Should I rearrange my plans?

Our upcoming trip is only 90 days away! Yay! So, naturally I am currently in “I think to rethink all of these TPs!! What if I have it all wrong??” mode. Today’s worry stems from no rest days. Our last trip was a marathon. We ran ourselves ragged. So, my goal for this trip is to stay for longer (yay!) and to allow more time to “stop and smell the roses.” I have intentionally budgeted more park time than I feel will be necessary to “do everything” as far as rides/attractions are concerned in hopes that we won’t be running around the parks like crazy people.

I think this is doable for us this time around because (1) we are going in early February and it (hopefully) won’t be the temperature of the sun outside and (2) the parks have shorter hours this time of year. So, here’s a brief run down of our days.

1/30 - Pick kids up from school and head straight to the airport. Wheels down at MCO around 8 p.m.
1/31 - 9:25 breakfast at 1900 PF, HS by noon, Star Wars Dessert Party
2/1/ - PPO TH, AK until 3, Dinner at CG
2/2 - 10:45 CM, Epcot by mid-afternoon, WS, FEA, Illuminations
2/3 - RD MK, BOG Dinner, HEA After Fireworks DP (wanting to stay all day and do SotMK, TSI, Tiki Room, etc in the afternoon but will skip and take a break if we need one)
2/4 - EMM TSL, HS until 11, Back by 3 for early dinner, JTA and F!
2/5 - O’hana 9:10, AK noon until park close
2/6 - PPO ADR GG, Epcot until 3, Dinner at V&A
2/7 - PPO BOG ADR, Break by noon, 4:15 HDDR, DAH
2/8 - 8 am EMH MK, BBB for my girls, plus lunch at CRT, parade, head to airport by 4

I am currently thinking of skipping the EMH in MK on 2/8. It’s our last day but I feel like it’ll be tough to make right after a late night with DAH on the 7th as well as needing to pack up all of our bags and have them ready to go. I’m thinking of maybe just planning on being in the park that day by 10. Also considering dropping BOG breakfast on 2/7 and taking that whole morning off and having the first planned thing that day be HDDR at 4:15.

I have only been on two WDW trips as an adult (and never one this long) and feel like such a poor judge of how tired we will be and want to make sure I’m taking care of my family while we are there but still enjoying all that we can during our stay. I do know that our trip in January required WAY less stamina than our trip earlier in October because the heat was a non-factor in January and made staying in the park for longer periods of time much more bearable.

Oh, and I forgot. Our travel party will be myself, my husband, our four kids (2, 4, 6, 8) and my parents (both mid-60s and in good health).

So, any thoughts? What should I drop??

I’m going to preface this with the fact that I haven’t actually been to WDW yet as an adult/parent. We’ll be leaving for our trip in early December. My kids are 4, 6, and 8.

All that being said, it looks to me like you have a lot of late nights followed by early mornings. Illuminations which isn’t until 9:30…you won’t be back to your hotel until at least 10 or 10:30…then be at MK by 8ish in the morning? I couldn’t do that with my kids. Same with the HEA fireworks party and then EMM the next morning and DAH until 1 am and then 8 am at MK the next day. It just seems like a lot of late nights with little ones followed by early mornings with little ones. I think about my normal life and know that I can’t do stuff like that for more than one or two nights/mornings before everyone’s a mess.

Will everyone do DAH? I thought about it but know my kids couldn’t hang that late so it would mostly be a waste of money for us at this point.

I think you need one day completely off from a park and at least 1-2 other days where you either quit by 3 or don’t start until around then. When planning our trip I never have more than 2 park days in a row and always a day off after staying for HEA, F!, etc. I know all families are different but I just can’t imagine doing what you’ve got planned with my kids who are the same ages (plus a toddler!).

Good luck. I’ll be curious to see how my own plans turn out as well!


Everyone’s kids are different, but that seems like a lot for the 2 and 4 year olds. My 3.5 year old doesn’t nap and tends to need less sleep than most kids her age, but that schedule would have her worn out with all those late nights.

When I went to WDW with my niece and nephews at ages 3, 5 and 8, the 3 and 5 year olds went back to the room each night after dinner with my brother and SIL and the 8 year stayed out at the parks with her “cool” uncle (me) and future aunt.

Don’t mean to throw rain on your parade and maybe your kids can handle it and thrive … just wanted to give you another opinion in case you decide to reevaluate your plans.

I appreciate your feedback!! Both of you, thank you. Dang. I was trying so hard to plan enough breaks. Guess I’ll have to think on it some more.

