Optimize Your Fastpass at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom

Optimize Your Fastpass at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom

FastPass is absolutely necessary at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom theme park. It is the home of Disney’s best roller coaster, Expedition Everest, its scariest ride, Dinosaur, and an African Safari. With so much to do and see, you’ll want to use as little time on line as possible, and FastPass can help you do it. Throw in a little progressive planning, and you’ll not only go on all the major rides several times, but you’ll also have time to spare to check out the minor attractions and take in a show or two.

Next time you go to the Animal Kingdom, here’s how to optimize your FastPass.

First, you need to have a plan. The night before you go to the Animal Kingdom, pick up a park map in your resort hotel lobby to familiarize yourself with the rides and their locations. Then ask yourself:

  • Do I want to go on Expedition Everest? (of course you do!)
  • Do I want to ride it more than once?
  • What other attractions do I want to go on in that park?
  • What’s the best way to get there from Expedition Everest?
  • If traveling with a group (family) will everyone be going on the same ride(s)?

Answer these questions and your plan will be in place. Then you’ll see how easy it is to go from one allurement to another with minimal time waiting on line.

Expedition Everest is a combination Space Mountain (it’s partly in the dark), the Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster (it’s fast), and the Tower of Terror (it drops steeply and goes backwards). Throw in a 22 ft tall Yeti and you’ll know why once the park opens, everyone heads to Asia (the section of the park where Everest is located).

Like Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom opens the main gates prior its scheduled opening. Everyone is then stopped at the bridge to Discovery Island, where the park is truly opened by Mickey, Minnie and Goofy. Try to get as close to the front as possible. Once over the main bridge and onto Discovery Island, the great majority of the crowd will follow the Cast Members (who walk slowly and you are not permitted to run past them, this prevents pushing shoving, falling and getting hurt) and head right, around the Island towards Asia. Instead, take a quick right towards Dinoland. As soon as you cross the bridge into Dinoland (before you get into the Boneyard, check your map) take a quick left and follow the path along the Discovery River towards Finding Nemo – The Musical. Pass Nemo and head towards the bridge to Asia where you will probably encounter a different set of Cast Members who make sure no one is running. Expedition Everest will be in front of you on the right. The FastPass dispensing is to the left of the entrance so you will have to walk slightly against traffic to get there.

I highly recommend that you get your FastPass first, and then head directly across the park to Africa and the Kilimanjaro Safari. This is a must see allurement and although it also is a FastPass allurement you must see it in the morning, when the animals are most active and virtually all visible. If you’re in a group, give one person everyone’s park tickets and send him/her to Everest to get the FastPasses while everyone else heads to the Safari entrance. Have the group wait in the boarding area, where there is plenty of room to step aside and let others pass.

If you are at the Animal Kingdom just for Expedition Everest, get your FastPass and head directly into the Stand By entrance. You might be able to get a 2nd ride in before your FastPass return time. As long as you’re waiting, I highly recommend asking for a front seat. The view from the top of Everest is spectacular and you can see several of the other parks and resort areas.

Once the Safari ends, head over to Everest, outrun the Yeti and get another FastPass for later. This will give you time to either take a dip in the Kali River Rapids (and YOU WILL GET WET) or go over to Camp Minnie-Mickey for character photos and autographs. Depending on the return time of the FastPass, try to catch The Festival of The Lion King which is an noticeable live show, in Camp Minnie Mickey.

On your way back to Everest for your second encounter with the Yeti, pass by DinoLand USA and pick up a FastPass for either Dinosaur (an awesomely scary journey back 65 million years to save the last dinosaur) or Primeval Whirl. Primeval Whirl is a un comparatively unknown gem of a rollercoaster. The car will first travel as a normal coaster car, then it ‘unlocks’ and spins (whirls truly) so that you spin as you go up, down, and around the tracks. It is highly entertaining and you will laugh hysterically as you spin and squish into each other. This is a ride you definitely want to try before lunch.

After your second race past the Yeti, you’ve now been on every major allurement in the park (grab another FastPass for Everest) then head for lunch (I love he flaming Tree Barbecue). You now have your afternoon open to shop, catch some shows (Finding Nemo is a Broadway quality show) or take in a few more FastPass rides.

Although there is a lot of walking involved as you criss cross the Animal Kingdom theme park, by the time lunch rolls around you’ll have done more in one morning than you could have done in an complete day without the FastPass.

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