Wishes: Is It Worth Your FastPass+?

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IMG_4438Last week I visited Epcot to find out if IllumiNations is worth your FastPass+. This week I thought I’d share some information about the Wishes FastPass+ viewing. Obviously, this is one of the hottest FastPass+ options in all four parks, often not even showing available 30 days in advance. The viewing location is in the Rose Garden and gives guests enough room to comfortably spread out and sit in the grass. If you’re lucky enough to score this viewing spot, then you’ll be able to also watch Celebrate The Magic from here. Without a doubt this option will get you the best view while waiting the least amount of time for the show.

However, if you check out the photo to the left you can see the view from the Rose Garden is slightly obstructed and off to one side. I’m not saying this is a bad view at all, but I don’t know that it’s worth tying up your 3rd FastPass+ all day long. What if I told you there was a less popular FastPass+ that would give you an even better view?

IMG_4395The Main Street Electrical Parade might not come to mind when you’re thinking of great spots for Wishes, but it’s something you should consider. If you’re visiting on an evening with a parade one hour before Wishes, then the parade is the FastPass+ reservation you want. Take a look at the photo to the right. This viewing spot gives you a complete view of the castle without any obstructions.

I recommend not trying to be at the front of the parade viewing area. The FastPass+ reserved space backs up to a planter, and I’ve had good luck leaning against the railing for the parade. Immediately after the last float goes by, the ropes are removed from the FastPass+ viewing area. This means that the masses can enter, but you’re not asked to leave. From this spot you have a perfect view of Celebrate The Magic and Wishes both, all with just an often forgotten FastPass+ for the Main Street Electrical Parade.

A few notes to remember: this only works when there are TWO parades and you are able to get FastPass+ for the first parade. Also, this method does not avoid the crowds. Immediately once those ropes are removed you’re mixed in with the masses. However, I’ve found being against the planter railing helps as you’re only surrounded on three sides. The Wishes FastPass+ is the only way to have an excellent view of the fireworks without being cramped in with everyone else on Main Street.

Edit: Recently I found out that on rainy days they don’t actually allow guests into the rose garden.  The viewing area then moves behind the rose garden on a paved path.  The view is pretty bad.  Standing on the bridge to Tomorrowland offers a better view without using a hard to get FastPass.  Please keep this in mind when booking.

I hope this helps with your vacation planning. What’s your best FastPass+ tip? Do you think Wishes is worth your FastPass+? Please let us know in the comments below. As always, thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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Posted on June 10, 2014

35 Responses to “Wishes: Is It Worth Your FastPass+?”

  • by Mariana Ruiz on June 10, 2014, at 1:22 pm EDT

    Thank you for this excellent analysis! It will be very helpful for our July trip, with a 30-day window for FP+. Question: were you leaning against the planter railing on your back or on your front while viewing the parade?

    • by Daisy Lauren on June 11, 2014, at 7:53 am EDT

      Hi Mariana! I’m glad you found this helpful. The planter is behind you with the rope in front separating you from the parade floats. Even from the back of the viewing area I thought the view was excellent. :)

  • I’ve always enjoyed viewing the fireworks from the tomorrow-land bridge but this sounds like a solid alternative.

    • by Daisy Lauren on June 11, 2014, at 7:55 am EDT

      I’ve been working on an article about all my favorite spots for a really long time. I’m slowly getting all the photos. But if you want the traditional view this is a great location.

  • Okay, so this is nitpickjy, BUT this isn’t entirely true.

    **The Wishes fastpass+ is the only way to have an excellent view of the fireworks without being cramped in with everyone else on Main Street.**

    We made reservations for the Wishes Dessert party. Yes, it was $25pp, but we will get a great view of the fireworks and as many desserts as we want! I know for a fact that our sweet-tooth family will easily eat $25 worth of desserts each (rice krispie Mickey heads and chocolate-covered strawberries, here I come). I recognize that this isn’t for everyone, but I do think it is a viable option for many.

    • And just to show that we all deserve some nitpickiness, I have a typo in ‘nitpicky’ in that post… :-D

      • by Daisy Lauren on June 11, 2014, at 8:00 am EDT

        Hey Helen! I should have said only “free” way. That is what I had in my head. :) I keep meaning to visit the Wishes dessert party. It’s always full when I try to book it. But you’re right – that is a nice and roomy view. (I remember when it was free!)

        And please – nitpick away! I’m always really glad to get the feedback. This is totally something I should cover and I appreciate you pointing it out.

        • Great article! We visited WDW last summer and did the dessert party. I was thinking about it as I read this article, and before reading the mention of the party above…. I was actually going to mention that we didn’t like it –but only didn’t like it as the perfect fireworks spot. We LOVED the event and the desserts were spectacular!!! It was so fun have our own table and be with other excited, sugar-loving families! :) But the fireworks were totally lopsided from here. (Talk about nitpicky. That’s what I’m being.) But I thought I would mention that while the party and the experience were truly memorable, the fireworks view was not ideal. I really wanted to go back another night and just sit in the crowd with everyone else, facing the castle dead-on and see the show in grand symmetry. (We never made it back at night.) So — my opinion is that the party is FABULOUS, but if you want to book it for the very best view, it might disappoint.

