FP+ strategy

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by DVCcurious, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. DVCcurious

    DVCcurious DIS Veteran

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    I need some help with my FP+ strategy. We will be going President’s week. We will be rope dropping and leaving about 8pm.

    I have read two conflicting strategies.

    1) book your FP+ early in the day and add more as you use them up.

    2) book your FP+ at mid day when parks are fullest.

    Do I make them for 10-1:00 and then hope to get more? Or do I make them from 2-:5:00 when waits are highest? What’s the best move.

    Also know that we don’t care about the “must have” FP, so whichever strategy works best we’ll find something we like in those time slots.
     
  2. g-dad66

    g-dad66 DIS Veteran

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    I would definitely not wait until 2pm to have my first FP scheduled. Waits for all but the least popular attractions will be long by 11am.
     
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  4. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    Honestly, both strategies work fine. For what it's worth, we're very much in the option 1 camp. We see no reason to do standby if FP+ is available. We don't rope drop, we usually show up around 9:30-10:00am. We have our FP+ window already open when we walk in. We blow through the first three within 90 minutes or so and start grabbing more. The only time we do standby is if it happens to be a ride that doesn't need FP+ whatsoever, such as Nemo or Pixar films. Otherwise, we're FP+ all the way.

    But if you're a rope drop person and want to hit things as soon as the parks open, getting FP+ for a bit later is fine too.
     
  5. ClapYourHands

    ClapYourHands DIS Veteran

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    Both are fine strategies; it just depends on what you want.

    Last trip, we had park hoppers, and on two of our days, we decided to RD one park for EMH and ride standby during relatively short waits. Then go back to the resort, etc. for midday, lunch, etc. and have our FP scheduled for another park in the afternoon/evening. The other three days, we started our FP around 10, and then picked up extras after we used the first 3.
     
  6. Pookie9922

    Pookie9922 Mouseketeer

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    We mostly did option 1 last week as newbies who wanted to go on just about everything and I was very happy with the strategy. We RDd each park. We started FPs at 10 at MK and Epcot, and at 9 at HS for TSMM and at AK for FOP so we wouldn't have to backtrack to those portions of the parks in the middle of the day. (I tried to keep us going clockwise to minimize walking). We were able to use the refresh strategy to get FPs all day at all the parks. Not necessarily for the big rides, but sometimes we found those too. The longest line we waited in all week was 40 minutes for Little Mermaid, because I had a 4th FP for BTMM that was later in the day, but we wanted to reride it and that was a long wait without a FP. The only thing we skipped because of a long line was Enchanted Tales, because it didn't get under 40 minutes until the evening but by then it was raining and we were on the wrong side of the park and didn't want to get soaked.
     
  7. Rach3975

    Rach3975 Mouseketeer

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    I think both strategies work, but they accomplish different goals. (You can take my thoughts with a grain of salt since this comes more from reading than from trying both myself!) But from all the threads I've read, my impression is that when it works as planned, option 1 gets you on the maximum number of rides since you do most things with no wait. However, you have more control over which rides you ride when you do option 2.

    We tend to do option 2, though our FPes are usually between 11 and 3. First, we usually end up with some hard-to-get FP'es that aren't available until mid-afternoon. If you're doing FOP or SDD at 3, the schedule-them-early-and-get-more strategy is out the window. I try to modify those earlier in the months leading up to the trip, but usually I have no luck. I don't bother trying to move them on the day of--by then our plans are set and I've built our schedule around them to minimize walking, so we just go with what we have.
    Second, my kids are older and get involved in the planning. They become fairly invested in wanting to ride certain rides. Crossing my fingers and hoping those specific FPes become available when we're ready for our 4th, 5th, etc. makes me nervous. (If we don't get to ride something they had their heart set on, they won't get another chance for a few years. If we went more often we'd be okay with just hitting certain rides next trip.) Plus, we tend to go on school breaks when it's at least moderately busy, if not very busy. I worry that we'll end up unable to get more FPes and stuck waiting in lines during the busiest times of day.

    There's a chance DH and I will be doing an adults only trip next year. If we do, I might try option 1. We'd be much more able to roll with whatever we could get as FPes than the kids would, and if it gets busy and there aren't FPes we'd be okay doing shows or other non-rides.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  8. JETSDAD

    JETSDAD DIS Veteran

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    We use method #1 but start them at 9AM. Here now and it's working well even with a group of 7 (normally we're a group of 3 and it works awesome).
     
