How to do Wishes on First night?

We are only 18 days, almost 17 now, from wheels up :airplane: to WDW for the first time :grin:. Our flight is scheduled to be at MCO at 1223, we are taking ME to AKL. Originally, I was planning to leave carry-ons at bell services and head to MK, planned hours were until 10pm. Now hours are extended until midnight. The following day we are planning RD at HS with AM EMH. I have been concerned for leaving right after Wishes with a CL9. I am now wondering about resting in room for a couple of hours prior to heading out (of course, all depending on room availability), and staying until 11 or midnight. It will be me, DW, DD7, and DD9.

I’m wondering if waiting to leave an hour after Wishes would be much difference (time wise) in getting back to AKL than leaving right after Wishes and battling crowds. This will be the only night we will see the regular Wishes, however we will be going to MNSSHP and will see Hallowishes, so we could hang out at the train station to see Wishes for a quick departure.

I am planning to make a plan for both and playing it by ear.

I know everybody is different, but I’m asking what you would do? Watch Wishes from closer (Main St. or Hub) as intended and battle crowds, watch from that area and stay until at least 11, or watch from front of park and make quick exit to get back to room earlier.

I have never found buses to AKL to be crazy long lines. I think because it is only one resort. I would just head to the bus after Wishes, or wait 20 minutes for the first bus to clear.

Wishes are at 10:00 so some people will stick around to midnight instead of all leaving right away like other nights. Maybe more so since it is on a Saturday. I would assume that the 9/10 won’t feel quite like a 9/10 as far as getting to the buses compared to when the park closes right after Wishes. Of course it will still be crazy. Is there not a side way to get out of the park other than Main Street now? Is it possible to watch it more on that side? Might save you a bit of time to get out. It has been almost 2 years since I went so I forget. I don’t recall the buses being an issue for us to AKL back then.

@PrincipalTinker Thank you for your input. It’s good to know that the buses will hopefully not be to big of an issue with AKL. I think we will keep the plan the same, besides DW is not big on staying up late and 10pm is past her bedtime anyway.

@marentette7 I had not heard of the other exit from MK, I have started to do some research on it to find out exactly where it is. Thank you for that tip.

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To clarify it was basically another path to the exit that parallel’s main street. It is not another exit.

See near the bottom, it speaks of the exit ‘sometimes’ being open if it is busy. I would think your night would qualify: I would not be able to convince my family to skip main street on a first visit. I’d guess an hour post-wishes to arrive at the hotel if you left right away. Maybe 11:30 in the room. Others could give you a better idea.

You will love AKL. Have a great trip.