Hey guys! I'm back with more Disney World info, to hopefully help you plan your best possible vacation. In my last post, I covered how Fastpass+ works, and the process of booking them. In this post, I'll talk about which attractions have Fastpasses, and which ones (from my experience) are the most important. I'll also cover which rides are more suited for young children. Nabbing the right Fastpasses is essential to getting the most out of your trip, because no one, especially toddlers, likes standing in long lines. But with so many options out there, it can be a little overwhelming to try to decide which three to go for! I'm going to do my best to give you some more confidence in your decision, though of course the final decision will be up to you based on what your child likes and what is most important to your family.
As I stated last time, most wait times that I mention are going to be based on my own off-season visits, so if you're planning a peak season trip, the times will most likely be longer. Also, keep in mind that any ride or show is going to have the shortest wait times first thing in the morning or late in the evening, so it is possible to catch some of the most popular rides without a Fastpass if you can get there early or stay late.
When it comes to shows and character meetings, the first things you're going to want to do when you get to any park is grab a map (there is a map on the Disney World app, but the paper version is much easier to read) and a Times Guide. The Times Guide will tell you when all the show performances are, where and when you can find the characters, plus other information about any attractions with special times (early closings, etc.).
In all honesty, I haven't been to Disney World enough times to experience everything they have to offer. But I have tried to be up front about what I don't know as much about (everything in Animal Kingdom, for instance!), and I have also done a good amount of research for this post on wait times, age level, etc.
This is going to be a long post with a lot of information stuffed inside! But to try to make it a little easier on you, I've included a recap at the end of each park with which Fastpasses are priority.
Unlike the rest of the parks, there is no tier system for the attractions at Magic Kingdom, which means any three Fastpasses are up for grabs.
The Barnstormer – 35” or taller – a small, outdoor rollercoaster. I've never personally been on the ride, but off-season wait times seem to average 20-45 minutes.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – 40” or taller – a mild rollercoaster. Wait times almost always exceed an hour, so you'll want a Fastpass.
Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin – any height – ride with laser guns, fun for all ages. One of our personal favorites! Wait times are often 45 minutes or more, so it's definitely a good idea to try to get this one, though it could be possible to catch it at a shorter time if you keep checking.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant – any height – wait times often go up to 45 minutes, but slack off later in the day. There is also a new interactive waiting area to keep the kids occupied if the wait does get long. I would not use one of my Fastpasses for this ride.
Haunted Mansion – any height – even though it's a “silly” ride, it will probably be too scary for most young children. Wait times are mostly over 45 minutes, so Fastpass is recommended.
It's a Small World – any height – one of the most classic Disney World rides, and little ones love it. Wait times seem to be longer lately than ever before, but still don't usually go above 30 minutes, so you don't really need a Fastpass for this one.
Jungle Cruise – any height – a cheesy but classic boat ride. The ride features animatronic animals, which are not scary by themselves, but some tour guides may try to “spook” you a little. Wait times tend to be 30 minutes or more.
Mad Tea Party – any height – classic spinning tea cup ride. Generally has short wait times, Fastpass should not be needed.
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin – any height – similar to the Dumbo ride, fun for all ages. Another of our favorites! Wait times can be long in the middle of the day, but stay short in the late afternoon and evening. Fastpass should not be needed.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – any height – fun ride through scenes of The Blustery Day, great for all ages. You'll feel like you're bouncing with Tigger, floating in the flood, and more! Wait times tend to be 30 minutes or more, so a Fastpass is a good idea.
Peter Pan's Flight – any height – one of the classics, and great for little ones. Wait times almost always exceed an hour, so Fastpass is a must.
Pirates of the Caribbean –any height – includes a small drop, and the imagery is a bit scary and violent, so I'd skip this one with little kids. It's been a while since I've been on this ride, but Fastpass is probably a good idea on busier days.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – 38” of taller – a mild outdoor rollercoaster, one of the newest additions. Wait times are almost always over an hour, so you'll need a Fastpass for this one.
Space Mountain – 44” or taller – indoor rollercoaster in the dark. A personal favorite of mine! No huge drops, but still pretty intense. Wait times are almost always over an hour.
Splash Mountain – 40” or taller – water ride with a large drop at the end. Wait times are almost always over an hour, so you'll want a Fastpass to ride this one.
