Help sequencing parks for Oct. 5-10 Trip

We are a family of 6, kids aged 13, 13, 12, and 5. All are pretty adventurous and like roller coasters that they’ve experienced thus far (i.e., they most recently did a trip to Kennywood in Pittsburgh PA and rode everything they were allowed to ride).

I don’t know why I’m agonizing over this so much, but I’m trying to sequence the parks in a rational way. We are staying at the Beach Club and opted for Park Hopper (after much deliberation). We land in Orlando around 8:00am on Saturday, October 5.

We had originally been planning: Epcot, MK + Epcot, HS, AK, kids choice (HS penciled in), and MK.

I tried to work out AK on our arrival day, but didn’t like the implications for FoA (we will probably plan to ride twice so that 5yo doesn’t need to wait for rider swap). After playing with TP’s for a while I went back to Epcot. But after thinking about it some more, I think we can plan on an 11am arrival at HS and still get in all the major rides, except perhaps MFSR (it’s on the plan, but who knows if we’ll even get into the land).

I refactored all my plans assuming we will in fact visit HS on our fist day (made adjustments to FPP, ADR, etc). The question is: do I now swap HS and AK on days 3 and 4 respectively? If I act quickly I can likely make similar plans for AK on day 3 as what I have now, with the added benefit of a more informed “floater” day on day 4. The downside is that CL at AK go from a 4 on Thursday to a 5 on Wednesday. I’ve copied my plans and see that there are relatively modest impacts to my TP for the day, but nothing too drastic.

Things I’ve tried to factor in:

  • I really don’t want to “hop” to a park if we can’t get a good chunk of the attractions in, unless we’ve already visited the park and are intentionally going there for a specific attraction or two.

  • I’ve heard that Soarin’ is a bit of a let-down once you’ve experienced FoA. I’d prefer to get Soarin’ in this trip before doing FoA. (Mostly, I want my tweens to be excited about it and to not give the 5yo a hard time about not riding FoA).

  • I like the idea of having more floater days – it gives us flexibility if a ride is down or bad weather impacts our day – but it makes planning all that much harder.

  • I’m rethinking how much time we want to spend in Epcot. My kids really enjoyed Soarin’ and Figment when we went 8 years ago, but even visiting a couple of evenings I feel like we’ll be able to get enough of the major attractions in without dedicating a morning there (or at least without planning in advance).

What that said, I’m now leaning toward:

HS, MK + Epcot, AK, float, float, float. I’m hesitant to change all my floating days (currently AK, HS, MK) but I’d probably swap them so that it’d be HS, AK, MK – with the assumption that we’ll visit Epcot again most evenings.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Perhaps your over thinking this?

Definitely, it’s what I do… :slight_smile: Seriously, if I assume we’re not coming back for at least another five years, it’s worth it (to me, at least) to try and make the most out of the experience.

I modified all our FPP’s and ADR’s to accommodate: HS, MK (+Epcot), AK, HS, Epcot (+MK HEA), MK. I’m still hoping to tweak my TP’s a little, but I’m happy with the outline. No more major changes. I think. :slight_smile:

That’s not a thing.


Do you mean FOP?

Not from me, you haven’t. I love both. They’re different. I was very annoyed on my first trip that I only road Soarin’ once. I left it till the end of my trip and I had no idea how good it is.


I agree. Soarin is always a favorite for us. Never a let down. The experiences are so different we wouldn’t even think to compare them in that way.

Are you visiting MK on a party day? Do you want to see fireworks at MK? I would plan to at least do 2 mornings in MK. I would personally plan out each morning. For evenings I would pre-select when to see HEA at MK then go with the flow for evening good on other days. Where do the kids want to go for a reride? What 4th FPP can you get?

Have you put together a TP yet?

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I’d probably want my HS as far back as possible to increase my chances of getting desired FPs.

I believe we call it Analysis Paralysis


I wouldn’t know about that. I’m very decisive.

For example, yesterday I cancelled my appointment at Savi’s Workshop to build a custom lightsaber and rearranged my time at Oga’s Canteen to accommodate the cancellation. I was very decisive about it.

Then, half an hour later, I reversed both of these changes. With great decisiveness.


Both days that we are visiting MK are on party days. We are planning to visit MK one evening for HEA. I’ve let the older kids help plan the re-visit days (in terms of which parks they think right now they want to revisit) but none have any memory of the prior trip (8 years ago). They think they want to re-ride RRC and ToT.

I have planned every day. Multiple times. I’m feeling pretty good about them, actually.

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I’ve found that I’ve been able to get the FP’s for HS without too much trouble. Biggest challenge was arrival day and getting the specific times I wanted, but even re-doing all my FPP’s yesterday was no problem. I assume it’ll be a different story as soon as I get in the 30 day window.