  • by Vanessa Schomberg on June 10, 2014, at 3:24 pm EDT

    Sounds very interesting and very helpful Daisy! Thanks for it. So far I had no opportunity to try the Fastpass for Wishes. Maybe I’ll try it one day. All the last years I was able to find a great spot without Fastpass stuff or anything though! Thank you for the nice blog again and till next time! :)

    • by Daisy Lauren on June 11, 2014, at 8:04 am EDT

      Vanessa!! Ohhh- there is going to be a fun new article later this week. Keep an eye out. ;)

      I’m with you. I have all my little hiding spots all over the park for Wishes. I’m working on putting them all together with photos for you guys. I only have used FP+ for Wishes and Parades to cover them for you guys. Other than that I’m happy in other spots.

      • by Vanessa Schomberg on June 11, 2014, at 1:54 pm EDT

        Oh Daisy, I always keep an eye out of you guys and especially you! :) That would be a pleasure and super fantastic, if you could share your “hiding spots” with us! Really can’t wait. Thank you so much again for all your hard work and your passion to share everything WDW with us! ♥

  • Thanks for this good advice. I have an upcoming FP+ for the first of 2 Electrical Parades! I didn’t know there would be an added bonus.
    I’m not a Disney veteran, though, and I don’t understand the advice about a planter. The planter (only 1?) is toward the back of the area, and we should stake out this spot? Can my 5-yr-old watch the parade from the rope and then we’ll move back to the planter toward the end of the parade? Thanks!

    • by Daisy Lauren on June 11, 2014, at 8:11 am EDT

      Hi Lynne – woo hoo! Upgrade! What a lucky coincidence.

      My advice with the planter is really just so you don’t have to be surrounded by other people on all sides. If you don’t mind that then get there early and stand on the rope. The planter is what blocks off the FP+ area along the back side. So there is a long rail that you can lean on and that prevents people from pushing against you from behind. I would think you all could watch on the rope then towards the end move back to the rail. If you decide to just send her up front be sure to get there in time to get a spot for her. Have a great trip!! :)

  • We had FP+ for Wishes a few weeks ago. There were not may people in the area, so you have plenty of room to spread out. The view of the fireworks was good but most of the castle projections were obstructed. We did this on a day when we were not trying to hit all of the popular rides, so it was a good use of it. I wouldn’t get it again if we were trying to ride the headliners.
    They also have Photpass photographers there to get a nighttime shot of the castle.

    • by Daisy Lauren on June 11, 2014, at 8:14 am EDT

      Hey Mike – thanks for sharing your experience. It’s always good to hear other people agree. Sometimes I fear my jaded opinion might not be helpful to people planning a trip. I’m glad you felt the same way.

      The Photopass wasn’t there the last time I visitied but what a great idea! Thanks for the extra tip!

  • Do they have this FastPass for MNSSHP?

    • by Daisy Lauren on June 11, 2014, at 8:20 am EDT

      Hi Sharon! It’s my understanding that FastPass will not be offered at any hard ticketed event. The past several years I’ve been able to grab a spot in the hub about 30 minutes before the fireworks start. I’ve never had a bad view despite the fact that I end up somewhere a little different every year. With the controlled crowd of a hard ticket event it makes it possible for everyone to fit.

      (Of course, for my only MNSSHP at Disneyland I researched like crazy, picked the one spot I wanted, and got there 2 hours early! So I can totally relate to not wanting to just stroll in so close to start time and end up just “somewhere”.)

  • A great spot to watch the fireworks if you have seen them before and don’t mind missing Celebrate the magic or if there is a 2nd celebrate the magic are from the steps of Cosmic Rays. (The ones adjacent to the Mad Tea Party not the exit that faces the spedway) You can grab a bite to eat, sit outside with maybe 4 or 5 other families and it feels like the fireworks are going off right above you. The castle is almost completely obstructed but not the fireworks themselves. We did this completely by accident in May and it was so much better than watching from the hub packed in like sardines the night before with someones actually reaching over my shoulder and blocking my 5 year old’s view with their video camera. Then we rode Buzz and walked out onto Main St just in time to watch the 2nd celebrate the magic and then left the park, you could also stay for the 2nd electrical parade, there were still seats avail on the curb at 10:45 for the 11:00 parade.

    • by Daisy Lauren on June 15, 2014, at 10:40 am EDT

      Hi Chantel – you’re right that is a great spot! Even better is a little further back in Tomorrowland by Space Mountain. If you can believe it you can see more from there. I’m still putting together all my best spots for an epic story. :) What you’re describing is the best way to do it. Why pack onto Main Street when you can get a great view without the crowds?? Thanks for the great tips!

