I need help picking my parks

As many on here are obsessive planners, I figure I could ask for advice on which parks to visit on each day.

We are a family of 4 with 2 nine year old gilrs (they will be 9 when we go) visiting during Thanksgiving Week of 2019. We will be in the parks for 7 days starting on Saturday and ending on the day after Thanksgiving. I have 7 day tickets with no park hopper.

My plan so far is to spend 2 days in each park except AK, which we will only spend 1. I’m worried that I’m spending too much in HS, and should substitute it for another day (either a 3rd MK day) or a 2nd AK day. With the addition of TSL, I am thinking it might take us longer than a day, especially if SWGE is open by the time we go. I’m not a big SW fan and neither is anyone in my family, but it would be nice to see while we are there. We are also going to try to get MVMCP tickets the Friday night we arrive, so the extra MK day would be our 4th day in the park.

Tentatively, I have
Arrival day: MVMCP
Day 1: EP
Day 2: HS
Day 3 MK
Day 4: EP
Day 5: AK
Day 6: HS
Day 7: MK

Thoughts? Should I take away the 2nd EP day instead? Does Pandora take a lot of time to see? We haven’t seen ROL either, so I’m wondering whether or not we need a 2nd AK day instead.

Depends what your personal preferences are. For us, 1 day at AK is plenty. Others find AK their favorite park. At the same time, we like to do two days at EP, but others don’t see a need for two days at EP. (For us, other than MK, EP is our next two-day park.)

To me, the question would be more about potentially swapping a second HS day for a second AK day. The shows at AK are great (Nemo, Lion King, etc), as well as Safari and EE. But then HS has TSL, RnRC, ST, and ToT!

Are you staying on or off property? That makes a difference in terms of days. If staying off property, I wouldn’t pick, for example, HS as Day 2, because that an EMH day (as of right now), so crowds will be higher. That is already a very bad week in terms of crowds in general. If, however, you are staying on property and feel you can DEFINITELY get there at Rope Drop for EMH, then I’d keep it on that day.

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Chances are slim to none on that one, I’m sure! But one never knows. Fortunately, you are far enough out that your plans won’t REALLY matter until 180 days out for ADRs.


Okay. Since, well, I’m obsessed, I made two plans for park days, depending if on property or off.

On Property:
S - AK
S - HS
M - EP
T - MK
W - HS
T - EP
F - MK

If staying OFF property:
S - MK
S - EP
M - HS
T - AK
W - HS
T - MK
F - EP

Now, if you want to swap a second EP day for a second AK day, in either case, just swap the SECOND EP day for AK. If saying on-site, this gives the added bonus of having a greater chance of getting an FP+ for FoP.

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We are staying ON property - hopefully at Boardwalk through David’s vacation club.

One thing I really want to do is start off at MK - which we are doing through MVMCP - and also end at MK. Even though crowds will be higher that day, it is still a thing to me to look back at Cinderella’s castle on the way out.

Also, I know my kids don’t enjoy EPCOT as much as the other parks, but it was a day that we didn’t get much accomplished last time. I wanted to try to get more in this next trip, so I was kind of thinking we might need a second day for that.

My concern with scheduling AK the first day is that FOP FP availability. I think I should be able to get all of my FP for EP, and maybe HS, except maybe SDD, but I might even be able to get that one. Other than that, I like that plan. If FOP FP are readily available ay 60 days, I might do this.

I definitely feel like 1 day is plenty for HS, even with TSL. Of course, this is when I’m toting my DS9, DS7, and DD5. If it were just me and DW, we would camp out on Sunset Blvd. and ride RnRC and ToT all day long.

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It’s possible, I highly doubt you will be ale to get FOP FP for 60. I certainly wouldn’t count on it. I would think more like (in general):

60+2 for early evening FOP FP
60+3 for late afternoon or later FOP FP
60+3 for early afternoon or later FOP FP
60+4 for later morning or later FOP FP
60+5 for morning or later FOP FP

So I would plan AK based on how flexible you can be with timing on your FP. I suspect SDD will be similar in term of difficulty until SW opens, but I have less confidence with SDD.

