Another First Timer Requesting TP Evaluation

Hello - I realize that there’s a slew of newbies requesting plan evaluations, so I hope I can persuade you to read one more!

Family Background:
Parents: Matt and Jen. We love good food and craft beer, but we’re more Anthony Bourdain style – we’d rather find good ethnic street food than not get good value at a fancy restaurant. Character meals, buffets, and overpriced dinners don’t suit us.

Kids: Declan, age 8. Doesn’t do any thrill rides; has a weak stomach.
Ronan, age 6. Daredevil, loves roller coasters, though we’ll probably limit him to the more tame roller coasters (ie no Tower of Terror or Rock n Roller Coaster).
Both are super into Star Wars.

We are arriving around 12:30 am on Thursday, March 16 (not ideal, but we booked the trip in October and that was the best option at the time). We are staying at an airport hotel that night. Thursday morning we’ll Lyft to Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village. Does it seem reasonable to be in AK by 12:30 pm or so? That’s when I have our first FPP set.

Day 1: Animal Kingdom. We will strive to have eaten a quick lunch before coming to the parks (we’re ordering groceries from Fast Passes set for Kilimanjaro Safaris at 12:20, FotLK at 2:30, and KRR at 4:50. On this day we’re concentrating on Africa, Asia, and Discovery Island. I tried to work in a few obvious stops for refreshments, but these are obviously flexible. Made KRR last so getting soaked won’t be a problem.

Leaving the park at 5:30 pm; ADR at Sanaa at 6:45.

Note: These plans were made BEFORE any mention of the nighttime shows was made on the Disney Site. Now that ROL and other nighttime options are available, is it worth rearranging my schedule?
Note also: We will be returning to AK on for another half day on Saturday.

Day 2: EPCOT (Friday). Traveling from Kidani Village to Epcot via Lyft. Fast Passes at Mission Space: Green at 11:20, FEA at 4, and TTwC at 7:20. The morning will be devoted to a few big FW rides. First question: is MS:Green still too rough for someone with a weak stomach? Should we just do MS:Orange with child swap?

I rearranged the touring plan to eliminate a couple more FW attractions that were initially recommended because it kept putting us to lunch at 12, and I was worried about lengthy lines. This version has us heading out to World Showcase at 11:15 where we’ll spend the entire afternoon.

Lunch: QS at Yorkshire County Fish Shop, plus maybe trying to sneak into the Rose & Crown for a pint of Guinness (it’s St. Paddy’s Day!).

Dinner: ADR at Biergarten at 6 pm. (I realize it’s a buffet, but we love German food and it seems worth it for the show and atmosphere).

For the afternoon I drew up a rough plan of countries to visit and tried to leave a good amount of time to explore. However, this will just be a suggested guide – we’ll play it by ear, see what catches our eye, look at the shows schedule, and take our time. We’ll save a few countries (France for sure) for our 2nd evening in Epcot later on. The only mandatory stop is Norway for FEA at 4 pm.

If we do follow the rough order of countries listed, we’ll have to jump from Italy to Mexico – is it worth taking the Friendship Boats? I don’t think it’s supposed to be any big time saver but maybe just something different and a brief break from walking?

Day 3: Animal Kingdom(Saturday morning). Sleeping in slightly this morning after the full day yesterday. Goal is to be in the parks by 10:00 am. Fast passes at EE at 10:00 with child swap and FN at 11:30.

Lunch at Harambe Market.

We should leave the parks around 1:30, return to AKL – Kidani for the transfer to our second lodging location – Bay Lake Tower, getting there around 3-3:30. We plan on just enjoying the pool there for whatever remains of the day, getting food and drinks from The Cove Bar.

Around 7 pm we’ll take the monorail over to MK. Plan is to get a Citrus Swirl at STT, then get in position for Wishes and OUAT. If time permits maybe do a ride or two (maybe Splash Mountain if I can swing a FPP, that one somehow didn’t make it into the itinerary for the other 2 MK days). When I first made the plans a month or so ago, I swear the TP site had OUAT  Wishes; this new lineup puts us in the parks a bit later than expected (OUAT starts at 9:45 pm), but as it’s the only evening I expect to spend in the MK, I don’t think we have much choice.

Day 4: Magic Kingdom (Sunday). Original Plan was for RD, but now with the super late night on Saturday, I might have to re-evaluate. Suggestions welcome!

This plan concentrates on Fantasyland, Frontierland, and Liberty Square. 3 FPP: ETwB at 9:30, PPF at 11:20, and 7DMT at 12:20. Hoping for an afternoon FPP at BTMR around 4 pm.

Lunch at Columbia Harbor House around 11:20.

