Our Saturday afternoon at Magic Kingdom continues now in its fourth and final part. I’m crying too. We started the day by rope dropping Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Part 1, followed by a visit to Frontierland and New Fantasyland in Part 2, and then stopped for snacks and lunch at Pecos Bill in Part 3, along with a few more rides with FastPass+.
During afternoon touring, most guests will find themselves blending some of the less popular/high capacity attractions with additional FastPass+ opportunities. One of the more frustrating aspects of FastPass+ refreshing is the knowledge that whatever attraction/time you’re trying to book will eventually become available if you just refresh often enough.
Obviously, higher priority attractions that save the most time are the least likely to be canceled by others and the most likely to be gobbled up by the hundreds or thousands of other people also refreshing. Whenever I see someone actively refreshing FP+ availability, I slap the phone out of their hands and scream, “YOU SHOULD BE ENJOYING THIS TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY.” They’ll thank me someday.
People are constantly changing their plans and when Space Mountain is distributing 800 FastPass+ experiences per hour, eventually somebody is going to switch out their Space Mountain FP+ for something else. And whether or not you’re the one that books that newly-available FP+ depends entirely on whether or not you’re sitting there constantly refreshing availability. There are times when I’m feeling stubborn and will sit there for 15 or more minutes trying to grab Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Slinky Dog Dash. There’s no better way to mentally check out from everything else happening around you. But more often than not, I’ll select some relatively easy FP+ experiences to acquire and spend my time enjoying the atmosphere/checking fountain beverage pricing at the quick services.
On this particular afternoon, I grabbed a Haunted Mansion FastPass+ that I could conveniently use after lunch with little effort.
In the meantime, I walked Swiss Family Treehouse.
Other anytime attractions in the area include Enchanted Tiki Room and Country Bear Jamboree, both of which can be enjoyed as soon as the next show starts, which is typically around 10 minutes.
As you walk through the Treehouse, you may notice the nets overhead, a sight similar to what we saw at the Tree of Life over at Animal Kingdom a couple of years ago.
Much like beauty, your propensity to freak out about this sort of thing is largely in the eye of the beholder.
My assumption is that 99.2% of people either don’t notice, don’t care, or just assume that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
If you were piecing together a treehouse after finding yourself hopelessly shipwrecked in the East Indies, you might also find yourself building a similar system of protection should you have the means.
You never know when a breaking news story is going to crash down.
But the nets are there, perhaps until a lengthy refurbishment can shore up the tree’s foundation:
Now in my twilight years, I only walk the Treehouse a couple of times per year.
But the views from the top make the minimal time/effort investment worth it:
I arrived at 1:02pm and was back out front at 1:10pm for a total experience time of eight minutes.
There aren’t a lot of other attractions that can be completed in such little time.
And with the nets, you can safely refresh FP+ availability the whole time and if you somehow fall off the edge, you’ll land safely at the bottom.
We’ll head back towards Frontierland, checking out the 40-minute wait at Jungle Cruise at 1:13pm on the way. That’s well below the 55-minute average for this time of day, as seen on this chart of posted waits for the month of July:
Waits typically hit 30+ minutes here by 10:15am, which is why we prioritized the classic ride over a couple of other attractions during our early morning touring. You also see waits drop in the late evening. I’ve also highlighted the wait times seen on Saturdays over the course of the month on the far right. You might notice that they’re the shortest of the week, which provides a little more evidence that Saturdays during the summer probably shouldn’t be avoided because “Saturdays are always the busiest day of the week.” Actually, they’re typically the fourth or fifth least busy.
Here’s Adventureland in the midst of a Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial show. Walt Disney hated available space.
Pirates had recently reopened after some brief downtime. Here’s a look at July wait times there:
With wait times that build slower and peak lower than other priority attractions, there’s more opportunity to visit before that 25+ minute standby wait develops. Waits also drop earlier in the evening.