I am considering cutting the MK morning plans on the 7th and skipping EMH on the 8th. DAH is earlier when we’re there. 8-11. Not 10-1. And I think Illuminations starts at 9. Not positive. We did EMH at MK this month and the little girls did crash but not until 10:30. My original plan was not to do TSL EMM but I’m unsure I’ll be able to get SDD FP and my son declared it his favorite new ride so I keep thinking he’d love it. Being able to ride over and over.

On our trip last January, both my littles were pretty amazing at sleeping on the go and napped in the parks when they got tired. I’m trying to maybe make “best case scenario” plans to try and do the most possible but also holding them loose and being flexible if we need extra rest.

Gah. It’s so hard to remove things from the plan!

And I do have two days where we quit the parks by 3 and just have resort dinners. And two days where we get to the parks after lunch.

My kids were older than yours (7, 10, 12) on our 6 day March trip a few years ago. The weather was perfect. We did early mornings (got there 30 minutes before the 8 am park openings) but only the oldest and I did any late nights. (And by late nights, I mean one park with a 10 pm close.) Even so, by day 3 the kids had walked so much that their feet hurt and they were begging for a break. We cut that park day short and ended up cancelling our 4th park day (which was going to be Universal, but which we hadn’t bought tickets for yet) so they could have a day to swim, play mini golf, and generally take it slower. This trip we have one day less and didn’t want to plan in a true day off, so we have 1 day that we get to AK around 2:30, do a meal and a couple FPes, watch Rivers of Light at 6:15, then leave. I’m crossing my fingers that it’s enough of a break for them, since DH and I don’t want to skip a park!

Aw, poor kids. It’s so much walking (even more steps for little legs!!)! We did two double strollers our last trip and they were lifesavers. I had wanted to just rent one for the littles this time but I think we’ll end up renting a second as well just for those really tired, achy feet moments with the bigs. We did Universal in July with the bigs and they walked 15 miles over two days and didn’t complain once. But…that was two days. This will be a lot longer.

Ok, so, if I have too much going on…and you were me…what would you nix from the plans?

Either the morning stuff (PPO ADRs/EMM) or the dessert parties/DAH. Pick one or the other to do, but not both. And if no rest day, breaks every single day. That’s what worked for my family. The kids are early risers still, so we RD, take a break feim noon-4, then head back for dinner til bedtime (8:30 or 9). We can’t stay late at their ages. They were 1, 3, 7, 9 last trip. They will be 3, 5, 9, 11 next trip and the strategy of RD with afternoon break and no super late nights worked so well we’re doing it again. But look at your family’s sleep patterns ar home and match that. I look at the TP app every morning and see that we are all awake and eating breakfast before any parks open, and parks still all open when kids are asleep, so that dictates our touring style. We push it a little, but not too much, and not on both ends.


You may be able to get by with 1 stroller. I have 4 kiddos but with a wider range of ages (now 16-7). For you, the 2 year old will need a lot, the 8 year old never, and the 4 and 6 yo can probably take turns. Only prob would be maybe on the way out during late nights to bus/monorail. We didn’t take a stroller for my 4 year old (who is now 14) on his first trip and he did great. Also last trip, my youngest who turned 6 during the trip never needed one. We were prepared to rent in park if needed but he was great–and we did 3/4 park days (RD to dinner or lunch to close) every single day for a week. He actually did better than ALL of the rest of us!

Not sure what you should cut, but in general, we do not plan a park close the night before a RD day. We also don’t take mid-day breaks but we usually only go RD to dinner or start at lunch and go to close. Some of your days you have RD and close on same day and then RD again the next day–will your bigger kids get any rest those days. Mine would not. Its tough to balance park time and rest time (I am terrible at it so no good advice from me but I’m working on it). Hope you’ll post your iterations so we can follow your planning. :slight_smile:

1 Like

I think the issue is that three of these are the first three days of your trip. It seems like it starts out not too busy but then morphs into too much about midway through. :slight_smile:

And this is the very last couple of days/mornings…I think it’s a good move but I also think you need to cut some stuff in the middle, in days 3-6.

What are the non-negotiable for your trip? I know that once you have ADRs it can be hard to change things around without messing stuff up. Personally I think I’d decide on maybe 5 of the ADRs, 2 evening shows, and 1 “extra” that are mandatory. Then plan everything else around those. (And remember that stuff does open up…I check almost every day to see what’s available tomorrow and I’ve seen almost everything…CRT, PPO GG, PPO BOG, etc.) For example, if the BOG dinner and the EMM are both must-do’s then I’d either skip out of MK right after dinner (if your reservation is on the earlier side) or move the EMM to the 6th. It looks like you don’t have hoppers so that not be possible depending on how important the V&A dinner is. If the HEA dessert party is mandatory and so is EMM I’d figure out another day to do MK that doesn’t have a mandatory thing the next morning.

