Today I have a real treat for you— we are going to go over the Animal Kingdom FastPass Tiers and the top tips you should have when preparing to travel to the park solo for the first time.
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Listen to the full Podcast Episode 54 Below About Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Today We’ll Discuss Everything You Need to Know About Traveling Alone to Animal Kingdom for The First Time:
- How to plan for your trip
- What to expect from Animal Kingdom
- Ways to talk to people on your solo trip
- The perks of traveling to Animal Kingdom alone
- Tips for planning a first-time trip to the park
What is Disney Animal Kingdom?
Animal Kingdom is Disney’s fourth theme park that focuses on the relationship of mankind with the animals of this planet.
Disney Animal Kingdom opened on Earth Day on April 22, 1998. That special day has led to many exciting and historical memories of this park.
Animal Kingdom is located in the Orlando area and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and has more than 1700 animals on property.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a great park to take your time, get lost, and discover so many different creatures of this world.
For a solo theme park goer, all you need is your smartphone, a good Disney Podcast, your headphones, and you’ll be on your way to an epic theme park expedition!
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What is an Animal Kingdom FastPass?
Before we get into understanding the Animal Kingdom FastPass Tiers, you may be thinking, what the heck is a FastPass?
Just in case you do not know the Disney FastPass+ is a system that allows you to make your reservations about 60 days in advance if you have made your resort reservation through them.
If not, then you can get your FastPass reservations 30 days in advance.
The good thing about this system that I really like is that if you have any must do attractions, you can make sure you secure your spot right away. You’ll be at peace knowing that your must do rides are already booked.
Where can you use Disney FastPass+?
Currently, you can use the Disney FastPass system at all four of the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks, which are:
- The Magic Kingdom
- Hollywood Studios
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
3 Best FastPasses for Animal Kingdom
1 – Avatar Flight of Passage
On this one-of-a-kind ride, you get the opportunity to fly on a banshee… an actual mountain banshee! The aerial predator takes you on a fantastic journey above beautiful Pandora.
The technology that Walt Disney World used in this attraction combines the 3-D type of screen with a new bicycle-like vehicle.
Some guests have compared the Avatar Flight of Passage vehicles to the ones on Tron at Disneyland in Shanghai.
2 – Kilimanjaro Safaris
On this African adventure, you’ll see some of the most majestic animals of the world. Creatures such as lions, cheetahs, giraffes, gazelles, hippos, zebras, elephant, rhinos, crocodiles, and more!
You’ll be guided on this expedition by a knowledgeable Disney Cast Member who will give you so many cool facts about each animal you encounter.
3 – Expedition Everest
This mysterious roller coaster will take you deep into the snowy Himalayas to find to legendary Yeti!
Expedition Everest is an absolute must do Animal Kingdom ride.
Animal Kingdom Attractions You DON’T Need to Reserve a FastPass For
- Festival of the Lion King
- Finding Nemo – The Musical
- It’s Tough to Be a Bug!
Disney Animal Kingdom FastPass Tiers
Now that we have the basic FastPass facts down, let go through the tiers that you can choose from on your solo Disney trip. There are currently two Animal Kingdom FastPass tiers:
Disney Animal Kingdom FastPass Tier 1
- Avatar Flight of Passage
- Na’vi River Journey
Disney Animal Kingdom FastPass Tier 2
- Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
- Festival of the Lion King
- Finding Nemo – The Musical
- It’s Tough to be a Bug!
- Kali River Rapids
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost
- Primeval Whirl
- Rivers of Light
Hipster Power Tip: Remember that you can only select one attraction at a time from tier one. After your Tier 1 selection, you’ll be able to choose two additional Animal Kingdom FastPasses from the Tier 2 list.
How Much Does a Disney FastPass Cost?
FastPass+ is completely FREE!
That is, of course, with the purchase of your Disney ticket, Annual Pass, or your vacation package.
After you’ve paid the price of admission into the parks, you can use the Disney website or the My Disney Experience app to start planning out your trip.
I use it on all my trips to the above Disney parks and if you use it properly, it’s a huge time saver!
If you don’t book your FastPasses online or on the app, then you can find a kiosk in the park to book them.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom FastPass+ Kiosks
- Discovery Island near Island Mercantile store
- Asia near Kali River Rapids
- Africa near the Tusker House restaurant
*Please note that these kiosks are subject to change at anytime.