Your standard afternoon in Frontierland at 1:22pm.
And in front of Big Thunder. You certainly wouldn’t want to find yourself trying to ride standby at this point in the day, but it’s still easy enough to get over to use a FP+.
Splash is up to 75 minutes with the afternoon heat in full swing. I used FastPass+ much earlier in the day, but the 20-minute wait that we saw around 10am is certainly better than what will probably be close to 90 minutes here as we edge closer to 1:30pm.
With FastPass+, you should board within about eight minutes of getting in line.
Hence the 75+ minute standby wait. Back on Saturday July 7th, I used a FastPass+ just after 2pm with a 70-minute posted wait and was on-board in just seven minutes. Here’s a few pictures:
With FastPass+, my total experience time was 25 minutes.
It’s always worth taking the time to enjoy the “Muppets Present…” show that takes place outside the Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square. Rumor is that the show will soon be changed to cover the history of Disney blogging, at least if they can figure out how to change the script so it’s obvious which Muppet they’re talking about without ever actually saying anyone’s name.
Show times are now listed on the Times Guide, which is convenient, in addition to the app.
Back to the day at hand, Haunted Mansion is still posting a 35-minute wait at 1:33pm.
I’m guessing it would be closer to 45.
Back before I operated this website, I carried my photos to the city center in this knapsack and arranged them on the ground to form a post.
Not so fast:
I was back out front at 1:56pm for a total experience time of 23 minutes, which is seven minutes longer than it took in standby much earlier in the morning. The posted wait is up to 45 minutes, but it’s probably closer to 60.
Hall of Presidents is across the way, so I headed in as I refreshed FastPass+ availability:
Hall of Presidents is a particularly moving arrangement that looks absolutely fantastic after the digital upgrades that were completed last December. Of course, it’s also gloriously air-conditioned inside one of the more comfortable theaters at Walt Disney World.
Speaking of comfortable shows, we’ll stop in at Carousel of Progress on our way out:
Overall, my day consisted of:
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: 7:59am – 8:16am
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: 8:17am – 8:25am
- Haunted Mansion: 8:30am – 8:46am
- Jungle Cruise: 8:54am – 9:06am
- Pirates of the Caribbean: 9:08am – 9:21am
- Splash Mountain with FP+: 9:25am – 9:46am
- Big Thunder Mountain with FP+: 9:49am – 10:03am
- it’s a small world: 10:13am – 10:37am
- Peter Pan’s Flight with FP+: 10:44am – 10:53am
- Journey of the Little Mermaid with FP+: 11:04am – 11:16am
- Dumbo with FastPass+: 11:18am – 11:28am
- The Barnstormer with FastPass+: 11:29am – 11:38am
- Frozen Coca-Cola: 11:40am – 11:45am
- Lunch: 12:10pm – 12:50pm
- Swiss Family Treehouse: 1:02pm – 1:10pm
- Haunted Mansion with FastPass+: 1:33pm – 1:56pm
- Hall of Presidents: 2:10pm – 2:50pm
It ended up being a solid, effortless day that should be easy to replicate this fall with what should be many 8am opens on Mickey’s Halloween/Christmas Party dates. After step eight or so above, there are a lot of different directions you could go depending on your readiness to refresh FastPass+ availability and what you want to do. I opted to visit a few easy FP+ opportunities at attractions that I had not yet experienced, but it wouldn’t have taken a lot of effort to acquire FP+ for Buzz Lightyear if I had wanted to go to Tomorrowland instead of back to Fantasyland. And if I was willing to refresh enough, Space Mountain or another high priority wouldn’t have been out of reach.
The same is true later in the afternoon, where I opted to visit several anytime attractions with minimal vigor. It would certainly be possible to refresh FP+ availability with more zest in order to pad my attraction count, but sometimes taking things easy and relaxing a bit is more fulfilling. I don’t have any reason to show off, you know?
We’ll see what’s next.