Another First Time Visitor Requesting Feedback


#1

Hi all,

Planning a trip May 6-13 with my wife and sons, 9 and 6. Been lurking here and on Lines, and occasionally posting a few questions and already gathered so much information, so thank you all already. I was hoping anyone with some experience would be willing to check out my touring plans and let me know what you think before our FP+ day in about a week and a half.

A few general thoughts:
* Kids are early risers, and we’re staying at POP, so planning on EMH every day and bought EMM for our first day in MK. Hoping to make it through the day and seeing the nighttime shows without any breaks in the day, but we’ll adjust if that’s too much for them.
* Every day is a CL 4 at the particular park we have scheduled except AK is a CL 6.
* In a stroke of luck, our first MK day we’ll be able to see Wishes and our second MK day is opening night of the new show.

Here’s the itinerary and some thoughts that went into it:

Sunday – HS
https://touringplans.com/plans/print?id=2314462

DS9 loves Star Wars so we’ll first sign up for Jedi Trials. DS6 loves Disney Jr. so that’s why we have the H&V breakfast after a few rides. DS6 isn’t old enough to do RnRRC, so one parent + DS9 will FP it (and we’ll child swap) and the other parent + DS6 will FP TSMM. We have the F! Package with the Mama Melrose lunch.

FP: Great Movie Ride 11:00, RnR/TSMM at 12:00, Star Tours at 2:00

Monday – AK
https://touringplans.com/plans/print?id=2351168

Starting at the safari and Gorilla Falls right next to it, then grabbing a quick breakfast at Kusafiri. Is it accurate that with CL 6, there will only be a 13 minute wait for EE at 9:38? DS6 isn’t tall enough so we’ll child-swap EE and Primeval Whirl later in the day. We wanted the RoL package from everything I read about it, but we could only get TH for lunch, so we booked that and will do Pizzafari for dinner. I’ve heard mixed things about the advantage of a FP for FoTLK – do we really need it? Then again, nothing else has a >15 minute wait, so nothing jumps out at me that would be higher priority.

FP: Kali 11:00, Dinosaur 1:30, FoTLK 4:15

Tuesday – MK (EMM+Frontierland+Adventureland)
https://touringplans.com/plans/print?id=2335274

We bought EMM so we can knock ourselves out on 7DMT and not have to FP or RD it. We’ll do those rides a lot and Pinocchio for breakfast, but then start hitting rides early enough after RD that TP doesn’t project long waits. (are 6 minute waits for BTMM and Splash Mtn at 9:30/9:45 reasonable? And only 19 mins for BTMM at 2:45?). We don’t have dinner plans, will go somewhere for QS during the gap between the end of our plan and Wishes. We’ll then do any rides we can FP or kids are willing to wait on line for.

FP: Pirates/Caribbean 9:30, Jungle Cruise 10:30, Splash Mtn 12:30

Wed – “Day Off”

We have a 10:30 character buffet reservation at 1900 Park Fare, and will then go to the resort pool, maybe check out the AoA food court and grounds in the afternoon. The idea is a relaxed, late-rising day with an early bedtime. :slight_smile:

Thu – Epcot
https://touringplans.com/plans/print?id=2347282

Based on comments here, we’ll RD TT then run over to Soarin’, and FP FEA for later. Burning a FP on Turtle Talk because nothing else tier 2 really needs one but this way maybe we can get another Tier 1 later in the day. We’ll child swap Mission:Space and DS6 can stay in the training lab with the non-riding parent. Meals will be the Chip ‘n’ Dale buffet @ Garden Grill, and we figured we’d snack our way around WS since F&G will be going on (those are the random breaks built into the schedule), and Electric Umbrella for dinner later. We’ll add Agent P if we have time/kids seem interested but we probably won’t spend that much time browsing WS since they’ll want to get back to rides. According to the TP we’re not getting to IllumiNations on time, but if we can’t FP the nighttime Soarin’ or TT we’ll cut one of them.

FP: Turtle Talk 9:00, Spaceship Earth 11:00, FEA 1:00

Fri – MK (Tomorrowland+Fantasyland)
https://touringplans.com/plans/print?id=2335298

Not really hitting popular rides at RD, but instead trying to make a logical plan w/o too much walking. TP has no waits >15 mins, so if that is accurate, seems like we can do this. We’ll child-swap Space Mtn, DS6 will do Astro Orbiter with non-riding parent at the same time. We don’t have breakfast planned – we'll maybe get something from resort food court or a quick breakfast while we’re walking around. Have Tony’s Parade lunch package at 12, thinking about Friar’s Nook for the mac and cheese for dinner. Have ~2 hours between then and Happily Ever After to go back and do whatever we can FP or whatever kids liked and are willing to stand on line for.

FP: Space Mtn 11:00, Micky @ Town Sq. 12:45, Buzz Lightyear 1:45

Again, thanks in advance!


