FPP Needed for CL 1-4?

My brother is leaving for WDW with his wife and 2.5 year old son December 4th. He says because the parks he will be visiting are CL 1-4, he doesn’t need FPP. Is he correct?

I have read here that a low CL can feel very crowded since Disney may not fully staff the attractions and all loading platforms may not be opened (i.e. BTMR)

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If you HAVE to ride something and are ona limited schedule, you will want FPP even on a 1 day. If you don’t care about what you ride and just wander and get on what you get on i would say no FPP needed for a 1 or 2. a 3 or 4 can be deceiving especially at popular rides. So if they want to ride SDMT then yes they need FPP, if they are content with CoP, no. I think your second paragraph is accurate too, feels like they reduce staffing or capacity when low attendance.

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If you are using the CLs from Touring Plans, then the CL number should be a reflection of actual wait times. So, if Disney doesn’t staff rides because crowds are lower, the CL number from TP will reflect this. That is to say, if there are half as many people in the park, but the wait times are exactly the same, the CL level will be the same in both cases.

This means that if the CL is 1, your waits, on average, should be very low and perhaps even walk-ons.

However, the operative words there are “on average”. Any given ride might still have a wait, even if the CL is 1. So, it still might make sense to get that FP for PPF. It might still save you 15-20 minutes in line.


No he is very wrong. Get some, they are free.


Good to know!

I agree. But he is so laid back.

I am going to just say it: I don’t believe those CLs. You have to always plan for high crowds and then enjoy lower crowds if they happen. Please tell him to book fast passes. You always need fast passes.


If only planning was his thing! When we went together in 2012, I did the touring plans.

Agree, agree, agree!

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Then just start with “you always need fast passes”. Is he planning on going to HS when RotR is open? MK on a non party day? If he is at MK on a party night will he know he will get kicked out at 6?

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With a 2.5 year old, I would want to use FP+, even if it only skims 5 min off my wait (I don’t have very patient kids).


Hmmm. We did AK/MK at CL1, EP at 2 and HS (in the evening) at 4 on our recent trip.

Notable wait times I remember seeing without FPP were 2 hours for FoP, 1h for FEA, 45min for ToT & SDD, 50min for 7DMT, 40 for KS…we waited 40min for ETwB and that was quite enough (and was our only late wait - proper planning + FPPs). Does he enjoy standing in lines in the hot sun (and yes, it’s still plenty hot in December, sometimes with nice warm rain) for no reason? :crazy_face:

Edit: even worse than I thought. Here are a couple screenshotted wait times from those CLs (1/2!) You can also see historical wait data on TP, e.g.


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I will tell him.

I don’t know his specific daily plans, just MVMCP on Friday, December 5th (even that needs a plan). I’m trying not to ask too many questions about his plans unless he asks me specific questions. If I ask too many questions, he’ll ask me to plan it all for him. It’s not that I don’t want to help him but we are leaving for WDW 5 days after him and I’m still working on my TPs and need to think about my packing lists.

And then, because we overlap a couple of days, I really don’t want to be asked to babysit my adorable but a handful of a nephew so they can go out to enjoy some adult time.

Whoa! Thanks for sharing!

He doesn’t enjoy the sun. When we went in the summer of 2012, he carried an umbrella because he didn’t want to wear sunscreen. Now, with a rambunctious toddler who doesn’t like to sit still, I don’t know how he is going to hold an umbrella and chase after him, much less stand in lines!!! :woozy_face:

Thanks for capturing those screen shots! I would never wait that long. FPP or RD for me.

Why wouldn’t you? If it saves even only a few minutes, why not?


He should get the FPs. A few weeks ago, I was at MK and DHS with CL1 at both. There were substantial rides for many rides. If he wants to ride the Teacups and Small World over and over all day, then he probably doesn’t need FP on low CL days, but I suspect he will want to ride many others.

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Totally agree! I love TP, but after years of using it I’ve learned that the plan is a guide - not a set of step-by-step instructions. I know TP tries to be as accurate as possible, but they rely on historical data. This year, for example, has been crazy for CLs due to unprecedented circumstances. There were weeks where in the past it was a CL2, but in 2019 was CL8 and vice versa.

Furthermore, I see too many jam packed / overloaded TPs from people looking for advice on their “CL2” plan. When you advise them that they’ll probably not get to all 32 steps of their plan they act surprised. – "But TouringPlans SAYS I should be able to do it. It’s only a CL2!"

Oh well… Thanks for letting me vent. Glad I’m not alone in my unwillingness to take the Crowd Calendar at face value.


That would drive me nuts!:pleading_face:

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He arrives December 4th. ROTR is supposed to open on December 5th. WDW is heading into peak season and no EEMHs or extra EMHs have been announced for any of the parks. I would assume such circumstances will affect CLs.