I might consider MK on 1/31 since you could eat breakfast and then just monorail over to MK afterwards.

Are your parents going to watch the kids at all so you can do things like the CG and V&A dinner? Or are those with the whole party?

I know it’s hard to cut stuff out. I know we won’t be back for at least 2.5-3 years (we live overseas and only get to the States that often) so I’ve had a hard time deciding what are the must-do’s now that my kids are smaller and what can wait until next time. As much as it pains me to do stuff like NOT plan on us all doing FoP I think it’s going to be the best decision. Our first day in MK we’re going to RD PPF and then spend our time on Dumbo and Barnstormer and the Carousel. It’s hard to let go of “do the popular stuff early because lines are shortest!” but I think my girls’ heart would break if we walked by the carousel and didn’t ride it, even though I know our time would be “better spent” doing that later when rides elsewhere are long. Anyways, just know that I think everyone in here commiserates and understands how hard it is. I think you won’t regret it, though…cutting stuff out and making the schedule more flexible. Good luck. :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

I am thinking on what changes I can make. Hopefully at some point today I’ll be able to sit and compose some responses. We have a full homeschool day today and then I have to drop off the dog and pack the kids and I up to meet my husband tonight to head to the airport. Pennsylvania for the weekend. No WDW today. Sad!!

Also, someone please help me figure out how to quote other posts in my replies! Apparently I have become a tech dummy at the age of 33. :roll_eyes:

Highlight the text you want to quote and click Reply. :slight_smile:

Your trip planning has me rethinking our plans. I think I’m going to need a “early rise” plan and a “late day” contingency plan for most days…especially for later in the week. We tend to be early risers, especially when all sleeping in one room, but every once in awhile, someone sleeps in. We aren’t taking a resort day, but we are planning breaks most afternoons (except days I’ve alread planned a late start). I only have the one DD, who will be 10 by the time we go. I thInk having multiple “plans” will help me to be flexible. If we are exhausted toward the end of the trip, we’ll be able to adjust plans accordingly.

1 Like

I am the worst at not over scheduling my group so I can’t offer advice. One thought I had though was if V&A is a highlight for the adults in your group and not your kids then consider Pixar playzone at CR during that time. It may be relaxing, fun, and a break from the parks for them. But it may not be for you if your kids are looking forward to V&A or you want to keep the family together for the experience.
Also I would consider DAH only for my 13 and maybe 11 yo. I know my 7yo would never make it. But I know all kids are different too!
Good luck and keep us updated! Hope PA is fun! I grew up in Pittsburgh and went to school in Philly😊

Where are you staying? You have a lot going on. This would be exhausting to our family with 1 8 year old. The first thing I would drop would be resort breakfasts or dinners that are NOT where you are staying.

I’m guessing you’re staying at GF or CR? Where are you staying?

So this is basically what I was planning to do also. I think park closes every night during our trip are at 8, except for Epcot which closes at 9 I believe. So I was hoping that simply because park close is so early we could hang. And dang it, there is just so much cool stuff I want to do. We didn’t get to do any fireworks last trip and I think I can confidently take them to the shows now that we don’t have babies and I don’t have to worry about them being terrified of the noise.

My original plan for this trip did not include TSL EMM or DAH but I got anxiety over securing FPs for SDD and THEN my son just freaking loved the ride a few weeks ago and I would have so much fun riding it over and over with him which we won’t get to do without EMM. And I just have heard nothing negative about DAH. So when dates were added during our trip I jumped and added it. Sigh.

1 Like

You are probably correct. I just dread the inevitable fighting/whining over the extra seat but also think if we have a second one the bigs will just want to ride since its an option. If riding isn’t an option for them maybe it makes it easier?

All of it! Ha!!

I don’t know!!! I just want to do it all!

I planned a trip for us earlier this month 4 days before we left and experienced the plethora of ADRs available last minute. It truly is amazing!! Not sure how easy it’ll be for our large group though.

And my kids won’t be allowed into V&A. Not old enough. So I had planned on hiring an in-room sitter for them that night. Current plan is for all to eat at CG but it’s flexible.

One of the things that appeals to greatly to me about DAH is the fact that lines become a non-issue and I wouldn’t have the stress of hitting the teacups (my DD8’s favorite) when lines are low for everything else. We could just let the kids take the lead and choose.

Did they not close down all of these playzones? We are staying at the Poly and I thought Lilo’s Playhouse was closed.

I’m excited to go during the fall!! We are visiting my husband’s grandparents (we haven’t visited since I was pregnant with our oldest because I am a traveling-with-babies-weenie) and he sent us a GORGEOUS picture of their trees this morning. The colors are astounding!

1 Like