Not long ago my countdown to my next trip to Walt Disney World reached 60 days. This presented me with the difficult task of making my FastPass+ selections. After my last post about the FP+ testing going on in Epcot and Hollywood Studios I was asked what I would select for each park. So instead of giving you my selections and reasoning behind my selections I thought I would highlight some of the FP+ selections for each park to offer you some things to keep in mind when making selections for your next trip.
First you should filter out the attractions that you do not want to use or should not use a FP+ selection on. Eliminate attractions that are not important to you or anyone in your group. For instance, I have no interest in using my FP+ on Princess Fairytale Hall even though it can have one of the longest waits. If you have kids that may be a different story. If you have young kids you may not want to use one of your selections on Space Mountain.
Before you go any further in to the FP+ decision making process you will want to eliminate attractions that you should not use FP+ on. You might be asking, “Why are they using FP+ at the attraction if we shouldn’t us it?” I am saying this as a rule of thumb. I am not saying it is never a good idea because everyone tours differently and has different likes and dislikes but there are some attractions where the wait time does not get long enough for it to be an economical use of a FP+ selection. You can probably guess most of these attractions but a good resource to use is touringplans.com but you do have to purchase a subscription. If you book through me I will include this information and help you personalize your FP+ selections as a free perk.
Your next step should be to look at headlining attractions you are interested it. As a more popular attraction, headliners are naturally going to have a longer wait. Again, touringplans.com or my services can help you with these details but for the most part you know the headlining attractions. Here are a few attractions from each park that will maintain longer wait times than most attractions:
Space Mountain, Peter Pan’s Flight, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, The Many Adventures with Winne the Pooh, Princess Fairytale Hall, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Haunted Mansion
- Test Track, Soarin’, Maelstrom, Character Spot
- Toy Story Midway Mania, Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Start Tours
- Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Kali River Rapids, Primeval Whirl
At this point you can use your 3 FP+ selections on any of the participating attractions in Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. So you can pick 3 headlining attractions if you wish but that is no longer the case for Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Disney is testing a new FP+ arrangement where you can only use one of your FP+ selections for a headlining attraction. Click here for details on this change.
Your Wait Experience
Something else you might want to keep in mind when making your FP+ selections is what kind of experience you will have in the queue of attractions you don’t have FP+ for. I assume you are going to experience more than 3 attractions when you visit a park so waiting in line is inevitable. So if you are having difficulty deciding how to use your 3rd FP+ selection start thinking, “If I use my FP+ on ______, then I will have to wait in line for ______. With that being said, now ask yourself, “Is there a queue that I don’t want to wait in?” and “Is there a queue that I want to or wouldn’t mind going through?”
If you are visiting in the summer it is going to be hot so you might want to keep in mind what attractions have indoor queues and which have outdoor queues. For instance, I would rather wait in any other queue in all of Walt Disney World over Peter Pan’s Flight. It is outdoors and it can get really stuffy winding back and forth! Space Mountain on the other hand has quite a bit of its queue inside so if I wanted to ride both equally as much and only had one FP+ to use between the two, I would use it on Peter Pan’s Flight.
“Is there a queue that I want to go through?” Who would ask that?! Walt Disney World has been incorporating more and more interactive queues lately which makes waiting a lot more entertaining and I do suggest you take the time to experience some of them. They are part of the attraction too! Even some without interactive elements have been themed so well they can be quite entertaining during your wait.
Shows and Fireworks
It seems Disney has been testing the use of FP+ on some shows and fireworks. I have never used a FP+ on any of these and personally probably never would. There is a FP+ availability for Finding Nemo the Musical in Animal Kingdom but I have heard that it does not include any special seating. It’s just basically a faster way in and unless you are going during an extremely busy time of year, this show is not difficult to get in. I can’t speak personally about the FP+ viewing of Wishes, IllumiNations, and Fantasmic but I have heard numerous people suggest not to use FP+ on them. The viewing spot for Wishes is in the Rose Garden which doesn’t give you the classic view because it is off to the side. I personally like to be in the back of Fantasmic because it’s easier to escape the crowd after. There are so many good viewing spots for IllumiNations I don’t think it is worth using your one headliner on. So again, as a rule of thumb, I would not use FP+ on shows or fireworks.
I believe all parks will eventually implement the testing (or some form of it) that is going on at Epcot and Hollywood Studios. It may seem frustrating but I believe they are doing this to decrease the wait time of the FP+ queues of headlining attractions. I will leave you with one last pointer: pick a FP+ time during the middle of the day when the wait times will be longer and use the standby queues while wait times are lower.