Tomorrowland Speedway – 32” or taller – some toddlers may be too short to ride, but it is fun for little ones to be able to drive their own racecar. Wait times are often at least 30 minutes, but sometimes drop on slower days, so you could go either way with the Fastpass on this one.
Under the Sea – any height – fun ride through the scenes of the Little Mermaid for all ages. Even though it's new, wait times seem to be staying mostly under 30 minutes, so a Fastpass is probably not needed here.
Enchanted Tales with Belle – an interactive re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. I have not seen the show since it changed locations, but others online are recommending the Fastpass because of the low capacity of the seating area.
Mickey's PhilarMagic – a 3D movie that's lots of fun for children and adults. If young children don't like the 3D effect, they can watch without the glasses and still enjoy it. Shows are every 15 minutes and the auditorium is large, so Fastpass is not necessary.
Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor – the humor, though clean and hilarious, is geared more towards adults and teens. Children who have seen the movie may still enjoy the show, though. Shows are every 15 minutes and the auditorium is large, so Fastpass is not necessary.
Ariel – located next to the Under the Sea ride in the new section of Fantasyland. Wait times are often 30 minutes or more, but on slower days also frequently drop lower. A Fastpass would definitely be good in busier times, but in the off-season probably not necessary.
Cinderella and Elena – located in Princess Fairytale Hall, in the main section of Fantasyland, next to PhilarMagic. The two princesses are in the same room together. This line can be caught at 25 or 30 minutes, but is usually longer, so a Fastpass would be a good idea.
Mickey Mouse – located in Town Square. I believe this is the new “talking Mickey”, which I have not seen but have heard is a neat experience. Wait times seem to be running an hour or more most of the time.
Rapunzel and Tiana – located in Princess Fairytale Hall, in the main section of Fantasyland, next to PhilarMagic. The two princesses are in the same room together. This line runs much shorter than its neighboring princess line, so I would not use a Fastpass on it.
Tinker Bell – located in Town Square. Wait times are usually only around 15 or 20 minutes, so I would not use a Fastpass for this meet.
No Fastpass+ Available:
Astro Orbiter – any height – similar to Dumbo, but with a great, high-up view of Magic Kingdom. Wait times are usually 40 minutes or more.
Carousel of Progress – any height – another classic that I have never done, this is a look at how technology has changed through the years. It's more of a show than a ride, though the seats do move, and will probably be a little boring for little ones. Wait times are very short.
Liberty Square Riverboat – any height – a 17 minute riverboat ride. I've only been on it once as a pre-teen and found it pretty boring, but younger children may enjoy it more. Wait times should not be long.
Prince Charming Regal Carousel – any height – classic carousel. Wait times rarely exceed 15 minutes.
Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover – any height – a fun, relaxing train-type ride that takes you all around Tomorrowland. The concept is very simple, but it's still one of our favorites. Wait times can go up to 15 minutes but you can often walk right on.
Walt Disney World Railroad – any height – a 20 minute scenic tour of Magic Kingdom. There are 3 different stops around the park, so you can get on or off anytime. Trains are scheduled to arrive every 4-10 minutes.
Captain Jack Sparrow's Pirate Tutorial – an interactive show, geared more toward slightly older children. Learn swordfighting with Captain Jack and Gibbs. There are 6 shows a day, once every hour.
Country Bear Jamboree – I have not seen this, but it's a classic show with animatronic singing bears that people say little children love. Shows run every 17 minutes and rarely have a wait time longer than that.
Enchanted Tiki Room – another classic featuring singing animatronic birds. Shows run every 15 minutes and there is never really a wait.
Festival of Fantasy Parade – this is a newer version of the daytime parade, and we really enjoyed it. It starts at the entrance to Magic Kingdom, goes down Main Street, then turns to go through Liberty Square and Adventureland. Most people recommend picking out a spot to watch at least half an hour beforehand, but it is possible on slower days to arrive closer to 10 minutes ahead and get a decent spot in some areas. There is only one showing, and it is at 3 pm.
Hall of Presidents – another show I have not seen, but I would guess that young children would not be very interested. Features all of the U.S. Presidents, either as wax figures or animatronics that give speeches. Shows run every 21 minutes, and the theater has a very large capacity.
