When you mention Walt Disney World to anyone the first park that comes to mind is Magic Kingdom! It’s where you’ll venture down Main Street USA to see that iconic Cinderella’s castle on the horizon. It’s certainly one of the most popular parks too which can mean it gets busy! However, with a bit of careful planning prior to your trip you can make sure you don’t waste your precious holiday time stuck in long lines for the most popular attractions! So these are our best fast passes to book at Magic Kingdom.
If you look here you’ll see that our party is now made up of 2 adults and a toddler. But we’ve done plenty of adult only trips and combined both areas of this knowledge to share with you!
If you’ve ever been to any theme park, you’ll be aware how busy they can be! And this can equal long waits. But, like most theme parks, Disney offers a paid for service which allows you to avoid these! So, lets break down the mysteries that make up Disney’s Genie and Genie+ service!
What is Genie+ and how to use it?
First up, you’ll need to download the My Disney Experience and create an account. Then link your tickets and any resort reservations you have. This will unlock lots of information and functionality on the app just to help get you all excited!
So, first up we have the Disney Genie service. This free service asks a couple of questions about your preferences and it will recommend plans based on the current wait and showtimes.
Genie+ is very similar to the old Fastpass+ system in the way it works. The charge for this service varies on a variety of criteria. Primarily how busy the park is but you’ll find it can vary between $15-35 per person per day. (Which soon adds up as a family!) Then now you’ve got the decision over which Genie+/Fastpass selections you want to choose! This greatly depends on your party and what your priorities are! For example, you may have small children in your group which rules out some of the bigger rides. Or you may have a tribe of adrenaline junkies who have just hit the height to ride the roller coasters! So I’ll cover the best rides for both groups below!
Best Magic Kingdom Fast Passes for Thrill Seekers
Space Mountain (44in / 112cm) – One of the two great mountains at Magic Kingdom! (the third is currently being reimagined!) This coaster in the dark is full of fast twists, turns and drops, guaranteed to get your heart racing! They have two intertwining tracks which helps keep the general queue times down. But they normally dedicate a whole track just to fastpass! Meaning you won’t end up waiting very long to enjoy the ride!
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (40in / 102cm) – The second of the great mountains! This runaway mine train style ride is great for all the family! And a brilliant starter coaster with its lower height restriction! It’s quick but the drops are relatively small. Top Tip: Sit towards the back of the train for a wilder ride! You’ll get a nice burst of speed as the front end of the train pulls you over the hills!
Best Magic Kingdom Fast Passes for Family Fun – Perfect for younger children or those that aren’t a fan of thrill rides – No height restrictions!
Rides and Attractions
Peter Pan’s Flight – This classic ride is notorious for its long waits and some people can’t understand its appeal. But this timeless ride takes you on an adventure through the skies looking down at Neverland. However, because of the slow-moving nature of the attraction and the small capacity of the ride vehicles it regularly attracts the longest standby line wait times! So, if it’s a ride that you really want to include in your Magic Kingdom itinerary it’s definitely a good option for one of your selections!
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – A brilliant ride for all the family with a nice little competitive element where you can help Buzz defeat the evil Zurg! The ride is continually moving slowly but if it’s a busy day in the park, or nearby Space Mountain goes down, it can find itself very busy very quickly. And one of the main issues with this standby line is a lot of it is outside. There are shaded areas but not much airflow. There’s the odd token fan in the queue lines but when the lines moving you don’t stay in the same place too long!
Jungle Cruise – A fun boat ride where you’ll be taken on a pun-filled tour by an eccentric guide to see all the secrets of the jungle! Even if the kids don’t follow all the jokes, they’ll still love the animatronics and pointing out everything they see!
Character Meet and Greets
If there is a character that your young children absolutely must see, then there are some selections to consider. Town square theatre is where you’ll be able to meet the main man himself, Mickey Mouse! With it being quite close to entrance it can gain large wait times. Princess Fairytale Hall is also a must select if you’ve got little ones that are princess mad!
Strong back-up options
Pirates of the Caribbean – Another brilliant dark ride that all the family can enjoy! The inside queue line and the ride offers a lovely bit of rest bite from the Floridian heat and humidity! Because of the high throughput the lines rarely get too long but if it’s a must ride then it’s a good use of fastpass.
Haunted Mansion – Continually moving attraction which means the throughput is pretty good. And there’s a nice break from the heat and humidity when you get inside the mansion for the preshow and the ride itself.
Not so great options
So, you’ve got Genie+ loaded up on your ‘My Disney Experience’ account and there’s lots of different options in front of you! But try not to get overwhelmed and book everything! Some options can be a bit of a waste! In the terms that these rides don’t often get long lines due to their throughput (the number of guests that can go through the ride at one given time). Once you’ve selected a ride, you’re locked out of selecting another until you’ve used it, or your wait time of 2 hours has elapsed. (Whichever comes first) You also may want to select some of the popular rides earlier in the day before they run out of reservations. And save the others with plenty of availability till later in the day.
Small World – This rarely gets a large queue due to the size of the boats and how many people fit on them.
Dumbo – There’s actually two rides here which they operate on busy periods, but also, they have a play area which can be used whilst waiting which offers a nice break from the direct heat.
Monsters Inc Laugh Floor/ Mickey’s Philharmagic – Two brilliant attractions providing a nice break with some air con. But the size of the theatres and the frequency of shows means the line never really gets long enough to warrant using a fastpass selection. Also, the queue is mostly inside providing a nice air con relief if you do have to wait in a short line.
Exclusions to Genie+ but those to be considered
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (38in / 97cm) – Not available on regular Genie+ service but it is available to purchase as a one-off individual lightning lane reservation.
Tron Lightcycle Run (48in / 122cm) – After only opening April 4th 2023, this is currently operating on a virtual queue basis for standby line, but you can also buy individual lightning lanes if you missed out on the virtual queue or just fancy another ride.
When, Genie+ isn’t an option
So, there’s some basics about where you can get started when it comes to Magic Kingdom Fastpasses! But what if you’re not in the position to utilise the Genie+ service? This could be budget or that you feel that you’ve already spent enough on your holiday! And you’d rather spend your spending money on merchandise or delicious food than skipping the lines! So, let’s look at the best free tips for beating the lines without having to pay for Genie+.
First off, if you stay in any Disney Resort, you’ll be entitled to early theme park entry! 30 minutes before the advertised park opening time (rope drop) you’ll find a checkpoint with a cast member checking reservations. This 30minutes might not sound like a lot! But we found this head start really helped us get on those must do rides for us! You’re ahead of the general admission so you definitely get an advantage in the queue for those top rides!
Also, if you’re staying at a deluxe Disney resort, twice a week they run an after-hours late-night event at Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. Once the park has officially closed, they’ll be a cast member on each ride checking you are in fact staying at a deluxe resort before they let you join the queue. They also release another batch of virtual queue for Tron and Guardians of the Galaxy for these events so this is a fantastic way to ride these if you’ve previously missed them!
Disney’s free Genie service is also good to utilise the ‘My Disney Experience’ app, where you can put your preferences and it will work out a plan for you.
So, Genie+ can be a good tool for ensuring you get to ride your favourite attractions with a short wait, but it isn’t the be all and end all. You’ll still be able to have a fantastic Disney trip without it! Just assess who is in your travel party, and what they really want to do. Then create an action plan around these! Leave a comment below about what your favourite ride to fastpass at Magic Kingdom is and why!