First-timers Spring Break 2019 - Pre Trip plans PLS ADVISE!

Hello guys! First timer here. And I’d be totally lost without Touring Plans. Well, I kinda still am… :sweat_smile:

WHO: Me, my husband who lovingly tolerates my various Disney obsessions, and my girls who are 6yo and soon to be 4yo. We live in Los Angeles, CA and are Disneyland annual passholders which I’m mentioning since it steers our plans somewhat.

WHAT: First time at WDW!!! :star_struck: We are celebrating my youngest’s 4th bday :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: And… I just finished the cancer treatment trifecta :biohazard:

Disclaimer: Our reservations will seem too late for young kids. I still constantly give my rezzies a side-eye when I see the times; but 9:30 is only 6:30 for us and we’re not planning on changing our body clocks. This also means there will be no rope dropping for us either. I’ll be content if we walk through the gates 11ish.

03/27 - 6PM arrival at MCO. Will probably catch a Magical Express to CSR. Have a 9:30 dinner reservation at California Grill. I’m hoping to be at the Contemporary by 9 to catch the fireworks on the balcony somewhere. Is this realistic?

03/28 - No park day. Afternoon tea at Grand Floridian = breakfast. Then, DVC tour at SSR. We tried to rent DVC points to get the feel for it but our travel dates weren’t available. Will either grab lunch at Disney Springs after or eat back at CSR. Maybe some pool time. Then the 830 dinner show at Hoop Dee Doo.

3/29 - Epcot Day. Can’t wait. I’ve heard good things and we have no park like this here. So cool that we’re getting to see it during F&G festival. Did not know that when we booked the trip. Have lunch reservations at Garden Grill then dinner at La Hacienda. Hoping to watch Illuminations from La Hacienda if we get a good table.

3/30 - No park day. Still looking for a character breakfast for late morning. I found some at 10am but idk if that’s a realistic time for us. Esp if I factor in the commute time. Which ones would you recommend? I’ll add them to the reservation finder and maybe I’ll get lucky. Then probably more resort time until our dinner reservation at Narcoosee’s; also hoping for fireworks viewing here.

3-31 - Animal Kingdom day. Excited about this park as we have nothing comparable here. My kids are calling it the Disney zoo. :smile: Have rezzie at Tusker house at 1145 I think. Not the ROL package though. There are 2 ROL showtimes this day so I figure we can probably get a good seat at one of those. We currently have our FPPs for Navi, Safari, & Dinosaur. Would you guys recommend a fastpass for the Lion King show? We are also considering the Lion king dining package tier 2 (coz tier 1 is sold out), is that a good option? Some posts say there are enough lion king showtimes that this isn’t necessary.

4/1 - Hollywood Studios day. Sci Fi at 1130. Very hard reservation to get and I’m so excited to have it. Can’t wait to see the kids reactions. Then mostly shows. I was gonna skip the Frozen one since we have that at California Adventure, but they say it’s different and totally hilarious so we’re catching that too. Not the Disney Jr ones though, coz we have those here too. Late afternoon rezzie at Hollywood Derby. Pics of that place reminds me of Santa Anita Park. Then the Star Wars dessert party. Foregoing Fantasmic as we’ve seen that show at Disneyland multiple times.

4/2 - Epcot Day. Again. Coz we don’t have her here. :heart_eyes: Also coz I have Soarin for the 1st visit then got Frozen for this 2nd one. And it looks like this park is HUGE. I was planning on doing the front part of the part for our first day then mostly the World Showcase on this 2nd day. Rezzie’s @ Rose and Crown noonish then dinner at Restaurant Marrakesh. Should we try to get a fastpass for Illuminations? Or will there be places with decent views elsewhere?

4/3 - Magic Kingdom day. We got the Tony’s package for the parade and the Garden view dessert party for the fireworks. I figure it’s better to be on the safe side since we have no clue what an 8 crowd level looks like at MK. The issue is that the only FPP I could get for 7 Dwarves is at 810pm. Is it possible for us to hit the dessert party early, like 730pm, then leave to ride 7DMT, then go to the viewing area? :roll_eyes:

Also got a late seating at Cinderella’s at 9:55pm. That’s only 6:55pm to us so I think we’ll be fine. What I’m wondering is how do we get to Cinderella’s after the fireworks? Will that area be blocked? At Disneyland, the castle area is blocked off after the fireworks.

