Last Minute WDW?

Discussion in 'Disney World Tips' started by RamblingMad, Mar 31, 2019.

  1. RamblingMad

    RamblingMad Mouseketeer

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    Let me start by saying that I have never had a good trip going to WDW last minute. When I say last minute, I mean booking the trip less than a month out.

    I'd love to jump on a plane and go to WDW sometime in April 2019, but after having terrible experiences doing last minute trips at WDW, I've talked myself out of it. When I say I have had terrible experiences, I mean that I couldn't get any decent fast passes or dining reservations. I consider waiting an hour or more for a ride to be a terrible experience. At DL/DCA I can pretty much go up to a restaurant and get in without a reservation. Likewise, I don't have to plan my rides out in advance either. I'm looking to go to DL/DCA some time in October 2019. I haven't booked anything yet.

    So I must be doing something wrong WDW wise.

    If you were going to go to WDW in April 2019, what would you do to make it a good experience? Is this even possible? Or has WDW become a planners' paradise and a last minute travelers' nightmare?
     
  2. SG131

    SG131 DIS Veteran

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    I probably wouldn’t go April 2019. Easter is so late this year crowds will be bad most of the month. I would definitely wait until after Easter on the 21st. I would also look to get dining reservations or modify fastpasses the night before each park day. A lot of people change their plans and have to cancel prior to midnight the night before to avoid the late fee. There is usually some good choices if you keep looking. I know I’ve canceled beaches and cream the night before.
     
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  4. Queen of the WDW Scene

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

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    I've booked two "last minute" trips which were about 30 days out.
    Both times I had great experiences just like I do when I book months or even over a year out.
    I think the key for me is... I know what my must do's are and how long I'm willing to wait in line and I know how to get good use out of the FP+ system.
    It is usually just my sister and I now who go together and we have the same touring style of AM EMH/RD until park close. Go hard and strong and sleep when you get home.
    I've also been able to get the FP+ and ADR's that I want.
     
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  5. auralia

    auralia DIS Veteran

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    Its all about setting reasonable expectations... we are headed next week abet i booked 10 months ago so fast pass etc isn't an issue this trip but i have done 3 week notice trips... I just acknowledge it will be more a people mover, space ship earth, shows, rope drop to get on rides kind of trip.
     
  6. RamblingMad

    RamblingMad Mouseketeer

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    That's my problem with WDW for last minute travelers. If I don't plan out months in advance, I have to settle for a different experience. It's not this way with DL/DCA. And that bugs me. Why can I be last minute at one of their parks but not the other? When did Disney decide to make WDW this way? I can go to Universal Orlando last minute without planning months in advance and still have the same experience as if I had planned months in advance. This is my biggest pet peeve with WDW.
     
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  7. Queen of the WDW Scene

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

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    I guess the bottom line is that if you don't like to be flexible and adapt then its just not right for you.
    Don't do it last minute. Do the planning that you feel it takes and go to Universal and DLR last minute since you feel that is easier for you
     
  8. NH-to-FL

    NH-to-FL DIS Veteran

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    As Disney snowbirds, many of our park visits are "last minute". Though I have done a few 30 day FP selections. As long as it is not a super busy time I have had success getting FPs for the non super headliners. For instance I have good luck getting Safari, LK, and occasionally Navi River at the AK. Likewise HM and PoC at the MK and Soarin, LWtL, and SE at Epcot. If we really want to do Peter Pan or (for me) FoP we will get up early and rope drop.

    I know that many have success getting day of FPs by frequent refreshing the FP availability. For some reason I have not had much success with that. But then when I am in the parks I don't like spending time with my phone.

    We aren't foodies so I can't comment on dining reservations though I sense that they are harder than FPs. I agree with previous posters to check the night before to catch last minute cancelations.
     
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  9. calitook

    calitook Earning My Ears

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    It's because DL is a locals park (mostly) and WDW is a vacation destination (mostly.) People are going to plan their vacations out, but passholders aren't going to determine their FPs 2 months in advance.
     
