Schedule help

Hello All,
We -me, hubby and two boys 11 and 14, are flying in on Mar 31 and not checking into AKL until Apt 1, checking out on the 8th but not leaving Orlando until 11 pm on the 9th. We have 5 day salute tix. We would also like to see universal. Our goal is a relaxing vacation with plenty of time to connect.

I was thinking of staying off sight the first night and resting, maybe going to a water park and dinner at Disney springs. In check in day, I was thinking of havig a full resort day. Perhaps dinner at Jiko?

I would love any advice on scheduling. Thanks!

when are you going to universal and how many days do you have planned there? have you considered staying at uni that night and making uni your first day visit? if you can stay at one of the hotels that give you express pass and early entry, that would give you a chance to knock out uni on your first day. I know you can’t tour the entire park in one day, but if you are only planning one day there, that might be a good day for it. You could try the same strategy on the 8th if you don’t know where you are staying that night.

For a first time visitor, you’ll really need a full day planned at each park, and most would say 2 at MK (for me, 2 at EP) - and even at that, “relaxing” is not the term most would use. In one very full day you could probably see the highlights of the 2 Universal parks, but most would say that each park needs a full day by itself. Unless you are expecting a very grueling travel day, I would recommend using your arrival day to relax and your first full day as a park day and save a “resort day” for somewhere in the middle to “recharge” a bit. Five WDW park days plus a Universal day can be pretty exhausting without a break in the middle.

I echo considering staying at one of the Universal resorts for one night; it will give you the Express pass and early entry, which would make seeing both parks in one day a much better experience. If you chose a Universal resort for your “off site” hotel for your first night, you could relax at the resort and enjoy Citywalk (Universal’s “DS”) and spend the first day of your trip at the Universal parks, then transfer to WDW for the rest of the trip.

Jiko is one of my favorites in WDW; one of WDW’s best signature restaurants - as long as your DSs are up for a “fine dining” experience. Another option would be California Grill (my personal favorite); excellent food great views, and you can watch the fireworks from the deck.

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Ok. I think a plan is coming together! It’s not our first trip: we have been three previous times, but not for 5 years. The boys have a pretty good idea of what they like, but I do want to give them time to try new things since they are older.

I have us staying at Disney springs on arrival, rest, and dinner at California grill. The only time available is 9pm. I’ll keep trying, but will the work?

Day 2 -check in to animal kingdom. Have fun at the resort, I really want to soak in AKL. May do water park or mini golf. Dinner at Jikos.

Day 3 and 4 in parks.

Rest day 5

Day 6,7,8 in parks

Day 9 universal
Day 10 universal until flight home at 11pm.

Thoughts? Too much at the end?

Our family could not do that many full days in the park in a row. Kids are 9 and 12, but DH and I couldn’t do it either. I would not make day 2 a resort day. Personally, I would break up your stay more and make that later. And I would make some of the others half days (although its hard to take a break at AKL). the end at uni seems good to me. But we tend to tour far less aggressively than I hear from many people. I don’t want to go home exhausted – we would rather miss something. But I know others tour differently and would find that schedule totally doable.

I think that’s a great schedule with two caveats:

  1. Days 8 should be a half day. You’ll need a break before two days tackling universal.
  2. If you’re staying at Disney Springs area arrival night, just go to Disney Springs for supper. It’s a long drive up to Cali Grill when you’re probably going to be tired from travel and see it as more of a chore than an exciting event. Lots of great places to eat and explore at Disney Springs in the evening.