Early Mornings, Evening Shows/Fireworks, and Preschool-Age Children

For a 6-night trip, how many early mornings (e.g. 8 AM breakfasts, early morning extra magic hours, 8:15 AM arrival for Jedi Training, etc.) and late evenings (i.e. Fantasmic, Wishes, Illuminations, Galactic Fireworks) do you plan with young children? We have a 4 and 5 year old who refuse to nap. I currently have 2 pre-RD breakfasts, 1 early morning extra magic hours (MK,) and 1 pre-RD arrival for Jedi Training. When we visited last year, we generally hit RD (had a few pre-RD breakfasts) and were back at the resort by 2 PM (at the latest,) swam or relaxed at the resort, and asleep before 8 PM. We tried for Wishes and Fantasmic after afternoon breaks at the resort, but the kids fell asleep before both. This year, I’m considering trying for a Fantasmic/Galactic Fireworks night and foregoing the other evening shows until the kids are older. Thoughts? What was your experience balancing early mornings and last nights with preschool-age children? Thanks in advance!

No input, but following this thread to see others’ answers. :slight_smile:

Mine are slightly older (5 and 8), but neither are night owls. I tried not to plan an early morning unless we had an early evening. By early morning, i mean EMH or pre-rope drop ADRs, and I did plan one late evening at MK and one late evening at Epcot, but those are both days we won’t get to park till midday. I am interested in what kind of input others will have. My kids have never been to WDW, so who knows what will happen.

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When we took a stroller when my little ones were younger then we just let them sleep in the stroller and enjoyed the night life while they slept :slight_smile: My youngest daughter (which was 6 on our last visit), I didn’t end up taking a stroller. There were times she would nap and we just let her rest! Most of the time she just walked and slept on the bus or on rides. Since it was just me and the kids, I didn’t take a stroller! She did OK :slight_smile: and some nights we were out very late (we had the Halloween and Christmas party) but on those mornings we slept in later and had a relaxing day at the hotel :slight_smile:

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My kids were 3,4, and 9 the last time we went. The answer to your question really depends on your kids. Mine, especially DS4, aren’t really nappers at home but they’ll sleep at Disney if we take a break because they get so hot and tired. Also, I don’t care if they sleep in the stroller or curled up in my lap while I watch fire works, etc. b/c it doesn’t really cause too much disruption to their sleep/behavior overall. Mine are also generally early risers. But if none of this applies to your family, then you’ll need to adjust using your own insight into your family.

So we always manage by planning at least one “sleep in” every 3-4 days and taking at least 4 hour midday breaks in our room or at the pool. The length of midday break is important. If it’s too short, they don’t get enough time to unwind and eventually fall asleep. Also, just generally making as few solid plans as possible. For stuff that has to be booked in advance like dining and dessert fireworks etc I keep it as minimal as possible, so I don’t feel bad if something has to change. For example, I had planned on all of us watching F! At HS, but did not make any fpp or dinner package reservations. the littles were exhausted and uninterested, so DH took them back to the room while my oldest and I stayed. We’ve also used fairy godmother babysitting services to allow DH and I to see late fireworks etc without wearing down the kids.

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For a 6-night trip, we would have 4 day passes, no hop when our kids were your kids’ages.

Our kids were not great nappers, but we found that the go-go-go and the heat and excitement of a WDW trip made that different :wink: We always took midday breaks around lunch and returned for the evening, playing it very much by ear as to how long we stayed.

If you truly feel they will not nap, you could try to “push through” and stay longer on your pre-rd days, maybe til 2 or 3pm before returning to your resort for the remainder of the day. Then the next day, perhaps a slow and easy morning being lazy, watching cartoons, wandering your resort, and heading to the park in the late afternoon to try and stretch through to the nighttime shows.

It’s possible, perhaps even likely, that you won’t get to see the night shows until they are older. Maybe one of you goes back to the resort to put the sleepyheads to bed while the other gets to take in the night in the park. Decide between you which show each of you most wants to see.

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You could hire a double stroller on the evenings you want to see the fireworks.


I go with no more than 2 early mornings in a row. I’ve only done late nights on our last day so as not to mess up our schedule, but I definitely wouldn’t do a late night followed by an early morning.

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