Itinerary Questions (also, timing dinner at Epcot + catching Fantasmic or Wishes?)

My family is going to Disney for the first time in over 15 years next April. I’m thinking about making reservations at Le Cellier at Epcot for dinner one night, and then park-hopping over to Hollywood Studios to see Fantasmic (or possibly to go to Magic Kingdom to see Wishes, more on that below.) How long should it take to eat dinner and then commute to another park, while leaving enough time to get into Fantasmic/secure a good viewing spot for Wishes? Currently it looks like Le Cellier has 5:25 and 5:50 reservations open. (There’s also 7:15, but would the 7:15 reservation leave time to get to Wishes, if we decided to that show instead? How long is it going to take to eat dinner at Le Cellier (and in general, how long does it take to complete a full-service meal at the parks?)

(This is part of trying to figure out the whole itinerary, which is a bit more complicated because I’m trying to figure out how to best fit in all 3 night shows - Illuminations, Wishes, and Fantasmic. Going to the WDW parks on 4/16, 4/17, 4/20, and 4/21. 4/16 will be split between Animal Kingdom and Epcot (viewing Illuminations that night), 4/17 split between Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios (viewing either Wishes or Fantasmic that night), 4/20 all day at Epcot except for Wishes or Fantasmic, and 4/21 wherever we want to spend more time (with an ADR for 8:50 at Be Our Guest, so we’ll be at Magic Kingdom in the evening but not getting out in time to see Wishes. If anything earlier opens up, I’d take it, but at the moment that’s basically the only Be Our Guest dinner reservation there is that day.)

I’m rather uncertain about how to split the Magic Kingdom/Hollywood Studios day on April 17th, trying to figure out which park to visit earlier vs. later - Hollywood Studios has an Early Magic Hour that morning, but Fantasmic’s earlier timing vs. trying to park-hop makes things more difficult, as well as trying to figure out which park to get the FastPasses for that day. I’m thinking Hollywood Studios, for Toy Story Midway Mania, but again advice would be appreciated. (Note that I have some medical restrictions - I’m cleared for Splash Mountain and 3-D simulator type rides but not for roller coasters or the Tower of Terror, so I can’t do a lot of the rides that require FastPass; of the rides I can go on, it looks like Toy Story has the worst waits.) Also, side question in a post that already has about 40,000 questions: are we going to want to see Enchanted Tales with Belle? It’s got good reviews on this site, but everybody in our party’s over 30 and I’m not sure if it’s geared towards a younger audience.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer (especially regarding the timing of the Le Cellier reservation vs. making Fantasmic. I’m assuming either 5:25 pm Le Cellier or 5:50 Le Cellier would be fine for making Wishes, but would 5:50 Le Cellier still let us get to Fantasmic in time? What about doing 7:15 Le Cellier at Epcot and then going to Wishes? If we did Le Cellier and then Wishes on 4/20, we’d have to make sure to do Magic Kingdom in the morning/Hollywood Studios in the evening on 4/17, and we’d miss the Extra Magic Hour for Hollywood Studios, is it better to get that Extra Magic Hour in?)

All this five-months-in-advance-planning when I haven’t been to Disney since I was 13 is getting a little frustrating (and this is before I’ve even mentioned trying to figure out if the dining plan is worth it.) :confused:

Sorry can’t help with planning really. But that weekend (16th)will be heavily impacted by the Star Wars running events taking place. General rules for dining/travelling are 90 mins per meal 90 mins to travel anywhere on property and to arrive at park 30-60 mins prior to fireworks/evening shows. However for Fantasmic you will need to be in HS and at the amphitheater 60 mins prior to start time.
Dining plan is generally not worth it.

Le Cellier dinner can take a lot of time. First, they can run behind so even with the early reservation you may wait 30 minutes to get a table. Also, the food is great but at times the service can be very, very slow so you must plan at least 90 minutes. It is quick to get to HS from Le Cellier, just walk to the International Gateway and either hop on the boat or walk. I can walk a little faster than the boat since the boat makes three stops but easily you can get there in 30 minutes. If you go to MK you would go out the front of EP and take the monorail to TTC and then another to MK (I would allow 45 minutes for this but could be much quicker) or walk to Beach Club and hop on a MK bus if you do not want to walk across EP.

Oh! I have to add- I do not think there is ANYTHING you will want to or need to Fast Pass at EP. It does not sound like you will do Test Track, Soarin will be closed, everything else you will want to ride would be a waste of a fast pass. HS will be very busy your first two days!