  • But doesn’t having a late-in-the-day FP basically exclude you from booking anything else during the day? Now that we can use additional FPs after the first three are used, is it worth essentially freezing your FP availability for the whole day? I’m doing this debate myself!

    • Yes it does. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you can somehow go without the fastpass all day but if you were spending most go the day in water parks and going to MK only at night it might work out. We did the FP for Wishes on the first night we were there and we were not getting into the parks until late.

      • by Daisy Lauren on June 15, 2014, at 10:42 am EDT

        Hi Ladies – yes it does. But I’ve been able to snag MSEP FP+ later in the day before. I would always rather use my FP+ for rides, though. But wanted to give the info so people can make their own decision. :)

  • By accident, we got tied up on the Fantasyland side of the Castle at fireworks time (I seem to remember a toddler meltdown at Pooh.) Right next to where is now 7 Dwarf ride just in the middle of the walkway – WOW! You are under the fireworks. Everyone around just stopped and looked up. I caught myself twirling like a little girl to catch all the action. I’ve seen the parades. I have seen Tink. I have been crammed in with everyone and their 3rd cousin. This is the way to see the fireworks – if at least one time.

    • I can relate to this. Once we were in line for Dumbo (in it’s original location) when they started going off and we where on Dumbo for part of them. Very Magical riding on Dumbo and rising to its highest point while the fireworks (this may pre-date Wishes, would have been around 1997) go off all around you.

      • by Daisy Lauren on June 15, 2014, at 10:43 am EDT

        I managed to time being on 7DMT during Wishes and it is a great view too. I don’t think you can go wrong with viewing in New Fantasyland. There is no wait and tons of great viewing!

  • The ropes were removed for our MSEP FP+ about five minutes before the parade started. Great parade viewing but after I moved further back Main St away from the castle for Celebrate and Wishes. The hub is just too close for great fireworks viewing.

    • by Daisy Lauren on June 15, 2014, at 10:44 am EDT

      Hey Ellie – personally I agree but lots of folks want to be right in front of the castle. Weird that they took the ropes down before the parade was over! What stopped everyone else from cramming in? I’d be really disappointed if I’d used my FP+ for that!

  • We visited Disney in early May and got a fastpass for Wishes on the first night. It was totally worth it. We had a great place to sit, plenty of room and we walked up about 10 minutes early. The trees do obstruct the view for Celebrate the Magic especially but we still enjoyed it. We were blessed with 8 full days in WDW and several nights in the MK so it was worth the fastpass for us. We were able to watch Celebrate the Magic later in the week from in front of the Emporium.

    • by Daisy Lauren on June 15, 2014, at 10:45 am EDT

      Hey Jessica! I’m really glad you enjoyed it. Everyone has a different feeling on this one. I’m glad you were happy with your choice!

  • Does anyone know if the MSEP FPP option often available later in the day as an additional fast pass? Or does it usually sell out early?

    • by Daisy Lauren on June 15, 2014, at 10:46 am EDT

      Hi Pamela – I’ve been able to get it before, but there is no telling what will happen when you visit. It’s important to keep checking as things open up throughout the day.

  • Hi Daisy, thanks for the MSEP FP advice! I have a Crystal palace dinner reservation at 6:55 pm in mid July. Do you think there is enough time to eat (no kids so it should go a little faster than on my usual trips) and get to the FP viewing area on time. The hub gets so congested before the parade I’m afraid I’ll get stuck and it will take a long time to maneuver over to the viewing area. Thanks!

    • by Daisy Lauren on June 20, 2014, at 8:42 am EDT

      Hey Anne – I’m so sorry I missed your comment until now. I think you’ll be fine without kids. I recently used FP+ parade viewing and I have a blog coming up about it. As long as you get there before 9pm there will be room for you! :)

  • DW and I were there in April and chose to use all 3 of our FPs for the day for parades and wishes. We did the afternoon parade the first MSEP and Wishes. While this did restrict our choices for rides, it was worth it. DW does not do any of the coaster type rides so no big deal. The parade spots were both in the same place—at the top of the hub. We were on the rope for both. Just before the parade started, the ropes were removed. The cast members in the street kept any one from jumping in front of the FP holders. Once the parades started, no one could get in front of us. It was nice to get pictures of the parades with the castle as the background without any heads or other camera, iPads or phones blocking the view. I agree that the view from the rose garden is not ideal. All of the large bursts are shot from behind Fantasyland which from the rose garden puts them off to the right of the castle. The straight rockets are near the castle so these are the only ones you see actually over the castle. If you watch from inside Fantasyland near the bridge to BOG, you can see the large bursts over Beast’s castle and the others around Cindy’s castle. Would I do this again? I would for MSEP as I still want to get a better pic of Elliot blowing smoke with the castle in the background. Didn’t like the one I got in April.