Need advice for touring of parks with high crowds planned

Hello! We leave in a few days for WDW and on FB everyone is saying how all the crowd calendars are dead wrong and wait times are crazy. I am told it is still spring break for the next couple weeks. This is our only trip we are going to take to WDW and I am stressing out that it will be insane and my carefully planned touring plans are worthless. I want to make sure we hit everything on our list of to dos. The crowd calendars say Epcot will be a 2, AK a 6 and MK a 5 the days we got but this week they were 4, 5 and 6 and actual is showing 9 and 10.
Question: Should I stay with our touring plan (we created custom ones or make new custom ones that take us to our must dos first thing in the morning? I was trying not to have to crisscross the park all day. And because my kids don’t do many rides like Big Thunder Mountain or 7 dwarves train, etc (so that’s good at least) the touring plans originally said we would be done in late afternoon/early evening.
Question: AK has extra magic hours in the morning the day we go. Our #1 must do is the Safari and the touring plan has us doing it at rope drop and only have an 11 minute wait. However because of the EMH I am not sure this 11 min wait is correct. Won’t everyone already in the park plus the other non magic hour people be doing this first as well? I have a FP for it at 1:05 that I got just in case but was hoping to knock out this in the morning and only use the FP as a fall back. Long story short should we even try for the safari in the morning or should we do other things and use the FP at that time?
Any advice on touring would be so appreciated!! Some of our other must dos are Jungle cruise, Pirates of Carribbean, Philharmagic, Toy Story (MK), Peter Pan, Haunted House, Monsters Inc Laugh Floor, Tomorrowland speedway to name a few.

First of all, like the Hitchhiker’s Guide says, Don’t Panic!

Stick with your existing TPs. Be sure to Optimize them before you go to take advantage of any adjustments to the wait time predictions. Once you are in the parks, follow the plans, marking attractions done as you complete them, and then re-optimize them if you start to go significantly off schedule.

The best things you can do to deal with crowds is to have a good plan and be at the turnstiles before RD. You will be well ahead of most everyone else with this.

Thank you! I am definitely panicking but don;t want to be that way cause it will ruin our time there. I just want to know that I have the best plan of action and the info I got on this week is shaking that confidence I had in my touring plans. I created the plans and dragged things where I wanted and then clicked on evaluate not optimize. The optimize actually had the wait times longer for the same rides so I am not sure why that is or if the evaluate function isn’t working maybe? Anyway, thanks so much for taking the time to respond, I appreciate it!

What are your actual dates and how many days will you be touring the parks?

Key thing is not to panic and to have the right attitude. We usually go in summer with fiends of 7-9 and have a great time. Do RD, FPP your absolute must dos and then follow a touring plan. Be flexible when you are actually there and remember to enjoy the holiday and not treat it as an exercise in ticking off items on a to do list. I am sure you will have a great time

That sounds funny - when optimizing you may find that certain attraction have longer wait times, but your overall time should be less. Are you sure that you had the same attraction list when evaluating vs optimizing?

We went Feb vacation week with crowd levels of 9 and 10, and did mostly fine with our TPs. I found that we ran well ahead of our plan from 9-10am (no EMHs) and then everything took longer than planned the rest of the day such that we ended up as planned by the end. With 8 of us and all the grouping, regrouping, and bathroom and food breaks, it took longer in between than our plan suggested, even with the slowest walking speed. The days where I had padded the schedule a bit with free wandering time worked well. All in all, we ended up following our plans ~80% of the time, with the other 20% going to random things that turned up (e.g., unexpected characters) and plan adjustments as we got slightly off schedule. We did not miss a single thing that was high priority.

Can you try to move your safari FP to morning? There could be last minute availability. Otherwise it’s worth a try first thing. If you make rope drop and walk quickly, 11 min might be realistic. but that’s just a guess. I’ve never tried. However, AK is spread out and people will be going in all directions, e.g., Everest, so they won’t all concentrate at the safari.

Of your list, except for Philharmagic and Monsters Inc, everything else should be morning or with FP.

I am doing Epcot on April 13th, AK on the 14th and MK on the 17th. I am planning on being at RD each day.

I am going to have to retry again and make sure but I believe so.

Thanks! It’s good to know you got through your things with extra time built in. Some of the touring plans we had were done by late afternoon at each park even with seeing everything. That is going and going. I would love to maybe build in some wandering time. How do you do that in the touring plans?

Thank you for the advice! All good points. :slight_smile:

click on ‘add a break’. I think it might have been next to add a meal, but I’m not totally sure.

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Feel free to share your plans if you want feedback. Definitely add breaks. You don’t want to tell your family there isn’t time to go to the bathroom because it’s not on the plan. Also, many of us have said it’s our “only” trip and lived to tell another tale :slight_smile: Have fun! RD and breaks are the most important things.

We went during winter break when crowd levels were 10 (I dare say 10+) and found that by being there for RD and using our touring plans, we were able to do everything we wanted and we had a lot squeezed into every day. The only exception was the day that my family refused to get out of bed and out the door in time.

I should also mention that I set our walking speed to “relaxed” so that we could enjoy a more leisurely pace and even pop into a store, grab a snack, or use the restroom every once in a while.

I hope you have a wonderful time!