Bear with me! We are Disneyland regulars with 2 girls 9,11. One loves thrill rides, one hates them and loves the tame ones (ie Winnie the Pooh). We are locked in to MK on Dec 30 and HS Dec 31 with a large group - family from Canada. I anticipate those days being nutso without accomplishing much. We also booked 2 days Dec 19,20 just the 4 of us. We are booked in to HS for sure the 20th since hubs wants to get all he can out of Star wars land (nothing is guaranteed Nye in my opinion). However. I’m torn what to do the 19th? I’m tempted to do MK even though it’s an early close. We are 3 hours behind and will be jet lagged and tired so an early day might be nice to start the trip. And I assume we won’t be able to do much the 30th due to crowds. I’m not convinced Epcot is the way to go (I always found it boring as a kid!). And mixed feelings on AK as we aren’t huge animal people. Do I go with my gut and do MK on a low crowd day and call it early? Would love all opinions!!
If it were me, I would do MK. MK is typically less.crowded on early close days so you may be able to experience a lot on that day.
I would go with AK or EP just because they are more unique with things you can’t get at DL. I personally love EP - lots of fun things to see if you delve in, including characters. You could also call it early at either park if you feel you’ve seen enough.
I love Epcot. However, all of FutureWorld is basically a construction zone. World Showcase is my favorite side of that park, but not if I’m going with young kids. I want to to eat & drink my way “around the world” and soak in cultural exhibits. (something that a lot of kids would find dull.)
If you’ve never seen AK, it’s worth a visit. (I’m not even a big AK fan, but it definitely worth seeing - at least once.) There’s enough to do there, but it’s still a small park. If you get tired you can still leave early and probably still have seen a lot of AK.
Put another vote down for AK. It’s so unique compared to anything else at WDW. As a DLR veteran, there is a lot at MK that will be familiar to you and which you can ride at home, but with kids it’s hard to argue against going there at least one day. Personally, I like to do each park at least once when I have time, because each one is so unique and full of magic. But if you must drop one, I suppose Epcot is the weak link until all the new rides open in 2021.
Thanks everyone As for Epcot - agree that it sounds fun without kids or with older kids. My girls aren’t into characters much so I guess it’s just a toss up for me for AK and MK. I’m having FOMO on doing MK Dec 30 and think we won’t see enough haha - I think that is why I’m leaning that way! Also - it’s more “familiar” to the kids - so while I know AK gives us a new experience - it would also be fun to experience the new rides at MK that we don’t have here in CA, and may miss out on New Years week. I may just let the kids decide - but it’s a surprise so would have to wait (Birthday/Christmas gifts we are giving to them thanksgiving). Basically our days are spent with older one going on the most thrill rides she can find, while the younger one is happy to just look through shops and experience the magic of the parks. If we throw in an easy ride for her from time to time it will make her happy too. Are there any small/slow rides at AK? (Her faves are things like Small World, Ariel, Winnie the pooh etc)
Navi River Journey, Kilimanjaro Safari, Triceratops Spin, It’s Tough to Be a Bug (3-D Movie) are the small/slow rides.
The shows there are amazing too - Lion King & Nemo
Having spent a good deal of time at both DLR and WDW, I would say AK. There are only about 5 or 6 rides that are unique to MK, and if you prioritize them to do first, you could easily get them done in a day. Generally speaking, all of the “cloned” rides are better at DLR (Splash perhaps being the one exception). Virtually everything in AK is unique to that park, except for it’s tough to be a bug (which now actually is unique because they close the one in DCA) and Kali River, which is perhaps the most boring “river raft” ride ever created at any park - especially when compared to GRR in DCA.
boring is good in her case. haha! And we walked out of Tough to be a Bug about 5 min in due to major freak out It even gave me the creepy crawlies!! Could we easily get those MK rides done Dec 30? That is my hesitation - we are party of 12 (yikes) and on one of the busiest days of the year. I have a feeling if we get most things done before that day - I could could convince my oldest to chill out and enjoy time with the family - getting done whatever we get done since we have tackled the must do’s already!
Country Bear Jamboree, Hall of Presidents, Philharmagic, and Carousel of progress are all “shows” and typically have some of the shortest lines in the MK (even on crowded days). Peoplemover sometimes builds a bit of a line, but it’s continuous loading, so it moves quickly. The most difficult will be Seven Dwarfs Mine Train; it’s still relatively new, it’s a coaster (sort of) and dark ride (sort of), and it’s Snow White and the Dwarfs; this one always has a line. I can’t help a lot wit Enchanted Tales with Belle; I hit it once right at RD to be able to say I did it, it’s very well done, but with no kids it was a one and done for me.
A line is a line, so getting 12 people through it will not take significantly more time than getting 4 through; the challenge will be “herding the cats” between attractions and suppressing the “oh could we” and “I want to” and “Oh look over there” episodes.
Will you have FPPs for anything?
A lot will also depend on RD times and EMH. I just checked and there is no EMH listed for MK that day, and park opening is listed as 9:00. Historically, they open the parks at 8:00 that week, so keep an eye on that. You should be through the gate and as far down Main Street as possible not later than 8:00 (or a full hour before whatever time is opening). If you’re driving in, I would plan arriving at the park at 7:00 (assuming a 9:00 opening) to allow for parking, getting to the TTC, waiting for the monorail or ferry, arriving at the MK and then clearing bag check. I have never done (or will I ever do) the madness that is WDW during Christmas week, so you might even need more than that; the goal is to be a close to the front of the RD crowd as possible. As soon as the rope drops, make a bee-line for 7DMT; using this strategy, you might be able to get on with a less than 45 minute wait (it will probably be 2 hours by mid morning and stay that way well into dark.
I agree that AK is not like anything you’ve ever seen at DL. It’s worth at least a half day just to walk around and take it all in. I haven’t yet seen Pandora or the night time stuff and I’m saying that.
Yep we have our 3 all in the morning - so hoping to snag another one once we use that 3rd one. (missed 7 Dwarfs) I won’t be fastpassing for all 12 - that would be nuts - most will split up at some point I am sure. I guess everything I’m reading is telling me how crazy it will be those days. I did DL New Years day last year - and found it to be totally fine and we did everything we wanted. So I guess its the unknown that is making me apprehensive.
As for transportation - planning on Uber. We are staying at Port Orleans. Thanks for tips! Will plan to RD 7D!
Thank you everyone! I just youtube’d a walk through of AK and I think that is what we will do. I appreciate everyone’s input!!
I agree about the construction at Epcot. Were just there last week and it was very confusing to get around. I’d been twice before but still got very confused b/c things would be blocked off and you’d have to go around where it didn’t make sense. Trying to get to rides became kind of tricky.
Wanted to check back in and thank everyone for the AK suggestion. We went on NYE and it was magical!!! My kids loved it, husband loved it and I loved it. What a day!!