Help planning- allocating days and parks

We are having trouble deciding what park to go to on what day. Going spring break for a week. I checked crowd calendars for TP, Undercover Tourist and Kenny Pirate and they are all fairly different in what they recommend for what park on each day (thus confusing me further). Suggestions?
We just did DL and though I didn’t really use Tp for that, I found the Lines app to be totally inaccurate and ended up using the Disney app instead for wait times the whole time. Is Lines accurate for WDW? And their TP work and are the crowd calendars accurate?
Also, I’m not sure how many days for each park. If it weren’t for the FPP planning, we could wing it but booking advance FPP throws a wrench in that plan.
Having done DL multiple times, I also am trying to allocate days in a way where we focus on the things that are different. So even though it is recommended often to do 2 days at MK, if we’ve done DL, can we do one day MK (if we skip some things like Fantasy Land and Jungle Cruise)? Most recommend 2 days at Epcot? So hard to know! The kids want to do water parks too.
I do know we are not early people so won’t be there at RD (coming from west coast). Also, not sure if we will take breaks and come back or just spend a good 8-10 hr day in the park (thats what we did at DL-- taking mid day breaks and coming back to DL was too much --we ended up going back one night to watch Fantastic but otherwise, spent a full 8-10 hour day beginning with RD then retiring for the night. Not sure if we will feel different at WDW. maybe our later start time there will change things).
help. There is so much more planning with WDW than DL… and we do QS for all meals, if that makes a difference!

If you’re staying on-property and thus getting FPPs at 60 days, you want to schedule AK and DHS later in your trip — this is because you are unlikely to find FPPs for FOP and SDD in the first few days.

EP can be worth two days partly because Soarin’, Test Track and FEA are all Tier 1, so you can only pick one in your initial FPP selections.

If you aren’t early risers then avoid parks with morning EMH. Deff leave HS & AK to the end of the week if you’re staying on site, if you aren’t it doesn’t matter because you won’t be able to get those FPP. How many days do you have in the parks and do you have hoppers?

True, but the same-day FPP drop is real. I picked up Soarin’ FPP at 1:30 and there were TT available, too, just too late in the day for us.

Have a plan, make a plan, and stick to the plan. We were in MK yesterday in a predicted 5, actual 8. We did RD. But we did:
Met Alice
Lunch break
Magic carpets
Swiss Family treehouse

12 “attractions” and the parade and we left around 4:15ish. Know which things always have low waits or are best to do when it’s busy and time things accordingly.

I’ve found TP wait times to be quite accurate.

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As far as crowd calendars, I’ve used Kenny the Pirate to pick which days to go and that worked out well for us last trip. But everyone has their own preferences. I agree with putting AK and HS towards the end for FPs. I like TP’s customized touring plans to plan our day.

Last trip we did 2 days MK and 2 days Epcot (1 AK and 1 HS). With the water parks, you could go there in the morning, as they open at 10 and then head to Epcot or MK for the late afternoon/evening.

My family also does not do well with mid-day breaks, so we usually do rope drop to dinner or around lunch time to evening or close. Typically, about 7-9 hours. We have had one day rope drop to close during our week, sleeping in and doing more of a 6-7 hour park day the next day.

Thank you for the responses. So aim for AK and HS for latter part of the week for FPP. Epcot 2 days. Water parks in the mornings so then maybe plan FPP for late afternoon those days. It sounds like the crowd calendars aren’t something people adhere to strictly when picking parks so we’ll just avoid the EMH parks since we won’t be going that early. Does this apply to the extra evening hours too? Do we avoid those parks?
I was hoping to do all 4 parks the first 4 days so we get a sense of what we like and can adjust the rest of the week accordingly. Need to re-think that since it doesn’t sound like that is possible.
Looks like TP work well at WDW so I’ll run some of those and figure out how to do this FPP system. We were able to get on all major rides at DL during Thanksgiving week with maxpass no problem but it seems like it is much harder at WDW.
We have 7 days and did get park hoppers just so we have flexibility — since its our first time, not sure what everyone will want to do, what they’ll like etc.
ASLewis, since you’ve done the later day start, can you still pick up same day FPP? I wish we could do RD but given our west coast roots, I know its not possible. We could barely do 8am our time at DL.
This planning is like a full time job. LOL.

Yes, we most certainly did pick up extra FPs. We late started MK, Epcot and AK. Now we didn’t get FOP or 7dmt for extra FPs, but we did get PPF, TT, EE, and plenty of others on our late start days. We were at DW before TSL opened and did our open to close day at HS. We found FPs throughout the day at that time.

