regards to a Disney Animal Kingdom fastpass, your first choice should be Flights of Passage.  

If you can book 30 Days in advanced you should…

If you are staying off property at Walt Disney World or are an annual passholder, then you have up to 30 days to book your fast passes in advance. Yes, people who stay on the resort get priority. I will be realistic with you. Flights of Passage probably will not be available at this time, but that’s OK, its in the plan.  In the meantime do your best to get your hands on a Na’vi River Ride fastpass.

Best fast passes for Animal Kingdom in order of importance:

best rides to use an animal kingdom fastpass on

2. Take Advantage of the Rope Drop at Animal Kingdom

Rope drop is a technique used by many strategic Disney patrons who intend on enjoying a specific ride or experience which they have not fastpassed. Congratulations, you are now one of them. Rope drop is the term used for the moment guests are officially allowed to enter the park  to enjoy the rides. This can often be different than ‘park opening’ which is the hour it is technically open. The reality is, rope drop almost always happens before park opening. This helps Disney clear out the entrance lines just a little. 

Animal Kingdom Entrance sign

At Animal Kingdom, rope drop can take place up to 30 minutes before park opening. In this case it is best to show up 45 minutes before the listed park opening time. When Disney decides to let guests into the park, you will be able to make your way to the Tree of Life and head towards the side of the park where your intended ride is. Cast members will hold the guests outside of the individual lands of the park (i.e. Pandora, Africa, Asia) and will slowly walk guests to the attractions as calmly as possible.

the flights of passage crowd

Like Scar says, Be Prepared  because rope drop can get a little intensely packed and slightly pushy. Think of it like a can of sardines with a touch of crying child and a little violence. However, almost all of these people will be pushing their way onto Flights of Passage. Flights of Passage at rope drop will get you on and off the ride in an hour and this is great if you haven’t fastpassed it or aren’t intending on staying until the end of the day. If you are however, planning on staying, or have it fastpassed, this is your time to duck to the side and take a ride on the Na’vi River. You should be on and off this ride in no more than 20 minutes at this time of day. This means that before park opening hours, you will already be done 1 ride and should be able to scoot over to Kilimanjaro Safari, Expedition Everest and DINOSAUR really quickly. This is the type of strategy that allows guests to successfully spend one day at Animal Kingdom.

If you have Na’vi River Ride Fastpassed and are using the night technique for Flights of Passage, rope drop is still a great plan as with minimal lines you should be able to get all of the rides you haven’t fastpassed before 11:00 am.

Pro Tip: Check for extra magic hours. If they are in the morning, the park will be slightly busier when you get there, but not too busy to still get on quite a few rides….unless you have access to the hours…then please go.

Taking advantage of rope drop is one of the ways I maximize my time at the Magic Kingdom so that I can enjoy Disney Parks as relaxed as possible….check out how!

3. Do not book any fast passes until after 11:00am

animal kingdom fastpass hacks

Animal Kingdom is a wonderful place to be in the morning. A visit to the park during the morning hours comes with the perk of having minimal wait times on almost every ride but Flights of Passage. In fact, the park stays particularly calm until around 11:00am. With the majority of the people entering the park and heading directly to Flights of Passage, the rest of the attractions remain pretty much…empty. As you have either fast passed Flights of Passage in advanced, or are waiting to go later, this is your time to get on every ride possible before the rest of the guests find their way to Animal Kingdom.

My Morning Strategy Example

In the morning, you should be busy with one of these non-fastpassed combinations depending on which you haven’t fast passed in advanced: 

DINOSAUR and Expedition Everest

Na’vi River and Kilimanjaro Safaris

Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest

After you complete one of these ride combinations (plus a possible Navi’ River Ride Rope drop), you will be just in time for the Festival of the Lion King’s 11:00 am show. If things are going well you might even have time to add a third experience within those two hours. 

 

Animal Kingdom park strategy in the morning

*Pro Tip: You don’t need to worry about fast passing the Festival of the Lion King because the view is the same from everywhere in the theatre, plus, fastpass can occasionally have you waiting in line longer than standby…I know, crazy right? But true. 

After 11:00am the park will begin to fill up and wait times will increase and do you know what increased wait times mean? It means the afternoon is the optimal time to use your Animal Kingdom fastpasses so that you can avoid the lines and smile at those waiting in standby (terrible I know). Using your fast passes in the afternoon keeps you riding all day long.