Happily Ever After – the nighttime fireworks, projection, and laser show. You can watch the fireworks from many places in the park, but if you want to see the cool projections on the castle you'll have to be right in front of the castle. You will need to arrive plenty early to claim a decent spot for this one. The show starts at 7:55 pm.
Let the Magic Begin – if you're on your game enough to make it to the opening of the park, Mickey and friends kick off the day with a show in front of the castle at 8:55 am.
Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire – this is the current show in front of the castle, featuring Mickey and friends as well as characters from Princess and the Frog, Tangled, and Frozen. There are 5 performances per day. It's a good idea to arrive at least 15 minutes ahead of time to get a good view.
Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party – several parade type floats with characters on them gather in front of the castle for a dance party, then have a mini parade back up Main Street when they leave. There are 3 performances per day.
Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse – this isn't actually a show, but for lack of a better place I'll include it here. Self-guided walk through of a mulit-level tree house modeled after the Swiss Family Robinson's.
Aladdin and Jasmine – located near the Magic Carpet ride in Adventureland until evening. Note: Jasmine and sometimes Aladdin can also be seen in Epcot.
Alice – can be found only in the mornings near the Mad Tea Party ride in Fantasyland. Though not listed on the Disney website, some people have reported seeing the White Rabbit with her. Note: Alice can also be seen in Epcot.
Anastasia and Drizella – can sometimes be seen in various spots in the main part of Fantasyland.
Buzz Lightyear – located outside throughout the day near the Space Ranger Spin ride in Tomorrowland. Note: Buzz can also be found in Hollywood Studios.
Circus Stars – meet Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Daisy dressed as circus stars in the circus area of Fantasyland (formerly Toontown). There are two different queues, one for Minnie and Daisy and one for Goofy and Donald. Note: All of these characters can be seen elsewhere, but in different costumes.
Disney Pals – located in Town Square off and on until early afternoon. Various characters have been seen, including Pluto, Snow White, Stitch, and Mary Poppins. Note: All of these except Stitch can also be seen in Epcot.
Fairy Godmother – I have not personally seen her recently, but I have heard that she can sometimes be seen in Fantasyland.
Gaston – can be found near his tavern in the new part of Fantasyland on and off until afternoon.
Merida – located in Fairytale Garden (to the right of the castle) throughout the day until evening.
Peter Pan – can be found off and on throughout the day until evening, around the corner behind the Peter Pan ride.
Pooh and Tigger – there is an official queue complete with wait time clock right next to the Pooh ride. They are there most of the day, but the wait times seem to stay over 30 minutes.
Woody and Jessie – I have not personally seen them in Magic Kingdom, but have heard that they can be found in Frontierland, across from The Golden Horseshoe.
Fastpass Recap for Magic Kingdom
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Peter Pan's Flight
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Meet Mickey Mouse
Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
Enchanted Tales with Belle
Meet Cinderella and Elena
GOOD ON BUSY DAYS
Pirates of the Caribbean
Under the Sea
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
It's a Small World
Mad Tea Party
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor
Meet Rapunzel and Tiana
Meet Tinker Bell
The remainder of the parks use a tier system for their Fastpasses. You may choose one Fastpass from Tier 1, and the other two from Tier 2.
Tier 1 - choose one
Frozen Ever After – any height – a brand new ride, this was my whole family's favorite from our trip! It has fun animatronics and effects, music, and you get to ride backwards part of the ride. There are two small drops, but my little ones were both ok with that. Also, you will most likely get wet. Wait times are always over an hour, and it's located in the back of the park so it's difficult to get to first thing in the morning. A Fastpass is a must.
Living with the Land – any height – it's been years since I was on this ride, but as an older child I found it very boring. It's a slow boat ride that talks about plants and farming, but it somehow always seems to have a pretty long line. If you want to ride it, a Fastpass is a good idea, but if you have young children I would skip it.
Soarin' – 40” or taller – this ride is a lot of fun, and I would definitely recommend if your children are tall enough or if you want to just ride it yourself. It's a motion ride that lifts you up in the air, so don't ride if you have a problem with heights. Lines are always very long, so you'll want a Fastpass if you can. If you choose to use your Tier 1 Fastpass on something else, you can try to catch Soarin' first thing in the morning or maybe late in the evening and get a shorter line.