Leaving the park at 5:30 pm. ADR at Kona Café at the Polynesian at 6:45 pm. If possible hoping to get there a little early to check out Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. Monorailing back to Bay Lake Tower after dinner to head up to Top of the World Lounge for Wishes.

Day 5: Hollywood Studios (Monday). Travelling to HS via Lyft. FPP for TSMM at 9:20, Frozen at 11:00, and IJSS at 12:45. Signing up for Jedi Training at RD. The boys are big Star Wars fans, so I added extra time for Launch Bay. Interestingly enough, though, when shown pics of Fantasmic and SW: AGS, they chose Fantasmic – go figure.

Hoping to be at the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge about 10 minutes before it opens at noon to grab a lounge table for lunch.

PizzeRizzo for dinner around 5:25 pm.

Day 6: Magic Kingdom (Tuesday morning). FPP at Space Mountain at 9:40, Jungle Cruise at 10:45, and Meet Mickey at Town Hall at 1:30. Spending the day in Tomorrowland and Adventureland.

Lunch at Pecos Bill’s at 12:12.

Leaving the park around 3 pm for a rest at the hotel before leaving for Epcot around 4:30 pm.

Epcot (Tuesday afternoon). Final night in the parks, Extra Magic Hours till 11 pm – we’ll see how late we can go, we might end up bailing early.

Dinner at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie . Dessert at L’Artisans des Glace. We’ll spend some time at the pavilions we missed Friday – France, Morocco, Canada. We’ll try to watch Illuminations from the UK – France bridge.

Thanks for the help everyone!

Wow - long post. Here are a few comments.[quote=“shermND, post:1, topic:31832”]
Does it seem reasonable to be in AK by 12:30 pm or so? That’s when I have our first FPP set.

That’s really a matter of what time you leave your airport hotel in the AM. Allow 45 min to get from hotel to hotel, (at least) 30 min to check in and drop stuff off in your room, and another 20 min to get to the park (the bus ride is less than 10 min, but you have to allow for a possible wait). You should probably allow about 30 min to get through bag screening, the tapstiles, and getting to your 1st attraction. Also, the 12:30 is the start time of the FPP; you have up to an hour past that to do the ride. In your shoes, If I was leaving my first hotel between 9:30 and 10:00, I’d feel comfortable about making a 12:30-1:30 FPP

.[quote=“shermND, post:1, topic:31832”]
Now that ROL and other nighttime options are available, is it worth rearranging my schedule?

I’ve been following the development of ROL for over 2 years now, and seeing it would be one of my top priorities for the entire trip; I would have booked a dining package at Tiffins (or Tusker House) the minute they were opened up. But that’s me. Based on early reports, if you don’t have an FPP or dining package, there are not a lot of SB seats for the show, and to get one, you have to line up pretty early. And by now you probably can’t get either a FPP or a dining package. Maybe not an “answer” to your question, but rather some observations.

I see you using Lyft quite a lot; I’m not sure why. Are you planning on using it as well to return to your hotel at the end of the day? Seems like a lot of money when you can ride buses for free. I can see using Lyft for pre-RD ADRs or resort-to-resort travel, but for resort-to-park, the buses are really easy.

I totally agree; I really dislike buffets in general, but BG is probably my favorite TS in WDW. My mother is 1st generation German, and the food at BG is the closest to what I had growing up that I have had in a restaurant. Excellent choice! Yorkshire also happens to be my favorite QS in EP; possibly in all of WDW.


One of the benefits of staying at BLT is the ability to walk to the MK (it takes about 10 min). If you add in waiting for the mono and stops at the TTC, Poly, and GF, it might actually be faster to walk there.

I don’t have time right now to open and comment on each TP, but I’ll try to get back to those later.

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I appreciate the response to my admittedly lengthy post, bswan26. Much great information!

  • Regarding Lyft, the cost-benefit analysis for rides to farther-away parks (where a bus ride could have multiple stops) makes it worth it for us to be able to avoid the extra stops and ensure being at a park by RD. It’s only about $8-13 and we can easily take the bus back to the hotels at the end of the day. We’re planning on using it twice - AK Kidani to Epcot and BLT to HS.

  • Great point about walking from BLT to MK - hadn’t really considered that. First time the kids will probably view the monorail as a ride all on its own though, but after that walking should suffice.

Thanks again!

The resort to park and park to resort buses are mostly just for one stop.

A bus will only stop at your resort and the mk. Or resort and other parks. At akl you may share a bus with jambo and kindai but i do not know that for sure.

At time the water parks might share a bus with disney springs or with a close park.

You may not need lyft as much as you think.

