Epcot Questions/Advice needed please

I’ve just had a lovely adults only weekend away with my husband and I took the opportunity to discuss our WDW holiday. As expected he’s leaving nearly all the decisions to me, but on the plus side he’s happy to get up early and will follow my plans. When all ADR choices are being left to you it’s a bit difficult to lead the conversation onto timing of said ADR’s. Makes me very grateful for this site. He did think we should do MVMCP, which has meant another shuffle of my rough plan and unfortunately puts both our EP days at the end. I’ve had much fun with all my rough plans, but it is time to stop changing things. Any thoughts or suggestions greatly appreciated. I’m pretty set on my 3 EP restaurants but unsure which day to do each. We have 1 average CL evening and 2 middle of the day sessions at CL9&10. On the Fri evening should we concentrate on WS or FW? If we do CP it would need to be that night too with a DP seat. I presume we will still be able to hear the music from afar just not the narrative? Is arriving at EP between 9-10am a really bad idea, would we be better off going later please? I’m assuming I need to book Coral Reef & Akershus at the beginning of lunch/dinner sessions to avoid long waits and increase our chances of a tank view, but more flexible with Biergarten. My plan for our first day has changed the most, currently AK at CL4, and not HS or EP at CL2, because by Sat AK is CL7, and HS is CL5, this way we can also take advantage of morning EMH. Is this sensible logic? Thur & Fri are MVMCP hence the low CL at MK.

Tue - arrive 7pm ish, from UK 5hrs ahead, so will feel like midnight.
Wed - AK CL4 EMH 8am FP, ADR 2:30pm Sanaa, HS CL2 BatB & Fantasmic 7pm, (if not too tired)
Thu - MK CL3 FP, ADR 8am BOG, nap 1:30-3:30pm, AK CL4, ADR RoL DP 5pm, RoL 7pm?
Fri - MK CL4 RD 8am, nap 1-3pm, EP CL6 FP, ADR Akershus 5pm, Illuminations 9:30pm
Sat - HS CL5 EMH 8am FP, ADR H&V 12:30pm, nap?, ADR Ohana 6pm, Wishes from beach 8pm
Sun - MK CL8 RD 8am FP, nap 12:30-2:30pm, MK ADR BOG 5:30pm, MVMCP
Mon - EP CL9 from 10am FP, ADR Coral Reef 11:30am, nap 3-5pm, Kids club, HS CL9, SW Fireworks 11pm?
Tue - EP CL10 from 10am FP, ADR Biergarten 12:30pm, nap 4-5:30pm, ADR Park Fare 6pm
Wed - MK CL9 EMH 7am FP, leave lunchtime

You’ve asked a lot of questions, and I’m not sure I can answer all of them, but maybe make a few comments. Are you going right before Christmas where the CL jumps so much, but there is still candlelight processional, as in this is not Thanksgiving? I think that either has the potential for some pretty high crowds

  • I am a little worried about you arriving at 10:00 am to Epcot on a CL 9 and 10 day. I fear that all the future world rides will have really long longer for you. (unless you are getting there at RD and starting FP at 10 am, which I think is a better idea)
  • I think that you should try to get an ADR with the CP dining package if that is important to you. You might be able to hang out outside the theater, but I suspect that there will be a long standby line on a CL 9 and 10 day. We have only ever watched the CP from inside the theater but maybe someone else has watched from outside.
  • we’ve had waits at both Akershus and Coral Reef; I suspect that earlier in the meal has a shorter wait
  • if Friday evening has the lowest CL, you might want to FP the popular rides and go standby on these popular ones; otherwise I would do the popular rides at RD on your other Epcot days; I would either get to World Showcase when it opens if meeting character is important to you, or go to World Showcase when Epcot is most crowded if characters are less important.
  • we like to get to Epcot for RD, and get to World Showcase at 11:00 for “second RD.” It’s less crowded for the rides / characters, although who knows how it will be once Frozen opens. You could consider this if less crowded world showcase pavilions are important to you.
    Good luck
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Thank you. We are doing RD everyday except our 2 EP days, don’t think we can manage it there as well because we’ll be out till maybe midnight the nights before. We will have 3 sets of FP’s though, so should be able to do everything once and only have to queue for LWTL. Had hoped to do Frozen twice, but the girls will have to decide how much they want to see A&E. If they are up early on Tuesday I might consider MK for a couple of hours first or a Water Park. Going 13-21st Dec with DH, DD5, & DD7.

