Animal Kingdom Fastpass Tiers and Strategy

Spending the day at Animal Kingdom has gotten much easier to do with all the new attractions in the last few years. I will admit it was my least favorite park for a while, but since they opened Pandora, I am back on the Animal Kingdom bandwagon. Disney has been adding new attractions in the last few years to give visitors more to do and make Animal Kingdom more of an all-day park. Even though Pandora opened in 2017, the wait times are still crazy long for both rides, and getting an Animal Kingdom Fastpass is key. Since you can schedule three Animal Kingdom fast passes in advance, I am here to help you with the strategy of it all. The first thing to note is that there are Animal Kingdom Fastpass Tiers. This means that you are only allowed to get 1 Animal Kingdom Fastpass from the Tier 1 level of rides and then two choices for the Tier 2 options. Here is my advice if you’re looking to find a strategy for your Animal Kingdom fast passes.

Animal kingdom fast passes Family

First of all, if you are new to Disney vacation planning, check out my guide – Disney World Tips for First Timers. If you would like some general Disney Fastpass tips, I suggest you read my post – Disney World Fastpass Secrets.

Going to Disney doesn’t have to break the bank. Check out these tips on how to do Disney on a budget, and read these reviews on the Disney Value Resorts and Disney Moderate Resorts to make your decision about where you’re going to stay. It may make sense to stay off-site, if you are considering staying nearby, check out these options on the best family resorts in Orlando. If you are looking for what items to bring on your next Disney adventure, check out my Disney packing list.

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PRO TIPARRIVE 30 MIN. BEFORE THE PARK OPENS. If you are staying on property and Animal Kingdom has early Magic Hours, use them and wake up earlier to make it on time. If you are not staying on property, find out which park does have early magic hours and do not go to that one! If you do, you will be competing with hundreds of people who arrived an hour before you.

Viator

Animal Kingdom Fastpass Tiers: Explaining What it Means

Three out of four Disney World parks have these “tiers” in place for allowing guests to schedule their Fastpass times. Basically, you are allowed to schedule three Fastpasses ahead of time on your My Disney Experience App. If you are planning to head to Animal Kingdom, you are allowed to book ONE Fastpass from the Tier 1 group and TWO Fastpasses from the Tier 2 group.

Note: The best Animal Kingdom fast passes are, without a doubt: Flight of Passage, Expedition Everest, and Kilimanjaro Safaris. The good news is that they follow the Animal Kingdom Fastpass Tiers rule and it shouldn’t be a problem to schedule.

Tier 1 Rides:

  1. Avatar Flight of Passage *Best Fastpass Animal Kingdom*
  2. Na’vi River Journey

Advice on Which Animal Kingdom Fast passes to Get:

I would strongly recommend getting Avatar Flight of Passage as your first Animal Kingdom Fastpass, as this line continues to have very long wait times (even in the morning). If you cannot get this ride as a Fastpass, try to get Na’vi River Journey after 10:00 AM, and you must arrive at the park 45 minutes before it opens. Here is why:

Believe me when I say that the line for Avatar Flight of Passage will be at least an hour if you arrive when the park opens. You need to get there very early if you want to ride this ride (and trust me, it is fantastic) and not wait that long. I am not kidding. Everyone heads to Pandora the moment the park opens and the line is enormous!

Please check the height requirements before you book your Fastpass reservations and the park hours to be sure.

Animal Kingdom fastpass Tree of life

Tier 2 Rides:

  1. Kilimanjaro Safaris
  2. Expedition Everest
  3. Primeval Whirl
  4. Dinosaur
  5. Kali River Rapids
  6. It’s Tough to Be A Bug (4D Movie)
  7. Festival of the Lion King (Show)
  8. Finding Nemo Musical (Show)
  9. Adventurers Outpost Character Greeting
  10. Rivers of Light (Night Show)

Luckily, the majority of the attractions can be found on Tier 2 of the Animal Kingdom Fastpass Tiers. I would recommend getting an Animal Kingdom Fastpass for Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest, as they are the two best rides with the longest lines on the Tier 2 list. Be careful when booking Kilimanjaro Safaris because if you book it mid-day, the animals are usually resting and you don’t see much activity due to the heat.

