Lowest predicted crowd level VS EMH, which park to pick?

My wife and I will be at Disney World Thursday Sept 7- Sunday Sept 10 with the intention of spending a day in all 4 parks. My biggest question is this: When scheduling my park days, which is better, a park with a crowd level of 1 or a park that has EMH with a crowd level of 3?(keep in mind when responding, no night time EMH this time of year)

Follow up question to this, I have breakfast scheduled in Epcot at 8:20, so I can get into the park early on a non EMH day, should that effect my decision on choosing an EMH day, if I can get into Epcot early on a non EMH day?

Lastly, How hard or feasible is park hopping if I just want to grab dinner in Epcot?

I am considering one of the two following schedules and would love your critique:

Plan 1:
9/7- Thurs- Hollywood Studios- crowd level 1 Star Wars Fireworks(OR considering Mickeys Halloween Party this night at Magic Kingdom, thoughts)
9/8 Fri- Epcot- crowd level 2 (8:20am Akerhaus breakfast)
9/9 Sat- Animal Kingdom with a focus on Avatar Extra Magic Hour crowd level 3
9/10 Sun- Magic Kingdom- crowd level 1 (get on road at 7pm that night)


Plan 2:
9/7 Thur: Epcot Extra Magic Hours Crowd Level 1
9/8 Friday:Magic Kingdom with Extra Magic Hours crowd level 3 Hit Hollywood studios that night for Star Wars fireworks
9/9 Sat: Animal Kingdom with a focus on Avatar Extra Magic Hour crowd level 3
9/10 Sunday: Hollywood Studios Extra Magic Hour crowd level 3

Thanks for the help.

I would choose plan 1 with the Halloween party on night 1. I don’t find enough to do at HS, even before the extensive construction, so this would be perfect to use the day, assuming you have the stamina to get the most out of the nighttime party on a day you also visit a park (maybe a mid-day break would be in order). I liked the party. I personally often skip HS entirely, but that’s partially because DS7 can’t ride or doesn’t want to ride many things there. I love Star Tours, but I can RD and ride ST 3-4 times and just be done with that park.

You’ll hear mixed thoughts on EMH. On one hand, it’s a perk of staying onsite, so you’re “missing” it if you don’t do it. On the other hand, there’s a huge capacity at the on-site hotels, so the EMH parks tend to draw a larger crowd overall, including some on-site folks who don’t manage to make morning EMH but still have that park cemented into their plans, so the overall crowd can swell even if the morning is not bad.

You’ll also hear that there’s not much difference between CLs of 1, 2, and 3. I’m not sure about that, in recent years there’s been difficulty predicting CL and changes to what any given CL really means in terms of crowding. I’d personally pick the less-crowded parks every time if it’s an option, keeping in mind that CL predictions can change.

Thank you for the very well thought out response. It definitely gives me something to consider.

Have you ever had breakfast in a park before it opens? What are you thoughts on breakfast in Epcot at 8:20? Would this get us into the park earlier or would it be a wash bc we have to eat?

I too would pick Plan 1. EMH can really crowd a park and TP suggests going with crowd Level over EMH. An alternative if you’re an early riser would be to do morning EMH hours in one park, then move on to the next park when it gets too busy.

This is the best time of year to go, so crowds overall should be manageable. We’re checking in on the 10th and love going in September!

I would make an effort to see both the Star Wars Galactic Spectacular and the MNSSHP. They are both amazing! Even if you aren’t a Star Wars fan, the fireworks/lasers/projections are unreal!

The only glitch in your plan is that for us, it feels like vacation never really starts until we are in the MK. Hopefully you’re not the same way!!

Getting into a breakfast early is usually only helpful if it puts you inside the park, ready to ride, before rope drop. Chances are slim that you’ll be done eating before 9am. But if you could be, you are right beside Frozen Ever After, which is a must do right now! And it is a buffet…If I were you I would keep my ADR for Akershaus, but show up early and hope they take me early. It’s 50/50 if they will or not, but I would be willing to gamble. You could also try to move your ADR up earlier.

Whatever you do, have fun!!! WDW is amazing!!

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