Newbie - advice on AK

Hi everyone,

I’m new to the forum and the whole concept of touring plans and am trying to get my head around it all. It’s more planning than I’ve ever done in my life! haha.

I’m visiting WDW for the first time in October. On the first day AK has crowd level 4 which is the best it is my whole holiday. It also has EMH that day too. From what I’ve read I’ve to avoid the EMH days unless I’m a Disney resort guest (which I’m not) but it’s the quietest day for me. Do the two cancel each other out? Or should I avoid AK that day?

Also, I am planning on doing AK over a day and a half. Once starting in the morning and the second day starting in the afternoon until closing. I’ve got two boys with me (aged 9 & 10). Anything I should know about how to plan this split? Is it best to try and do all the rides one day and the scenic stuff and safari’s etc the next or does it not matter? My kids want to do the Winderness Explorers scavenger hunt. Not quite sure how to factor it all in.

Any advice would be great. Thank you

I wouldn’t shy away from the park just because of the EMH, but, I would be very aware that you’re likely to see nothing for Fastpasses for Flights of Passage, and that Pandora will be FULL of people by the time you arrive.

If those don’t scare you off, you are likely to have a fantastic day exploring the rest of AK. If you’re interested in Pandora, expect that the best opportunity to visit will be late in the day, and while the line for Na’vi River Journey may be reasonable, by WDW standards, at that time, Flights of Passage will still probably have a 90-minute+ wait.

Again, I wouldn’t let the EMH scare you off, as long as you go in with reasonable expectations.

Besides TP, I’m also subscribed to another service called Ridemax. Their planning tools don’t have as many bells and whistles but they do offer more insight than TP when it comes to EMH. In summary, with the increases in ticket prices, Park Hoppers have been in decline (in relative terms) in recent years causing less people to switch parks. This has the unwanted effect that EMH will produce increased levels of crowds throughout the day and you should avoid it. Even people staying offsite would be better off starting their day in an EMH park and then switch to a different park to avoid the increased crowds.

Another reason you should avoid a EMH park is that most benefits come from rope dropping and that is erased completely when you arrive after EMH. Many people even claim that a good rope drop trumps a good plan and for good reason. I like to call it the “golden hour” when you can hit a few headliners before proceeding to using your FP and visit smaller attractions.

Don’t get too hang up on AK being the lowest CL. Even TP advises that a one CL difference is negligible to having a good plan and that includes being able to rope drop.

I’ll close with an anecdote. Last year I visited Disneyland in what was supposed to be a CL 1 (yes, one, the lowest). Well, we ended up leaving early because the crowds were elbow to elbow and we could barely navigate our stroller.

No plan survives contact with the enemy. Crowd Level means nothing. Stay away from EMH park.

Lastly, according to the latest poll, you should know that 90% of TP members stay on-site so the advice you may hear will be biased.

I agree, try not to get too hung up on crowd levels, which are just predictions and may not turn out to be accurate anyway.

If a park has morning EMH, every onsite guest in the park will have one hour’s head start. By the time you get in, the lines will have been building over the course of the last hour. Even if the park is less busy, you are likely to see longer lines than in a slightly busier park where you can gain access at the same time as everyone else. I would move my AK day to a day with no EMH. :slight_smile:

Yes, ignore the crowd level since you are staying offsite. Even if you RD it, your RD is still an hour behind the EMH guest RD, and before you set foot inside the park, there will already be a 3 hour wait for FoP.

Besides, even if you pick an AK day that’s a CL6 or 7, you won’t notice any difference as long as you use a touring plan.

Thanks guys. I’ve abandoned that planned day. Avoiding EMH it is then :slight_smile: