Itinerary review

We are going to WDW in Jan/Feb, 2017 staying at AKL. First time at WDW. We have been to DL two yrs ago. Our party includes my wife and I, my parents, and our 5 children ages 10, 8, 6, 3, 1. I would like to some feedback of our itinerary and advice as to what to do on our last day.
Saturday Jan 28- Fly in, arrive at 4:15 pm, check in and hit MK for a few hours
Sunday- Day off, not visiting a park
Monday- Epcot
Tuesday- MK
Wed- DHS
Thursday- MK
Friday- AK
Saturday- ?
Sunday- Fly home

We fly out early Sunday morning so we plan on ending around 5 pm Saturday. Where do you all think we should go on Saturday? Do we pick a park now or just leave that open and leave it to our kids to decide that day. The latter is definitely the most flexible option but we will only be able to pick up same day FP’s. What do you all think?

My gut reaction is Epcot for Saturday.
Is there a particular reason you won’t be visiting a park on your first full day there? AKL is wonderful and there’s plenty to do but won’t you and the kids be itching to do some touring?

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Consider touring on your first full day and saving your rest day for another time mid week or plan 1-2 half days instead.
Otherwise, looks good.

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I agree with the above. You won’t need a rest day on Sunday like you will come Wednesday! Even if travel days are long and involve time changes like ours do, we are exhausted midway through our week. I would consider changing that!

We will be itching for sure but we won’t be touring because our family devotes Sunday to attending church and treating it as our Sabbath day. First full day is definitely not an ideal rest day but it’s what works for us.
I has leaning toward epcot as well.

Having Epcot later in the week will make it easier to get Frozen ever after FPP, too.

Where are you staying and how many park days/tickets do you have? I would work a pool day in on Wednesday or Thursday. Since you are going to MK on Saturday evening and Tuesday, maybe mark Thursday as a rest day - then you can got back to MK on Saturday if you feel that you needed more time there?
Pool days were some of our favorite days on our last two trips. We did a character breakfast (Chef Mickeys, for example), pool, then an early dinner (Hoop Dee Doo or Ohana?).

I like to use Animal Kingdom as a sort of “rest day”. There is plenty to do there, I don’t subscribe to the “half day park” mentality. I do like to slow down my pace though when I visit. Walk the animal trails, do the Wilderness Explorers challenges, see all there is to see. Watch the shows, they are fantastic and offer a chance to sit and relax. My wife has commented before on my Magic Kingdom walk compared to how we move when we are at DAK, Consider moving that closer to the middle of the week and use it as a slow down. Besides, who knows at this point if there will be any nightime events happening, so the park may be closing by 6 and you could still get back for some pool time after.

Good point.

True. I was kind of using my Wed DHS was a “rest day.” It seems from my touring plans (since I’ve never been) that the morning will be rides and the entire afternoon is going from one show to the next. So you think that DAK is an easier day than DHS?

I am staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge. I haven’t bought tickets yet but were planning on a 7 day pass.

At this point, yes, you may be right. There isn’t much to do in DHS, in my opinion. You could hit the rides you want, watch the shows and get out. Then maybe come back for the night time. Or sleep in, show up late with your fastpasses ready and do it that way. That’s actually how I will be doing it in my trip around Halloween. I guess I didn’t think of that as my rest day because its actually following the Holiday 5k. So, there wont be sleeping in, just coming back and maybe taking a nap.

I didn’t think about getting a later start. I’ll tinker with the times on my touring plan and see how it looks. It closes at 7 pm that day. That Wed has extra magic hours at MK but I think taking it easy that day will be best.

So back to my original question. Do I use that last Saturday as a second day in Epcot or a “wild card” day? On our last day at DL a few years ago, we asked our kids what their first and second favorite rides were and we were able to hit each one of their choices one last time. It was kind of a fun way to end the trip. We’ll have to limit it to parks at WDW since they are more spread out and FP may be difficult but check advanced FP that way.

Our last day is always a wild card day. Everyone picks any ride, any park, and I get the joy of making it all fit together, I really do enjoy that challenge. We must always end in MK though, not negotiable.

I would definitely keep DHS as your “rest day” on Wed if you don’t plan on taking another rest day. Since it has the least to do (and for me the least exciting things, except for the night shows) it was the easiest one to schedule more down-time around & not feel like we missed out on stuff. For instance on our 8 day trip we did it as our first day after a red-eye flight, went right to park opening. We ended up leaving at 7:30pm (even after a midday break which included brunch at Chef Mickey’s and naps at the hotel) and I didn’t feel like we missed out. Whereas on our last day, our daughter got a fever in the middle of the afternoon. We stayed for our BOG dinner at 6:30 but left soon after so she could rest more comfortabley and we totally feel like we need to go back and do more MK!

I think I like the idea of ending at MK, your kids will definitely have the most to pick from especially with their ages if you wanted to do a round robin of last favorite rides. It also gives you more flexibility with FPPs as there are way more to choose from. I think though, you need at least one more day at Epcot. We did an unplanned day at Epcot to have a relaxed day towards the end of our trip. I picked the FPPs the day or two before (none of them we actually needed and I don’t think we even went back for our last one) but we had so much fun. We spent the morning in Future World, had lunch at Garden Grill (the only real plan for the day), and wandered our way around the World Showcase in the afternoon evening, doing Agent P, Kidcot and attempting to eat or drink one thing in each country ending wiht Illuminations. Epcot was definitely a highlight for us but it will really all depend on what your kids will love. If they aren’t partial to Epcot, then everything can be seen in probably 1 very well-planned & packed day.

That’s kind of where the dilemma lies. I originally planned the last day as our second epcot day but I also like the idea of letting the kids decide. Either way we’ll have a blast…

For sure you will have a blast! If you really want MK for your last day so that the kids have the greater flexibility, but don’t want to miss out on that extra Epcot time, one solution could be to have Epcot be your park on your arrival day instead of MK. But also totally depends on if you’re starting with MK to get that magic feeling only the castle and it’s surrounding lands can give.

That’s why we are going to MK on that first evening- Ride BTMRR and SM, their two favorites from DL, as well as wishes. We just barely told our kids we are going. I will be interested in hearing theor input. My oldest, 9, said “I wish you hadn’t have told us, now I have to wait six months!”