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  • On Apr 24, 2020
    William from CA Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    I’m starting to worry about how to make dining reservations and also plan for fastpass. What if plans don’t line up? What is your strategy for making the best plans so you don’t have to keep rearranging things? Or is that just how it’s done?

    Welcome back to the Disney Parks Moms Panel, William! 

    I always tell friends and family that doing their homework and planning ahead is key in order to make the most of their visit! Since it is possible to make advance dining reservations up to 180 days in advance, booking my favorite restaurants is the first thing that I do. 

    While visiting restaurants located at the theme parks, I usually make reservations for an early breakfast or for dinner, as this gives me plenty of time during the day to select FastPass+ experiences. This is a strategy that usually works for me, but if at the time of making selections a certain attraction only shows availability at a time overlapping a dining reservation, I go ahead and secure that attraction anyway. I try modifying it to a more convenient time later in case I find that the one-hour return window may not be enough to keep the FastPass+ selection and still enjoy my meal.

    If an attraction is new or very popular, you might notice limited availability right on the first day you are allowed to start making FastPass+ selections. However, remember that other Guests may end up modifying or canceling their plans, so that is why constantly checking for new times is important. I have recently made FastPass+ plans and only found availability for a very popular attraction at Magic Kingdom late in the afternoon. Since I usually prefer to make selections in the morning, I kept checking the My Disney Experience mobile app and after about two weeks I found a better time. It is not guaranteed that you will be able to modify a selection, but it is my personal experience that it is worth trying.   

    At times I have also tried changing a dining reservation to accommodate FastPass+ plans. I recommend doing that in case experiencing a particular attraction is very important to you. I cannot imagine visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park without enjoying Avatar Flight of Passage, so considering how popular the attraction is and the usual wait times for the regular queue, I would personally prefer changing a dining reservation after unsuccessfully trying to modify the FastPass+ time. 

    Moms Panel tip: Guests staying at a Disney Resort hotel have early access to FastPass+ planning up to 60 days before check-in. Being able to plan earlier may give you more chances of securing your favorite attractions, especially because Guests are allowed to make selections for the length of their stay as soon as they hit the 60-day mark prior to their arrival. 

    Thank you for sending another question our way, William. I hope this helps you while planning and that you come back to visit us real soon. 

    Best magical wishes,
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Meet the Panelist: Thiana, Brazil

My name is Thiana and I am a German-Brazilian university professor and sworn translator from beautiful Brazil. I am happily married to my prince charming and the proud mother of two lovely princesses. When I am not busy with work or family, you can catch me reading, running, listening to music, or planning our next Walt Disney World Resort visit. I hope to help you plan a magical Disney vacation that will be filled with wonderful memories.

Learn More About Thiana

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