Late MK EMH?

I am planning our fist trip to WDW in early October. Our first day we plan to spend in Epcot until 3-4 pm and then return to CBR to relax and swim. That night (Weds Oct 4) is crowd level 5 in MK closing at 11 pm with EMH until 1am. Thinking about arriving in time to watch fireworks with tween and get snack/rides. Will the park be too crowded to enjoy?
Other option is Kona 8pm and then watch fireworks at Polynesian (will keep looking for Ohana ADR).
Thanks for any help!

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Nah, not too crowded - That’s a great plan. We just did a similar thing 2 weeks ago on a CL 7 day.

We hit MK in morning, CBR right after an early lunch, then back to Columbia Harbor House about 6PM for dinner. Couple of rides, then found a spot next to Walt in front of the castle about 8:05PM and waited for HEA. Very much worth getting a good spot for them!

You can see where we were in this video I posted on The YouTube.

Took about 15 minutes after HEA for the crowd in the hub to disperse enough that I felt comfortable leading the family out to hit more rides. Several were walk on, able to score FPP for others until EMH kicked in - Best. night. of. the. trip.

If I would offer any caution - it always takes longer than we think to leave a park, get ready for pool and go there, then get ready for park and get back there for evening plan. (Also, kids never want to leave the pool once they are in it.)

Hope you have a great trip!

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Thanks for the feedback! It looks like QS are available during park hours by looking at the Disney website. Is this true? Or even snacks available? We will have been at Epcot that afternoon during food and wine tour so imagining we may not be that hungry. We could get a 7:30 ADR at Tony’s Town square but I am worried we would feel rushed, like you said it may take longer than planned to get kids out of pool and dressed! I have been estimating transit times using and it says that bus ride to MK from CBR is only 15 min but I repeatedly have read to allow an hour. Not having been there before, I am unsure if I am overestimating or underestimating my timing.

Ooh, I think I’ve heard the times at OurLaughingPlace are not kept up to date online. Also seem to remember they had an app, so maybe that is(?)

In any case: Maybe the actual bus ride from MK to CBR from start the wheels-rolling to the edge of the CBR resort time is 15 minutes, but feels a bit low and surely doesn’t include getting to the front of the park and all the way to bus Gate 41 (or whatever it is), waiting for the bus, and multiple stops within CBR.

I think planning for an hour each way between park and resort is a good rule of thumb - better to have extra time than not enough. (We in fact underestimated how long it would take us to get to the front of the park on our last MK day when we were heading over to Wilderness Lodge for lunch at Geyser Point. The extra 20 minutes caused us to miss the 3PM parade.)

When we took our resort break on our MK day, we budgeted about 4 hours to get there, be at the pool long enough for everyone to be happy, and planned to be back to eat at CHH about 6PM. Was about right with a tiny bit of extra time.

Any usual QS or TS you want will be open for sure - but I would not recommend a 7:30 ADR anywhere if you want to be waiting for a fireworks spot before 8:30PM - you would certainly feel rushed. Any TS ADR I’ve ever had has a minimum 60 minutes from sitting down to leaving, and often longer. On a lower crowd level day you may not have to be at the hub (or wherever you want to watch the fireworks) right at 8PM like we did, but it still will start filling in soon after.

If I really wanted a TS dinner, I’d try to find an ADR some time before 7:00PM at least. But since you are doing Food & Wine that day, I’d more likely suggest you pick a QS. CHH was quick, Pinocchio’s too. (Regarding CHH food: our kids loved the Mac and Cheese, but everything else was just “OK.”)

By the way - we drove to most parks on our trip a few weeks ago, so only took the bus to MK.

We had pretty good luck with buses showing up on time at CBR, but one day the clock at the bus stop kept moving the estimates back as we waited. At any resort, there may be times when you wait at a bus stop for a good 20 minutes or more.

In 3 family trips, the resort bus stop wait time has always been the biggest question mark. Sometimes no problem, other times it feels like 34 Disney Springs buses go by before a single MK bus! :wink:

MS will be very crowded with everyone lining up to watch HEA, and when it’s over there will probably be a large exodus down MS, so you’ll be fighting the tide to get up to the hub. The rest of the park will be reasonable after FEA, with the crowds diminishing the closer to 1:00 that you get. It’s been several years since I’ve done this, so I can’t comment on which QSs, specifically, will be open or closed during EMH. I’m pretty sure that they all stay open until the 11:00 “official” closing.

I’m not a huge fan of any of the MK QSs, but CHH is definitely my “favorite” of them. Cosmic Ray’s is “tolerable”. I haven’t been to Pecos Bill’s since they completely changed the menu, but I found the old menu pretty much horrible. Sleepy Hollow gets pretty good reviews, but the only thing I get there is the ice cream cookie sandwich (which is one of my favorite WDW snacks).

I have always found at least Casey’s is open right up to almost closing time.

I was going to suggest Carey’s too. Back at Christmas, Casey’s was open through EMH as my boys decided they were hungry as we were making our way out of MK after EMH! Nothing like walking down Main Street with hot dogs after midnight (I think it was 1am but not sure).

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Casey’s sounds perfect. I was thinking we should be stopping there at some point anyway to check it out! Since it’s our first day of our first time at Disney I thought how can we resist late night rides and snacks?
Our plan for the next day is to sleep in a bit and go back to Mk around 11am? The crowd level that day is 3 and we have tickets for MNSSHP for that evening. So another late night in the park.
By then we should be able to experience most of the park. We do have BOG reservations for 8:05am on our last day however so we can get in a last 7DMT and other favorites. Then head over to HS for the rest of our last day (Star wars galactic dessert party our last night).
Any other recommendations? Thanks again!

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