HDDR or ROL? or both?

I know this is probably based on personal preference to a large degree but any input on how you would spend an evening would be appreciated. We are staying at the cabins at FW in early Dec. and so it seems we should see HDDR. I was worried that it may be too silly for our teen and tween but looking at video of it online makes me think we would enjoy it. We don’t have a long stay and so to fit it in I would likely need to cut short our AK day and forgo ROL. ROL does have a 6:30 show however that night to potentially allow us to do both shows but I don’t want to feel too rushed to get back to FW. Would it seem likely that we could make the 8:30 HDDR without too much of a time crunch? Then we could watch the electrical light parade on the water there at 9:45 and check out some Christmas lights in the campground on our way back to our cabin. Also if we were to try to see the early 6:30 ROL show would we plan on getting FP or book a dinner package? Originally I was not going to do that because it seems as if the craziness of getting into ROL is dying down.

HMMM. I personally love HDDR and my kids loved it when they were young - not teens. I always read they suggest you be at HDDR 30 minutes before the doors opened (but I think that unnecessary - maybe 15). So if you think you can get from AK after ROL back to FW by 8:00 and that of course means taking bus to FW and then hopping on internal bus to get to HDDR - then I say go for it. OR if you took UBER or Lyft from AK to HDDR, you probably could do both

As ROL is only about 20 min long, I don’t think you would have a problem making it to Pioneer Hall by 8:30; by 8:00, it would be cutting it very close.

The two are such totally different experiences, it’s like comparing apples to artichokes. I’m in a small minority of Liners who doesn’t really care for HDDR; the cornball humor and music does nothing for me, the food was so-so, and it’ a total PIA to get to unless you are at FW, WL, CR, or the MK. And it’s expensive. But as I said, this is definitely the minority opinion. I much prefer the more relaxing beauty of ROL, and if I do a dining package I can have a much better meal for not much more than the price of HDDR (and maybe less). AK is beautiful at night, and with the other entertainments going on, for me, just staying put at AK would be my choice.

I do agree you can definitely get better food at AK than what is at HDDR

I didn’t much like ROL @kjsprouse_577366! But I know I’m a wierd minority here, it gets good thumbs up from almost everyone else. I wouldn’t invest a FPP or dining package on it.

My kids are 10 and 14 and they LOVED it! It was a great time!

If you were to do the later HDDR, I think it could be done if you use Uber or Lyft to transfer after ROL. ROL will end by 7pm, giving you almost an hour to get to HDDR to check in as advised, though as long as you’re there before they close the doors you would be fine. Might be worth doing, actually. Although if you will spend all of ROL biting your nails and worrying about making an easy exit, I would pick one or the other.

For OP I would recommend FPP for positioning for an easier exit. The non-FPP/non-dining plan seats are further back into Asia, making for a longer exit time.

I enjoy ROL but if I were picking one or the other I’d go with HDDR.

Thanks for the great advice and letting me know what your kids thought of HDDR. I had tried to look up info on how teens reviewed HDDR and it was so mixed. Our kids are almost the exact ages except I have one extra who is 7.
I am so torn! I want to see AK at night! Maybe I will try to have us get in earlier on our travel day and do HDDR that night so that we can do both a little more stress free!

That’s a great way to kick off a trip! We did it on our resort day for similar effect.

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