I’ve been meaning to write this for a few months now. We had an amazing trip in late April and used loads of the fantastic hints, tips and tricks that I picked up on here. So I just wanted to share a few of the real winners, for anyone heading off to WDW soon.
Order food using the apps - the simplest tip, order your food with the Disney app. It sounds obvious but almost no one at either Disney or Universal used it. You completley cut long lines, can go straight to finding a table for your party and you don’t have to hang around for your food as it tells you once it’s ready. A real no-brainer, saving time and energy.
Riding FoP without FPP: After seeing how bad the lines could get (from very early on) we took all the advise avaliable here. So we arrived to the park 1hr 15 mins before opening, got in line and then hung to the right of the bridge once we were let in. We walked straight onto the ride and were off it and on to N’aavi river before the park had officially opened. By the time we were done in Pandora the lines were up to 2 hours.
Boat ride exit - After seeing fantasmic (and most of the star wars fireworks) we left Holywood as it closed. The mass of people meant the walk to the taxi/uber area was packed. Instead we hopped on a boat to the broadwalk and ordered an Uber from a hotel there. A quick, easy and fun way to leave the parks without the crowds. We did the same at park close of Universal too.
Gifted FPP: We were stuck in the line for 7dwarfs 45 minutes longer than promised. After riding we politely spoke with a cast member who gave us a bonus FPP to make up for this. Always worth an ask…
Modify as you go - I tweaked our FPP throughout the morning to try and push things closer together. The sooner we finished the inital 3, the quicker we could get a fourth one.
Avatar FPP drop ( 1:01pm) - This was the real highlight. I’ve heard people talk about the FPP drops but never thought they would actually work… well, they did. We hit the jackpot and landed a bonus FoP FPP for 4pm. What an amazing attraction, and such a good way to end our day in AK.
A big thanks to everyone for sharing their tips! Until next time…
Thanks for sharing your experiences!
I’m glad to hear the same day FOP drop worked for you! We’re planning a super short trip, so AK is our first day. No chance of RD since we won’t arrive until afternoon. I’m hoping to get a FP in advance since I’m the only one who wants to ride it and am willing to keep checking a few times a day for all 60 days, LOL. But if all else fails, good to know that sdd might work!
Give it a go, but make sure you’re dead on time. I had the FPP page already open and the second the clock ticked over I searched for a new afternoon time and it came up. Don’t mess about though!
For FOP I am looking at the AK map when you say thing to the right of the bridge… can you give me more info. I assume go over bridge and the right and then left to Pandora from looking at map, is there a path that I am not seeing on the map?
You’re correct. To get to Pandora you do go left over that main bridge in front of the Tree of Life.
You want to stay to the right over the Pandora bridge.
Get there early and you’ll be guided by the cast members
How far into the FPP process did you prepare your phone in anticipation of the drop?
Do you have day and group selected and then hit search?
I found this varies by device. On my Android phone, I can have the full list of available FPPs for a certain time up, and can just hit the same time again to refresh it. On my OH’s iPhone, this does nothing - you have to select a different time slot. But regardless, I found it easiest to have that screen (the list of FPPs) already open and refresh by hitting a time. Got same day SDD, FEA, NRJ by repeatedly refreshing like this - remember that others may swap out their old FPPs for new drops so keep trying for a few minutes!
About mobile food ordering - although the ordering itself is quicker (no line) I found that at both WDW and UOR, the status went straight to “ready for pickup” right away, but they then asked for order numbers and began preparing the food when you actually turned up at the collection point- 10m or so wait from there. Not a great experience!
Finally, Pandora. Got into the park at 6.59 and still made it as 5th/6th onto AFoP. The paths are nice and wide so take advantage of that space to get around the strollers and slow people. But dont kick kids, that’s not cool. Watch where you are going and be safe first and foremost. As noted, CMs should be there to direct you when you get to Pandora.
I have a stroller and an older/slower party member. While I can push a stroller to beat the band, my rope dropping tricks have slowed down to match my mom’s pace. I do have a FPP for FoP, but I’m hoping to get one for some other rides other places.
Thanks for the boat ride exit tip! Good to know!
No worries - it’s a fun way to close the night
Aren’t you still waiting 1:15 hours to get on the ride? I know this is still less than 2 hours but am I missing that this is still waiting time?
When you show up early for FoP, you are of course waiting for the park to open and to be ushered in - but they let you in before scheduled park open, so you are not burning any park time in doing so.
We all have to make our own assessment whether the early start is worth it to us - I think this second fact makes it especially worth it to many:
Every minute closer you arrive to scheduled AK open will translate into a couple to several minutes more wait time once you get into the standby line.
Recently saw someone on TP chat talking about what I think was their well more than 90 minute wait for FoP when they had arrived just a few minutes before scheduled open. Someone else in the thread reported being on and off the ride just after scheduled open.
That tactic has worked since Avatar are opened. Hope that helps you decide!
Also, being done on the busiest ride just after park opening time means the other attractions are clear for the opening hour or so.
While not FOP, I “waited” 75 minutes before RD to ride SDD and was off by 9:11 AM. That gave me 11 hours and 49 minutes til JBJB to navigate the parks. I don’t mind waiting PPO.
People get so irrationally pissy when you do.