Taking First Timers on a CROWDED weekend - Talk me down

So my best friend’s daughter is turning 21 on Oct. 8 and all she wants is to drink around the world at Epcot. Not ones to shy away from contributing to the delinquency of a freshly turned 21 year old, we obliged. I mean the girl might as well start with really good tequila, right? My BF and her daughter are Disneyland vets but have never been to the World, and of course most of that weekend is 9’s and 10’s (Columbus Day. Ironically she’s also half Native American so this is another reason for her to curse Columbus.) Normally I would never take first timers to that crowded of a weekend, but it is her birthday after all and they didn’t ask my opinion. We arrive Friday afternoon and leave Tuesday morning.

Talk me down! I don’t want them to have a miserable time but I’ve gotten so spoiled by visiting during less crowded times that I’m kind of dreading the whole thing! Our window for FP’s isn’t open yet, but I was able to get decent dining every day and tickets to MNSSHP on Friday night. We’re staying at Pop. Advice? Thoughts? Accept what I cannot change? Thanks!

Good luck. You may do less than you originally plan. MK will be bad. Be strategic and start early. But you know all that already.

Have fun

Thanks - As their tour guide I’m seriously thinking about not scheduling MK at all except for the Halloween party. There isn’t much there that they haven’t seen some version of at Disneyland, and what is there we can ride at the party (Mine Train…). Then we’ll do a day each at AK, DS, and Epcot… Possibly another night at Epcot since I don’t think we can fill a whole day at DS even with Toy Story Land.

The good news is that they won’t know what they won’t know… and if all else fails, more tequila ;).


If drinking around the world is the primary “event” high CLs will not be as much an issue as the CLs refer to wait times; you may have to wait longer for a drink is about it. On your EP day, get your 3 FPs and plan on being there early for RD. You should get the “best of EP” done early, and then head to WS around lunch time to start the “World Tour”. Unless she’s a total beast, it’s going to take more than a few hours to complete. As long as you’re not looking for CMs, you shouldn’t have a problem getting ADRs (you can start on those now).

MK will be the worst, but again with 3 FPs and being there early for RD you should get the “best of” done. Take advantage of AM EMH if possible. With just 2 days, I’m assuming those are the two parks you’re doing. If doing more, AK and DHS should be approached the same way.

Thanks - I’m thinking we will just do MK on Friday for MNSSHP. Then Monday Epcot, and Sat-Sun are up for grabs. Since they are Disneyland vets, I think they’d be more interested in all the stuff that Disneyland doesn’t have, so maybe AK Saturday and DS Sunday at least for mornings…

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Just a personal experience: My daughter’s husband’s family did this for his sister when she turned 21 on her birthday. Everyone got soused and ended up in a big fight. Not a great WDW memory. It was so damaging that they don’t go to WDW together anymore.

My daughter and her husband were the designated drivers so they did not drink. They tried to influence the drinkers to keep it under control, but it didn’t happen. They lost a lot of respect for their family members that night.

I’m scratching my head as to why this is a good thing to do to celebrate adulthood when there are so many enjoyable ways to celebrate life and make happy memories, especially in Florida. I know I sound judgmental, but it sounds like you are working to endure this event, instead of planning an activity where you can feel uncumbered and unburdened. Sorry to be the sourpuss here, but I really don’t have any other advice than to avoid it. My experience is that even on the less busy times, the World Showcase is hard for me to tolerate on the weekends, including Friday.

I’m a frequenter of the World Showcase being a local passholder and there are so many jewels there that you miss when your focus is getting drunk. We avoid the weekends at the World Showcase because it is a different place. The crowds are unbearable, in my opinion, even on a lesser crowded time.

You just reminded me something. I have Fast Passes for June 1st to go to Illuminations. Beings that it’s a Friday night, I think I better reschedule.

Everyone reading this that thinks I’m a Debbie Downer, well I’m not a offended. I just don’t think it’s a good idea, but everyone it entitled to their own opinion.


Thanks for your concern :). I honestly think my friend’s daughter wanted an excuse to go to WDW and this was it. She is just as excited about the Halloween party, seeing Animal Kingdom for the first time and dining at Be Our Guest (she’s a long time Belle lover!), so no need to worry about a drunken brawl. Also we won’t have a car so even if all of us have one or two of those amazing blood orange margaritas at Cava del Tequila, we will still be busing (or Minnie Van-ing) back safely.

I am dreading the crowds, but I’m totally looking forward to ditching work for a couple of days and hanging out with two of my favorite people at one of my favorite places. I’m really most concerned about making sure they have a good time since this is the time and place they chose. As a premium AP holder I can visit whenever I want and actually will be back at the World a few weeks later for a conference, so this is all about showing my besties a good time.

If it were up to me we definitely wouldn’t be going Columbus Day weekend, but when the thought of spending her 21st birthday at WDW lights up my almost-daughter’s face, it’s all worth it.


We’ve only been able to go at crowded times and still have been able to do a ton with a good touring plan. Just do your planning and it’ll be great.


I would think Epcot would be packed is Food & Wine still going on at this time, if so I would avoid it Saturday and Sunday.

Thanks - that’s the plan. Halloween party Friday night, AK Saturday, HS Sunday and Epcot Monday. We don’t leave until Tuesday so we can stay until closing Monday night – hopefully the crowds will lighten up a little as the holiday ends.

LOL! This paints a different picture as your first post led us to believe it was all about the drinking. I am also a Disneyland vet. I grew up 30 minutes from Disneyland and now I live 30 minutes from Disney World. Your friend is definitely used to crowds. Driving to Disneyland is a nightmare. She will be pleasantly surprised with the difference of getting to the parks.

As for going on Columbus Day weekend. Yeah, myself, I would avoid Saturday, but I’ve got to tell you,as a local Weekday Select Passholder, when I’m looking at the crowd levels on touring plans, lately the weekends have been less crowded, but beings that it’s a holiday, you will definitely need to bring your patience and a good touring plan.

That being said, this past year has shown me, as I go practically weekly when I’m not on blockout, that there are no low crowd times anymore. Everytime I have been expecting a level 3 crowd due to the predictions from Touring Plans, it has been a six or above.

Yesterday, my out-of-own visitors were miffed about the crowds at Animal Kingdom and blamed it on us locals, but I could tell that most of the people were visiting from out of town. The Annual passholder line to get in had five people to 50 in the other lines.

Disney is doing a lot of hotel building in the area. Some of that will be open before October, I believe, and as far as crowds, it’s only get worse.

Then, you have to make a decision, “Am I only going to go to WDW when it’s not crowded?” Because “that ain’t happening”, or am I going to go with a good attitude and tell myself, “A crowded day at WDW, is better than no day at WDW.”

I see the day coming, if WDW doesn’t fix the problem that I will no longer be willing to pay for an annual pass. I hope they do fix it.

The only day we have walked on the rides in the past year was the day after Hurricane Irma, and three weeks ago when it was storming (I’m not talking about a gentle rain like we had all day yesterday). I’m talking about lightning dancing all around us.

I agree with you on not scheduling Magic Kingdom. Epcot holds the crowds very well, but Magic Kingdom, yeah, it’s so much like DL, I would just do the Halloween Party. And yes, I agree with DS, it’s not an all day park.

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