Flight of Passage Strategy

Edited: January 24, 2020, 8:29 AM

Hi all,

Long time reader, first time poster!

I haven't been to DAK since "Avatarland" opened and I will finally get the chance to go in a couple of weeks.

What's the best strategy to go on FoP with minimum wait and no FastPass+. The park opens at 9am with no early EMH on the day that I plan to go. Is the best strategy to get there for rope drop and head straight to FoP? If so, at what time do they let guests in through the turnstiles?

TIA!

Replies (18)

Edited: January 24, 2020, 9:21 AM

Your best chances are arriving for "rope drop" or entering the queue at the very end of the day. If you want the shortest possible wait, the latter is your best option since when you arrive for "rope drop" you're technically still waiting in line, but instead of being in the ride queue, you're waiting outside the park gates and eventually the bridge leading to PtWoA. Many have reported that on a typical day, your wait can be as short as 30-40 minutes for FoP at the very end of the day, while attempting to ride at rope drop requires arriving about an hour prior to official park opening. Even though the posted wait time may still be 120 minutes (or more) at the end of the day, the accuracy of that decreases as you get closer to park closing, so don't be discouraged by a long wait time posted at the attraction entrance (many believe that Disney does this on purpose to keep guests from flooding the queues at the end of the day, though I think it's more of a function of data lag and that real-time wait times are delayed by at least 30-60 minutes because that's how long it takes the red wait-time tracking cards to make their way through the queue).

If you do want to do FoP at "rope drop", it is recommended that you arrive at DAK 45-60 minutes prior to the posted park opening time. As with anything Disney, there are people that take things a little too seriously and show up at the gates 2+ hours prior to opening, but you have to question their sanity since even though they'll likely be the first ones on the ride, they've waited 2 hours for that privilege. Nonetheless, if you arrive about an hour ahead of time, there will likely be a decent, though not insane crowd of guests waiting to enter (maybe as much as a few hundred guests for a ride that can handle 192 guests per cycle). Depending upon how many guests are crowding the entry plaza, Disney will start allowing guests into the park @30-40 minute prior to official opening time (in your case 9 AM). Once through the gates, you should follow the crowd to the left and keep your group together as the mob is typically held at the bridge to PtWoA near Tiffins. The length of time guests are held outside the land depend on when FoP ride ops are ready to start taking guests, but it's pretty normal for them to start walking guests into the FoP line 15-20 minutes before official park opening time. If you're able to make your way to the front of the crowd, and can get on one of the first cycles of the attraction, it's likely that you'll be on and off the ride before 9 AM. At that point, you can either see if getting on Na'VI River Journey is a possibility (don't get on if the line extends into the main walkway) or head to Kilimanjaro Safari. Trying to get on FoP for a second ride is not likely since the line quickly swells over 60 minutes as soon as they start letting guests into PtWoA.

Another way to ride FoP without waiting and without a pre-arranged FP+ is to make sure you are constantly checking MDE to see if any FoP times pop up. You'll be surprised what will show up and how much the FP offerings change by frequently refreshing the app. If you're standing in a line for another attraction, refresh the app to see if anything new pops up. Disney is constantly changing the offerings based on ride performance and guest demand. If you happen to have a late afternoon/evening FP+ for Na'Vi River Journey, click "Change/Modify" on that FP in the app to see if there are FoP (if you have a Tier 1 FP reservation, which NRJ and FoP are, you have to complete that BEFORE the system will give you another Tier I option). Also, check for FP+ reservations before you arrive, especially the night before, because guests are always changing their plans, and may drop valuable FP+ reservation back into the system when they change their park days. This is happening a lot right now with guests trying to get on RotR, and changing their park plans to get on the highly anticipated Star Wars ride.

January 24, 2020, 11:20 AM

Unfortunately I can't stay until park closing because I have dinner reservations at Boma. So rope drop it is. 8:00am arrival doesn't seem that bad.

One last question, is there a single rider line for FoP?

Thanks for the info!

January 24, 2020, 11:44 AM

Eric .... no single rider line on FofP unfortunately.

Don't discount the FP+ option. As Russell said, get one for any ride and try changing it. If you are going for rope drop, then this may not be the best option either.

Here's the schedule for DAK MEMH. It will be harder to get a good wait time at rope drop when the hotel guests beat you in the park by an hour !!

Animal Kingdom – February 1, 3, 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24, 29

January 24, 2020, 2:20 PM

Thanks! I plan on going February 9th, no morning EMH! And I will try FP+ route as well. The thing is, my sister is a CM and she still hasn't set up how to add guest's FP+.

January 24, 2020, 2:29 PM

If you have a ticket linked to your Disney.com account, you can make FP+ reservations for yourself right now. If you don't have a Disney.com account, your sister should be able to add you as a guest of her party. She can then apply the ticket to you, and then start making FP+ reservations. She can do that even if she's not visiting with you, making single FP+ reservations for the day of your visit.

The most important thing is that you have a ticket attached to your name. That's all you need to make FP+ reservations. I believe even CM guest tickets can be allocated through MDE.

January 25, 2020, 6:33 PM

Feb 9th is a Sunday, so be prepared for a busy day anyway, despite there being no morning EMH.

I tried this morning (25th). The app was being a real pain in the butt, but with some persistence using the change function, I managed to get a FofP for mid-afternoon. So it is doable. Don't give up if you only see Bugs Life over and over again ... stick at it, and you'll be surprised what will turn up.

