Fast pass strategy at 30 days with few options

This is our first time to WDW. We are staying off site. I can see what that our options of fast passes, which we can book on Sunday, are limited already. Is it smart to still book the top rides (7 dwarfs, peter pan’s flight) in the late afternoon and evening, which means we won’t be able to book more during the day? or is it smarter to take the fast passes that are available in the morning, hoping to refresh and book additional fast passes during the day that we are there? We are going the 3rd week in April.

Look at the CL when you’re going and (assuming you have the Unofficial Guide) figure out what FP+ availability is like in the afternoon for the park you’re considering. In AK, Epcot, and DHS I didn’t see much day-of availability for things we were interested in, so we tried to book FP for the rides that had the longest standby lines, even if that meant booking our advanced FP in the afternoon or evening. At the MK, there was more FP+ availability so we tried to book FP rides in the am.

If you really want the best solution for your specific situation, you can always build a TP without any FP, look at how much time you can save using FP+ for the longest SB lines that they’re currently available for, and compare how much you’d save using up the advanced FP+ in the am on rides with shorter times and then getting a few additional day of FP (per the availability in the Unofficial Guide).

We’re there that week too & it’s my family’s first time as well. I was just thinking the other day about the advice to just “plan to grab day-of FPs”. I think that probably works well for repeat visitors who are ok missing some things since they’ve done them before & likely will again. But for the first time visit, I want to know what I can reasonably plan to do & so I think banking on the day-of FPs seems super stressful.

Knowing for sure I have FPs for the ones I really want to see - and planning my day/breaks around those has made me feel better - unless that is the open FP slots are so late at night you can’t use them (if you have little kids for instance).

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How old are your kids?
Are you rope dropping?
Are you staying until close?

How big is your party?
Will everyone want to ride everything?
Are you okay with splitting up your group?

I have not had the luck of getting day of FP on any trip I have taken. Granted, we normally go during school holidays like fall break, but I don’t know if I would plan on being successful. We definitely get the top rides as we love the thrill rides. We also prioritize some fast passes that have queues outside since we like to avoid standing in lines outside in the heat or rain (which Florida is famous for). For example, we may also look at booking FP for Haunted Mansion (if the crowds are heavy) to avoid their outdoor queue. Same with Splash Mountain. Waiting in line for Space Mountain is cool and out of the sun so if we couldn’t get a FP it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Just how we work but look at what is most important for your family.

Our kids are 7 and 11. We will plan to be there at rope drop. So I’m thinking of doing the 7 dwarfs mine at rope drop and skipping the FP at evening time…My friend went last year and said they kept getting FP during the day, so we were hoping to use the same strategy. Crowd level is only a 4 that day/week. Does it work to get to 7 dwarfs at rope drop?

We have 6 in our party, but would be OK splitting if we needed to. (Grandma and Grandpa are there for the kids’ sake.)

The TP video for 7 dwarfs at rope drop made it seem very doable. Get there early enough and you basically walk on or have a wait under 10 minutes. Get there for rope drop but towards the back of the pack and the longest wait still seemed to only be about a half hour.

I just went through FP booking for the first week in April. It was rough. I logged on at exactly 7am. Picking an actual time (like 10 am) worked better than choosing “morning.” I grabbed the the rides we wanted when they first appeared, then I went back to “modify” each of the times. Sometimes, new times appeared when I modified the FP that were not displayed the first time.

For MK, I specifically picked FP for noon or earlier. We will be there at rope drop, start using FP around 10, exit the park around 12:30 or 1, book FP #4 before we leave, and return around 5 or 6pm. It’s too long of a day to make it straight through, and we love closing down the park.

We got late-morning FP for HS, so we will do rope drop there too.

We will skip rope drop for the first time ever at AK. I checked every day for FOP at AK, and it never came up. We got 3 night time FP. We will get in line for FOP at 10:20pm and hope for the best.

We planned EP around the Frozen ride, and we got FP at 6pm. Due to the planned late night at AK, we will start EP around noon.

Good luck!

I would rope drop 7DMT or PP…my decision would be based on availability of the FPP at the time.

How many days will you be at MK?

I’ve been stalking MDE for FPs that past month. My window doesn’t even open for another 2 months and I am also staying offsite.

What I have seen so far 30 days out is to forget about getting a 7DMT FP at any time with possible exception of after 10 p.m. on nights MK is open very late. The rest of the rides are very doable at all times on many days with some exception for Peter Pan and Enchanted Tales. Often times those FP times are available in the 9-10 range, but then not available again until mid afternoon. Since you can’t get both in the same hour, you will have to likely get a long line in the other.

You have two choices: RD 7DMT then use a FP in the 9-10 hour.for Peter Pan or Enchanted Tales.
OR
Do what my touring plan is telling me to do: RD Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear before going to 7DMT for an expected 30 minute wait. The reason for this is there is a rush for 7DMT at RD with a long line at the start, but then it drops in mid morning before picking up in the afternoon. Len, Brian, & Company did a test of this that they published on YouTube a month ago if you want to check it out.