Questions about itinerary with 3 kids under 4 and dining?

Hi, I just needed input for my Disney vacation in April. We will be staying at the Port Orleans Riverside for 6 nights. I made my dining reservations months ago, but now I feel like I didn’t plan them well. Also I need to know what my two 4 year old twins and one 3 year old can handle, and we’re traveling with my 65 year old in-laws too. specifically, if Ohana is too much of a hike to get to for dinner and when would be be the best day to go see fireworks at MK? And Hollywood Studios or AK? I don’t think we can do both. These are reservations I had so far:

Day 1 (arrival) - downtown Disney, dinner at Raglan Road
Day 2 - MK in the morning, Chef Mickey’s brunch, go back to hotel for nap, back to MK in evening for fireworks
Day 3 - hang out at pools, dinner at Biergarten in Epcot
Day 4 - ??? And dinner at Le Cellier
Day 5 - MK in morning, Be My Guest lunch and dinner back at resort
Day 6 (last day before leaving) - relax at pools, dinner at Ohana

Can I re-arrange this better? Should I do Hollywood Studios or AK? Should I scrap Ohana as I realized that might take awhile to get to? Realistically, is it too much with 3 kids to go back to MK to see the fireworks that evening? I’ve never been to Disney, so I don’t know how long it takes to get to from Riverside. I’d aporeciate any advice, thanks!

When we started going to Disney we had a 5year old and 3 year old twins it’s a while back (all teenagers now, but my advice would be as follows

  1. I think going back for the fireworks on the same day as you visit MK is absolutely correct and is exactly what we used to do. Just need to make sure they nap
  2. following that I agree you should hang out at pools. You can the do a late start at Epcot with a meal at BG. BG is great for young kids as they can move about in front of the stage.
  3. I would definitely do AK over DHS - lots of thinks to do at AK and list of space to move around and interact with animals. Also, great memo and lion King show. I would only consider DHS if they are huge fans of the Disney kids channel (for show at DHS) or beauty and the beast.
  4. I am not convinced that a signature restaurant is a good idea with children that young - while they will be welcomed and made to feel special I always felt that I was paying a lot of money for food but couldn’t really enjoy it while we needed to look after our children. Also, they may be tired after day at AK and find it difficult to sit still. I would look at doing a restaurant that is little more relaxing that evening
  5. I think ohanas should be fine. You can do the journey so it takes in the monorail to make the journey more appealing for your girls.
  6. I think it is great that you have pool time built in - being on the go all day with children that young is impossible.

Hope this helps - whatever you decide I am sure you will have a great time.

1 Like

Port Orleans is probably the most centralized resort in all of WDW. We’ve stayed at POFQ and we could get to all of the parks within about 10 minutes by Disney bus. POR may be a little different as it’s a larger resort, but I think you’ll have a good handle on the average transit time by the your Ohana ADR rolls around.

On Day 1, maybe take the boat to Disney Springs. It’s a real treat and unique perk to staying at the resorts on the Sassagoula.

I think your itinerary looks great and relaxed. The only thing I would change would be Le Cellier if you are doing HS or AK that day. I would just eat at the park that you choose. There are good choices at both parks. You do lose a lot of time in travelling.

On the last day - Ohana would be a fun ending. You should have the hang of WDW by the end of the week so you could even change that day’s plan on the fly if you missed something and want to redo a park. It doesn’t look like you will be park hopping if you change Le Cellier so you might want to remove PH from your tickets and just add an extra day.

If you do AK that day (that’s what I would do) I would also eat at Tuskers House in the park. Great place and an opportunity for another character meal. Also don’t be afraid to hop over to AK Lodge and explore the resort or have a late lunch at Sanaa or early dinner at Boma also a great option. Just have to make sure you can hop back over to the park to catch a bus back to POR.