I let the FofP go, as I had no intention of going to DAK. I could tell by the way the app's loading page circle just kept going round and round and .... LOL :), and the limited FP+'s available, it was a busy day in the park.

Good luck for Feb 9th.


January 26, 2020, 10:37 AM

I am a fan of the rope drop for it. It has allowed me to ride it twice in one day with FP+ (which I hate). Get there 45 minutes early. That means at the gate 45 min. early. An hour is even better. This requires planning. Once there get it the leftmost line unless others are much shorter. Once in keep left. There are places to go online to find the shortest path. The cast members will walk you to it. By the time you get off of the ride the River Journey will be 30-45 minutes. I think it is worth it. Others may disagree. FOP is an attraction that is a great example of a failure of the FP+ system. If people had to reserve it day of, there would not be near as many people missing out.

The line for Everest will probably be light after that, and I may throw out an unpopular opinion. I think it is better. FoP is great, don’t get me wrong, and it is extremely advanced, but I find Everest and even Dinosaur to be really, really good attractions. Also, the animal walk-through paths are amazing. If you can’t tell, I love Animal Kingdom. Back before the dark times, before FP+, we would ride Everest three times and Dinosaur twice and have fast passes for the safari and others. We could go sunup to sundown and never stand in line for more than 15 minutes.

January 26, 2020, 12:29 PM

I agree .... stay left when you get in the park. You will walk past the Rainforest cafe entrance. Once you loop up and round, it pays to go thru the shops on the left (Island Mercantile), that way you don't get caught up with all the photo-takers by the tree of life.

Just keep heading left, and then once you go over the bridge, take a right just past the oddball tree that shoots out water (never understood that one !!) and then be prepared to wait in line. Usually they will wind the line down the path that leads to the Lion King theater.

Also, if you can find a spare 5-10mins, it's well worth seeing the Winged Encounters by the tree of life. To see all the different types of Macaw is really good, and they always do something unexpected ... :)

If you plan to go on Everest, beware of the single rider line, it can be twice as long, time-wise, as the regular queue some days.

I'm with a lot of people with this one .... DAK is by far my favorite Disney Park.

January 27, 2020, 10:42 AM

Thank you all for the great advise! I used to be a pro at how to maximize my time at DAK but like I said, I haven't been since Pandora opened.

Edited: January 30, 2020, 11:05 AM

This isn't directly related to your question, but it is helpful in the event that you decided to parkhop and hit Animal Kingdom during midday hours...

The past 5-6 times I've been on FoP, I waited standby (most recently on New Year's Eve) and did not enter the queue until the afternoon. Each time, I found, Disney significantly overstated the wait time. On average, I would say the listed time was between 2 and 2.5 hours, but not once did I end up waiting more than an hour and a half (yes, even on NYE!!). This is to say that while ideally, FoP is a ride you should either prioritize in your FP+ reservations or rope drop plans, dropping the ball on these options is not the end-all-be-all it once was back when regular standby wait times eclipsed 4+ hours.

I hope you enjoy it, and I believe you will. It is my favorite theme park ride in the world for good reason. Good luck and have fun!

February 3, 2020, 9:15 AM

We just returned from WDW, and rode Flight of Passage 7 times during our 3 partial days in DAK (and even gave up 2 additional FP+ reservations late in the day for the attraction because our son got tired of it).

It was surprisingly easy to grab same-day FP+ reservation for the attraction (much easier than it was when we were there in October 2017, 6 months after its debut), and rope-dropping the ride was similarly easy after arriving just 40-minutes prior to official park opening time. Surprisingly, we found it harder to get Na'Vi River Journey FP+ reservations, so much so that we ended up rope-dropping the boat ride instead of FoP one morning.

February 3, 2020, 10:41 AM

Incredible! FOP still sets so many standards in themed entertainment -- including re-ride-ability.

February 3, 2020, 11:09 AM

Ironically, Disney (the company that brought us 'Flight of Passage' -- themed entertainment's answer to Broadway's 'Hamilton'), just announced it won the 'Hamilton' sweepstakes and will be distributing the filmed performance of the play in October 2021.

February 3, 2020, 11:37 AM

Oh boy, THC and his love for Hamilton! The only thing better would be for a permanent touring version of Hamilton to open in THC's favorite theme park - Disney Springs!

February 3, 2020, 2:07 PM

(Chuckle)

February 4, 2020, 5:51 AM

I will say that the River Journey got lots of underwhelming reviews, and I think it is fantastic. It really fits in with the theme. FoP is terrific too, but for me, it isn’t the greatest, and that is fine. It also hits the theme. I wonder if they plan to add an attraction to the land with the sequel films on the horizon, which would make sense.

February 4, 2020, 9:00 AM

I agree JC. Disney did a slight tweak to the story of PtWoA since we were last there in 2017, and added some more Na'Vi to the attraction on the background screens (previously, the Na'Vi had fled Pandora, but now they are "hiding in the mountains", which has allowed Imagineers to add some more images to the River Journey beyond the impressive Shaman animatronic). It still makes you wonder that if they can appear in NRJ and FoP, why can't they also appear as walk around characters in the land?

February 4, 2020, 2:26 PM

FWIW We just did Na'Vi River Journey for the first time in January and didn't get it at all. We're not big Avatar movie fans per se -- can someone explain what we're missing there ?




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