After performing some searches I could only really find 1 similar question close to mine being answered about 3 years ago, so I hope it’s not too much of an issue that I’m posting this (again).
I’ll be taking my girlfriend across the pond for her first time Disney (and Universal Studios) from the 25th of Nov until the 6th of Dec this year. We picked this time window since we’re very flexible in when we can take time off from work and were hoping we could hit significantly lower crowds this way. Unfortunately, it seems like even January and February this year were pretty crowded, especially if you take into consideration crowd levels for the same period the year(s) prior. I guess nobody will know how it’ll turn out until much closer towards those actual dates but crowd levels will obviously influence our plans.
Unfortunately due to some financial choices (either a longer stay or a more premium level stay) we will most likely be staying in an off-site hotel which obviously means only a 30-day window for getting FP’s and no option to participate in EMH. We’ll probably have 8 days worth of ParkHopper tickets for Disney (3 days ParkHopper for Universal) and I was wondering if this would still allow us enough time to get the vast majority of all the (Disney) parks done. Especially given the constraints of not having the 60-day window for getting FP’s and not being able to enjoy any EMH. Also, what FP’s should I count on being gone once I get to book mine given the shorter window?
Thanks in advance for any and all help being provided and if this counts as a repeat question, I’m very sorry.
The following tables show how many days in advance you need to book FPPs in order to have a chance of finding something. I haven’t included DHS because I think things are too much in the air with TSL opening. (These tables were produced by the people who run this website.)
Where did you get those particular charts? I like them! I only know of the “day of FPP availability” charts. These are a bit more helpful I think!
I agree with your above statements. Also OP should become familiar with how to modify FPP. This is a real game changer. We used 9 on one day just between noon and 8pm and I know others have used far more. One user reported being able to use 18 in a single day! Plan the very best ones in advance that you can, and then after that add/modify/refresh to keep the whole day an essential walk-on experience. Though it’s true that without some really really hard work and continuous checking it will be very difficult to get the headliners you discuss.
8 days is plenty I think. We do most of what we want to in fewer days
By and large, I agree with both @profmatt and @OBNurseNH in that, with a good touring plan, you should be able to have a great experience and feel like you did most of the things at WDW in the 8 days you have planned.
As a point of data, I was staying offsite with my family over the last week of March this year, we planned 4 days in the parks and had a very satisfying experience.
I would mostly agree with @profmatt on FP availability, that if you’re ready to go at 7 AM Easter Time 30 days before each day of your trip, you should be able to get most FPs you’re interested in. I would even suggest that FEA may be attainable - I was able to pick it up for my family of 5 at the 30 day mark for this last trip. It may be hit-or-miss, but I would at least try if you’re interested.
You can look 30 days out and see what is available for each ride. For example, 7DMT is already not available for 30 days out, but the next day there is some availability at night.
Of course, this isn’t for your specific dates, but it will give you an idea of what availability you can expect. As everyone else has said, it’s probably more than you realize with the exception of a few hard-to-get rides.
We were in Disney 11/29-12/7 of 2017, so right around the same time frame. I didn’t have a lot to compare it to since my prior trip was years ago before I had children, but I would say it was crowded more than uncrowded. We did stay on-site, but it really is all about having a good plan! I would say that you should be prepared to arrive prior to RD as much as possible - it’s repeated over and over but you really do get so much more done in that first hour if you beat out the crowd! With only 2 of you, you’ll also have a lot of flexibility with doing day-of FP, so play with it a bit on your phone & computer beforehand so you feel familiar with it and can work it quickly.
Consider leaving a full day towards the end of your trip unplanned so you can fit in things you missed or things that were favorites. We left our second-to-last-day ‘blank’ and loved that it gave us flexibility to squeeze in favorite rides & food spots before ending things with a MK day the next day.
We’re also staying off-site in early December and I often will get on right at 7 am EST just to see what’s available at exactly 30 days out. I have seen FEA and 7DMT more than once. In fact, right this minute there’s multiple FEA for like 3 pm 30 days from now. The 7DMT ones are usually in the evening.
Anyways, I think that since you’re not traveling with kids and that you have 8 days you’ll be fine. Rope Drop a couple of times to get FoP and any others you can’t get a FPP for and you’ll be fine. Save the more popular rides for after the post-Thanksgiving crowds thin out some and I bet that FPP will be available at 30 days out.