Making Our Fastpass Picks During Peak Season


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Fastpasses (FP) are Disney’s version of front of the line passes. When you buy your tickets you get the ability to make 3 FP choices. If you buy a vacation package from Disney you can make your FP choices 60 days in advance. That sounds crazy doesn’t it? I have to predict in 60 days which parks I will be in on which days and what times I will want to go to the attractions or shows. If you want the best FPs to the most popular rides though that is exactly what you have to do. If you wait until you get to the parks and buy your tickets chances are very slim that you will get all the top rides your family wants. They set aside a certain number of FPs each day for each ride and once they are gone there are no more.

We are heading to Walt Disney World during peak season so I need to spend a bit more time planning our Fastpass (FP) picks than I normally do. During the slower season many of the attractions and shows my family loves are very short waits to 20 minutes. We only usually only use FP for the popular rides such as Soarin’, Frozen or Toy Story Mania. But, this time we will need them to do most attractions and shows.

I polled the family found out what one thing in each park was a must do for each family members and started there. I thought as long as they each get to do the one ride or show that matters most to them at least they will be happy. This trip is going to be so very different as we usually travel during the off-season and my kids are used to just going and getting in stand-by line for 20-30 minutes and riding even the most popular rides. This time the waits will probably 2 to 3 times that amount (if we are lucky). So, I have been talking about how different this trip will be.

Fastpass+ gets a mixed review from me. I loved the old paper FPs and the ability to just get a FP when you were in the park and near a ride (as long as all the FP for the day were not gone). You could only have one at a time, unless you were within 5-10 minutes of your first FP expiring, then you could grab a second one. There was some planning involved but not as much as there is now.

Same with Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs). Yes, you can go and get an ADR on the day you are in the parks or hotel but there is no guarantee that you will be able to eat where you want to eat, when you want to eat. This is true if you are looking to eat at some of the most popular restaurants such as Cinderella’s Royal Tables, Be Our Guest, and O’Hana.

So, I have my spreadsheets of what park we are in on each day, the FPs I secured and at what times, the times we will be dining and what special things we plan on doing each day. It kind of takes the spontaneity out of the vacation. But, we are going at a predicted 9-10 time so I have it all planned out.

17 Comments Add yours

  1. Tareau Barron says:

    Man I took my youngest son to six flags and he loved it, he even got on a big Kids ride. Although he was freaking out, he hung in there. I don’t know about my other son (Naszir) because he’s further on the spectrum. I do take them to smaller amusement parks and they love it. Disney I’m afraid I would lose one hahahaha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      We have! My daughter ducked into a round rack fo clothes when she was 3 and came out on the wrong side away from us. She wandered the store. They closed the entrance and had all the cast members looking for her. Then my son. This was the bad one because we didn’t know he was lost. https://whatsfordinnermoms.com/2015/03/16/getting-lost-and-learning-a-lesson-at-walt-disney-world/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tareau Barron says:

        Man that is a scary ass tell. I have a survival list when we go places. First aid, extra underwear, pull ups, wipes, buddy tags (have you heard about these? Saves my life. It’s a GPS that’s in a watch/bracelet from.), name tags with emergency contact info, noise cancellation headphones (not anymore really but when they were younger), weighted vest and juice.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. koolaidmoms says:

          We don’t have the buddy tag. Something we probably should look into. But, it made us aware of conversations we need to have about safety and who is safe to talk to when you are in trouble.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Tareau Barron says:

            It’s a scary feeling because people aren’t sympathetic to their needs. As of now in my life, I only take the kids to sensory friendly places or places where it’s a controlled environment.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. NickyB. says:

    We always use FP on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      My kids like the ride but think it is far too short. They would rather go on Space Mountain or Splash Mountain.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. NickyB. says:

        It is too short!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hoo boy, I could never be that organized! I’m sure y’all will have a fantastic time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you! Disney almost forces you to be organized, especially during their peak season, or you spend quite a bit of time waiting in line or wandering around.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. koolaidmoms says:

      Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Eric says:

    We’ve grown out of the Disney era. My son is grown now and we just recently went to Florida to visit family and enjoy a few attractions. They have a CityPass* in Tampa where you get to visit 5 of 6 attractions for $99. We were able to fit four attractions into our schedule. We missed out on seeing Winter, the dolphin from Dolphin Tale, but we were able to interact with the Penguins at the Florida Aquarium. We also went to Busch Gardens for a day and rode the rollercoasters and watched a show – The Platters. We also went to Lowry Park Zoo, but that was a let down. All the animals seemed so miserable. Our next trip to Florida we will be heading again to Universal Studios to see if they’ve updated or upgraded any of their rides.

    I sure admire you for getting all serious about being organized. These days it is a must. The crowds are so big and you don’t know if you will have the chance to see and do all the things you hope to do. Definitely look into those buddy tags. They could save you a lot of worry and heartache.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you so very much! I tend not to be a fan of zoos unless they are well done as I feel so bad for the animals.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Eric says:

        We feel the same way. One Zoo I would like to visit (actually two zoos) would be The San Diego Zoo (because they do a lot for conservation and all that) and the Bronx Zoo (just because it’s in New York and is probably pretty progressive in their practices)

        Enjoy your trip to DisneyWorld!!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. koolaidmoms says:

          Thank you!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. that’s where a travel agent can come in handy–we do all the work for you ;). I have to say I’m a big fan of FP+ as I’m a planner to the nth degree–it’s so nice to not have to drag the teenage boys out of bed at the crack of dawn to get to the parks an hour before rope drop, so we could grab a fast pass for the popular attractions before they were all gone. Now I pick them at home for a time that doesn’t require us to be there so early, the boys can sleep in a little bit (we still go early in the morning, just not as early as we did ;), and everyone is happy :). Can’t wait to hear about your trip!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you! We have a travel agent who offers to help but I prefer to do it myself so that I have better control over where we are in the parks. I spent the first year of FP+ crossing back and forth all over MK and it was crazy. We ended up not even using the FP and just using regular lines because we usually go at off times when waits are low and temperatures cooler. This will be interesting for us.

      Like

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