Friday, July 14, 2017

September Fastpass Selections

We've reached the 60 day mark on our next Disney trip!  If you're not familiar, this is important, because if you are staying on property you can select your fastpasses 60 days out.  For this trip, we planned these on somewhat short notice.  We decided we were going, but still hadn't decided if we were going to stay on property or not.  Patrick was looking around online and since there didn't seem to be a lot of standard room choices available at the value resorts, he decided to go ahead and book one when he saw it.  He kept saying, we can always cancel if we decide to stay off property, but we may not be able to find a room on property if we decide later to go that way.  So, on a Friday night we booked a room at Disney's All-Star Movies Resort.  Honestly, this is my favorite of the all-star hotels and it seems the hardest to get into.  I'm not really sure when the last time we stayed here was, possibly not since our very first trip together, 11 years ago.  Anyway, later that evening after booking our room, we realized that our 60 day mark was later that weekend on Sunday.  Needless to say, we got right down to the business of figuring out what are park plans were for the trip and what fastpasses we were going to try to get.

For this short trip, we will be arriving on a Thursday.  Since we are driving though, we don't know for sure when we will get there.  However, since we now have the annual passes, it doesn't matter how late it is, we can still go to a park without wasting a day in park tickets.  So, our first thought was we wanted to get to Magic Kingdom on this evening before 9:00 and the new fireworks show that we still haven't seen.  We figured we might as well get fastpasses for the last three hours leading up to this so that we have them if we're there.  We'll have a better idea what time we will get there earlier that day and we can always adjust fastpasses.  Our Friday plan was easy, since this was the Halloween party day that we planned this entire trip around.  On Saturday, we decided to go to Animal Kingdom for the day to explore the new Avatar.  I assumed we would spend Sunday at Epcot, since we were excited to also get in some Food and Wine Festival action, but Patrick was a little upset about missing Hollywood Studios all together.  So, we decided we would start our day at Hollywood Studios and then hop over to Epcot around lunch where we would have our 3 fastpasses waiting for us there.  We knew our hardest fastpasses to get would be at Animal Kingdom, so we started making our Saturday selections first.

Saturday - Animal Kingdom
If you've read any of my park day blog post, you know that we always arrive early for rope drop.  Feeling confident in this and knowing that Littlecjc is not tall enough to ride Flight of Passage, we decided to get our Avatar fastpass (as you can only get one fastpass for that land) for the Na'vi River Journey.  Our plan then, is to go straight to Flight of Passage at rope drop where one of us will ride and get a rider swap pass for the other to return later through the fastpass line.  Our other two fastpass choices for the day were Kali River Rapids and Kilimanjaro Safaris.  We hadn't really planned on booking any dining during this trip, but since River of Lights isn't currently on the schedule to run during our next big trip, when we saw that there were still dining packages still available, Patrick decided to grab it.  With that all being said, we were also then working around a dining reservation at Tusker House at 9:45.  The park is open from 9-9:30 with an extra morning magic hour from 8-9.  So, here's what we currently have:

Na'vi River - 9:10-10:10
Kali River Rapids - 10:55 - 11:55
Kilimanjaro Safaris - 12:15-1:15

Sunday - Epcot
We figured the next most difficult fastpass to obtain would be Frozen Ever After.  Remember, we were searching for afternoon times here.  We were thinking 1:00 or after to be safe.  Epcot also has fastpass tiers, so our other two target fastpasses were The Seas with Nemo and Friends and Spaceship Earth.  Nemo never really needs a fastpass, but because of the tier system, you have to pick something.  As for Spaceship Earth, Littlecjc loves this ride and sometimes a fastpass can be helpful here.  So, of course we started with Frozen and worked around that.  Park hours aren't as important in relation to fastpasses for today, but Hollywood Studios opens at 9 with an extra morning hour from 8-9, and Epcot is open until 9.  Here's what we currently have:

The Seas with Nemo and Friends - 12:15-1:15
Frozen Ever After - 1:45 -2:45
Spaceship Earth - 2:45-3:45

Thursday - Magic Kingdom
On this arrival day, we decided to aim for Flight of Peter Pan, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Big Thunder Mountain.  These are all popular fastpass selections, but I'm sure it helped that we were looking for evening times.  Littlecjc loves Peter Pan and the Mine Train, but she has never been tall enough for Big Thunder before.  She seemed so close back in April, so we're guessing surely she will be tall enough this trip, but we will see.  The park closes on this day at 9:00 and of course we will enter whenever we get there.  Here's what we currently have:

Peter Pan's Flight - 5:25-6:25
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - 6:25 - 7:25
Big Thunder Mountain - 7:25 - 8:25

Friday - Magic Kingdom
Many people choose to take an easy, relaxing morning when they are attending a party that evening.  However, we know if we do that, Littlecjc will not take a nap that day and end up sleeping through the party.  So, we plan on starting the morning at Magic Kingdom and wearing her out all day so that she takes a nap in her stroller during the afternoon instead of during the party.  I know it's always a gamble with little ones, because they are always growing up making each trip different, but this is how we're feeling now at least.  Since she loves the Mine Train and it always has a long line, we decided to try for a repeat fastpass on this day.  Assuming she loves the Mine Train since a coaster (which may not be the case) we decided to get a repeat for Big Thunder as well.  I would have loved to get a fastpass for Splash Mountain, but since it on the refurbishment list during this trip that changed our thoughts.  If she hates Big Thunder on Thursday night, we can always adjust our plans, but if she loves it, we'll be happy we have it.  We also decided to get our final fastpass for Jungle Cruise.  This is also a popular ride that Littlecjc loves which we ususally pick up later in the day, but it is also one that doesn't run during the Halloween party, so we figured we better start with it just to be sure. The park is open from 9-7 with a morning extra magic hour from 8-9 and the Halloween party running from 7-12.  So, here's what our current Friday schedule looks like:

Jungle Cruise 9:30-10:30
Big Thunder Mountain - 10:45-11:45
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - 1:35 - 2:35

We'll see what changes if any get made before we actually leave, and I of course will update you after the trip with a full trip report.

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