Tricky FP situation

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by Hoping1229, Dec 3, 2018.

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  1. Hoping1229

    Hoping1229 Earning My Ears

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    Hi all. I’m new to the board and very excited to be going to Disney World. DH, DS (3), DD(1), and I will be staying at Riverside Feb 3rd through the 12th.

    Our trip was originally planned to be much shorter but then something magical happened. A friend my father grew up with and hasn’t seen in many years works for Disney. My father took a chance and called her and low and behold she was more than happy to give us free park tickets and 40% off the resort!! Amazing! We decided to extend our trip and add some rest days as well.

    The only catch is that we cannot book FPs at the normal 60 days. My father’s friend (I’ll refer to her as cast member CM) says we simply meet her at the gate and she will get us in. I’m unclear as to what type of ticket we will have from her. She said we must meet her each day but our tickets are hoppers. Our Magic Bands are linked and can sign up/change/add FPs....but only as early as seven days before our trip.

    I’m confused how exactly this all works because I’ve read other CM passes and tickets can still do FPs at 60 days. Although I trust that our CM will come through for us (I know other people that have gotten in on her tickets with no problem), she isn’t the best at communicating the small details.

    Anyway, my main issue/question is that what can I expect for FPs only seven days beforehand? I’m a planner and I already had a fleshed out itinerary for FPs with backup scenarios if our first choices were not available. That’s out the window but I can’t complain because our trip is a fraction of the cost of what is should be. CM needs to book these herself so I’m afraid to overwhelm her and treat her like a travel agent when she is doing us a huge favor and we are basically strangers. I don’t think sending her a complicated list of options is going to be very appreciated(although the few times we have talked in the past months she has be extremely gracious).

    So will there be decent FPs for rides but at strange times? I know it’s all guesswork and speculation but I’d love to have some kind of idea what to expect. Especially since our kids are so young, having FPs to structure our days would be ideal.

    Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks!
     
  2. Mr. Drauer

    Mr. Drauer Mouseketeer

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    the only FPs you will not automatically be able to get in advance are SDMT, FOP, and SDD. You should be able to get all others, and still will be able to same day FP for those rides with a little work on the app and some timely refreshing.

    Others will be able to explain the different CM ticket options, though i understand those gate passes you refer to are not uncommon.

    have a great trip!
     
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  4. SG131

    SG131 DIS Veteran

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    Do a search for touring plans Disney same day fastpass availability. They will show you what’s available currently. Now their site only shows what’s available for a party of one but it’s still a good guide. If you want to keep it simple for the cast member booking I would give her afternoon times for your fastpasses. Mornings will be harder to come by.

    As far as fastpasses for rides your kids can go on, you probably won’t get FEA. Some days Peter Pan and Enchanted Tales with Belle can be difficult. Toy story mania might be tough at 7 days, but I’ve found same day availability for that by repeated checking. Na’vi river may also be harder, but since you’re going at a low crowd time, you may have good luck getting what you want.
     
  5. Hoping1229

    Hoping1229 Earning My Ears

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    Thanks! That’s a lot better than I was expecting. I’m surprised that so much could be available since I read so much about how competitive FPs can be.
     
  6. Hoping1229

    Hoping1229 Earning My Ears

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    We are hoping to rope drop each day (hoping...haha) so the plan is to get a few of the more popular rides on our bucket list crossed off that way. That said, we have no idea how our kids are goin to respond to all this.

    We are also toying with the idea of with DH or I meeting with CM first thing in the morning on our rest days to get the tickets for that day, return to Riverside for most of the day, then hitting the park for just a few hours in the evening to do a few rides at a more relaxed pace.

    But as I type this I realize that this might not work. I’m not sure if all four is of need to be present to receive the tickets/passes from CM. Something else I’ll have to check with her on.
     
  7. hiroMYhero

    hiroMYhero I'm satisfied with my care... Moderator

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    This won’t work. The CM has to enter the park first and then each person using a Guest Pass enters immediately after her.

    You either meet her at the park entrance according to her schedule or you won’t be able to enter a park that day.
     
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  8. Queen of the WDW Scene

    Queen of the WDW Scene It's only MY opinion, YOU decided to quote it.

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    This is quite the grey area.
    What is supposed to take place is the CM is supposed to enter and then immediately after you are supposed to enter and they are supposed to stay with you all day.
    Doesn't sound like that is happening.
    Also pretty sure you'll only be able to book FP+ after you've entered the park each day.
    You'll only need FP+'s for 3 people since the one year old does not need a ticket or FP+.
    Same day FP+ is certainly doable but you may not get top picks of attractions or times.
    Personally I would not have accepted the offer but that's just me. I can see how enticing it is to save the money but its just not worth it IMO.
     
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  9. Hoping1229

    Hoping1229 Earning My Ears

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    Well it was just a thought but it makes sense that we can’t send one person. She’s meeting us for five park days already.
     
  10. Hoping1229

    Hoping1229 Earning My Ears

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    I’m curious, why wouldn’t you accept the offer? She’s saving us thousands of dollars, which obviously is big financially, but also DH and I feel less pressure to make this vacation the Biggest Most Amazing Trip Ever. We could afford the trip on our own, but still, it’s a lot of money we can use for other things for our family. We live in the Midwest. Paying for everything ourselves we thought we would maybe come back in five to seven years for a second Disney trip. With this trip being significantly less expensive, we think we might come back in about three years if we all love it like we predict we will. And that’s knowing we may never have a discount or passes in any future trips.

    Would not getting your top picks for FP+ really impact your decision to decline the passes and resort discount? Is it because CM isn’t staying with us inside the parks?
     
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  11. Queen of the WDW Scene

    Queen of the WDW Scene It's only MY opinion, YOU decided to quote it.

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    It's not the fastpasses it's the using practically a stranger's gate pass knowing that it's not really on the up and up when the CM will not be with me all day as they are supposed to.
    It could get the CM in trouble and then you would suddenly be forced to purchase tickets you did not budget for.
    I just wouldn't feel comfortable accepting that type of offer. In fact it would stress me out.
     
  12. Hoping1229

    Hoping1229 Earning My Ears

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    Yes I understand what you’re saying. We discussed the possibility of something happening and is having to pay for everything at the last minute. We have everything covered if need be.

    Of course we would never want to get anyone in trouble. CM assured us several times that she (and the other six family members that also work for Disney) love to extend this opportunity to others and it gives them joy to help others. Whether or not she is risking her job multiple times a year I can’t say. She did say she can meet us any time at any park so her position must be pretty flexible that she has done this for so many years.
     
  13. dzaharchuk

    dzaharchuk Mouseketeer

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    We traveled with another family that had a relative who worked in the parks last June. They met up with her at the gate daily and entered just as you are describing in full view of the cm at the gate with no issues. Our friends also were unable to book at 60 day mark, their family member was able to book almost all of the same rides overlapping the times we had booked at 60 days, with exception of Fop and 7dmt. I certainly would not worry about it, and your children are so young that they will enjoy most everything! Enjoy the pixie dust!

    Their family member did not accompany us, btw
     
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  14. hiroMYhero

    hiroMYhero I'm satisfied with my care... Moderator

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    But if you had taken the time to link to the CM’s MDX account, she would have shared your 60-day FP booking window for the Guest Passes your friends used.

    Because Disney’s rules forbid park hopping for people unrelated to the CMs who are providing the CM Guest Passes, closing to not promote circumventing Disney Rules.
     
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