MK TP advice needed please

First trip for us next week (well, omitting my trip in '81 a a rising 2nd grader). We are staying at the YC, with an offsite stay the night before check-in. We have a daring DS8 and a less daring DS5, whom we haven’t told about the trip!
We have three MK visits planned:

  1. RD on the first day, leaving in the afternoon for hotel check-in. Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.
    I have way too much crammed in this day, but I’m not sure what to pull or move to other days. I also don’t have Dumbo, Astro Orbiter, etc. in the plans in favor of bigger attractions. On the chopping block for this day: 7DMT (have FP later in the week), ETWB (the kids are generally boy’s boys, but DS8 would love a shot at participating, and DS5 may like the show), FoFParade (could save for later in week, but would it be worth seeing now in case weather doesn’t cooperate later?), People Mover and Little Mermaid.
  2. Nighttime after a 5:30 Chef Mickey’s dinner reservation.
    Is a 7:00 park arrival realistic with 5:30 CM ADR? If so it seems like we should be able to get in 1 or 2 other attractions before the parade and fireworks, but which one(s)? Regarding the parade and Wishes, what spots do people like for the parade and fireworks? One spot for both? And can one person stake a claim on spots for 4 people?
  3. Possible non-RD day after the MK Wishes night
    I would consider chopping Country Bears, Hall of Presidents, and Enchanted Tiki Room. And of course, if we see the FoF parade earlier, we would skip it on this day.

Thanks for any help that you can offer!

Can you publish your plans so we can look at them?

Sorry about that. I think the links should work now.

A ping hoping for replies. TIA

Your first day plans looks pretty good! I think your boys will like ETWB, even if they aren’t princess fans. It’s a lot of immersive theming and the ‘wait’ doesn’t feel like much of a wait.

For the second day, I think you’ve got just the right number of attractions in for the time you have. I would stake out one spot for Wishes and the parade, especially with younger, likely tired kids. One person really shouldn’t stake out a spot for four people, but no CM will officially stop you. If you get a really good spot, like right in the Hub, be prepared to aggressively protect those spots for a long time if you don’t have your whole party there. With younger ones, I would stick to a spot in Frontierland for the fireworks. Search the archives on the blog for some articles on firework & parade viewing. Frontierland isn’t “front and center” but its still a good view and it will be far less crowded. If someone suffers a meltdown mid-show, you don’t want to be pushing against the crowd in the Hub or on Main Street to get out.

Your last day also looks great, but Tom Sawyer’s Island may take you far longer than 30 minutes or far less, depending on your kids. It’s an open play area without any specific activities or directions on where you’re supposed to go. It’s a great break for parents and it’s fun free play for the kids. Hall of Prez and Country Bears are close to Tom, so you can make the call about cutting stuff after they play.

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One thought: Given your “less daring” DS5 on his first trip, you may want to start with less adventurous attractions and build up on day one, as opposed to starting with 7DMT.

With our almost 6 year old twins on their first trip, we found starting with Winnie the Pooh, then Little Mermaid, then Barnstormer to be a great way to introduce them to tunnel rides and roller coasters. After each one, we could tell they were ready for more, and as it turned out they wanted to do everything.

Have a great trip! Nothing like the first time with your youngsters.

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Thanks for the tips, especially on staking a claim for parade and fireworks space. I feel like the info I’ve gotten here has me in a good place regarding preparations. You Liner folks are great!

Dcjp, thanks for the “ease in” idea. We went to the local amusement park (Kennywood, if you know Pittsbugh) and DS5 rode thrill rides there somewhat enthusiastically. I’ve taken that as a sign that he’ll be on board with the MK headliners.

This is a tough part of our surprising them with the trip, we have no gauge of what attractions they want. But regarding 7DMT off the bat, we can always say “the line is too long, we’ll wait for our fastpass” if DS5 seems daunted. Or we could split up for that time. Great food for thought.


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Totally off topic for this question, but since you’re a Pittsburgher, which airport are you flying out of? If you’ve never looked at Latrobe, you should for a future trip! Spirit Airlines flies to MCO once a day, nonstop. There are plenty of caveats-- Spirit is a budget airline so they will give you a crazy cheap base price and then charge for “extras” that other airlines include. Latrobe is a tiny airport with one or two gates, no fee for long-term parking and a cheap snack bar. We saved $125 over Southwest out of PIT and it only took us an extra 15 minutes of driving.

@corenajs We are driving on this trip. We are visiting family in Myrtle first (which also helps to cover and delay the reveal of Disney) but I have flown Spirit to Myrtle out of Latrobe. It is a great value, but I kind of think of Spirit as a pretend airline. Like kids playing dress up or something. Not to say I wouldn’t fly with them again, but it’s such a small operation.

And yes, flying out of Latrobe is nice with the free close parking. Though it is a longer drive for us from south hills. It’s a good tip and anyone traveling from Western pa should consider it.