  9. ClapYourHands

    ClapYourHands DIS Veteran

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    The early morning FP strategy has both the greatest potential for risk and reward. Many people get fantastic FPs to pop up for them all day after they use their first 3. I know we had great luck on our trip.

    BUT you are also at the mercy of Disney IT working properly, and that’s always a bit of a gamble. Back in September when Disney did a bunch of “enhancements” to MDE, there were huge headaches with people trying to book (multiple threads here about the site crashing, FP, ADRs, and even tickets appearing and disappearing). That was for the people at home trying to plan. The people there were sometimes unable to even see their next FP, let alone book more. Yes, there were times during that period when people could book more FP, but it was very glitchy.

    I would not want my daily plan to rely too heavily on additional FP availability. At least not every day. That’s why I planned some days with strategy 1 and others with strategy 2.
     
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  10. chris benton

    chris benton DIS Veteran

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    The way that makes the most sense for my family is this - We always Rope Drop, or use AM emh (we are early risers, neither option is any kind of stretch for us) We sched the 3 fp's for early as possible. Generally tap into the first fp at the end of the window. So, I try to make the schedule for the afternoon part of the day to be the secondary attractions - generally low line rides or shows. During this time, is when I'm furiously hunting for FP's for the good stuff. If one pops up, we can drop what we're doing (or finish what we're doing,) and come back to our plan without worrying too much about missing anything. OR, while we're doing the secondary attractions, one of us can sit it out, and hunt for fastpasses. I'll gladly sit out Buzz, and teacups. My wife will gladly sit out TOT, and Everest. Getting seated for a show is great time to work mde. OR while in line. Just make sure you have someone keeping the kids occupied, if needed / possible. We used pro formation while walking to attractions last trip. Mom lead the pack, kids in the middle, and me in the rear with one eye on the kids, and the other on the phone - refreshing like mad. We crushed the fp's - it was crazy.
     
  11. DavidNYC

    DavidNYC DIS Veteran

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    There is no right answer and depends a lot on how you tour, what park you're in, whether you're hopping, etc. and most importantly, whether you'll be committed to spending a few minutes using the "refresh" strategy to get your add'l fastpasses. (Look that up if you don't know what I'm talking about).

    We generally do morning ones because we've always been successful getting additional ones for nearly anything we wanted.
     
  12. gharter

    gharter DIS Veteran

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    There are many strategies and different ones work for different people.
    If the park opens at 9, I would put my first FP about 10:00, 11:00, 12:00.
    That gives you up to 2 hours after RD before your first FP, but could be an hour if the park is crowded.
    It also allows you to start getting more FPs around noon, depending on when you use the 3rd FP.
    Our last trip, I think we ended with 7 or 8 FPs at MK and left at 6 due to a party.
     
  13. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy A Pirate's Life For Me

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    We use #1 if we are planning to rope drop the park. We only go with #2 if we are planning a late arrival.

    With #1, it has been possible to get several new FP sets - as many as 5 more (with a small group of 2). So #1 helps folks who want to specifically maximize FP.

    :wizard:
     
  14. DVCcurious

    DVCcurious DIS Veteran

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    To add more FP+ do I have to have the app on my phone or do they still have the computer stations at the Adventureland bathroom and by mickey's philharmagic?
     
  15. mesaboy2

    mesaboy2 Sad, strange little man to the gullible.

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    The kiosks are still an option and exist at those locations.
     
  16. PrincessWithABlaster

    PrincessWithABlaster DIS Veteran

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    Option 1 as the plan. As others have said, there are sometimes very good reasons to take a later FP. You definitely want your harder to get FPs prebooked. There may be other reasons that make later FPs a better option.

    I would not say that it's a big help to have 3 FPs in the afternoon just to avoid crowds at the busiest time of the day. If we were there on a day when MDE was too glitchy to use, we'd do our prebooked FPs as late in their window as we could and then switch over to activities that don't have long waits. Each park has a combination of things that you can do mid afternoon that will get you out of long lines. Shows, World Showcase, less popular rides, games like Agent P, the animal trails, etc. I wouldn't feel I was any worse off than anyone else on a glitchy MDE day if we couldn't get more FPs after using ours fairly early.

