We will be at the parks Oct 14-17. My original plan was
Friday MK and MNSSHP
Saturday HS - Hop to Epcot Fireworks??
Sun AK- Hop to HS SW Fireworks if scheduled??
Monday Epcot- hopping back to MK for close
But now I am second guessing my plan. I am trying to anticipate HS adding Star Wars Fireworks. Would I be better to do MNSSHP on Sunday and hop to HS after MK on Friday? HS has EMH 7pm-9pm. Its tough not knowing when I am trying to make ADR.
We are just making a short trip so I am trying to make the best use of our time.
Best use of your time would be to not Park Hop. Plan on losing at least an hour hopping. So if possible do all each park in one day. Also you have left out all of the new night time stuff in AK. By October RoL should be up and running.
You might want to consider AK and then hopping to MNSSHP, as that does not require a PH ticket. Otherwise I agree with @donk_7 that hopping is not a good use of your limited time.
Dissenting opinion: since OP’s handle is momtwofour, I’m guessing she has small kids and will be taking afternoon nap breaks, meaning they won’t lose any time by going to a different park in the evening than in the morning.
Good point, but I still think that PH is not worth it for such a short stay, and the cost savings can be applied to the party tickets. For example, the following itinerary gets the same amount of park time without paying for PH, and saving time if no afternoon break is taken:
Friday: AK and MNSSHP
If I were going to be spending the time & money on PH I would work my schedule to use EMH to my best advantage. I would also count on Disney probably adding SWs FWs (which were awesome for us, but are about to get more awesome with the ones they are supposed to premier this summer with lasers and projections added to the music and pyrotechnics).
The only tough thing with planning to maximize using EMH is that with so much in limbo with night shows, is that they tweak the schedule constantly. I gave up checking because every time I did it was an extra hour in HS or AK for our dates in April. We didn’t do park hoppers since it was our first time but I know that they did switch some around some EMHs ( I believe it was even within 60 days ). So caution that what you plan today will probably need some kind of adjustment as you go.
If it were me trying to maximize my park hours and I could get my family up and going for AM EMHs, this is the schedule I would do (we are 2 hrs behind ET so Rope drop was hard enough let alone EMH, but if you can swing the AM EMHs, this plan looks lucrative to me)
We are not big HOPPERS - personally I don’t think it is worth the extra $$ - but if you have annual passes etc - this may be a moot point. Personally I think there is SO little to do at HS that I may just do one day there and not spend the extra time getting there twice. Since you ARE paying extra for MNSSHP and will have access to MK - I may use the earlier part of that day to do AK or HS and then go to MK once MNSSHP allows you into the MK.
I would save the HOPPER $$
If I only have 4 days. I generally spend a full day at each park. I don’t take mid-day breaks, and I typically don’t want to lose the hour of transit time. If I have more than 4 days, then I frequently hop to do “highlights” of the parks a second time or catch things I couldn’t fit in the first day. In the past, when AK closed early, it was a great time to hop to MK or EP. Likewise, I almost alwys run out of things to do in DHS by mid-afternoon, and rather than trying to keep busy for 4 hours waiting for F! start (which is something I only do every 4th or 5th trip), I would hop to a different park. But with the new PM activities at AK and the SW FW stuff at DHS, I would have little reason to leave those parks.
There are lots of ways that you could do it. Have you already bought and paid for your park hopper? I LOVE park hoppers even for small trips that way I can go to the park I want and if I have extra time then I get to spend it how I want or if I miss something I can go back and do it. I always use the magic hours if I am staying on site because it is a free benefit for me and gives me more time in the park. It would also depend on the ages of your kiddos and what you have as your favorites. If you have never gone to the parks before then you would definitely want to spend at least 1 day in each park, 2 in Epcot and MK if possible!
@brklinck the only problem with that is if they do have the AK show at night available, they would miss it.
@lolabear_la I would change Friday if it were me. They could do MK and then hop to AK, but then they could go to another park if they wanted so they could enjoy the MK Firework or Illuminations. If not they would miss out on one of the fireworks that is not MNSSHP or Illum if they park hop on Monday.
@bswan26 I agree with you that taking mid day breaks would not give you much time. I would let kids nap in the park you are at. However, I don’t mind hopping to a different park depending on the situation. But you could always use hoppers in evening after a park closes to enjoy another park. An easy one would be MK and EP I think it makes it easy when you run out of things to do in one park, to go enjoy time at another instead of sitting and waiting to do something.
It would be nice if there was more info on the ages and if this is a first visit
Ok, thank you so much for all the responses!! I should have included more info.
This is an adult trip, myself, my 2 sons and a friend, and it is her first trip. I have been 5 times. And we are purchasing Military Salute tickets from SOG so there wont be any additional cost for park hoppers. This is the first time we have gone for such a short time. We have a longer trip with the whole family planned for June 2017.
What if I just swap Saturday and Sunday? Go to AK on Saturday and HS on Sunday?? My concern with SW FW is, will they have them every night? In May I noticed they arent on Saturdays. My son is a HUGE SW fan so this will be important! Fireworks at Epcot, not as much priority. We normally dont spend a full day at Epcot which is why I thought on the last day we could ride the monorail back to MK and end our trip there.
Park-hopping to take advantage of EMH, both AM and PM, is my strategy too. Midday breaks are clutch–even without kids! You miss the heat, and you get to have dinner at a resort and then waltz into a park after dark while the footsore and sunburned are trudging the other way.
It is so hard to plan when you don’t know when the FW will be. We are huge fans too and we will be there 5/31-6/6 of this year and STILL don’t have a schedule. Are they gonna have them or not? and which days. So frustrating given that I have already had to pick parks and fastpasses and dinner reservations. It’s not so easy to just change if they are having FW on a different day. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Disney and I even enjoy the planning but if you are going to require that ppl plan so far in advance at least let us know when things are gonna be in time.
I would have a plan A and a plan B for Saturday and for Sunday and make a decision when the 60 day FPP opens. Hoping to have more info then.
Spot on. Ditto. Amen.
Sending pixie dust they make some announcements for you soon! I was going crazy in January when they added FWs for March but said nothing about April, when we went. So I can only imagine how nuts it must be to be nearly three weeks away and still not know!