Help me pick park days, please :)


#1

Naturally, at about 90 days out, I'm second guessing our plans... I have ADR's out the wazoo trying to plan for all contingencies. Please help.

Our party is mom, dad, and two kids ages 5 & 7. We're from the west coast, which means showing up at 8:30 to RD a 9am park open is going to feel like 5:30am and that's bad enough, so don't be telling me to use AM EMH. :wink:

We're arriving January 23 (Monday), relatively late. Plane is scheduled to land 7pm and we are using MDE so I figure that by the time we grab something to eat it will be around 10pm before we get the kids to bed.

We're checking out the 29th (Sunday). So that's 6 nights, and we have 5 day base tickets. Planning one day in each park, with a second visit to MK on checkout day. Saturday is by far the worst predicted CL's so I'm planning that as our day off.

TUESDAY JAN 24
I keep coming back to visiting Epcot because it's got PM EMH and an 11pm close is only 8pm on "home" time. This is the only day Epcot has PM EMH during our trip. My plan is to RD, take a long afternoon break, and return around dinner, but I figure if we sleep in I can change that up to a late start day with rests in the park. I'll book FP's to keep it flexible.

Saturday has the highest crowd levels so I have that planned as a day off.

I feel like we have these choices...

CHOICE 1:
Tuesday - Epcot (PM EMH) CL3
Wednesday - MK (PM EMH) CL2
Thursday - AK CL2
Friday - DHS (PM EMH) CL6

CHOICE 2:
Tuesday - Epcot (PM EMH) CL3
Wednesday - DHS CL3
Thursday - MK CL2
Friday - AK CL3

CHOICE 3:
Tues day - AK CL1
Wednesday - Epcot CL2
Thursday - MK CL2
Friday - DHS (PM EMH) CL6

CHOICE 4:
Tuesday - AK CL1
Wednesday - DHS CL3
Thursday - MK CL2
Friday - Epcot CL3

Choice 1 get us more EMH time, but at the expense of two long days right at the beginning of the trip. Choice 2 mixes up shorter/easier park days with the long hard days better but we sacrifice EMH time.
Choice 3 & 4 give us a rest on the first day, but cost us EMH in Epcot. And if we have trouble getting moving the first morning, I worry about not having enough time if AK closes at 5pm.

Which way is better?


#2

I've been looking at this same week for a trip. The crowd levels are awesome. Honestly, for this time of year, I think every park is going to be great every day. I'd maybe decide based on the best ADR times that you have. Without knowing those, I'd probably lean towards Choice 4. It's a solid plan with my favorite parks at the end of the week.

Also, you could maybe consider splurging for Park Hoppers. The January hours are rather short, so it might be nice to spend evenings in whichever park is open latest, but to not be tied to that park for the whole day. With park hoppers, you could combine Choice 4 in the mornings with the PM EMHs from Choice 1. It's just a thought. I know it's a big expense.


#3

If you already have your ADRs setup for choice one, I'd just roll with it. It's not that big a difference in crowds that it would be worth scrambling for new meals etc.

I'd also suggest extending your park ticket for a 6th day if you can do it cheaply. Typically adding extra days after you hit 4 days is pretty cheap - looks like going from 5 days to 6 is around $16 per adult. Maybe you've got enough planned on your off day, but at that price, I'd think 1 more day at the park of the kids choice would be ideal as opposed to sitting out a day from the parks only to leave WDW the following day. Something to consider at least...


#4

We have thought about adding the 6th day. We had to get 5 day tix because we got them through a points program, but they're upgrade-able. We'll decide once we're on site. I think we might want to return to Epcot for a half day, but we might also be all "parked" out and need the day off.

We're going to Universal with 3 day tickets right after WDW so I've got to try and be sensible. A little. If possible.


#5

You're right, the CL's are so good it probably won't matter much. I think I'll go for Choice 2, because it switches up the long days and short days. The more I think about it, the more I realize doing Epcot & MK back to back is going to burn our kids out, and that's a terrible way to start a trip!

I did think about upgrading to hoppers but in the end we decided to add a couple more TS meals instead.


#6

Great plan! You really can't go wrong.


#7

We will be there the same week, arriving on Saturday 1-21. Our plan essentially matches your option 4. We are going to
1-21. (Early arrival) HS
1-22 Epcot
1-23 AK
1-24 Off
1-25 &26 Mk
1-27 open - tbd
1-28 home
I recommend that you really consider NOT taking of the day before you leave. Maybe do a park half day.


#8

I think I lean toward either of the two plans that does not have you visiting DHS on a CL6. I don't feel that DHS handles crowds well in large part because so much is closed. I wouldn't want to be there on a 6.

That leaves choice 2 and 4. The only major difference in those two plans, aside from the EP EMH that you want so badly, is that AK is a 3 vs a 1. I would LOVE to be at AK on a 1. But a 3 isn't bad either. So if the EMH appeals to you so strongly, I would go with choice 2.


#9

I was wondering what you decided. My plans changed quite a bit just before I booked FPP. Where are you staying? I agree with the above advice, especially about the extra 6th day and getting park hoppers.


#10

We decided on option 2. FP+ day is later this month so I'm going to finalize TP's over the next couple of weeks.