Advice for July 11-12 plans--park hop or not? MK EMH?

For anyone willnig to delve into my minutae, thank you!

We are planning a short surprise trip with the kiddos (8 and 6) in July. We want to focus on HS and AK, since my son is now tall enough to do FOP and both kids want to do TOT and daughter RnR.
Plan currently is:

Arrive late July 10, staying at Swan
July 11: Hollywood Studios (we didn’t spend much time there on our last trip) from PPO ADR at H&V until we are tired, possibly hop to EP in PM for a bit, maybe not
July 12: morning EMH at MK WITHOUT FPP, to do Space Mountain and SPlash Mountain (maybe also Pirates and HM), leave before 11 am. Pool, nap, Ak in the PM, where we will use FPP for FOP, EE, and Dinosaur.
July 13-14: Universal Studios

My main concern: How crowded is EMH at MK (I think CL5) and is it a bad plan to go there without FPP? I’m surprised that TP predicts a 15-20 min wait for Space Mtn even from RD at EMH. I suppose EMH attracts lots of resort guests. Like I said, our primary focus is to get a ride on Space and Splash (which I know doesn’t open until 9), but I feel handicapped going there without any FPP, even for a few rides.

At the same time, it wouldn’t feel like a trip to Disney without going to MK, even for a little bit. How early should one RD EMH?

Another option woudl be go change my 2 day park hopper to a three day single park pass, and do one of hte parks in the morning on the 13th before we go to Universal, but that will really be cutting into our Universal time, and the kids love it there, too.

Third option is to skip MK altogether and make it just an AK day. Or do AK first and try to get SD FPP in the p.m., but can’t bet on that.

Am I playing this right?

I think your plan sounds pretty good as far as trying to see it all. I would keep the park hopper, for sure. Any way to get there a little earlier and get just a little park time on the first day? If anything that would allow a slightly better chance of getting good FPPs. I would be most concerned about trying to get FOP in that time frame. It is very unlikely that you will get a SDD FPP on day 1 so the PPO ADR is a good idea there.

Sounds like an excited trip!

I’d do space before splash… I worry the long ride time of splash will allow too much time for crowds to build up at space, but am not entirely certain

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That’s definitely my plan! Space is open during EMH but Splash is not. Thanks!

One thing to remember about TP times for the first attraction of the day is that they are based on the experience of the average guest. However, a Liner, who arrives at the tapstiles in advance of park opening, knows exactly where they will be going, and “walks with purpose” directly to the first attraction should experience a much smaller wait time.

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Yes, hoping that is the case! For regular opening, I can select “welcome show” which tells TP I am already in the park. There is no such option for EMH so hopefully those numbers are skewed a bit.

Tip:
I think you’ll be fine for am emh at MK, however -
Along the lines of what brklink says - If you are LATE for am EMH, you’ll probably have issues.
I stay at Swan - love it - have fun. How are you planning to get to EMH at Mk ON TIME?
If you are planning on the busses, you need to have a buffer.

One thing about Swan - you can order a Lyft or Uber as you leave your room, and they will be waiting for you. I don’t believe I’ve ever waited for over 5 minutes.

For am emh at MK and AK from SWolphin, I generally PLAN on ubering to eliminate the chances of being late, and be more leisurely in the am. Way less stress.

Thank you for that! Good to hear good things about the swan! I was thinking of Uber or Minnie Van b/c I don’t want to rely on the buses and risk shooting my whole morning in the foot. What time would you leave your room/order Uber to rope drop EMH at 8 am?

For Mk 8am emh - no later than 7:15am, but I’d shoot for 7am, check the bus board to see if you’re confident there’s enough time to take the bus (not 100% sure Swan has one, but Dolphin does, so I’m assuming.) If there’s a long wait for the bus, but there’s still enough time for you to wait, you need to make sure you’re in some queued position in case a bunch of other ppl show up while you are waiting - make sure you have a spot. I might even suggest that if the bus is going to be a while, and there are a bunch of ppl at the bus stop already, order a rideshare.

The bus is easiest, but Uber/Lyft takes guesswork / time buffer out of the equation. Rideshare to the Contemp, and then it’s a 10 min walk to MK. You could also rideshare to the ttc, and hop on a boat or the monorail, but you’d still need to build in a buffer for that.

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Thanks! I believe Minnie Vans can do directly to MK, although they are $$. All good information!

and actually, we will have a rental car (I just realized–we have never had a car before), so I suppose if the bus looks far out when we get to the stop, we could drive to the TTC.

By the way, where at the Swan can you grab a quick breakfast to go on your way to the parks?

Fuel at Dolphin. Picabu will be quick as well, but I’ve never grabbed stuff “to go” from Picabu, though they certainly have packaged snacky things, and they probably can do their hot food “to go.” FUEL is set up for orders to go. Hot breakfast sandwiches, and probably oatmeal, iirc. Be confident in getting something very good for the price at Fuel. On your way to Epcot, in the am, you’ll also have the Boardwalk Bakery.

ooooh, that’s great to know. We are a “breakfast sandwich” family more than a “nutrigrain bar” family in the morning, so that will be essential for us!

We didn’t get bfast sammiches, but I can tell you this:
Those 9.00 price tags on the hot lunch sandwiches - worth EVERY penny. I wouldn’t hesitate one second to get any of those again. They were damn good - good bread, real meat, and big. I was expecting hotel rip off food. NOPE. I’d expect the breakfast sandwiches to hopefully be of the same high quality and value. Also - they have a small self serve froyo station which was pretty damn nice.

If you do Picabu, there’s an escalator next to the back entryway of Picabu that goes straight to the Dolphin bus queue. You’ll walk right by it if you’re not looking at signs. The Dolphin’s layout is kinda weird - easy to get lost the first few times you walk around there. “Fuel” is right near the lobby though - the other places you have to kinda look for.

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This is just what we need for our morning! So hitting up the Dolphin on our way out of the Swan doesn’t take us on too much of a detour to get a bus or rideshare to the park? Thinking I might send DH ahead to get our orders while i am getting kiddos ready.

Swan and Dolphin are next to each other - connected by a walkway. The middle of the walkway is their shared Friendship boat launch/landing. The walkway is about a city block long, give or take. Usually a buncha tiny lizards darting in and out of the hiding spots on the walkway.

You can easily grab the Dolphin bus or a rideshare if you walk over - easy peasy. You’ll see.

WDW is big and spread out, bit these EP area resorts are all a short walk from each other, AND 2 parks. They’re all kinda pricey rack rates, but if you snag a decent deal, their location can easily be worth the cost.