In Which Jenn Has A Counterintuitive FastPass Theory


I’ve got a theory.

I've got a theory
Wrong again!

It’s about FastPass+. It may make you uncomfortable. But if you hear me out, you may have an effective new strategy on your hands. Or I’ll ruin your whole vacation. Either/or.

So on my last trip to WDW with my mom, I left plans for the final day completely blank, the idea being that I would let my mom decide how she wanted to spend our remaining hours based on what she liked best the previous days. As such, I reserved precisely zero FastPass+ slots. How could I, if I couldn’t be sure where we’d be?

Well, unsurprisingly, we wound up in beautiful, majestic, Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Inevitably we started our day in grudgingly accepted Pandora, in the early-bird line for Flight of Passage.

To pass the time, I pulled up the My Disney Experience app on my phone and began fiddling around with the FastPass+ screen. Because I had made no previous selections, all rides were open to me – regardless of tier

That is important. It is important because through some dedicated refreshing of the available FP+ screen, I was able to snag two slots for Na’vi River Journey. By the time we finished with Flight of Passage, River Journey was showing something like an hour posted wait, but thanks to my last minute grab we were able to waltz right on.

And it got me thinking. Through heated, determined refreshing of the FP+ portion of MDE, I have made some miraculous eleventh hour reservations, up to and including Frozen Ever After and, yes, even Flight of Passage. Mind you, this has always been for parties of one or two, so my theory may only apply to smaller groups. 

Still, I wonder: if you go to make your FP+ selections in advance and can’t get the popular ride you want, might it be more advantageous to simply forego making FP+ decisions in advance and instead winging it on the day? 

I know this sounds crazy, but listen. If you want Seven Dwarfs Mine Train but can’t get it, and instead make three selections for other rides, you’re now blocked from attempting to grab new FP+s until you use up those three – and depending on what times you accepted, that might not be for hours. In the meantime, someone could drop their SDMT FP+ slot and you’ll be powerless to pick it up.

If you don’t have any FP+s at all, you can start madly refreshing from the moment you wake up in the morning in the hopes of getting what you want. It occurs to me that you can start trying earlier, too – a week out, say – but then I also understand that Disney will sometimes release FP+ slots the day of. Your odds increase!

So what do you think? I admit it’s the classic case of forgetting about the bird in hand while going after one in the bush, but the risk has paid off for me before. For those who are willing to be flexible, I think it could work nicely.

One a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is I WILL HAVE A PANIC ATTACK and 10 is chill, baby, how comfortable are you with winging your FastPass+ plan?

Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall and on Instagram @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!


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