With the weather being so nice this week it’s inevitable I’ve been thinking forward to our trip to Florida in September. Although we’re not far off the 60 day mark when we would normally be able to book of fast passes, due to staying off site this time we can’t book them until 30 days out. This doesn’t matter hugely as our friends we’ll be staying with and seeing are annual pass holders and they also only have the ability to book 30 days ahead. But of course this doesn’t stop me making lists what what I do and don’t want to see and do. You may remember my bucket list I put together last month? Well today I decided to share my top 10 things to do at Magic Kingdom, 5 I recommend Fast Passing, and 5 you can do without.
Try to Fast Pass…
The Seven Dwarves Mine Train, this is the newest coaster at Walt Disney World and it’s probably my favourite. As it only opened the tail end of last year it’s still hugely popular and the FPs go fast. It also has a very low height restriction so hopefully even my 3 year old will be riding it in September. It was one of my favourite “thrill” rides. It’s so well put together the way the carts swing like mine carts and the bit through the mine is gorgeous. It something that is good for the whole family, it’s not too fast but it still has that excitement element. I hear it’s fantastic at night too. You do really need to try and FP this if you are set on riding it, even at night the queue is usually over an hour long and during the day I’ve seen it peak at over two.
Peter Pan’s Flight, you might be wondering why this ride warrants a fast pass, but please take my advice here.. this ride although it lasts about 2 minutes, has one of the longest queues in Magic Kingdom.. but it is wonderful. You take a ride in a pirate ship through the story of Peter Pan, yes you might think LM and I are biased because of our love for that lost boy but it’s so wonderfully put together not to mention air conditioned and in the dark making it quite relaxing. It does have a great interactive queue these days but still not enough to entertain you for up to two hours, despite my love of it, it’s just not worth that kind of wait. Even though it’s one of my favourite rides, I still have never gone on it without a FP. Thankfully the FP aren’t as hard to come by as the Mine Train.
Meeting Anna & Elsa/Cinderella & Rapunzel, yes, I coped out and combined the two of these even though you will need two separate FPs. Although late in the evening 9/10pm the line for Cinderella and Rapunzel does often become short enough to warrant waiting (we’ve actually FP it once then walked around and queued straight after) Anna & Elsa rarely does. If you are set on seeing either of them I recommend using a FP or at least picking up a second one once you’ve used your first three (at least for Cinderella and Rapunzel, you can rarely do this with the Frozen sisters). If you have children (or if you are) desperate to see them, get up early and claim your FPs. I can honestly say LM and I loved our time in Fairytale Hall, the Princesses (and Queen) all take time to really interact with you, and talk to you. Cinderella and Rapunzel are happy to twirl, Anna can show you the reindeer dance and Elsa can teach you how to use magic to build a snowman.
Enchanting Tales with Belle, this is slow loading and it is one of the longest shows/attractions at Magic Kingdom being about 20 minutes in all but it’s worth it. It’s the attraction guaranteed to cause me to cry and it’s so cleverly done. We did it twice, the first time LM didn’t really understand what was going on, the second time (probably because she was incredibly hyper at 10pm due to all the magic we’d experienced) she was ready and was lucky enough to take on the best part as “the Master”. As the Master you get to dance with Belle and it’s just magical. It’s not just children who are chosen, but adults too. Everyone who takes part gets a bookmark and the photo opportunity with Belle. It’s worth using a FP for because although the walk through Maurice’s cottage is nice during the height of the day it can be a long wait which isn’t great on top of the length of the attraction. Either FP or go at night when you can walk on.
Haunted Mansion, this might seem like a strange last pick when there is Splash Mountain/Big Thunder Mountain/Space Mountain but when the queue is long for Haunted Mansion a whole lot of it is out in the sun. It stretches right through Liberty Square and standing in the Florida sun for too long is not a good thing. A lot of the queuing for the other 3 is under cover. For me, with a small child, the Haunted Mansion is a must. Yes it might terrify those who aren’t very brave but I also think it’s funny, slow moving and so cold. It lasts much longer than rides that are a similar style (Under the Sea, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh) and the pre-ride show is one of my favourites in the whole of WDW.
