Attraction Tips – Peter Pan’s Flight

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Who among us has not wanted to soar along the rooftops of London, flying with Peter Pan and Tinker Bell off to Neverland? When Walt Disney opened the original version of Peter Pan’s Flight at Disneyland in 1955, he promised guests that they could do just that. Since then, it’s become one of the most popular rides not only at the original Disney park, but all over the world. And you know what most popular means, right? It means long lines. So here are a few tips to help you enjoy the magic of Peter Pan at the Magic Kingdom without the wait.

Peter Pan's Flight is an enduring landmark at the Magic Kingdom.

Peter Pan’s Flight is so popular that in many of the Touring Plans with young children, we put it as the second attraction to be visited, right after Dumbo. With the addition of FASTPASS at Dumbo and the second spinner going up in Storybook Circus, that could change things soon. Peter Pan may be top dog in the near future. So, you need to get there right after park opening. No hesitation, no messing around, Peter Pan is best seen first thing in the morning, waiting in the regular line.

Tip: After rope drop, make Peter Pan one of your first priorities. If you want to avoid waiting in line longer than 30 minutes, you’ll need to see Peter Pan by 10 a.m.

We recommend going through the regular queue line rather than using FASTPASS on this ride. There’s a simple reason for that. If you get there early, you’ll be able to ride Peter Pan without much difficulty, but other rides like Splash Mountain or Space Mountain┬ácan “sell out” of FASTPASS tickets later on in the day. If you grab a FASTPASS for Peter Pan and are unable to get one for one of those rides, you might end up missing out on the Magic Kingdom’s bigger attractions for the sake of saving 10-15 minutes at Peter Pan.

Right after rope drop, head straight through to Fantasyland to get to the ride. Most people will take the approach of going straight down Main Street, through the Hub and then through Cinderella Castle to get there. But did you know there’s a back way?

Tip: If you want to avoid some of the crowds, head through Liberty Square. Go over the bridge, take a right at the boat docks, then another right in front of the Haunted Mansion. You’ll go through a tunnel and up a hill and Peter Pan is right there. This is generally a less crowded route, since most people are not swarming to Haunted Mansion first thing in the morning.

Make sure to check your FASTPASS Return times.

If for some reason you have an issue getting up early and still must ride Peter Pan’s Flight, just be aware that you’ll likely have to wait in line or use FASTPASS. Lines will range from 40-70 minutes throughout the day, since the ride is so popular and the capacity is low. The queue is deceptive, so don’t be sucked in by the fact that the line doesn’t seem that long. If you approach it from the Fantasyland side, you won’t notice a very long switchback that takes the line all the way around the side of the show building that swallows up a lot of people. Make sure you look at the posted wait time or check Lines before getting in line. At least that way you know what you’re in for through the big queue.

Tip: Peter Pan has been known to run out of its supply of FASTPASS tickets by 2 p.m. on busy days, and return times quickly stretch into the evening. If you plan to use FASTPASS, make sure you know your return time and can plan ahead.

This long switchback queue is where you'll do most of your waiting.

When you’re in the queue, be prepared, there’s not a ton to look at or interact with at Peter Pan. Unlike the more recent interactive queues installed at Dumbo and Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan still is a plain switchback with flat wooden pieces painted like scenery as you get closer to the loading area. It’s definitely not exciting, so this is the queue line to catch up on photos you’ve taken, make plans for later in the day or do just about anything to ignore the fact that you’re waiting in line.

Tip: There is one cool thing to see in the queue. As you approach the loading, look for a set of trees on your left, around where the turnstile is. One of them contains a Hidden Mickey!

The ride itself loads on a moving sidewalk, so have your party ready as you get to the front where the cast member is. You’ll need to round a corner and then skip ahead to the pirate ship ride vehicle quickly. Each ride vehicle can hold 2-3 people, depending on size. Kids on the inside, please, and soon you will be off to London! On the ride itself, make sure to look out for the great effects in London, a mermaid that looks awfully familiar, and lots of scenes from one of Walt Disney’s classic films.

When you disembark onto the same moving sidewalk, head straight out and look for some well placed fire brigade buckets as well as other great themed items. And realize you’ve enjoyed a ride that guests have loved for over 50 years!

What about you? What’s your favorite part of Peter Pan? Is it one of the first things you ride in the morning?

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Posted on July 9, 2012

9 Responses to “Attraction Tips – Peter Pan’s Flight”

  • We (2 adults with a 4-year-old) always fastpass Peter Pan first thing and ride Winnie the Pooh, since the queue is more entertaining in the second of those options.

  • by mxkillerpx on July 9, 2012, at 4:38 pm EDT

    I thought I had read about plans to make this queue more interactive. I may be misremembering, but I wonder what ever happened to that.

  • I remember this ride from when I was a kid! I hadn’t been to Disney World since then — we took our boys to see it in 2009. Peter Pan was every bit as magical then as it was when I was a child. We are hoping to go back next year. Will your touring plans in the 2013 guide be adjusted for Peter Pan’s popularity? As well as for the addition of the mine train?

    One tip for boring lines with nothing to do…. I really, really enjoy kids and there’s always some parent who is THIS CLOSE to snapping. (Though hopefully not 10 minutes after park entry!!!!) It’s nice to smile and make silly faces to cheer up a grumpy toddler. Or just strike up a conversation, sympathizing with said parent. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done this…. you can visibly see all the built-up steam disappear from the parent. Sometimes all it takes is having someone smile and say “I get it — I’ve been there!”

    • We often take mini-sized bubbles (like from wedding receptions) to blow when in a line like this. When my daughter was 3, having her blow the bubbles was a quick way to get her back in a cheerful mood and the other kids in line liked to try and catch them. Even those adults who are close to snapping seem to enjoy them.

  • by Chris Bartoli on July 9, 2012, at 11:40 pm EDT

    My favorite part of Peter Pan’s Flight has always been the flight over London and seeing the lights moving along the streets… For some reason I’ve always been impressed with this detail. I always point it out to my wife and son (which they remind me that I point it out every time)… Oh well. Even though I have found out how they do this effect, I still feel like an excited kid whenever I see it. It still mesmerizes me!!

  • by Heather Louise on July 10, 2012, at 4:55 pm EDT

    With my oldest daughter I made the horrific mistake of her first ride at Disneyland being Snow White because it had such a short line and I hadn’t been on it in years and did not remember how terrifying it was. . . the rest of the day was spent trying to find rides that were outside because she was terrified of going on any dark rides. It took years for that trauma to wear off.
    We are a few months away from our first trip to WDW and our youngest daughter will be 2 1/2 when we are there and I REALLY do not want to make the same mistake. Since I haven’t been on Peter Pan in over 10 years now, I need to ask if there is anything in the ride has any kind of a scare factor. It will probably be one of our first rides in the park and I don’t want to spend the next 10 days (or 10 years) dealing with ride trauma.
    Thanks.

    • Peter Pan is completely fine. Winnie the Poo was actually a little scarier (just the dream sequence) but my daughter (5) was probably only scared because, like you, we took her on Snow Whitte’s Scary Adventure first because there was no line!!! She was back at 6 and was fine on everything, but refused to go on Snow White again. Get the kid’s unofficial guide – it is worth it.

    • Made the same mistake with my eldest, think she was 3 or 4. Peter Pan is dark, but nothing compared to Snow White

  • We did the short cut on our last trip on our 2nd day in MK. Worked like a charm.

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