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What is the best Fast Pass+ scheduling strategy?

mdcpr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
If we arrive to a park at rope drop, when should the first Fast Pass be scheduled by? Should they be scheduled back to back? For example, #1: 9-10 am, #2 10-11 am, and #3 11am-12 pm. What's the best strategy to maximize the time at a park.
 

Moana76

Member
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I personally would not schedule any fast passes within 1-2 hours of opening. Stand-by wait times will not be long enough to justify a fast pass. I typically schedule my first for around 11, followed closely by my next one around 12, and then around 1. That is usually when the wait times get longer.
 

mdcpr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Depends on your touring strategy as well. Some people like to hit whichever park has EMH, spend the morning, and then hop to another park with FPs there in the afternoon.
I did not think of this, but sounds like a very good idea.
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
Remember too that if you use your FP early in the window, you can use the app to try to "move up" the time of the next one. So if my window starts at 11 am, and I get in line at 11:10, I can get on my app and try to reschedule my 12 pm FP to 11:30. Wash, rinse, repeat. Obviously it depends on availability, but some people report good success with that strategy.
 

winstongator

Well-Known Member
I do mine early at our first park of the day. Maybe 11-12, 12-1, 1-2. Do the first two around noon, grab lunch, then do the third after lunch. We usually reassess at that point. I’ve also done a few Quick rope drop visits, and then do this fast pass at a different park as @aliceismad suggests. If you are going for flight of passage or slinky dog Dash, sometimes you get them whenever and plan around that.

A big benefit of using the fast passes early in the day is that you can keep getting that rolling fast pass. The utility of that depends on how crowded the parks are and how many fast passes are left
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
I personally would not schedule any fast passes within 1-2 hours of opening. Stand-by wait times will not be long enough to justify a fast pass. I typically schedule my first for around 11, followed closely by my next one around 12, and then around 1. That is usually when the wait times get longer.
I did not think of this, but sounds like a very good idea.
Except that torpedoes your ability to get same-day FastPasses after the first three. Schedule for 9am, 10am, and 11am. Use the 9am as late in the window as possible, after rope dropping one or two rides. I'm on my fourth or fifth FP by 1:00.
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
Except that torpedoes your ability to get same-day FastPasses after the first three. Schedule for 9am, 10am, and 11am. Use the 9am as late in the window as possible, after rope dropping one or two rides. I'm on my fourth or fifth FP by 1:00.
True, the quicker you use your first 3 FPs, the earlier you can book a 4th one, etc. For OP, there are websites that have suggestions for "hard to get" FPs vs. those that are generally available same-day or aren't really needed for a ride/show. It can be surprising. Some rides may not seem as popular but may tend to have longer lines because they have lower capacities. And of course it all depends on crowds and a little luck.

I've also heard of folks who use FPs at one park and then decide where to hop based on the best available FP. I think there are a lot of different methods, and it depends on what will work best for you.
 
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CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
Park hopping is also very helpful for FP planning. For a very simple example, let's pretend your want to visit Magic Kingdom for two days and Epcot for two days, giving you 12 available FPs. Rather than two days of MK FP and two days of Epcot FP, use park hopping to shift FPs to MK.

Day 1: MK
Day 2: MK morning, Epcot evening, using FPs at MK
Day 3: Epcot
Day 4: Epcot morning, MK evening, using FPs at MK
 

Heppenheimer

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure if they still publish the books, but the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World usually came with a set of touring plans that helped you navigate against traffic and strategically book your fast passes. The books contain several touring plans for each park, depending on your preferences. The last time I followed the recommended plans, they worked like a charm, but that was several years ago.

They also publish a set of touring plans online (at Touringplans.com), but you have to either buy the book or pay online to access them.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
Arriving early you can hit some of the better attractions before lines build, so we have ours started for after 10:30. We always get ours in early and after getting through them, book the single added attractions. Just be aware that as the day goes on the most popular FP+ attractions get harder to find. We ended up having to book ones we really didnt care for because they were the only ones left to choose from and we still had lots of time left to play. By vacationing usually for 2 week trips we end up getting to do all we want several times.
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
There are several free touring plans online at various Disney blogs, etc. if you Google.
I'm not sure if they still publish the books, but the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World usually came with a set of touring plans that helped you navigate against traffic and strategically book your fast passes. The books contain several touring plans for each park, depending on your preferences. The last time I followed the recommended plans, they worked like a charm, but that was several years ago.