I agree 100% with what @Markgrowlands said above. It looks like a very reasonable schedule. I would actually plan a half day at EP if you are going there for dinner. I think the kids would enjoy the Seas and Imagination (and maybe SE) in FW, as well as the boat ride in Mexico. They might also enjoy the Circle-Vision movie at Canada. I’m assuming that you will stay after dinner at EP to see IllumiNations, and the seniors will probably really enjoy spending a bit of time looking around WS.

On your ??? day I would definitely choose AK over DHS and plan a meal at either TH (the kids would LOVE the characters, and it has some of the best buffet food in any park) or consider going over to AKL for a meal at either Boma (huge buffet) or Sanaa (traditional TS, with an Indian influenced menu). If you go to Sanaa at lunch, you can see animals through the windows. Boma is in Jambo House which to me is the most beautiful interior in WDW (which I think the seniors would appreciate) and the buffet has so many items on it, it would be easy for everyone to find something they might like.

I’m not sure if Le Cellier would be the best choice for the kids. Even as an adult, I don’t know if I would travel from AK to EP just to eat dinner, and although you know your kids better than I do, I’m not sure if a 60-120 sit down dinner would be their idea of “fun”. If you want a signature dining experience, FF or the Boathouse might be better choices as they are visually more interesting and have “easy access” to either the BW or DS in case of a total melt-down.

I’ve never been to Ohana, so I can’t comment directly. To get there using only Disney transportation, a bus to the MK and the mono to the Poly would probably be your best bet - although springing for a cab would certainly be “easier”.

In general, with small kids, you want to do earlier mealtimes at locations near the park you are in and avoid buffets.

Earlier mealtimes because you never know what the day will bring and kids are, by and large, going to hit a wall. Better to get them fed before that happens than during or after.

Locations near the park because of what I said above. Get in, get out. Don’t waste precious daylight walking or driving around to get to dinner where you may or may not encounter a wait, even with ADRs.

Avoid buffets because you want to enjoy this meal too. Having multiple young kids means parents have to make multiple trips to the buffet line to load up the kids’ plates before loading up their own. Then you find yourself helping them eat and etc. etc. Much easier to have the food brought to you.

With 'Ohana, you just need to hop on the monorail.

Thank you for the advice! The kids do sit pretty decent in restaurants. My twin boys are 4.5. My thought that one day was to do AK in morning to afternoon, go back to hotel and then do dinner at Epcot at Le Cellier and turn in early because MK is the next day. Is that a bad plan?

Ohana I’m still thinking about. I guess it’s not too much of a trek to go there, and we can always stop at MK for an hour after dinner. That’ll be our last night.

If I’m going to MK those two days, what do you advise for Fast Pass? I think the boys can handle adventurous rides. They’re 40 inches if that helps. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train? Peter Pan’s Flight? My 3 year old daughter needs some princess things too. And my FIL wants to do Space Mountain. Thanks!

I just realized Hollywood Studios might be better than Animal Kingdom for my kids because as I read above, the kids do love Disney Jr and watch all those shows. They know all those characters. Would that be preferable in that case?

There is an amazing kids club at Poly called Lilos playhouse, my son loves it. They may enjoy some kid time there while the adults enjoy maybe Trader Sams or something else.

I don’t see Ohana being difficult to get to…just leave extra time. I’d take the bus to MK, and then hop on the monorail to get to Polynesian. Kids will like the monorail ride too.

Both my last two trips we traveled with an almost 3 year old. My girls love Disney Junior, but I personally would still pick Animal Kingdom. I personally feel that there is more to do…but you honestly can’t go wrong with either. If you change your mind for Hollywood look into Hollywood and Vine for a late Breakfast or lunch. The character interaction was awesome. I feel that my girls got tired, which is why I avoid the signatures at this age. You never know when the kids will start to melt down and I find it easier to avoid at character buffets. Not sure when your brunch is for Chef Mickey. Will you have enough time in the park and then to get over there? Crystal Palace is also a nice buffet that is in MK. They have tiger, pooh and piglet.