First, thanks in advance. We are what Bob Chapek would call a family from Denver that only comes once every 5 years… only, we’re not from Denver, and it’s been more like 8 1/2 years. I’m sure I’ll get skewed advice here, as my perception is that this forum is full of folks that stay in Moderate and Deluxe resorts, buy multiple MagicBand+s for all family members, pay for Genie+ every day, plus ILLs, and have money left over to eat multiple table service meals a day. I know I’ve just offended some of you. Sorry (eek).
That’s just not us. (And I know there are others out there like us).
We’re headed to WDW the week after our trip to Georgia. We were given an amazing opportunity to stay on an island in a condo for a week in Georgia. We’ll be driving from northern Ohio, and figured, if we’re this far, we’re only 4 hours away from WDW… what better opportunity to take our son, 3 1/2, to WDW. I’ve been saving hotel points (while also using them along the way) for two decades. Our stay at Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista for 7 nights is entirely free. We get two bottles of water, two starbucks coffees complimentary, and we get $30 each day to cover food at the Hilton, which we figure will cover most of breakfast. Our biggest expense by far are the park tickets (we bought 6-day, non-park hopper tickets). We’re planning one ADR every day, including arrival day (at Disney Springs) with the exception of one of our MK days and the HS day.
**Here’s my real question: ** I’ve been watching as October crowds on TP have been going up and up. I’m not surprised to see this; I’m surprised to see the extent to which they’ve risen. Are we foolish to be thinking we can get away without buying Genie+?
Here’s our basic plan:
Oct 15, afternoon - Disney Springs for dinner and walking around. ADR at the under-loved Wolfgang Puck’s. We’re eastern european and the menu is right up our alley. Prices seem reasonable, and the loud atmosphere will be a plus for our boisterous son (he won’t be the loudest person around). Early to bed.
Day 1 - HS - Crowd Level 7
Sunday, Oct 16 - Hollywood Studios Early Entry. Driving and Parking. Will try for RotR if it’s up. It’s not a great loss to us if it isn’t and we’ll adjust.
My significant other is not a coaster or big drop enthusiast (although SDD, 7DMT, BTMRR, etc will all be fine). There’s no Rockin’ Rollercoaster or, my favorite, ToT in this plan.
The attractions we want to see and that were optimized for us by TP are:
MMRR, TSM!, ASS, MF: SR, Red Carpet Dreams, Disney Jr Play and Dance, Walt Disney Presents, Olaf, HOTEL NAP 3.5 hours, Mickey and Friends Motorcade, Frozen Sing Along, Lightning McQueen, Slinky Dog Dash, RotR if we didn’t rope drop it. Staying for Disney Movie Magic or Fantasmic! if open.
No ADRs this day.
Day 2 - MK - Crowd Level 7
Monday, Oct 17. Magic Kingdom early entry, driving and parking. Considering walking to Poly instead of TTC to catch resort monorail to MK. (feedback?)
This is our zig when everyone else zags plan. We’ll be back to MK on a MNSSHP day, so this feels like a good way to continue to ease our 3 1/2 year old son into the parks.
EE right to Peter Pan’s Flight
It’s a Small World (I can’t believe I’m putting this 2nd, given its length, but it’s my wife’s favorite, and my son loves music)
Prince Charming Carousel
Casey Jr Splash
QS at Friar’s Nook
Swiss Family Treehouse
Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire
HOTEL NAP 3.5 hours
Magic Carpets of Aladdin
Pecos Bill for Dinner
Pirates of the Caribbean
Optional: Splash Mountain to close out the park
No ADRs this day.
Day 3 - EP - Crowd Level 6
Tues, Oct 18, Early Entry, driving and parking.
Unplanned Day as of yet. Likely a no-nap, but leave the park early day.
ADRs - early lunch (actually late breakfast) Ale & Compass Yacht Club and Early dinner San Angel Inn (really looking forward to this one)
Day 4 - AK - Crowd Level 3
Weds, Oct 19th, Early Entry, driving and parking.
ADRs - Early Dinner, Rainforest Cafe. We wouldn’t do this if it were the two of us, but with our 3 1/2 year old son, we think it’ll be perfect. This will probably be a no-nap day, but a full day at the AK, resulting in an earlier-than-average bedtime.
EE Rope Drop Na’vi River Journey
Wildlife Express Train: Africa
Affection Section (dad with son)
Animation Experience (mom) Mom is allergic to many animals and an avid drawer, so this split seems a perfect opportunity.
Wildlife Express Train: Planet Watch Station
QS Lunch in Africa or Disco Island
Meet Mickey and Minnie
LUNCH ADR Rainforest Cafe
Finding Nemo: The BBB
Maharajah Jungle Trek
Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
Optional: Avatar FOP with Rider Swap (we won’t be too disappointed if we can’t fit this)
Day 5 - EP - Crowd Level 5
Thurs, Oct 20, Early Entry, driving and parking.
Unplanned Day as of yet. Likely has a mid-day nap, but returning for Harmonious
ADR early lunch at La Creperie de Paris (this will be a big hit. dad makes crepes almost every week, including maple syrup, nutella, fruit and honey, savory crepes…)
Day 6 - MK - Crowd Level 5
Fri, Oct 21, Early Entry, driving and parking. Party day, but we’re not partying. This is they day we hit most of our headliners. By now, we should be able to judge our 3 1/2 year old’s appetite for rides (all signs so far point to him being a ride lover).
EE Rope Drop 7DMT
Under the Sea
Mad Tea Party
LUNCH ADR Skipper’s Canteen
Character meet Pooh and Tigger
Splash Mountain if not done on MK Day 1 | otherwise | Haunted Mansion
Re-ride favorites (Dumbo? Barnstormer?)
DINNER ADR Enzo’s Hideaway Disney Springs
Pool time, pack for departure tomorrow morning
Any feedback about this itinerary? Have we cut out enough headliners that we’ll survive without Genie+? What about that first day at HS?
Crowd Levels sum 33 for our 6 days. I could optimize this at 28, but I’d lose our ADRs, and frankly, we’re liking the way our week is laid out right now.
If you made it this far, wow, and thank you again!