I concur with above that it’s very easy to rope drop the first couple of days, just don’t make any evening plans as you’ll all be knackered. When my girls were 5 & 7 we went straight to bed on arrival day, but they are now 7&9 and on our recent trip we managed a quick swim and drink at the bar before bed. We loved Blizzard Beach in the morning but it lost its appeal by lunchtime and we played mini golf before heading to AK.
Thanks for all the comments any advice in which park to do day 1 and what start time?
I think we’ve all said a few times it’s very easy to be at park opening on your first day and that’s what I’d recommend. Whichever park fits with your plans really. Lots of people like to go to MK first, we never personally do.
We rope dropped MK the first day after flying from UK. We were awake early and it was no bother to get going as we were excited. We started to flag at about 4pm so left them. Our next MK day we went in at 1pm and left at 11pm having seen the fireworks etc. Worked well for us ( children were 9 and 11).
I would just presume that you will all wake around 5am both because of the time difference and excitement, then look at the TP app to see which park is open first, and aim for that. If they are all open at the same time, maybe aim for MK. Whichever you choose be at the tapstiles an hour before opening. Then following your TP and aim to have a break for brunch/lunch just before midday… you will need to make an ADR if you want to eat at a TS restaurant but even if you choose QS have some places in mind. Book you 3 FPs starting from 9 or 9.15 but RD a ride or two before using your first FP…either one you couldn’t get a FP for or one you want to ride twice. Do you have the TP book? It has descriptions of all the rides.
Some people share there plans. Let me see if I can find one.
This is prepared by @HaroldL
My email has a question that I can’t find here. Anyway, my email says: “Thanks for all the comments any advice in which park to do day 1 and what start time?”.
My plans include estimated park crowd levels. I use this as a guide for which park I hit first. My plan will vary from yours, because I am coming from GA and driving there on my first day. I chose Epcot for my first day, because we will be arriving late and mainly be doing the food and wine festival. I was lucky enough to get the free dining, and made my plans well in advance of the 180 day mark so that I got all my reservations I want. Knowing which parks you are attending we in advance is a good key to your perfect plan. What are your dates? I’ll help you figure out first few days.
The OP @edyeldham is looking for some help with planning and I remembered your plan so shared it here.
Thanks all, I will show my wife this as she won’t believe me that RD on day 1 is a good idea!
Thanks for the excel sheet, I will look over that. I’m and FD so spend life on excel and get stick for using it for my holiday planning so good to see it being used by others!
We land in Orlando on July 26th so first park day will be Sat 27th Jul and we plan to leave Orlando on the 2nd to head to Naples for some r and r, I’m allowing a down spare day and a visit to Kennedy Space centre in our time in Orlando. I had thought an early MK day and a later start to then hang about and watch fireworks so thats good to see seems sensible.
As another UKer, I would agree the first few mornings will be easier to get up early.
However, I would also say we get tired early too, as we adjust to the time difference. The travel day is a killer, arriving tea time but your body is telling you it’s bed time already. So either plan a proper mid-day break (even a nap) those first few days, or an early finish. Save the fireworks and evening shows for later on (Illuminations/Epcot Forever, Fantasmic, HEA).
Imagine telling your children to stay in bed until 10am on Christmas Day and then quadruple the excitement.
I also thought we’d be exhausted on travel day but we got a second wind once we’d checked into our villa and ended up doing a small grocery shop and going swimming!
