There is a new sheriff in FastPass town, Animal Kingdoms’ Flight of Passage. For a while, Frozen Ever After was the difficult one, and before that was Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and so on. But for now, everyone wants to ride Flight of Passage, and for good reason.
What Do You Mean “Don’t plan to go to the Animal Kingdom on the First Day of Your Trip?”
It’s true. Don’t do it. Don’t go to the Animal Kingdom Park on the first day of your trip. Nor the second day. Maybe not even the third day. The fourth day, yes.
Of course, if you weren’t hoping to ride the wildly popular Avatar Flight of Passage ride in the park’s new (May 2017) Pandora land, then this wise rule of thumb doesn’t apply to you. But nearly every Disney guest is hoping to hop on a mountain banshee above the vast green moon. In the movie AVATAR, riding a banshee is a rite of passage – and that’s how Disney World guests view the new attraction. When you get home from your trip, the first thing people will ask you is, “Did you ride Flight of Passage??” If you say “Yes,” they may ask you how long you waited in line. (Recent wait times have exceeded 300 minutes – yes, literally five hours!) When you tell them you scored a FastPass for Flight of Passage, they’ll ask how you managed that. You can tell them it was on the advice of your fabulous travel agent, Mouseketrips! 🙂
So how do you get a Flight of Passage FastPass? You don’t schedule your visit to the Animal Kingdom early in your trip. “Why not??” you ask. “It’s the thing my kids are most excited about! They’re gonna want to go straight to Pandora when we get off the plane.” The problem is, Flight of Passage is so popular, the FastPasses for it may be gone before your 60 day FastPass booking window even opens. So you’ll sit down, all excited, at 7:00 AM Eastern (feeling VERY sleep if you’re on the West Coast), exactly 60 days before your resort stay begins — and you’ll be extremely disappointed to find that all the Flight of Passage FastPass are gone for the first few days of your trip.
How can this be? It’s important to remember that when the 60 day window opens for you, it opens for all the days of your trip. (The upper limit is for a 14 day resort stay.) So you’ll book your FastPass for 60 days ahead – but you’ll also book for 61 days ahead, 62 days ahead, 63 days ahead – for the length of your stay. If you have a one week resort stay, you’ll book 67 days ahead.
The problem is, there are many thousands of Disney resort guests whose stay will overlap with yours, but who will be arriving before you. As an example, a Disney World resort guest who will check into her resort a week ahead of you will have chosen her FastPass for the 67th day (which is your 60th day) a week or more before you. This is why the FastPass for Flight of Passage can be gone when you attempt to book yours on the 60th day. Or even the 61st day (the second day of your trip).
So, if possible, spend the first three days of your trip at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios before you visit the Animal Kingdom park. Booking at the 60 day mark, you’ll have no trouble getting the Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom, Frozen Ever After at Epcot, and Toy Story Midway Mania at the Studios. Booking at the 60 day window, the fourth day of your trip will be 64 days away, and you should have your choice of Flight of Passage times. If you can make the Animal Kingdom your destination even further into your trip (on the 6th or 7th day), you’ll have even more choices of times. Who knew you had to be a rocket scientist to understand booking FastPass!?
Here’s some more advanced-FastPass-user advice: when you plan your Animal Kingdom FastPasses, don’t start your day in Pandora. And book only two FastPasses, not three. Whaaat? Yes, only two. Trust us. Try this: stay out of the crush of people going to Pandora at park opening, and take the path less traveled to DinoLand USA. You’ll have that part of the park practically all to yourself! Use a prebooked FastPass at 9:00 a.m. for Dinosaur. After entering Dinosaur, you’re going to get creative. Go on the My Disney Experience App and book yourself another Fastpass for 9:15 a.m. for Primeval Whirl and use that FastPass right away. Now stroll over and explore Pandora. At 10:30 a.m., use your prebooked Flight of Passage (booked 64 or more days ago!) for 10:30 a.m. The minute you tap into the line for Flight of Passage, go on the MDE app and see what FastPasses are available. You might be able to snag one for the Na’vi River Journey.
Because Animal Kingdom is a “tiered” park, you need to use two Tier 2 FastPasses and one Tier 1 PastPass (which you will just have done) before you can book additional FastPasses. Having used two Tier 2’s, you are eligible for a second Tier 1. This is the only way you can use FastPass for both Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey. Or maybe even take a second ride on Flight of Passage with a FastPass! And as soon as you’ve tapped into the line for your fourth FastPass, go on the app and book a fifth. Remember that you can only book a fourth, fifth (etc.) FastPass if you’ve already used the first three. (So if you have a prebooked FastPass for 3:00 p.m., you’re not going to be able to book additional morning FastPasses as described in the scenario above.) And you can only book one FastPass at a time after the first three!
If you haven’t been able to book FastPass for Flight of Passage ahead of time, here’s a very secret insider tip: we can confirm that Disney releases Flight of Passage FastPass each day for use on that day. This happens midmorning (for FastPass that afternoon) as well as midafternoon (for FastPass that evening). In the past, this policy was used to create guest pixie dust for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, but currently the only same-day release is for Flight of Passage – and there’s no guarantee as to how long this pixie dust sprinkling will continue!