Animal Kingdom at Disney World is a unique park that offers guests thrills and animal encounters unlike any theme park. Today we are sharing our best Animal Kingdom Fastpass tips, Disney Animal Kingdom FastPass tiers, and what you should know about making FastPass for Animal Kingdom.
UPDATE: Disney has retired FastPass at Animal Kingdom. Read our full guide and Animal Kingdom itinerary for all the details on the new system and tips to plan your day at Animal Kingdom.
UPDATE: Disney has retired FastPass at the Disney Parks. Read Disney World 7 Day Itinerary Planning Guide for all the best planning tips for your Disney World vacation.
Animal Kingdom is the fourth theme park at the Walt Disney World resort. It opened in 1998 and has continued to grow and evolve ever since. Animal Kingdom is unique because it blends real animals within a theme park setting.
When visiting Disney World’s Animal Kingdom you feel as if you are at a zoo and a theme park. It is wonderfully done in a way that only Walt Disney World can accomplish.
Animal Kingdom FastPass Overview
FastPass is a free virtual que that is available to all guests with a theme park ticket. It is a reservation system that allows you to reserve your time for shows or attractions.
To learn more about the step by step ways to plan your FastPass I suggest reading Disney World FastPass Tiers + 7 Tips to Get You Started.
Animal Kingdom FastPass Tiers
There are two groups in the FastPass tiers at Animal Kingdom. You pick one attraction from Group A, and two attractions from Group B.
Choose 1 from Group A:
- Avatar Flight of Passage
- Na’vi River Journey
Choose 2 from Group B:
- The Animation Experience at Conservation Station
- Kali River Rapids
- Finding Nemo – The Musical
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost
- Festival of the Lion King
Primeval Whirl(Currently Closed)
- Rivers of Light: We Are One (Evening Show)
- Expedition Everest
- It’s Tough to be a Bug!
- Up! A Great Bird Adventure
Best FastPass at Animal Kingdom
The most popular attractions at Animal Kingdom are the Pandora attractions. You should choose one as part of your Animal Kingdom FastPass strategy. You can’t pick both.
If you would like to ride them both I suggest securing a FastPass for Flight of Passage and ride Na’vi River Journey as soon as you arrive in the park.
Below are some of the most popular FastPass attractions at Animal Kingdom.
- Avatar Flight of Passage (Tier 1)
- Na’vi River Journey (Tier 1)
- Kilimanjaro Safari (Tier 2)
- Expedition Everest (Tier 2)
- DINOSAUR (Tier 2)
The Pandora attractions are the best FastPass reservations to secure. They are the best attractions in the park and the lines can get very long.
I suggest trying to book Avatar: Flight of Passage then Na’vi River Journey. The only exception to this is if you are not interested in riding Flight of Passage. Then book Na’vi River Journey.
Flight of Passage is an amazing simulator ride. The height requirement is 44 inches but it can be a bit intense. My kids all really enjoy it. My youngest was 6 when he rode it.
To determine if your kids are going to like a ride you can watch it on YouTube and see what you think. You also know your child best and what they can handle. Consider using rider-switch for children that may not want to ride.
The best Animal Kingdom FastPass after the Pandora attractions is Kilimanjaro Safari. It is great for all ages and is a safari ride touring the real animals that live at Animal Kingdom. We always try to ride this early in the morning.
Expedition Everest is an intense roller coaster that is your next best choice-if you have kids that are interested in riding. If not I would suggest meeting characters or The Lion King or Nemo Show.
Dinosaur can be a bit intense as well but it is a well done ride. Some preschool children love it and others are terrified of it. I have watched it on YouTube and because it is in the dark it is tough to get a grasp for what to expect. Basically it is a dark ride with animatronic dinosaurs. Some friendly and some not so friendly.
I love Finding Nemo: the Musical so much. It is one of my favorite shows in all of Walt Disney World. The only con is that it is about 45 minutes long. I think it is well worth making the time for it. Make plans to see an afternoon show and take a break.
Animal Kingdom FastPass Tips
Below are a few Animal Kingdom FastPass tips I think are worth mentioning when creating your Animal Kingdom Itinerary.
Only Make a FastPass Reservation for What You Want to Ride
There may be a popular attraction or show that isn’t a good fit for your family. You should only make FastPass reservations for attractions you want to ride. Keep in mind ride height requirements and scare factor. Read this article about the Best Rides at Animal Kingdom.
Attractions at Animal Kingdom that Do NOT Need a FastPass
There are a few attractions that don’t need a FastPass. Typically you do not need a FastPass for any of the shows due to the large capacity of the seating areas. If you want preferred seating for the shows you can go ahead and use a FastPass but it is not our top pick.
When you book your FastPass you initially make 3 reservations. After the three are used you can another. You can continue to book one, use it, then book another for the remainder of your day.
If you have 3 early FastPass reservations you may be able to secure a 4th for preferred seating at a show.
You do not need a FastPass to experience the animal exhibits. The areas are themed perfectly and it is stunning to explore. They are self-guided trails and can be done during any part of your day.
One of our favorite things to do at Animal Kingdom that does not need a FastPass is the Wilderness Explorer Scavenger Hunt. This is a free activity offered to guests in the park. Read How to Become a Wilderness Explorer to learn more.
We also really enjoyed meeting Launchpad and Scrooge at DINOLAND U.S.A. Learn more in this article about Characters to Meet at Animal Kingdom.
Where to Make Animal Kingdom FastPass Reservations
Before you book your FastPass you must purchase tickets and link them to your My Disney Experience account. Create a list of the attractions you want to experience before you are ready to make your FastPass reservations.
You can book 3 FastPass attractions per day in advance. After you use all 3 FastPass you can book a 4th, use it, book a 5th, use it, etc.
On-site guests can make FastPass reservations 60 days in advance beginning at 7:00 AM Eastern. This starts on the day you check in to your resort. If you arrive on a Saturday but do not go to a park until Sunday you can start making reservations Saturday. Read this post about why staying on-site at Walt Disney World is a good choice.
Off-site guests can make FastPass reservations 30 days in advance. This is from the day you will arrive at the park and means you will have to make a reservation everyday you are visiting a park 30 days in advance.
FastPass are connected to your MagicBands. You will not receive any tickets or paper copy of your FastPass reservations. They are connected to your park ticket and magic band.
FastPass are hourly. You can’t reserve two in the same time period. So for example you can reserve a 9:00am-10:00am window and a 10:00am-11:00am window, but not a 9:00am-10:00am and a 9:30am-10:30am.
Do I Really Need a FastPass at Animal Kingdom
Ten years ago a visit to the Walt Disney World theme parks were different. You could show up and decide what to do as you go. It was more spontaneous. Today you need to have a plan. It will save you time, money, and cause less stress throughout the day if you know what you are doing and have plans in place.
Having a plan and making FastPass reservations will:
- Save time because you won’t wait in long lines all day. You will have time to enjoy more attractions.
- Save money because you want your dollar to be worth it when visiting Walt Disney World and with a plan in place you will maximize your day.
- Less stress. I know when I am out with my family at a theme park, especially when it is hot, I like to have a plan. Even if we are flexible and plans change it is nice to know where we are going and what to do next.
Trust me making decisions when it is hot, crowded, and people are hungry is not easy! Having a FastPass reservation at Animal Kingdom allows us to have less of these moments are more fun.
Next Post: Best Resorts for Kids at Disney World
More Walt Disney World Planning Tips:
- Everything You Need to Know for Your First Visit to Walt Disney World
- Why You Should Plan a Non-Park day during your Disney Vacation and What to do