HW or Epcot

5 day countdown until our trip! 5 adults (Ages 84, 66, 64, 38, 37) and 3 kids (9, 7, 4). I have one last-minute decision to make. We are arriving Saturday and will make it to a park around noon - 1 pm. We will do a 1/2 day park on day of arrival. I currently have Epcot scheduled, which will give us 1.5 days Epcot. Our others are MK-2, HW-1, AK-1, EP-1.5, Universal-1.

Would we be better off with HW or Epcot 1.5 days? Whichever one we don’t choose will be one full day. I’m starting to wonder if there is so much at HW that we will need 1.5 days. My concern is how crazy the crowds will be Saturday afternoon. I don’t want to get the trip started off on the wrong foot with a crazy, crowded park.

IMHO - There’s a ton to do at DHS, but it may be too crowded for all the members of your group. (84 / 66 / 64)

My parents, both 74, prefer to stroll / ECV through the World Showcase.

The best way to know is to ask them, if possible. Do they want to do a bunch of thrill rides and “Disney” shows (DHS) or do they want milder rides and exhibits with lots to eat / drink (Epcot)

Well it’s going to be crowded at any Disney park on a Saturday afternoon of a holiday weekend. Epcot is a much more relaxed park though and will have just started Festival of the Arts. That’s my pick but I love Epcot. What are your meal plans for that evening?

We have a split reservation and do not start the dining plan until Sunday. I don’t have any dining plans for the day. I plan to go with the flow for lunch and eat quick service wherever we are hungry. With the festival going on, I thought it would be fun to try out as much of the festival food as we can for dinner. Is this a good plan?

That is a good point. They are good sports and are always along for the ride. They love that I do all the planning, and they just show up for the experience.

Could we do HS in one day? We really will want to do almost everything there.

Are you interested in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge? If so… No. It’s a very full day, even w/out SW:GE and I’m not sure you can “do it all” in one day if you include all the shows. Since I don’t know all that you’d want to do it’s tough for me to say

I’d suggest making a TP for each park and seeing what you think.

IMHO - I’d go to Epcot with my senior family. Most of the WS pavilions have an exhibit to see / interact with along with the food / drink / shopping. (Heck… at those ages I bet someone in your group may have seen a real World’s Fair and might like the idea of this one)

All rides in one day at HS. I think so. Probably not all the shows too. The arts food booths are fancier than the other festivals. I love it but I wouldn’t attempt to feed 3 kids from them unless they are little foodies.

They’re going this weekend over MLK break. It’s going to be pretty busy with the last batch of “holiday” season visitors . With three seniors and three more small kids, I don’t think you can do it all. I guess I could make a TP to see… maybe… :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

We are going to try to do Star Wars, and we are planning to arrive early to try to get a BG. I moved HW to Wednesday, in hopes of smaller crowds. My 4 yr old will love every show, and my 9 yr old will do every ride. So we are kind of a mixed bag.

With the festival at EP, could we “do it all” there in one full day? Our one full day at EP will be Monday, MLK Day.

I know that realistically we won’t be able to do everything in both parks. I’m just trying to figure out where our extra 1/2 day of arrival is best spent.

I think it’s more likely than DHS. Have you made a personalized Touring Plan to see?

Is everyone going to be OK with getting up at 4:30am - 5am to get the parks at 6am in order to get a BG?

If you are definitely going to do both, then you’ll need the extra .5 day at DHS. A lot of Epcot’s FutureWorld is closed due to construction and refurbishments so it can be reasonably done in one day.

Yes test track just closed for refurb so that saves time. Will the 60+ set be going on rides ( can vary a lot at that age)? My in laws seemed super bored at HS because they couldn’t ride much (TSMM even seemed rough although they did it).

You’ve got a large and diverse group. You could split up into 2 groups. We did that a lot.


Thanks for all the great comments! I have not done a personalized touring plan. My group is OK with getting up so early to try for a BG. I booked our rest day the day prior to allow for an earlier bedtime, and I may suggest that my 84-year old grandmother take the morning off for some extra rest (although she will likely refuse to miss out!).

I can still get a FP for Sat for Toy Story Mania, so I was thinking of changing to HW instead of Epcot. I have a FP for SDD for Wednesday, so that would knock out most of Toy Story.

I’m a little surprised the HW crowd calendar is only a 6 for Sat, while the other parks are 8-10. That is what made me think of the change. Any idea why? It is so low?

I can’t believe I’m trying to make this decision so last minute!

My mother rides most rides, except for the biggest coasters. My father and grandmother are only able to ride the ones that are not jarring or fast.

My initial thought is Epcot is a better choice for the age group, unless they are into more of the thrill rides. However, given this is a Saturday, and the festival has started, the crowds in WS might be quite high. I don’t know about this festival, but F&W is extremely crowded (almost unbearably so) on Saturdays. Although, it might be a good time to focus on Futureworld, and then for your full Epcot day, do WS.

It really comes down to what you want to accomplish. There are a lot of shows and things to see in WS that are often glossed over. But if you want to focus on rides, HS has more to do. Then again, the rides at Epcot are generally more tame (aside from Mission:Space).

It really does seem like an anomaly. I checked all over the WDW park schedule. The only think I can see is that it’s day 2 of the Festival of the Arts at Epcot. That’ll draw some ppl away, but not enough to be that much lower.

Be advice, as always, have a plan and be flexible.

My vote would be for DHS. I personally can not stand the crowds at Epcot on a Saturday afternoon/evening, especially during the first weekend of a Festival. The locals will be out in full force and the people will be drinking, some of them quote a lot. It does not make for a relaxing stroll at Epcot in my opinion.

That is an excellent point that I hadn’t considered!

With the skyliner running between Epcot and HS, why not look at planning around the shows everyone wants to see? It may end up being both parks over the 2.5 days. I found it extremely quick to get between the parks.