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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Where to use your Fastpass+ options at Epcot

I got some great feedback on my post about what to use your Fastpass+ options on at the the Magic Kingdom so I decided to write one for all of the parks! So here is the Epcot version!

Epcot is a lot different because it is not an open reservation system like the Magic Kingdom. It has tiers, probably because there was only 2 rides at Epcot that you really needed a Fastpass for with the old Fastpass reservation system. So that means that if they didn't do the tiers, everyone would do those 2 rides and there wouldn't be any left!

So what does the tier mean? There are 13 Fastpass+ rides/attractions at Epcot and 2 tiers. They put the best rides in Tier 1. You can only choose ONE ride from Tier 1 and TWO rides from Tier 2 in any given day. 

Tier 1- CHOOSE ONE!

Epcot Character Spot- Don't waste your time using your Fastpass+ here, this is not usually crowded and the characters are common around Walt Disney World. 
Illuminations-There are plenty of amazing spots to watch Illuminations around World Showcase, a Fastpass+ is not necersary.
Maelstorm- This ride is worth riding but it is not worth using a Fastpass+ for. Just wait standby, it is usually not a long wait. 
Soarin-It is really between this one and Test Track, I love both rides and Fastpasses are pretty crucial for both. I recommend getting to the park early and ride whichever one that you don't get the Fastpass+ for. 
Test Track-If this one appeals to you more than Soarin,' get the Fastpass+ for it instead. My favorite of the two? Soarin'

Tier 2-CHOOSE TWO!!

Captain EO-Don't waste your Fastpass here either. 
Journey Into Imagination with Figment-The line is never long here-don't waste your Fastpass.
Living with the Land- Don't use your Fastpass+ here, the line is never long. 
Mission Space Orange/Green-This is a fun ride if your stomach can take it! I would use my Fastpass+ here if it is on your must-ride list. 
Spaceship Earth-This is a must ride but the line isn't usually long, depending on what your other priorities are, you might choose this one just to get your 3 chosen. 
The Seas with Nemo and Friends-The line for this is very rarely long but it gets longer than most of the others in this tier so I would choose it if you need a 3rd choice. 
Turtle Talk with Crush- I would choose this one if you are wanting to do this show. That way you don't have to sit and wait long in the waiting room for the show to be over, you can get there right when the show is about to start. 


Like I said in my Magic Kingdom blog, a lot of this depends on your family. If you have small children and Soarin' and Test Track aren't an option then maybe you choose Maelstorm or Illumiations. Just make sure you are booking based on the needs of your family!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Commonly Asked Question Post-Where should I eat at the Magic Kingdom?


I realize that you wouldn't consider this a "total" list because it does not include places like Gaston's Tavern but I was just including places that serve entire meals rather than just snacks. 

Table Service
Plaza Inn-Typical American food, great location but nothing real exciting here. It is easy to get a reservation here. 
Liberty Tree Tavern-kind of like a Thanksgiving meal, this place gets mixed reviews but I really like the location and atmosphere. 
Crystal Palace- Winnie the Pooh characters, a buffet served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is one of my favorites, it is a must for us for breakfast
Tony's Town Square- This is a cute little Italian restaurants that is themed after Lady and the Tramp, the food gets mixed reviews but you can't be the location and the view of the parade at night! 
Be Our Guest-Table service dinner at night, quick service during the day. This has replaced Cinderella's Royal Table as the HARDEST RESERVATION TO GET ON PROPERTY! Book at 5 AM on your 180 day mark. There are no characters here except for Beast at dinner and it isn't a traditional character meal where he rotates around the ballroom. This is separated into 3 different eating areas but you can go around and see them all. The theming here is fantastic. 
Cinderella's Royal Table-This is 2 table service credits on the dining plan! This meal is inside Cinderella Castle so you can't be the location. It serves breakfast, lunch or dinner and you are guaranteed to meet Cinderella and 4 other rotating princesses. This reservation is also hard to get. 

Quick Service-
Casey's Corner-pretty much hot dogs and fries but in a great location and fun baseball theme. This is one of my favorite quick service restaurants. I love the corn dog nuggets!
Be Our Guest, this place is awesome and is quick service during the day and table service at night. You can try to get a Fastpass+ reservation for this because the lines can get long.
Columbia Harbor House-seafood, sandwiches, chowder.
Cosmic Rays 3 different food stations
Peco's Bills-Burgers, salads, sandwiches. 
Pinochio's Village House- This one has flatbreads and other pizza. It over looks It's a Small World and you can wave to the happy sailers! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What should I use my Fastpass+ selections on at the Magic Kingdom?

There are 28 Fastpass+ selections to choose from at the Magic Kingdom making  it the park with the most Fastpass +  selections and probably the most difficult to choose. The good news? There are not Fastpass+ "tiers" here so everything is fair game. 

Some Tips-

1. You can start getting Fastpass+ selections at MIDNIGHT online of your 60 days. 
2. I think it is smarter to choose Fastpass+ selections for later in the day, when the lines are a little longer. 
3. If you get to the park and you realize that you no longer want a Fastpass+ that you have booked, you can change them on your Smart Phone or at the Fastpass+ locations in the park. 

