Extra 1/2 day - HS, AK or MK?

We (me, DH, DS6 and DS4) are going in January for 5 days. DS6 is a Star Wars fan. DS4 is not so much (more Cars, Mickey, Frozen). I originally planned a 5-6 hours EP day as our first, a full day at MK 2nd day, 1/2 day at MK on the 3rd (afternoon at the resort, pool, maybe some mini golf etc.), full day at HS on 4th (well full day for DS6 and 1/2 day for DS4), and 2-3 hours at AK on our last day (not a lot of time at AK, but the kids don’t want to do EE, Dino, and only one is tall enough for FOP).

On our HS day we have an ADR for Artist Point that I haven’t been able to modify that would take us out of the park for at least 3 hours with travel and we would have to return to the park after for our SDD FP. I have res finder looking, but no luck so far. If I could switch the ADR to the day before (the 1/2 day MK) that would be my preference and would keep my plans. I don’t want to drop the ADR as my boys love Dopey and other Dwarfs.

What do you think my odds are of modifying the ADR for Artist Point at 30-40 days out? I have received a few texts from res finder, but almost all the times are 8:30 p.m. or later. I’ve only seen one or two at a decent time and they were gone within 5-10 minutes of the text.

Assuming I can’t modify the ADR to the day before, do you have any suggestions for that third day? Split between MK/rest? MK/HS? HS/rest? MK/AK?

Other facts: We are staying at AKL so pretty far from MK. Crowd levels are also estimated to be pretty low for the parks during our stay 1-3 mostly with 4 for MK. We will be returning in about one year for 5-7 nights and staying near EP/HS. No hoppers, but I could add them. Would prefer RD over late nights.

What days in January? If it is January 1st-4th they just changed HS hours so there were some SDD available

The following week, but maybe I’ll keep an eye on the hours for HS and I’ll be lucky enough to move up the SDD.

I would strongly consider dropping Artist Point for your HS day even though your kids love the dwarves. That is really out of the way for a relatively short WDW trip. It could be 3.5 hours from when you leave DHS to your return. I would keep searching for it for lunch or dinner on your full MK day and lunch on your half day at MK.

You might consider dropping AK entirely, then, and put those extra hours back into either MK or HS. Hardly seems worth it. Then again, you only mentioned what you won’t do, rather than what you hope to do.

I bet you can get AP moved. I decided to set up a res finder for it end of last December…about a month out from our January trip…for 8 ppl and got it (in 2 ADRs for 4 but at decent times). Even if you see nothing before your trip keep your res finder active…people drop tons of ADRs when they are there.

I’d vote an extra 1/2 day at either AK or MK. We spent 9 hours in AK in February and my mom rose zero rides. Lol. It’s just a beautifully themed park and especially when the weather is cooler it’s really lovely to just stroll around and notice all the little details. My 8 and 6 year olds loved filling out their Wilderness Explorers guide and all of them really enjoyed the Animation Experience.

Ok. Thanks for that advice. I think I will keep trying to modify AP to the 1/2 day MK or for dinner on our EP day. If I can’t get it away from our HS day I’ll drop it for this trip. It won’t be so far out of the way for our next trip.

We might add hoppers so we can visit AK for a couple hours after dinner on our first or third day. I’d like to go, but the kids aren’t interested in many rides so I don’t want to prioritize it over the others since I know HS and MK have lots that will interest them.

Some families love AK. We like it, but are fine skipping it too with little ones. We skipped it last trip with DD4 and DS1 and plan to skip MIT next trip when the kids will be 5 and 2.

My granddaughters, ages 3.5 years and 13 months loved Finding Nemo the Musical, FotLK, and KS in AK. I would not want to skip AK completely. We only spent a half day in HS with them (some of the adults spent more time there).

This is us. I enjoy AK but I think a half day is plenty if you’re doing the thrill rides. Definitely wouldn’t consider adding another half day in this case.

And just like that all my (Disney) problems are solved. Got a AP ADR for 4:20 pm on our 1/2 day at MK, which means HS is now a full day. Moving the MK half day from the morning to the afternoon (was able to switch FPs) so we can go directly to AP from the park and save the travel time to/from AKL.

Score another point for the TP res finder (even if it did notify me at 12:30 a.m. when I was just about to fall asleep and then I couldn’t get to sleep because I was too excited. Oh well. Totally worth it. I’ll just need some extra coffee today at work LOL).