With FastPass+, you can make three attraction reservations in advance of your visit to Walt Disney World. If you’re staying on Disney property, you get to make these FP+ reservations 60 days in advance. If not, you get a 30-day window. Now, here’s the kicker for me: you can only make them in one park per day. If I purchase the Park Hopper add-on to my park tickets, thus allowing me to go to multiple parks in one day, I can still only make my three FP+ reservations in one park per day. This is kind of annoying. But if I MUST limit myself to one park for my FP+ selections, that park is going to be Magic Kingdom. That park has the most rides, by far. Plus, it doesn’t have a tiering system. (Epcot and Hollywood Studios have tiering systems in which you can only choose one ride from a certain list, then two rides from a secondary list.) It seems like you can get the most bang for your FP+ at the Magic Kingdom. Of course, you can always make FP+ reservations at different parks on different days. But what if it’s just a quick trip? A long weekend, for example? What’s the best strategy in that scenario? Over the past year-and-a-half or so, we’ve tested that out. Here’s what we came up with: you can, indeed, do Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom WITHOUT FastPass+. The thing is, you need to get there at (or, preferably, before) park opening to do so (called “rope dropping”). You can breeze through your must-do’s at one of those parks, hop to Magic Kingdom, and take advantage of your pre-arranged FP+ times there. Let’s break it down…
1. Epcot: Rope drop this park and head straight to Soarin’. Afterwards, go to Test Track. If the stand-by line is too long for your taste, do the single rider line. Then go directly to Spaceship Earth. This line might be starting to build by now, but should still be reasonable. Do any other rides in this park that you wish (the other lines shouldn’t be bad), then take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom for your FastPass+ rides.
2. Hollywood Studios: Rope drop this park and head straight to Toy Story Midway Mania. Proceed to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. If the stand-by line is too long, single rider it. Next stop: Tower of Terror. You should be able to squeeze in anything else you want (such as Star Tours or the Great Movie Ride) before heading to the Magic Kingdom.
3. Animal Kingdom: At rope drop, head for Kilimanjaro Safaris, then Expedition Everest (again, if the stand-by wait is too long, do the single rider line). We then head for Dinosaur, but some people would put Festival of the Lion King in the next slot. Either way, complete your must-do attractions, and then bus it to the Magic Kingdom.
Note: Our visits were during mid-to-low crowd times (mid-January, late April, mid-to-late August, and November just before Thanksgiving week). This strategy may not work during high-crowd times.