Fast Pass + as a Day Guest - how?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Day Two of our recent trip review got all jammed up with FP+ and our experience using the kiosks, so instead of having a lot of FP+ and not a whole lot about all the fun we had, let's share a little bit about our experience with FP+ as day guests.

We were a room only reservation, so we were essentially day guests who also happened to be wearing Magic Bands. It was confusing at times for cast who saw us walk up with our bands and immediately wanted to redirect me to the My Disney Experience app, but chilly mornings meant this didn't happen a whole lot because I was usually wearing a jacket. Pre-trip I could barely keep up with the roll out information because all the parks were rumored to be going exclusively FP+ by the end of January. Two days before we arrived that is exactly what happened. I panicked because there was so little information available about how this would work, what to do, how to do it, all my go to strategies we GONE. I listened to Podcasts, read everything online I could get my hands on, and I had a plan that I hoped would work for our selections.

Day Two, our first day in the parks, was our first attempt at using the Kiosks. The lines at Town Square Theatre on Main Street were long, so Steve and I split up for the first time of the trip. He remained on Main Street with the kids to meet Pluto and I headed to Tomorrowland for the kiosk by Stitch.




Other FP+ Kiosk locations at Magic Kingdom are City Hall (I would AVOID), Mickey's PhilharMagic (I would AVOID), Diamond Horseshoe in Frontierland, Splash Mountain, and inside Heritage House in Liberty Square. If you are booking FP+ day off, bypass the Main Street kiosks and head as far away from the hub as possible. Stitch was not bad (especially when using the Tomorrowland Terrace shortcut), but I had a great experience at the yellow tent at Storybook Circus in New Fantasyland on our second day at Magic Kingdom. That is where I would head if I had to book day of again with the kids because it puts you right in Fantasyland. For the more adventurous, I might go to Splash or Liberty Square to get closer to Splash or Thunder and potentially avoid having to select at least one of those for FP+.   

Here you can see the location of the yellow Storybook Circus tent with the route I took to get there. I left my family at the Merida Meet in the Fairytale Garden beside the castle and did a brisk walk to the tent where I was only the second person to arrive. The CM I spoke to told me that it had been like that since they transitioned and there was hardly ever a line. I was back to Merida before she even arrived at 9:15. If you are planning to do this, I might also suggest trying the train since the stop is literally beside the kiosk. (I snipped this from https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/attractions/magic-kingdom/map)


For our first day at Magic Kingdom I was trying for Big Thunder (my daughter's favorite), Peter Pan (because that line is OUT OF HAND) and Enchanted Tales with Belle (due to its popularity and the long waits). I ended up with Big Thunder, Peter Pan, and Fairytale Hall with Rapunzel. The available times for Enchanted Tales with Belle were all too late in the day given our evening plans. Rapunzel had been a no go during our last trip due to lines that at the time I thought were horrific, but in comparison to the ladies of Frozen was NOTHING. Point is, we weren't waiting over an hour back then and we wouldn't do it this time either. That went over like a melted dole whip. I knew the trip would not be a success without a Rapunzel sighting, so that was an easy second choice for us and was a fun Mother/Daughter Father/Son split later in the day. 

The cast member assisting us recommended that I take a photo of the screen to reference throughout the day, but the reservations showed up on My Disney Experience no problem because our son had a four day park hopper attached to his Magic Band. I did as I was told because I am apparently a good little Disney Guest and here is the blurry shot I took of the selections. A phone taking photos of the screen of another device is not really optimal, but we could have used this for the day if we had to.



A note here about tickets that are not attached to bands seems important. We had access to view our reservations on My Disney Experience because my son was linked up through his ticket, but we could not make any changes from the app. Any changes had to be done at a Kiosk. We only did this once during our trip on the last day when an attraction had a short wait time. While my husband and daughter rode Thunder, my son and I went to the Kiosk in Frontierland near Diamond Horseshoe and walked right up to a CM with a mobile device. That switch actually led the way to one of the most magical parts of our trip.

Other FP+ Kiosk experiences of note from this trip:

Animal Kingdom:

We chose Disney Outfitters, just over the bridge from the Oasis and directly behind the big board that lists all the attractions. (I snipped this from https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/attractions/animal-kingdom/map/)


This was probably the longest wait for a kiosk we experienced and it honestly wasn't bad at all, maybe five minutes. Other locations we could have used, Expedition Everest, Primeval Whirl, Kali River Rapids, or Creature Comforts on Discovery Island.

FP+ Selections:

Kilimanjaro Safari, Finding Nemo and Primeval Whirl. Since we were headed directly to Everest, there was no need to select it. I think based on how the day went, that we made good choices for our kids needs and we had plenty of time to explore the trails and enjoy the park.

Epcot:

We split out fourth day between Hollywood Studios and Epcot, which meant we also had to fully commit to one park for our FP+ experiences. Since we planned a morning at the Studios, we saved our FP+ opportunity for the afternoon when we knew the waits would be longest and FP+ would be more necessary. We rolled the dice that we could get something later in the day. It was a risky experiment. We took the boat from Hollywood Studios to Epcot (around 30 minutes) and entered through the International Gateway between the U.K. and France just after 3PM. When I get to the Day Four you will understand why I am not exactly sure of the precise location of the Kiosk at the Gateway, but I am guessing it was outside of the World Traveler on the left just as you walk in the gates.

Other locations for kiosks at Epcot are the tip board in Future World Plaza behind Spaceship Earth, Guest Relations in Future World, Soarin, Mission:Space, and in the Future World West walkway, near The Land.


FP+ Selections:

Choices in Epcot are limited to begin with due to tiering, but they were even more limited because of the hour we arrived. There were no more times available for Soarin', so at least we didn't have to make a decision between that and Test Track. Since you have to choose three options, we also picked Seas with Nemo and Maelstrom. The only one we really needed was Test Track and we planned it around our dinner. If it had not been broken down during out return window, it would have been perfection, but that's just the way it goes sometimes.

Overall:

We had no issues using the FP+ Kiosks during our stay. It would have been nice to not have to split up and rope drop a kiosk, but given the circumstances of our plans, the kiosks worked out just fine. The only hiccup was the Studios Epcot split day. It would have been nice to not have to make a selection for so late in the day, but given what actually happened that day, we might have been really stuck if we had made prior selections and needed to alter them on the fly. We took a big risk with this half day hop, but it worked out reasonably well. The kids LOVED scanning their bands for FP+. Our daughter would ask us at the start of each cue if we had a fast pass for this one. She LOVED it. Our son, who had just turned four, needed absolutely zero cuing by the last day. Here he is scanning through the second pedestal for Buzz.




Using kiosks the day of is not terrible so long as you can be flexible and you have a general plan of what you would like to accomplish that day. Be willing to split up, be prepared, and you too can have a pleasant FP+ experience.

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