We are 42 days out from our WDW trip. Staying 8 nights at GDT with 8 day park hoppers and celebrating our 20th anniversary along with our 11th “gotcha day” with DS12. I have had our TPs ready for weeks. We just returned from a 5 day/night trip to UOR and even with our TPs and having express passes, there was still so much we couldn’t do because of crowds, lots of rain, crowds, lack of QS options, crowds…lol! We still had a great time, but now this has me rethinking our Disney TPs. We currently have 3 HS park passes, 2 Epcot, 2 MK, and 1 AK. MK and AK are our fave parks, but last time we were there neither Galaxy’s Edge nor MMRR were opened yet. How can I pare down our plans and adjust expectations? I know we can’t do “everything”, but I’m not sure when we will be back and don’t want to miss out on anything!
What are you looking to pare down I suppose? Where are your plans, what are your favorite things? With my TP’s I made time for afternoon breaks so I had RD–>Lunch planned out most days and then dinner and a couple of late night attractions mapped out. Honestly, I would switch your 3HS to 2AK and 2HS and then park hop to DHS if you want to try something else there after a morning in AK. With four shots of RotR you’re gonna get it if you follow @bebe80’s advice. I am 6 for 6 and was 3 for 3 with my highest groups numbers yet with that advice this last trip.
Edit: Also, I would make those Epcot days be my sleep in days and just ride Soarin’, TT and FEA late at night. The wait times are pretty comparable RD to late at night for those attractions.
When we went the last time, I had everyone write down their top 3 must-dos per park.
I then made plans to include all of those over the course of our stay. I had FPs to help, but even without them it should be possible to plan and include each favourite.
The fact you have park hoppers makes it easier. Even with keeping those 3 days at DHS, you can still ensure you cover everything else.
Those become your base plans. See what they look like and take it from there. Everything after that becomes a bonus. And you could keep things flexible by including a couple of 30 minute breaks in each park.
I’ll be facing the same problems when we return, whenever that is. In our case there is likely to be a lot of diverging and going our own way, but the base plans will still cover everyone’s must-do Attractions.
To give you an idea of what we were able to accomplish:
MK Day 1 with a near RD (still before official open and before 7:30am when the ride started working but I missed the first bus) we accomplished all of Tomorrowland and Fantasyland with a TS lunch at BOG by midafternoon, had a three hour break and then 6:30pm dinner at CG (which we did Uber to but I wanted more rest time in the room and not to get all sweaty in my nice dress)
Day2 we accomplished everything else aka all of Frontierland, Adventureland, LibertySquare and MainStreet also getting a 3 hour break before our 6pm dinner reservations
DHS Day 1: We did all of TSL, SWGE, Muppets, and Echo Lake pretty much before our 12pm Mama Melrose’s lunch except for Vacation Fun which I saw after lunch (and we rerode TSM after lunch). Still got a significant PM break before dinner
DHS Day 2: We did all of Sunset Blvd, Hollywood Blvd (MMRR) and Animation Courtyard before lunch.
AK Day 1: We did all of Pandora, Africa and Rafiki’s Planet Watch, rode Dinosaur and played some WE finishing after the 2 or 2:30pm FotLK finished and having a nice break before dinner
AK Day 2: We did the rest of DinoLand, Asia, and Discovery Island finishing by our 12noon lunch.
We spent four days in EPC so I split it into fourths spending about 4 hours a day actually touring gardens, riding rides and seeing shows each day so you could easily do this in 2 - 8 hour days plus you won’t have the gardens and topiaries which took up a significant amount of time. We rode TT at night after dinner with a posted of 45 min and it was 30 min. Similar situation with FEA. We did RD Soarin on our only RD Epcot day but still waited 25 min and it got waits like that late at night too so I really think Epcot with it’s 11am opening and 11pm closing is the best park to sleep in so you have those days.
You’ve got to let go of this feeling. It is absolutely impossible to see/do everything at DisneyWorld in 1 trip.
When I’m feeling FOMO and anxious about trying to do “everything” I try to focus on making most of our time enjoyable/fun. A great vacation isn’t about checking all the boxes of things to do, it’s doing fun things with people you love. As long as you are doing fun things - that moment/day is a win!
Pick a few priorities for each day (no more than 3-4) and a couple more “if we have time/desire, it would be nice to do” things. Then, focus on those and be willing to flex plans in the moment if something catches your family’s fancy or the weather isn’t cooperating or whatever.
Put together a Top 3 or Top 5 priority list of MUST dos. You could even do separate lists for rides and entertainment/other things. And have your other family members make their own lists if they want.
Get used to the idea that you will not get everything done. You may end up getting everything done - yay! - but if you go in with the mindset that there is just too much stuff (especially with more things opening everyday) and you won’t get it all done you can manage expectations if there are problems/issues.
Read @Jeff_AZ recent trip report. He was very thorough about his family’s experience and he has a lot of great information in his reoport. If nothing else, check out his post-trip reports.
Don’t forget to have fun! Above all, this is a trip to have fun! Not everything will be fun (bad weather, broken rides, etc) so maybe think of some alternatives in the event of certain things - things to entertain while standing in a long line, what to do if the weather turns bad, etc.
Disney crowds were nowhere near Universal crowds. Plus in general they are less frantic than Universal. The MO system is soooo much better than what UOR is using. We never had a problem getting a time near when we wanted and often had no trouble changing it slightly as our time frame got closer.
