11 AM Arrival - HS or EP?

We’ll be taking our first trip to WDW in January with our 5-year-old for her birthday. We have three days - two halves and two full days.

We plan to do
HS (.5 days January 4)
MK (1 day Jan 5)
EP (1 day Jan 6)
MK again (.5 days Jan 7 - flight leaves at 5 PM)

We have Genie+ for all days, no park hopper option. We are very early risers and will probably leave the parks by 7 each day.

On our first day, January 4, our flight arrives at 9 AM and we’re hoping to be in the park by 11 AM. I’ve currently booked park passes and dining for HS, but now I’m thinking that we’re going to be facing long wait times because of the late arrival and that maybe we should switch to Epcot that day? Thoughts?

I have dining reservations for HS and EP already (Hollywood and Vine and Garden Grill), so the biggest hassle would be giving those up and hoping we could rebook.

Any input is appreciated!

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I would definitely switch them so you can benefit from rope drop at HS. That park has the longest lines of any park, but Epcot is fairly easy to knock out, even with a late arrival.


Welcome to the forum! I agree, with Epcot late opening, you will be close to rope drop! I’m not sure I would want to try to navigate HS right after a flight!

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Just want to say that I have an almost identical itinerary, and we are going to Epcot for the later arrival --and then MK, HS, extra half day at MK before our evening flight. :slight_smile:


Agree with flip parks. Use reservation finder to replace your dining reservations. Avoiding the frustration of not being able to do what you want at DHS worth changing dining plans IMO.


Ok, I’ve flipped parks. Here’s hoping I can rebook some of the dining reservations. Thanks everyone!

Having been to WDW with a 2.5 y/o and 4.5 y.o, here are my thoughts:

  1. I think you are being overly optimistic on getting to a park by 11:00 am with a flight scheduled to arrive at 9 am, especially with a 5 year old. Even if your flight arrives on time, I think you will have a hard time getting to a park before Noon.

  2. Like the other posters, I would recommend switching from HS to Epcot for arrival day.