DHS Evening Shows or Illuminations + 1/2 Day Touring Plans at DHS and Epcot

How likely is it that we could do Epcot and DHS in one day? Our group has kids 11, 8 and 6. They are all Star Wars fans and really want to do the Star Wars stuff at DHS. Really could care less about anything else. Right now we have dinner reservations at Epcot at 5:45. How should I arrange our day? Start out in DHS then go to Epcot?

Another question and consideration - What are the best fireworks and evening shows? This is the one thing my husband wants to do is see fireworks. I had Illuminations on our Touring Plan but now I am thinking that I should skip that and do Fantasmic and the Star Wars fireworks in DHS. Thoughts? What are the best viewing places for both of those? Can you see both in the same evening? Also, do I need to FastPass+ Fantasmic?


Do the kids want to do Jedi Training? If so, that means being at DHS at least 30 minutes before rope drop to sign up. Are they going to last until the evening shows? That would be my first consideration.

If not doing JT, then you have Star Tours, the Launch Bay (allow at least 90 minutes if wanting to do the meet and greets too), the March of the First Order which is just before the stage show.

Depending on timing of Fantasmic, you can do both. F! Is 35 minutes. To see the projection show you need to be able to see the wings of the Chinese theatre.

The kids have not said they want to do JT but they don’t really know about it. :smile: I’m sure they would though. If we are there early for rope drop we would definitely go back to the hotel for a rest before the evening dinner and shows. Would you do Star Wars fireworks and F! over Illuminations at Epcot?

Would you even recommend Epcot for the ages of our kids? I have heard mixed reviews on people liking Epcot.

Thanks again for the info.

For kids of your age, and being Star Wars fans, I would chose DHS evening over Illuminations. Even though I love Illuminations! My kids were older we started staying onsite, and had only been once before. So can’t comment on Epcot, but I think if yours are big on Star Wars, I would concentrate on DHS. You could also try TSMM or the thrill rides, or a show. I love the Indy Stunt Show and it might appeal to all your kids, rather than BatB say.

Assuming you could sign up for an earlyish JT, you could do the Star Wars stuff, go back to rest and still make dinner and get back to DHS. However that does seem a lot of extra leg work just for dinner. Sci Fi is fun, with clips from movies playing while you eat. And it’s actually quiet inside too, unlike some restaurants.

If not getting a fastpass for Fantasmic, you could look into a dining package. Gets good seats for F! Without having to get there early to line up. Many do breakfast before park opening to sign up, but it is at Hollywood & Vine with Disney Jnr characters. Might not suit your older kids. Just remember all the kids doing JT need to be there at sign up. Or you can get a package for lunch at H&V or Mama Melrose for Italian food. Then take a break and return. (Also HBD but that’s pricier).

I would focus on what you know your family will like. With those ages, and their love of Star Wars, I would be inclined to plan for DHS rather than Epcot. Not only for that reason, but also because unless they are REALLY into learning about other cultures in WS, I’m not sure they’d really like Epcot as much. Though admittedly this is my own bias here as I prefer WS to FW anyway.

I would consider a dining package for F! and then catching the Star Wars fireworks. I agree, RD for JT and take a break around lunch, then head back for dinner, finishing whatever else you wanted to get to during the day and then the evening entertainment. I haven’t been to Sci Fi but will be going this summer, my DD and I loved 50’s Prime Time though I don’t think they have the dining package for F!, Mama Melrose’s does though if you prefer Italian.

As an adult, I will take IllumiNations over F! any day. But the SW stuff may be a game changer. I’ve not seen it yet, but on my next trip SW will trump IllumiNations (which I have seen many times) if I have to choose between the two. Un;ess I go for a dining package, I find F! just “too hard” - unless there is a less-crowded second show.

If your family is into SW, I would recommend the DHS option. Maybe it’s best to NOT tell the kids about JTA, and if they see it while you’re there, it can be something to look forward to the next time.

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The only slight issue with the JT advice is that the eldest may be too old by the time the OP returns. For that reason I would plan it for this time, with a break in the middle of the day.

If not going for the breakfast dining package for Fantasmic, you could book a package for an early lunch and then break.

You will need to be fairly flexible to accommodate JT until you know what time you can get. But if you can have an idea of when it would fit, hopefully you can work around it.

One last possible solution is to book an early dinner for the package, say around 4pm. Take your time and use the air conditioned break to refresh, do Launch Bay immediately after (also air conditioned) before Fantasmic. That way you get 2-3 hours in a cooler shadier environment before the evening. And plan a late start the next day, swim first perhaps then noon start. That was what we did, even without JT to contend with.

Thanks! I love the idea of swimming and then starting at noon.

Everyone has different tastes, but I would definitely prefer SW FW over Illuminations. Heck, I would prefer it over F! as well.