Short Trip Report & Tips/Advices from 1st Timer

I just came back from a trip to WDW (02/27/2018 to 03/10/2018) with my wife and our two children (Age 8 et 6).

We were lodging at the Pop Century Resort and it was just great. I know the moderate and the deluxe hotel are probably far better, but with 10 hours+ per day at the parks, there was not a lot of time left at the hotel. The Bus transportation was good (never waited more than 15 minutes) and the Food Court was good (only ate there for breakfast)

Crowds in January and Febuary seem to have been crazy and we were hoping that it was going to back to normal. CL were not that bad, with lows at CL2 and highs at CL8. Still, at CL 6 to 8, the crowds were still manageable. Here are the reasons why we had a wonderful time even with medium to heavy crowds on some days:

Tip #1: Arrive early and have a good touring plan in the morning

We arrived at park early, between 30 to 40 minutes prior to park opening. I know this is probably the best advice given by the community, but it works.

At Epcot, we were on the first show at Soarin’, exiting the attraction at 9h20 and on our 2nd day, we were off FEA at 9h12.

At HS, we were off TSMM at 9h15. With 1 track down, it was posted at 80 minutes when we exited and I haven’t seen any FP+ availability during my two days in HS. After that we were one step ahead of everybody for character meet for example.

At AK, with a FOP FP+ secured on both days, we only rope dropped one day. Na’Vi River started operating at 7h45 (park opening at 8h00) and we rode it twice in 21 minutes. At 8h15, we were alone in DinoLand, with Dinosaur and Primeval as walk-on.

At MK, we chose to ropedrop twice the left part of the park, where the crowds are less important in the morning. On our first day, we rode BTMR twice and Splash Mountain in 50 minutes. On our second day, we rode Peter Pan’s Flight, Haunted Mansion and iaSW in 45 minutes.

Arriving early was like adding 2-3 good FP+ to your day.

Tip #2: Refesh the App and get as many FP+ as you can in the afternoon

I think there’s still a lot of people that doesn’t optimise the potential of the FP+ system. For that reason, I think that using your 3 FP+ in the morning, freeing you the ability to get additional ones in the afternoon, is still the way to go with CL below 8. I can’t speak for CL above 8, but my guess is that I would give it a try.

First of all, at MK for exemple, some pretty decent FP+ were easily available in the afternoon (Buzz, Pooh, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise). However, by refreshing the App, we were able to get those FP+ with very short return time (within 30 minutes) and/or get harder FP+ like BTMR, Splash Mountain or Space Mountain. With that strategy, we never waited more than 15 minutes stand-by for an attraction (longest wait were Astro Orbiter and Journey of the Little Mermaid). In fact, we waited less time in WDW than at our local attraction park in Montreal (Canada).

In addition, I have read that there was some releases of FP+ at particular hours during the day for some attractions. Before my trip, I have written them down just in case. Well in fact, it worked!!! At Epcot, I just used my 3rd FP+ at 11h15 at Test Track. While in the waiting line, I checked and found some Test Track & Soarin’ FP+ for 18h30. However, it was rumoured than TT FP+ were released at exactly 11h37, so I give it a try. Well at exactly 11h37, there was plenty of availability for TT and I picked one for a return time at 12h30. Same thing (at 13h37) for Soarin’, with again plenty of availability. It just made a great our day at Epcot, with two rides each of Soarin’ and Test Track.

For all these reasons, on many days, I found it easier to stay in the park in the afternoon (instead of taking a break) because we could get good FP+ in the afternoon. In fact, we were able to do more than what our TouringPlan told us. However, even by refreshing the App, it was way harder to get good FP+ in the evening.

Tips #3: Be prepared and get all the information as you can before leaving

Many months before my trip, I started exploring sites like and it really helped the planification of my trip. In addition, by reading the forum and/or blogs on many other sites, I found many informations that made our trip enjoyable.

Highlights of our Trip

#1: Even if it’s important to arrive early in the parks, I think one of the best moment to be and feel the vibe of each park is in evening. We had wonderful moment just hanging out after dinner in the park. Our best moment at night was probably our run in the World Showcase after Illuminations, from 9h15PM to 9h45PM. With everybody leaving after the Fireworks, we were alone in WS at these hours. What a feeling to be alone at night in Morocco.

#2: Seeing the Happily ever After fireworks from BTMR was equally wonderful. We got in the train at 8h01PM (with HEA starting at 7h55PM) and it was just best night ride ever.

#3: Before our trip, we were not high on character meet. With our two children not speaking and/or understanding english, we didn’t had high expectations with speaking characters. However, it was a wonderful experience, as the characters adapt to the situation. Gaston and Kylo Ren were just awesome.

Here’s a short video of our trip:

Finally, thanks to you, members of this forum, for sharing so much information to help first-timer like us.


Great tips and report! Thanks for sharing your video! Amazing! Your video brought me back to the magic for a few minutes- thanks!

Thanks for posting… you captured it so well, it made me think I was back if only for a brief moment!!

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Love, love, love your video! :heart:️


I have 102 days to go. My excitement level six minutes ago was 11 out of 10. Now it’s 11,000 out of 10. How am I going to wait that long.

You had an awesome trip! Thanks so much for sharing it!


I don’t usually have the patience to watch videos (especially if there are no cats in them :smiley:) but watched yours all the way through and got a little teary. Great job!!


Loved the video and tips! I can’t wait to go back now!!

Thanks for sharing. Amazing video… you captured the magic there and have me very excited to go back in a couple months and make more magic with the family.

Thanks for sharing! That was awesome! So glad you had such a wonderful trip and so well documented!

Enjoyed your video.

Your video should be an advertisement for Disney!


Thanks for the tips!

Where did you get that info, @OncleBoum ? I’d love to read about the specific attractions and hours.

Just…tears!! Your video was better than anything Disney has ever produced. Thank you for sharing this! I just want to hug you all xxxxxx

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Great post and even better video!

Hi Beth,

For exemple, there was a post on FP+ release for FOP last september:

I have read this was not the case anymore.

I’ll try to find to the post where I found the infos on Soarin’ & Test Track.
I think there was also a specific time for TSMM & RnRC FP+ during the day, but I do think this is not the case anymore (with the 3rd track closure on TSMM)

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Great report and video. Thanks for sharing!


Thanks for your Trip Report and the tips!

What time did you get to AK on the 8AM opening day? Was it an EMH day?

Hi girlbytheseashore,

It was not an EMH day at AK (8AM opening) and we were at the turnstiles at 7:35AM and into the park at 7:40AM.
At that time, the crowd was already into the park and the end of the line for FOP was on the bridge between Discovery Island and Pandora, with the cast member saying it was about a 90 mins wait.
We kept our left and went straight to Na’Vi River, arriving at 7:45 and exiting the ride at 7:55 (walk-on). We went on it another time from 7:56 to 8:06 (still walk-on) and than left for Dinoland.

Being the last day of my trip, I could have booked my FOP FP+ for the morning, but I prefered an early afternoon FP+ to explore the other parts of the park early in the morning, where I would say that roughly 90% of the incoming people were heading to the FOP queue. Another great option at 8:10 would have been to go for an early Safaris or a few rides on Expedition Everest, with probably less than a 10mins-ish wait.

The CL at AK for that day was 6.

Hope it helps !


How long did you wait in the FP line corn foP in the afternoon.