Help planning days

Hi all,

Our original plan for short trip was to stay in on arrival day (day 1) (flight gets into MCO at 10 am - it’s a 2.5 hour flight) and then CM for dinner. Then MK on day 2 (CL 5) Epcot of day 3 and on day 4 MK with kids all day and then DH and I go out in the evening for a couple of hours. Day 5 we return home. No hopper and trip is with DD4 and DS2. Staying at the Polynesian.

Since it’s a short trip we want to go to a park on day 1 now. Our choices:

1)We can go to HS (CL 2) on day 1 -mainly do shows with kids and M&G - not into the rides there. Don’t really like the meal options there. Get back by 7-8pm
2) go to AK(CL 2) on day 1 dine at TH. Get back by 7-8 pm
3) go to MK (CL 1) on day 1 (closes at 7 pm for party but that’s okay with us) and then day 2 at AK (CL3) The only issue with that it the kids will have a little less than 1.5 days at MK. With touring
plans we should still be able to achieve all we plan to.

We cannot alter day 3 or 4 because of ADRs and FPP.

Which do you think is the best option and am open to any and all suggestions!
Thank you so much!

I would definitely do #1 or #2 with #2 being my personal preference. I am really looking forward to our Tusker House trip and you are right that the dinner options are better at AK. I think you definitely want the two full days at MK with kids that age. As for Animal Kingdom vs. Hollywood Studios, I would just think about their interests. Maybe they would enjoy Beauty & the Beast, Little Mermaid and Frozen Sing Along at HS or maybe they would prefer to do the Safari and the Boneyard.

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With kids that young, I’d do AK. Lots of fun shows and animals, plus the characters you see are more animals instead of people. I’m thinking of Flik, Dug, Baloo, King Louis, Rafiki, Chip & Dale. Of course Mickey & Minnie are in every park.

I agree that with kids that age I would do AK. As you walk around you will find so much that will, all I can say is “enchant” them. Drummers, singers, soccer playing acrobats- truely magical. Add TH to that- it cannot be beat!

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I think kids would personally like HS a bit more - but it will be running from a show to another and then standing to meet with characters - I feel there’s less variation there.
And honestly, I am the one more interested in AK. There they have previously liked the lion king show and the safari and then there will be TH meal.

Most kids love animals and digging in the sand. AK is my vote. Now, whether you should do that on day 1 or 2 depends on your plans. If you feel you can get everything done that you want at MK on days 1 and 4, then go for AK on day 2. If not, then I’d do day 1 at AK. Remember, anything on that day is a bonus, so don’t think about the things you’ll miss, but think about the added things you’ll see.

Now, if your kids can take or leave the animals, but would love the shows and maybe one is a Star Wars or Toy Story fan, then go for HS. That’s got to be based on what they would prefer as their bonus stuff to do.

I really like your concept of this being the bonus day. My kids do like animals but between Sofia and the safari, there’s a chance Sofia will win. But then again I feel they would also like the slower pace that we can take at AK. Since it will be a shorter day, HS may be just going from one show to another. Also since doing a park on arrival day takes away their Chef Mickey, I can give them TH at AK. And the way PrincipalTinker described it, it makes me want to be there now.

Will your two year old sit through the shows?

He did when he was 1.5 yrs in December (he went to Beauty and the Beast and Lion King) He’s naughtier now but he also follows what his sister does - so if she watches, he will, most likely. He’s also completely into Frozen since DD4 is: she’s Elsa and he’s Anna, of course! he is less into M&Gs than she is and last time he was very fussy while we were waiting to meet the Disney Jr. characters. Thinking and writing it out, I am getting more and more convinced that AK will have more for more people in our family.

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I’d suggest AK as well, unless your kids are into Sophia, Doc, or Jake. HS is the only place you’ll find them in any capacity except merchandise, plus the Frozen sing-along could be a good replacement for FEA if you’re not keen on waiting in the line for that at Epcot. If the kids really like those characters and couldn’t care less about seeing animals then go for HS. I’d also suggest swapping the MK and AK/HS days, because a CL 1 at MK is going to be noticeably… unbusy, with very little waiting for almost everything, while a 5 will feel like a tolerable crowd. The difference between CL 2 and 3 at AK, on the other hand, is really negligible and there really isn’t much you’d be waiting in long lines for at HS with small kids anyway.

Another option is to actually go to the party on Day 1 (and enter the park at 4pm) instead of extending your ticket. It would be a little more expensive, but A. you’d get more time in the park that’s going to be of most interest to most small kids, and B. get to enjoy all of the special event extras, plus you could keep the rest of your schedule the same.

The kids won’t know what they are missing :wink: but I am really thinking how AK would be fun for all. Plus I like the leisurely pace at which we can do AK as opposed to HS because of all the showtimes. Also we have FPP for FEA, and so will be doing that ride at Epcot.
I am really tempted to swap our AK and MK days but then again wondering if for travel related delays or tiredness one park gets sacrificed, let it be AK and not MK. But the crowd level and ease at transportation makes MK tempting except for the shorter park hours that day.
We decided against the party. Our kids are not really night people. In fact, we try not to keep any dinner ADRs because they are unpredictable. They would rather be in their jammies in the resort room and be silly. So we can max still till 8/8:30 and that will give us just 4 -4.5 hours at MK if we go for the party.
Decisions. decisions.