by JollyFrogger Diva
I’ve been visiting Walt Disney World with my family since I was 9. One of the most valuable things I’ve learned from watching my Dad prepare for our Disney trips for years is the importance of doing research and having a plan for your vacation. There is so much to do at Walt Disney World that you can’t hope to do it all in one trip, but a good plan can help you maximize your experience and accomplish most if not all of what you want to do. If you’re planning for your first trip and don’t know much about the FastPass+ system, check out my First-Timer’s Guide to FastPass+. The 60 day mark for our upcoming trip is quickly approaching, so I’ve been working on my FastPass+ wish list so I’ll be ready to make them as quickly as possible that morning in hopes of getting all the reservations we want. Here’s a look at my process for preparing for FP+ reservation day.
1) Know Your FP+ Reservation Date
Guest staying on Walt Disney World property or at select Disney Springs area hotels can start making their FastPass+ reservations 60 days before their check-in date. Guest staying off property can make their FastPass+ reservations 30 days in advance. Your booking window will open at 7am eastern standard time, so you may be looking at a very early morning if you live on the West Coast.
2) Know Which Park You Plan to Visit Each Day
If you read my article about Preparing to Make Dining Reservations, then you know I’ve had our daily schedule planned out since before our 180 day mark. If you aren’t big on dining reservations, you may still be ironing out your schedule. It’s important to know which park you plan to be in each day if you’re going to make FP+ reservations since you can only make them in 1 park at a time. Although those with Park Hopper tickets can come and go as they like at each park, it’s still a good idea to have an idea of which park you want to make FP+ reservations in each day.
3) Know What Rides You Want to Get a FP+ For
If you’re not a fan of roller coasters, you probably don’t want to waste your time chasing down a FP+ for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. If this is your first visit, it’s important to do some research in advance to find out more information about the rides at each park so you have some idea of which ones you would enjoy and which ones you’d rather skip. Even if it this isn’t your first trip, you will probably want to do some research to find out what the most popular rides are at each park, so you have some idea on which would be the most beneficial to use a FP+ on. Since you only get 3 FP+ reservations in advance, you’ll probably have to prioritize. Bear in mind that Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom have tiers for their FP+ reservations and you can only select 1 from Tier 1 with your other 2 coming from Tier 2. This will probably be most problematic for Hollywood Studios where almost all rides became Tier 1 when Galaxy’s Edge opened on August 29, 2019. If some of the rides on your list include some of the most popular rides, check out Soarin Diva’s guide on How to Score that Hard to get FastPass+. Military Diva’s Ten Disney Attractions NOT Worth a FastPass+ will also be helpful when planning your FP+ selections.
4) Prioritize Your Wish List
When it comes time to make your actual reservations, it’s important to know which ones you want to make first. I’ve seen advice that says to start on your last day and work your way forward because the later days will be less booked than the earlier dates. Personally, I prefer to rank my selections from most important to my family to ones we’re more flexible on. On this upcoming trip, my youngest daughter has been talking for months about wanting to ride Slinky Dog Dash because she saw it advertised on Disney channel. I know that Slinky Dog is one of the harder reservations to get, so it will be one of the first ones I attempt to get. On the other hand, I know that FastPass+ reservations for Expedition Everest are much easier to get, so those will be one of the last ones I make. I actually wrote out list (in order of priority) with the ride name, date, and ideal time so that I can have it sitting next to my computer when my reservation window opens.
5) Be Flexible
Know what times you have reservations for dining or other experiences, but be ready to change the rest of your schedule around if you can’t nail now the perfect time for your FP+ reservation. The more flexible you are, the better chances you have of finding something for the ride you want on the day you want. If you have a large party, I’ve also heard that breaking up into 2 small groups and booking overlapping times may help you find FP+ reservations that harder to get.
So there you have it, my strategy for preparing to make FastPass+ reservations. Now that I have a plan in place, all I have left to do is wait and hope I’m able to book the things we want to do. If thinking about making FastPass+ reservations has you ready to schedule your next vacation, contact Patricia at All for Dreams Travel for a free quote.