We did WDW for Spring Break in 2016 & we go frequently to DL so I thought I would add our experiences to maybe help plan (especially from a WDW compared to DL perspective).

For planning which park on which days, I used a source that no longer exists (EasyWDW’s recommendations of green, orange and red days for which parks to visit) as well as the help of a family member who is a seasoned WDW visitor/out of state annual passholder. Her only non-negotiable request for which park which day was MK had to be our last day. It was the best park to get that last extra dose of magic as we were gearing up to go home the next day & I highly recommend it to everyone!

We also avoided EMH’s but coming from Mountain Time, next time I would plan some PM EMH’s as most nights we were easily up until 11pm or midnight. I would also say, don’t be afraid to choose a flow that works for your party even it won’t give you the lowest possible crowd level’s all around. You can still look for lower crowd levels but don’t chase that 2 CL prediction at the sacrifice of doing parks on days that you feel will work better for your group (like seeing all 4 parks before doing a repeat park, which is a fantastic plan, by the way). Even if you are in higher CL’s a good plan & being informed from your research/planning are far more important than following the lowest possible crowd predictions to the T.

And also don’t be afraid to have to re-arrange things! We finalized our original plan the day before ADR’s opened up & snagged all ones that we wanted right as it opened up. Then 70 days before our trip, the other family we were going with had some work schedule issues that got in the way of them coming with us for all our days so we had to scramble to move some ADRs which resulted in changing some of the parks we did but our new plan was still fantastic & what dining we couldn’t get moved, we worked into it.

We ended up seeing parks in this order: DHS, AK, EP, MK. and followed the exact order for our 2nd days in each park for a total of 8 park days (I had originally figured 7 and 1 rest day, but was easily convinced to do 8 days to get every last minute of park time we possibly could & convinced myself that we’d get enough rest doing midday breaks (ha!) and on our AK days as AK used to close at 5-6pm so those nights we could lounge at the resort). I would still do 8 days, but I definitely wouldn’t RD more than 2 times as we found it so hard to leave for (a worthwhile) midday break without sacrificing huge amounts of park time & by the end of the trip we were all exhausted & half of us were really sick those last 2-3 days making it hard to fully enjoy our park time & some of those meals that we were most looking forward to.

When we decided to do 8 days, we had already purchased 7 day tickets so we had to add a day while there so we had 1 day with no FPPs planned in advance gasp!

That unplanned day was our 2nd day at Epcot & we loved that Epcot day & spent the majority of it in Worldshowcase doing all the Kidcot stations, playing Agent P & eating/drinking around the world ending with Illuminations. In the springtime they have Flower & Garden festival at Epcot & I really LOVED all the atmosphere that it brought, not just from the food booths, but a serene & beautiful butterfly garden, a couple of playgrounds that were the highlight of Epcot for the kids, and ALL the topiaries (we took pictures of every one that we saw & checked them off on our festival guide that they handed out at the Festival Center).

Also when we adjusted from 7 to 8 park days we added a 2nd day of DHS. At the end of the 1st DHS day I was glad we had a 2nd day because we had a number of little things go wrong & by 7:30pm we were D.O.N.E and bailed on the park (even though we had taken a midday break- not really long enough to be rested to stay & enjoy the nighttime shows). If you are after just rides in DHS it’s totally doable with just 1 day (even a late arrival day if you can hang until close & the hours are late enough). If you want to do a lot of the shows, I would say you need at least 1 1/2 days as the shows are really weirdly timed & make getting them all in with rides near impossible for someone who’s not familiar with the parks to execute in 1 day (and when I say shows, I’m talking about the daytime ones like Beauty & the Beast, Indiana Jones, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Disney Jr., Jedi Training- especially if participating in the show as this takes up a lot of the day).

Then lastly on TPs: WDW’s are much more accurate than DL’s. In DL I find standby wait times after 10/11am and FP return times for the whole day to be inaccurate/unpredictable. In WDW because the makeup of guests is mainly tourists & there is a reliable method to view FPP availability the plans/wait times are much more accurate on the WDW side. I made TP’s for our trip & we used them for about half the time, but the research I did in making them allowed us to make lots of changes on the ground/add in things that became important as we got there. I knew how valuable TP’s plans were when the seasoned Annual Passholder we were with for half the trip, asked “where to next?” after a day or so with them. She definitely added a lot of advice that enhanced our experience on the ground, but most of the time she was confident that what I had planned, was going to be great. And all thanks to these forums and the Guidebook!

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