Test Track – 40” or taller – I haven't been on the newest version of this ride, but I hear it's still a lot of fun. Kids will enjoy it if they are tall enough, or adults can enjoy it by themselves. The main part of the ride is pretty mild, then it ends with an up to 65 mph loop around the outside of the ride. Fastpass is great for this if you're not planning on riding Frozen or Soarin', but the wait times do tend to be slightly shorter for this one. Again, try to catch it first thing in the morning or late in the evening for your best chance.
Illuminations – this is the nighttime laser show. First of all, we weren't very impressed by it the one time we watched, but I know that many people do like it. Second, a Fastpass doesn't get you much, just a roped off area to stand in. Arrive a little early and skip the Fastpass for this one.
Tier 2 - choose two
Journey Into Imagination with Figment – any height – this is a silly, colorful ride good for young kids. It hardly ever has a wait, only 15 minutes or so at the most, so a Fastpass is not needed. The ride lets out into an interactive area where kids can run off some energy and play some games with sound.
Mission: Space – 40” or taller – a simulation ride of a launch into space. This is a pretty intense ride, though there are (or at least were on the original ride; it has been recently redone) two different versions of the ride to choose from, one milder than the other. Wait times don't seem to be too awful, but this is probably the only other ride that you would really want to use a Fastpass on.
The Seas with Nemo & Friends – any height – a fun little ride through some scenes of the movie, good for kids. The ride lets out into a real aquarium that you can walk through at your leisure. Also don't forget to check out the “mine mine” seagulls outside the entrance to the ride! Wait times are never long for this ride, so a Fastpass shouldn't be needed.
Spaceship Earth – any height – this is the classic ride inside “the big ball”, as we always call it. A slow moving ride through the history of communication, ending with an interactive video forecasting your future. The ride itself could be a little boring for some kids - though my three year old seemed to enjoy it - but the animated video with your faces inserted is fun for them to watch. Just make sure they get up high enough at the very beginning of the ride so that their faces can be seen in the picture! Wait times for this ride are a bit long when you first walk into the park, since it's the first ride that you see, but if you skip it and come back later you should be able to walk right on without a Fastpass.
Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival – a 4D showing of Pixar's most popular short films. Shows are every 18 minutes, so a Fastpass should not be necessary.
Epcot Character Spot – meet Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy all in one room. This is located in Future World, just behind Spaceship Earth. The line is usually over 30 minutes, so this is a great Fastpass to have. Also, Chip and Dale sometimes hang out nearby, but are not included in the Fastpass.
Turtle Talk with Crush – any height – in the same building with the Nemo ride, this is an on-screen interactive session with the surfer dude turtle from the movie. A lot of fun for those who have seen the movie in particular. The wait time for this should not be long enough to warrant a Fastpass.
No Fastpass+ Available:
Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros – any height – located inside the Mexico temple, this is a Small World-esque ride featuring funny video clips of Donald and the Caballeros. I've heard rumor that this will soon be changed over to a Coco-themed ride, though, so if you want to see the Three Caballeros now is your chance! Wait times are usually very short for this ride.
Each pavilion in the World Showcase has at least one show, whether it be musicians, acrobats, a street performer, or a movie. I have not seen most of them, so I won't try to give overviews. None of them should have long wait times, and most of the street performers and musicians you'll just kind of “happen upon”. The only one that I know you should try to find a seat early for is the Chinese acrobats, who perform 5 times in the afternoon and evening.
Anna and Elsa – located in the Norway pavilion, in a building called Royal Sommerhaus. Despite the long wait time for the Frozen ride, the characters' line seems to be staying at 20 minutes or less.
Alice – located outdoors in the United Kingdom pavilion. In the instance of rain, it's possible that her meeting spot may be moved indoors, though I'm not sure of the exact location. Like many of the characters in Epcot, she comes out every hour, but they cut the line off after 15 or 20 minutes. Pay attention to your Times Guide and make sure you get there as close as you can to the times listed. Note: Alice can also be found in Magic Kingdom.
Aurora – can be found in the France pavilion, under a gazebo off to the side. Like many of the characters in Epcot, she comes out every hour, but they cut the line off after 15 or 20 minutes. Pay attention to your Times Guide and make sure you get there as close as you can to the times listed.
