Surviving FastPass+ at Animal Kingdom During Christmas Week

Animal Kingdom, like Magic Kingdom, does not have a tiered system. The following rides are eligible for FP+ at Animal Kingdom:


Expedition Everest

Festival of the Lion King

Finding Nemo – The Musical

It’s Tough to Be a Bug!

Kali River Rapids*

Kilimanjaro Safari

Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventure Outpost

Primeval Whirl

*Similar to Splash Mountain, I wouldn’t recommend Kali River Rapids.

Let’s deal with the elephant in the room (no pun intended) – I mentioned in the previous FP+ posts that I don’t like using FP+ reservations on shows, fireworks or parades. Animal Kingdom is an exception to the rule. Of the rides available for FastPass+ reservations, I’d only select DINOSAUR, Expedition Everest and Kilimanjaro Safari. You’ll notice a lot of shows on that list. Because of the park’s amount of rides and its theme and layout, the shows are actually some of the most popular attractions!

That brings up another exception to the rule – the continuous loading ride. Kilimanjaro Safari continuously loads around 30 guests per vehicle – leading one to believe that the wait time won’t be too long. Wrong. Kilimanjaro Safari is one of the more popular rides at Disney. I’d even rank it over Expedition Everest. I’ve never seen the wait time below 60 minutes and have seen it as high as 150 minutes! You should actually make this your first priority for FP+ at Animal Kingdom.IMG_0034

Next up is Expedition Everest. It’s tucked away at the back of the park. If you get there for rope drop, I think you can get on the coaster in under 40 minutes. I’d still recommend it as a FP+, as that time will jump up rather quickly. Expedition Everest is another very popular ride not just at Animal Kingdom, but at Disney. In my opinion, it’s the best coaster at Disney (although Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is a very, very close second!)

Your third FP+ is up to you. DINOSAUR can and will see a long standby time, but I don’t see it going over 60 minutes (90 on a busy day.) The line is enclosed, making it a nice break from the weather.

As for the shows, I’d make Lion King your number one priority. It’s modeled after the Broadway show and is a huge draw. If you don’t have a FastPass+, you need to get there around 40-45 minutes early. Having a FP+ secures you a show time, which is a huge benefit. Next, I’d recommend a FP+ for It’s Tough to be a Bug! I’m yet to see the Nemo show, although it’s on my to-do list this year!

This year, I’ll be reserving Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safari and DINOSAUR. We’ll check the showtimes and make sure to head to the Lion King and Nemo around 40 minutes before it opens.

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