#2

Hi. You have done well for a first timer! Here's a few notes though:
HS- Great Movie Ride is tier 1 like RNRC and TSMM, so you won't be able to FPP it as well as the other tier 1's. We always FPP Tower of Terror.
AK- looks good, although I wouldn't do Kali right before Tusker House unless you all are wearing ponchos. You can get soaked on that ride, and then will be sitting in the cool A/C at Tusker House. Also I would FPP EE instead of Lion King, the shows do not need FPP. We have seen them all many times, never with a FPP and always with a great view. If the line for EE is short at 9:38, you will get 2 rides. If not, FPP will give you a short wait.
MK- as soon as you use your 3rd FPP, start getting more on your phone. You should be able to easily get a 4th, then 5th, 6th, and so on. You have Pirates twice in a short time, I would drop that second Pirates and move your Splash FPP to 11:30 so you can take advantage of those extra FPP an hour sooner. Then book Pirates if you really want it again with the 4th FPP.
Rest day- good idea, especially if you don't take any breaks Sunday through Tuesday.
EP- looks okay, but don't assume your kids won't like WS much. Mine have always loved it, even when they were your kids ages (they are 13 & 15 now).
MK- I think the wait times seem a bit low for a Friday, but I could be wrong. The rides you have at rope drop are generally the ones we do later in the day with low waits (Under the Sea, It's a Small World, Mickey's Philharmagic). If it was me, I would go to Tomorrowland first, Buzz and the Speedway usually have longer waits than what the plan thinks. Astro Orbitor is one of the slowest moving lines at MK, I would do that earlier in the day. Also beware that the viewing area with the parade package is in the direct sun. It will be very hot! We watch it from close to the porch at Liberty Tree Tavern- much more pleasant as it is in the shade.
Hope this info helps you. You did good for your first trip!


#3

Couple of thoughts on HS. When you sign up for JT you are are given an anytime FPP valid for anything but TSMM, you could use that for GMR. If you are front of the pack you can sign up for JT with minimal wait and be in position to be front of the pack for TSMM as well, we had done both by 9:05am. You know your family best, but 8 hrs park time is usually more enjoyable than 12 hrs. I'd build flexibility into your plan. We used our Fantasmic DP seat on a different night, and had no trouble doing that, they never checked the date on the ticket.


#4

My biggest elephant in your room is the length of your days. You know your family best, and you've said you can change it up if they can't last. Are you driving to the parks, or planning to uber? Your days will be even longer if you are planning Disney busses. I would suggest planning a mid-day break and having some fun family time in the pool or game room of the hotel (or both) to recharge and not get burned out fighting crowds and walking - especially if the May heat makes a turn for the worst. It's a vacation, hopefully you won't run the kids into misery, but again, you know your family best. Rope drop to night show with no breaks each day - I know you have bfast and lunch as breaks which hopefully will be enough. I just hope you don't run the kids into misery by day 3 - your feet take a beating. My 7 yr old is extremely active - he ran a 5k last year with no training, he plays hockey,baseball, and soccer. We started walking a mile every night about 3 months before our trip. We took a 3 hour break back at the hotel almost every day on our trip, and by the end of day 4, our feet were REALLY feeling it. What was weird was, walking felt better than standing still. I'm going to suggest for you to PLAN mid-day breaks for recharging and having family "togetherness" time. It's just a suggestion, but you know your family better than me, obviously.

Another suggestion - skip the breakfast in the parks. My opinion is that is PRIME low crowd touring time. That is another way to get stuff done, and be able to take a break in the mid-day while most ppl are standing in longer lines in the mid-day sun. Go enjoy that nice pool /hotel you are paying for, while everyone else is standing in the long lines in the sun.

Another thing - your kids might absolutely LOVE the T-land Speedway. I would PLAN to do that at least twice. It's a generalization on my part that boys that age are going to LOVE it, and pretty much beg you to do it, "again." I'd plan to do it twice, you and the wife once with each kid. Let the 6yr old drive while you work the pedals if he can't reach.

I hope you have an absolute blast, but don't underestimate your kids absolutely having as much fun with their parents enjoying quality time in the hotel pool.

E.T.A. - For EMH at Epcot - I'd try to do Soarin and Test Track 2x each before anything else.


#5

What is T-land speedway?


#6

Tomorrowland Speedway.


#7

Omg, I never even heard of that! My kids would love it! Adding it now. Thank you!!!!!!!!


#8

Thank you all for the responses.

@Wahoohokie:
Thanks for the tip about Kali right before TH (and all the tips!). I'll see if I can move that around. And I'll definitely try to re-do the MK Day 2 plan to hit some more popular rides first.

@Tate, @seebee:
I know the 12 hour days will be long, and I know many people love a mid-day break, but I'm not sure I see the value of it. I've heard to allow 1 hour for transportation between a park and a resort. So if we leave a park, walk to the entrance, take the bus to the resort, change to bathing suits, swim for an hour, change back to street clothes, take the bus back to the resort, and go through security again, that's about 4 hours that doesn't seem all that relaxing or rejuvenating to me. Maybe if the kids were older and we were planning on being there until 11pm or midnight closings, but I just don't see a big advantage to this. Am I missing something?

