Best usage of "Priority Entrance" at WDW

October 24, 2018, 1:26 PM

Hello Theme Park Insider!

A few years ago, after making a complaint to Walt Disney World Guest Relation, we received "Priority Entrance" (PE) for two attractions for future visit. It is basically similar to a wild card FP+ that I can use at my convenience. I just need to tell them which park / which day (or stop at guest relation in a park) and they will load it on MDE account.

As I have a trip coming soon early 2019, I contacted them again recently to understand how it works and the restrictions. Although I didn't find anything online, CM said that the main restrictions are that I cannot use it in the following attractions:
- Generally in most nighttime shows (Fantasmic!, Rivers of Light, etc.)
- Pandora attractions at AK
- Frozen Ever After at Epcot
- New attractions in TSL at HS
- Mickey Character greeting at MK

As I'm planning my upcoming trip, I'm trying to find the best way to use these. I have arguments for each.

At Animal Kingdom:
Rope drop for Pandora attractions as I cannot use PE there. Daughter wants to see Rivers of Light (wondering if I should get a Tier 2 FP for it). That would leave me one Tier 2 FP for the rest of the day. So maybe I could use a PE for one of the Tier 2 attractions (Everest or Safari).

At Epcot:
Get a Tier 1 FP for Frozen, and use PE for one of the Tier 1 attractions (probably Test Track). Although I'm planning to rope drop Epcot on a morning Extra Magic Hour and go straight to Test Track. But I could ride Test Track again later in the day, or use for Soarin (although wait is not as bad anymore).

At HS:
Will try to get a FP for SDD and I can't use for SDD or Alien anyway, but I can use it for the other Tier 1 attraction (TSMM). I think that's a winner!

At MK:
Has the largest number of attractions with FP. So an extra wild card FP could be handy. Walk in front of an attraction we want to do with long wait, but don't have a FP for it... No problem with my PE!

So please share your thoughts!
Thanks!

Replies (5)

Edited: October 24, 2018, 1:58 PM

I would wait, and load them the day of, not in advance. At the very least, you should wait until you have your 3 FP+ attractions booked for each day of your visit so you can cover for any attractions that may not be available when you're eligible to book FP+s. It's also possible that the PE restrictions outlined by the CM over the phone may change early next year (TSL lines are likely to quickly dissipate after the busy holiday season). Also, Disney occasionally changes the attractions listed as Tier 1 (meaning you can only have one FP+ for those in that group at any given time), so your strategy may change between now and when you can start booking.

Don't waste a FP+ on ROL. If you really want to see the show, book a ROL Dining Package at Tusker House or Tiffins (which comes with a paper FP for ROL), or just pick one up a few hours before the show. It saves you from being blocked from getting additional FP+s beyond your first 3 since you cannot book more until those first 3 have all been used. Booking nighttime show FP+ reservations is not the best use of the system unless you're visiting on an extremely crowded day (Holidays, peak summer weeks, and Spring Break). Nighttime shows rarely sell out of FP+ reservations up to 30 minutes before the performance except for the busiest days.

October 24, 2018, 2:52 PM

Of course, I will wait until I have my 3 FP+ booked on Nov 3rd. Main advantage of loading in advance is I would not need to go to Guest Relation in the park. But I agree that my choice could depend on the crowd level when I'm there.

Planning to do Epcot on 1/3, HS on 1/4, MK on 1/6 and AK on 1/7. I expect moderate crowds, not low.

Thanks for the notes on ROL.

October 24, 2018, 7:40 PM

There is no such thing as moderate crowds anymore at WDW. Schools start back 1/7 so your day at AK will be your only chance of a “moderate” day at Disney. We are in a lull period at the moment, but that will only last until a week or 2 before Thanksgiving. After that it’s full bore until the 2nd/3rd week of January. We then have a few weeks of relative quiet, and then the spring breakers arrive and that’s it till late fall again.

You only have to read the posts on here over the past 12 months to get a feel for just what it’s like at the most magical place on earth. Sadly it’s far from that these days.

Take whatever you can get with your 3 FP+ choices and change them closer to your stay, or even on the day you are in the park.

Edited: October 25, 2018, 8:52 AM

"Main advantage of loading in advance is I would not need to go to Guest Relation in the park."

If they've given you the option of loading them via phone or the MDE app, you shouldn't have to visit Guest Relations even on the "day of". My point being that even after you've chosen your three (3) pre-reserved FP+ attractions/times, you may still want to continue to tweak your selections until the day you arrive. For example, when we visited last October, we booked our FP+ attractions in September (we were staying off-site), but FoP was not an option at the time because all of the available FP+s had been gobbled up by on-site guests 30+ days prior to us. Instead we were able to get a NaVi River Journey FP+, but the time was not terribly advantageous with a return window in the late afternoon, blocking us from picking up additional FP+s in the early afternoon. We were satisfied with doing FoP at rope drop, but kept checking MDE routinely to see if any earlier NRJ times showed up or FoP FPs magically appeared. Low and behold, in early October (less than 2 weeks before our arrival), Disney changed their capacity calculations for FoP as they were consistently able to operate all four theaters through the end of the summer and early fall. This ended up in a 1-time release of thousands of FP+s for FoP that flooded the market, and because we were routinely checking MDE, we happened to pick one up (a 10 AM at that) in exchange for our NRJ FP+. Additionally, as we were in the park, Disney released even more FoP FP+s onto the market throughout the day that we were also able to grab since we had already cleared our first 3 FP+ reservations shortly after noon and didn't need a ROL FP because we were booked at Tiffins for the ROL Dining Package.

So, I would highly suggest holding onto that "golden ticket", and if they've given you a way to assign it over the phone or internet without going to Guest Relations, that option should hold true while your standing in the park - you can always go to GR, and my experience is that it's not a terribly long line as long as you avoid the first few hours of the park opening. I just think you're better playing it by ear instead of locking yourself in before you arrive, because you might find it difficult changing or reassigning your PE attraction once it's been set.

I'd also second Makorider's comment in that you should expect pretty heavy crowds during your trip. While not quite as crowded as the week between Christmas and New Years, the week after, particularly when the holiday is in the middle of the week (Tuesday this year), sees lots of carry-over from the holiday crowds. While not the shoulder to shoulder crowd levels of the week prior, you should be ready for some pretty long standby lines (120+ for 7DMT, 180+ for FoP, 90+ for TestTrack, Frozen, and Soarin', and 120+ for SDD).

November 6, 2018, 9:41 AM

Thank you for your feedback! We have the option of loading the PE by contacting Guest Relation via email ahead of the trip. On the same day, we would need to go to GR in the park.

I see your point of waiting to be in the park to decide whether we want to use it or not. I've been able to book pretty much the FP+ I wanted, but had to switch my plans to do MK on 1/4 and HS on 1/6. Just based on FP+, I agree that 1/3 and 1/4 are a bit more busy than 1/6 and 1/7.

Our FP+ for 7DMT is a bit later than we wanted and I will try to move it up, since it's blocking our additional FP+ at MK, which is in my experience the best park to get more FP+.

Thanks again!


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