Plans 1/4-1/8

Hi, this is our first trip to disney with the family. 2 adults, 2 kids (7 and 10yo). I am trying to decide which parks to visit on which days. This is my current plan:
1/4 - HS half day after checkin
1/5 - Epcot
1/6 - MK + MK after hours
1/7 - HS
1/8- AK

I am trying to decide if one day at MK with the MK after hours in the evening is enough. My boys are huge starwars fans, so I was doing 1.5 days at HS. We probably won’t do early mornings or rope drops any of the days, especially the day we are doing MK after hours. MK has evening extra magic hours on 1/8, so I could potentially swap AK and MK days and do AK on 1/6 and travel over to MK for the after hours. I wasn’t sure how hard it would be to transfer between parks, and didnt want to have to leave AK to early. Sorry kind of long. Will appreciate any suggestions.

I think your plan looks good but hopefully some of the real veterans will weigh in here. A couple of thoughts:

I know you don’t want to do early mornings but it looks like your first few days are 9/10 or 10/10 days. You might be better off thinking about early mornings with a midday break. The crowds can be pretty frustrating. I wouldn’t want that to ruin the magic of your first trip. Be prepared for HS on 1/4 to be pretty crazy but the time you get there.

I agree, definitely don’t try to do Rope Drop all the way through After Hours on your MK day. I did it with two teens in February and we were exhausted. However, you might consider doing RD then taking a mid afternoon rest and returning to MK in the evening. That gives you the advantage of the low crowds in the morning. Epcot closes at 9:00 on 1/5 so you won’t be out too late the night before.

I would not switch park days and make the DAH on 1/6 your first time in MK because your first look should be during the day. There is something magical about seeing that castle at the end of Main St.

Do you have Park Hoppers? Because, if you feel you need more MK time, you could do as you suggested and hop over to MK in the evening on 1/8. If you start on the early side AK can be a 1/2 day park. There are busses between parks but we usually Uber if we hop.

Have a magical first trip!!

I really appreciate your reply! The high crowd levels the first couple days is definitely a concern. I might reconsider not going into the park the first half day. I had thought we would just use our 3 fastpasses and wander around that first afternoon, but if the crowds are overwhelming maybe we should just wait. We could do Hoop de doo the first night instead since we are staying at Fort Wilderness.

You are going at a very busy time. If you want to maximize the number of attractions you experience, I would highly recommend rope drop for every day other than the day after your After Hours night. But, as long as your eyes are open to the fact that you be in the parks with the highest crowds of an already high crowd level time of year, then there is nothing wrong with skipping rope drop.

What are you hoping to experience on your 1/4 half day at HS?

If you want to maximize your time in the parks, I would do MK + DAH on the same day. It takes almost an hour to go between the parks if you are using Disney buses.

Overall, your itinerary looks fine. The best advice I can give anyone going to WDW for their first time is - There’s no way to “do it all” your first time. WDW is the size of a city and offers so many attractions / activities. Your travel dates are above average CL times, so talk to your family and prioritize what rides / show / character meetings are the most important in advance.

I understand your position. You’re on vacation and, probably, want to go at your own pace. However, understand, that by coming into the parks “late” you will be sacrificing so many options. You can do so many rides just in EMH and RD times. Once the parks have been up for 90 minutes - 2 hours everything has a queue 2 - 3 times longer than if you came in early.