Quick Trip - WWYD?

Okay Touring Plan family! I need some advice.

I am surprising my kids with a quick trip to Disney and I keep going back and forth on how to spend our time. We won’t arrive until after midnight on Wednesday, September 25 and we depart late morning on Saturday, September 28. My daughter and I have annual passes and my sons have two-day single park tickets. We also have tickets to MNSSHP on Friday, September 27.

My original plan was to go to Epcot on Thursday after letting the kids sleep in a bit. We love Epcot and Illuminations. This will be our last chance to see it and I can’t imagine missing it. On Friday, my plan was to rope drop Magic Kingdom and knock out our favorite rides while crowds are low, and then take a break back at the resort to swim and change into our costumes before heading back to Magic Kingdom for the party around 5 or 6.

So, why am I questioning my plan? Well, Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge of course! I had originally ruled it out, but now I am rethinking. The reality is, I don’t think my crew can make extra extra magic hours given our travel schedule; and, I can’t see us throwing down $100 - $200 per kid to make a droid or light saber. So going to SWGE would be about experiencing the land and riding smuggler’s run (two of us get seriously motion sick on Star Tours). But…guys…it is Star Wars! It looks awesome and I can’t imagine not seeing it. Help me Obi Won Kenobi!?! What do I do?

How long until you will be back at WDW? If returning soon, I would pick Epcot since Illuminations is going away and SW:GE is not. If it will be awhile before the next trip, I’d be tempted to go to HS because my kids would definitely enjoy seeing SW more than going to EP.

Another option, albeit an expensive one, would be to upgrade your sons’ tickets to park hoppers and do half day at HS and other half at EP.

You have already paid for the ability to “hop” with MNSSHP. I would go early as possible to HS on Friday. Then go back and rest to go to the party that night.


You can go into the party at 4pm and pre book 3 FP Using @AuntB_luvsDisney methods.


You make a great point! I have thought about starting in HS on Friday and using the EEMH, coming back to the resort to nap (if I can get them to nap!) and then heading out for the party at 4pm. My hope in going to Magic Kingdom in the morning was to knock out several “must do” rides so that we don’t have to try to get on them during the party, but the option of HS in the morning and MNSSHP in the evening may be the best way to manage things if the kids decide that HS is a must do.

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We have no additional trip on the books. I’m guessing that we will go back in 18 months - 2 years, but no set plans as of now.

When I casually asked my kids about their two favorite parts, all three of them separately said MK and Epcot. With HS changing their ride tiers, I was worried about having to wait in long lines to get on rides. I know this past week isn’t really indicative of actual crowd flow in HS, so my plan is to watch the blogs over these next few weeks to see how SWGE and EEMH impact other areas of HS.

Ugh! Decisions!

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How old are your kids?

This sounds very similar to a quick trip we are planning about 2 weeks after you. We are surprising DS10 and DS7 with a trip where we get in late on Thursday night and fly out Monday afternoon. We are planning to sleep in and hang out at the pool Friday morning then get to MK mid-afternoon and do MNSSHP. Saturday we’re doing HS, but probably won’t get there early. My kids are not great with staying up late and will need to make up for their lost sleep. We’re not planning to build light sabers or driods, but hopefully we can poke around in the land and ride the MF. Sunday we are planning to hit EP. If things don’t go well Saturday with SWGE, we may try to hit the sack early Sunday night and go to EEMH at HS on Monday before our flight.

I think the decision whether to spend the whole day in MK depends on how much of MK is absolutely must do for you. We did a short trip a few years back where we just sort of did a highlights tour in each park plus MNSSHP as our only MK day and it was really fun.

If you’re find with not doing everything at MK and you’re only doing HS for SW:GE then I absolutely agree that you should do that during EEMH, leave by noonish, then get to MK around 4 for your party.


My kids are 13, 9, and 8. Since the trip is a surprise, I can’t really ask them what they would rather do. I guess I could try to be sneaky about it, but I feel like they would be on to me.

I just ran a touring plan for HS on Friday morning and was surprised with how long the wait times were in Toy Story Land. Since the only thing we will do in SWGE is ride the Smuggler’s Run and look around, I figured we could do all the Toy Story rides, grab breakfast at Woody’s Lunch Box and then walk into SWGE, ride Smuggler’s Run, then head over and ride RnRC, and finally see the Frozen Ever After show before heading back to swim and nap.

I also just looked at the Fast Pass availability at MK from 4 - 7 and there are a lot of options, so I could move my fast passes from the MK in the morning to the 4 - 7 time frame. GRR!!! What to do!?!

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Did you find it difficult to balance riding rides and experiencing party offerings (parade, fireworks, Hocus Pocus show, special characters, trick-or-treating) when you did that plan? I know my kids will want to ride several things at MK and I would hate to prioritize that over party offerings.

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We are in the same boat with the surprise and not being able to ask them. Maybe have several options at the ready then decide on the ground which way to go?

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Here’s a basic outline of what we did when we used the party as our MK day… it uses no FPs, hits the just biggest rides and skips a lot of both Fantasylands and smaller rides. We also didn’t care for waiting in long lines to meet “special” characters.

We did Adventureland (Jungle Cruise, Dole Whip, Pirates) and Frontierland (Big Thunder, Splash) when we arrived at 4, then Haunted Mansion and when we got out of that the trick or treating stations had opened so we trick or treated our way to Pinnochio’s for a bite to eat with stops for some fun photos on the way. We avoided the super long “special” character lines, trick or treated some more, and did It’s a Small World, the Carrousel, Teacups, and Dumbos before Happy Hallowishes and then went and sat just before the hub for the second parade. After the parade we did Space Mountain then went back and did 7DMT last. It was the first time we’d ever done that one without FPs and the kids were a little disappointed that there was no line or time to play the queue games. I think we hit a trick or treat station or 2 on our way out.

To maximize your time after the parade make sure you’re watching from closer to the step-off end, not the ending point… it goes by Frontierland much earlier, so it’s over earlier and you have more time in the empty park. If you watch from the second half of the route it’s not even there until 11:15-11:30 and you barely have time to do anything after. The trick is to balance timing of the parade with distance to whichever ride you’re going to afterward, which is why we picked the hub.


This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing your strategy. I didn’t even think about the parade viewing location being used to save time. The last time we attended, my kids wanted to watch the parade twice. While I think it might be a waste of time, I am tempted to watch the first parade in the hub and camp out there until the fireworks. Last time we didn’t make it back in front of the castle in time to see Hallow Wishes. With the new projection show, this feels more critical. I really don’t want to kill 45 minutes sitting in the hub, but I would also like to ensure good fireworks viewing. I may have to read up more about that to determine a final strategy. For sure, planning to end my evening in Frontierland after the 2nd parade sounds like a great plan! Thank you for that tip!

Check out this blog post of his touring strategy for HS. It’s got great wait time info in it. I don’t think TP hasn’t updated their wait times to adequately reflect what has happened at HS so far.


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This was perfect! Thank you for sharing this blog post. I hope to see more of this after there have been a few more weeks without a hurricane threat. My big takeaway is 1) Toy Story Land wait times will be low enough that you should be able to do everything quickly; 2) the author still seems to recommend heading to SWGE first; 3) you can’t walk back into SWGE from TSL, which is a huge bummer!

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