Hochberg's FP strategy during holidays

Our family is comprised of early risers. Hitting rope drop, even on an EMH morning, isn’t a big deal for us.

With that in mind, I am wondering if Hochberg’s strategy of booking your FP+s as early as possible in the day to get to your rolling FP as soon as possible is the best way to go, especially during a busy time of year like Xmas.

Seems like spending your FPs early in the day when there isn’t much of a line anyway is a waste. And by the time you get to your ability to book your rolling fourth FP, I wonder if there will be nothing but crap offered up (or good stuff offered at crap times) the rest of the day, especially when crowd levels are high.

If you are committed to rope drop, especially on an EMH morning, would it not make more sense to walk standby onto your desired attractions in the morning, and book your three advance passes for wherever you will be in the afternoon/evening when crowd levels are much higher?

Or am I missing something?


I agree with you completely. There is no reason to book FPP early in the day that makes sense to me, unless it is your last day and you only have a few hours in the park before you leave. We book FPP for late in the afternoon. If you plan right, you should be walking on to rides for the first few hours. Utilize those morning EMH’s too. We have been twice now with FPP, and haven’t even needed to book a 4th FPP, and we go over spring break. A good plan, and knowledge of the parks/knowing how to tour is all you really need.

I am a firm believer that hitting RD and having a good TP that utilizes FPP to reduce waits during peak periods is the way to go. I have never bought into the “burn FPP early” theory (when you don’t really need them) on the hope that you can get additional useful FPP strategy.

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Thanks much. I have always thought this is the way to go. However, Matt is no Disney n00b, and he believes in this idea so fervently, I was wondering if I was missing something important.

Maybe his idea works better for late-risers who don’t want to arrive at the parks until 10:00-11:00?

It depends on what your family’s touring strategy is like. I always make a personalized TP and book FPPs based on wait times. As a result, we end up being morning FPP people because of our mid-day break and young kids (4/6).
Our strategy is:

  • RD/am EMH
  • FPP at 9:40/10:40/11:40, so we use them at about 10:30, 11:30, and 11:40, and always get a 4th FPP (usually for Buzz) for use on the way out for mid-day break, and usually get a 5th FPP en route out of the park to use in the evening if we come back.
  • Mid-day break from 1-5 pm
  • Evenings are for relaxing things. Often we don’t return to park, but if we do, we hit MILF, Peoplemover, Swiss Family Treehouse, carousel, have delicious snacks, teacups etc.
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I’m trying to decide the same thing. Usually we save them for afternoon but have never been at Christmas. Thinking of using as @mossmaci says and then not go back for pm. Will try to stay til around 2 each day and start at RD daily

Yes, I have never been during Xmas week, either. However, we always go back to the parks with the intention to ride rides after our afternoon break and early dinner, so FPs will be needed.

@mossmacl - I think we need a different acronym for Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor. :wink:

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I think another piece of this is what FPs are available as your 4+. In MK you may get some good choices but as the crowds build you choices may be limited. Even on non holidays I have arrived at AK, EP and HS and the signs at the kiosks have listed what FPs are no longer available (basically just about everything). There was also one December party day where my choices were Magic Carpets and Tea Cups…

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That’s exactly what I am thinking. If I hit MK for rope drop, burn through my advance FPs, take the afternoon break and then hit Epcot, what are my chances of getting a rolling FP for Soarin’ or Test Track?

Around Christmas? I would anticipate your chances to be nil, or nearly so. I was down in September and found myself unable to get a Soarin’ FP after using my first set at MK and going to Epcot around 3:30. The crowds weren’t terrible that day, either. If your family is okay with splitting up, you can always hit TT in the single rider line, then do Soarin’ late in the day. My understanding is that lines are shorter during Illuminations, if you don’t mind missing it.

Oh man, tough choices. :wink:

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Yep, Xmas. That’s why I think the rolling FP choices will be crap.

Unfortunately, I imagine you’re correct. Sorry. :frowning:

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If you want to PH, then what I would do is book the FPPs for the second park and rely on RD and a good TP to do what you want at the first park.


No, that’s good! It confirms my theory that Matt’s strategy doesn’t work for my family, especially at Xmas

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That’s what I lean toward; but here’s our problem:

We RD one park and leave after lunch (~1:00), so not much need for a FP+ (we always go in September). Then, in the evening we typically like to hop to Epcot and their #&$(&%# tiered FP+ means we get only one of the two that really matter to us (Soarin’ or TT).

So, either use FP+ when we don’t need them in the AM or limit ourselves to one useful FP+ at Epcot that evening. It makes me bleed inside.

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Yes, that does suck. I guess the question is which ride has a better chance of being your fourth FP, assuming they both don’t sell out. I would guess TT?

I kept an eye on it this past September. If we are getting there ~5:00, we have a decent chance of getting a fourth FP+ for at least one of them. We’re going enough evenings that I like our chances of getting at least once for each. If not…well, there are worse places to be than in a queue at WDW.

Yes! The only time I ever use FPs at EP is if it is the only park I am visiting that day.

Totally agree with others that RD then using FPP later in the day is a great strategy. Another thing to consider, every FPP kiosk I pass is packed. I inevitably get behind the family who doesn’t know what they want. I wish we had the ability to book a fourth on MDE. I also wish MDE worked :unamused: