Shorter Day or More Crowded Day?

Big decision. Traveling 11/8-11/15, two 5 y.o’s, one 2 y.o.

We book MK on 11/9 with access to the park from 9:00am-10:00 pm (and we are staying on property, so even earlier if me make rope drop), BUT the crowd-level is predicted to be an 8,

We book MK on 11/10, with access to the park from 9:00am-6:00 pm (again, planning on getting there as early as possible), with crowds predicted to be a 3.

We have Genie+.

So, is it better to have a shorter day with no break for naps (and maybe miss fireworks? It’s our first time so I’m not sure what we would miss) but have lower crowds, or have a longer but much more crowded day, possibly with time to escape back to the hotel (Caribbean Beach) for a mid-day rest.

We will have 2 days each in MK, AK, and EP.

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I wouldn’t trust CLs to be accurate right now. Choose based on what works best for you. Assume actual crowds for both days will be somewhat equivalent.


The predictions actually do look accurate compared to data from the Christmas Party days of 2018 & 2019.

I would probably side with visiting on the day MK closes at 6pm, especially since you have 2 days there. Consider rope dropping, taking a noonish break, then coming back for a couple hours. IMO, that’s still a long enough day for your littles!

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Thank you both! I struggle with the idea of ‘maximizing’ the trip, because more time in the parks does not always equal a better time…I just know my kids are inpatient so if we can find a way to avoid longer lines, they would probably be happier.

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Everything I’ve read says to go on the shorter hours party dates, because so many avoid them and then spill into the surrounding dates. I’ve never done it, but I do see the logic. I’m tempted to try it this trip, but MK is listed at very low CL already for the whole time so unless it’s off, which is possible, we may just stick to our current plan. I’m already not going to MK the first day of our trip and I don’t know if I can handle an additional change from the norm.:wink:

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With little kids are you really going to be in the parks much last 6 anyway? I’d go with the shorter day.


I’m leaning towards shorter days. I’d say in general, we’ve had travel success with AM fun, early PM rest, and then later PM fun (say, at the beach), but I’m not sure how that would translate to Disney, like it’s SO exhausting you just want to hang by the pool or something by 6:00.

I’d vote for the shorter hours/less crowds UNLESS you really really want to see fireworks. And you can always watch the party fireworks from a resort. When my kids were those ages, we would power through with stroller naps for the under 3 set, dinner, back to resort and swim/relax in the evening before bed. That was much easier than heading back to resort for a mid-day rest for us.

This is what we did with young kids in 2018 and 2019 and it was the right call for our family. We plan to do the same this fall.

If it were me, with those age kids, I’d do the shorter less crowded day. That leaves you with either a quiet evening or the opportunity for something different. Maybe you could get a sitter and go out again once they are in bed and do something only the adults want to do. There are in room babysitters and we used them every time, but the last time we were there was 2019 so I don’t know if that is still offered. You could go to a different park or see something like a show. I really enjoyed going to a park with just the adults and eating a nice dinner. With the kids you could do something like check out another resort or do something in Disney Springs.

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IMO, I’d do the shorter day as well.
Good day to try for Hoop De Doo, too, if it’s in your plans.
Most people will not pay for a full day’s park ticket if the park is closing early, when they can go to another park with better hours. If your kids are not gonna make it from 9a-9p, then what difference does it make? Go with lower crowds for a better day, and hopefully more Genie options all day. After 6pm closing, you have options on what you’d care to do. Dinner at the resort perhaps, evening swim and recharge movie night in the room to recharge. Check out the game room if the resort has one. If you have hoppers, go to a diff park for a ride and dinner, or one of the shows, or strolling world showcase for a little while. Disney Springs…etc. Frankly, I’d do the 6pm closing, then either try for Hoop De Doo, or dinner and pool at the resort, but that’s me. If you are travelling with another adult, flip a coin if you wanna try to go somewhere late night and one can stay with the kids.

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I also vote for the shorter day with lower crowds. I’m inclined to believe the lower crowd prediction if it’s a party night as many people avoid MK the days with shorter park hours. And i agree that with littles, there’s a good chance they wouldn’t last a 9am-9pm day anyway, even with a midday break. When my kids were that young, we’d hit MK at RD and only last till early-mid afternoon before going back to the resort to rest. But we were always too lazy to head back to MK in the evenings and would just do something low key anyway.

It does suck to miss the fireworks though. :frowning_face: But you know your kids best- will they last long enough for it anyway? The one time my then 6yo tried to watch the MK fireworks, he fell asleep during the wait and the noise of the fireworks did NOT wake him up at all.

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Our littles haven’t even liked the fireworks except maybe from a distance. We had a couple that didn’t care for loud noises even at 9.

Here’s another vote for the party day and an early evening.

We used to plan a supper at Trail’s End towards the end of our trips. The kids were real troupers about trying different foods. They really appreciated familiar food at Trail’s End. I hadn’t expected this simple restaurant to be so special to them.

Kids will surprise you.