So I should try and do as many rides on the Friday evening as possible and go to Coral Reef then? On TP it shows Nemo, figment etc closing at 7pm. Is this normal if Illuminations is not till 9:30pm please?

Yes, a lot of Future World will close at 7, even if the park is open later.

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Can’t answer all, but I notice you are a foodie and you have BOG for 2 reservations. May want to check out the new Jungle Skipper Canteen instead on one of them? You could reserve now for BOG, Skopepr Canteen only taking day-of reservations now, presumably later will open up to ADRs and could switch. Also look into Tiffins in AK which I read opens end of May. That’s not even open, let alone accepting ADRs.

Yes, expect a wait at Akershus if you have a late reservation. Although might not be too terrible for a party of two. Food is pretty good there, but if you don’t have kids, and aren’t super into princesses, you might want to hit another non-princess meal instead?

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Thanks. I’d love to try all the restaurants in AK & AKL, they all sound rather special. Waiting to see which restaurants have RoL DP. If I’m planning on getting the DDP should I do this before I book my ADR’s please, are there any benefits?

My brain hurts (my eyes too).

Just a note on EP. Yes, you have 3 sets of FPPs, so that will get you onto Frozen, Soarin’, and TT once (all 3 are/expected to be Tier 1). But if you want to do any of those a second time, with CLs as high as they are, RD will be the only viable option unless you are willing to wait 60 min-plus for them. On crowded days like those, even LWTL will have SB lines that build quickly; by 10:00 you might be looking at 45 min or more there as well. Most people are assuming that the A&E M&G will be a tier 2 FPP; are you factoring that into your FPP decision plans? The SB lines for both Frozen attractions will probably be horrible from RD to closing. You basically have 3 half-days at EP, most of which you seem to be spending doing FW FPPS. WS has a LOT of special Christmas activities (the storytellers, Candlelight Processional, etc.). Have you planned on any time for those?

Although they have not posted times yet for RoL, most are assuming that the first show will be at 8:30, so that will make your AK PM later.

I’m not sure if you have figured this in, but you have to assume that AT LEAST an hour of your planned break time will be spent going back and forth between the parks and your resort. If you’re depending on Disney busses, it could be almost double that depending on where you are staying. If your posted break times are the time you intend to be AT your resort, remember to factor in the transportation time before and after. Unless you are staying at the GF, I think 30 min to get from your resort to an ADR at Park Fare is unrealistic (and even then, it will be close - unless you are staying at the GF).

Overall, I think you have a very “ambitious” schedule. Even with some nap breaks and TS meals, 8 back-to-back basically RD to closing park days will be pretty exhausting. As an adult after 4 full days of park touring I’m pretty much wiped out and need at least a half day “off” for R&R. I hope that this will not be jut “too much” for your DDs.

Thank you for your thoughts, oh dear is it really that ambitious? Do you have any sugestions please? Nap times don’t include travelling or lunch, it is the time we can spend in our room, does that make it all better? The girls & I will skip TT so we can do Frozen twice. I’ve been playing around with TP’s and Friday late afternoon/night we can eat at Coral Reef and do all the rides on that side. At the moment A&E isn’t making the cut unless the girls only want to do Frozen once. I think I roughly have about 6 hrs in WS and that doesn’t include eating, and we’re staying at the Poly. The above rough plan is actually my most relazing by far. What would you change or skip please?

