Creating TP for family-first trip for daughter, not sure where to start

Hi New Friends!

This is my first post over here, I’ve been stalking the boards for quite some time and can’t get over how nice everyone is! I’m a Mommy Blogger and am part of many, many online communities and no community is generally as supportive and kind as everyone is here!

Now that I have buttered everyone and up and we are all feeling warm and fuzzy :slight_smile: I am here to ask for a bit of help. My husband and I are bringing our two daughters (a brand new five year old and ten month old at the time of the trip) to Disney between April 24-May 2. I have absolutely no idea where to start on TPs-I may have done this in the incorrect order because I have already made my ADRs, our TA advised me to make the immediately since we are planning “late”–we just booked travel this month.

Here is my pre-scheduled itinerary, we are staying at Pop Century:
April 24-arrive somewhere around 10ish (I work for Southwest so I’m not 100% on the flights I will be taking since it is non-rev but I anticipate it would be evening).

April 25: 8:00 am-Cape May Cafe
11:00 am-Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Downtown Disney
8:20 pm- 'Ohana

April 26: HS day
5:50 pm-Hollywood & Vine Fantasmic 1st show “package”

April 27: MK day

April 28: Epcot
12:20 pm-Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

April 29-Animal Kingdom Day
12:20 pm-Tusker House
4:30 pm-Yak & Yeti

April 30- 6:55 1900 Park Fare

May 1- nothing scheduled

May 2-depart early morning

So as you can see, I initially planned one day for each park the first four days of park days (Saturday we plan on having it be a resort/Downtown day but we can add onto our tickets to go another day if it makes sense) and then the last two to be days to go back and do what we hadn’t gotten a chance to. I’m now thinking this may not have been the best way to go about it. Help!

Background: My family is very, very active and rest periods aren’t required (but wouldn’t hurt if we had them!) The baby will sleep anywhere/anytime so we do not have to build in nap times for her specifically. Making it to rope drop will not be an issue in the mornings so I would love to capitalize on that. My oldest is also a night owl so we can stay out late. My husband and I have been to Disney a couple of times and are those crazy people who hit everything they want all in one day but I know with kids EVERYTHING has changed. Epcot is our least favorite park (we feel like freaks admitting this because all adults we know love it) so I know we will only need to do one day there, max. I’m hoping to get a BOG reservation for dinner (checking daily) or FP lunch. If we get dinner, we will drop Yak and Yeti to replace our table service.

So what should I do-stick with one park per day the first four and then go to MK (which is where I think we will need multiple days) on the last two? Do morning at one park and then take naps/swim and then another at night? The only thing I know we have to do is meet Anna & Elsa (because of course my five year old is obsessed). Which brings me to Fast Passes. Do I get those first or do I TP first and then decide which FP I need.

This is a ton of questions, I’m SO sorry-I feel like a total newbie even though we have been many times. Just never with kids and when the trip isn’t about us-it is about our daughter. I am just so, so excited to bring her, I seriously cry every time I think about how magical it will be for her and want to make it the best trip ever.

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You definitely did the right thing by getting your ADRs first. They’re more difficult to get than the FPPs, and you can use TP to work around your ADRs.

It sounds like you’ve got a good plan to me – hitting each of the parks once and then doing parts of the last two days at MK. I think you’ll definitely want to add the extra MK day(s) if you have a five-year-old daughter and if you want get to everything you want to see with your family. If you do happen to get to everything the first day, then you can simply see some of the attractions you really like a second time – but at a more leisurely pace. Or you could let your daughter guide you to the ones she’d like to see.

As for the FPPs, here’s what I did, and it seemed to work well. I first used TP to see what attractions they recommended for FPPs, then I pretended I actually had the FPPs, added them to my TP, and re-optimized. (There were a couple of attractions that TP didn’t suggest but that I didn’t want to take a chance of missing, so I ignored the TP recommendations for those and went with the ones I wanted.) Then I booked my FPPs on the WDW site trying to get the times as close as possible to what I had in my TP. For the most part, you should be able to get the FPPs you want if you get online at the 60-day mark. If A&E is really important to your DD5, you’ll want to book that one first since those go really quickly.

[quote=“CassidyPhantastic, post:1, topic:10057”]
I work for Southwest[/quote]
Yay! I’m a big fan. Thanks to you and your colleagues for taking me to Florida quite a few times.

[quote=“CassidyPhantastic, post:1, topic:10057”]
April 25:
8:00 am-Cape May Cafe
11:00 am-Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Downtown Disney[/quote]
This morning may be tough, because getting to Cape May Cafe could be tricky. If you’ll have a car, then just drive to the Beach Club, but if you don’t, then you may have to pay for a cab (or Uber). There is no bus directly from Pop to Beach Club, but if you don’t have a car and don’t want to pay for a ride, then you could take a bus to the Studios and walk or catch a boat (depending on how early they start running) to the Beach Club.

After breakfast, you can take a bus from Beach Club to Downtown Disney, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Eat a big breakfast and/or bring a snack when you get to Downtown Disney. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique seems like it gets very busy and the whole process took a lot longer than I expected when my friend’s daughter went through it recently. They checked in just after 10:00 AM and weren’t done until after 11:30, then decided to buy some sort of photo package, which required walking to another building. It was almost 12:15 PM before that was done.

Dinner seems kinda early after eating a potentially big lunch. Animal Kingdom has some great counter service options if you want to try that for dinner or you could visit Animal Kingdom Lodge after you’re done with the park, where they have some great dining options.

[quote=“CassidyPhantastic, post:1, topic:10057”]
April 30
6:55 1900 Park Fare[/quote]
Keep this. It’s a lot of fun if you kid around with Cinderella’s stepsisters.

