Judge Me!

Let me begin by saying how much I appreciate this forum!! I had done a fair amount of research on my own, but getting on this forum was a gamechanger! Thank you!!

My FPP day is 12 days away and after weeks, ok, months, of planning and tinkering, I think I have a plan worth sharing. There will be 8 of us on this trip. My mom and I are the only 2 that have been to Disney before and that was over 20 years ago for 1 day (a few hours) at MK with no plans or knowledge of any sort. It really shouldn’t count. My mom (aka “The Wallet”) is in her mid-sixties, but very mobile and active. Then there will be my husband and I, our 3 kids (6, 3, and 1), and my nephew and his girlfriend (both in their late twenties). All of the adults are physically fit and above average on the active scale. Nonetheless, I have set our TP walking speed at “Very Relaxed” to allow for bathroom breaks and not having to rush. We will all be staying at AKL Kidani Village 8/18 – 8/25. On 8/25 my nephew and his girlfriend will leave and the rest of us will move to a cabin at Ft. Wilderness for 2 more nights.

A few notes:
• DS6 is 45”, DS3 is 37” (we are really hoping for a growth spurt this summer!!), DD1 is 30”
• We will be renting a double stroller for DS3 and DD1, but I will also have a carrier for DD1 in case DS6 needs to be in the stroller (I’m used to carrying her for a few hours a day).
• My 2 little ones will nap when they are tired, regardless of where they are (my phone is filled with the most adorable pictures of DS3 asleep in odd places).
• Yes it is hot in Florida in August, but we are coming from Texas where it is even hotter.
• We will have a car (van).
• We are planning quite a few character meals so I only have 2 meet and greets in the schedule.
• My mom does not like adventurous food.
• I plan to cater to my sweet tooth at every opportunity!!

Here is an overview of our TP:

(ADRs, shows, and appointments are red, QS are purple, and proposed FP are blue.)

Some overarching questions:
• I know to take the bus to MK from AKL, but what about the other parks? Is it better to drive or take the bus? If we do drive, is it better to valet at the resort so the car is more readily accessible?
• Once you arrive at a park how long does it generally take to get through security and into the park?
• Any recommendations for room requests at AKL? We used DVC points to book a 2 bedroom villa with a savannah view. How do you request early check-in?
• Do I have too many ADRs? Is that possible?!

On arrival day we will hang out at the pool, explore the hotel, etc… At 4 we will head over to Mickey’s Backyard BBQ (Category 1). I thought this would be a nice way to start the trip, the kids will get to meet some characters right away. I was considering having a cake delivered to celebrate the first night of our first trip, any thoughts on that? Worth it? Overkill?

I will make a separate post for each day of our trip with the touring plan link. Stay tuned! If you just can’t wait, here is a link to the whole shebang!


To kick things off, here is Day 1:

Sunday, our first official park day!
• We will RD FOP at AK. We will have to use RS, so my mom and I will take the 2 littles on Navi while the others do FOP, then everyone else will do Navi (with FP) while mom and I do FOP (am I really missing out by not seeing the FOP queue?).
• This will leave my mom and I with 2 unused FP. Also, my mom probably won’t do Kali, so that leaves another FP. Any suggestions for not “wasting” these? I was thinking of letting my nephew and his girlfriend do something with them while we go to Conservation Station. EE? FOP? Primeval Whirl?
• Our breakfast at Tusker is an ROL package.
• I’m really hoping that they will extend the hours so we will have a chance to explore Pandora after dark. And if they do, we will probably hop into line for FOP right before close.



There’s a lot here… so I’m just going to pick 2 things to comment on… to start…

we loved staying at Kidani. Make sure you plan lots of resort time, to just enjoy it there. We took the bus to every park without issue. Kidani is the first pickup (between that and Jambo), and we always had a bus very quickly. I know some people say that it’s better to not use the AKL busses, but we really didn’t find an issue with it. We didn’t have a car option, though.

And, you didn’t ask about this, but when we took my daughter when she was 1 (almost 2), I had this WONDERFUL backpack carrier for her… like an ergo, but bigger, and for your back. We took a stroller one day, and hated it - and then just carried her the rest of the time. It was SO MUCH BETTER than trying to wrangle a stroller in the crowds. With a 3 year old, you’ll probably need the stroller anyway… I just wanted to applaud your carrier choice. :smile:


I don’t know where I’d be without my Tulas!! My girl is on my back all the time. And I love being able to put her up front and nurse while still on the go. Right now I have a Connecta that I borrowed from a friend for Disney because it’s supposed to be breathable, but I’m eyeing the newer mesh Tula and Lillebaby.

I will dig into this more later tonight when the kids are asleep, but the first thing I noticed is I think your midday breaks are too short. I wouldn’t plan any less than 4 hours for a break. And we often were stretching it with 4 hours.