4/4 - Flight to LAX at 645pm :sob: I was going to try to do another character breakfast here but knowing us, we’ll need all the time to pack up that morning. Esp w the late night at MK. Made a reservation at Boathouse around 1pm, then head to the airport around 3pm. Is that too early/too late?

Right now, I’m planning to bring some portable boosters for the girls so we can Uber/Lyft it if, or should I say when, we’re running late. I have no clue what the bus wait times would be. I don’t even know how to get to some of the places where we have reservations. :rofl:

Also thinking of adding park tickets to our no park days. It won’t be that much more to make it a 6 or 7 day ticket. And I feel like it will alleviate some of the pressure on the planned park days if we could maybe see a couple of the HS shows one day and maybe go to MK and do Enchanted tales plus other meet and greets the other day. Would be less than half days really. What do you guys think?

Thanks in advance for your advice. Looking forward to hearing from you.


Congratulations on finishing your treatment.
03/27 . Is this realistic? This may be a bit of a gamble. Could you go straight to the restaurant and not stop at your resort? 03/28. Won’t your children be ‘chomping at the bit’ to get to the parks, especially having seen the fireworks the night before?

03/31 I recall @PrincipalTinker posted some amazing photographs from the FoLK recently. I will try to find the link.

You are going to have a amazing time.


Sounds like an exciting trip plan! Your girls will love it! And congrats on a successful treatment! I’ll actually be in Disneyland at a conference in May, so I might have to pick your brain about things to do there! Here are some of my thoughts on your plan:

As long as your flight arrives on time, it could be possible but would be super rushy to take magical express from MCO to CSR then uber/bus to Contemporary. If you don’t have any carry ons with you, you might consider asking the ME people to let you hop on the bus directly to the contemporary from MCO. They might let you do that if you explain you have an ADR at CG, which should get you there with plenty of time.

We loved GG for the character interactions. It was our favorite character meal.

This totally depends on what characters you want to see. But for breakfasts, I’d personally go with Ohana because they only have characters (Lilo, Stitch, and Mickey) at breakfast. Many of the others have characters at every meal. Cape May Cafe is another of our favorites for breakfast, and again, only has characters at breakfast.

I’d say keep the FPP you have, because those lines will be well over 60 min by midday when you are planning on going. Unless you really care where you sit, you probably won’t have a hard time getting in to the Lion King.

EP is my favorite park and could easily spend at least 2 days there. You can easily spend a day in future world and a day (or more) in WS. They may sound boring to your kids, but I love the movies throughout WS. Also, snacking throughout the country pavilions is a highlight for me. You could consider skipping a formal lunch and just graze on all the goodies throughout WS. There are whole blogs dedicated to the foods there!

Illuminations can be viewed from a lot of different places in EP, so a FPP may not be necessary. But if you really want a central viewing area (it’s right at the entrance to WS between Mexico and Canada) you can use a FPP. I believe it’s a tier 1 FPP though, which I’d personally rather use on Soarin or TT. I’d probably try to get a 4th FPP for it after you use your first 3. I’ve never done the Rose & Crown illuminations package, because it’s really pricey but it gives you a prime viewing area.

If the CL 8 prediction holds true, it will feel VERY crowded. We were there on a CL 8 day in Feb, and standby lines were long everywhere. I think the parade package and HEA dessert party are smart ideas so you can avoid the masses. Without the dessert party for HEA you’d probably have to stake out a viewing spot at least 45 min before the show to get a good spot. When we were there, it seemed like every kid had a light-up Mickey balloon, which really obstructed our views.

I believe HEA is at 9:15 that day. You should be able to do what you suggest, assuming you’re back to the terrace around 8:30ish.

Well, it sounds like a great trip! Hope you guys have a lot of fun!


Sorry to hear about the cancer, and that’s brilliant that you have the all clear. I concur with @terp05 that your CG ADR on your first day is risky, I would try and change your ADR but I know that will be difficult. I would get the extra park days, and consider Hoppers. You are right to schedule more time for EP & AK as you don’t have those parks locally.