Let me know if you have specific questions and I will try to answer. I am planning on reporting on some of this sort of thing but don’t know when. DH and I both felt we needed double the time to do half the stuff at UOR than we did at Disney.
I agree. Universal left me feeling exhausted. Disney refreshed. I think 8 days is more than enough to do it and include some break time and always when you need a break take it!
Our “must do’s” at HS are the following:
Time to soak up GE
We also have ADRs for Sci Fi and Ogas. We have never been on any of the above rides except for SDD and TSMM. Our first day is really a half day at HS since we will we arrive at GDT around noon and planning to hit HS around 3-4.
Ok makes sense the three days! Still think you should have more than enuf time to do it all and have pool time, etc. all of my trips that were at least 7 days I could always do everything I wanted easily and came home feeling good. My 4-5 day trips have exhausted me.
For DHS we RD’d both days and rushed to SDD. We waited 3 min according to TP timer (I mean this was really just walking and waiting for one train). Did TSM with also like a 3-5 min wait I can’t remember exactly and AS2 similar. Went immediately to MFSR and waited about 20 min. So I think that was a very successful RD day 1 if you want to steal it and leaving out AS2 if it’s not important to you. Our RD day 2 we did MMRR (also a handful of minutes mostly just walking and waiting one train) then we did RnRC with a very short wait as well but we did hit like a 30 min wait for ToT after that. However ToT signficantly dropped wait times after lunch every day we were there and my girls kept going back and rode it like 10 times with often 20 min waits so if you’re gonna do one late PM that’s your best bet for a short wait time in my experience.
SDD will have the longest waits and they will last all day so definitely RD one of your DHS days.
Epcot is tricky for me as far as scheduling. It has been several years since we went around world showcase, and I have that broken into 2 separate days-1 morning and then 1 evening on a different day. The other Epcot morning will be devoted to future world. We have never been on Test track or Mission Space.
That is good to know because even though we had several days at UOR, it was a much different trip than any of the ones we had previously there! We had a fun time, but everything felt really rushed. I so want to slow down on our Disney trip and enjoy more details!
Great advice-thanks! It is hotter than the face of the sun today here at home, so I think that will be a great family activity later-picking out everyone’s must do rides/attractions for each park.
Just sent you a DM
Your number and mix of park reservations looks great to me. Very similar to what we had. Do you have park hoppers? We had only one Epcot day but explored Epcot on multiple evenings after completing our must do’s at HS each of those days. We had four kids so we chose to minimize walking by only doing one land per HS day (SWGE, TSL, Sunset Blvd), which worked great, but we sometimes had extra time at the end that we could knock out an additional ride that was planned for a later day.
Similar with MK - we broke it up into lands (Fantasyland, Adventureland/Frontierland, Tomorrowland), though I do wish in retrospect that we had hit our must do’s there (Splash, BTMRR, Space, 7DMT) the first day just to be safe (you never know when a ride is going to go offline and ruin your plans!).
AK was easy to do the must do’s in one day, though we were glad to have a second day for repeats and lower priority attractions (Rafiki’s Planet Watch, bird show).
We finished Future World in one evening after dinner and could have finished the must do’s in World Showcase in a second evening, but we stretched it out due to multiple ADRs in that park. Don’t try to do Future World early in the day if you have the option - much shorter waits later on.
You’ll do great! Have fun!
I second this about Epcot and FW, lines for Mission: Space, TT and Soarin’ all got shorter in the evening so unless you rush it first you’re better off doing it late and even rushing it you might still have almost the same wait as evening so is that really worth it? Everything else like Figment, Nemo, SE, LWTL can all be walk ons even in the middle of the day if you just watch (and they significantly lied about these wait times Disney’s official app…I mean stating Figment was 25 min when it was a literal walk on and Nemo the only wait was the long walk thru the queue but was posted 15 min).
Okay, this is good to know because I currently have futureworld scheduled as one of our Epcot mornings. We do have an early garden grill ADR for lunch, so maybe hit up the land and seas that morning but save TT and MS for an evening?
Yes, I would based on our experience in June. But I’d keep paying attention to wait times in case they start increasing capacity too.
Even before the pandemic I was always able to get TT done as single rider line with very little wait so if that’s back it’s always an option (but you don’t get to make your own car). With kids we’d sandwich the kids b/w the adults so there’d be an adult to wait with them at the beginning and waiting for them at the exit
PS I love the Garden Grill as a character meal. You get so much time with them and it’s such a neat concept plus the booths always make me feel so secluded and cozy. Good choice!
Remember at the moment Epcot doesn’t open until 11am. And even when it goes back to 9am, World Showcase doesn’t open until 11am.
Personally I like to split Epcot into two but east and west, so you do some of FW and half of World Showcase and then the other half the next day. Otherwise one day becomes all rides and the other is all walking and shopping.
You’re probably going to wait for MS and TT regardless of when you go. But don’t wait in line for Spaceship Earth, Journey into Imagination, the Seas, or LwtL! If you have lunch in the Land pavilion, it might still make sense to ride it while you’re there rather than having to backtrack, but wait until the line dies down, possibly after you eat. (The line tends to build first thing with rope drop / Soarin’ crowds, then dies down.)