4. Kilimanjaro Safaris should be experienced in the morning; timing is everything

A giraffe on Kilimanjaro Safaris at AK

Kilimanjaro Safaris is by far one of the best rides and experiences at Animal Kingdom. No matter how many times you ride Kilimanjaro Safaris, the animals are real and are therefore always in different places, doing different things. Now, this is Florida, and as a result it is often pretty warm outside. Animals react to the heat just like us. They find shade to hide in, stay inside, and frankly just don’t move around a lot…it is too hot. This is why you should only ride Kilimanjaro Safaris in the morning.

In the morning the animals are more likely to be actively walking around, just like me at the Princess Half Marathon, because it is both cooler and they will also be in the process of eating their breakfast. The activity makes this a morning only experience as the cooler evening often yields vision difficulties. A lot of people save this ride for their fastpass, I wouldn’t.

When you arrive at Animal Kingdom, if you aren’t going to Pandora, the best plan is to walk right to Kilimanjaro Safaris, and jump on the ride when the animals are most active.  Following your safari, the lines at Expedition Everest and DINOSAUR will still be manageable, giving you the best possible experiences on all three. The only time I do not do Kilimanjaro first is if I wanted to rope drop Na’vi River Ride but I will be completely honest with you…I would rather use a fastpass on the Na’vi River and ride Kilimanjaro without a fastpass at the optimal time of day.

5. Check your My Disney Experience app at 10:00 in the Morning to snag last minute premier fastpasses

Navi Rover Ride fastpass availability

For those of you looking for one of those golden Flights of Passage fastpasses, the time to look is 10:00am in the morning. This is the time that Disney releases extra or unused fastpasses to everyone. Those in search for the premier fastpass rides in Animal Kingdom should choose one of their pre-booked fastpasses, and click ‘modify’ while in the park around 10:00am. Try to modify a fastpass to another experience at 10:00am in the morning and you might be lucky enough the grab an elusive Flights of Passage fastpass.

6. Never use a fastpass for show experience, there are tons of seats in the theatres

Festival of the Lion King seating

I cannot stress this enough…Do Not Fastpass a show at Animal Kingdom. The seating capacities in these theatres, which by the way produce shows 5,6,7 times a day, are big enough to get everyone in who wishes to be there.  Finding Nemo, Festival of the Lion King, Rivers of Light, a Birding Experience…etc. all have a substantially large standby queue. The only difference is that those who use a fast pass get seated first and in the middle of the theatre. 

It should be noted that the fastpass queue can require guests to show up 30 minutes in advance to line up. This means that fast passing shows takes more time waiting in line than walking up and attending the stand-by queue..and we are all about efficiency. The theatres have a great capacity but also great viewing from all around them. This means that by using the standby queue you are not really minimizing your experience. These are not necessary, fastpasses at Animal Kingdom because, truth is, you can enjoy them all from standby without waiting in line all day long.

*Pro Tip: Sometimes, as with Festival of the Lion King, the fastpass seating is exactly the same as the standby seating. It only means that you wait in line for 30 minutes, and then wait in your seat for another 15 minutes while the standby queue shuffles in….not efficient*

7. Save the shows for the afternoon when the park is busiest/between fast passes

instagrammable wall at Animal Kingdom

By the late afternoon, after you have used your 3 fastpasses and while you are looking for a fourth, or even in between fastpasses, this is the ideal time to take in one of the shows as they are still Animal Kingdom must do experiences. Don’t forget to check the time’s guide so you can choose the show which plays at your preferred time and location. As fast passing to get into the shows is not necessary (above), this makes them ideal for the moments in the afternoon when the park is busiest and the lines for the rides are longer. This is also the perfect way to escape the heat, and to take a little Disney break. 

Disney World has tons of extra special events which take place throughout the year to keep you occupied once you have completed your 3 fast passes of the day. Check out this list of festivals at Epcot; they might help determine when you take your holiday!

8. Make sure you pre-book your fast passes in the afternoon hours

DINOSAUR ride at Disney's Animal Kingdom

During the afternoons Animal Kingdom is much busier and as a result, the lines are much longer. When it comes to booking fastpasses, the afternoon hours just make the most sense. Fast passes are for line skipping, so skip the lines while they are there! Use the afternoon to get on the rides which you did not get on in the morning. Fast passing in the afternoon keeps you busy all day long, making sure you never have to stop enjoying experiences because it ‘got too busy’. 

*Pro Tip: Kali River Rapids is ideal for an afternoon fastpass as it doesn’t open until 10:00am…and it’s easier to dry in the hot sun because you will get wet…and you may get soaked!

