Three questions about our trip starting Jan 18

We are going to DW for the 2nd time Jan 18-24th. Last time was 8 years ago with me, my husband, and two kids who were 12 and 7.5. I used the book and though the crowds were bigger than we expected, we crushed it–even if I was a bit overzealous and gave everyone blisters. :wink:

This time, we have three kiddos: 20, 15, and 6.5. The other change is that, due to an accident, our 20 year old just had a hip replacement in August. He walks okay, but with a limp and starts hurting when pushing it too much.

Because of the 20 year old’s hip and the 6.5 year old, as well as my promise not to be so type-A about it all, I made our touring plans to involve as little back-tracking as seems reasonable. Our park schedule is as follows:

Jan 18: MK: Tomorrowland and Fantasyland
Jan 19: Epcot
Jan 20: day off
Jan 21: MK: Adventureland & Frontierland; Animal Kingdom 1:30-close
Jan 22: HS in the morning, finish AK in the evening
Jan 23: HS all day
Jan 24: TBD depending on what everyone wants to do

My questions:

  1. because I fiddled with the plans to reduce walking after the optimization, how much should I trust the plans’ wait times? According to my plans, even after the sharp increase in crowd levels predicted, it looks pretty doable to see essentially everything. Should I be more skeptical?

  2. on the two days we plan to park hop, I think we’re going to drive between the parks and spring for the upgraded parking. We’re driving down and staying off-site, so we’ll have our car. Is that what you would do? I want to be there at open each day, but also would like to be near our car at the end of the day.

  3. I wasn’t able to book our FPP selection until just a few days ago. I subsequently read about getting the earlier FPPs and modifying, but many of the FPPs I got aren’t until later in the day. Should I drop those and try to get earlier ones so I can modify in the parks? As it stands, it looks like about one time per day we’re going to have a long wait for something. It’s not ideal, but I’d hate to turn that into 2 or 3 times a day.

Thank you for your help! We’re getting excited!!

Hey! We have overlapping trips! It’s our first trip, so I can’t speak on #1 or 2 but for #3, I would be hesitant to drop any headliner FP you managed to grab. I have been following FP availability for a few months because I knew we’d be booking our FP at 30 days and I was surprised and how quickly a lot of the FP went.

We got ETWB for 5 pm because it wasn’t available in the morning and we have to break for a nap, so we won’t be able to try for 4th FP and such. But I’m going to check the wait times a little after RD and see if we want to do it standby and book a different FP in its place. I also plan to check a lot that day for modifying options, but I’d rather have my ETWB FP than an Under the Sea FP or something similar that we don’t really need. Like, I wouldn’t necessarily drop the good stuff you have (even at lousy times) to grab less needed FP and end up waiting in line more for the headliners.

When hopping, most people book FP for their 2nd park, so the later times work in your favor for AK at least.


That was my feeling about the FPPs, too. The only headliner ones I was able to get were later in the day, but I often only ended up with one or two each day as other ones didn’t fit in the schedule right.

When are you going?

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If after you rearranged your schedule and you hit “Evaluate”, your times will be as accurate as the app can be.

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Your driving plan sounds reasonable; it sounds a lot like what we did on our last trip. I’m not really an FPP master, so I’ll defer to others on no. 3.

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I did evaluate every time I changed anything. That’s what I was looking for–thanks!

Did you try grabbing a FP and then modifying? MDE is a weird app and it doesn’t show you all the time options the first time. Sometimes it says nothing is available, but if you already have that FP booked, you can go in and modify it and it will give you a few time options. It makes no sense. So I’d grab whatever you can to fill out the rest of your FP and then try modifying. If you can’t modify now, I’m hoping that day before or day of, some stuff will become available as other people change their plans.

We’ll be there Jan 22-27.

I was using it on my laptop (don’t know if that matters) and I found that if I clicked on “Details” it gave me a lot of available times. It was weird–sometimes the first page said there weren’t morning times, but the details page had them. It’s enough to drive a control freak like me crazy!


MDE will seriously drive anyone crazy!! and that’s on a good day.


We’re headed down the 19th through the 25th! I’m so excited! I think your plan sounds good.

I wouldn’t drop any headliner fastpasses, but I would keep looking to see what you can find. You never know. Also keep in mind the day of fastpass drops that Disney does.

I was also pleased that even though the CL went up some of the days of our trip, our wait times didn’t increase too badly. I would just be ready to sit and rest in the park when it’s needed. I’ve tried to include some in park breaks (I am also a type A planner and can over plan so much that I don’t stop and see what’s happening around me). Just having a little bit of free time I think will be a little liberating. Even if you don’t get to do EVERY ride, having everyone be happy is the key - and that includes letting people rest.