The Attractions: 
  • Anna and Elsa Meet and Greet – This is a VERY popular Fastpass+ reservation. Check for this one first and you may want to check towards the end of your stay first. When these characters were in Epcot, lines could be up to 4 hours long, you do not want to wait that long to see these two. If your family is like ours, seeing Elsa and Anna is crucial, you will really want this Fastpass+. 
  • Ariel’s Grotto -Lines to meet Ariel can get pretty long, if meeting Ariel is a must do, you may want to get this. If you have a character meal with princesses. (Akershus or Cinderella's Royal Table) she would likely be at one of those so you may want to skip this. 
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - I think using your Fastpass+ on any of the mountain rides is a good idea. The lines for these are usually at least 30 minutes long.
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin - If you have small children, this one is a no-brainer. Lines can get lengthy of this ride so you definitely want to use your Fastpass on this one. 
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant –This ride is the future of queue lines, it has an interactive  play area for small children and you get a buzzer when it is time to ride, much like at your favorite restaurant. I wouldn't use my Fastpass here. 
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle - You will definitely want to use a Fastpass+ selection here. Because of the interaction and "show like" feeling of this attraction, the attraction alone takes awhile, making the line long. If you have a Belle fan or just a little princess in general, do this! 
  • Festival of Fantasy Parade - Special spot for viewing the parade right in front of Cinderella Castle. If this is a big deal for you, you may want to do a Fastpass+ it, I don't really like using them for shows or parades but some people just don't like to sit and reserve a spot all day, so it may be for you!
  • It’s A Small World – I don't recommend using a Fastpass+ here. I have never seen the line for this being over 30 minutes and it is a fast moving ride, I think this would be a waste. 
  • Jungle Cruise - Sometimes the line for this can be long but I think that it is kind of a waste of a Fastpass+ selection. 
  • Mad Tea Party - This is another ride where I would skip the Fastpass+, the line does not usually get too long here. 
  • Main Street Electrical Parade - This is a reserved spot close to Cinderella Castle, a good idea if this is a top priority on your list. 
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic - The line for this is rarely long and it has a nice, cool area to wait. This would be a waste of your Fastpass+. This does not mean you should skip this show, the show is great!
  • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor - I LOVE this show. Seriously, one of my favorites! BUT I would never use my Fastpass+ for it, the line is usually short and when you do have to wait, it is in a nice and cool queue with some entertainment. 
  • Peter Pan’s Flight – This is the SLOWEST loading ride on property. The line is always long and unless you or your children really love Peter Pan, I don't think waiting in Standby is worth it and the line is always crazy. You definitely want to Fastpass+ this attraction!
  • Pirates of the Caribbean - This is a fast loading ride and the line is usually pretty short, I wouldn't use my Fastpass on this. 
  • Princess Fairytale Hall: Meet Cinderella and a Visiting Princess - This is a good place to meet some princesses. If you aren't scheduled to meet them at a character meal, you may want to Fastpass+ this attraction because lines can get a little lengthy towards the middle of the day.  
  • Princess Fairytale Hall: Meet Rapunzel and a Visiting Princess - This is the only place to meet Rapunzel on Walt Disney World property, if you have a little one wanting to meet her, this is the only shot. Because of this, the lines can get fairly long, so I recommend a Fastpass+ it. 
  • Space Mountain -  Remember what I said about the mountains? You will definitely want a Fastpass+ for this if it is on your "must-ride" list.
  • Splash Mountain –  The last of the mountains in Magic Kingdom, one of my favorites! Fastpass+ this one for sure!
  • The Barnstormer – Because this ride does not hold many, lines can get long for this, if you really want to ride, Fastpass+ it. It isn't much different than a small kiddy coaster at the carnival though, so it wouldn't be on the top of my list. 
  • The Haunted Mansion - Great, classic ride but a Fastpass+ is not usually needed. 
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin – This is a fun ride for my kids but the line is rarely long, skip the Fastpass+ here. 
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh - This is a good one to use your Fastpass+ for, the lines can get long and it is a good ride for toddlers. 
  • Tomorrowland Speedway - I wouldn't use a Fastpass+ here either. 
  • Town Square Theater Mickey Mouse Meet and Greet - The line for this is usually pretty short, I wouldn't use Fastpass+ here. 
  • Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid - This a newer ride and if you have a fan of Little Mermaid, it is a must do! The line for this gets pretty long later in the day.
  • Wishes Nighttime Spectacular -This is reserved over by the Tomorrowland area of the Castle. 
So as you can see, I chose more than 3 selections that I think that you should pick. As I write this, you can only choose 3 per day. But today Disney announced that they will expand it to more than 3 per day. So how do you choose just 3 for now? That depends on your family, are there small children? Do you have thrill seekers? Do you have a child who loves Peter Pan or Rapunzel? That is what you need to evaluate and see what works best for you. Unlike a paper Fastpass, these are not set in stone, you can change them and play with them while you are in the parks.