[quote=“CassidyPhantastic, post:1, topic:10057”]
Saturday we plan on having it be a resort/Downtown day but we can add onto our tickets to go another day if it makes sense[/quote]
I’d consider adding another day to your park tickets. Doing so usually doesn’t cost much more and since you’re planning on dinner at 'Ohana you’ll already be near the Magic Kingdom, so why not spend a few hours there before dinner? My limited experience traveling with Princesses also suggests that they like to show off and be seen after BBB, so maybe try to schedule FastPass reservations for princess meets in the Magic Kingdom and ride a few classic attractions on your first day.

[quote=“CassidyPhantastic, post:1, topic:10057”]
the last two to be days to go back and do what we hadn’t gotten a chance to[/quote]
I like leaving the last day “open” to make up for attractions my group missed or re-ride some favorites. With the current system, however, I’ll still make FastPass reservations at one park just to have those in place, but will be prepared to do whatever the group thinks is the best use of the last day. For example, in December, while traveling with a friend’s family we had Anna & Elsa FPP (FastPass+) reservations earlier in the trip, but also had backup FPP on our last day in case something went wrong and we missed our previous “appointment”.

[quote=“CassidyPhantastic, post:1, topic:10057”]
I’m hoping to get a BOG reservation for dinner (checking daily) or FP lunch[/quote]
You’ll probably be able to get a lunch reservation when those become available on February 25th. Just be prepared for the inevitable Disney reservation system crash the morning Disney turns on the new lunch reservation system that morning.

[quote=“CassidyPhantastic, post:1, topic:10057”]
The only thing I know we have to do is meet Anna & Elsa[/quote]
When you reach the 60 day window in which you can book FPP, make this the first thing you select. You’ll have to be awake/online at midnight (and possibly later) to do this. Also, try for a day later in your visit, since there’s a decent chance these won’t be able on the first day of your trip. Almost any other FPP will be available to book at a more leisurely pace, but very few FPP times are available for Anna & Elsa each day and they often go fast.

As a first step for TPs, I would look at the various pre-made TPs that would apply to your group. This will give you a good idea of how much you can accomplish in a day, and what attractions your group will probably want a to see. If you find one that is a reasonable match, you can copy it, make any changes you want, and then Optimize it for the day in question. This will also give you suggestions for the best FPPs to book.

Finally, welcome to the Forum!


I haven’t been with a little one in a long time (my daughter will be 20!), so I’m not sure I have the best advice. :slight_smile: My daughter wasn’t a big napper, and was usually on the go, but she was more tired at Disney. Lots of the activity and excitement! It’s great to have a TP, but be willing to change plans, if necessary. Sometimes we get so focused on doing “everything” that we forget to stop and enjoy the little things. It’s fun to see what kids notice, and let them set the pace, once in awhile. My daughter developed a love for Pluto, so we always have the added focus of looking for him at every park (we still do!) Sometimes that derails our plan for something else, but that’s ok.

You have some wonderful plans already, so I’m sure your daughter will have a great time. You will cry, and that’s ok! We would love to hear about your trip when you get back.

One thing I noticed was that the pre-set Touring Plans don’t have a lot of character meet & greet time. So if your 5yo is anything like my daughter, for Epcot, look into catching up with Mulan in China (not a FP, but you can find the times on Disney website), in MK, in addition to Anna & Elsa FP+, think about Tinkerbell and/or Ariel FP+, block a “break” for the non-FP+ characters like Merida to fit in your plan.

Thank you so much for your suggestion on how to plan out my FPPs! I am getting pretty close to being able to reserve them so trying to finalize all of my plans :slight_smile: 65 days out!

Well thank you for flying SW and keeping my paycheck steady :slight_smile:

We knew making a breakfast reservation pretty early might mean a cab ride-but thanks for pointing it out now, I need to go ahead and fully research that. Also, we totally took your advice on not doing dinner right after our big lunch-while we do love to eat, I don’t think we would have been ready for a full meal by then. We also decided to go ahead and go to a park after the BBB-we are going to do Akershus dinner so she can dine with the fellow princesses :slight_smile:
Thanks again!

Thanks! I used TPs on our last trip to DW in 2009 but I don’t remember there being forums (though I may not have looked around). It was such a great hit and we realized we would never go without a plan!

Don’t worry-as a blogger I will document everything! It surprises me how often I choke up thinking about how magical our trip will be, but that is all part of the Disney Magic!

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See this is where I struggle a bit. I can’t decide if my daughter will be into meeting the characters or not. She is painfully shy-I suppose I should go ahead and schedule time for it, and if she doesn’t like it we can fit other things in!

[quote=“CassidyPhantastic, post:11, topic:10057”]
See this is where I struggle a bit. I can’t decide if my daughter will be into meeting the characters or not.[/quote]

It’s hard to know ahead of time if a child will want to meet characters. Even if it’s something they’ve liked in the past or something they hated in the past, they may not react the same way on their next visit. As far as shyness, kids often take the lead from how adults interact with the characters. When parents shove their child toward a character and try to snap a picture, that doesn’t always work out well. If adults shake hands with a character, offer a hug, or just say hello and introduce their child, then that sometimes helps. Asking silly questions can prompt amusing reactions by some of the characters.

Scheduling character meets is tricky. For some, like Princess Fairytale Hall or talking Mickey on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, you can book FastPasses and there are regular lines just like any other attraction. However, for those stationed out in the park (including most of the princesses in Epcot) you either have to study the times guide to know when they go on break (and line up before the characters return from break) or just treat those meets as a bonus if you find a short line.