Need help

So I came down to Orlando to go on a non Disney vacation. We had a day to kill, so my kids wanted to go out to the playground. A few minutes later, they come back. She says they started complaining it was too hot almost immediately. Now, this next trip we are keeping a secret from them. She says maybe we will have to go over Christmas or something, like it could be a present from Santa. Thinking about how ridiculously crowded it is over Christmas, I say Thanksgiving week would be at least a little better. Maybe we can also do another Christmas party.

My wife also just took a new job and doesn’t know how much she can miss to go on vacation. So the first order of business is for her to find that out. (Long story and I don’t want to bore everyone with it).

So if we can go for 10 days, which was my original summer plan, should I pull them out of school before or after the break? I think I would only have to pull them out for 2 days.

Also, how many days for each park, and which days to goto each park? I had 4 MK, and 2 of each of the others.

I now have to start planning all over again, but the good news is looks like we are Disney bound in about a half a year earlier than expected.

Lastly (for now) will Star Wars land be completed by then?

In reverse order:

  1. No one knows when Star Wars will open for sure. All Disney has announced so far is “late fall 2019.” I’ve heard predictions anywhere from early November up to the week before Christmas.
  2. For park days, it is really family specific. How old are your kids? Do they like shows? Thrill rides? Are you interested in visiting a water park? You’ve been before, so what are your favorites?
  3. I would take a gander at the Touring Plans crowd calendar and see what you think for dates. We visited the week after Thanksgiving & crowds were very reasonable. I’ve also heard that the week leading up to the few days before Thanksgiving isn’t too bad. It’s busier this year because it overlaps with Veteran’s Day week, but Thanksgiving is quite late in 2019. Supposedly by Sunday after Thanksgiving most of the crowd has cleared out as well. Sounds like you’ve got other constraints on dates, so I would just choose what works best for your family & be flexible. Although you couldn’t pay me to fly on the Wednesday-Sunday of Thanksgiving week :wink:

Congrats on an earlier trip! Now the fun part begins- the planning!


Our last trip was the first full week before Thanksgiving and the crowds were reasonable. An added benefit is that even if all of the Christmas activities aren’t in full swing, all of the park decorations, and some of the resort decorations will be up.

Some of the “pundits” on other forums are predicting that they are shooting for a Thanksgiving weekend opening for SW Land, with previews starting earlier in Nov, but those are “educated guesses” at best. I’m planning a trip for the 2nd week of December, so I might be there right after it opens or just before; I’m not sure which I would prefer.

If SWL is open when you go, DHS will be a complete nightmare. The above-mentioned “pundits” are predicting phase closures starting by mid morning (every day), and the SB lines for everything will be completely insane.

I really can’t comment on pulling kids out of school as we don’t have any. A lot will depend on what grade they are in and how draconian your school district is regarding absences.

Number of days in each park will also depend on your kids’ ages (if they were in the playground, I’m assuming younger) and what they like or dislike. I’ve never had the luxury of more than 5 park days (which will also be the case for my Dec '19 trip). I plan a full day at each park and then split the 5th between 2 that I want to revisit (historically MK and EP, but with the new additions to AK and DHS, that might change for my next trip). Your 4/2/2/2 plan sounds reasonable.

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I would pull them before if you have to. If your kids’ school is like my kids’ school the last couple of days before a major break are full of time wasting and “parties”

I would not plan to tour every single day. I would, on a 10 day trip, plan 2 break days, on about days 4 and 7, and I would plan 3 days MK, 2 days AK and EP, and 1 day HS.


I have 2 eight year old girls. We went the week before Thanksgiving week in 2016, so we have pulled them out of school before (for that whole week).

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In my original plan, I had a “break day.” Not sure I could do that if we are pulling them out of school. If we go 10 days, we will just have to power through it. Lol.

You’ll all enjoy the trip much more if you don’t power through :wink: Exhaustion can be a real fun sucker!


True. If we do, we will do some light park days.

When we went in 2016, we did 4/1/1/1 and it worked really well. I’m just concerned that with Pandora, TS Land, and potentially SW Land, it might not be enough, especially because we have just gone on a lot of the MK rides.

As @OBNurseNH says exhaustion can be a fun sucker. I would do 2 rest days. You can always change the plan.

