Our last trip to Walt Disney World was for Fourth of July in 2013. This was when the new Fast Pass Plus (FP+) system was still in the testing phase. This meant we were still able to use the old Fast Pass system that week. Then last year we finally took our big trip to see Disneyland where the Fast Pass system is still the “old way”. Therefore, we got a little more time with our beloved paper passes. We even had the pleasure of giving a set of passes to an unexpected family for Star Tours.
We will be going back home to Bay Lake and our beloved Walt Disney World in April. This leads to the need to make FP+ reservations 60 days in advance.
I had done my research, and by most accounts, I learned that the window actually opens at midnight the day before the window. For example my window opened up on February 18th so I was up at midnight on February 17th. This was the first issue I had. I set my alarm, had my computer waiting for me, and had My Disney Experience ready on my phone. I then learned that I would not be able to make my FP+ reservations until 1 am since that is when the Magic Kingdom closed. The choice was: do I go back to bed, or wait the hour or so out. I decided to wait it out and at 1:01 am, the race began for the magical FP+. There were a few passes I knew I wanted to secure: the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Anna and Elsa meet-up. These, as many of you know, are not the easiest to secure.
I was surprised I was able to secure 2 passes for the Mine Train. Anna and Elsa was a little harder to secure. I was finally able to get one for our last night. The trouble I had with the Anna and Elsa pass was the system was not smart enough to realize I could not make a 7pm FP+ when we had a 6:15 Hoop Dee Doo Show. We are instead hoping to make a FP+ for Anna and Elsa for 8:30-9:30 pm.
Now for the other parks. The issue I had was the tiering in EPCOT and Hollywood Studios for some of the big attractions. I am not a fan of the tiering. I wish these parks were like the Magic Kingdom – without it. I had to play a game of give and take for these parks. I gave up securing a FP+ for Soarin’ in order to secure one for Test Track. I am not sure if that was the right choice, but I will find out in April.
It took me about 45 minutes to book 3 passes a day for 5 days. I am not going to lie – this is not the way we normally tour. My family is a fan of the WDW Lines App from Touring Plans and generally check the wait times on that while we are in the park and plan on the fly. I feel we have lost a little of that with this system. I am still keeping an open mind and I am usually someone who welcomes change. I am a hoping to still be able to tour a little on the fly with my Lines App. We got all the major attractions secured by FP+ so that, in a way, is a relief. Now just to fit in the other attractions around the FP+ times.
When It was all done and I finally settled in to go back to sleep, I felt I had run a mental marathon and woke up the next morning with what I can only describe as a FP+ hangover. I really wish the system would stay locked until 6 am like the dining ADRs and then I could make the plans a little more awake.
Next will be another new experience for my family. We are DRIVING to WDW from Massachusetts. Not sure how this is going to go so stayed tuned and see how that goes.