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I have TS meals preceding and/or following each break, so I was pretty much counting that as down time too. Do you not agree? Also keep in mind that my kids are great at napping on the go, they don’t need a quiet room. If they’re tired, they will sleep.

Just wanted to add a vote for taking the buses. We haven’t stayed at AKL but have done CBR, Pop and Poly and we always used resort transportation. You may take a bit longer than driving yourself but it was so nice to park the car and leave it. For our August trip (staying at Pop) we are only considering taking the car to the water parks and then probably only for Typhoon Lagoon.

I’ve read it’s nice to have your car when you’re all wet from the water park versus being on a freezing bus.

You’re not likely to be too chilly in August! If you dry off and change out of your swimsuits, you should be fine even on the air-conditioned buses. Our concern was that apparently you can’t go directly from a resort to a water park now. Typhoon Lagoon seems to require a trip to Disney Springs. That just sounds confusing.

I see you have Kona for breakfast on your last day. We are doing the same thing on the 30th before starting our drive back!

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I’m not talking about downtime, but rather just how long each transition takes. Leaving the park, waiting for a bus/walking to your car, walking to your room, then those same items in reverse order took MUCH longer than I expected them to. With a 4 hour break, that often only left 2 hours of downtime. Changing into swimsuits, potty breaks, etc all eat that up very quickly. My 3yo often didn’t want to leave the parks, but then didn’t want to go back either!

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I see. That makes sense. For Epcot, if we take out TT we can get out of there roughly an hour earlier. Alternately, we can FP TT instead of FEA and try to go to the Frozen Dessert Party. At the moment though, I’ve only managed a reservation for 4 for the party. After BB we’re really just going back to the room to change. Maybe sit on the balcony for a bit. For Wednesday I have an alternate late start at MK that then eliminates the break before HS. Or we can keep the early start and just stick around for the parade, maybe ride the railroad all the way around, then head straight to HS. Is it better to have no break, or one that is too short?

very organised. I love it.

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I used a Beco when my now 12yo was 2yo. It was a lifesaver to be able to use it while in line and during naps. He definitely slept way longer in the carrier than he did in the stroller.

One of my favorite pictures from that trip was when we closed down EPCOT on an EMH night. My dh had the 2yo in the carrier and our 6yo had crawled into the stroller. They both hung in there until we started walking out, but crashed by the time we hit Spaceship Earth. The photo is of the four of us w/ SE in the background…and both kids are completely crashed.


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I’ve got 3 kids and I’ve never had a stroller. Mine have all lived in their carriers :smile:

I had all kinds of expectations of using my Maya Wrap for my first and she HATED being in a carrier. The second kid…LOVED them and I added 4 more carriers to my collection! :slight_smile:

He was a bolter and loved the carrier, so we used one with him until he was 3yo! There may have been some people at the older child’s after school care that were unsure if he could walk because they never saw him out of the carrier!

I’d be lost with a child that doesn’t love the carrier!

She crawled at 6mo, sprinted down the sidewalk at 9.5mo and never ever wanted to be swaddled.

I still remember the nurse in the hospital trying to swaddle the child. She did one side and as she reached to pull the blanket over to finish, arm one shot up! :slight_smile:

The child just couldn’t be contained!


Looks like a great plan. Give yourself mental permission now to adjust things while you’re there, once you get a feel for how everyone handles things. We have one unbreakable family rule - We pace ourselves for the person who gets hungry/tired/cranky first, not for the person with the most energy. If one person needs a rest or a snack, we take care of that person before going on.

I hope you have a great time!

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That is a remarkable level of organization. You are well prepared! I love the color coding!

Every family is different so these are my opinions:

I am not a huge fan of mid-day breaks.My kids were good stroller sleepers and I think swimming is more tiring than staying. We would do a couple late days and sleep and swim before heading to the parks. My kids also like to swim late nights and did that. I am also not a fan of the hassle of any transportation so I try and minimize that. I would make the Epcot day a later start and not take a break. We had a Garden Grill reservation at 10:00 and did a similar amount of things to your list. BUT my boys are not interested in Frozen so that eliminated that Tier 1 problem.

Many people swear by mid-day breaks though so that is my minority opinion.

I also wouldn’t travel for just a restaurant (Akershus and The Fountain). Akershus is cool though if you want princesess. I love MK and I am worried that you don’t have enough time there. I always need two full days if not more.

I would also switch Thursdays HS with Saturday’s AK. I would take advantage of being at AKL and being so close. I always try to minimize transportation when I can.

Overall though it sounds like an amazing trip!

That is a great rule!! I already know it’s going to be tough for us. My mom and I are both go-go-go types, we don’t stop until the task is complete. We are going to have to really be careful not to push everyone else too hard.

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