    On days when we had later FPs I did find myself getting annoyed at having to wait for them since it's so nice to keep getting more with refresh. They were big ticket rides and I have very little to no success in moving up things like 7DMT (others do, but I don't).

    My personal opinion is that Option 2 is an outdated strategy from before refresh if it's being used only to avoid lines in the afternoon. Again, there are other reasons that it may be the best strategy sometimes but I wouldn't use it for that one.
     
  17. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    They aren't conflicting strategies they are simply two different strategies.

    If you'd like to do some good reading I would suggest at least starting here: https://www.disboards.com/threads/fastpass-frequently-asked-questions.3491680/ first page:

    Post-
    ~ #5 (goes over difficulty level of attractions in regards to FPs)
    ~ #8 (goes over potential advantages of one attraction/show over another in terms of obtaining a FP for it)
    ~ #9 (goes over different strategies with pros and cons)

    Park hoppers, if you have them, may impact which strategy looks the best to you. In the end it will still be what you think will work best with your traveling party and what you hope to achieve.
     
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  18. wfjny

    wfjny Mouseketeer

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    This is my general rule about the parks: You get the most rides in during the first and last 90 minutes of the day.

    Having said that. I generally try to plan my FP earlier in the day, to compliment those short lines. Think of a RD strategy where you hop on Buzz, then hop on Astro Orbiter, then go to the raceway, all while having a 10:00 AM Space Mountain FP in your pocket. After the raceway, you can somewhat play by ear to do CoP, People Mover, Laugh Floor and work in Space Mountain all depending on the timing.

    The point being, you can be on a half a dozen attractions or more by 11:00 AM. Then have your other FP for the 11 and 12 o'clock hours. That other rule, ride when the eat, eat when they ride. By 1 o'clock or so, you are heading out of the park, having done close to a dozen attractions. Look at the people just walking in. They will be there the rest of the day, and will probably not do anywhere near what you have already accomplished.

    At this point, depending on your plans, tickets, hoppers, etc, you can take a break. Take a nap, hang by the pool, take a shower, whatever you want to do during the hottest part of the day. Then head back into that or another park. Be ready to run around a bit at closing time. I think last time, we did HM, Splash Mountain, BTMR, and Pirates in the last 45 minutes the park was open. That was mainly because and hour and a half before closing the Jungle Cruise line was listed at 40 minutes. Fortunately we had picked up a fourth FP for that before we left.

    But to be clear by 1:00 PM, I am sure each of those lines had waits of 40-60 minutes each. By waiting until the end of the day, we saved ourselves alot of standing around time.
     
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  19. TammyLynn33

    TammyLynn33 Mouseketeer

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    So you are saying eat @1pm?

    QUOTE="wfjny, post: 60020665, member: 427054"]This is my general rule about the parks: You get the most rides in during the first and last 90 minutes of the day.

    Having said that. I generally try to plan my FP earlier in the day, to compliment those short lines. Think of a RD strategy where you hop on Buzz, then hop on Astro Orbiter, then go to the raceway, all while having a 10:00 AM Space Mountain FP in your pocket. After the raceway, you can somewhat play by ear to do CoP, People Mover, Laugh Floor and work in Space Mountain all depending on the timing.

    The point being, you can be on a half a dozen attractions or more by 11:00 AM. Then have your other FP for the 11 and 12 o'clock hours. That other rule, ride when the eat, eat when they ride. By 1 o'clock or so, you are heading out of the park, having done close to a dozen attractions. Look at the people just walking in. They will be there the rest of the day, and will probably not do anywhere near what you have already accomplished.

    At this point, depending on your plans, tickets, hoppers, etc, you can take a break. Take a nap, hang by the pool, take a shower, whatever you want to do during the hottest part of the day. Then head back into that or another park. Be ready to run around a bit at closing time. I think last time, we did HM, Splash Mountain, BTMR, and Pirates in the last 45 minutes the park was open. That was mainly because and hour and a half before closing the Jungle Cruise line was listed at 40 minutes. Fortunately we had picked up a fourth FP for that before we left.

    But to be clear by 1:00 PM, I am sure each of those lines had waits of 40-60 minutes each. By waiting until the end of the day, we saved ourselves alot of standing around time.[/QUOTE]
     

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