Hollywood Studios, 1st time, with 4 Year Old Son

So we are taking our 2nd trip with our son next March to WDW. We skipped HS last time because he was barely 3 and we did a short stay. This time we are doing 8 nights at the Polynesian, so my plans are 2 days at MK, 2 days at AK, and 1 day at HS, and two rest days.
I love the touring plans concept (last year was my first trip to WDW in about 30 years), because it helps me not feel so overwhelmed and feel good about hitting the best rides for him.
I am a little stuck tho. I made a dining reservation at Rainforest at AK for 6:00 on our HS day. We had great food and service there last year, but now I’m wondering if I should change it and do dinner in the park instead.
The touring plan for 1 day at HS with small kids (with a 4 hr break) doesn’t really allow for another long break for dinner. Wondering if anyone had any advice for this situation? Any great suggestions for lunch and dinner options and how to plan the day? I think we need to take some sort of longer break. I was planning to do an early start and then a mid-day break. Just the long bus rides back and forth to the Poly worry me. Hoping someone has some tips to make the HS day enjoyable. I’m less stressed about AK and MK because we have 2 days to do everything. Would you drive? How much time does that save?

Why not make your dinner break your long break? I mean, don’t plan a 4 hour break PLUS dinner, but include dinner IN your four hour break.

I can’t speak for your son, but at four, my kids were able to last fairly well. They would be wiped out at the end of the day, of course, but you can push through until dinner I’d expect, then be done for the day.

Of course, there aren’t a huge number of rides to do for young kids, so a lot of your time in HS would be in doing shows, which are generally restful anyhow.

Good point. How are crowds mid-day at HS? Would you do an early lunch?

It has been almost 3 years since I’ve been, so I can’t speak to current crowds now that TSL is open.

As far as lunch, I don’t know what you define as early. If I were planning to eat dinner at 6:00 (more like 6:30-6:45 after the time it takes to order and be served, etc) then I wouldn’t want it to be TOO early otherwise I’d end up starving and become rather hangry. Although, an early lunch would necessitate a mid-day snack, methinks! Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Sandwich, anyone? :slight_smile:

That’s perfect lol. Thanks!!!

Could you try and incorporate RC into one of your AK days? I feel like that would make WAY more sense than trekking there and back when you are at HS all day.

I’m taking my fam for an early sci fi dinner. Showed my five year old and she thought it looked awesome. Really excited about it. Abd food is kid friendly. (Also nostalgic for me) a

That’s part of my struggle/second guessing is whether it makes sense. But I’m doing Tusker House for the first day, and the 2nd day at Ak the Spirit of Aloha show, for our last night.

That’s kinda exactly my point lol. What should I do. Should I even do a long break that day. The trek to the Poly will be brutal too.

Any reason to hit RC at AK rather than at Disney Springs? I mean, were you planning to do anything else at AK other than RC?

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No. Just eat. Lol. Does that make more sense Logistically?

Did you say you had a car? If so, driving to HS then DS then back to the Poly wouldn’t be terrible at the end of the day!

Not necessarily. But if it were me, I’d do the one at Disney Springs if only so that you could walk around Disney Springs afterwards, etc. (We love Disney Springs, though.)

Also, you could drive to DS from HS if you wanted. Or use Disney transportation from HS to Poly, and then take your car to DS.

Yes. We will have our vehicle. I don’t want to drive all over but we can when it makes sense. I know a lot use Uber and Minnie Vans, but I’m not comfortable in a car without a car seat.

Minnie Vans has car seats! Win!

I appreciate all the suggestions so much! On the Minnie Vans, how do you know what size carseats they have, etc.?
Also, I’ve seen some of these packages where you do a table service reservation and get a Fantasmic ticket or something? Can anyone speak to those?
And what would you do with a 4-yo? To make it to Fantasmic? Do a late start or do a long break?

The Minnie Vans have 2 Graco 4 Ever car seats, but unless you are wanting to go to HDDR or MK, I would strongly suggest just driving your own car since you have it. I just read that they changed the pricing on them, but they are really expensive.

I think the Fantasmic dining packages are a relatively good value, but I’ve never found it particularly hard to get into. I think you could do either a late start or a long break, it would probably depend on your kid. I do try to warn people, depending if you have a timid kid or not, Fantasmic can be a little bit scary in my opinion.

Thanks for the reply! I’ve been debating on Fantasmic, because I think if I wasn’t trying to do it we could go straight thru at HS with lunch in the park. My DS isn’t super timid, but he’s also not been exposed to much so it’s hard to predict. Scary how? Just the noise? Or the theme, etc.?

So I would say some of the themes are on the scarier side. Maybe you could watch a video of it? It’s quite dark and the overall theme is something along the lines of Mickey’s nightmare. The Maleficent dragon is probably the scariest part. My son is almost 3 and also not really timid, but I’d be a little on the fence taking him. So I would just be prepared!

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