  10. toonaspie

    toonaspie Just a poser

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    If you can get the WDW app for your phone that is a good place to start. FPs and ADRs could pop up when you least expect them. You would just have to check as often as you can prior to your trip. Any FP you cant get you will have to consider rope dropping.

    Are you going solo or with other people? The needs of the other people in your party will also need to be factored in.

    How much money are you willing to spend? I've heard amazing things about those DAH and EMM events and you can get so much done during those.
     
  11. ellbell

    ellbell DIS Veteran

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    I went last September on a trip I booked a week out. I got all the fastpasses I wanted and even the dining reservations. I even got a morning fastpass for mine train. Dining reservations are easier to get the day before because of the 25 hour cancellation policy and if you look in the mornings before park opening fastpasses pop up as people change plans for the day. I had a great time and would take a last minute trip anyday.
     
  12. YawningDodo

    YawningDodo DIS Veteran

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    In January 2018 I did a Saturday in WDW that I booked less than 30 days out, and I did not feel that I had a subpar experience despite the parks being much more crowded than I had expected--I just had to adjust my approach in order to get access to the thrill rides and so forth. I only booked one FP+ (NRJ), but I did a four park day and rode all the headliners I wanted to ride. You just have to play with the FP+ modification options in the app throughout the day as you're waiting in lines. As soon as you use a FP+, book the next one--grab whatever ride you want even if the time being offered isn't any good for you. Hit the modify button and keep refreshing until you get an option to move the FP up to an earlier time that works for you.

    That being said, I would not do an April trip this year. This year's late Easter is going to extend March's spring break season; I would wait for a lower traffic month.
     
  13. beccasmom

    beccasmom DIS Veteran

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    We once booked a trip a month out over Memorial Day weekend! It was way back the year (actually the same month) that MGM Studios opened. Of course it was somewhat easier to do that then and the biggest worry was where we would stay (it ended up being CBR). There were more airlines flying to MCO from our airport too (we ended up with American through Raleigh-Durham on a DC-10!). MGM was a madhouse with long lines and a very early opening time. And we met a large group of people from my workplace who were there at the same time. It was beastly hot, but we had a great time!
     
  14. Dannielle

    Dannielle Mouseketeer

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    i have booked 2 last minute trips....both were awesome trips....but they both took place at times of the year in which the park crowds are generally lighter (End of January and 1st week of May). Both times i was not able to book BoG for Dinner....but i kept refreshing my app and scored lunch both times. I was also able to score FoP FPs too.....it was just later in the day than i typically would prefer. (i like to use my FPs in the morning...so that i can continue to get more through out the day). I have read on this site and others that you need to continuously refresh the APP for updated FPs....to make the most of the day. So far that method has worked for us.
     
  15. arminnie

    arminnie <font color=blue>Tossed the butter kept the gin<br

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    In the olden days (maybe a decade ago) I made no plans. I used to decide which park to go to according to which bus showed up first. Those days are over.

    As I live in New Orleans and have access to fabulous food pretty much 24/7 I am not that concerned about ADRs.

    I'm okay with last minute trips as I'm okay with whatever is available.
     
  16. bdiddy

    bdiddy DIS Veteran

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    In the last 10 years we've gone last minute for the day twice. Both times to MK and it was in the summer. In 2012 and 2016. We had a good time and just did our best with the lines. We had a good time. I'd much rather go longer and do all the planning but I'm fine with the last minute day trip if it pops up. Disney on the spur of the moment is still better than no Disney! Lol
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019 at 11:02 PM
  17. The Pho

    The Pho A heck of a paleontologist if I do say so myself

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    Our trips are almost always last minute, last year I booked a trip a few hours before getting on the plane. Even when we book a couple weeks out, which is generally the furthest out for us, we still don’t plan anything. Always grab fastpasses no further out than the night before or day of, we grab dining reservations on the way to the restaurant. Slinky and Flight of Passage are the only ones that I can’t easily get a fastpass for and for dining we just eat at slightly off hours, but never been unable to get into a place we wanted. It’s worked great for us. I did 11 last minute trips last year (most tied into a business trip) and 1 booked a few weeks out.
     

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