Looking for a Fast Pass Strategy


#1

Using the Magic Kingdom as an example . . . .

Is there any reason I shouldn't make my reservations for one area of the park to start? I was thinking of making 3 fast pass reservations for one area in the park (Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Haunted Mansion) and then make my next set of Fast Passes for another land in the park i.e., Tomorrowland (Buzz Lightyear, Space Mountain, etc).

I'm simply trying to avoid the back and forth across the park to ride the fast pass attractions.

The only downside I can see is if a "must do" ride isn't available at a later time during the day. Am I missing something?


#2

Once you have used your first three FPPs, you then book them one at a time at a kiosk from the pool of FPPs that are still available at that time - you do not get to book another set of three. Also, from the sounds of it you would be booking your first 3 FPPs fairly early in the day, which is probably not the best use of them as the lines may not be as long then.

A better solution would be to make a Personalized TP and Optimize it - it will give you suggestions for the best FPPs to get to help out your plan.


#3

1) Agree with @brklinck.
2) Note that you can only make 1 FPP reservation per hour, so you need to strategize so that you don't ride BTMRR at 10 am, be done at 10:10 am, then have 50 minutes until your FPP for the IMMEDIATELY ADJACENT Splash Mountain, which isn't a great use of time.
3) If you're not planning to make a personalized touring plan, you're better to book FPP for the rides with the longest lines (7DMT, Space Mountain, etc) at strategically spaced intervals. Ie, have an idea of what a personalized touring plan would like like, then guess. Or, just make a Personalized Touring Plan and book FPP for the attractions with the longest waits.


#4

We split the park in half but scheduled our Fast Passes for the 3 longest waits - regardless of where they were located.
To start, we made a touring plan for the morning hours (Rope Drop until approximately 1pm). That TP included all attractions in the left side of the park (Adventureland and Frontierland) since the crowd tends to go to the right side first! The left side of the park was practically empty while we were there - no Fast Passes were needed for any of those attractions and we even went on a few rides twice! (Keep in mind we were there on a crowd level 4 day!) If I remember correctly, our TP had us using a FP for one of our "morning" attractions but there was no line so we swapped that out for an "afternoon" attraction.
Our second Touring Plan consisted of all rides in Fantasy and Tomorrowland and we set that one for approximately 5pm-close. (We hit up that side of the park after our afternoon nap!) As expected, the park was much more crowded during this time so our Fast Passes were better used. After we used our 3, we booked another for a ride in Tomorrowland (Buzz, if I remember correctly?) and then booked a 5th as we finished that ride.

All my babbling translates to...probably best to set your FPs for the afternoon. Making a morning and afternoon Touring Plan was personally easier for me to visualize the day and set expectations for how much we would be able to do before/after nap. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if you follow your plan(s) to a T because you will have a great time regardless!


#5

I think it depends also on how many MK days you are doing. If you are doing only 1 day, you really need to do a TP and get the recommended FPs. Otherwise, you will have wasted a FP on an attraction that really doesn't need one.


#6

I'm going to be a dissenting voice here re. when to book fastpasses. The posters above bring up the point of not using valuable FPs early in the day, as the longest lines (and thus most value from using FPs) occurs between mid to late afternoon. This makes perfectly logical sense, HOWEVER....

... there are certain lines that get long right from the get-go, AND you can only use 1 FP an hour, even if you book them for the earliest windows possible... that's plenty of time for lines to get really long. SDMT, Peter Pan... these lines get unmanageable fast. Say you have a 9am RD, and you hit your first 3-4 rides without FP (including one of the super-main attractions, like Space Mountain, first), and you're getting onto 10am. Your first FP window doesn't end until 10:15am. By this point, the line for SDMT (for example) is already a$$ long, and that FP used at that spot helps you just as much as it would at 1pm. You then use your second at 10:55am on another ride whose line gets bad fast, and your last at 11:05am, and you're now free to start booking the next FPs to your hearts content.

If you do what these others are saying, sure you might get a FP at SDMT when the wait is 85 minutes (1pm) vs. taking it earlier when the wait is 40 minutes (10am), and in a bubble that math speaks for itself... take the later option for the bigger time savings. But if you hit the park at RD, hit as many of the big-ticket rides as possible while the lines are short, then start burning your FPs on the rides that get long lines the fastest as soon as possible, so that you can start compiling the additional FPs also as soon as possible, all built around the framework of an optimized TP... in my experience this is the way to go.


#7

Also good advice. You should also factor in the crowd level for that day and the liklihood of getting the additional FPs that you're looking for. When I went, there was full availability (except Anna/Elsa) so Crasstastic's plan would work out - use them whenever you can to avoid any wait and then book more as the day goes on.


#8

egkleinmann has a point... on the worst days (high summer for instance, or crazy days like Fourth of July, Christmas, NYE, and others), my advice would be useless. If all the FPs are gone by the time you've burned your 3rd, and you simply can't get 4ths and 5ths... save the FPs for mid to late afternoon.

Almost any other time though... by the time you're ready for the additional FPs, at the very least second tiers like Pirates, Pooh, Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, etc. should have decent availability. You can't count on super-headliners like SDMT (especially) or the 3 Mountains to have availability (though they might, they did for me in April/May), so those are the ones you target with your RD attack and/or your first 3 FPs. My perfect scenario is to hit those top tiers first, knock out the second tiers mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph with the additional FPs, and in between fill in with Tea Cups, Small World and the like, and when all else fails go to Hall of Presidents! TBH, it almost never seems to come to that.

I swear, on my last trip, using this strategy, it was like a flat out magic trick. The only times I ever, EVER dealt with waits was for shows (e.g. Tiki Birds, Philharmagic), where you have to wait for the auditorium ahead of you to finish up and empty... and that doesn't even really qualify as a true "wait".


#9

I'm in @Crasstastic 's camp. For MK, book early and book often. Also, after you use that first fp,check to see if there are earlier times available for that second one and the third. If you do have back to back fpps at splash and btmr (say 10&11), go at the tail end of one time 1050 and then when you get off, you can head to the other.


#10

Thank you for posting this and for all the advice given - I am following as booking our fast passes soon and have never done this before!


#11

Just one final point, and I know I've said a lot here and kind of hijacked this thread, and I apologize for that in advance...

...brklinck earlier referred to Optimizing your TP and seeing where it suggests you book your FPs. And it's true that later FP windows are often recommended by the program. Now, the TP coding takes many factors into account as we all know, too many to list here. But to my knowledge, it is not as yet sophisticated enough to take into account the "Opportunity Cost" (to steal a term from Microeconomics) of foregoing additional FPs in order to save some or all of your first 3 for the busiest parts of the day. From the program's perspective, it doesn't even know that one COULD get a 4th, 5th, etc., and based on that blind spot in the programming, it therefore has no reason to favour one time of day to use your first 3 FPs over another, so it goes right to "when are lines the longest?" If it did take additional FPs into account, I'd imagine it wouldn't be so quick to recommend you hold onto a FP until 3pm (for example).


#12

I can't thank each of you enough. We're traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday so I know what I need to do. I just created a TP for our week long trip and between it's recommendations and this group's advice I feel like we're in a good place.

THANK YOU!