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Yes. I always think “Flight of Avatar”.

Okay, well I’m glad you’ve got more MK time in there. The other questions were more rhetorical. I’d plan to just wing your evening park for the most part unless you’ve got a specific ADR. See what they liked & what sounds fun, plus see what 4th FPP are available to snag and go from there.

I guess I don’t understand the last comment. You asked for thoughts/feedback and I gave some. Glad you are happy with your plans though.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude. I’m pretty comfortable with using TP to plan the day for a certain park.; my original question had more to do with the sequencing of days, and I suppose that is driven mostly from an uncertainty of which parks to plan on revisiting, and to what extent I should treat every day like it might be the only time we go to that park. I’m sure my kids will love the rides at HS. I’m less sure how the big kids will feel if they have to wait 90 minutes to ride Slinky Dog with their 5yo brother. I’m okay having my 5yo wait in a FP+ line for rider swap; I’m less willing to do that for 120 minutes for FOP which he can’t ride; on the other hand I’ve heard the ride is worth the wait and I’ve made my plans at AK to try and fit in two goes at it (once for wife and the bigs; once for me and the bigs or me alone).

That said, from our prior experience – eight years ago:

  • The kids really liked Epcot. We rode Figment at least a dozen times, always with zero waiting. Soarin’ as much as we could (2-3 times). Rode whatever Frozen was before it was Frozen a couple times. We had really good experiences with character greetings there which I think was a big part of it - and now 3 of my 4 kids are too old to enjoy character greetings all that much, so I have my doubts about the park. Fast Track and Mission Space will offset that a lot, but obviously our ability to ride those multiple times will be limited. I’m also anxious about F&W crowds. The one “food” thing my kids were excited about (they found it on their own: make your own candy sushi) appears to be booked for our dates. None of my kids are adventurous eaters, though my wife and I are both foodies.

  • We really loved HS. I think we rode Star Tours at least a dozen times, usually with zero wait. Daughter enjoyed the shows. We were able to ride Toy Story several times as well. Fantasmic was great. We only spent one day there but really loved it. Crowds were light, and I don’t know what to expect with SWGE - but I don’t expect we’ll get nearly the same number of rides in. I’m the only SW fan in the family, though my youngest will enjoy it.

  • We did everything the kids were tall enough to do at AK in about a half day. Bumped into some friends so adults were able to ride EE which was nice. Waited in line for Dinosaur but the kids chickened out so we left without riding. Kids loved Kali Rapids (rode it twice) but we felt like AK had too few attractions to be able to spend a full day there. I’m optimistic about AK, but I’m sensitive to spending too much time waiting for rides that the 5yo won’t be able to ride or won’t enjoy. We go to the zoo a lot - enjoy animals/zoos a lot, but certainly not worth the price of admission to AK.

  • We spent two days at MK. Lots of time on character greetings but we were able to get every ride in at least twice. Princess activities and pirate activities took lots of time. We missed all the fireworks though I can’t remember why. I don’t remember the rides having that big of an impression on any of the kids, though they certainly enjoyed them. I’m worried that the big kids might be too big to enjoy MK compared to the other parks/rides.

As was already pointed out, I’m probably over-thinking this. Worst case, my rotten spoiled kids can “slum” it at the Beach Club pool (which I know is great). :slight_smile:

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I bet they will find plenty to do at MK. Space, Splash, Thunder, and 7 Dwarves should all be hits I would guess!

Every time you post about your decisiveness it makes me feel better about my own. Thank you for your service.

I’m with you. This my preferred approach for vacation planning generally and the closer we get to our trip the more flex/floater-y my days are getting.

If you need to switch those last 3 days around based on the experience the first 3 days, you’ll have been to all 4 parks and if your kids are anything like mine they’ll have strong and clear opinions. You might not be able to get the ideal FPs but I think you’ll all have fun anyway!

That’s not a thing.

Let’s call it a phase then… My kids have never been huge Mickey Mouse fans, but I do remember fondly that even the boys enjoyed meeting the classic characters and princesses when they were 5yo. Without my daughter (now 12yo) initiating things, I’m not sure how much time we’ll spend on it… And it’s hard for me to imagine spending a ton of time meeting princesses for my 5yo son, but who knows. My 5yo takes so many queues from his big brothers, I guess I have to be deliberate about making sure they don’t spoil it for him.

My wife and I both went to Disney when we were tweens (both for the first time, not together but with our families). Speaking for myself, I was definitely in the “Mickey Mouse is for little kids” phase – and my brother is 5 years old than I.