First time family vacation

This will our first WDW trip with our two kids who will be 4 (son) and 2 (daughter). The last time we where there was 5 years ago to celebreate our anniversary. NO wthis time we are going to go celebrated our anniversary again. We arrive September 5th and are staying at port orleans riverside preferred room. We leave on Sunday September 13th. Any recommendations out there as to which parks we should do? I feel like with kids i will spend more time at MK or HS or AK than epcot. what are your thoughts. We are on the diney dinning plan. let me know what your thoughts are?
Here is my iteneary.
Day 1- arrive at resort, magic kingdom, parade and fireworks.
Day 2- early magic hours hollywood studios all morning through early afternoon then animal kingdom in the late afternoon with Tusker House for dinner. ending the night with rivers of light
Day 3- AK in the morning for magic hours, then noon disney springs for T REx restauraunt for lunch, then finish the night at hollywood studios ending with fantasmic.
Day 4- Akershus in the morning with epcot in the morning, lunch is go to hotel relax and swim then evening epcot again for late night magic hours 9pm to 11pm
Day 5- My Anniversary day, von voyage for breakfast, then either disney springs or a park then dinner will be at ohana. ending night at MK for magic hours till midninght
Day 6- hollywood studios half the day, then the rest of the day epcot, eating at corral reef.
Day7- MK in early morning for magic hours then breakfast at ohana, then hollywood studios for the rest of the day ending with fantasmic.
Day 8- AK for magic hours then come to late lunch for chef mickeys and evening MK… fireworks to end our trip
Day 9- eat breakfast at resort then airport

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My response is based on MY kids (7&5) but those sound like looooong days all in a row. I think people DO do that, but my kids would be so tired and crappy at that pace. Just a thought.


You seem to have a lot of late nights followed by early mornings. With two kids it may be really difficult to keep such schedule. I would try grouping early mornings in the first half of the trip and late nights in the second.

I would also plan for longer mid day breaks.

What I also found helpful is to schedule all must-dos before lunch in case kids are tired or weather is not perfect.


I’ll be there the same dates!
Agree with the others about long days and late nights for young kids…especially in the September heat. Will you need to leave parks for naps, or are you planning to do those in the strollers?
You know your kids best, but this is somewhat ambitious for even an adults only trip.


Well, I will say this. You maximized that trip. Nice plan. That’s my kind of trip! I agree that the young ones do not respond well to late/night early morning over and over, but your trip sounds AWESOME. You know your kids better than we do.

If you are concerned about the late nights, consider any of the following as I feel they would not negatively impact your trip.
Day 1- Skip the fireworks(you are repeating on last day) and prep (sleep) for EMH next morning.
Day 2 - Skip Rivers of Light. Not that great. Sleep.
Day 4 - Skip EMH evening. With your early start, you should have a pretty easy time of Epcot.
Day 7 - Skip the repeat Fantasmic and Sleep.

Ultimately, be flexible. I have 6 kids so I have done Disney with 2 and 4 year olds many times. The only other advice I have is to be flexible and consider afternoon naps in a quiet room. It did wonders for us. Again, you know your kids. We do not.


I echo others here that your schedule looks awesome but it is packed with early am to late night every day with 1 day with a bit of sleep-in time and 1 afternoon break to swim. I think you also have to remember travel time. I would encourage you to block out your hours including a full hour for transportation each way (from leaving room to tapping into park or vice versa). Remember if RDing, you want to arrive at the park well before park opening not at park opening. Also add an hour buffer in am and pm to get everyone ready/wind down/bathe/get park bag ready for next day/etc and see if you think this is feasible. I think these are the little things that sometimes are left out of packed plans.

Feel free to make more detailed plans and ask the crowd for more specific feedback.


thank you so much. I think i will re-arrange my schedule.

I am totally going to do that.

I hope you have a blast whatever you decide to do, and you definitely know your kids more than anyone who replies does.

At those ages, my kids would be zombies with that schedule.

I’d be weary of dealing with the kids’ complaints.

Although you want to show them a whole bunch of fun stuff in Wallyworld, they might have just as much, or even more fun playing with their parents in the pool, carefree, with your undivided attention.

