FP+ Reservations / Trip Planning Tips

Answers From Main Street: FP+ Edition

Welcome to our weekly new adventure “Answers From Main Street,” a Q&A where you post all your burning Disney questions and Magic of Main Street answers them. 

Can’t decide between resorts? Confused about the dining plan? Wondering what FP+ reservations you should go for?

Post your questions on our Facebook page. Or tweet them to me @missykhamvongsa on Twitter. Or e-mail them to me at missy@magicofmainstreet.com.

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Our first set of questions all have a FP+ flair. Before we begin, here’s our easy-to-follow guide for making and changing FP+ reservations. There are lots of questions beyond making and changing FP+ reservations, so let’s get down to the nitty gritty details of My Magic+…

After we finish the 3 FP+ that we booked, we can book more, correct?

After you have used (or let expire) your original three FP+ reservations that you booked in advance, you can then begin making additional FP+ reservations one at a time. To make these, you must go to the FP+ kiosks in the parks (though once you’ve made an additional reservation, you can change the experience or time using the My Disney Experience app or Web site.)

If I had Soarin’ in my first 3, will the tiers be a problem later on?

Technically, once you’ve moved beyond your first three FP+ reservations, your next FP+ reservations can be from Tier 1. But things are not quite as simple as that, so keep reading…

Would I be able to book Soarin’ again or Test Track (although I feel that during a busier season, there might not be any available anyway). I’m wondering if it makes sense to try to make the other 2 FP at Epcot earlier so that I could attempt to score more FP after we used them or they expired. However, if it doesn’t help us get any GOOD attractions, then I don’t see the point in doing that and might as well keep it spread out.

You technically would be able to book Soarin’ and Test Track again at Epcot (or Toy Story Mania or Rockin’ Rollercoaster at Hollywood Studios), but there’s little-to-no chance most of those would still be available for same-day FP+ reservations more than an hour or two into the park day. And sometimes, those attractions may be completely sold out of FP+ reservations before the park even opens.

Disney enacted the tiers at Epcot and Hollywood Studios because there isn’t enough FP+ capacity to go around for all the major attractions. And over the course of My Magic+’s existence, people have reported being shut out of adding another Tier 1 FP+ reservation after using their original three.

Bottom line? Don’t plan on getting another Tier 1 FP+ reservation. Either utilize rope drop or hop in line just before park closing to ride the other headliner with a lower wait than during the rest of the day.

We figured we could ride Test Track when the park opens and just keep going on using the single rider, so that’s why we chose Soarin’.

Utilizing single rider at Test Track is an excellent tool in figuring out a touring plan in the FP+ Era. As long as everyone in your party is at least 7 years old and you’re okay with everyone riding in different cars, the single rider queue is a great way to get on Test Track quicker (and for multiple rides).

I was only able to get Mine Train for late late late at night, so that means I won’t be able to get anything for MK other than the 3 I already have. What do I do?

This has become one of the toughest questions Disney guests face when it comes to FP+ reservations: What to do about night time FP+ reservations? It comes up a lot with Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes FP+ reservations, also.

Magic Kingdom is the one park where the additional FP+ reservations are actually meaningful. It’s fairly easy to end up using five, six, seven or more FP+ reservations in a given day at MK. But making a FP+ reservation with an evening return window or for one of the night time entertainment events at MK means you are basically shut out from nabbing those additional FP+ reservations throughout your dayin the park.

Let’s take the two separately, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train first. If all you can find is a late FP+ reservation time for this very popular ride, you’re left with a couple of options.

  1. Take that late FP+ reservation time because, hey, it’s the most popular ride in the park!
  2. Plan to head there right at rope drop, your wait likely would be between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on how far back in the rope drop crowd that you are.
  3. If you’re staying until the park is closed, hopping in line just before the park closes will typically yield a similar wait as rope drop (15 to 30 minutes). If the park closes at 11, as long as you’re in line by 11, you will get to ride. The bonus is the park will be much less crowded once you’re done and it makes for a magical exit from the park.

When it comes to MSEP and Wishes, there are many (MANY!) places to see these without a FP+ reservation. Frontierland is a great parade viewing spot and there’s usually very little waiting involved. For Wishes (and the castle show, Celebrate the Magic), there are plenty of good spots in front of the castle to be had. Robo from the Disboards created this map for Stitch Kingdom showing where the best viewing spots are (the map was made before the new FP+ viewing areas were built in front of The Plaza and Crystal Palace).

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So when should you use a FP+ reservation for MSEP or Wishes?

  • Days in which you only plan to be in the park in the evening are ripe for using those.
  • Holidays or holiday weekends can also be good opportunities to use them.
  • If you know you won’t be spending a ton of time in the park during the day and you’re willing to splurge for a spot in the beautiful new gardens for Wishes, go for it!

Got anymore FP+ questions? Post them in the comments or send them to us and we’ll include them in next week’s Q&A!

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2 thoughts on “Answers From Main Street: FP+ Edition

  1. Great article on FP+. And the timing is excellent since we are less than a month away from being able to book FPs for Ben’s class trip with about 150 people.

    Is FP+ tiering still going on at both EPCOT and HS?

    Also, what happens when you hop to another park after you have used all of your FP in your first park of the day. Are you able make additional FP reservations, one at a time, for any attractions that still have availability?

    How are the lines at the FP+ kiosks? Are there some that seem to be less crowded than others?

    Thanks!!!

  2. Thank you so much! This was so helpful, and I can’t believe you answered my specific questions too!

    I am going to keep my FP the way that it is and not bother even THINKING about being able to book a 4th. Since we are going during the Spring Break season, I know that it will be crowded. Someone was telling me that you can book an additional 3 FP after the first 3 are done, and so I was kind of confused by that because this person went to Disney last summer.

    I knew I didn’t have a choice with that Mine Train FP. Even though we are always there during park opening, there are EMH at MK the ENTIRE week that we are there, so it makes it a little bit harder for us since the park will have people in it before we are allowed in. At least we’ll get to ride it once, but I think it’ll also be the one ride we get in line for right away so that we can see the regular queue and ride it when there’s light. I don’t think riding it at 10pm only will do it justice.

    Thank yo so much!!!

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