@seebee:
I was initially leery of "wasting" any time with table service meals, especially valuable early morning time. But I ended up planning them for several reasons, including, 1) DS6 wants the Disney Jr. breakfast and isn't as much of a Star Wars fan, but HS will be very SW heavy since DS9 is a huge fan, so its something for him that day, 2) since we're not doing mid-day breaks, I thought the seated, air conditioned meals would be nice breaks for everyone to relax and freshen up a bit, and 3) with the DDP, I like the idea of the various packages (ROL, F! and Tony's Fesitival of Fantasy) for good viewing locations for many shows without having to get there an hour early. Plus (surprisingly) I was able to fit everything I want to do into the days, without very long wait times, so I don't feel like I'm "losing" prime attraction time with the meals.

Thanks again everyone, and please, feel free to keep the critiques/suggestions coming!


#9

Again, you know your fam best, so I can only suggest, and I might be completely wrong, I'm just trying to help. Are you adding that extra hour of travel time before and after the parks? And the time it will take to get the kids prepped in the am before getting to the bus stop? 8am rope drop means 7am bus stop +prep time. Leaving the park at 9pm means 10 pm (ish) back to the hotel, (I won't mention the possibility of not being able to make it on the bus and having to wait for the next one because it's too crowded on one leg of the trip...but it could happen..grrrr) My fam is ok with early am, so it's not a huge issue for us, sounds like yours is the same. Mid to high 80's F plus mid to high 80% humidity just might take its toll. A lot of ppl try to pack it all in, noble in cause, absolutely, you wanna do everything you can for the price you are paying. I'm the same way. Your 6 yr old might not be up for forging ahead as long as you are, in the heat and humidity. My first tp I asked for feedback on, I had several, "you're trying to pack too much in, take a break" type responses. I'm just paying that forward. I don't want to discourage you in any way, you know your fam better than me. I hope you have a blast!

As far as the the package adr's - I'm in complete agreement. They are worth every penny, especially for higher crowd days, easy (quick) seating for the shows with better views and the break and re-charge.


#10

Definitely build in some flexibility. What I do is prioritize the attractions and shows, marking the ones that can be skipped if time and/or energy wanes. What you have planned is often referred to as a "Death March" and may be too much for little legs. The rest day in the middle is a good idea, but kids under 10 or so really do need some afternoon down time - at the very least, an in park rest with a snack. Ride the trains at MK and AK, the monorail loop at Epcot, and maybe ride the Friendship boat from HS to Epcot or Boardwalk (Ample Hills Creamery is NOT to be missed!) and back in the afternoons.

Do be aware that you can get more Fast Passes after you've used your first three. I was able to get both Fantasmic and Illuminations the day of, in the afternoon, on CL6 days last December.

Usually when we go, it's me and DH (we're 50-something empty nesters living out our second childhood!) but I'm doing a solo trip that week, so catch me on the Lines Chat if you have any questions.


#11

I felt the same way about afternoon breaks for my AK & HS days, as traveling can take awhile. For HS we finished about 4/5pm and then hopped back from EP on another evening after a late start. We only made concrete plans for 2/3 of each day, and the times we could have done more we never wanted to. As a first timer my plans changed dramatically over my 11 month count down, 'less is more' became my mantra. We did all our must do's, some numerous times, and alot of everything else, but we still had time by the pool nearly every day, and enjoyed quite a few dinners there as we relaxed after a jam packed amazing day. We used our time and FPP very scientifically with the help of TP to maximise our down time and avoid crowds and waiting. On days when we rope dropped we arrived at least an hour early and then rarely waited longer than 15mins for anything the rest of the day.


#12

I completely understand your point of wasting time with a mid-day break. Perhaps you could schedule some "downtime" within the parks. For example, if the MK train is back up and running by your trip, maybe hop on it and make a couple of loops around the park. That would give your legs some rest time, perhaps give the kids a chance to take a quick nap, and energize a bit without the hassle of returning to your room. You could probably find something similar in each park (a ride to Conservation Station at AK, maybe Great Movie Ride in HS (if the line allows) or one of the shows, cruise the lake at World Showcase or just relax on a bench somewhere. One year, we actually found empty places on the sofas that were in Innovations and DS slept in his stroller while we relaxed on the sofas. It was a nice break from the day without leaving the park.


#13

Ellen's Energy Adventure is a great candidate at Epcot for a nap, err, break. AC - super long ride - just make sure you hit the bathrooms prior...


#14

@LarryG23

I am in the camp of not taking breaks either. I do try to alternate late nights with early mornings. For example, no RD if we didn't get back to the room until 11pm.

How's the planning coming?


#15

Coming along! I re-jiggered some of the plans based on the advice here, and it's 4 days until I can reserve fast passes!