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Former principal and current school district administrator here…pull them out before Thanksgiving. They will less new content ( not introduced before a break). I would suggest you also research you school and district attendance policy. Don’t just ask the teacher! I do not think my teachers know that vacations are unexcused absences and that a letter and meeting with admin may be required.


The law was recently clarified in the UK on the subject of taking kids out of school for holidays. Schools can fine parents for doing so.

As a teacher of 26 years standing I have a strong view on this.

Do it.

Quality family time — especially if it involves travel or cultural activity — is vastly more important than a missed trigonometry class. I’ve forgotten almost everything I learned at school. But I’ll never forget the time my parents took me on holiday to the US and Canada. Indeed it was life-changing. I’m sure you can draw a straight line from that vacation to my living in the US just over twenty years later.

Of course you’ll need to check the laws of your own jurisdiction. But any argument against taking kids out of school for a short period for a reason like this is to me a purely legal one, not a moral one.


Well, my daughters are 8 and will be 9 at the proposed time of travel. If they are missing a trig class, they are quite the overachievers and I wouldn’t worry at all about it. Ha!

In all seriousness, I wouldn’t mind doing it, if for nothing else to get the most out of a vacation as expensive as this one. The last one was a once in a lifetime, spare no reasonable expense, but this next one won’t be. That’s why we won’t use park hopper or the dining plan. We will also stay offsite for a majority of the time, though we may stay 2 or 3 nights on site.


I cannot even fathom crowds if SW opens the week of Christmas! No amount of planning on the parts of visitors or Disney could make that turn out well. :scream:

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We were having dinner at Ohana this month and struck up a conversation with the family next to us. They were from the UK and the woman was telling us about them having to pay something like ÂŁ7 per day for each of their children for missing a day of school. It was an interesting conversation and my wife and I had an interesting conversation about how that might go over in a US school system. (For background - I had a 19 year career teaching in the US public schools and my wife is currently a teacher and has taught for about 8 years of her career, interspersed with private employment).


Interesting - although it is still considered an unexcused absence if parents take their kids out of school. Depending on how much time they are out in a year a parent can be fined and there are states where parents can be put in jail for a child not being in school. That is at the high school level typically, but the schools around here at least have a very different attitude about it than they used to.

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Neither can I. They talked about it on an episode of the Disney Dish. It sounds like an absolute nightmare to me!

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Same here in Georgia. Although the school system won’t start anything related to truancy until a child has amassed 10 unexcused absences within the school year. And even then… I suspect that if an investigation was launched and uncovers a family vacation, I can’t imagine any branch of a political organization that would make a deal out of that.

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9 days are 5% of the school year but the state starts tracking at 10 days. It is a state law here and it can be reported to the court as a form of neglect.


I have taken my kids out of school for 10 day trips (missing 8 days of school) at that age. (Oct & Nov, not over holidays). Every state/school is different regarding absences. Our school has to maintain a specific daily attendance rate, our district doesn’t ever have an issue with this, so taking extended vacations is never an issue. There have even been times on those long trips that teachers didn’t give my kids any homework to take along or to make up when we got back.

My daughter will be starting middle school this year (with 6 shorter marking periods, so days missed will have a bigger impact) so for the foreseeable future we will be summer visitors. We did June last year and it was much more bearable than I was imagining.

SW land is opening late fall 2019, I can’t imagine the insanity! We were there last June a month after Pandora opened and that will just be a drop in the bucket compared to what’s coming. And we will be there this August to check out how Toy Story Land is going.

We have done 10 day trips without a designated break day, but we took swim breaks every day and we had hoppers. We also didn’t do late nights, my youngest he has an “off” switch and it was not worth being up late and pushing him.

I would start with 2/2/2/2 For us, my kids favorite park is AK, so I wouldp probably add a 3rd day there and 3rd at MK. But others have different priorities. That’s where the hoppers come in handy, we actually get to all parks several times, but I did see you weren’t going to go for the hoppers this trip.

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At our school district, the kids can get 5 excused days for an educational trip, ie family vacation. We have used this twice in the past 2 years and plan to use it 2 years from now. We just have to avoid days that are marked for state testing.

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