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I was hard to get all of the details down but to answer a few questions. First of all, I think, with a general reading of your post you have a good handle on the time that needs to be built into the schedule on a busy day, and you recognize that rest periods need to be built in too, and you seem to be flexible, so that should ensure your success.

Specifically answering your question on Mission Space, green is the calm side, orange is the crazy side. I would stay with the green if you have a weak stomach or any trouble with the feeling of something pressing down on your chest or stomach.

Since you are going at a busy time, basically, any day can be do-able at any level if you bring your patience, go early, get your fast passes for the crowded times, usually 10:30 to 4:30, take a lunch break off site for the middle of the day, rest during the middle of the day, and go back for the evenings.

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What time is Wishes on the night you’re planning to watch from TOTWL?

Just a little confused… you ruled out rd at MK, which is 10 minutes walk, after watching Wishes in the park, but plan to rd DHS the morning after watching from TOTWL. Apart from getting out of MK, there wouldn’t be much difference in the time to get to bed from TOTWL.

Or are you trying to avoid more than 1 rd?

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The difference is on the Saturday we plan to go to Wishes in the MK, we’ll then stay for OUAT at 9:45 and not get back to the hotel till 10:30 or 10:45. That made me question our ability to RD the MK the next morning - but as of now we still plan on trying to stick to that plan - the TP is assuming RD.

For Wishes at TOTWL (also at 9 pm), we’ll hopefully be in bed by 9:45, making it a bit easier to RD HS the next day.

But as a first timer, that’s part of why I brought it up - if you think staying out late for Wishes --> OUAT followed by next morning RD is a bad idea, let me know! Thanks!

Ah, OK. I get it now.

I think it depends on your boys, and how good they are at getting up after a late night. I really can’t offer any insight, sorry! We have never done rd as a family, I did it at Christmas but just to watch the opening show…

That is one of the benefits of coming from the uk. We stay 2 weeks, once did 3. So no need to cram it in to just a few days. But others will have lots of advice on that.

About AK. My advice would be that you might want to allow more than the 20 minutes for each of the trails. In my experience you will almost certainly want to linger and watch a while.

DHS - as you get closer, make sure to plan in the March of the First Order. And the best place is along the route, not right in front of the stage. Your boys will love it! And there’s also a couple of storm troopers who will mingle with the crowds around the stage area during the day. The issue is you are going from the Path of the Jedi to the stage show part ( a galaxy far far away). But the March takes place immediately before the stage show, usually 30 minutes before it starts. I would plan a break of 30 minutes before Galaxy, put in a note that it’s for the March, and wait for the schedule to be confirmed. Path of the Jedi runs on a continuous loop so can be slotted in any time really.

You can meet Olaf right next door to Path of the Jedi and we walked straight in in the evening, no wait at all.

The projection show is impressive but not a firework show. The film clips used are mostly the same as the 10 minute Path of the Jedi. They use the theatre to project scenes, e.g.: the millennium falcon and the Death Star raid, and use fireworks to enhance it. I would probably choose Fantasmic as a first time visit.

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Great suggestions! I appreciate you taking the time to look through the plans. Your tips on the AK trails and March of the 1st Order are prime examples of things I wouldn’t have thought of myself but I will definitely implement. So thanks very much for sharing your expertise.

Sounds like you have planned well. But I have to agree that you probably don’t need LYFT as much as you think (unless you just have credits or something). We stayed at Contempo last year and the buses were very regular - never had to wait more than 5 minutes. I think the bus service is much maligned for no reason especially the two resorts you are staying at. I’d save my money for that Guinness in Epcot:grinning: I would have definitely planned on Rivers of Light, but as someone else mentioned - no more fastpasses (you can keep checking) and no more dining packages for the day you will be at AK, but not the end of the world by any stretch.

Thanks, bethro23, for chiming in. You know, I have to say I’m a bit irritated about the whole Rivers of Light situation. I had 3 sources for my research in developing my Touring Plans in late January / early February:
1). This website. I meticulously combed through all the links on each park’s page, from attractions to entertainment to food.
2). The Unofficial Guide.
3). - I also combed through all attractions / shows on that site.

I found no mention of Rivers of Light. I first heard of it when I discovered the forums here last week, at which point I saw it on the mydisneyexperience site, where it was already booked up for FastPasses. Was this a sudden reveal, or had people known it was coming? Did I miss obvious information about it on the site? I confess I didn’t read the blog / news articles much, I just used the park pages and the drop down menu options on the touring plans. In any case, I missed out. It would have been hard to incorporate into our plans anyway, as it would mean rescheduling ADR at Sanaa, which was our #1 restaurant choice for the trip. But still, I’m wondering if there are other things I don’t know about now.