Must dos that don’t need a FP…
Watch Festival of Fantasy, yes this is an option of FP but don’t waste one on this because there are so many spots along the route that give you just as good spots for watching the parade. Some even better than the designated spots because they’re in the shade! Festival of Fantasy is one of my absolute favourite things about Magic Kingdom and we watched it every single day we were in the park without the use of a FP AND we were at the front. It’s worth staking out a spot half an hour before hand but if you go and purchase snacks or drinks it can be a welcome rest point. This is something I did as a kid with my parents and something I did with LM. You don’t need to use up a FP just to ensure a good vantage point for the parade if you prepare early.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant, although sometimes the queue for this can reach up to an hour, I still personally don’t think it needs a FP as the whole queue is indoors and well air conditioned, and if you have a small child there is even a play area. I have used a FP in the past purely because I am afraid once she gets into the play area, she won’t come out. If you arrive first thing in the morning you can walk onto this ride with no queue, same in the evening and it really is wonderful to ride in the evening, more so while Wishes is going on as it’s a prime spot to catch the fireworks.
Meeting Mickey Mouse, this is another one that can be hit or miss. I can honestly say I’ve never bothered to use a FP when meeting him at Magic Kingdom. I can’t recommend enough choosing to meet him at the end of the night. Meeting Mickey Mouse is one of the attractions that is open right until closing and the line is usually at 5 minutes by that point. You’ll have more time to have a conversation (because yes, this particular Mickey talks) and you won’t be rushed out. Because his meeting point is right at the front of the park, by the evening people have moved away from that area and it’s almost forgotten so it’s so easy to pop in on your way out, this goes for meeting Tinkerbell too.
Watching Wishes, is a must! The music alone will give you all the feels and to be honest there are no fireworks quite like Disney fireworks. But unless you plan on watching Wishes purely to take professional standard photos alone, or you want to spend an hour sitting waiting on them to start, don’t use a FP. From what I’ve heard to get a prime spot in the FP area for Wishes you do have to arrive over an hour early to ensure you’re going to have optimum viewing.. and this is with a FP. The areas usually end up just as packed out as everywhere else in front of the castle. My favourite place for viewing Wishes is behind the castle in Fantasyland although there are plenty of non-FP places in front of the castle where you can stake out a spot. Like with Festival of Fantasy ensure you have enough food and drinks to keep your party happy and enjoy a rest while you wait for the show to start.
Under the Sea: The Journey of the Little Mermaid, another ride in New Fantasyland that I am truly in love with. It works on the same concept of Peter Pan but instead you ride in a shell as you journey through the story of The Little Mermaid. However, unlike Peter Pan this ride rarely has as long a queue (in fact the queue for Winnie the Pooh usually ends up longer). Most of it is also well under cover as well and maybe it was all in my head but I’m sure it has a nice sea breeze to it as well. This ride is completely worth going on but don’t waste a FP. Again like many of the rides, first thing in the morning and in the evening it has little or no queue (I’m not sure why this never happens with Peter Pan). The ride itself does feel longer than other rides of a similar set up so it also feels like it’s worth queuing for where as the others do not.
I haven’t included any of the attractions that don’t have a FP option. Pretty much all the characters that are only around during the day don’t have this option such as Peter Pan, everyone at Pete’s Silly Sideshow, The Tremaines, Merida, Tiana, Woody, Jessie, Buzz, Stitch, Gaston (and many others I can’t remember off the top of my head). For LM and I during the day, these become priority. We find out what times they’ll be out and we work around them. The rides operate well into the evening so we do try and do them during that time instead. Usually the only rides we do go on are the ones we have FP for and they’re welcome breaks from queuing for meets. I can’t wait for September when I can put in my own personal “touring plans” into action to really make the most of our trip.
If anyone has any questions about visiting WDW, I love talking and writing about the place and I’ll happy to answer them and help in any way I can. You can drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org