Updated: May 21, 2015
Guide to Disneyworld Magic Kingdom - Best RidesPeople often confuse "Magic Kingdom" with "Disneyworld", but they are not the same thing. Disney World is the 30,000 acre resort near Orlando, FL, and it houses several theme parks and hotels and water parks. One of these parks is called the Magic Kingdom, which is like Disneyland in Florida - the big castle, Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, etc. The Magic Kingdom is the most popular of the Disney parks in Florida, the others being Animal Kingdom, Disney MGM Studios, and EPCOT Center. Visiting the Magic Kingdom requires some planning if you want to get the most out of your vacation. Let's start with the biggest, bestest, rides, the ones with Fastpass option. What is Fastpass? Check out our MGM Studios Guide for complete details on what Fastpass is and how Fastpass works.
Which Magic Kingdom rides at Disneyworld use Fastpass?Here is a list of the attractions at the Magic Kingdom that allow you to use Fastpass tickets:
- Jungle Cruise - this "faux" water safari hasn't changed much in almost 40 years -- even the jokes are pretty stale (which is part of the charm, I suppose..). Not a real exciting ride, but kids seem to like it, and a Fastpass helps you avoid an hour long wait much of the day.
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - Disney's fun, outdoor rollercoaster, with little hills and tight turns, even non-coaster fans can enjoy it, as do most kids 6 and up. The first few hours of the morning, lines are usually bearable, but as noon approaches you are better off using a Fastpass to skip the 45+ minute wait. Minimum height requirement is 40 inches.
- Splash Mountain - located next to Thunder Mountain in Frontierland, this is kind of an odd combo between a very juvenile Song of the South interior and a very frightening looking plunge at the end of the ride. The actual "splash" is usually not that bad - you may get damp, but a real soaking is rare. The dark approach to the hill and the subsequent drop usually spooks kids under 6, so ride with caution. This is a ride that is best ridden in the afternoon when it is warm, but the lines are long by then. Consider grabbing a Fastpass first thing in the morning and then coming back afternoon to ride. Minimum height requirement is 40 inches.
- Mickey's PhilharMagic - located in Fantasyland near the Carousel and Small World, this new attraction is a fun-filled 3-D movie theater experience. Getting a FastPass will guarantee you admission to the showtime on your ticket, but it runs every 20 minutes and sits hundreds of guests - so it is unlikely you will ever wait more than about 35 minutes for this one.
- Peter Pan's Flight - believe it or not, this simple kids ride has a Fastpass option. Unfortunately, these rides sometimes build up long lines for a 90 second experience, so a Fastpass is the way to go if you are trying to ride after noon and you see a big line.
- Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh - another surprise Fastpass attraction. This kids ride is short and sweet, not worth standing in line for 60 minutes for. Get a Fastpass if you must ride and the line is huge.
- Space Mountain - OK, now this is the kind of ride that deserves a Fastpass! This is Disney's fast indoor in-the-dark roller coaster, delighting fans since it's introduction in 1975. This is a fast ride with sharp turns - no gigantic hills, no loops -- and lots of fun. Recommended for kids 7 and up if they like coasters. Minimum height requirement is 44 inches. One of our favorites, Space Mountain is still hard to take after a 1 hour wait in line - use Fastpass to keep it at 15 minutes or less.
- Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin - this is more of an active participation attraction than a ride, where you move past scenes in your space car and fire a laser gun at targets, scoring points for the hits you make. For my family, one time on this ride is enough - not very exiciting, not very memorable.
- Stitch's Great Escape - last and least, this is a rehash of the old alien ride, except this time it is Stitch sneaking around the theater in the dark, sniffing at you and touching you. This ride tends to scare small children, and is not too entertaining. Our advice - don't even waste a Fastpass, just skip it.