I’ve looked up your dates. Your Crowd level will be 6 for your entire trip. It may go to 7 or 5 at certain parks, but there really is no noticable difference between 5 to 6 to 7. I do see you are staying at the Wyndeham Hotel. I believe that is off property. Animal Kingdom has extra morning magic hours. Avoid this at all cost. It’s only for guest staying on property and by the time you are admitted, the lines for FOP will be huge. Fast Passes won’t be available at 30 days out either, so Animal Kingdom needs to be done later. (But Not Monday because of EMH again.) You have Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios both at a 5 on Saturday. Just an estimation but touring plans is pretty good at it. Anyway, Either of those parks would be good, but I would probably get Magic Kingdom rope Drop. The only reason to do Epcot first would be your girls. Magic kingdom is something special to the young people. If you do it first, Epcot will not live up to what they are expecting at Disney. (It will for you, but not them) But Doing Epcot First, gets them set and they will really appreciate it (even the countries) more. But I don’t know your kids. You may like the more relaxed atmosphere at Epcot for the first day. And RD is great here too. Head to Soarin or test track. I like soarin much more. Actually try for fast passes to frozen. Then RD Soarin, then Test track. Epcot is on a tiered system… You may want to burn your first FP, so you can get something from tier one earlier. Animal Kingdom day 2 for sure. Your still on RD time, and Animal kingdom needs to be rope dropped. FOP is amazing and you wont get Fast Passes 30 days out. I may not get them 60 days out. So go for Navii River Fast Passes. Animal Kingdom is also a tiered system. So burning early may help you. Day 3 is tricky… I would say do the one you didn’t do day one… so if you chose Epcot, hit Magic Kingdom. or vice Versa. Magic Kingdom is open til 10pm that night… one hour later than the others. This might be a good day to transition from Rope drop to Park Close. Catch your fireworks, parades at MK. Since you have 2 days in Magic Kingdom. You get 6 fast passes… These are not tiered! And also, Fast Pass is free. Lot’s of people think it’s an added charge… don’t make that mistake. Tuesday, Hollywood studios/water park. Because we have already taken care of three different parks, Tuesday becomes a really good day to do both. Tiered fast passes, but Day of fast passes aren’t that bad here, and you were thinking of not doing HS anyway. Make it your half day park, and blend the waterpark if you have park hoppers. Then Wednesday, you end with a bang. Magic Kingdom all the way! Don’t forget about the no wait attractions for your 1p-4p time. The park is the busiest then, so go see carousel of progess. The Country Bear Jamboree. And even though I might get some flack for this, “The Hall of Presidents”. Personally I like Trump, but even if you don’t he’s only 3 minutes of a 20 Minute show, and the show is awesome!
wow thanks for all the really helpful advice.
Wyndeham is at Disney Springs so off property but we are eligible to get FP 60 days out and I have got it all linked up to the My Disney account etc already even though didn’t book through Disney.
I had thought Epcot for day 1 as it “felt” like it might ease us into it but family feedback wanting to see the castle as it is Disney and we are travelling that far etc. Perhaps we discuss again.
My day plan was similar to yours ie do 3 park days then have a down day then revisit MK again.
What does “tiered” system mean?
And what do es “burn” your FP mean?
All the parks except MK have tiers. In your first 3 FPs, you can only have 1 tier 1 ride, which are the headliners basically, so you have to choose. In AK, tier 1s are Flight of Passage and Navi River Journey. In HS it’s Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania. At EP it’s Soarin, Test Track, Frozen Ever After, Character Spot and Illuminations.
Burning FPs is the practice of getting a tier 2 FP that you don’t want and either letting the time expire (it has to be scheduled before your tier 1 for this to work and can still mess up your chances of getting more tier 1 FP later) or more reliably, tapping in as if you were going to ride but then not actually riding. I personally never do this because there are always 2 tier 2 rides in the park that I’m going to ride, and even if the FP only saves you 2 minutes it has still saved you time so I don’t know why you wouldn’t use it.
Once you have used your first 3 FP, the tiers no longer apply and you can book whatever ride is available. There are different rules if you are hopping. I won’t explain them unless you ask as it can get complicated and confusing.
@missoverexcited is correct. I only burn a FP at Epcot.