Baymax – can be found across from the Epcot Character Spot in Future World, he can be seen throughout the day.
Belle – located outdoors in the France pavilion, right next to the lagoon. In the instance of rain, her meeting spot should be moved indoors into one of the French stores. Like many of the characters in Epcot, she comes out every hour, but they cut the line off after 15 or 20 minutes. Pay attention to your Times Guide and make sure you get there as close as you can to the times listed.
Daisy Duck – can be found just inside the main gate, before you go under Spaceship Earth, on and off for most of the day. Note: You can also see Daisy in Hollywood Studios.
Donald Duck – can be found outdoors in the Mexico pavilion, dressed in a colorful poncho and sombrero. His meeting spot is a little set back off the main path, just past the temple. He is there through most of the afternoon and evening. Note: You can also see Donald in Hollywood Studios, but not in Mexican garb.
Jasmine – can be found in the very back of the Morocco pavilion in an indoor location. I believe that Aladdin joins her sometimes. Like many of the characters in Epcot, she comes out every hour, but they cut the line off after 15 or 20 minutes. Pay attention to your Times Guide and make sure you get there as close as you can to the times listed. Note: Aladdin and Jasmine can also be found in Magic Kingdom.
Joy and Sadness – the main characters from “Inside Out” are located in Future World, near Baymax and the Epcot Character Spot. They will be there all day long.
Mary Poppins – located in the United Kingdom pavilion. I believe she has an outdoor meeting spot, but should be moved inside in case of rain. Like many of the characters in Epcot, she comes out every hour, but they cut the line off after 15 or 20 minutes. Pay attention to your Times Guide and make sure you get there as close as you can to the times listed. Note: You can also sometimes see Mary in Magic Kingdom.
Mulan – located just outside the temple in the China pavilion. In case of rain, her meeting spot is moved inside the temple. Like many of the characters in Epcot, she comes out every hour, but they cut the line off after 15 or 20 minutes. Pay attention to your Times Guide and make sure you get there as close as you can to the times listed.
Pluto – can be found under a shelter near the entrance into World Showcase (Mexico side). Like many of the characters in Epcot, he comes out every hour, but they cut the line off after 15 or 20 minutes. Pay attention to your Times Guide and make sure you get there as close as you can to the times listed. Note: Pluto can also be seen in Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.
Snow White – can be found in an outdoor location in the Germany pavilion. She probably has an indoor spot in case of rain, but I'm not sure where exactly it is. Like many of the characters in Epcot, she comes out every hour, but they cut the line off after 15 or 20 minutes. Pay attention to your Times Guide and make sure you get there as close as you can to the times listed. Note: Snow White can also sometimes be seen in Magic Kingdom.
Fastpass Recap for Epcot
Tier 1 – either Frozen Ever After, Soarin', or Test Track
Tier 2 – Epcot Character Spot
Tier 1 – Living with the Land (if not riding any of the above Tier 1 rides)
Tier 1 – Illuminations
Tier 2 – Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
Journey Into Imagination with Figment
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
Turtle Talk with Crush
(Picture courtesy of chicagotribune.com)
As with Epcot, the attractions are divided into two tiers. You may pick one Fastpass from Tier 1, and two from Tier 2.
Tier 1 - choose one
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith – 48” or taller – an indoor rollercoaster complete with a speaker system in each car so you can rock out the whole way. Super fast, and includes a loop. Wait times are some of the longest in the park, so a Fastpass is definitely a good idea.
Toy Story Midway Mania! – any height – this is a fun ride for adults and kids. You'll don 3D glasses and shoot your way through several carnival-type games. A rope-pull trigger on the guns should make it easy for younger kids to do the shooting themselves. This ride always has super long wait times, so Fastpass is a must.
Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage – while not on the same level as a Broadway production, this is certainly one of the more complex and well-crafted shows of Hollywood Studios. It runs 25 minutes, has 5 performances a day, and takes place in an outdoor ampitheater. A Fastpass will get you into a reserved seating area towards the front of the theater. On busy days, this could definitely be a good idea, but if you arrive early enough it shouldn't be a problem to get a decent seat otherwise.
Fantasmic – this is one of Hollywood Studios' nighttime shows, which I have never personally watched. It starts at 7 pm and includes pyrotechnics, lasers, dancing water, and a whole cast of Disney heroes and villains. A Fastpass will give you first choice of seating in the amphitheater, which would be a good idea on busy days in particular.