For 3/30 you could try to make a reservation for Chef Mickey. They have a brunch that goes until 2:30. May be able to get a later breakfast there. But, it is pretty difficult to find reservations at Chef Mickey.

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The tier 2 still comes with Tiffins? Here is my recent report that includes the tier 1 package:

Happy planning!

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Thanks! I think we will try to head to Cali Grill directly from MCO.
I heard that sometimes it’s not even necessary to check in and the magic band can open our room door. Do you know how that works?

And, believe me, I’ll be chomping at the bit to get into the parks as well. Which is why I’m considering adding short park days to our “no park” days. :blush:

Omygosh! I’m so excited. I think I’ll go pack now…

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Wow! I didn’t even think to catch the magical express to the Contemporary instead. That might be the key! :grinning:

I’ve kinda given up hope on getting an Ohana or Chef Mickey ADR, but I’m excited to try and get one for Cape May Café. The logistics of getting there from CSR seem daunting though. :persevere:

As for the festival snacking, they usually don’t offer many plant based options. :sob:
There are some though, like the lavender lemonade that I can’t wait to try. And the dole whips are non-dairy. :yum:

I’m off dairy and meat because I’m trying not to ingest anything with hormones. My cancer was hormone positive and I’m taking so many meds to prevent my body from making hormones, I feel foolish to then ingest some in my food. This is also why we opted out of the dining plan. We won’t be ordering steaks nor anything with cheese so I didn’t feel like it will be a good value.

Thanks for all your input! We’re sooo excited. :dancer::dancer::dancer:

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Thank you! Cancer sucks. But like the commercial, …I am relentless too! :muscle:
My kids helped get me through the worst parts. They are still so young and I refuse to let them be motherless. :rage:

When our passes came up for renewal after I was diagnosed, we hemmed and hawed for a while, but decided that we’ll go each month; sometime during the weeks I’m off chemo. That helped me too. It kept my spirits up. Also, we got Disney’s red tag for the stroller at that time so I could sit and rest while we waited for rides. I’m not sure if that’s the same as the DAS pass.

But, oh boy!, all those dirty looks we got when we used that red tag. I think because none of us looked disabled when I had my wig on. On other trips when I didn’t wear a wig, people were less hostile. :roll_eyes:

Oh, but back on topic. I did consider the hoppers but I don’t really see us doing more than one park a day. Esp with the logistics issues and my cluelessness abt wdw transpo. Also, it’s cheaper to get 10-day tickets than 5-day hoppers. Isn’t that crazy?! So I may just go and do that today. Add days to our tickets so we could go into the other parks for a short time during our no parks days.

Thanks again! :relaxed:


I have heard reports recently of them sometimes saying yes but often refusing. What about an Uber? Will you have a lot of luggage?

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Have a great trip!!! and congrats!

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Well, like @PrincipalTinker says, it’s not a given that they’ll let you take ME to the contemporary, but I think it’s worth bringing evidence of your ADR at CG, maybe tell a white lie that your flight arrived late and you might not make your ADR otherwise, and pleading your case.

Did you try the reservation finder? We are going at the end of March and snagged an Ohana dinner and Cape May breakfast via the finder just last week. Chef Mickey’s also often has spots open up!

You might want to check out the Sunshine Seasons cafeteria at the Land Pavilion. A lot of the produce they serve there comes right from their onsite greenhouses!

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We’re checking in most of our luggage because… kids. Need our hands free for their various snacking, entertainment, and potty needs. One time, while I took the girls to the bathroom, hubby tried to push the stroller and our assortment of luggage through the TSA check by himself. I only saw the tail end of it but it was hilarious!!! Imagine this guy with no shoes and belt hanging on his neck, hurriedly stuffing electronics back into a carry on while also kicking the stroller forward. :joy:

We’ll probably only have a backpack, my purse, a small bag for each of the girls, and the double stroller.

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You’re so right, guys! I just got a Cape May Café rez for 10:55. :dancer::dancer::dancer:
That TP reservation finder is AWESOME!