Itinerary Advice Needed

I’ll be going to WDW during Spring Break 2017 with my sister, brother-in-law, nephews (7 and 8) and my parents (early 70s, fairly active). We can do our ADRs in about 10 days, so I’m trying to figure out a loose idea of where we’ll be each day. I’m second- and third-guessing myself, trying to weigh crowd levels against EMH opportunities, sprinkling in easy, sleep-in days, etc. Anyone care to chime in?

Saturday, 4.8.17 - Animal Kingdom
It’s a CL9, as opposed to MK’s CL7, but we’ll be getting in on the late side Friday night and at least one of my nephews is a sleeper. I think trying to get to MK for RD would be miserable, My plan is to get to Animal Kingdom in the late morning, have lunch, stay through the late afternoon or early evening.

Sunday, 4.9.17 and Monday, 4.10.17 - Hollywood Studios and Epcot
I had originally planned for Epcot for Sunday, but HS has EMH that day Is that extra time in the morning important at Hollywood Studios, particularly with two boys who might be jazzed about all the Star Wars opportunities? Or is better to do Epcot first and ramp up to Hollywood Studios? Their crowd levels are similar on Sunday (9 for Epcot/8 for HS), but on Monday Epcot is at a CL9 while HS is only at a CL7. Basically, I’m trying to decide which is a better advantage: low crowd level or EMH?

Tuesday, 4.11.17 - Easy Day
We’ll sleep in, return to any parks we want to re-visit. I’d like to go to MK in the late afternoon to catch the parade (since our mid-day break on jam-packed, full touring days usually makes the 3:30 parade time impossible for us)

Wednesday 4.12.17 and Thursday 4.13.17 - Magic Kingdom
Two full days of touring, including RD, EMH on Wednesday, mid-day break…the works. Maybe hop over to Epcot on Thursday evening to catch Illuminations after an ADR at Rose and Crown.

Friday, 4.14.17 - Easy Day
Another day to sleep in, relax, enjoy the pool or Disney Springs, pop back for anything we missed or want to repeat. My plan is to miss Wishes on Wednesday so we can turn in on the early side, so we can hop over to MK for the show on Friday night, which will be our official Farewell to Mickey. We can afford to be out later since our flight isn’t an early one and we can sleep in a bit on Saturday.

This is only my 2nd trip to Disney as an adult, so I’d appreciate the wisdom of your collective experience!

I won’t tackle everything since I’m a newbie, but I will say this:
If you have two boys that might be jazzed about the Star Wars stuff at Hollywood, then I’d rope drop for the emh, and get them signed up for the Jedi Training so it will be solidified for them, and make them feel like it’s their special day. Maybe split into groups, have an EMH Star Wars / Hollywood group be ready to go early no matter what and everyone else can meet up with them later if nobody else wants to be there for RD at the am EMH. Then they can cram in what they want for the emh, and meet you later. Plan your fastpasses and shows when the whole crew is together and then they’ll be ready for the Jedi Training experience, and everyone will be able to see them battle Darth Vader. Just a suggestion.

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Sat - hopefully by then Rivers of Light will be performing. You may want to arrange to see it.

Sun/Mon - If you have park hoppers - do the EMH hours and then hop to the other park. I wouldn’t stay in the park that has EMH. Liner wisdom is they will be more crowded. I like one full day at HS and 1.5 days or more at Epcot.

Also worth nothing - Disney will change their hours a billion times between now and then. EMH, open, close, etc. All likely to change.

Just my two cents:

I always find it so hard to be at Disney World without going to MK first. It doesn’t seem real until I see the castle. Not going until Day 4 of my trip would be torture. Since you can have three or four days at MK - I would still plan it first. You don’t have to make rope drop. You could plan on an easy day - you have three FPP and then can schedule more.

As far as EMH - it is more about your family - can they get up early? I can barely get mine to a regular park opening let alone an hour earlier. If they are morning people - take advantage. If not plan HS for a day that doesn’t have EMH.

Sounds fun!

AK is a longer day than HS right now. I would probably consider HS on day 1 and then AK on day 2. I did not look at crowds though. You could get through HS in less than a day with the FPs easily. AK can be a full day. I have been to AK on an unexpected 9/10. We would not have done what we wanted unless we had RP. However, I think there is that Star Wars academy you need to show up early to sign up for. Never done it to comment. That may be a deciding factor for you for AK and HS.

I pick my days often avoiding the extra hours as they tend to make the park busier. Mornings extra hours are not so bad to use if you show up at RD. I would not pick a park to use the extra magic hours over another park.

Good idea, and that’s exactly what I had in mind: the Jedi training. I need to talk with my sister to see if that’s something the nephews would want to do. I think we’ll surely do a fair bit of “dividing and conquering” on this trip. There are definitely things that my parents and I will be more interested in than the little ones. Thanks for the input!

Good points - I had forgotten about the advice to hop away from parks with EMH later in the day. We’ll definitely think about that…

I keep seeing references to this Rivers of Light, but haven’t looked into it…will have to do that!

I’m anxious about the times changing and changing again…how do folks deal with making their ADRs, knowing that they may very well be changing their itinerary later??

Ha ha - yes, I know most people are chomping at the bit to get to that castle! It’s not a big deal for me to put it off. We did all the other parks first last year, with my brother’s family, and it worked out great. Luckily, neither my niece and nephew last year, nor my two nephews this year have ever been to WDW before, and don’t know much about it, so their expectations are pretty vague.

Thanks for your input!!

Thanks really interesting about Animal Kingdom. I’m just not super-into animals and wildlife, so I can’t imagine a full day there (which is why I’m considering skipping it altogether myself!). But the boys may feel completely differently. I need to have my sister look at the attractions and tell me what she thinks.

Thanks for chiming in!