First time trip report with kids 8 & 5

We just got back from a 10 night stay on property. It was our first visit and we did a lot of pre-planning using touringplans and advice from these forums. We travelled from the UK so getting up early wasn’t a big deal so we planned on lots of half days (mornings).

We skipped the magical express on arrival as we were tired and the queue was long. Caught a taxi instead. Return to the airport was reasonably efficient although e did stop at two other resorts.

We did a split stay 5 nights each at Polynesian and Animal Kingdom. We loved both for different reasons. Poly had great transport to MK - in fact monorail was so convenient we just popped in for a couple of evenings we hadn’t planned. Poly pool was great. AK we loved the savannah view, the transfers to AK were really quick. If we went back we would pick AK as I think its better located for AK/HS and still as decent transport to MK/Epcot.

Overall we were a but disappointed in MK. Some rides are ancient and should be revamped (small world, peter pan). Overall there isn’t enough thrill in this park. We loved Space Mountain but were disappointed in 7DMT. BTRR was good but Splash was closed. Great theming for haunted mansion and POTC but wouldn’t do them twice. We spent a lot of time in this park but felt that we could do it in a day if we came back. HEA was good but not that comfortable when trying to hold an 8 or 5 year old up for 20 mins ! Would recommend watching from Poly beach instead.

Epcot - outside of Soarin and Test Track not much to do.

HS - we had two good half days here including the Star Wars Dessert party which was great. Kids did the Jedi trial which they loved.

AK - had a good coupe of half days there. Na’vi river had amazing theming. FOP was quite amazing although made me feel motion sickness. Everest was our favourite ride and the safari was really good first thing.

Universal - we hadn’t planned on time there but added a day there for more thrill rides. Went to Studios - rip rocket and mummy are great, the rest are motion rides so can be a bit samey.

We had great meals at Ohana, Boma, Sanaa. The character meals at Tusker House and Garden Grill were really good. We also did 1900 Park Fare (wouldn’t do that again as food was very average) and Crystal Palace (again food just ok).

Overall we had a good holiday but we wouldn’t rush back - think this will be a once every 5-7 years thing for us.

Things we learned -
Best thrill rides - Space Mountain, Everest, FoP, Soarin, Big Thunder, Test Track, RnR - you can do all of these once with fastpass+ and a one day visit to each park.
4th fastpasses weren’t much use - usually for low appeal rides.
MK crowd level 3 is still very busy !
Typhoon lagoon isn’t as good as Siam Park !
We would use morning EMH next time and hop to a different park eg Na’vi was walk on at 8am on EMH.
Lots of planning can go out the window when rides break down - this happened to us 4 times during our FP+ windows.