Just wanted to say hi as we had a trip last November to the Poly from the UK, for 10 nights. Is this your first time to WDW? (sorry if i have missed this info anywhere). With the help of TP and lots of research for quite a few months, this is what we did along with the actual crowd levels -

Mon - Arrived at MCO around 4.30. Arrived at Resort at 8 pm! Ate at Capt Cooks. Went to bed!
Tue - MK, BOG 8.25 am. Left Park at 5.30 pm, ADR CM at 8.10 pm. Bed. (CL5)
Wed - Slept in. AM. Pool at Resort. HS - 1 pm ADR. H&V. 4.15 pm. F! 7 pm, Left. 8.30 (CL6)
Thur - ADR 1900 PF. 8.30 am. Seaworld. TL @ 4pm for 1 hr! EP Illuminations only then bed.
Fri - AK. 9.30. ADR R/forest Cafe 3.45 pm. Back to EE. Left @5.30. Early night. (CL5)
Sat - Disc Cove @ 7.30 am - 5.30. MK Eve - Never got there. M/rail broke & very tired so went to bed!
Sun - EP 10.30 - 3.30. CL6. Resort then Cali Grill for Fireworks. Bed around 10.30.
Mon - MK Welcome @ 7.50 RD EMMH 8 am - 11.30, CL10, EP 1.30-3.00 CL7, AK 3.30 CL3 Early night.
Tue - Slept In, Pool @ Poly. MK 12.30 CL5. ADR 2.30 CP, MVMCP til midnight.
Wed - MK, RD - 4 pm. ADR Ohanas @ 5.15pm, MK.9.30 (mrail broke, missed W) til Midnight. CL8
Thur - MK ADR 8 am @ CRT. Left Park at 1.30pm. Capt Cooks@ 2.30 pm. Home.

I hope that this helps with an idea of timescales etc. This was quite a packed schedule but we had an amazing time. There was 5 of us, Me DH, DD13, DD11 and DD7. We had a buggy for DD7 and DD11 did struggle a bit with all the walking we did! On the day you do MVMCP you may want to chill out at least in the morning, especially if you are going at the end of your holiday. We were very tired the day we went, and struggled to keep going from 12.30 pm! You will have an amazing time!

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Thank you that’s very useful. I’ve been once before thirty years ago when I was 10, so first timer. My youngest who will be 5 by Dec can’t manage midday till 11pm, but she can do 7am-11pm with a two hour nap in the afternoon. How did you find the jet lag, did it help you get up early at the beginning, and did the kids find it hard to stay awake after 7pm please.

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Your plans do seem pretty ambitious to me also. Without getting into too many details I have a few suggestions.

  1. Plan just one table service per day. They take up a lot of time. We firmly believe in doing one a day to relax and sit for a while, but we have found that when we do two it seems like our entire day is spent either going to eat, waiting to eat, or actually eating.
  2. Park hop less. Again we have found that moving parks even if it is after a nap break seems to eat up a lot more time than we expect.
  3. Stroller. I don’t know your plans but i would strongly suggest a stroller for your DDs ( and for you and hubby if you can find one big enough). The girls can trade in and out so they both keep “fresh legs” and it makes it easier to keep up with both of them. Plus its handy to have a place to keep all of your “stuff” when rising or dining. If you don’t have a GOOD umbrella stroller I would highly recommend https://www.orlandostrollerrentals.com/ we have used them 3 times and have had excellent luck.
  4. Like bswan26 said, make sure you are putting at least 45 minutes getting to the room time and returning to the park time. I usually budget an hour and that is usually pushing it.

We didn’t find the jet lag too bad. We did wake up early for a few days but was then into the swing of things, and tried to pace ourselves a bit. The kids were fine staying awake beyond seven, but we were just generally tired from a busy schedule. My youngest was ok as she was in the buggy a fair bit. I know some children can manage but she would not have managed all the walking we did. (we were walking between 5 and 7 miles a day and sometimes a bit more).

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Thanks for all the advice.