9.Use the Modify technique to speed up your fast passes or to find a better Animal Kingdom fastpass

How to modify a fastpass  How to modify a disney fastpass

Modifying a fastpass is a Disney strategical technique and a way to beat the Disney World fastpass rules. It has been discussed in full in my Disney Fastpass Secrets post. To quickly go over it. Once you are in the park and you have confirmed to Disney that yes, you will be spending your time there, the app will open up better fastpass options. This is because Disney wants to give the best fastpass options to those who are confirmed in the park rather than to those who might be unsure or who are just looking to see ‘whats available’.

Once you enter, choose an existing fastpass and try to modify it. This results in two possible outcomes. You might find another ride experience fastpass available that you were not able to find in the past which you can choose to book, like Flights of Passage at 10:00am or you might  find an existing fastpass at a better time.

Speeding up your fastpass is called the Tap’n’Grab and is discussed in full here. Once you tap your pass or magic band to the Mickey on your first ride, quickly access your My Disney Experience and modify your next fastpass to a earlier time. Using this technique you can bring down your three fastpasses from 3 hours to almost 1 hour. Leaving the opportunity to select a 4th, 5th or even 6th decent fastpass later on in the day.

10. Book extra fast passes after you have used your first three

Magic photo pass at Animal Kingdom

Now that you know how to speed up the fastpass process by using the Tap’n’Grab, you should be able to book a 4th, 5th and even 6th fastpass at Animal Kingdom. Once you have used your first three fastpasses, you will be able to log on to the app and book an another. This is part of the Disney Fastpass system. After using your first three you are allowed to book more, one at a time through to the end of the day as per Disney World fastpass rules.

As you have sped up your fastpass process using the Tap’n’Grab technique, you should be able to snag yourself a decent fourth fastpass. I say this because most people wait until their three fast passes are complete and call it a day, or some even wait for Rivers of Light (terrible idea)…but there is much more out there. This technique could also get you repeat fastpass rides at WDW on things that you might have liked the most such as Expedition Everest or DINOSAUR at Animal Kingdom.

11. Never waste a Fastpass on Rivers of Light

Water and lights from rivers of light

Never fastpass Rivers of Light, just don’t do it. Rivers of Light is a pleasant show. It really is 14 minutes of pleasant lights, music and projections. Also, Animal Kingdom often has more than one showing of it per night, occasionally up to three times. Here is the thing, 9 times out of 10, you can actually arrive to the theatre 10 minutes before the show and get a seat…especially at the later shows. While some seats are better, they are not ‘wait in line for 1 hour’ better.  

Fast passing Rivers of Light requires guests to arrive up to 45 minutes in advance to get in line for their seats. This is a particular situation however, people with these fastpasses tend to actually show up almost one hour and a half early for the show, so that they can be the first in the fastpass line (i.e. up to 45 minutes before the suggested fastpass time). This means that if you showed up 20 minutes before the show with a fastpass, you would be at the end of the line and sitting in the same part of the theatre as someone who just showed up 10 minutes before and sat in standby. This is what I consider…a wasted fastpass which would be much better used on something like Kali River Rapids. 

12. Use the Nighttime strategy to end your night with Flights of Passage

Pandora the world of avatar at night

I have a very detailed post on how to get on Flights of Passage at night without a fastpass. I will just quickly go over it here, but please read the post to get all of the details. If you want to go on Flights of Passage…and you do…and you were not able to get a fastpass…which is likely…this is the ultimate way to get on the ride. 

Disney rules state that if you get in line before park close, to the minute, you are entitled to ride! So head to Flights of Passage 5 minutes before park closing time (i.e. if the park closes at 9:00pm, get in line at 8:55pm). The standby line at this time moves incredibly fast. Why? Well firstly, there are no more fastpasses, and fastpasses can make up to or even more than 50% of the line. Secondly, way fewer people are inclined to stick around after the park is closed. Thirdly, the majority of the kids will have gone home. and fourthly, not everyone is familiar with this rule. This means that the line will move steadily and you should be able to get on and off the ride within 40-45 minutes, including the 15 minutes spent on the ride….not bad considering the 3 hour wait it was all day. Who needs a fastpass for this anyway?

13. If meeting Mickey and Minnie aren’t important to you, don’t fastpass the Character Outpost

meeting Pocahontas at Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom is one of the best parks for locating characters wandering the streets. Characters are spread throughout the park, at dance parties, and are frequently seen just out and about. If you want to have character interactions, but don’t necessarily care if it is Mickey or Minnie, do not waste a fastpass on the Character Outpost and catch characters on the streets of the kingdom. You can find characters like Tarzan, Flick, Pocahontas, Timon, Baloo and so many more at dance parties and in certain locations around the park which are visible on your My Disney Experience app. The ducks like to hangout in DinoLand near the DINOSAUR ride, so try to do them back to back if you can.

