I am doing a once in a lifetime trip my family, wife and kids aged 11 and 8. Kids meet all height requirements.
I need some advise on itinerary.
Is this trip too long ? what changes would you make ? We are coming all the way from South Africa so probably wont be back.
My biggest worry is that this is all to much for my family ? But the idea is to go the the parks in the morning and come back to the hotel after lunch and if we feel like going to the parks in the evening we will.
I want this to be a holiday and not a crazy Disney experience so my thought was a longer trip with less time in the parks on a daily basis than you would on a shorter trip…
Any advise from you experts would be greatly appreciated !
Also any suggestion if removing time from Disney and Universal where should we go instead, maybe Miami ?
With such a long trip, you will have lots of flexibility. Don’t feel trapped in a schedule- park reservations will be easy to change. Have plans in mind for each park for the morning and afternoon and switch the days as needed. You’ll soon learn if you want to do your plan of morning park /afternoon break / evening park, or if you want to stay in the park all day and hang out at the pool in the evening. I might be inclined to do 1 day in each park in a row, then have the break day, then from there decide which parks you want to do again and in what order.
That looks like a fabulous itinerary. Building in rest days/non park days is a great idea.
I also think that visiting UOR after Disney is perfect. Staying at Hard Rock means EP which means not having to plan much. That is quite relaxing after Disney.
Hard to say if it is too much since that can be subjective, but you have a nice number of break days.
I would say if any of the park days will be late nights, you may want to factor that in and maybe move a break day around and break up a 3-day-succession of park days (after a long MK day e.g.) if you think kids or anyone might hit the wall after the late night.
(My DW hits the wall before all of us, but also powers through when she does and feels poorly afterwards, so I like to make sure there’s some extra breathing room to avoid that.)
As for Miami - we have family down there and have always done both Orlando and Miami trips to visit them - with all that you have here I would not bother. It is a longish meh drive. If you really want to visit Miami I’d make it a focus trip some other time.
But, in general: I’m not really a fan of Miami, if my Mom and sis and family were not there I don’t think I’d ever go. Drivers are absolutely insane down there, and I’m from NY! There are some beautiful places to see, but the juice ain’t worth the squeeze to me.
Instead of Miami, have you considered a day trip out to The Kennedy Space Center or something like that? It is only an hour away (roughly). You could handle that without the need to switch hotels one more time on your trip. That, plus a late dinner reservation at one of the other resorts in WDW would be a relaxing day plan.
Another option for a rest day at WDW is to Skyliner hop to all of the other resorts along the different routes. Since you are staying at The Beach Club during the middle of your trip, this is the perfect opportunity to check out some of the other resort amenities since the Epcot Skyliner Station is right outside your resort.
Just some other options for you. Best of luck - sounds like a great trip!
This looks like an amazing itinerary. My only suggestion would be to consider visiting Animal Kingdom on one of your first three days while staying at POFQ since it’s a bus to get there regardless of resort whereas you can walk to HS and Epcot from Beach Club. Similarly, for your first park day while staying at Beach Club why not make it a park you can walk to?
And I’d be a second vote for Kennedy Space Center.
One other wrinkle is weather in late Nov / early Dec. There’s a good chance you won’t want to spend time at a water park unless it’s unseasonably warm or you’re very hardy. If a water park is a priority, don’t be afraid to swap days and trip reservations on your plans to prioritize the best day for that; we just did that in our April trip. That said, park days will feel less exhausting without the usual Florida heat and humidity so the need to take a midday break may be much less than the advice you hear or what you read from trip reports here which is more geared to spring break or summer trips. And it should be a great time to visit in terms of crowds and holiday decorations.
Otherwise I like the plan. As for whether it is too long, it really depends on the person (especially kids). My 7 y/o would love this schedule, but my 5 y/o would find it to be too much (and the differences are more based on personality than age).
Also, I don’t think Miami is particularly appealing to kids (other than typical resort and pool activities) so I would not add that 4 hour drive to your itinerary.
I think that’s the perfect amount of time in WDW and actually my trip nearly exactly overlaps yours as well. I love the slower pace a longer trip allows so you don’t feel rushed to get it all done. I also agree with others about moving the AK day.
Regarding Miami, I would skip it. It’s a long drive and the whole place is just not my vibe. Maybe you could spend a couple nights at a beach town on the Gulf Coast of FL which is much different than the beaches on the Atlantic Ocean side. If you really wanted to see more of the US and felt like driving 4-5 hours I would come up to Savanah, GA. It’s full of southern charm, history,and good food.
I’d just echo that we did rest days (2 days on a 7 day trip) and it was great for us! We loved the ability to relax and swim. There are a ton of resort activities too! Keep an eye on this as you get closer: https://www.magicalresortguide.com/
As a note - you are flying into NYC over Thanksgiving weekend - it might be especially busy given the crowds that come in for the Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Here’s my suggestion. You have two EPCOT days and two Hollywood Studios days. If you can get park hopper for a couple of days, I would recommend only 1.5 days for each of those parks.
Then take a free day and go to a natural Spring in Florida. There are several within about an hour or so from Orlando. That time of year you can see manatees. They are really amazing and not an animal you really get to see in other parts of the world. That would be just a half day and you could go play mini golf or something the rest of the day. Manatees are just magical.
Also, that time of year you NEVER know what the weather will be like. It might be too chilly for a water park.