Hello folks! Last year we got to go to Disneyland when my wife had a business conference at the resort. Thanks in no small part to the wonderful folks at Touringplans and forum members, we had an AMAZING time. We got four-day park hoppers and really made the most of it between meeting and such (it WAS a conference after all.)
Note: we are two adults in good health with no kids.
Anyway, this year, it's in Orlando at the Swan and Dolphin which is where we will be staying. Unfortunately, we do not have an unlimited budget or unlimited time so we will have to make some decisions.
Near as we can tell, we will have roughly two FULL days to ourselves with no conflicts, one afternoon/evening after 3pm, and an all day until about 6pm-9pm. We had the same basic schedule in DLR and we definitely got our fill of EVERYTHING, believe me, but I'm keenly aware that DW is a MUCH different experience.
First decision is, no Universal Studios, we just can't work it in time wise or budget wise.
Second, we definitely want to see all four parks, ESPECIALLY Epcot as we've both wanted to go since we were 11 years old! By some work of serendipity or Disney Magic, it seems like the 4-Park Magic Ticket will be, well, just the ticket for us. We will be there 4/25-4/29 so we just missed the black out date, but still time to purchase them before March 5th when it ends. I considered the park hopper option, but holy cow the parks are spread out compared to DLR! Not exactly "hopping" in my opinion! With the 4-Park Magic Ticket you get a full day at each park at a price less than a regular four day ticket, which sounds perfect. Also, since we are staying at the Swan, it looks like we get access to the "extra magic hours" (but not Magic Bands, unfortunately.)
Anyway, for a couple that has never been to DW but did Disneyland pretty thoroughly just a year ago, we need to get an idea of how much time we can spend in each park so we can prioritize. I'm definitely thinking that MK and Epcot should be our two full days. Even though MK is similar to DL, we enjoy the cornball kid's rides as much as anything.
Here is our "available" schedule:
Wed - after 4pm until close
Thurs - all day until 6pm-9pm (dinner meeting)
Fri - ALL DAY!
SAT - ALL DAY!
So, you can see this makes things a little complicated. As i said, I would like to use our two "all day" days for MK and Epcot, but the hours of the other parks make that tricky, mostly on Wednesday. I was thinking Thursday would be good for AK since it closes at 7pm anyway, but that would make Wednesday Hollywood Studios which would only give us about four hours there. We hated Tower of Terror at DCA and aren't into roller coasters either, but we LOVED Star Tours and Toy Story Mania. The Great Movie Ride and Muppet 3D looks cool too. Factoring in a quick meal, will that be enough time to enjoy ourselves?
I briefly considered MK for Wed night as it's open until 11pm, but that's still only 5-6 hours we would have there.
The final option available is to just stay an additional day, then we would have three uninterrupted days and one mostly open day, but we have to pay for the extra day out of our pocket where the other days are comped by work.
Sorry, I know this is a lot, so I'll cut it for now, just looking for opinions! I know the general idea is to spend as much time as you can! We probably won't be back any time soon, if ever, so we do want to make the most of it.