I also think that if SW is not open (which it likely won’t be), then 1 day at DHS is plenty. That said, I also think 1 day at AK and 2 days at MK (plus MVMCP) are enough for those parks too. It adds to the budget, but have you thought about a day at one of the Universal parks?

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That’s part of why I want to go to HS twice. RnRc may be my favorite ride in all the parks (thought I haven’t been on FOP yet). So, that would be another chance to ride that RnRc.

I could certainly be flexible. I just don’t want to have to wait 4 hours in line (ok, so I exaggerate a little). Don’t want to have to wait in a crazy line. I may choose a early PM FP so I can rope drop it and come back to it if we like it.

As of 3:48 PDT

For SINGLES, FoP still has FP’s in the evening at 60+1 right now.

You need to get to 60+3 for any morning FP’s to appear.

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I would not plan 2 days at HS. When I visited in july, one week after HS opened, I rode everything multiple times within 2 hours of the park opening. Granted it was a lower CL day & I was alone. But I just don’t think there is enough there to fill 2 full days. By 9am I was done with rides & had the rest of the day for shows & characters if I wanted (I chose a nap instead lol).

I would probably plan EP on your second day just based on the fact that you have the Christmas party the night before. You’ll probably get a later start and could focus more on WS easily with a late arrival. FP Frozen & tour WS clockwise from mexico.

Where do you want to spend Thanksgiving?

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I also don’t think I’d plan two days in HS. We’re going in five weeks and I have my TP done and we’re not arriving until 11:00. No Star Wars stuff, no Indiana Jones, but everything else fits easily from 11:00-8:00 with plenty of time to spare.

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We always spend some part of 2 days in HS as it has some of the best rides in our opinion (RNRC, TOT, TSMM) and some of our favorite restaurants (Sci Fi, Mama Melrose, HBD). We haven’t ridden Aliens yet but love Mater at Cali Adventure so expect to feel the same about Aliens, plus hear Slinky is great fun as well. We may not stay all day, in fact usually leave for the afternoon and then return for dinner and Fantasmic. But 2 times during every vacation we are there.

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I am not too sure where I am going to spend Thanksgiving, but I am pretty sure it won’t be MK. Also, the thought on starting at EP is that we would get a late start from the night before. Since my kids aren’t crazy about EP, it makes sense that we use it as a “take it easy” kind of day to recover.

I am leaning toward taking off the 2nd HS day and adding a AK day. If so, I might spend it at AK.

After changing my plans around a little, I think this is what I’ve come up with.
Arrival day: MVMCP
Day 1: EP
Day 2: AK
Day 3 MK
Day 4: EP
Day 5: HS
Day 6: AK
Day 7: MK

I think 2 days at HS might just be a little too much. Plus if SWGE is open, the crowds will be enough to make me not want to come back… at least for a little while :smile:

I would factor in what night time shows you are wanting to see. With that many park days in a row when are you planning to take breaks? If you are only doing a half day in a park and want to go back another day to see the night time show then that may help determine which park you want two days of. I think starting and ending with MK is ideal as you have planned. Also if you end up with a second AK day you could consider doing a tour like Caring for Giants or new hippo tour to add to the day.

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That looks great! I would just make sure to have some down time in there.

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I have pretty much decided that we will either start early and end early or start late and end late. Little ones don’t have the stamina to last all day (and neither do us old ones!)

:smiley: Wise. Very wise! (Comes with old age.)

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My two cents with two girls myself older now but went many times in the 9 year old range…

EP is our favorite. You can split it by doing once during the day and once possible EMH at night. For us, girls included, Epcot at night is our favorite experience. I agree with one day at HS. It is the least of the parks and AK is massive and a long walk. Splitting it will be to your advantage. The FP availability may dictate the order of the days. FoP is a long line…

Good Luck

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