Orlando experts, I need some advice please, all booked up but some questions on advanced booking/fast passes and a few other things please!

(7 Posts)
YoScience Sun 10-Apr-16 16:09:08

Hoping for some advice, please, I joined a Facebook group and have looked at some groups online but still feel a bit unsure, so I need explanations like I am an idiot please! smile

I've booked up for 2 weeks at the end of June and have tickets for Disney, universal and sea world. We are staying on international drive and using public transport. It's teen DD and I.

We have been before years ago in a big group, stayed in a villa with a car, so bit different.

So from groups on line people seem to be booking fast passes/meals/characters all really far in advance. Last time we were there you put your ticket through a machine and were told when to come back. Is this not the way it's done now. So do you need to know in advance what days you want to do each park etc (seems a bit over planned to me) is thus done on the Disney app??

We aren't fussed with characters meals. Do we need to book other restaurants really far in advance?

We have a memory maker included in our package, I take that to mean one ticket stores all the photos that are taken in the Disney parks, is that the case?

Any other tips, things to do, places to eat, that we shouldn't miss out on?

All advice greatly appreciated! smile

rookiemere Sun 10-Apr-16 19:48:03

Hi, I haven't been since they introduced the new Fast Passes, but we are planning to go next year so thought I'd read up on them. Pretty good summary here:
www.undercovertourist.com/blog/fastpass-plus-summer-crowds/

Basically you can book 3 FPs per day for one park only. It looks like it works for the duration of the ticket so I guess you could book stuff for all the days and then if you don't use it, it doesn't matter. You can also book further fast passes on the day as your original ones expire. The website link I've given shows how to set it up.
It does sound a bit of a palaver. I'm not much of a thrill seeker so last time I'd get DH and DS onto the ride and then scoot off to get the next FP so it gave me something to do.

Regarding meals - we stayed offsite and unless you have a real yearning to eat in a specific Disney sit down restaurant ( which I'd probably not recommend anyway as they're very pricey and not particularly brilliant) then you don't need to book far in advance. Cracker Barrel breakfast pancakes are the best ever, and we enjoyed moderately priced meals at the Olive Garden ( not gourmet but we liked the included salad)

For overall planning I'd recommend this book www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B015E6S2A4/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 in preference to other websites as it's easy to understand and has a British slant.

babs7051 Sun 10-Apr-16 20:26:13

The fast pass system is a bit of a palaver! As you are staying offsite you can book your fast passes 30 days out and I would recommend it as the good ones go quickly. You do have to pick your parks before hand if you do this. The fast passes are also in a tier system so you can only book one tier 1 and 2 tier 2 passes.
I would recommend the dis boards for help they have information on every topic you could imagine.
Booking restaurants is similar as you can do it from 30 days before you go, if you really want to eat somewhere special (character meal etc) make sure you book them asap on the 30 day mark or chances are they will be booked up.
Going to Disney in October 2017 after getting back last October! I love Disney smile

babs7051 Sun 10-Apr-16 20:36:20

Oh and if you link your tickets on the app the photos can be put on either ticket and they'll be there when you want them.
I recommend going on the seven dwarves mine at magic kingdom as you get a video of you on the ride with some cool extra touches, it was a really good surprise when we looked at the photos when we got home.

YoScience Mon 11-Apr-16 09:51:02

Brilliant, thanks very much for the tips!

I'll have a look at that link too, but it all seems a bit clearer now, I have linked our tickets to the app, so really i can't do much until 30 days before hand.

Thanks for the tip about the seven dwarves, that sounds good. As DD is a bit older now, we aren't fussed by character meals this time, although I do have lovely memories of having a meal with the princesses in the castle when DD was little! smile

Thanks for the tips on where to eat too, all advice appreciated. smile

thisagain Thu 14-Apr-16 07:19:37

We go in 28 days! We have made a day plan and booked FP according to this and also booked the same FP for a day either side (if that day was really scheduled for universal/sea world/pool etc) to allo us some flexibility. Strangely there is no requirement to cancel your FP if you decide you won't need them, although we do plan to obviously. We have booked a few restaurants too that we may not use but now, you secure these with your credit card so these do have to be cancelled 24 hours before or they take something like 10 dollars per person from your card. Down load the My Disney Experience App and you can do it all on there. I booked my passes at 4/5am on the day it opened. People say midnight - but after waiting up, I realised it was midnight USA time! On my Disney experience you can see all the current wait times. If you get a chance, have a look one evening and book you FP for the ones with the longest waits. Only Epcot makes you to pick from categories which is sometimes a bit of a problem, because Test Track and Soarin' are in the same category-but Soarin' will be closed anyway. With the other parks you can choose what you want.

Some people get more uptight about booking table meals because they have the Disney dining plan that includes table meals and want to get their monies worth and to be sure they will have a table meal every day. That certainly isn't our priority but I would say, if there is something you may fancy doing, consider booking it and cancelling later if you decide against it. But mostly it is the character restaurants that get booked up, so if that isn't your thing, then you should be fine.

Incidentally, we also have complete itinarys of our day planned through www.touringplans.com if that is your thing. You subscribe for a small sum. You choose your rides and attractions and they put them in order to minimise your wait times. We used this to then tell us where our FP were best to be used. When we had booked our FP we then put them in and reset all the times! It can be used as a rough plan and doesn't need to be followed by the letter! There is also one for Universal, which I found handy since we couldn't book FPs there!

RockNRollNerd Sat 16-Apr-16 18:47:38

We're just back last week from a trip that included a week in Orlando. The Disney App is fabulous in the parks - there is really good free wifi (we were messaging friends and sending photos all with no bother) so you can see maps and wait times. The FP thing is a bit of a faff as it feels like you're committing to specific days but it worked out fine for us. You can chop and change them nearer the time but the 'good' slots might have gone. Be warned it works in stupid 12 hour clock rather than 24 - we wanted to change one the night before our last night and I found the perfect slot at 09.20, booked it then realised it was 9.20pm. Although they say once you've used all 3 you can get 1 more at the kiosk the queues for the kiosk were long and it didn't seem worth it to us.

We managed to book meals at Disney Springs restaurants while we were there, normally a couple of days in advance but some of the very popular ones, especially those on DDP will get booked up (eg there were no slots for Fulton's Crab House any nights we were there). We booked the bar at Wolfgang Pucks the night before we went with no bother though (and we were there Easter week so a really peak time).

The photopass memory maker is great - get photos wherever you see a photographer - they are free to download for 45 days afterwards. We have downloaded all ours and will sift through them at leisure now. It also stores the ride pictures too - you tap your ticket/magic band when your pic is showing and then it appears in the app. I'd recommend getting magic bands if you can, the basic ones are about a tenner I think - you tap in for fast passes and also the photos and getting the plastic ticket out each time was a faff.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now