They also publish a set of touring plans online (at Touringplans.com), but you have to either buy the book or pay online to access them.
TouringPlans has several basic plans online for free to anyone without creating a log in. You get more detailed plans, and the option to customize plans by paying for a membership, though. There are also several free touring plans created by various websites and blogs if you google. Also some travel agents will create a customized touring plan for you.
 

Patcheslee

Well-Known Member
Arriving early you can hit some of the better attractions before lines build, so we have ours started for after 10:30. We always get ours in early and after getting through them, book the single added attractions. Just be aware that as the day goes on the most popular FP+ attractions get harder to find. We ended up having to book ones we really didnt care for because they were the only ones left to choose from and we still had lots of time left to play. By vacationing usually for 2 week trips we end up getting to do all we want several times.
We follow this except EP we book our throw away FP like Nemo for 9am that way chances for a Tier 1 as a 4th FP is an hour earlier.
 

Minnie1986

Well-Known Member
I personally would not schedule any fast passes within 1-2 hours of opening. Stand-by wait times will not be long enough to justify a fast pass. I typically schedule my first for around 11, followed closely by my next one around 12, and then around 1. That is usually when the wait times get longer.
This is what I do, especially if I am going to rope drop.
 

Boknowsleo

Active Member
Depending on if you want to ride something more than once, then I would schedule the 3 FP’s early. Wait in line and then FP line for those multiple ride must dos! Great example... ride Splash twice, Big Thunder twice, Dwarfs twice, then grab a 4th FP for HM. Then a 5th etc. The earlier the better!
 

mdcpr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Depending on if you want to ride something more than once, then I would schedule the 3 FP’s early. Wait in line and then FP line for those multiple ride must dos! Great example... ride Splash twice, Big Thunder twice, Dwarfs twice, then grab a 4th FP for HM. Then a 5th etc. The earlier the better!
We're only doing one ride per ride.
 
Honestly there is no "best way".
For me it depends on the park and what rides I want to FP+.
Here's my general strategy...
MK: RD and FP+ for Space Mountain at 10:30am, eat at 11:30am, FP+ for 7DMT at 12pm, FP+ for Splash at 1pm. After that start grabbing whatever comes up that I am near like JC and POTC etc.

Epcot: Often go in the afternoon. I check for TT and FEA. If they are not available I can generally easily get Soarin immediately. Then LWTL, Figment, SE... maybe another Soarin...

HS: RD RNRC and TOT, FP+ for TSMM at 9am, watch muppets if there's time, FP+ for RNRC at 10am, watch BATB at 11am, FP+ for TOT at 11am. After that is when I generally check for Epcot.

AK: (I don't go to AK often but here is my plan for making FP+ tomorrow morning and hoping it works) RD NRJ, FP+ for FOP at 9am, (If I cannot get FOP as tier 1 then I'll get NRJ and RD FOP), FP+ for KS at 10am, FP+ for EE at 11am, after that see if I can get a FP+ for Dinosaur. If not we will wait in SB and check for a FP+ in MK.

Basically the earlier in the day you get your FP+ the more you will be able to get after your initial 3 but if your ADR's or park hopping plans don't jive with this strategy then you really just have to figure out what works for you and do it.
 
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aliceismad

Well-Known Member
Epcot: Often go in the afternoon. I check for TT and FEA. If they are not available I can generally easily get Soarin immediately. Then LWTL, Figment, SE... maybe another Soarin...
I like this approach with Epcot for future visits. For this visit, we pre-booked FPs (because FEA was a must-do for 5 y/o kiddo) but pretty much every Tier 2 was a walk on or minimal wait. We did Soarin and TT during evening extra magic hours without much wait.
 

Meghan McCrary

New Member
We just got back from a week in March - Spring Break. We did fastpasses pretty early because we were always at the park well before opening. I typically did 9 - 10 for my first, but went closer around 945 or 10. I was able to ride between 2 and 4 rides in that first hour every day before I ever touched a fast pass. We used Touring Plans, and I cannot recommend them enough!!!
 
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