Prioritize Extended Hours or Lower Crowds - Revisited

Each time I think I get our itinerary figured out, Disney throws us for a loop!
This is our first family trip, so thank you for all the tips I have already learned from all of you! Our party consists of me, DH, DS10, DS8, DS5, FIL, MIL

We will be visiting 8/13-8/20 with 5-day tickets, staying at Poly. Here is my original plan:
Saturday: Late arrival, kids staying at AKL with in-laws
Sunday: AK - we will probably sleep in this day as we adjust from PST
Monday: Epcot - extended evening hours
Tuesday: Rest Day
Wednesday: MK - extended evening hours
Thursday - Rest Day
Friday - HS
Saturday - MK in the morning, Fly out at 7 pm.

However, now we know that in addition to MNSSHP on Tuesday and Friday, MK will be closing at 7 pm on Thursday. I feel like that is going to draw even more people to MK on Wednesday than normal.
Our new plan would be:
Sunday: AK
Monday: Epcot - extended evening hours
Tuesday: Rest Day
Wednesday: HS
Thursday - MK - closes at 7
Friday - Rest Day
Saturday - MK in the morning, Fly out at 7 pm.

We would sacrifice fireworks at MK, but we can watch them from Poly Beach. We also sacrifice the Extended Evening Hours. I also don’t love saving our second rest day for Friday.
We could potentially do MK on Sunday and AK on Wednesday, but we were planning on having a slow morning, and with the kids and in laws staying at AKL Saturday night it just seemed fitting to start with AK.
We will be doing Genie+, but not planning on buying ILL.
Should we just deal with the crowds on Wednesday and keep our original plan? Or modify for lower crowds??

edit: I actually just realized I could keep our original itinerary and switch our MK and HS days, so that would at least keep our rest days on Tuesday and Thursday.

I like your original plan, and I would probably stick with it if it were me.

That said, Sunday is not a bad day to do MK.

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The extended hours at MK are sooooo valueable IF you are going to use them that I would not skip MK on Wednesday if you don’t have hoppers. Seriously most everything is walkon or 20 minute wait for headliners like PPF and 7D.

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I vote for keep your plan the way you originally had it. You have multiple reasons for planning your days the way you have and they’re valid.

Fast backward to spring 2019 when I was blissfully planning a big 15th birthday bash including lots of relatives (18) of the birthday kid. The trip was to be the first week of September when crowds were to be low, and other kinds of good things. All was going well until Disney announced the opening of Star Wars Land, and other changes of other previously good things. I was wrecked for nearly a month until I realized that nothing really had changed. It was still Disney World, we still had most of the family going. We could still make great memories.
Even the hurricane didn’t matter much. We went and we had a great time.

Y’all can, too. :blush:

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We used the MK extended evening hours on at level 10 crowd day and it was still awesome, like another posted said, all walk on and about 20min for PPF and 7DMT. I would keep the original plan.


I went to HS with an Amy Geiger. How weird would that be if it was you??

It’s my married name- so wasn’t me!


Thank you all for your input!! We will keep our schedule as is and I will try to stop second guessing myself!


Now that you have decided to keep your original schedule … let me throw one of thing your way in case you haven’t taken it into account. Historically, Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursday are the least busy days on average. If it were me, I would not want to use 2 of those 3 days for rest days.


That’s an interesting thought. I don’t think I even considered that when we first booked our trip, and I wonder if we would have picked different travel days if we had thought about it. We really wanted to avoid two full park days in a row, so with extended evening hours on Mondays and Wednesdays I feel like our schedule built itself. I don’t think we even knew about EEH or MNSSHP when we started planning our trip in April 2021.
Would you do three park days in a row Tues, Wed, Thurs to take advantage of the low crowds?

That has been true in the past. But this has not been true for 2022. Saturdays have by far been the least busiest. Mondays have been the busiest, followed by Tuesdays as 2nd busiest. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday, have all been similar in terms of busyness.

@Justinajade your schedule looks great, especially since you’re avoiding MK & HS on Monday.


Here’s last year’s analysis-

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TP needs to do an updated blog like that. Here is the wait time data since March 1, 2022 from thrilldata: (keep in mind that although the colors jump out at you, some of the wait time differences are minor)


Wow. Didn’t realize the pattern of longer waits on Mon-Tues lately. Wonder if that’s more to do with staffing than attendance.

The past two weekends’ APRs for APs have had AK and EC as bonus days; they don’t count against the total you are allowed to hold. Just some other info to consider…

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Are you set on doing so many rest days (like do you only have a 5 day ticket?). Staying at the poly you could do most of the day on Wednesday a rest day and then go to MK in the evening only. Otherwise I agree with your strategy of going to MK on party days (has worked well for me in the past!).

Yes, we only have the 5-day ticket and don’t plan to upgrade to PH or add a day. We were originally only going to do a 4-day ticket, but added the 5th with the intention of adding a half day somewhere - currently on our final Saturday. This is where it would be nice to not have to make reservations and choose when to do that extra half day based on how we’re feeling!

Yes … I suppose I put more weight on what has happened historically than over the past few months, but I can see why others would base their planning on the 2022 data. Hard to know which way it will play out over the rest of 2022.

For fall planning for my own trip, I am assuming it will be back to Saurdays being the busiest days and mid week being the least busy.

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Its definitely something to keep an eye on. Check thrill data every so often.

The use of APRs has made historical day of week data obsolete. APRs mostly flattens things out, which is likely why the difference between average wait times on the best day versus the worst day is almost statistically insignificant. Maybe 5 minutes average per ride…so, really only matters at MK due to the multiplying number of rides. (5 extra minutes across 17 rides adds up to a total of 85 extra minutes total in line). For the other parks, the number of rides makes that 5 extra minutes less important. And if you have a good touring plan, you might not experience that average wait time increase at all.

ETA:. Also worth noting that the increasingly small number of APs sold further impacts day of week. APs would be more likely to drop in on a weekend or evening in the past, skewing weekend numbers higher. But now, even without considering APRs, there are fewer and fewer APs to “pop in”.

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