Our Experience Using the "Refresh Method"

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by DisneyDreamers3, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. DisneyDreamers3

    DisneyDreamers3 Mouseketeer

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    We (me, my husband, and almost 5 y/o little guy) just finished the week (Monday, 2/4 - Friday, 2/8) at the parks and I thought I would share our experience using the "refresh method" for obtaining FP+. Maybe this might help someone? :)
    • We became Annual Passholders again after a six month lapse- we activated our passes on Monday, 2/4- the day after the Super Bowl, at Magic Kingdom. We had ZERO FP+ booked when we arrived at MK. Despite this, I once again was very, very successful in scoring FP+ for every headliner ride, including SDMT, by using the "refresh" method. While the crowds were a bit intense at times, I never had a problem getting us on any ride, even multiple times.
    • We went to AK on Tuesday, 2/5. Around 7:30a that morning, using the MDE app, I scored a FoP FP for 10a by doing just two refreshes! By using the refresh method, I scored another FoP FP in the afternoon.
    • We went to HS on Wednesday, 2/6. By using the refresh method, we went on every ride (except for RRC) and I scored a SDD FP at 2p! I am a bit of a fanatic for TSM and rode that 6 times :)
    • We went to Epcot on Thursday, 2/7. By using the refresh method, I easily found multiple FP for FEA and FP for the other headliner rides were abundant.
    • We went to MK again on Friday, 2/8. Despite arriving at 3:30p and leaving at 9:30p, we rode almost every attraction, including SDMT and Peter Pan's Flight by using the refresh method.
    So even though we arrived with no FP+ booked and felt the crowd levels were a bit more intense than what they had been in previous years at the same time of year, we were still able to ride all the "hard to get/impossible to get rides" by using the refresh method. Yes, it does take some effort to use this method, but the payoff is huge. We've been coming to Disney multiple times a year since our son was born and the refresh method has allowed us the luxury of never (not even once) waiting in line for a ride.

    I know a lot of people here on the DIS worry about getting their FP+ booked during their 30 or 60 day window, especially the hard to get attractions like FoP, SDD, or SDMT. Trust me when I say that the refresh method works like a charm! If you are not successful in getting the attraction you wanted during your window, using the refresh method should get you what you want :).

    I read here that the MDE app was not working for some people- it worked flawlessly for me this trip and 100% contributed to my success in using the refresh method.

    This was a fantastic trip! The weather was gorgeous, we all got to ride some new rides (my little guy just hit 44 inches so we experienced together SM, FoP, and EE), and the crowds while busy, were still manageable.
     
  2. sttina

    sttina Earning My Ears

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    I'm in. How do you use the refresh method? On MDE?
     
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  4. billlaurie

    billlaurie Disneyfan

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    Thank you so much for this tip! We have our first trip using FP+ this summer and I have been seriously stressed about getting headliner FP.
     
  5. Cinderumbrella

    Cinderumbrella DIS Veteran

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    I’m super impressed!!!! We had great luck with refresh last summer on everything except FoP, SDD and 7DMT. Everything else was super easy after 2-3 times (including the grab & modify method). Hoping for your success next week!!
     
  6. DisneyDreamers3

    DisneyDreamers3 Mouseketeer

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    I should have added these caveats to my post:
    • YMMV- what works for me may not work for you! I have a very persistent personality and don't give up easily.
    • The smaller your party the easier it is to find FP for the attractions you want. We are a party of three which has made it easier (although I have been successful in getting any and all FP when my parents traveled with us, making us a party of 5)
    • From my signature, you can see that we've only gone to the parks in either January, February, May, August, September, or November. While I have been successful getting any and all FP during these trips, I have no idea what my results would have been during other months.
    • Larger crowds will likely equal fewer FP available. Trying the refresh method during peak crowd days will likely yield much different results. We've never gone when there's been wall to wall people. Although we were at the MK the day after Super Bowl Sunday and there were TONS of people and we had no problems getting on a ride. I have no idea what the crowd levels were that day though...maybe a 7 or 8?
    • Once Galaxy Edge opens, I think finding same day FP for any ride will be brutally difficult, but I hope I'm wrong :).
     
  7. kkayluvsdis

    kkayluvsdis DIS Veteran

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    Does this method seem to only work for smaller groups? Has anyone had success with a party of 5 or do you typically have to break the group up in order to obtain those more popular FP+?
     