Some people enjoy going on this ride at night and getting a Fastpass at that time, but I did not. Another one of my Animal Kingdom Fastpass tips is to ride Kilimanjaro Safaris more than once during your visit to the park. I usually try to ride this twice (first earlier in the morning, and then later in the day closer to dinner) and compare the difference.

Primeval Whirl, Dinosaur, and Kali River Rapids usually do not have much of a wait, so I would not recommend booking your Animal Kingdom fast passes ahead of time for these rides unless the others have no availability. If your child would like a closer seat at one of the shows, an Animal Kingdom fastpass ensures closer seating without a long wait.

Expedition Everest Animal kingdom fast passes

Animal Kingdom Fastpass Strategy:

9AM Arrive at the park and ride Na’vi River journey

Ride Dinosaur and then Ride Primeval Whirl

Ride Kilimanjaro Safari

11:00 Fastpass Pandora Flight of Passage

Ride Kali River Rapids (if you plan on getting wet)

12:00 Fastpass Everest

1:00 Fastpass Kilimanjaro Safari

Animal kingdom fastpass tiers Kilimanjaro Safari

Check out: Disney Springs for Kids

How to Get More Animal Kingdom Fast Passes

As I have mentioned in my other posts, once you have used all of your three scheduled Fast passes, you can get more. Disney only allows 3 reservations in advance, yet once the last one is done, you can choose one more Fastpass at a time. Once you have tapped your Magic Band for your last Animal Kingdom Fastpass, check the Disney app and try to find another attraction you would like to get a Fastpass to. I strongly urge you to check back often on the Fastpass system to see what is available with the closest time to your current time, so that you can continue to get more throughout the evening.

Animal Kingdom with Toddlers or Babies

If you are traveling to Animal Kingdom with toddlers or anyone that does not meet the minimum height requirements to ride the “big rides”, I suggest getting Fastpasses for Na’Vi river ride, Kilimanjaro Safaris and either a character meeting or priority seating at the Nemo Musical. The best Fastpass for Animal Kingdom in this situation is the Safari ride, as kids love it! Be sure to keep the Fastpass times close together, as then you can search for other Fastpasses after you have finished your last one.

Another option is using the Disney child swap which allows parents the opportunity to both ride the “big” attractions, while the other stays with the baby/toddler. If you want to do it all, schedule 3 Animal kingdom fast passes for yourself, and three other fast passes for your significant other. You, your partner, and the baby walk up together to the Animal Kingdom Fastpass line and say you would like a baby swap. The cast member will ask you to tap your magic band and add it. Then you ride while your partner stays with the little one. Once they come out, you switch baby duty and go in the Fastpass line. Boom – one Animal Kingdom Fastpass – two rides! To read more about the exact rules and how to use this feature, check out my Rider Swap Disney post.

animal kingdom fastpass book

If you love Animal Kingdom, then I highly recommend staying close by at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. If you would like to see other sample ideas of Fastpass schedules I have used, click below to read my other posts:

Best Magic Kingdom Fastpass Strategy

Best Hollywood Studios Fastpass Strategy

Best Epcot Fastpass Strategy

animal kingdom fast passes book

Check out: How Much Does a Disney Cruise Cost?

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Animal Kingdom Fastpass Cover

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7 thoughts on “Animal Kingdom Fastpass Tiers and Strategy”

  1. This all sounds crazy! I never knew there could be a strategy to Disney. I haven’t been there yet, but I’m definitely pinning this to read over again before I go!

  2. i did a last minute trip to AK last spring, and I was so dumb bc there was EMH and we got there at rope drop, we still could not get on flight of passage. We were able to get to navi quickly, that line wasnt so bad. You can also single rider Everest, that enabled us to go twice!

  3. Animal Kingdom is my daughter’s favorite Disney World park! We live near DL and it’s so different from anything we have here. These are some great tips for getting the most out of your day!

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