Days at each park

Hello everyone,

I am planning my first family trip for next winter. i have two girls who will be 4 and 7 at the time. any recommendations on how much time to give each park? we likely will spend between 5 and 7 days in florida.

thanks in advance

Will you have park hopper tickets? I ask since I usually plan a morning at a park and then I pick up extra time at Magic Kingdom- or plan a night time show at another park. I would suggest at least two days at the Magic Kingdom and one day/night at each of the other parks. If possible, I would plan on spending one night at each park to see the nighttime shows.

If it were me, I’d give each park as much time as our family could do. I like to do opening to closing, but maybe with an afternoon break back at the hotel (pool, naps) just to rest and recharge for the rest of the day, especially if spending the day at the MK. It’s not something I would describe in terms of x number of hours.

Silly me. I agree with @PrincipalTinker. I was thinking you meant time in hours, not days. MK has so much to do, plus you might want to do favorite things a second time.

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thanks everyone

i did mean more how many days should we give to each park. i was on the fence about park hopper as i didnt know how easy it is to get from park to park.

You will get a lot of different opinions on the park hopper. I personally usually don’t recommend a hopper for first time visitors with small children. My experience has been that one park a day in that age range is more than enough. Hopping between parks takes time and can be a bit of a hassle with strollers, young kids, etc. There are direct buses for hopping if you decide to go that way so it is doable. I agree to do MK 2 or 3 days, HS 1 day, AK 1 day, and EP 1 or 2 days. Plan at least one day (or a couple of 1/2 days) for pool and resort time. For that age range an afternoon break is a great option. I take all my nieces and nephew (age 4-8) for all of their first trips. The one time I did do the park hopper we only used it one night and really we could have skipped but I refused to not use something I had paid for :blush:

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If 5 days, 1 day at each park, rest day mid way through

If 7 days: 2 or 3 MK, 1 HS, 1 or 2 EP, 1 AK


We did not get hoppers when our kids were smaller. It was enough of a feat to manage one park/day with a break at mid-day. The cost of the hopper was not worth it back then. Now, we hop. They are now 12 and 8

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Agree about not needing hoppers for a first trip. Our first trip with kids we spent 6 days in the parks. We did 2 MK days, 1 Epcot, 1 AK, and 1 full and 1 half day at HS (mainly because we messed up the full day by arriving late and not knowing what we were doing. That happens to be the day I discovered Touring Plans :wink:). At those ages, your kids will probably like MK the best.

For our first trip, I planned one day for each park and tried to hit the main attractions that I thought my kids would like at each one. (We had 6 parks days for a 7 day trip). Then I tentatively planned on an extra day at MK and EP, but also asked after we went to each park which one(s) they wanted to go back to. They chose MK and EP, but I could have changed our FFP reservations the night before and still gotten some good ones that would work with a good TP at every park. I know it can feel difficult to leave some flexibility to your plans but it is possible, and, I think, important when traveling with children. Someone will get sick/cranky/whatever and “interrupt” the plan. If you have a couple of flexible days at the end, it gives you the change to go back to whichever park you feel like you “missed” something important. Of course, I always leave feeling like I missed something…that’s why we keep going back!

This past Jan/Feb, we took our three boys, aged 10, 7 and 4, to Disney World. We had 7 days on site, including arrival and departure day. We arrived early on our first day, and went to have lunch at the T-Rex Cafe in Disney Springs. After that, we went back to our hotel and took a nap and then went to MK for the evening. We then did a total of one day at HS, one day at EP, one day at AK and two more days at MK. On our departure day, we did breakfast at Chef Mickey’s and then split up and part of our group did a couple hours at HS while another part did more time at MK. We were there during shortened hours, with lower crowd levels for the most part. We don’t take rest days, because we only get to the World about once every 5 years and don’t want to waste any time swimming or napping.

That being said, I feel that we had a good number of days at each park. Only exception is that we could have used another half day at AK because DS7 wanted to do all of the kids activities. I feel that MK has the most attractions kids your kids’ ages would enjoy, so devoting most of your time to MK will probably be the best use of time. Our family was not interested in World Showcase, so one day at EP was completely adequate for us. And we all love Star Wars, so we couldn’t skip HS, but for the most part, one day was enough for us to get everything done.

We have children the exact ages as yours. We are doing 2 MK, 1 AK, 1 Epcot, 1 HS and 1 water park/ Disney Spring day. No park hoppers. I think it depends on what your kids are interested in for 3 of the parks, but I would probably do at least 2 days MK.

How much time in each park also depends on when you’re going. If it’s anytime between 12/17 and 1/10, for instance, everything will take longer. At that time of year I’m not sure I’d even try to see all 4 parks in anything less than 7 days. Early December, on the other hand, 5 days would cover the 4 parks easily.

Another important factor is whether you’ll be staying on or off-property. Staying on property makes getting to and from easier, gives you the extra magic hours, and determines your FastPass booking window, so it can changes things quite a bit. Also, I stay on property so I can ALWAYS take a midday break of 3-4 hours with any younger kids (over-tired crabbiness does not make for a fun evening for anyone, so don’t overextend the kids). That means park hopping is no extra trouble since we’d be dealing with transport anyway.