Yin and Yang: Finding balance with the same-day FP

Several folks have mentioned the dangers of failing to be “in the moment” while in line because of being too tied to the TP and looking for the best next same-day FP.

I, too, worry about this. I don’t want to have my face in my phone throughout the trip the whole time. At the same time, why spend more time in the lines than you have to, right?

So, for those who have practical experiencing doing the whole same-day FP trick, I’m curious what you do, specifically, to help find balance.

I imagine, for example, that if you tap into a FP line for Ride X, and you start looking for the next FP for Ride Y, with the FP line being quite short, it becomes difficult to focus on much other than refreshing and walking.


Well my approach was to just keep on refreshing while walking the FP queues so I don’t feel like I was missing out on anything. Maybe for someone who’s in the queue for the first time there is something to miss ? Usually it took me only a few minutes in MK to get something good. In HS and AK it’s a bit more difficult towards the end of the day I’ll admit but still worked for me. I think investing a bit of time on my phone getting those SD-FP was always worth it cause at the end of the day it means we’ve done more rides…


Gotta say it’s going to be difficult for me to not keep searching for SDFP, because I’m a liner and if I don’t, I might have to turn in my liner card. No, in all seriousness, DH has begged me to ensure we have plenty of down time. So, since fewer rides are must do’s as I have aged and the fact that this is “supposed to be” a more relaxing trip and our anniversary - I HAVE TO limit my time searching!

Last trip in 2016, DH got annoyed when we kept backtracking and I got annoyed that he wouldn’t trust my plans. So for upcoming I have very little each day planned in each park; dumped several ADRs and said - hey we will go with the flow.

And now after that long winded response - I didn’t even answer your question


Here is something I’ve been trying to do while making my Touring Plans. (Of course, it is too early for them to be at all final!)

First, I make a TP that uses NO FPs. I ensure that I can have a day that gets everything we most want in even if we don’t end up with any FPs. This takes a bit of the stress off getting FPs, since I know we can get through things.

Second, I took a look at which FPs are MOST LIKELY available at 30 days out, and at what times. I then made a copy of the TP with those FPs in place, and adjusted things accordingly.

Third, I looked at same-day availability of the rides in each park at various times during the day, and what ends up being available AFTER I use my FPs we are likely to get in the second step. I then add those that are likely to be same-day FP selections.

I’m HOPING that all this pre-planning work will make the day in each park easier because once I tap in, I can look at what is the next FP I had planned to try for and see if it is available, rather than just willy-nilly looking for anything.

I have no idea if this will work, or if I’ll still find myself feeling tied to the TP/FP search or not!


I’ll grant you a do-over. :slight_smile:

You may have seen my other posts… ICYMI

Going forward, I’m just going to trust my planned TP that only has the first 3 FPP scheduled. I’m still going to check for an additional FPPs if I have some downtime when everyone is quiet / “talked out” for a bit or if the rest of my family (all ladies) are in the restroom - which takes longer for them. I often find myself just hanging outside awaiting their return anyway!! :wink:

I’ve had more fun just getting 1 -2 additional FPP and waiting in a few more standby queues than I have trying to “maximize” my day.


I want to enjoy the queues. I haven’t been to WDW in 4 yrs and before that was only there twice (as an adult where I remember). This modifying while in line wasn’t an option then b/c you had to do to a kiosk. I’m the only person in our party who is going to know how to get the additional FP. I will look for FP in queues but not at the expense of missing out—if something looks interesting I’ll put the phone away.

I’ll do anything to avoid being “in the moment” in a standby line that’s over 20-30 minutes. it’s just not compatible with touring with kids 5 and under.

We played the FP game a lot at MK this year and avoided standby lines for the most part. Realistically, it takes 5 minutes to get another same-day FP, and this can be done while walking the FP line after tapping in. I may have spend up to 10 minutes on rare occasion trying to modify to get a better time.

I’d rather spend maybe 30 minutes cumulatively over the day trying to grab and modify over potentially waiting in several hours-worth of standby lines.