Random anecdote: I took a 3 week europe trip with school after I graduated from high school. We saw a TON of things. Most of them I don’t remember. One of the things I remember the most was one day in Venice I wasn’t feeling very well, so me and a couple of friends sat on the grand canal and watched the other tourists and performances of gondoliers for a few hours. I look at plenty of pictures of that trip with fond feelings, but I REMEMBER sitting there and watching those boats for hours. I’m sure I missed some beautiful sights that day, but I also have some wonderful memories that I would never give back.

This is coming from a type A planner. Thank you for prompting me to remember that so I can apply it to my own trip!

If you don’t get blisters, you aren’t touring right.

Selecting to reduce walking does not make the wait times any less reliable.

As one of your goals is to reduce walking, I would not attempt the ‘early FPP and modify’ trick, as doing that could end up making you criss-cross the park to take advantage of the additional FPPs. If you like your current plan, then stick with it.

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On the day when you’re hopping from MK to AK, you may wish to consider having a portion of your party take Disney Transportation (the bus). Because of MK’s position opposite the parking lot across the lagoon, someone who truly needs to minimize walking will save a fair amount that way.

Though I would probable have at least one person who walks quickly move the car from one parking lot to the other.

Don’t drop these. Having the fastpass for the ride you want makes it way easier to modify that FPP.

Here is how to think about modifying or refreshing for better times:

When MDE gives you a list of FPP options, those options are being held only for you, it is your exclusive “menu” of FPP options. Notice you never chose a FPP and get a message, “sorry this is already taken” like you do with ADRs. That is because all of the choices are being held for you. Once you choose your FPP from the menu, then all of the FPP choices go back into the public pot, to be offered to someone else.

So if you keep refreshing your FPP choices (easy to do by hitting a different time of day at the top) you will continue to get a new “menu” of options. Sometimes you get a repeat of options, but if you keep refreshing you will see all different kinds of times and options pop up.

Here is where modifying an existing FPP helps. Say you want to move 7DMT up until earlier in the day. You would select the option of “modifying” your 7DMT FPP. Your new time options for 7DMT will show up at the top of the list. The first times you see may not be any good, so you refresh your options. You can do this over and over, literally refreshing once every couple of seconds, until a good 7DMT time pops up and you grab it (be careful, sometimes I am on auto pilot and have almost refreshed over the perfect time).

If instead, you are modifying a different ride, looking for a 7DMT, your 7DMT options will not show up at the top of the list. Instead, they will be way down the page in ABC order. Now you have to refresh, scroll down, refresh, scroll down. You would be amazed how much less efficient, and much bigger a pain it is to scroll.

Using refresh you should be able to move all of your FPP times up except for FOP and SDD (for these, timed FPP drops will be your friends). I hope this is useful!

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That’s what I told them!!

That makes sense–thank you!

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Oh, that’s a really good idea! I hadn’t thought of that–thank you!

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Thank you for this explanation–that’s much clearer to me. For rides that don’t have FPPs available at all now, is this something I should be doing (all day every day) until we get there, or will I have more luck in the parks? As of now, I can’t get a FPP for 7DMT, FOP, or the Slinky coaster.

Sorry, I think I understand–was having trouble integrating all the info!

So, if I understand right, I should pay attention to day-of FPPs drops for things like 7DMT, FOP and SDD.

Ahhh, my poor brain!

Yes, very good point. I did regret pushing us so hard at MK the first day last time. We didn’t like Epcot the next day, but I think it was mostly because we were so foot-sore!

And thanks for the info about FPP drops–very helpful!!

If you find yourself with a phone and some down time - definitely try to refresh a few times. But I wouldn’t do it obsessively! You never know.

Usually after 20 days out, your chances get better the closer you are to your park day as people start to rearrange their days. SDD and FOP are definitely difficult. But the good news is SDD will appear at the top of your screen with the other HS Tier 1 so no scrolling! Same with FOP.

Here are my thoughts on what you have left to get:

7DMT: you should be able to get this through refreshing, no consistent same day drops
FOP: your best bet is the same-day drops, people sometimes get through refreshing
SDD: people sometimes get through refreshing, no consistent same day drops - I would plan on Rope Drop or park closing

Just remember, if you already have Navii, you need to modify that to find FoP.
Similarly, if you have TSMM or Aliens, modify that one to find Slinky.

Otherwise they won’t show up.