Need help in choosing the park

Everyone is different… We live in California so I understand the challenges of the time zone change when going to WDW. And then, some of us are not morning people. But you really can get more done in the first 90 minutes by RDing than you can probably do the remainder of the day. Rest when you get in to Florida, and go to bed on EDT and not PDT that first night. Last month, we RDed 2 days out of 7. We have a 19 and 21 year old to roll out of bed. Actually, we gave them the choice to RD with us or not. And if you can, alternative between late nights out and RDing. We couldn’t RD the next day if we stayed for fireworks the night before. And neither did we park hop. This was our second trip to WDW. It can take time to get around, especially by bus. WDW is not Disneyland. You cannot walk from one park to another. WDW is very spread out.

We had a 7 day pass, 2 days in each park except AK. We like AK more than HS but with the HS uncertainties, we went to HS for 2 days. The only day we wished we had a park hopper was our last day. We went to HS and wished we could go to AK for the afternoon and evening. :neutral_face:

Even with a good TP, you need to manage expectations if you are not RDing on high CL days.

You really should read up about what there is to do in each park and project what your family may want to do. Then, you can better decide how many days in each park works for your family. My kids were 12 and 14 on our first trip to WDW. They loved Epcot. We actually spent a lot of time in the World Showcase. Last month, all of felt like we could have used another 1/2 day in Epcot. Of course, we were there during the Festival of the Holidays. There was so much more to do, see, and eat!

Then, also consider your family’s touring style at Disney. We, for the most part, have commando style touring. We like to open and close the park. Nobody could do that during our December trip! We are all older. :grimacing: We also love to ride our favorite rides, particularly headliners, over and over with RDing and Fast Passes. It was hard to do at WDW.

This can be a slippery path! There are many things you can pay extras for to make your experience better. You need to determine what type of experience you want.

I do consider the projected CLs, park hours, and EMHs when picking my park days. And then I work ADRs around them. But at 180 days out, they are just projections. Even at 60 days, the CLs may not be refined that much. They were refining CLs up to 2 weeks before my trip. Of course, RoTR opened a couple of weeks before our trip. That didn’t help. Nevertheless, CLs are projections. Our first HS day was projected to be CL 5. It was actually CL 1!. Our second HS day, CL was projected to be CL 10 and it was CL10!

Finally, going to KSC takes time. It is more than 2 hours in travel time round trip. It also takes time to get around on the bus on KSC property unless you are just doing the stuff in front. My family enjoys KSC. We went in 2012 and also last month. Both times, we were there only one day. But we felt one day wasn’t enough time last month because of the new Atlantis exhibit. Are you keeping a car the entire time you are in WDW? The resorts charge for parking. If you don’t keep a car the entire time and need to go rent a car, that takes time.

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Yes, I will be renting a car. Say if I go the park at RD and come back around noon, how long does it take to reach the hotel and go back? My kids are 10 and 5. I will be using a stroller for the 5 year old. Is there a way to help 10 year old getting tired by stroller or some other means?

Depends on which park you are at and which hotel you are at. Again, it takes time to get around once you decide to leave.

At MK, you have to take the ferry or monorail back to the Ticket and Transportation Center and then probably take the tram back to your car, depending on where you are park. (Take a picture of your parking space number and the name of the lot you are parked in!) From the time you get to monorail/ferry to your car, it can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes, depending on the lines. At MK, the resort bus might be better. At the other parks, I’m guessing it might take 15-20 minutes to get to your car, once you get to the parking lot and depending where you are parked. In general, the rule of thumb is to allot 60 minutes to get anywhere on WDW property.

Depending on how big the 10 year old is, he might be able to sit in the stroller here and there!

We all get tired in the Florida heat and humidity. Schedule regular sit down breaks in air conditioned places and hydrate!

And I wouldn’t recommend going to the park everyday. A day off from walking and standing that much would be a great relief! Last month, we were walking between 25,000-30,000 steps each day in the park, according to our iPhone’s health app.

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Thanks. Is it advisable to use car or take shuttle from the resort?

If you are not staying at a monorail resort, then I would take the bus to MK.

The other parks, if you RDed, then driving or taking the bus would depend when the bus was coming when I leave the resort!

There are lots of people sharing their experiences and helping out here. And I wouldn’t have been able to have such a great trip last month without them. So peruse and ask lots of questions.

I wrote a couple of posts based on your questions and information here that you might find helpful:

Florida Visitor Toll Pass


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I don’t think Swan is a Monorail resort. Take bus to MK and ferry to Epcot and HS?

Swan is not a monorail resort. But you can actually walk or ferry to Epcot’s International Gate entrance and HS. There is no need to drive. That would help cut down on travel time. I would ferry, if you want to reduce the number of steps but that would depend on other factors when needing to get back and forth between the park and resort. The Swan and Dolphin hotels are the furthest from the park entrances at the Epcot Area Resorts.

And since you are at Swan, I would really reconsider needing a car for your entire stay.

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Sorry if this is naive. Can I enter via International Gate Entrance or should I go by the regular entrance?

Not at all. That’s what we are here for.

One of the reasons people stay at the Epcot Area Resort is the convenience to get to Epcot through the International Gateway and HS by walking. The International Gateway puts you between the UK and France Pavilion. You just do your TPs based on that.

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How should I commute to AK and MK?

I would go to MK by bus. If I had a car, going to AK by bus or car would depend on when the bus is arriving.

We really like the convenience (5 minutes from confirming for most rides to getting into Lyft and 10-15 minutes to anywhere at WDW) of Lyft last month but you need a car seat for your 5 year old.

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Does Bus/Lyft drop at the park entrance which means less walk?

Bus and Lyft drop off are at the front of the parks. BUT Lyft for MK is at the T&T Center. We took Lyft to the Contemporary Resort and walked to MK.

which contemporary resort?

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@vishnupriya.sureshbabu I highly recommend you considering picking up a copy of the 2020 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World by Bob Sehlinger & Len Telsa. Planning your first trip can sometimes feel overwhelming. This book breaks it down for first timers and pros alike.

I bought the 2020 Disneyland version this year for my first time to the West Coast. I can’t recommend it enough!!


I need to book my stay for couple of days. Planning for Epcot and MK. Which hotel would you recommend?

Resorts are such a personal decision. Did you look into how much the Epcot Area and MK Area resorts cost? That may help you plan better.

If you are staying at the Swan, why aren’t you going to Epcot on those days?