I’d plan this as a vacation with a good balance of showing them the stuff in the parks, and JUST CHILLING, and enjoying family time without being stressed on the go. Try not to be go-go-go until boiling point - start chilling well before boiling point. It’s a vacation, and a very expensive vacation at that. Don’t be miserable on vacation. 4yr old feet and legs are gonna get tired well before yours will. The 2 yr old, I’d assume will just be asleep most of the time? Sure, see as much cool stuff as you can, but don’t let it be at the expense of the kids wind up thinking WDW is a drag of walking and being tired, and feet hurting, and HOT SEPTEMBER, going to bed late, and waking up too early, and being on bus after bus.

I’d also suggest, that the parents entertain the thought of divide and conquer at night. One stays with the kids at the resort for a good night’s sleep at a normal time, and the other rolls out to a park if they’d like.

My first trip, I was so excited to show the kids everything possible. The people here warned me of my overaggressive plans. I scaled way back. We had an absolute blast, even though I still overdid it.

Second trip, with lessons learned, O. EM. GEE.
Once you figure out what’s important, and where to just relax, and enjoy, and do what’s important to YOU - holy cow - WDW is just an absolute blast.

Again, I hope you guys have a great time. Don’t be stressed.


Pretty sure that qualifies you to be canonized? :innocent:


do you think park hopper is worth it with toddlers?

Thanks so much for your recomendations. I want to have the best time, I just need an idea for iteneary with kids.

I hope you have a great vacation and welcome to the forum. I will be there for some of the days you are there, great time to go.

My days of little ones are long gone until I get some grand children. I echo every one else. My wife is a good sport and will run with me just about as long as I can go. The one rule she has no late nights followed by early mornings. Also an afternoon break would be very helpful for the sanity of everyone involved.


nope. I think you are better off to add an extra day to your ticket and if you decide to “hop”, just use the extra day

Edit: I am incorrect on this. Sorry for the bad information.

I’m in the minority. I say go for it. I have power house kids, though.
I would make certain to have a good double stroller and to not be afraid to find quieter corners to let them chill out. I’d also make sure we were willing to abort plan and have an early night if needed. (I’d give up late night vs early morning.)

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If you are meaning that they can use 2 days of admission on the same day to achieve a park hop, that is not allowed. At least in my understanding.


thank you so much

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thanks so much. i made the plan cause i thought my kids could handle it as long as they napped in the mid afternoon in the stroller which they have no issue doing as long as we keep the stroller going but once they fall asleep i figured me and my hubby could ride the bigger rides or relax and have a cocktail.

Sorry for the incorrect information. I was wrong. I was under the impression that you could just tap into the park and it would use up another one of your tickets if you had already tapped into another park. Again, sorry for the incorrect information.

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I think hoppers with toddlers is worth it, depending on where you are staying. Epcot Area resorts put you within walking distance to two parks, which negates that whole “need an hour for travel” time to 2 parks. That travel time is a real thing.

One thing that makes our trips so great is that we are early risers. We also go to bed early, conversely. But being one of the first in line for am emh is easy peasy for us. We also do stay at EP area resorts, so we always get hoppers. Time is at a premium in Wallyworld, having a 15 minute travel time to 2 parks has a real monetary value, imo.

I wouldn’t get hoppers with toddlers if staying at POR - just my opinion.

That September heat is a real thing to acknowledge, but you’ve been there before at that time for an anniversary, so you know the deal, I guess. You will more than likely have pretty low crowds, so that’s a plus.

I would:
Wake up early, and go to Am EMH at any park that has it.
Do whatever you want to do in that park, making sure to do the stuff with generally long waits in the am, and start doing more relaxing stuff as the day progresses. Figure out lunch (either in the park or out.) Pay special attention to the dining pkgs offered, like for fantasmic, or Rivers Of Light. Maybe they make sense. Maybe a dessert party makes sense at MK or Hollyweird.

Wrap up for afternoon pool break back at POR when the day is hottest. Enjoy the pool you are paying for. Have a dinner (wherever it works - at the resort or at a park.)

Then do the park for a VERY relaxed evening - like planning the low demand stuff, like shows, and taking in the sights at night, and staying for fireworks, and then leaving. Maybe one parent can stay while the other takes the kids back to the resort a few nights.

This is just a suggestion for a loose plan of attack. Of course, you wanna have as much fun as possible, and see everything you can, but, imo, you need to figure out what is important for you to see, and what can be skipped, to balance max fun and not being worn out and miserable. Remember that heat, too. That is REAL.