Opinion: Should I use a FP+ for Fireworks or Parades?

Last week, Disney unveiled a section of the new Magic Kingdom hub. The hub not only adds a charming appeal to the front of the castle, but promises to improve pedestrian traffic, and adds a FP+ viewing area for the Wishes fireworks show.

After checking out the photos of the new hub with my family, my mom brought up the idea to use a FP+ for the FullSizeRender (1)Wishes fireworks show. Normally I’m against using a FastPass+ for a show or parade. Guests have no control over how long the line is for Tower of Terror, but they can decide how early they line up for a parade or find a spot for the fireworks. To me, I’d much rather use my FP+ to ride Space Mountain for the umpteenth time.

My family heads to Disney on December 24th and stays until the new year. On average, we usually spend three days at Magic Kingdom, two days at Hollywood Studios, two at EPCOT, one at Animal Kingdom, and one day away from the parks – usually the day of New Year’s Eve. That’s a lot of time to be at the parks. As much as it pains me to admit it, going once a year can make the trip feel a bit “stale.” As a result, we try to mix things up. This year we spent less time in the parks and relaxed at the hotel, explored other hotels and enjoyed Downtown Disney and the Boardwalk.

So where am I going with this? Frankly, everyone is different. Some may be more interested in having the best possible view for shows and parades, while others only want to use their FP+ on the rides. Let’s settle this with a few questions:

How long is your Walt Disney World vacation?

If you’re like my family and will be spending nearly 10 days or more at Disney and plan on heading to Magic Kingdom more than once, it may make sense to book a FastPass+ for a parade or fireworks show. If you’re simply going for one day or a quick three-day weekend, I would use your FP+ on the rides. You could view the fireworks from anywhere, but only have so long to go on your favorite rides!

Are you traveling with kids? If so, how old?

Our family friends and fellow Disney fanatics recently brought their one-year-old son to Disney World for the first time. While I’m sure the couple made time to go on their favorite rides, they were more interested in seeing their son’s reaction to the fireworks, character experiences and the Main Street Electrical Parade. Chances are, if you’ve brought your children to Disney, you’ve waited for a parade or the fireworks only to have a much larger adult obstruct your child’s view. For this reason, I’d recommend a FP+ and an unobstructed view for a show or parade.

Will it be crowded?

Of course, it will always be crowded at Disney, but crowd levels fluctuate throughout the year. The highly crowded times are predictable – during Christmas and other holidays, during Spring Break and throughout the summer. Christmas is the most crowded time of the year. Many of the parks experience phased closures, closing due to capacity. While cast members do a great job of controlling traffic, it could be hard to move around, especially during parades and the fireworks. Having enclosed areas open to guests holding a FP+ could be a welcomed change. Guests can feel free to roam the parks and enjoy the rides knowing that their spot, with one of the best views for the fireworks or parade, would be held for them. To me, that’s the biggest benefit of the FP+.

So will my family be using a FP+ on the fireworks next Christmas? Most likely. It will be a nice change of pace and a break from the crowds. But again, choosing how to use your FP+ varies case by case.

Have you used FP+ for a show or parade? Was it worth it?


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