I know this wasn’t asked - but unless you REALLY want park hoppers - I wouldn’t use them - you waste so much time going between the parks. I am so old that I remember you automatically got park hoppers when you bought a multi-day ticket. Yes there have been occasions where I thought it would be nice - but never essential

Funny, I am over 50 and I could never imagine not park hopping! I have flown in on a Saturday morning, and left on a Monday morning and I always visit all four parks!

Well - I guess it is good that they have the options. With having to purchase 4 tickets - I usually find the ROI on them a bit less than appealing. However if it was just me - I would be hopping like crazy!!!

Thanks for the help - I think I’ll move that Le Cellier reservation back to 5:25 or 5:50. (I am thinking that missing the EMH at HS on Sunday is probably worth it anyway, instead hitting MK in the morning and HS in the evening, probably with a Fantasmic dinner package for Mama Melrose’s on Sunday, and then doing Wishes on Wednesday night.)

Park-hopping makes sense for us because there’s a lot of stuff that I can’t do at Hollywood Studios, and not a lot of stuff everybody’s interested in at Magic Kingdom (my dad was a hard sell on even going to the Magic Kingdom), so I don’t think there’s any way we’d want to spend a whole day in either park. We will have a rental car if it makes more sense to drive at any point, though from what I’ve read it makes more sense to use Disney transportation (we’re staying at AKL.)

For the record, here’s the list of current things we’re planning on seeing at HS and MK:


  1. Toy Story Midway Madness!
  2. MuppetVision 3D
  3. Star Tours
  4. The Great Movie Ride
  5. Beauty and the Beast Live Onstage
  6. Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular
  7. Voyage of the Little Mermaid
  8. Lights, Motors, Action! (maybe - I’ve seen it panned/on a couple “worst of” lists and am
    wondering if it’s worth it)
  9. Fantasmic!

And MK:

  1. Splash Mountain
  2. Swiss Family Treehouse
  3. Under the Sea - Voyage of the Little Mermaid
  4. Pirates of the Caribbean
  5. Peter Pan’s Flight
  6. Haunted Mansion
  7. Mickey’s Philharmagic
  8. Enchanted Tales With Belle (maybe? Is this more for little kids? My dad is doubtful.)
  9. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  10. Jungle Cruise
  11. Wishes

It doesn’t seem like either of those is enough to fill up a whole day (the Touring Plans have us finishing Magic Kingdom before 2 pm even with a half-hour break for lunch, and I think we can finish Hollywood Studios in the back half of that day, especially if we can do FastPass for Toy Story (at present the plans are assuming about an hour in line for that) and skipping the Lights, Motors, Action! show - most of HS scheduling is working around times for the shows.

Also, I should probably have mentioned that one of the guests is a cast member and has her own pass, so we’re only paying for three of the tickets. (The discount on the hotel was also really nice.) We’ll probably use the hopping feature almost every day we’re there (again, Animal Kingdom doesn’t take all day so we’ll spend the evening Saturday roaming around Epcot.)

Was disappointed to see the Star Wars marathon scheduled after everybody had gotten vacation approved - we were specifically trying to go on a lower-volume week! Is that going to affect all the parks? (If we had to, we could push most of Hollywood Studios off to the Thursday “free day” that next week, but I was hoping to leave it 100% open so that we could have one day that wasn’t intensely pre-scheduled. Also, Thursday is my mini-golf day if we can’t fit Fantasia Gardens in at any other point.)

Again, thanks to everyone for the help! (especially PrincipalTinker, since I think you replied on my safari question too - I decided to go ahead and schedule the Wanyama Safari, and “shop for food, meet up with our 4th party member/check into hotel, safari, Jiko, maybe hotel pool” has become the plan for our arrival day.)

Loved Enchanted Tales - even though my youngest DD is 14 and neither of us were “picked”. Adorable!

Just wanted to pop in to thank everyone again for the help and to provide an update: I shuffled the touring schedule to stay at Epcot that night (and moved Le Cellier to 5:45) and also was lucky enough to book a BOG cancellation (thank you, Reservation Finder Tool!), so that we’re now dining at BOG at 5:55 the final night of the trip - plenty of time to get out after and find a spot for Wishes. Combine that with a Fantasmic dinner package at Mama Melrose’s, and we’ll be able to see all three shows, assuming some luck with the weather! (Will probably have to return to HS to do a ride or two, but that’s what our final trip day is for - going back to see anything we missed and/or re-visiting anything we really loved, and/or for fitting in mini-golf if we haven’t had time before then.) Thanks again! :slight_smile:

Keep an eye out for news on the new Rivers of Light show at Animal Kingdom. I know it might throw a lot of your plans off but there are a lot of rumors that it may debut around Earth Day.