Tier 2 - choose two
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue – 40” or taller – a must for Star Wars fans, this is a 3D motion ride that takes you on a crazy trip to 3 different worlds. One of our personal favorites. The wait times don't usually go over an hour and can definitely be caught shorter, but a Fastpass is still a good idea for busier days in particular.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – 40” or taller – Hollwood Studios' landmark ride. From what I've heard it drops you a varying number of times from different heights each time. Wait times tend to run pretty high, over an hour sometimes, so if you're riding this one you'll want a Fastpass.
Disney Jr. Live on Stage – if your kids watch the Disney Jr. channel, they will love this interactive puppet show that features Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins, and Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Seating is on the floor, and the stage with the puppets on it is a bit high, so the Fastpass that lets you come in first and sit in the front is really not a good idea. Your view will be better from the middle or back of the room. There are about 10 shows a day, so it should be easy to catch.
For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration – young fans of Frozen will, of course, love this show. If you don't have any litle ones with you, though, it's not really worth seeing, since a large portion of it is just watching video clips from the movie. On the other hand, the two hilarious hosts of the show are pretty entertaining to watch (even when they're standing to the side while the clips are playing!), and there are some pretty cool effects at the end of the show. Shows play every hour for most of the day, and the auditorium is huge, so you should be able to skip the Fastpass for this one.
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular – I haven't ever seen the whole show (it got cancelled after the first scene due to inclimate weather), but from what I did see and have heard, it's pretty entertaining even if you're not a huge fan of the movies. You'll see stunts and stage combat both performed and explained, and it's not scary for kids like the movies are. This show has 5 performances starting at noon, but doesn't usually have a wait.
Muppet Vision 3D – a 3D movie (with 4D experiences like small water splashes) putting you in the middle of Muppet madness. If kids are uncomfortable with the 3D aspect, they can most likely enjoy the show just as well without the glasses on. Show runs 15 minutes plus a 12 minute pre-show while you're in line, and wait times are usually low.
Voyage of the Little Mermaid – a very condensed version of the movie told by live actors, puppets, and video clips. My toddler found Ursula a little bit scary, but the puppets are a lot of fun and all the kids love seeing Ariel sing and turn into a human. Shows run every 17 minutes and shouldn't be hard to get into, so I'd skip the Fastpass for this one.
No Fastpass+ Available:
Disney Movie Magic – this is a short projection show that is presented on the front of the Chinese Theater at 7:55 pm, just before the fireworks. It features clips from many different movies of many different genres, all through cinematic history.
Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple – an interactive experience which anyone can watch, but only ages 4-12 can participate in. If your child wants to participate they must register before the show on a first come first served basis. Young padawans will go on stage to learn lightsaber skills, then be tested against real Star Wars villains.
March of the First Order – Stormtroopers, led by Captain Phasma, march down the main street of Hollywood Studios. This happens 6 times a day, every hour, and all you should have to do to see it is be in the right place at the right time.
Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular – this is the new projection and fireworks show, which takes place in front of the Chinese Theater at 8:15 pm. Still shots and clips from all 8 movies will be projected onto the Theater. Definitely fun for Star Wars fans. Try to show up pretty early to get as close to the Theater as possible, as the projections are hard to see from a distance.
Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away – a short production that takes place out in the street near the Chinese Theater. It's more of a presentation of characters than a show, as not much action actually happens, but it's fun to see a lot of the characters that you can't see anywhere else in the park. There are 6 showings, every hour. They draw a decent crowd, but you can still see relatively well from the back.
BB-8 – located inside Star Wars Launch Bay, which is NOT next to Star Tours, but shares a courtyard with Disney Jr. No autographs, but you can talk to him and take pictures.
Buzz Lightyear and Woody – can be found all day long across from Toy Story Midway Mania. Note: Buzz and possibly Woody can also be seen at Magic Kingdom.
Chewbacca – located inside Star Wars Launch Bay, which is NOT next to Star Tours, but shares a courtyard with Disney Jr. He does not sign autographs, but does “talk” and pose for photos.
Cruz Ramirez – a life size replica of the car from the new Cars 3, with moving eyes and sound effects. She can be found close to Toy Story Midway Mania for most of the day.
