Magic Kingdom touring plans for 2016

by Shannon Albert 242 comments Like the Facebook page

(Article last checked: September 5, 2016)

Magic Kingdom touring planHaving well-organized touring plans that make good use of FastPasses is key to avoiding long line waits during your Disney World trip.

The old paper-based FastPass system has been replaced by the new digital FastPass+ system which is a little hard to understand at first, but I have an explanation on that, plus advice to help you create your own Magic Kingdom touring plan.

Let’s take a look…

FastPass+ opportunities

These are the attractions that offer FastPass+ at Magic Kingdom:

  • Fantasyland – Barnstormer, Dumbo, Enchanted Tales with Belle, It’s a Small World, Mad Tea Party, Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Meet Ariel at her Grotto, Meet Rapunzel and Cinderella at Princess Fairytale Hall, Peter Pan’s Flight, PhilharMagic, Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Tomorrowland – Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, Space Mountain, Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Frontierland – Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Adventureland – Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • Liberty Square – Haunted Mansion
  • Main Street, U.S.A. – Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater, Meet Tinker Bell at Town Square Theater
  • Fireworks and parades – Festival of Fantasy Parade, Main Street Electrical Parade, Wishes, (Updated March 22, 2016: Disney World has removed these as FP+ options)

How to make FastPass+ reservations

All guests – whether they’re staying onsite or offsite – can make 3 FastPass+ reservations per day in 1 park ahead of time beginning at 7 a.m. eastern time. All guests can also make use of kiosks in the parks to make or change FastPass+ reservations.

However, there are some differences between onsite and offsite guests:

  • On-site guests (and people staying at the Swan and Dolphin) can make FastPass+ reservations for their whole trip up to 60 days in advance of their trip’s start date, beginning at 7 a.m. eastern time.
  • Off-site guests can make FastPass+ reservations up to 30 days in advance of the day they plan to be in the park (which means off-site guests will have to be online for multiple nights in a row).

FastPass+ priorities

You can make 1-3 FastPass+ reservations ahead of time.

FYI – these are priorities, not tiers. Tiering is only in effect at Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

Top priority for FastPass+ at Magic Kingdom
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Enchanted Tales with Belle
Space Mountain
Peter Pan’s Flight
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Splash Mountain

Second priority for FastPass+ at Magic Kingdom
Meet Rapunzel and Cinderella at Princess Fairytale Hall
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Haunted Mansion
Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
Barnstormer
It’s a Small World
Meet Ariel at her Grotto
Pirates of the Caribbean
Jungle Cruise
Tomorrowland Speedway

Third priority for FastPass+ at Magic Kingdom
Festival of Fantasy Parade viewing
Dumbo
Mad Tea Party
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
Magic Carpets of Aladdin
Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater
Meet Tinker Bell at Town Square Theater
PhilharMagic

You can’t make your first 3 FastPass+ reservations for the same ride twice.
Your first 3 FastPass+ reservations must be for all different rides.

However, you can get more FastPass+ reservations after you use the first 3.
Once your first 3 FastPass+ reservations are used or expired, you can use the My Disney Experience app or go to a kiosk and get a 4th. Once your 4th FP+ is used or expired, you can get a 5th. These additional FastPass+ reservations can be in the same park or a different park and can be for the same ride over and over, if you want.

Don’t use FastPass+ reservations unnecessarily.
If you arrive at an attraction to use a FastPass+ reservation and the standby line is short (5 or 10 minutes), skip the FastPass+ line, get into the standby line and then change that FastPass+ to something else to use later. You can make the change on your phone or at a FastPass+ kiosk.

Plan to spend more than 1 day at Magic Kingdom.
If time allows, you will probably want to spend 2 days at Magic Kingdom (maybe even 2.5 days). If you arrive at rope drop (I suggest arriving 30-45 minutes before park opening), make use of the first couple of hours to ride without FastPass+ reservations and then use FP+ to ride later in the day, you’ll be able to accomplish all of the attractions you’d like at Magic Kingdom.

Link your tickets

All guests should make FastPass+ reservations online ahead of time. In order to do that, you need to have tickets on your My Disney Experience account. If you are staying on-site and bought a package for your trip (which includes a hotel and tickets), they’ll already be in your account.

If you are staying off-site and/or bought tickets separate from your on-site hotel room, you need to link them by going to MyDisneyExperience.com, logging in and then clicking “Link Existing Reservations and Tickets.”

linktickets

You can also use the My Disney Experience app on your phone to link your tickets to your account.

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After making FastPass+ reservations, you will be able to scan your MagicBands or RFID-enabled park ticket when you arrive to an attraction at your FastPass+ time (you can be 5 minutes early or 15 minutes late for a FastPass+ time).

