Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Tiers & Tips

Update Fall 2021: Walt Disney World is no longer using FastPass+. This system is permanently suspended at the Disney Parks. In its place is Genie+, a new paid program to utilize Lightning Lanes. You can find out more information here.

As you start making your plans for visiting Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World, it is important to have a good understanding of Animal Kingdom FastPasses and how they relate to the park. 

Before we go any further, if you are not very savvy with the whole FastPass+ system, make sure you take a few minutes and read up on it here. We will continue this post assuming you have a basic understanding of how fast passes work and why you should use them.

family in front of Expedition Everest

Animal Kingdom FastPass has a two tier system that you will use to reserve your FastPasses. We feel that Animal Kingdom is much easier to select your FastPasses for, in comparison to the other parks. One of the biggest reasons is that tier one only has 2 offerings to pick from!

Here are the attractions in the two tiers. We will break down our recommendations as to what you should pick next:

Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Tier 1 (you may choose only one attraction)

  1. Avatar – Flight of Passage
  2. Na’Vi River Journey
Expedition Everest ride

Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Tier 2 (you may choose two attractions)

  2. Expedition Everest
  3. Festival of the Lion King
  4. Finding Nemo – the Musical
  5. It’s Tough to be a Bug
  6. Kali River Rapids
  7. Kilimanjaro Safaris
  8. Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventure Outpost
  9. The Animation Experience at Conservation Station
  10. Note: Rivers of Light: We are One (Permanently closing)

What attractions should we use our Animal Kingdom FastPasses on? 

As we tell you in other posts, your decisions can be thought out by evaluating who is in your group (all adults? Family with school age children? Family with very young children?), figuring out where interests lie, and finally, factoring in your personal variables.

Girl holding tinker bell

You will want to think through factors such as: do some members of your party frighten easily, get motion sickness, not want to be wet on a ride, are too short to go on an attraction etc… If you take the time to take stock of these factors, it will help in your Fastpass+ selections.

That being understood, here are some suggestions that might help in your selection process.

Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Tier 1 Tips

Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Tiers & Tips

In Tier 1, we have only two attractions and we can only choose one.  The most popular attraction in all of Animal Kingdom, and possibly one of the top attractions in all of Walt Disney World, is Avatar – Flight of Passage. We recommend either FastPassing Flight of Passage or arriving early to Animal Kingdom (well before rope-drop) and visiting this attraction first thing in the day. 

One important note: Na’Vi River Journey does generate a long wait time as the day progresses so be aware that using your FastPass on Avatar will cause you to need to strategically figure out when to visit it.

Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Tier 2 Tips

In Tier 2 there are many options but only two FastPass selections.

Tier 2 – Where to NOT use your FastPass+

First, let’s talk about what we should NOT Fastpass+ in Tier 2.  We are simply not fans of FastPassing any attraction that is a performance or show because the shows can handle many people and tend to move more quickly than other attractions. 

couple in front of Animal Kingdom Tree of Life

For this reason, we would not use a FastPass+ on Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo- The Musical or It’s Tough To Be a Bug! We recommend you do the same.

Tier 2 – Where to use your FastPass+

Of the remaining attractions, the most popular (which also means the ones with the longest wait times) are Expedition Everest and Kilimanjaro Safaris. All things considered, these two are the logical attractions to use your 2 FastPass+ selections on, however, DINOSAUR is not to be counted out. It is another attraction that will produce long lines as the day goes on because of it’s popularity. 

DINOSAUR ride at Animal Kingdom

Speaking of popularity, some ask why Kilimanjaro Safaris is such a popular attraction, considering it is a slow moving, relaxing, sight seeing trek. The answer is found in the question. Everyone, from infant to great grandpa, can go on this ride -and they do!

A tip concerning Kilimanjaro Safaris is to visit it either in the morning or late afternoon (before it closes) because the animals will be more active during these times.  During the mid-day times the animals like to take a snooze.

Other Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Ideas

Other considerations for FastPasses, depending on your party’s makeup, is Kali River Rapids. Our warning is this…you will get wet and you may get completely soaked!  We highly suggest consider giving it a thumbs down if it’s cooler out, early morning or you don’t enjoy walking around with squeaky sneakers and wet under garments. 

Kids at Animal Kingdom

If it’s a hot summer day, Kali River Rapids will get some attention. If you do FastPass+ it or just decide to go on it, some suggestions from us is wear a swimming suit under your clothes with some waterproof shoes, put on some good rain gear, and/or put dry clothes in a bag to change into after the attraction.

UP! A Great Bird Adventure falls into the “it is a show, don’t FastPass it” category, but if you have a bird-lover in the group and some of the others don’t appeal to you, this might be a good use of your Fastpass+.

Finally, if meeting characters is a top priority on your list of Disney experiences, using one of your FastpPasses for Meet Favorite Disney Pals At Adventure Outpost would make total sense. We feel you can meet Mickey and Minnie in other places but Dug, Carl and Russell from UP! Are not around many places so this would be a spot to see all of them in one place.

We love visiting the Animal Kingdom, and with the right fast passes and the right frame of mind you will have a fantastic day here! If you have toddlers or preschoolers in your group, be sure to check out our expert tips for visiting Animal Kingdom with little kids.

Our favorite Disney restaurant, Boma, is in the Animal Kingdom! We definitely suggest you consider visiting – you can find our favorite dish and why we love this restaurant here!


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