Park Reservation Strategy

I don’t know if this topic falls under other topics so I apologize if this is repeat.

Do you have a strategy for picking your parks? My strategy for our last triowas to pick park in order of easiest to hardest FP to get and made ADR’s accordingly. Now, no FP’s and we only have two TS’s that we hopefully will be able go to, but who knows.

I think I’ll use the same strategy for my reservations, keep my same plan. Thoughts?

Which days people go to which park is no longer a function of park hours, EMH, paid events and parties, etc. Which means it is really just about which parks you want that would be most in demand. As such, I plan to prioritize booking my MK and HS days before anything else, focusing on which days I would be most disappointed not to have those parks.

For example, we have one night in The Contemporary. So, not booking MK those two days would be super annoying. As such, it is our top priority to book.


Also, don’t forget to look at touring plans crowd tracker To get a sense of which park will be busiest and maybe more in demand. It may make a difference!

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I wonder how much weekends should factor into the decision. This is a chance weekends will be much more crowded. Without thngs like fast passes and extra magic hours I want to pick my park around anticipated wait times.

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I think the weekends will be more crowded as well… but what does that mean in terms of strategy? We have 7 days at Pop and FQ in August and (if we don’t cancel, which is a distinct possibility right now) if they move us, I have no idea where we’ll end up. I really don’t know how to choose other than not doing two days in a row at the same park and not following Epcot with AK (so we don’t have a late night followed by early morning)… I do know that I am NOT waking up early for this… I’ll take my chances when I get around to logging in.


This new situation requires some thought. The kicker is:

  1. Is your trip in the next few months or
  2. Late this year/next year.

Normally, you would choose the most popular parks (MK, HS) on less crowded days (mid week). For those planning trips soon, this will not be as important because Disney will not allow any park to be crowded, even on weekends. Either way, when your time arrives to select your parks, like @ryan1 said: book the popular or your favorite park first. (Possible: you snooze, you lose scenario). Of course, if you are set on the two ADR’s for those specific days, you want to align those together.

What is more unknown is reserving park days months away and not knowing where WDW will be with capacity. I think the crowd calender is more important down the road, when more guests will be allowed in.

If the park reservation availability calendar gets filled up, weekends should not be any more crowded than week days.

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The only strategy I’ve come up with so far is booking order based on park hours so we aren’t doing late nights + early mornings. Thinking of doing EP, HS, MK, AK in that order.

Another question for booking strategy…do I book my APRs for my 4 kids first (PHs) or myself (AP). :woman_shrugging:t2:


We have eight days total. I’m hoping for this order: EP (afternoon arrival), HS, MK, AK, HS, AK then 8pm ADR at T-Rex for Dino enthused DS, EP and then last day at MK.

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That’s what I’ve had in mind also. My kids can never settle down the first night so a late first morning is ideal! I think given the option I’ll book the rest of the crew first and then my AP since they are the larger party size.

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This is my plan as well, great minds must think alike! First day would be evening only as we are at UOR during the morning/afternoon, and Epcot is open the latest. Then followed by HS, MK, and AK with the way too early 8am open. Then repeat for the next 4 days.


So does that mean you are going in July?

Maybe. I am not sure DL will actually open, they have yet to be approved (the hotels and DTD are approved). If DL can’t open, we will probably go to FL. I am going to book our park days tomorrow as if we are going.


I have 8 days:
Arrival date - Epcot (HS backup)
2: AK
3: HS or epcot
4. MK
5. Rest or hs/epcot
6: MK
7 Epcot/HS
8 MK
9- leaving- no park day scheduled

AK is neither mine nor my daughters favorite park and she’s not big enough to go on FOP or EE. so we’re only scheduling 1 day there
3 days a MK should be sufficient
1-2 days at the other parks is fine.

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Will I be able to split my group one day: 4 in EPCOT, 3 in HS?

I am thinking that it will be like scheduling FP and I can split the group. The guys will want more HS time, and just not much there for me and DGD4 and DGD2.

My plan: Epcot, HS, MK, AK, EPCOT, HS, MK, Ep/HS, MK.


That’s what I’ve been leaning towards also.

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I wonder about this. I don’t see why the hotels or Downtown Disney would have needed to be approved by the state for opening since hotels in California have been open this whole time and stores have been opening in Orange County. So guidelines from the state already existed and precedent was there for both the hotels and DD. But the state is maybe actually doing some review of the Disneyland opening plan. I’m hoping that’s what it is and not a precursor to denying their plan.

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So if you have park-hopper tickets would those automatically be changed to basic tickets starting tomorrow? I have two-day park hopper tickets (with Disney hotel reserved) which I’ve been wanting to modify to a three-day base tickets and I’m wondering how this is going to work tomorrow. Should I reserve my parks for 2 days and deal with modifying my tickets for 3 days after?

Some well thought out plans! We are staying at an EP resort, so we want to go to EP first. However, I’m trying to plan out days for 2021, 10 months away. It seems much crazier than 6 months ADR’s. However I planned out my trip prior to booking my hotel, so we could stay at a hotel closest to which places we wanted to go the most.

@ryan1 - Yes, you definitely need to snag those MK days on which you are staying at CR! I really hope you get them!

@quicha - I was going to try to nail down our plan by watching this year’s April crowds to determine what they may be like the same week we are going next year, but alas, that didn’t quite work out. I think the crowd calendars may be a huge guess right now. Hard to tell what things will be like in 10 months. I would think MK and HS will be high demand so I will book HS first, then MK, EP and AK. Although I won’t mind switching my MK and EP days, could probably mix AK into that also. I will need to book my HS days first.

@JR3579 With the AP’s only being able to book two days at a time, I wonder if it will make a difference. Weekends are definitely usually busier but it’s not usual right now. We don’t have any park days planned for the weekend though. :slight_smile:

@MagaPatalogica - Another thing to think about is if they switch your resorts how will that impact your transportation strategy, i.e. from Pop you would take the Skyliner to EP and HS, but if they switch you to another resort, you may have to take monorail or bus which may take longer/shorter. My day is Wednesday, and I’m not waking up early either.

@bebe80 - My trip is next year! I’m really hoping there is a modification for park reservations because I can see some plans changing as things progress.

@DeepInTheHeartofTexas - Sounds like good plan! I have no idea what the park hours will be in 2021 though! Although I know that HS doesn’t stay open too late and we have a resort or waterpark day the day after MK hopefully. We are staying at a EP resort so if we stay until close, we still won’t be back too late, so doable to do an earlyish park day the following day.

@eightyeightkeys - When is your trip? Eight days sounds magical!

@threeprincessesfourprinces - Good luck with getting your group and your AP reservations aligned.

@Wahoohokie - Either DW or DL, fingers crossed for Disney magic!

@Jsanta26 - I’m seeing a lot of starting at EP (I am also) My family doesn’t love AK, except for FOP, Everest, and Dinosaur. Definitely a one day park for them, but I could do two days there!

@illini74 - - Keep us posted if you can split the parks within your group, that will be good info to know.

@Ana_Nelson - I don’t know the answer to your question. Take a look around this may have been asked and answered in another thread, or if somebody knows the answer, hopefully they will chime in!


Monday I am attempting to reserve parks for December. Then I will be adding tickets to a room only reservation for next April. Fortunately, the CM set it up as a package so it would be easier to add tickets. Not sure how I am going to set up the 9 days for April.
So much could change by December and certainly by April.

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I know, we are going in April also. I will plan as much as I can now for April, but I am sure things will change a lot before then! Really hoping they have a modify feature, at some point!

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