Do you care what order you visit all the parks?
Do you have a certain park you always visit first no matter what? Do you change things up? Do you try to hit all four parks before a repeat visit? Would it matter if you weren’t hopping? Do you plan based on CL days, park hours, and events and visit parks as they fit in schedule? Just curious what others do.
We are repeat (but not frequent) visitors with 8 family trips under our belts spaced out about every 12-24 months over the past 12 years. I’ve also visited a few times in between those trips. We had a tradition of visiting Epcot on our first night on arrival day. But this trip, kids are older and we have PHs (which we haven’t done much in the past, except when I had an AP) so our strategies will be different this trip.
My wife is most nostalgic for MK, so we always visit there on our first full day. She likes that park the most, so we go there first. There are much smarter ways to pick.
If it didn’t matter, I would do RD for any park that had EMH first if we were staying on property. Even though the parks are more crowded later, we get everything done early and can park hop to a less crowded park or hang at the pool.
In general, we hit our least-favorite parks first (currently EPCOT). That way it’s fun! Disney! vacation! right away, without using up that extra excitement in what is already our favorite place.
My only preference is to do MK on my last day. It has the nostalgia and the most Disney magic to me, and I just love ending a trip on a real high with HEA.
Mostly I leave park decisions up to CL and FP priorities though.
Not at all. I go by the crowd calendar, for the most part, and/or park hours. For many trips AK was our first and MK was our last because our first days are often Sundays and our last days are often Tuesdays or Wednesdays.
We like to do MK last, even if we hop for a few hours the last evening, just nostalgia and whatever.
We’re nostalgic about MK as well. Seeing the castle at the end of Main Street makes me feel like I’ve arrived. This was our 10 year old twins first visit since they were babies and we’d been pointing out the castle at the start of every Disney movie for months. We did cut through Epcot first for lunch on the way from Beach Club, but MK is what checks the box for me. The thing our 15 year old remembered most from the last trip was Space Mt, so having that FP for our very first ride had him stoked. That said, if there was a solid reason to not hit MK the first day, I’d adapt.
Arrival day we out our least fav park (currently Epcot.) Then first full day is usually MK. After that it’s based on CLs. We put HS in the middle of the week to prioritize low CL’s for that park.
MK goes on special days (birthdays etc), other than that mostly just based on not putting super-late nights next to super-early mornings whilst maximising EMH usage (and park hours in general). and minimising CLs. Weather plays a part - would avoid AK if bad, probably go to Epcot if I had to think about it.
We need to start with MK as well. I like to bookend it as well if possible. Other than that, it’s based park hours and randomness really.
No not at all. I do try to space my visits out though - so if we have 2 MK days for example, I’d never do them back to back, and if I only have 1 day at a park I try to put it in the middle of our trip.
I’ve thought about this one a lot for our upcoming trip. Usually we do 4 or 5 days, and CL determines where we go. We don’t have any “must be first/last” opinions.
However, this trip, we have 8 days! 2 at each park. We’re also doing a split stay, at 3 resorts, no less. So, a lot of moving parts. We’re doing parks based loosely on CL and where we’re staying. Unfortunately, that means some back-to-back days. 2 at MK in a row, and 2 at AK in a row. I also tried to push AK and HS later in the week, so that FPs were easier to get.
I might be a little out-of-control.
Magic Kingdom first full day. Can’t go on arrival day. Can only go to MK at park opening, not in the middle of the day. Doesn’t matter if it’s EMH or not. I planned two MK day this time though because I don’t have hoppers, and one day just isn’t enough. The other days I fill in according to EMH and special events.
This trip I’m going to Epcot first because I won’t arrive until around 10AM, and also because it’s Flower and Garden.
I MUCH prefer to see MK first. Something about seeing that Castle at the end of Main Street makes the trip official for me.
Then I have to go see my beloved AK.
The other two don’t matter.
It depends on the trip.
We’ve done all combinations. If I’m with friends, I let them dictate. If it’s the family, I let the kids plan it out.
If I’m with a first-timer? always always always MK first!! (I tend to do a PPO reservation at be our guest)
Based on FP availability, I’d do HS and AK toward the end for 60+ max days booking of FOP and SDD if that matters.
Before I knew about Touring Plans, on our first day DW and I would just catch whatever bus arrived first. Of course, that was almost 20 years ago and we could do that. On our last trip we went to EPCOT first because my DS was really excited about Test Track. Every other day we just went with the FPP flow based on what we got.
When EMH first was introduced, we used EMH days to plan which park. But only for MK, AK or HS.
Then, we started avoiding the EMH park as being too crowded. But only for MK, AK of HS.
Until just a few trips ago, we were at Epcot every evening. Opened one of the other three parks.
Now we still avoid EMH, tho if it’s a morning EMH we might go to that park in the evening.
If there’s no EMH to avoid, we’ll use CLs to decide parks.
Doesn’t matter to me. I’m just so darn happy to be there at all!!!
I tried to keep our average CL as low as low as possible. This will be our first trip so for any future it’s possible that someone will have other preferences.