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The Unlimited Disney FastPass Hack
You’re probably thinking about what strategies you should have so that you’re able to get to your top experiences at Walt Disney World.
Below we’re going to go through some simple tips to help you get FastPasses throughout the day besides the standard three given for a day visit.
Book Your Selections in the Early Part of the Day
In order to make this Disney FastPass hack work, you’ll want to make your reservations as early to park opening as you can.
This will allow you to book your standard three FastPasses all before lunchtime. Plus, you’ll then be able to book your next selection after you finish your third reservation.
- Make your first FastPass for 9 a.m. – You can do it earlier based on what time the park opens. This booking will make your reservation time slot technically 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
- Your next FastPass should be around 10:05 a.m. – This booking will make your reservation time slot technically 10:05 a.m. to 11:05 a.m.
- The final morning FastPass selection should be around 11:10 a.m. – This booking will make your reservation time slot technically 11:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.
Hipster Power Tip: This Disney FastPass hack works the best on days where the parks are NOT filled to the brim.
- Once you have scanned your MagicBand or theme park ticket card on your final morning FastPass, you can make your first afternoon selection.
- Your next FastPasses can be at the same park or you can jump over to another Disney park and make your selections there.
But, in order to truly maximize your time at the parks using this hack, you should stay at the same park you started out your day in.
3 Secret FastPass Tips to Remember
1 – Choose a Disney Resort
As mentioned earlier, you can use your My Disney Experience app to make your FastPasses up to 60 days in advance of your visit if you’re a Disney Resort hotel guest or 30 days in advance if you’re a Disney Passholder or Day Guest.
2 – Take Advantage of the Grace Period
Although not an official Disney policy, you can arrive 5 minutes early or 15 minutes late for your FastPass+ reservation.
Listen to this podcast episode for more Disney FastPass+ tips!
3 – Participate in a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) Presentation
The Disney Vacation Club is an ownership program (timeshare) operated by Disney. You may notice these Cast Members hanging under a canopy in the parks. They are usually loaded with stickers for the little ones.
Here you can request a DVC presentation and tour.
Once the presentation is completed, you’ll receive your incentives which may include a $50 Disney gift card and 3 FastPass+ credits.
Animal Kingdom Solo Trip Tips
Now that we have all of our FastPasses set for our day at Animal Kingdom, let’s figure out how to do this park alone.
Since I started traveling to Disney parks by myself, I’ve noticed I’m confident meeting new people. I’m also able to let go just a little bit of my introverted side.
The Disney parks are just right for any solo adult traveler, meaning you’ll never have to worry about feeling lonely or afraid when going by yourself.
How Do You Do Animal Kingdom Solo?
Now that’s a big question to answer.
If you want to learn how you can go to all other theme parks by yourself, then be sure to check out The Solo Theme Park Traveler’s Guide.
This handbook will walk you step-by-step to planning that first solo Disney World vacation.
What to Do First if You’re Afraid to Go to Disney World Alone?
I recommend scheduling a tour on one of the first few days of your trip.
This is a good way to break the ice on your solo theme park vacation and you never know what adventures may happen afterwards.
Tours such as:
- Caring for Giants
- Savor the Savanna: Evening Safari Experience
- Wild Africa Trek
What is the Best Disney World Solo Trip Itinerary?
Before you make your way to the Happiest Place on Earth, you need to have a good game plan.
- Day 1 – Arrival Day + Disney Springs
- Disney Day 2 – The Magic Kingdom
- Day 3 – Epcot
- Day 4 – Hollywood Studios + Departure Day
What are the best Disney resorts for Solo Travelers?
- Swan and Dolphin Resort
- Windsor Hills Resort (perfect if you’re meeting family or friends later)
- Fort Wilderness Resort
- Coronado Springs Resort
- Buena Vista Palace
Have we convinced you to go to Disney World alone yet?
Be courageous, take the leap and go!
Don’t spend your life waiting for others schedule to line up with yours in order for you to make that solo trek.
If you want to go to Disney World by yourself, then go!
Traveling by myself to theme parks is my Theme Park Therapy and I want it to become yours.
You’ll also want to have your Animal Kingdom FastPass strategy set in place before your trip!
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Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!
(Original Article Date: March 1, 2015/Updated October 4, 2019)