Hi! This is my first post here! We’re heading to WDW on May 6-13 and staying at AKL. It will be me, my husband and our two girls - aged 3 and 6. We likely won’t arrive at the resort until sometime around 4 or 5 on the 6th so I’m thinking of just using that evening to settle in, swim, and explore the resort. For Sunday I was planning on heading to AK, mostly because it’s closest and we can kind of ease into the trip as the girls will likely still be tired from traveling. We have a Tusker House ADR for 8:25. My concern is that AK is showing as a 7/10 that day, though resort-wise crowd levels are 4/10. Anyone know why that may be? I don’t really want to switch to another park because of the Tusker House ADR and the fact that I sort of have the rest of the week all planned out with ADRs as well. I have a TP in place so I’m hoping that will be ok? What do you guys think? Thanks!
Does it have an Extra Magic Hour? That can sometimes attract more people to that park.
I’m not sure what might cause a “bump” in CL like that; the algorithm used by TP is extremely complex. Personally, I wouldn’t worry too much about the CL. As long as I have FPPs for KS, EE, and Dino, I find the rest of the attractions usually have manageable lines - especially with a solid TP. Rivers of Light may or may not have opened by then so you’ll want to keep an eye out for announcements (here); it might impact your touring strategy and FPP selections.
As of now it doesn’t look like AK has extra magic hours on May 7th. We opted to go to AK on New Year’s Eve in an effort to avoid crowds at the other three parks. It was listed as a crowd level 6 that day. We had a blast and the crowds didn’t bother us at all. We opted to go back to AK later in our trip on a crowd level 10 day and the difference in crowds was definitely noticeable. Since you will already be in the park before it opens and should be wrapping up with breakfast before 10:00am (if not earlier), I think I would hold with your original plan. If it were me, I’d try to make my fast passes at 9:30, 10:30, and 11:30 and then get in another Fast Pass or two on the fly after you use your first three. We didn’t have any trouble getting fast passes on the day of in the early afternoon for the safaris or everest, but we did have to get creative in splitting our party (2 people nabbed 1:30-2:30 everest FP and 2 people had 2:20-3:20 FP for everest, but we all were able to ride together during the overlapping times).
Great! Thank you all for the feed back! I think I will leave it as is then. I am planning to get a FP for KS at 9:30. We’ll then hopefully hit the Lion King at 10:00 (tight I know, it’s not a huge deal if we miss it), tour the trails for a bit, FP Kali between 10:45-11:45and then FP EE at 1145-12:45 with rider swap. I think we’re going to skip Dino because my 3 year old will likely be too short and I think my 6 year old may find it too scary. We are planning to do Nemo and the tricertop spin and I’m hoping to get a 4th FP to meet the characters at the outpost . I have our TP ending at about 2:00 to head back to the resort.
The trails took much longer than I expected. Add some buffer time into the touring plan allotment. For us, it was WAY Under. Who would have thought my DD who doesn’t like any 4 legged creatures would have enjoyed those trails so much!!
Have you seen Lion King before? If not, don’t miss it. It’s WONDERFUL!!
Are you spending any other time in AK? I truly feel like AK deserves one full day.
I skipped Dino and Boneyard as well (in fact - didn’t step foot in Dino land at all). Started our tour with the 11:00 Lion King show and didn’t end until our 6 pm ADR. I don’t want you to cut your day too short. There’s a lot to see that the kids would enjoy. Take the train to Rafiki’s planet watch. It’s a blast!!
Good to know! Thanks! I’ll adjust a bit for time. The TP website has each of the trails taking 20 minutes each, but we do intend to take our time if the girls are enjoying it. I may also adjust the FPs so we can see the 11:00 Lion King show if we miss the one at 10:00. I had taken Rafiki’s planet watch out of our plan because it seemed a bit out of the way, but maybe I’ll look at that again too.
We’ll definitely play it all by ear as we don’t have anything rushing us out of the park. We just have a somewhat dramatic almost 3 year old and I have the feeling that she’ll start running out of steam as we get into the afternoon which won’t be fun for any of us. Haha! I am toying with the idea of a second day in AK, as I don’t have anything scheduled for our last full day. It’s between AK and a third day at MK.
Are you bringing/renting a stroller? I would suggest it… and remind 3 yo that when he/she gets tired, just lay down and relax. It’s the only way I made it through our first trip.
That’s a tough one - 2 days AK or 3 days at MK.
Rafiki’s planet watch is a quick train ride over. Meet chip and dale, rafiki. petting zoo. we didn’t see any live vet visits, but there is the opportunity in the AM I believe. I wouldn’t cross it off. I almost did but I’m glad I didn’t.