Doc McStuffins – located out in the courtyard right next to the Disney Jr. show. The Disney Jr. characters do leave at 6:30, which is earlier than most of the characters in Hollywood Studios. These meet and greets are listed just as “Disney Jr. Pals”, so it's possible that who is actually there may vary.
Jake the Neverland Pirate – located out in the courtyard right next to the Disney Jr. show. The Disney Jr. characters do leave at 6:30, which is earlier than most of the characters in Hollywood Studios. These meet and greets are listed just as “Disney Jr. Pals”, so it's possible that who is actually there may vary.
Kylo Ren – located inside Star Wars Launch Bay, which is NOT next to Star Tours, but shares a courtyard with Disney Jr. He does not sign autographs, but does talk and pose for photos.
Olaf – can be found throughout the day inside “Celebrity Spotlight”, which is just around the corner from the Frozen Sing-Along show. He does not sign autographs, but you will be given a “self-portait” and can take photos with him.
Pluto – located out in the courtyard right next to the Disney Jr. show. These characters do leave at 6:30, which is earlier than most of the characters in Hollywood Studios. Note: Pluto can also be seen at Epcot and Magic Kingdom.
Sofia the First – located out in the courtyard right next to the Disney Jr. show. The Disney Jr. characters do leave at 6:30, which is earlier than most of the characters in Hollywood Studios. These meet and greets are listed just as “Disney Jr. Pals”, so it's possible that who is actually there may vary.
Sorcerer Mickey and Red Carpet Minnie – can be found all day in a building across from Star Tours. Note: Mickey and Minnie can be found in Magic Kingdom and Epcot, but in different costumes.
Fastpass Recap for Hollywood Studios
Tier 1 – Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Toy Story Midway Mania!
Tier 2 – Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Tier 2 – Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
GOOD ON BUSY DAYS
Tier 1 – Fantasmic!
Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
Tier 2 – Disney Jr. Live on Stage
For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
Muppet Vision 3D
Voyage of the Little Mermaid
(Picture courtesy of wdwmagic.com)
The first tier for Animal Kingdom is made up of the two new Avatar rides, meaning that you can only choose a Fastpass for one of these two. Your other two Fastpasses must come from the second tier.
Tier 1: choose one
Avatar Flight of Passage – 44” or taller – a 3D motion ride, you'll sit on a bicycle-like seat for this ride on the back of a mountain banshee. Wait times for these new rides are very long, so you'll want a Fastpass, but keep in mind that you can only choose one between the two of them.
Na'vi River Journey – any height – this is the family-friendly option of the two Avatar rides. A slow-moving boat tour through Pandora at night, complete with glowing plants and exotic creatures. Since this is a new ride the wait times are still long, but if you want to ride Flight of Passage you should go with the Fastpass for that, instead, since it has the longer wait times of the two.
Tier 2: choose two
DINOSAUR – 40” or taller – a scary boat ride complete with a small drop (only one that I know of, but I've never ridden!). The wait times on this one seem to vary pretty widely, but on slower days mostly stay below 30 minutes.
Expedition Everest – 44” or taller – an indoor/outdoor roller coaster that goes both forward and backwards and features the legendary Yeti (may be scary for young kids). Wait times are often over 30 minutes, so a Fastpass would be a good idea.
Kali River Rapids – 38” or taller – ride down a white water river on a 12-person round boat. At least one small drop (I have never ridden, so I don't know how many for sure!), geysers, and plenty more ways to get you wet. Despite being a water ride, it is open year-round. There are lockers across from the ride which are free for use while you are riding. If you don't want to get wet yourself, but still want to join in on the fun, find the bridge that crosses the river and use the elephants there for free to spray the boats going by. The wait time is almost always over 30 minutes, so definitely grab a Fastpass for this one.
Kilimanjaro Safaris – any height – a bumpy ride in an open-air vehicle through an African-like terrain. You could see many different varieties of animals, including elephants, giraffes, rhinos, and lions, though you should keep in mind that these are wild animals in a very large enclosure, so you could see a lot or not much at all. The wait times can get very long, though I hear that around sunset is a great time to ride for short wait times and lots of animal activity.
