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  • Writer's pictureCollin Brazan

The first things you should do when entering each Walt Disney World Resort park

Updated: May 16

It’s the mad dash: you get through the line in record time and get let into the park a few minutes early. There are guests headed in every direction, and you have infinite options on where to head before your first FastPass+ is ready.

After years of experimentation—or just going to the theme parks too much—there is a set path for each Walt Disney World® Resort theme park that, should you begin with them, will open up the rest of your day for the most options and opportunities. So, if you’re rope-dropping the theme parks, here is what we suggest you do first.

Magic Kingdom® Park

If you did not manage to grab a FastPass+ for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, or if you’re visiting while coronavirus-related safety measures are being implemented, it should be your first stop (after taking your Cinderella Castle pictures). Until the Tron coaster is complete, it will likely continue to hold the longest average wait time across the entire day. Otherwise, consider heading to Splash Mountain®, as wait times may continue to be high both until and after its new Princess and the Frog theming takes place.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park

There is little debate or question on where to head first. Go to Pandora—The World of Avatar and ride Avatar Flight of Passage—even if you have a FastPass+. Follow it with Na’Vi River Journey. If you get confused on where to head after leaving The Valley of Moara, the animals of Kilimanjaro Safaris® are most active in the mornings (and the late evenings when available). If you’re not ready to hit the safari yet, Expedition Everest—Legend of the Forbidden Mountain® is a great thrill for any time of the day.


When booking a stay where FastPass+ is available, either choose Test Track® Presented by Chevrolet or Soarin’ Around the World and head straight to the other at park opening. When World Showcase opens at the same time as park opening and FastPass+ selections are unavailable (this will likely pertain to all travelers in 2020), you should head to Test Track Presented by Chevrolet first, and Frozen Ever After following that, as Soarin’ Around the World’s wait time has remained low during limited crowds. Otherwise, on busy park days, Frozen Ever After remains the perfect escape for the midday Florida Heat, especially with its gorgeous, indoor queue.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios®

It is essential to make sure you are not on any attractions at the exact hour of park opening to ensure you and your party has an opportunity at getting Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance boarding passes. After booking them, head straight through the park’s entrance for the new Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. If the line has already backed up to an exceedingly long wait time, it will decrease at some point later in the day, so instead head to Slinky Dog Dash and circle back around later in the day once your party has spent time in Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

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