@terp05 and I are cut from the same cloth. We do not wait in standby lines more than 15-20 minutes, we go often so it just isn’t something we are willing to do. We do use a lot of FPP though, and that means time spent modifying. It’s pretty easy though, maybe 5 minutes. I don’t feel like it is too much time on the phone, it really doesn’t take long and sure beats waiting in standby. I don’t think I miss out on anything by using my phone to find same day FPP.


I intentionally plan the easier SDFP attractions for the afternoon. So my plan might say to do IASW, Dumbo, and Barnstormer all after our PPF, but I am just gonna pick whichever one I can find FP for the soonest and follow that.

My basic plan is RD the first 60-90 minutes stuff with low waits, use 3FPP with shows or other easy stuff mixed in, start looking for a 4th immediately after tapping in to #3. I’ve got 3 little kids & it works out fine. The only time I set a dedicated 5-10 min to searching was to modify a Navi to FOP in 2017. And it was while we waited for our ADR so no biggie!

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Do you find this has you hopping all over the park, or can you find choices that keep you fairly close by? I hate the idea of trading shorter lines for walking an extra kazillion miles. :slight_smile:

If you’re a fairly mobile person, I find criss-crossing not to be too big of a deal. I’d rather leisurely stroll to my next SD FP ride than wait in a 40 min standby line.

But for the most part, on a CL 5-6 or less, it’s pretty easy to find lots of SD FP, especially in FL. Granted, you’re probably not going to find SD FP for Space, 7DMT, BTMRR, PP, and sometimes Splash.

On our last trip, we picked up a Buzz FP as we were walking up to the ride that had a standby wait of 40 min. As we were walking the FP line, I picked up another Buzz FP for immediately afterwards!


Me too.

Although EP…

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Yes :rofl::rofl: I probably wouldn’t do it there as much. Though, there’s not much need for more than the initial 3 FP anyway!

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If the crowds are low, perhaps. I find crowds stressful, and navigating seven people through a crowd with everyone arriving at the final destination without losing anyone can be tricky. It is also hard to engage with your family if you are going from point A to point B through crowds. Standing in line, however, we are all together without having to fight through anyone.

There is also the issue of exhaustion, particularly in heat. 40 minutes in an air-conditioned SB line is far nicer than 10 minutes in 90 degree heat! :slight_smile:


I absolutely love my TP and my FPP, but I agree with you that it’s critical not to let them be the most important part of my day.

My first tool is setting walking pace to relaxed and building in breaks on the regular. I mostly do this by allowing more time than I actually expect to need for meals and snacks. I know my group needs a pee break about every 40 seconds (at least it feels that way sometimes…). I’m not going to put pee breaks on my TP, but knowing there’s an extra 10 minutes built into every hour greatly reduces my “are you freaking kidding me why didn’t you pee at the same time as your sister when we stopped 8 minutes ago” irritation level.

Second, I stick in a short ride or two in each area that nobody cares too much about. This means if we walk past IASW with a short wait and decide to hop on, then cool. It just means maybe we don’t do the WtP I had on the plan. Or we can get distracted by a performer, a wishing well, whatever comes our way. This works for me personally because I know the things on the plan that are on people’s “must do” list aren’t at risk. That’s where I can see myself getting stressed and ruining my own day. Know thyself and all that.

Also: I bring a paper copy of my TP. I don’t use Lines to track my steps. A piece of paper is way less distracting for me than a screen and less likely to make the people around me feel ignored.

As for FPP… strategy is key. Everyone in our group is allowed to choose X number of “must do” items. I make sure those items are solidly planned for with RD or FPP. The value of X is, of course, chosen to make this possible within our specific time/money limits. Sometimes I don’t even make all my FPP for the morning! I have one at 4:30 on a party day when I’m not attending the party. gasp Knowing we will get to all the things people most care about means I don’t feel any “need” to search for SDFP. There is definitely an element of self control to actually refrain from spending too much time on MDE, but I find these things make success easier.