  8. DisneyDreamers3

    DisneyDreamers3 Mouseketeer

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    @Cinderumbrella, Yes! I also use the "grab and modify" method as an important component of the refresh method! Thank you for adding that :)
     
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  9. Cinderumbrella

    Cinderumbrella DIS Veteran

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    I was a party of 2 so I can’t comment on larger groups.

    I will say that you will never see FoP or SDD while refreshing if you already hold a Tier 1 FP for later in the day (unless you are modifying that FP). Obviously that contributed to my nonsuccess in seeing those. But 7DMT never showed for us. Ever.
     
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  10. Tomh

    Tomh DIS Veteran

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    With a party of 4, often you can find TWO FP for parties of 2 with times that overlap, and ride together that way. We did that last August for NRJ with the whole family after my son and I scored some extra FOP rides for ourselves. Refresh is awesome. Might I also add one other tip, you can have two, or three, or even four people looking at the same time. As long as you are together, so you can talk to each other, and that way two people aren't actually trying to book FP at the same time.

    This was how we got the NRJ for two sets of two. My daughter was refreshing looking for her and her mom, and I was looking for my son and I.
     
  11. jenPSU

    jenPSU Mouseketeer

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    What was the timing that you used? Did you start night before? Morning of? Were you trying all day? I had decent luck with refreshing last trip for a party of six, but I felt like I was constantly on my phone. Would love to know any tricks to minimize that. Our next trip is a group of 11. o_O
     
  12. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    We're a family of 5 and have been using the refresh method for about 3 years, a total of over 100 park days. We absolutely love it, it was a total game changer for us. It completely eliminated the need for rope drop, we never do it anymore. Yes, you can have great success with a party of 5. Sometimes I do have to break us up into 2 and 3, but pretty rarely. As has been said above, YMMV, as we've had varying levels of ease of use...always had success, but sometimes it takes more patience than other times. Even during Xmas week, we're able to get headliners.

    Once you get the hang of it, it truly becomes almost like muscle memory that you're not constantly staring at the phone. You click the button and you can tell at a half glance if what you want is there. So I'm not just staring non-stop at the phone. Besides, the kids think it's fun....sorta like pulling the handle on a slot machine...c'mon jackpot!!!!! :D
     
  13. amycakes

    amycakes DIS Veteran

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    Would anyone be able to provide a link to a thread that describes the refresh method? Tips and tricks?

    Thanks :daisy:
     
  14. Tiggerlover91

    Tiggerlover91 DIS Veteran

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    @JETSDAD is the one for this! I just screenshot his directions and saved to my phone

    ETA: Ugh! @JETSDAD ! I can't find your awesome directions for refreshing on my Android! :rolleyes1
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
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  15. yorkieteacher

    yorkieteacher Mouseketeer

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  16. jimim

    jimim DIS Veteran

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    We have done it also with some good success at nights in parks after Dinner. It works only for us when we r just our family of 4. When with my parents ya it’s alot harder. But what I do them is start splitting us up into different rides and we meet back. Makes for a fun night. The kids like the moving around a lot. It’s like a treasure hunt to them.

    It’s a great strategy learned here.
     
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  17. pahoben

    pahoben DIS Veteran

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    I used the refresh method as late as two years ago and it worked extremely well for all attractions including headliners. This past late November I was not able to obtain fast passes for any of the headliners in any of the parks. That was disappointing because my planning strategy was based on obtaining fast passes for the headliners using the refresh method. I had decided at the time to base my strategy next visit on using sixty day fast passes for the headliners and refresh for everything else. Maybe I just was not persistent enough but not even a single time did I find one of the headliners with an opening. I must have been unlucky but this was my experience.
     
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  18. Cinderumbrella

    Cinderumbrella DIS Veteran

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    Day of. I do it while I’m in line.
    You will definitely have to split into groups of 4 or less and have multiple people trying on separate devices to get 11.
     
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  19. Disneylover99

    Disneylover99 DIS Veteran

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    We are a party of four and we were there over Christmas and New Years. I actually have better luck with refresh this time of year over less busy times.
     
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  20. amycakes

    amycakes DIS Veteran

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    Thank you!
     
  21. JETSDAD

    JETSDAD DIS Veteran

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    I'll be banking on refreshing next week. We've decided to head down for one day but have no idea yet what park(s) we will be doing. I'll probably add something night before and then just wing it.
     

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