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Actually I’m an avid follower of a number of forums, some with serious “insiders” and no one had an opening date until Disney announced it. The soft opening came as another out of the blue surprise - so don’t be too hard on the various planning sites.

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We have known for over a year ROL would open. Just has no clue As to when. It tried to open before but they had trouble. So bow it is finally open.

So do not feel bad. No boom would have written it up until it was known. Same with Pandora opening. It has been known just not the when. And even though I have heard 2019 for stars wars land i am not pinning my hopes on it.

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I was doing more research for our final night at Epcot. Original plan was to go to France for a quick service dinner at Les Halles. The menu there looks fantastic - but being the last day I was worried about exhaustion and potentially having trouble finding a seat (lots of people saying seating there is at a premium).

Our countries included in our TP that evening are Canada, France, and Morocco. So just for the heck of it I started reading restaurant reviews for restaurants in those 3 countries. I discover that Spice Road Table has outdoor tables that supposedly are good for Illuminations viewing, and they have a reservation open at 7:50.

So here are the 2 plans:
Eat at Les Halles, dessert at L’Artisan des Glaces, watch Illuminations from France- UK bridge.

Eat at Spice Road, watch Illuminations from the table.

Any input? Thanks!

Very true…

I haven’t had a chance to try SRT yet myself, but it gets generally very good reviews. Only downside is that it’s “small plates” so you may need to order several if you’re a “big eater”. I had friends who went there and ordered 4 plates between the two of them and shared - they said it was just the right amount of food. It would definitely be the more “relaxing” experience - and it’s quite pretty.

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This is my plan when I go in Dec. shh don’t tell everyone! :stuck_out_tongue: I haven’t been yet, but I’ve read that the quantity is on the smaller side, so if your on the dp you might end up paying OOP for a few extras. Also read that they can’t guarantee you get an unobstructed view, or near the rail. But it never hurts to ask and be prepared to wait a bit right?

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Sorry to let the cat out of the bag! I guess I was just trying to investigate whether the cat was worth letting out. :grin:

We love tapas, so small plates don’t bother us. And apparently the tapas have been super-sized anyway when SRT made the transition to ADRs. I’m not worried - with F&G booths all around the Showcase I’m sure we’ll fill up one way or another…


Editing to reflect changes in my last day (Tuesday 3-21) plan for Magic Kingdom. After receiving advice that Pecos Bill’s might not have the best food options, I researched it further and found some pretty disheartening reviews (especially on cleanliness). On perusing the MDE site I saw an ADR for The Plaza come up, so I grabbed it. This required some reshuffling of the schedule and FPPs. Here’s the new plan:

Hollyweird Studios:

  1. Are you doing a Fantasmic package at Brown Derby? I hope so. It’s a time saver, and you’re gonna eat anyway.

  2. There is a little army green men show in “Pixar Alley” or Toy Story Alley? in the corridor between Launch Bay and TSMM. I don’t know why they do not list showtimes for it. It’s pretty funny. It’s a bunch of men dressed up like the little green army guys from Toy Story, and one of them has a megaphone. They put on a show - audience participation. It’s pretty fun.

  3. Jawa Trading in launch bay. Bring some little trinkets. Conventional wisdom says the like shiny objects, but it all just depends. If they start toying with you, they are REALLY funny. Don’t be surprised if they start sneaking their hands into your bag while you are walking away.

  4. When you exit Star Tours, you exit through a Star Wars store. At the front of that store, is an area with a bunch of bins that contain light saber parts. A cm will help your kids build their own light saber. You say your kids are Star Wars fans? Guess where you can spend an extra 20 minutes and about 80 bucks for two hand crafted light sabers? It’s actually pretty fun. The cm’s help them put them together, and also show them how to take them apart and put them together again. And oh yeah - expect to want to do Star Tours more than once. It is an absolute BLAST! It might make your tummy funny if you do it a few times in a row, but it is a BLAST!. Make sure your kids know to look at the screens in front on each side when they announce who the secret spy is! It might be THEM!

  5. Indy fastpass. Is this a very high crowd level day? My assumption is that it would probably not be needed.

  6. GMR - it might scare your kids, it very well might not. But it’s not just some nice little trip down memory lane of Snow White and Bambi. There’s some gunfights, and some things from the movie Alien.

  7. If the SOP is still a fastpass given to you when you sign up for Jedi, take that into account. If you are not allowed to use it for TSMM, maybe the parents can take a turn on Rockin Coaster, or TOT (tower of terror is…you need to do tower of terror if you like drops. You NEED to.)

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Check for fastpasses at Epcot as soon as you check in for Meet Mickey!

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