First time poster here, along with first time visitor to WDW. I received so much help from this website and forum for our family’s first trip and thought I would add my little thoughts regarding some of the topics I’ve seen here.
We went to MNSSHP on August 20th and it was insane. I know touringplans doesn’t know how many people attend this from what I’ve read and I overheard people talking about how much busier it was than years past. We didn’t see wait times below 25mins or so for most rides where touringplans had predicted 5-10mins (ie BTMRR) and navigating around the hub for shows and fireworks was so stressful, with adults pushing in front of children for a view of the castle. We had fun for sure, but it wasn’t what I expected and I don’t know that I would choose to do it again. They held all of the party-goers at the entrance until about 3:45, then began allowing people to tap in and get their wrist bands.
As far as Fastpass, we were never asked to prove our entire party had FP before getting a rider switch (which we all had, but I know it’s been asked here) and this included FOP. In some instances the CM wasn’t even paying attention to whether we tapped in (lower tiered rides), and if someone was feeling sneaky, they could have bypassed this (again not something we did, just observed). Most of the second FP tap in spots weren’t being used during our trip.
What people said about the busses is true as far as being packed like sardines and no one offering a seat to people holding infants. I get that everyone is tired at the end of a long day, but it is so hard to hold a baby while standing on a bus, we wished we had rented a car due to this.
The modify FP trick does definitely work…when the wifi does. Our crowd levels were average 4s and 5s and the wifi lagged so much, it was frustrating at times. We were, however, able to snag a FOP FP around 7pm on 8/21. I was never able to get a FP for 7dwarves, which made the kiddos sad, but they didn’t want to wait 95 minutes (the lowest we saw on 8/29). Afterward I kind of regretted not asking for a rider switch and letting my husband just sneak into the FP lane and not riding myself (against my moral compass here, but something that could have easily been done with how busy and how often they change CMs). Also a note about rider switch, we had one stick on our MDE app, after we had all gone and I knew we couldn’t get another with that hanging out there, so I had to go in and delete it. Not sure if it would have allowed us to go on the ride again or just a glitch.
Regarding being asked about ages, something I’ve seen asked here a lot- Our 11 year old was only asked her age during our Tusker House reservation. She was never asked at tap styles or when our Magic Bands weren’t linked and we had to go to Guest Services. So for people who wonder if they could pass an older child off as 10… this could have easily been done in our situation (not condoning or judging, just remarking).
As far as doing rope drop, we hopped on a bus at 8:02am for MK 9am opening, and after bag check and tapping in, we weren’t in the park until 9:30, just so people are aware of how long those things take. I’m sure someone else has covered that, but I didn’t realize how long the walk from the bus stop to the front of the park would be. Easier and faster I’m sure without 2 kiddos and a one year old in a stroller, but still, leave yourself plenty of time.
We grabbed a FP for Dumbo and it ended up closing due to inclement weather. We had already tapped in, but I knew from what I read on here we should receive an any time FP. I asked two different CMs and they both said just come back and tell the person at the FP line and we’d be let in. I didn’t like that, so I re-booked a FP for Dumbo at the current time. It ended up turning into an anytime FP, but not useable for 7dwarves (which was the only thing left we hadn’t ridden. I get it but it was very disappointing).
I did do a couple sneaky things; I found a Memory Maker share on Facebook and it went so smoothly, I would highly recommend this for sure. I paid ~$27.00 to download all of our trip photos. I also purchased our tickets though a convention link. They linked automatically and I had no issues or questions from CMs regarding this. I would recommend this also, I saved more than the third party places I priced out.
Tips for nursing mamas, forgo the benches or Baby Care centers. I would go to the exit of the rides (usually in the stores) while my family was doing Rider Switch first and nurse my little guy in the air conditioning. Also, from a tip I learned here, I nursed him on the People Mover and he fell asleep. We asked the CM if we could ride again, and he said of course! I nursed him during a lot of shows and sit down attractions, just beware of Monsters Inc Laugh Floor, I didn’t realize they put people up on the big screen and my husband was one of those people, along with a not so flattering angle of myself
We had a great trip, a few hiccups and disappointments, but I know the kids will have great memories. We ran into a lot of rude people, but just as many kind ones. Thank you for all of your help here, I was so glad to have a plan, and my kids were very impressed with me being able to snag more fast passes for them all week.
PS- what they say about “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” is true, just don’t do it!