Check out some of the other cool stuff - like the Tam Tam drummers of Harambe. We spent some time just watching them. We kept missing the singing ladies near Harambe market…always catching them as they were packing up and walking away.
There is a lot to do in AK if you are open to possibilities
Prior to 2016, going to AK was only for FOTLK, Kali and EE. I have a new found appreciation for it after I saw my DDs delight during our last trip.
Where are you eating lunch?
I think if you can power thru, you can see most everything you want in 1 day.
Only thing I can think of to cause a CL bump like that would be ROL. We used our FPP on Lion King, Safari, and split between Everest and Dino with DH using my Magic Band for one, we picked up Rider Swaps on both, though never used them. We thought the Safari and Lion King brilliant, though LK doesn’t need a FPP. If you’re doing Rapids schedule it for just before you leave the park, or save that FPP for ROL. Tuskers is likely to offer a dining package with ROL which you should try and pick up if you’re on the DDP. My DD5&7 loved the boneyard and all the trials.
We are renting a double stroller for sure! And she may very well lay back and relax when she gets tired. I think I’ll extend our TP a bit and if we have to cut it short due to a meltdown, it’s not the end of the world. For lunch, I was planning on the Yak and Yeti QS counter or the Flametree BBQ, depending on where we are when everyone gets hungry.
Do you suggest doing Kali Rapids just before we leave because we’ll get wet? I was thinking about this and whether I’m setting us up for being wet and uncomfortable if I schedule the FPP for the middle of our day.
I got soaked on Kali Rapids but my husband did not get very wet.
I wonder if they would let you in to the breakfast before 8:25. If it is like most breakfast places at Disney you can show up at the park just after 7:30 and get seated just after 8:00. Gives you a better shot at getting the safari and the Lion King in. If true I would put my FP window earlier than 9:30. .
If it were me, I would do the Safari first, take my time on the Gorilla Falls trail, take a potty/munchie break and see the 11:00 Lion King showing. No need in trying to rush over and then back track when the trail is right at the exit of the safari.
This is a good idea! Thanks!
I don’t think doing Kali as your last stop is necessary. I packed disposable ponchos for Kali. Gave them away when I was done to people standing in line. Maybe hair clips for next time to better hold the head part to cover the head (which will leak down your front/back). And maybe a small clip to sinch it around the neck of the kiddos. My daughter wanted to hold on tight, but by doing so, the poncho would gap open under her chin (again, leaking!) Use the free lockers by Kali to store your stuff so it doesn’t get wet. One of us had to go into the bathroom and use the hand dryer to dry our socks. So maybe pack extra socks.
the thing with kali is you have no idea who will walk away drenched or completely dry. LOL
Well, I can tell you from personal experience as an Annual Passholder that Touring Plans has been quite inaccurate lately, and I thinking it’s because of several changes that Disney has made in pricing and scheduling of special events. The last two times I have been to AK when it has been predicted to have a low crowd it has far exceeded the prediction. This past Friday we were there and the prediction was for a 4 and it was a 10!!! The time before that was predicted to be a 4 and it was a six. The last time we went to MK was predicted as a 5 and it was a 9. This has been the case everytime we have been since October.
So here’s how you beat the system. Take your patience with you and expect the unexpected. Get your FastPasses. Book them for the mid to late afternoon.
Go on any Treks, including Rafiki’s Planet watch, that you might want to take in the morning before it gets too hot and crowded because believe me you will not want to do any walking around AK in the afternoon if it’s hot and especially with crowds because the way the park is designed, the passageways from continent to continent get nearly unbearable past a crowd six.
Leave the park from near noon to mid afternoon and go get refreshed with a nap or a nice leisurely lunch. Come back and hit your FastPasses in the mid afternoon to evening, and plan to enjoy the Safari as one of the Fast Passes just before it’s starting to get dark because that’s when the animals are more active. EX. we saw a dozen crocodiles last week when we usually see two.
Then after dark go over to Everest and ride stand-by over and over, or any other favorite ride. My kids road Everest three times in 30 minutes, even through the posting was for a 20 minute wait time. They got a great bargain in my opinion.
End your day with the tree lighting, and then maybe a nice dinner at Raintree.
Now as for the week you are going, that is a good time to go. I doubt you will have to deal with the Holiday crowd I dealt with, but Sunday can be unpredictable, so like I said, just take your patience with you and do the opposite of what most people do. See the animals in the morning, go to the petting zoo and Rafiki’s Planet watch in the morning, and do the rides in the mid-pm to evening. You will be doing the opposite of what the crowds usually do.
Although it was a 10 last Friday, it turned out to be a great day and a great memory for us, but we were flexible and planned our FastPasses right.
I will have to say I took a picture of the crowd in Africa and it looked like a busy Indian market with wall to wall people. It was a amazing.