If I’m in a situation where I have the chance to check for SDFP without impacting my enjoyment of my own vacation (or annoying my family), I do. Having a realistic plan makes me pretty zen about it.

Plus, remembering there is no such thing as “doing everything” at WDW helps. Whether I accomplish 10% of everything there is to do or 12% of everything there is to do is hardly significant.

I’ve done it both ways:
When it was just me and DS-then-4, we criss-crossed and did like 20 attractions by just taking whatever the app gave me. But that was easy with just him.

When it was me, DW, DS5, DS2, we did less criss-crossing and more strategic SD FP selection. With a little persistence, you can still pretty much get most of the non-mountain rides same day assuming you get through your first 3 FP in the morning. It really does work. I tried for PotC and all slots were taken. Tried again, and it gave me end of night. Modify 2-3 more times, and lo and behold, there’s the FP slot for 30 minutes from now. That took all of 5 minutes to do.


I think about refreshing in 2 ways: you can be refreshing to see the entire “real” FP selection. This is actually super quick and in 10 turns you see everything (less than 5 minutes per ride). Or you can be refreshing to get a drop, to be with the page opened exactly when Disney or other guests release more FPs, this can potentially take all of your day (it is like playing the lottery). I tried only doing the first one (+same day drop times) although the lottery game is fun.

On the process itself:
It is more fun to search for SDFP if you interact with people in your party while doing it. In my group everyone was searching at the same time and making comments/jokes/celebrating when stuff appeared, which made searching also a part of living in the moment. We also split the group and tried to go for overlapping times (sometimes using the 15 minutes tolerance), which worked every time (but not everyone wanted to do the same rides at the same time).


  • MK: I only started really playing the SDFP game after 6pm. I spent some time (5 - 10 minutes, lottery mode) on it during lunch break (that ended at 3pm :smile:) , got 7DMT (searching for a party of 2) for 6pm (1). I specifically went searching for UTS (my friend loved Ariel and had not gone yet), it took me less than 3 refreshes searching to get a for-now UTS. At UTS I also refreshed a couple of times to get a for-now barnstormer, and at barnstormer a couple of times to get a for-now Dumbo (all of those were really quick, with FPs I knew were easily available). My friends went to the store, since I hate shopping I had a little of lottery mode SDFP fun and got SM. Buzz also showed up at that time, but I prefer SM.
    -AK: used same day drops to get FOP, and then very little effort to get EE immediate use 3 times (get one available time for EE, with one or two modifies an immediate use showed up). A little bit of lottery while relaxing on Nomads to get FOP out of a drop time, mostly for the fun of trying.
  • DHS: with the new tiers it was pretty much pick a ride (except SDD), modify 2 or 3 times and get an immediate use, so it didn’t really got in the way of living in the moment. There was a little lottery playing on the lunch break to get a SDD (it also didn’t take a lot of time, and it wasn’t a big priority because we had already gone twice during EEMH).

(1) I still don’t know of taking that FP was the best choice. We did PM, MostersInc and iasm while we waited for the FP window to open, maybe just facing the SB line would have been more fun


Just did a little case study to show how easy and quick it is because I have the afternoon off and I’m bored and I wish I could actually be in WDW:

  1. Logged into my MDE account at 3:26 and searched for available FPP and found only duds:

  2. Refreshed the app exactly 7 times over the course of 5 minutes and at 3:31 pm I found Space for 4:35 pm!

Current wait time is 45 minutes for Space. Now instead of waiting 45 minutes, I can ride something else or have a Mickey bar with my family for the cost of 5 minutes of screen time! :grinning:


When I asked my family (DH, DD21, & DS19) what rides they wanted to do, they said, “Whatever is fine but no Splash.” So, FFP was yesterday. I did everything myself. I showed DH the list last night. He said, “Why did you select PP?” :angry::rage: If you don’t like it, you modify it for what you want!