14. If meeting Mickey and Minnie are important to you, STILL don’t fastpass the Character Outpost

Lunch at Tusker House restaurant

If you need to meet Mickey and Minnie, and I understand, you can visit the Character Outpost…unless you decide to eat at Tusker House and just meet them there. A fastpass still is not necessary for the Character Outpost as this experience trends to ebb and flow throughout the day. Sometimes it is busy, and sometimes it requires only a 5 minute wait. This experience should be put on your watch list, and when you see the wait times drop on the app, which shows the wait times for every experience, head over and enjoy your meet and greet. 

15. Plan your Animal Kingdom fastpasses based on where in the park they are located, it’s a big park

Animal Kingdom map

Disney Parks are big, and Animal Kingdom is no exception. It is important to plan your fastpasses for Animal Kingdom in the most reasonable way possible so that you don’t end up running from DINOSAUR to Kilimanjaro Safaris and back to Expedition Everest all in one fell swoop. When you book your fastpasses, try to organize them so that your path flows throughout the park. Use a map. Make sure the rides and experiences you wish to fastpass are located within a reasonable distance or even in a clockwise or counterclockwise path around the park. It’s simple, DINOSAUR is next to Primeval Whirl, which is next to Nemo, which is next to Expedition Everest and so on. If you book DINOSAUR followed by Kilimanjaro, you are setting yourself up for a long walk across the park, wasting precious time and energy, all while possibly ruining your cute Disney wardrobe with some nice Florida sweat.

16. Expedition Everest does not require a fastpass because it has an amazingly fast Single Riders line

single rider walt disney world

This is the best kept secret in Animal Kingdom…Expedition Everest has an amazingly efficient single rider line. It is hidden in the back corner between the fastpass line and the exit store and is distinguished only by a tiny sign painted onto the wall of the store. The line moves incredibly fast, even if it looks ‘full’. You should be able to get on and off the ride within 15 minutes for the majority of the day. A line rarely builds because of its hidden location as well as the fact that Expedition Everest is a fast loading rollercoaster. If you visit the single rider line in the morning…and I mean anytime before 11:00am, you should be able to ride almost repetitively, on and off within 5-10 minutes. The single rider line is open all day long, so fast passes are not necessary if you are willing to wait up to 15 minutes and also to ride separate from the rest of your party (who most often will be somewhere on the same train as you…if not the one afterwards). This single rider line allows you to save fast passes for other experiences like Kali River Rapids which does not have this option and is very busy.  

17. Be careful of Extra Magic Hours at Animal Kingdom and modify your fastpass plans and strategy if you run into them

aka the snake magic picture animal kingdom

Extra Magic Hours happen on and off throughout the year at different times. At Animal Kingdom, they are always in the morning. If you plan to ride Flights of Passage in the morning before park opening, or are looking to cruise through rides at the least busy time of day, make sure you check when the extra magic hours are that week. You can check for extra magic hours on the app or online. If you want to maximize your time, and you are not staying the resort, try to visit Animal Kingdom on a non-extra magic hour day. However, if it is unavoidable, do not fret, the park will still be fairly quiet in the morning, there may just be a slightly longer wait. If you want to ride Flights of Passage in the morning, but there are extra magic hours, I will be honest with you…it will be too busy and you should modify your day so that you can ride it at night.

The best thing you can do with extra magic hours is to know when they are happening and how to modify your animal kingdom fastpass choices for them. There are two results:

1. If you are staying on resort and have access to them, as they are only for resort guests, take advantage of them! Arrive as early as possible and you will be able to knock out a large array of experiences in the morning including Flights of Passage, before the regular park guests arrive.

2. If you are not staying on the resort, you wont have access to extra magic hours. If this is the case, expect slightly busier crowds in the morning, and modify Flights of Passage to a nighttime experience. 

*note until Nov 2019, Extra Magic Hours will happen every morning*

18. What about the rest of the rides you haven’t listed?

Rafiki at Art of Animation resort

Its pretty simple, if there is no line…you don’t need to use a fastpass. A lot of these experiences just will not have huge lines all day long and so for things like It’s Tough to be a Bug and Primeval Whirl etc., it is better to just treat them as a stand-by experience, and to use your fast passes on rides which actually require them. You know, rides with lines so long it effects your day. 

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Animal Kingdom Fastpass Hacks