Hi, all, so this is my first post. I have about a million questions, but I'll start with an intro and the main ones. I'm Melissa, and I'm going to WDW 3/25-4/1 with my DH, DS (13) and DD (11). My parents (68 and 70) are also joining us in their own room. DH and I have been to WDW before (last time in 2000), but SOOOO much has changed that I might as well be a total newbie. I started planning this trip in October, (I knew we were going to go back in August, but panic set in when I looked at what all goes into this trip, so I did NOTHING to get ready. lol) In October, I just picked a resort. We are staying at POR in a pool-view room. And we have 7-day PH passes. In December, my Disney planner friend prodded me into committing to ADRs, which seems to crazy to me, but we did it! We've booked flights, too. So overall, I feel that I've made good progress. It's the touring plans that get me. I have read the entire UG...parts of it twice, but I'm still a bit discombobulated when it comes to planning out our touring plans.
One issue is that we built this trip around my son's band trip. He will leave us and go be with his band starting on Wednesday, the 29th. So I have 4 days with us all together, and then 2.5 days with just our daughter. He will come back with us around lunch time on Friday the 31st. My plan is to hit each of the 4 parks while he's with us. That way we can have lots of family experiences, and he won't miss out on much while he's gone. I will also focus on the more "princess" stuff when he's gone, because even though she'll be 11, the DD does still love a good Disney movie and princesses!
My tentative plan is to hit all 4 parks on Sat-Tues, and then use Wed/Thurs to focus on DD attractions/the resort amenities/DS, etc. On Friday, we'll meet back up and end our trip in the MK. No dining plan for us, because the 11 year old eats like a BIRD and DS will be eating with the band for 2.5 days. Dining-wse, e have reservations at BOG for lunch HDDMR on at 6:15 on Sunday the 26th, Coral Reef at 5:00 on Monday the 27th, 50sPTC for lunch on the 28th, among a couple others that are more "fluid" while DS is gone. The kids care NOTHING about a character meal, so I'll just take DD to meet and greet the couple of ones she's interested in on Wed/Thurs.
All that rambling to ask this......our flight lands at MCO at 10:55 Saturday, and we are using the Magical Express to get to our resort. Is it reasonable to plan to get to AK by 2:00? We scheduled it for the first day, because of the dates of the ADRs in other places we were able to get (and also on the crowd calendar). Also, I thought that AK's earlier hours would make for an easier evening after a long travel day. My concern is how long i should allow between flight landing and entry to AK. I've read that we should allow 2 hours for MDE. How long does it take generally to get from POR to AK? And, somewhere in this time we'll need to eat something! Our flight leaves at 7, so we will need some sort of lunch. Hoping to get supper at Flame Tree BBQ, because I've heard such great things. Also, AK hours are posted now as till 7, but is there a chance that they'll go up to 8? I LOVE AK, and I don't think that DS will be going there with his band, so I really want to get to do most of the highlights our first day. Am I crazy to think we can? When I build a touring plan, it looks crammed, and it doesn't give me an FP recommendations. Not sure what that's about? I'm hoping that the park will stay open till 8, because I'm afraid that 5 hours won't be enough.
If you've read this far, congratulations on the accomplishment, and THANK YOU! I'm open for thoughts and guidance here. I love to plan trips, but I've never planned anything as "structured" as a WDW vacation needs to be!