Help planning HS!

I am planning a trip for my sister. They arrive Oct 11th. It will be 5 adults, kids 7,5,4,2,1. First trip for most, my sister and her kids havent been there since 2001. They are planning on using Genie+… They have a lot they want to do and I am really struggling with a plan. These are the things they want to do and they will probably do an afternoon break.
Disney Junior Show
Frozen Sing a long
Meet Olaf
Beauty and The Beast Show
Lightening McQueen
Walk through Galaxys Edge
Maybe Rise??
Lunch 1130am at Rodeo Round Up

Any suggestions? I cant decide if I should have them attempt to RD MMRR or get a LL for that and RD TSM. IF they could make it to MMRR for RD they could modify TSM right before lunch. Trying to minimize back tracking. Its tough to get it all in with a break


Someone else will come along and be more helpful.

My suggestions are based on several trips with large groups and youngsters. Many newbies tho we usually had at least 3 that knew their way around.

Our last big trip was 2019 and on our HS morning we had 12 total which included only 3 kids. We didn’t use any fast passes.

We started at Tower of Terror and just worked our way thru the park. We started as early as off property guests could start.

If an attraction was down, we skipped it. Everything everyone did was more than they’d ever done before. They didn’t miss the ones they didn’t get to go on.

We did photo opportunities and looked in stores.
It’s the whole world, not just rides. We had enough people that an adult was always available to hang with a kid or several that weren’t riding.

My suggestion is do what doesn’t have long waits and enjoy all the experiences. Keep it simple.

With a large group all the things take longer - bathroom breaks, drink breaks, snack breaks. Walking.

Go with the flow. :sunglasses:

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I would RD MMRR and get an LL for TSM. They might even be able to make it to TSM for a walk-on ride and then LL for ride 2.

I would ILL Rise if money allows.


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They aren’t sure about SDD. They aren’t even sure they want to do Rise. I told them they have to decide before that day if they want to do SDD. None of their littles have ever ridden any kind of ride and the oldest is very timid. This will be their second park, MK being their first so I’m hoping after that they will have a better feel for what rides the kids like. I’ve asked the adults and they said they will just ride what the kids do.
The biggest obstacle is all the show times. It’s hard to get everything in.
I was going back and forth w RDing MMRR or sending them to TSM and then walking through Galaxy’s Edge coming out on the other side for Olaf.


I would:

Get TSM LL at 7 am (return time est around 9:15)
MMRR: Rope drop, or just go there first when they arrive. Est wait time at 8:30 is 29 minutes. You could also make this the 2nd LL after TSM if they didn’t want to wait that long.
Disney Junior Play and Dance (9:55 am showing)
Free hour or so, in case things take longer
Roundup Rodeo BBQ at 11:30 for one hour
Meet Olaf (possibly with Genie)
Rest 4 hours
Return for 5pm showing of B&the Beast
Lightning McQueen
Frozen Sing along 6:30 showing
ILL for Rise at 7 pm, walk around Batuu

That would finish the day nicely for anything else that they may want to do. Watch Fantasmic!? They can use LLs for many of the shows if they want to, although they probably aren’t needed.

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The 3 kids mentioned above were 8, 7, and 4. They were most excited about the meet and greets - particularly character buffets. I know these are costly. They also provide sight and smell cues to kids that might be too excited to realize they’re hungry.

The shows have never gone over with any of our extended family and I’ve tried for decades and generations. :upside_down_face:

What the kids like if they’re not riding or eating is playing. Like at AK where the drums are. This is always a crowd pleaser.

We had a 2 yo and a 3 yo play with the sidewalk lights at Epcot for nearly 30 minutes. That’s a huge attention span for that age. I don’t recall but I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if they didn’t fall asleep as soon as they were back in their stroller.

A couple of 9 year olds were all about the lizards.

One kid, maybe 7 or 8, was so happy to get a sword from PotC. Now he could play. Things felt more normal.

It’s like when you buy the toys and they play with the box.

Doing 4 sit and watch things during one day may be too much sitting for much of that age group.


My kids have been to HS at those ages and loved Alien Swirling Saucers. Is there a reason they left it off their list?

My kids (not 8 and 5) prefer rides and character meets to shows so I can’t help with the overall schedule.

I always struggle with this at HS. I usually do seem to come up with a plan, but on the day of I find that there’s a lot of push come to shove and something has to give. So I would recommend them also having notes in the plan on alternate showtimes to be able to shuffle around, and know the first & last show of each. Especially with taking a midday break which will be at the peak point for all the shows.

Based on your comments and description…just some thoughts …

Hollywood Boulevard:

  • Doing MMRR first is a good way to start everyone off in the park for the day. Seeing Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisey, Goofy and Pluto first thing is great. You would not need an ILL if you start here at RD.

Animation Courtyard

  • Maybe grab a coffee are something sweet for the little ones at Joffrey’s

  • Depending on the timing, maybe walk around Star Wars Launch bay until the Dance party starts at 9:30a

  • from here mosey your way into Toy Story Land…

ToyStory Area:

  • SDD is an intermediate roller coaster for children transitioning from the slow moving. It may not be an option if they are timid.

  • TSMM is a good idea for all the ages you have mentioned. Getting an LL would help reduce your waits.

  • You may want to see if they are brave enough for ASS. Maybe show them a YouTube video of it first.

  • The meet & greets are a good idea if they are not too timid. Maybe test the waters with the little ones first to see if they are not freaked out by the really large characters. Some children are! (Do they want to meet the ToyStory characters?)

  • If they are Toy Story Fans, then spend a little extra time allowing them to explore the area of the park. It is Andy’s backyard after all. There are a lot of extras to explore.

  • Have your lunch in the Lunchbox!

  • head into Galaxy’s edge from Toystory land (near ASS). -OR- decide if it is time for an afternoon break and then continue on later in the day after your nap.

If you took a break, then head to Sunset when you return…

Sunset Blvd:

  • Beauty & the Beast
  • Any adults want to ride RnR or ToT? If so, let them do that and take the little ones over to Lightneing McQueen
  • If you have the stamina, any takers for Fantasmic? If so, maybe you move all of the touring here to later so you do not cross back and forth in the park. ??Maybe Echo lake first??

Echo Lake:

  • Frozen Ever After sing-along

  • Olaf meet & greet

  • Maybe the Mickey shorts film?

Galaxy’s Edge:

  • RotR would be a great option for all ages. Just note that it does tend to breakdown a lot. Use a LL for it. And plan to pivot if it does breakdown when you get there.

  • How about MFSM? I know there are a lot of little ones that have fun pushing all the buttons and flying in a spaceship. The cast members can put the ship in “auto-pilot” mode if you do not want to give them full control of the ship. However, I am sure they would love shooting things and crashing the ship into everything they see.

  • See if the little ones will like Blue or Green Milk.

  • There are many spaceships, vehicles and droids to look at in this area.

  • Are you willing to spend some $$$ on trinkets in Galaxy’s Edge? Either way, be prepared for many of the little ones wanting a remote-control droid or lightsabre or creature puppet (porgs!)

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They are doing several character dinners so that helps alot with their limited time. They did request Olaf so I am hoping they can LL that one. Actually I will probably be signed in booking for them. lol
My family/grands love the shows. Especially Frozen Sing a Long. Im not a fan of the Disney junior one but their kids watch Disney Jr. We always did Hollywood and Vine when my granddaughter was little to cover most of those characters.


Im not sure why they left that off. They asked what kind of ride it was and I explained and they said no. I really wish they had more time or were there more days. We dont do naps when we are there but my nephews wife is very strict about this so it takes a big chunk of time out of their day.

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I’ve often thought we were weird, as a family.

I kept hearing - we want more shows, we like shows.

But no one ever wanted to see one twice. :thinking::face_with_monocle::smirk:

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Thank you for your suggestions! We always RD MMRR and I agree it is a great way to start the day. I guess I will see how their first day goes and if they are successful at getting out the door, on the bus and to the park for opening I will suggest that and then head to TSM. I was thinking they could head through Galaxys edge after and do the Olaf Meet on the other side. They arent Star Wars fans and the adults have all expressed not wanting to ride the headliners since the littles cant. Its really all going to depend on them getting there. I just wish they had time to hop back there another day and do anything they will miss. But they only have 5 park days and are doing two at MK.


lol Im not a fan of the Indiana Jones show but my son would see it every trip. I love the Frozen Sing a Long. None of my family will see Its a Bugs Life and my oldest is 37 :rofl:


I’m looking forward to it’s a bugs life going away. :wink:

They have a lot to accomplish this day and I would suggest skipping both of these based on your following statement.

HS is the park for loooonnng lines. There are so many kiddos in this group, I would stick to short lines, shows, and LLs when possible. Adding SDD and Rise add an element of uncertainty to the plan. But there is some evening time that this can be built in, and definitely a use for stacking LLs for the evening (assuming they are going back after break).

I think they should reconsider Aliens. It was super fun. It’s not like tea cups. The spinning is smooth. I love it now.
Looking at yesterday’s wait times, I think they need an LL for MMRR. Early entry is still showing a 30 min wait. With such a large group, I wouldn’t peg them at the front of the pack. So few things are open during EE.

Here’s one way to accomplish things…

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Nearly twenty years ago we adopted the strategy of our first MK morning going straight to Aladdin’s Magic Carpet.

We saved Fantasyland and Tomorrowland for our second morning. Fantasyland particularly seems more overstimulating.

Adventureland seems a little more laid back. The 2yo in the family was sensitive to noises and crowds. Even as a teen, Magic Carpets was first MK ride. Tradition. :smile:

On the trip with the 8, 7 and 4 year old we naturally went to Magic Carpet first. Those 3 had never been on any rides except maybe a train ride at the zoo.

They screamed in terror the whole time they were riding. They wanted no part of that ride ever again. Privately I worried about Pirates but that was fine. Haunted Mansion was fine.

Next day at AK Everest was fun except for the 4 yo who couldn’t ride. Next day at HS they all loved Tower of Terror and Star Tours. All but the 4 yo loved RnRC - the 7 yo had her arms in the air. They passed on Slinky. Too kiddie.

So: to sum up, have the kids ride first a ride that no one will miss riding again.

Just in case it’s too scary. :smile::grin::wink:

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This is hilarious! My youngest’s first trip (almost 2) we wanted to start out with something easy and slow to warm him up. We were at Epcot the first day and thought we would take them on LWTL first to see if he likes it. First 30 seconds, thunder and lightning, the kid screamed the whole way until the green house part. I thought our trip was doomed but he eventually was persuaded to ride the other dark rides and he loved them all (and now at 11 he is a Disney fanatic and an extreme rollercoaster junkie).


You never know. We had a 9 yo that asked, what are you torturing me with today? :slightly_frowning_face::dizzy_face::confounded:

Her worst tho was it’s tough to be a bug. She had on noise canceling head phones, a big brimmed hat to hide behind, mom’s arm to squeeze and I suggested she not lean back in her seat. She was so distraught she had to be helped from the theater. We all knew she was terrified of bugs. I guess she thought she’d try it.

ITTBAB is still rough for me!

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