Top theme park tips of the week: FastPasses, shortcuts and slow seasons

November 26, 2008, 10:23 AM · Each Wednesday, I'll be highlighting the most popular theme park tips submitted by Theme Park Insider readers on our Tips for visiting theme parks page. Anyone can submit a tip to the page, whether you are registered with the site or not. And anyone can vote on any of the tips - yes or no. The most popular tips rise to the top of the lists, and the least popular drop off.

Here are some of the most popular recent reader tips for visiting Walt Disney World:

"The Attractions you MUST get a fastpass for to save your sanity: Splash Mountain, Peter Pan's Flight, Space Mountain, Toy Story Mania, Test Track, Soarin, Rockin Roller Coaster, Kilimanjaro Safaris."

"When getting fastpasses, make a plan what you want to do while you wait for your fastpass time. This can include eating, seeing a show, or waiting in a shorter line somehwhere else."

"Most character meals are $5-$10 per person cheaper at lunch. Lunch is usualy served until 3:45, so eat late lunch/early dinner and save up to $40 per family of four."

You can vote on these and other tips on the Walt Disney World tips page.

And from the Disney's Animal Kingdom tips page:

"Two things... if you ride Kilimanjaro Safari at about 3 or 3:30 in the afternoon a lot of the animals will be active. Also ride Everest in the last half hour before the park closes and you'll walk right on!"

Here are three other notable tips from the past month, that I thought readers might want to weigh in on. Click on the links to go to these tip pages and vote:

From Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom tips:
"Parade time is excellent for shorter waits on popular rides like Space Mountain or Splash Mountain. Enough people line the walkways to watch the parade, that the wait time is substantially reduced."

From Six Flags Magic Mountain tips:
"If choosing Tatsu first, walk into the exit path of Revolution and take the stairs past the actual ride discharge. This will place you past X2 and Viper half way up the hill. Saves time and energy."

From Disneyland tips:
"The best time to go to DL is the week after Thanksgiving till the week before Christmas. Its themed for the holidays and has the lowest attendance!"

You can read, or click to, all of our current tips on If you don't see your favorite tip, just scroll down to the bottom of that page and click the button to submit yours. Thanks, again, for reading Theme Park Insider!

Replies (5)

November 26, 2008 at 5:26 PM · I'd add Big Thunder Mountain to the FastPass list. Its lines are as long as those at Splash and Space, but it is hotter and offers a less exciting ride. To sweat for one hour only to be disappointed by the ride definitely tries one's sanity.
November 26, 2008 at 8:38 PM · Just FYI, if you think that a piece of advice is "close, but not exactly," vote it down. Vote "yes" only on advice you completely support.
November 27, 2008 at 9:44 AM · As I making that fast pass list, I will defend it :)

The reason why I didn't put Thunder Mountain on there was because I have been on it many times when the wait is only 10 minutes. I mean that list was for MUSTS! Good examples of ones that tend to really never need a Fastpass is Stitch's Great Escape and Mission Space.

I do disagree with the Safari tip since I believe you should get the earliest fastpass possible because the Animals tend to be more active. That seems to have served me well. Another good time to see the animals is right around after it rains, but that is sometimes hard to predict. So the tips are great, but there are some I must respectfully disagree with!

November 29, 2008 at 9:44 AM · About the FastPass I'll add that you should ALWAYS have one in your hand. For instance, if you have a FastPass for Space Mtn. between 11:30 and 12:30, when the clock hits 11:30, go pick up another FastPass for a different attraction. This reduced our wait time for the busy rides tremendously. If your next FastPass time isn't until, say 1:30 or so, you can always eat or do another attraction that doesn't have a FastPass.

This was the single best piece of advice I received prior to our first trip to Disneyland. It truly enables you to maximize your time in the parks.

December 1, 2008 at 12:18 PM · The animals are taken backstage after the safari closes, and they know it. They start moving and getting ready, and are very active at this time. My brother, who had ridden before at other times, states that he had never seen so much activity.

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