Primeval Whirl – 48” or taller – a small, spinning outdoor roller coaster featuring kid-friendly dinosaurs. Wait times usually only go over 30 minutes on busy days.
Its Tough to be a Bug! – a 3D show (with 4D effects in the theater) based on the movie “A Bug's Life”. Loud noises and startling effects may make it too scary for young kids. Shows run every 9 minutes, and should not have a wait.
Festival of the Lion King – I have heard great things about this Broadway-style show. Good for kids and adults alike. Shows run for 30 minutes and are performed every hour all day long. A Fastpass for this will get you into the show first for your pick of the seats, so it's good if you like to sit up front.
Finding Nemo - the Musical – this is another show that I have heard is fantastic. It uses puppets and live actors to tell the story of Nemo and his dad, complete with songs. This is a 40 minute show, which is longer than most of the attractions in Disney World, so just be aware that it will take up more of your time than usual. There are 5 performances per day. Like the Lion King, a Fastpass will get you into the show first for your pick of the seats...but unlike Lion King, you will want to be closer to the middle than the front for the best view.
Rivers of Light – Animal Kingdom's nighttime show, made up of boats, colorful lights, Asian music and dance, and water fountains. There are 2 performances, at 7:15 and 8:30 pm. With this being a relatively new show, information on Fastpasses is a bit scarce. The crowds when it first opened were large, but have probably died down enough now, combined with the two performances per day, that you should be able to get in even without a Fastpass. I have heard, though, that the view is a little better from the Fastpass seating area.
Mickey and Minnie – dressed in their safari outfits, they can be found at Adventurers Outpost, close to the Tree of Life, until evening. Wait times are often over 30 minutes, so a Fastpass is a good idea. Note: both Mickey and Minnie can be seen in Epcot and Hollywood Studios, but in different costumes.
No Fastpass+ Available:
TriceraTop Spin – any height – this ride is just like Dumbo or the Magic Carpet ride in Magic Kingdom, but with friendly, colorful dinosaurs. You can control how high or low you fly, or use a joystick to tilt your dinosaur back and forth. Wait times are usually low for this ride.
Wildlife Express Train – any height – there's not a lot to see on this 7 minute train ride, but it's main purpose is to get you out to Rafiki's Planet Watch, where you'll find a petting zoo and other animal experiences, as well as a couple of character meet and greets.
There are several different street performances that take place throughout the park, mostly African- and Caribbean-style musicians.
Baloo and King Louie – located just across the river behind the Tree of Life until evening.
Doc McStuffins – located at Rafiki's Planet Watch, which you must ride a train to get to, until late afternoon. Note: she can also be found in Hollywood Studios.
Donald Duck – dressed in his safari clothes, he can be found in DinoLand, U.S.A. until evening. Note: he can also be seen in Hollywood Studios and Epcot, but in different costumes.
Flik – located on one of the trails close to the Tree of Life until evening.
Goofy and Pluto – can be found in DinoLand, U.S.A. until evening. Note: both characters can also be seen in Epcot, but in different costumes.
Pocahontas – located just outside the entrance to DinoLand, U.S.A. until evening.
Rafiki – can be found at Rafiki's Planet Watch, which you must ride a train to get to, until late afternoon.
Russell (from Up) – can be found right next to the entrance to It's Tough to be a Bug until evening.
Fastpass Recap for Animal Kingdom
Tier 1 – Avatar Flight of Passage, or if not riding that, Na'vi River Journey
Tier 2 – Kali River Rapids
Meet Mickey and Minnie
Tier 2 – Expedition Everest
Rivers of Light
GOOD ON BUSY DAYS
Tier 2 – DINOSAUR
Tier 2 – Festival of the Lion King
Finding Nemo the Musical
Tier 2 – It's Tough to be a Bug!
So, obviously you still have a lot to think about, and plenty of decisions still to make. But hopefully this well help you narrow down your options and avoid wasting any Fastpasses on rides with short lines or that your kids won't even like. Also keep in mind that if you're planning a trip for after summer of 2018, Toy Story Land will be open in Hollywood Studios with new rides, and if you're traveling after summer of 2019, Star Wars Land will be open in Hollywood Studios with a ton of new experiences. All of the new rides will be super popular for the first 6 months to a year, so Fastpasses will be a must where available. I will try to remember to come back and update this post after they open!
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