My Fastpass+ Picks: Animal Kingdom
With the recent opening of Pandora in Animal Kingdom, a lot have changes have come with it! In addition to two new attractions, the park has also switched to a Tier system like Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Fastpass+ reservations.
In Tier 1, you’ll find the two Pandora attractions: Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey.
In Tier 2, you’ll find all other Fastpass+ attractions: DINOSAUR, Expedition Everest, Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo – The Musical, It’s Tough To Be A Bug, Kali River Rapids, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Meet and Greet at Adventurers Outpost, Primeval Whirl, and Rivers of Light.
As you can see Animal Kingdom’s Tier system is a little different than the previous ones that we’ve seen, but I can appreciate the separation to prevent guests from taking reservations for both new Pandora attractions!
So which attractions are my top picks for Animal Kingdom? Let’s find out!
Tier 1 Picks
Flight of Passage
This attraction is pretty much the crown jewel of the new Pandora area! Its queue is built for a six hour wait time and moves over 1400 people in an hour! Needless to say, Disney is expecting this ride to bring some crowds. Whether you’ve seen Avatar or not, this attraction does a great job of explaining Pandora and its tie to Animal Kingdom! It’s also got some pretty cool technology that you’ll want to check out. If you love Soarin’, you’re going to want to ride this!
Pro Tip: Considering how new this attraction is, it’s going to be very challenging to get a Fastpass+ reservation for Flight of Passage. If you don’t happen to catch one while planning for your trip, make Animal Kingdom your rope drop park day and head straight to this ride! With a normal wait of over four hours, an hour wait at rope drop will seem like nothing. Also, you’ll be saving one Fastpass+ reservation for another attraction!
Na’vi River Journey
So I have to be honest about this attraction — it was not one of my favorites. While it was very beautiful and featured a lot of new technology including an impressive animatronic, the over 100 minute wait time was not worth the five minute ride to me. Keep in mind, I also haven’t seen Avatar or have any tie to the movie whatsoever! I could appreciate the beauty and the creatures it featured, but I will only ride this ride as a Fastpass+ reservation until the hype calms down.
Pro Tip: Na’vi River Journey is a much easier Fastpass+ reservation in Tier 1, even if it’s a reservation for the afternoon or evening. If you’ve never experienced Pandora, I suggest picking this as your Tier 1 Fastpass+ and waking up early for rope drop to ride Flight of Passage too!
Tier 2 Picks
This attraction is a must for me every time I’m at Animal Kingdom! The amount of theming involved in this roller coaster is just outstanding. (Still to this day I always duck my head to avoid the Yeti at the end!) I love that this attraction has a great seat no matter where you’re sitting! Whether you’re going frontward or backward, everyone is having a great time! If you’re scared of heights like me, be sure to grab a seat on the left because riding straight up into the mountain is pretty darn high.
Pro Tip: If you love this attraction as much as I do and want to ride it some more, take advantage of the Single Rider Line! You will sit with a stranger, but you’ll be having so much fun riding again and again that you won’t even notice.
The attraction is named in all caps, so you know it’s got to be intense! DINOSAUR has always been one of my favorites in Animal Kingdom. Even though the dinos in the dark can get pretty scary, it’s a fun scary with your family and friends! My favorite part of the ride is seeing the photo afterwards — it’s always a classic! Luckily I have Memory Maker, so I get to keep every hilarious shot. This attraction may be a little intense for kids, but when they get off this ride for the first time they will feel the same sense of pride that I did riding it for the first time at six years old!
Pro Tip: Any youngsters or riders scared of the dark and dinos should sit on the two inside seats! (I am one of those riders — I always sit on the inside seats!)
Festival of the Lion King
This interactive show is perfect for guests of all ages. It features some of your favorite characters from The Lion King, some pretty talented performers, and it’s a great way to get a break from walking around in the Florida heat! In all seriousness, I hadn’t experienced this show until a few years ago and now it’s a must do for my family and friends. I love how the cast of Festival of the Lion King brings the energy and also includes guests in the fun!
Pro Tip: While you don’t necessarily need a Fastpass+ reservation to see this show, you will get better seats if you do! So if it’s your first time, I highly suggest a Fastpass+ reservation.
As you can see, there are so many great choices for Fastpass+ reservations in Animal Kingdom! The addition of Pandora to this park has definitely brought some more traffic and I hope it continues to bring some excitement to this underrated park.