AK - how to plan a late start on a crowded day

On our trip this November we will rope drop AK on our first full park day but will leave the park fairly early (by 4 at the latest) because we have tickets to MVMCP that evening. So, we have planned a second AK day later in the trip, but we will have a late start that day as we first have breakfast reservations at Ohana at 9am. That day happens to be the Monday of Thanksgiving week and also a morning EMH at AK. In other words, MEGA crowded.

When I plug all this in to a touring plan, of course it’s telling me that pretty much EVERY ride would be a good candidate for a fast pass. :joy: As I have said in other threads, we have always rope dropped, so starting a touring plan half way through the day is brand new to me and the crazy crowds this day make this even tougher.

If this were you, how would you plan this day? Just ride what you have 3 fast passes for and get out of there? Would you go right after Ohana or wait to mid to late afternoon? Would you forgo all shows and trails on our first AK day so you could plan to do them on the really crowded day?


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I must have stumped everyone on this one! :wink:

Absent different advice from anyone, I guess I’ll try to plan to just ride only the things I have fast passes for and then other than that just do trails and shows. In making my list of activities I’m considering Rafiki’s Planet Watch. We’ve never done it. My kids aren’t small so the “petting zoo” won’t mean much, but the vet stuff and touring those facilities looks interesting.

On a crowded day do you have to wait a long time to get the train back and forth out there?

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I would skip the trails on the first day and do them on the really crowded day when you can’t rope drop.

Another thought - could you get an earlier Ohana ADR?

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I agree with @SillySamsMom save the trails and maybe the shows for your second day

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Or a later Ohana ADR… Hit RD and the first few hours at AK. Uber to Poly, eat, Uber back to AK then use your 3 FPPs.

Are you worried RD AK and MVMCP MK will be a long day? I couldn’t handle that.

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Yes, that will be a very long day. Thankfully our next day is a short one. We are going to sleep in and then leave the park early that evening for dinner in Disney Springs.

Funny thing is, my parents are in their mid-60s and I am having trouble convincing them to sleep in and not rope drop that next morning!! :rofl: They realized on our last trip how advantageous rope drop is that now they almost can’t stand the idea of going late.

That’s an idea! I’m going to look at our evening schedule the night before and see if I think we want to RD that morning. We had planned to use that morning to rest a bit, but we might can swing it.

Are your parents naturally up that early? Is pool time important to you, do you like rests in the afternoon? Ohana breakfast is very popular, but to me you’re commiting to being somewhere early and it doesn’t get you any short waits on the rides. I’d do a later Ohana after you’ve rope dropped MK for a couple of hrs. Then I’d either go straight to AK if you’re not staying out late, or pool time first if you are.

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I’m intrigued by the idea of rope dropping first and then go to Ohana. Unfortunately, there are no other reservations currently available for Ohana that morning. We might be able to set up reservation finder and snag one, but it’s CL 10 that day, so I’m not sure.

If we don’t get it, it will be fine. We will get 3 good afternoon fast passes and we will just go in with realistic expectations planning to stroll the trails and see the shows. On our first two trips we spent all our time cramming in rides and never really stopped to take in our surroundings. Maybe this will give us opportunity to do that.


This is exactly my plan one day in August. If all goes as planned, we’ll RD EMH at MK at 8am and enjoy the low crowds on an MNSSHP day for a few hours. Then, we have one of the last ADRs at Ohana at 11:40am. And from there, we’ll head to AK for the afternoon and will use our FPs. It feels like a good plan, but let’s see how it goes!

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The Wilderness Explorer activity would be a great use of time on crowded day if you have kids in your group. We were at AK on a super busy day during Thanksgiving week and decided we couldn’t stand waiting in another long line so we decided to start earning Wilderness Explorer badges. My then 5 year old loved it! (Warning: if you decide to go this route your child/chlidren may be disappointed if they can’t earn all the badges before leaving the park!)

What age kids would you say it’s appropriate for? Mine will be 13 and 15. They aren’t the type to be “too cool” for anything, but are the activities designed for much younger kids?

I believe there is only one Wilderness Explorer guidebook for all ages, but the cast members at each station geared the interaction toward the ages that were in their group at the time. There may have been different activities you could complete in order to earn the Wilderness Explorer badge (sticker) depending on age group, but I’m not certain. If your kids aren’t worried about being ‘too cool’ I bet you could find several badges/activities they’d enjoy. You can get a Wilderness Explorer guidebook at any of the Wilderness Explorer stations and flip through it to identify the badges you are most interested in (if any). You don’t have to earn badges in any particular order so you can skip badges you aren’t interested in. :slight_smile:

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That’s great info! Thanks!