Tier 1 – Illuminations, Test Track, Frozen Ever After and Soarin’
Tier 2 – Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival, Living with the Land, Journey Into Imagination, Meet Disney Pals at the Epcot Character Spot, Mission:Space, The Seas with Nemo & Friends, Spaceship Earth and Turtle Talk with Crush
Most of Tier 2 is walk on at the right time of the day, so don’t need a FP. But my wife and I like pictures in Memory maker, so we might Meet Disney Pals. Not a bad Fast Pass. It’s not worth a 25 minute wait. On the spreadsheet I’ve made you can see what you have a chance to snag after your first 3 are used up. If you go to “Epcot Day of FP” tab in my spreadsheets, you will see The tier 1 attractions. Looks like you shouldn’t count on Frozen ever after being available later in the day. So Rope drop it? Use it as your fast pass, and burn your others before The Soarin’ isn’t available? You can always pick up illuminations, so never get that FP in advance. And then you can look at the “Wait Times” sheet on my spreadsheet. The 3 days I’m heading to EPCOT, all three Test track is your big line. So makes the most since to fast pass it. (There’s also single rider) So rope drop Frozen, book it over to soarin’ while your Living with the land Fast Pass expires. 9-10am. Hit your Pictures with FP #2 10-11am. And the trick to it all is hit your fast pass for Test track as close to 11am as possible. If you get off the ride at 11:15-11:30, you now have the chance to get your next FP. Even better. book in the line after you hit the second FP Wrist Band Check point. That’s when you now can see what’s available and get as many tier 1’s one at the time. You are more than welcome to use both Fast Passes, but at rope drop, the lines are short, so no real need to spend 20 minutes of your time riding “The Land”. EPCOT Crowd Level 6 says that most of your day of fast passes are available until at least 3pm. So you can grab that “The Land” later in the day. Here is where the spreadsheet comes in handy with “Day of FP” sheet. There aren’t any guarantees, but Touring Plans keeps up with all the statistics of the past, so chances are high for a 4th, 5th and even a 6th Fast Pass. Admittedly, the above plan doesn’t need to burn any Fast Passes. If you would rather book Mission space, and another tier 2, you could get all your RD done in first 2 hours of park, Use your 11-12 fast pass, your 12-1 Fast pass, and then your 1-2 fast pass close to 1pm and still have the chance to get your 4th Fast Pass at 1:15 or so. Also I don’t go at crowd level 6. Doesn’t look like you are going to get a day of Fast Pass for Frozen, Soarin, Test track, or Mission Space. So getting and using a Mission Space, and a Character spot, and Test track, and rope droping Frozen and Soarin may be the best for your particular trip.
At Epcot, the character meet and greet is now Tier 1.
Thanks for the correction! @edyeldham that actually is normally available until 1pm as day of FP. Just something to now consider. Here is where I get my Day of Fast Pass information: https://touringplans.com/blog/2018/04/18/fastpass-availability-at-walt-disney-world-update-3/ and here is Epcot estimated wait times throughout the day for it’s attractions for July 27th. https://touringplans.com/epcot/wait-times/date/2019-07-27.
I am impressed. You have clearly been paying attention.
Nah, I just read up on this chat… I enjoy helping. Glad you involved me. Each trip to the world is different, @edyeldham has different circumstances than I do. Adapting to others is what I learned after my first trip with my wife in 2014. Did so many things wrong, but her trip was awesome. I was trying to plan down to the minute… We have to be here now, and do this then… Well, that works well with Touring Plans, but not at all for introducing people to Disney. It’s so much easier now. Use the info we are given and have a way to just float around Disney… If you look at my plan, look at POA… “Plan of Attack” I’ll make sure I have my FP ready, but can’t really plan for rain, or rides breaking down. The Plan Of Attack is just park maps and what you should do at what time of day. I can plan a perfect day, but I can’t plan against weather… I can plan for it!!! We were there in 2017. Hurricane… Parks were dead for 2 days before it hit. And then, park was closed… Just rolled with the punches, and it became our best trip so far. Plan as much or little as you want… But know your parks and days. Then it’s just a matter of making the best of whatever situation that occurs… The POA let’s you do that for any situation…