Help! Arriving at AK mid-morning?

Thank you to anyone willing to spend time thinking about my first world problem minutiae. :slight_smile:

We have been planning on 4 nts/3 days at the parks in late October (Grand FLoridian, doing club-level VIP FPP program), then transfer to UOR (staying at Portofino and will have UE pass) for 3.5 days. Kids are 5 and 7. The more I look at it, the more my WDW plan feels a little cramped and I don’t want to leave WDW feeling like I short-changed it. To spread out our plans a little more, i am considering adding a 4th day on the day I had previously planned as our “sleep in/transfer to UOR” relaxed day, but to hopefully still sleep in, go to AK for 3 FPP, and then leave. The rub is that if we plan to sleep in and pack up, we will be arriving at AK around 10 or 11 or so and will that be a huge headache, to deal with mid-morning crowds entering the park? CL 6 day, Wed Oct. 24. Alternately if we go to AK later, we will be arriving at UOR much later than planned.

Any thoughts? If you’re still reading (thank you!), here would be the plan:
Oct. 20-arrival day/early bed
Oct. 21-MK RD until lunch/nap/HS from 5 until F! (8 pm)
Oct. 22-EP RD until 3 pm/nap/MK from 7 to HEA (9 pm). (7 y.o. and I may sneak to AK instead of nap ONLY to do FOP since we will have a club level FPP for it).
Oct. 23-MK RD until 3 pm/nap/Ohana dinner.
Oct. 24-Sleep in, pack up, AK for FOP, Nemo, EE from 11-2ish. Return to GF to get bags, get transfer to UOR. Can’t check in to UOR until 4 pm so don’t know when/if nap would happen. Maybe we rent a car for that day? …Had originally planned to just sleep in, get to UOR that day and do USF for a couple of hours.
Oct. 25–Our designated Harry Potter day
Oct. 26-USF/IOA
Oct. 27-USF/IOA in morning, 5 pm flight home.

For a CL 6 I wouldn’t worry at all getting into AK mid-morning. Honestly I find that literal ‘crowds’ getting in at RD much worse than any other time of day. Because everyone that is there is all getting in at one time.
I am not familiar with UOR - but there is always the chance that the room will be ready early & if not I am sure that you can use the pool while you wait.


I like your plan of sleeping in on the 24th and heading to AK for a few FPP. I don’t think you need as much time at UOR as you are planning. My DS7 loved FOP last year. I wouldn’t miss it.

1 Like

No, especially not if you are going for 3 FPP and then heading out.


I agree with this. We were there the summer before last and did almost everything in 1.5 days. We checked into Royal Pacific late morning after arriving in Sanford on the AutoTrain. Had lunch by the pool, then showered in the spa near the pool. By then our room was ready and we headed out to the parks until closing then spent the entire next day in the parks (checked out and loaded the car before doing Early Entry).

Our kids are older (9 and 14 at the time) so they could ride more stuff…there will be limited options for your younger child unless they are super tall.


I wouldn’t FP Nemo, you won’t need it. Maybe another safari ride?

I haven’t been to UOR since 2013 but then I had 3 day tickets bc they were buy 2 get 1 day free. Our 2nd day we were done by 2pm and never even used our 3rd day. I know things have changed since then but I just don’t think you’ll need 3 full days.

1 Like

We had the same experience. We had DS5 and DS7 at the time and 1.5 days was plenty for us too. There were a lot of rides DS5 was too short for. This ticked him off something fierce.

Thanks. Normally I wouldn’t FPP Nemo but that show and FOP are the only reason we are going to the park, so I would hate to risk not getting a seat…?

Very funny! That’s helpful feedback. So 1.5 days was enough for both parks even spending time on the Harry Potter stuff? I had planned for a USF Day, an IOA day, a dedicated HP Daym and a “clean up ride our favorite again” day…you think I won’t need all that?

p.s. my kids are not tall…will be 45 and 42 inches respectively.


I would check the height requirements here and manage their expectations as to what they can and cannot ride.

If you are big HP fans, keep it the way you have it. I can literally spend an entire day doing only Harry Potter stuff, and leave everything else for other days. If you think you will be breezing through the HP stuff, then you probably won’t need as much time. My last trip with my entire family, my youngest was only 42 in, and we still needed about two days.

Two kids, DD7 and DD11. Visited UOR in January during HP weekends. We had two day park tickets with an additional day free, plus a stay at Portofino with UE. My oldest loves HP and we cheerfully spent the majority of one day at both Diagon Alley and Hogsmede. The only ride DD7 could not ride was Hulk (she measured herself

All that to say - even with the extra people at Universal for HP weekends, we could have done both parks, all of HP, easily in two full days. Our third day was kind of a waste. In hindsight, we should have stopped mid day, day two and spent some time at the hotel pool, but we didn’t. UOE is simply not that big, there is less walking than WDW and Lands are closer.

And check the height requirements, they tend to be taller than WDW.

Good luck - it sounds like a super fun trip. October is a GREAT time to go.

Thank you so much for sharing your experience! That is a helpful guidepost. I think you are right that i might be overestimating the size of the parks and the time it takes to get around them; WDW is the only thing I have to compare so when I see a map of USF, I liken it to MK. It does seem like my kids will be able to go on most of the rides except the big coasters, but perhaps with UE we really will just breeze through it all plus no travel time like there is at WDW. And thanks–I am super excited!