What times should you make reservations?
Magic Kingdom has so many reservations available that you should plan to show up at rope drop (arrive at least 30-45 minutes before park opening) and ride several things in the first couple of hours without FastPass+, make use of FastPass+ for late morning/early afternoon, and then get additional FastPass+ reservations for later in the day, if needed.

I’ve included suggested times for FP+ reservations in the touring plans below.

After you’ve made your initial selection of 3 FastPass+ reservations, you can go into each individual reservation and modify the time if you want.

Magic Kingdom touring plans

I like to organize my touring plans by hour because minute-by-minute touring plans can make you feel like you’re running from place to place without any flexibility, but grouping them by hour can give you some sense of timing as you plan.

Here are some possibilities:

General 2-day Magic Kingdom touring plan

Day 1: FastPass+ reservations made ahead of time for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Enchanted Tales with Belle and Big Thunder Mountain

  • Arrive by 8:15 or 8:30 for 9:00 park opening
  • First hour: Peter Pan’s Flight, Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Second hour: It’s a Small World, Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain
  • Third hour: Use FP+ for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (suggested FP+ time: 10:30-11:30), Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise
  • Rest of the day:
    Lunch
    Use FP+ for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (suggested FP+ time: early afternoon)
    Use FP+ for Enchanted Tales with Belle (suggested FP+ time: early afternoon)
    PhilharMagic
    Mad Tea Party
    Parades/fireworks

Day 2: FastPass+ reservations made ahead of time for Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and Tomorrowland Speedway

  • Arrive by 8:15 or 8:30 for 9:00 park opening
  • First hour: Repeat things from day 1
  • Second hour: Astro Orbiter (optional, doesn’t have a FastPass option so you’ll want to ride it early before a standby line builds), use FP+ for Tomorrowland Speedway (suggested FP+ time: 9:15-10:15), and use FP+ for Space Mountain (suggested FP+ time: 10:30-11:30)
  • Third hour: Lunch
  • Rest of the day:
    Use FP+ for Buzz Lightyear (suggested FP+ time: early afternoon)
    Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
    Tomorrowland Transity Authority
    Carousel of Progress
    Parades/fireworks

General 1-day Magic Kingdom touring plan
The general idea on a 1 day plan would be to do a couple of lands within the first 2 hours and then use FastPass+ for high priority items in other lands.

FastPass+ reservations: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and Space Mountain

  • Arrive 30-45 minutes before park opening
  • First hour: Peter Pan’s Flight, Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Second hour: It’s a Small World, Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Third hour: Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Jungle Cruise
  • Fourth hour: Lunch
  • Rest of the day:
    Use FP+ for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (suggested FP+ time: early afternoon)
    Use FP+ for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (suggested FP+ time: afternoon)
    Use FP+ for Space Mountain (suggested FP+ time: afternoon)
    Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
    PhilharMagic
    Carousel of Progress
    Mad Tea Party
    Tomorrowland Transit Authority
    Parades/fireworks

1-day touring plan for families with little ones

Get FP+ reservations for Enchanted Tales with Belle, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

  • Arrive at Magic Kingdom about 30-45 minutes before the park opens
  • First hour: Peter Pan’s Flight, Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Barnstormer, Dumbo
  • Second hour: Under the Sea โ€“ Journey of the Little Mermaid, Itโ€™s a Small World, Haunted Mansion
  • Third hour: Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Lunch
  • Rest of the day:
    Use FP+ for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (suggested FP+ time: early afternoon)
    Use FP+ for Enchanted Tales with Belle (suggested FP+ time: early afternoon)
    Use FP+ for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (suggested FP+ time: afternoon)
    Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
    PhilharMagic
    Carousel of Progress
    Mad Tea Party
    Tomorrowland Transit Authority
    Parades/fireworks

What about Rider Switch (sometimes called Child Swap)? That still works the same that it always has and allows parents to take turns riding things that little ones can’t/won’t ride. Please read my Rider Switch article so you can see how to use it and maximize your FastPass+ reservations.

Want to arrive late or park hop?
This is not a great park to arrive late to, and the increased number of attractions makes me want to suggest 2.5 days here for people on a 1 week trip. One idea would be to spend the evening at Magic Kingdom on your arrival day doing a few things that you’ve reserved ahead of time. That should allow you to visit all of the popular attractions without long lines.

WDW Prep Members

Level 2 and 3 WDW Prep Members have touring plan tools to put together their own plans. The attractions indicate height requirements, if it’s a good use of FastPass+, illustrations of ride vehicles so you can see how many people will fit (especially handy if the kids outnumber the adults), and when to visit each attraction.

And as you build your touring plans, they are grouped by hour (for the first 3 hours) and then your whole plan is plotted on a map at the bottom of the page so you can see how it all lays out.

โ‡ข Get access to Level 2 tools โ‡ 

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What questions do you have? Please share them in the comments.