Thoughts on this 6-day itinerary (for honeymooners)?


#1

My fiance and myself will be honeymooning at Disney World from the Tuesday, 5th May until Sunday, 10th this year. We love thrill rides and are also not staying at a Disney resort. I would really love some pro thoughts on the itinerary I've devised (after spending many hours reading the Guide and looking at crowd levels) to let me know if it's any good grinning

Tuesday, 5th May

Universal Studios, full day. This is our arrival day though, so we will probably only be able to get into the park at around 10am. Touringplans lists this as 5/10 crowd level. Might check out CityWalk and have dinner after the park closes.

Wednesday, 6th May

Magic Kingdom, full day. We have a reservation at Be Our Guest at 7:45pm. This is 4/10 crowd level day with no EMH.

Thursday, 7th May

Epcot, full day. Listed as 3/10 crowd level. No EMH. Booked an ADR for Coral Reef Restaurant, 7pm. Thinking of exploring the Boardwalk after the park closes.

Friday, 8th May

Universal's Islands of Adventure, full day. Listed as 6/10 crowd level. Since the park closes early, I've booked a reservation at T-Rex for dinner at Downtown Disney and would like to do some exploring there.

Saturday, 9th May

Hollywood Studios, full day. We have a Star Wars breakfast at Sci-Fi. Listed as a 4/10 crowd level. This does have a morning EMH. Have also booked a Fantasmic! Dinner Package at the Hollywood Brown Derby.

Sunday, 10th May

Magic Kingdom, half day. Our flight to London is at 17:35 so will need to leave the park at around 14:00 to get to the airport.

I have not included Animal Kingdom in our itinerary as I see that the main attraction is the safari. We live in South Africa and go on safaris often, so this doesn't really hold much appeal. Plus I know that MK is impossible to do in one day so I'd love the opportunity to go in a second time.

The one thing I've thought of changing is to switch Epcot and Hollywood Studios around, since HS has the EMH on Saturday which I'd like to avoid. But Epcot is listed as a 5/10 on the Saturday, and HS a 4/10. Would I better off swapping - which park is likely to be more crowded on the Saturday?

Thanks so much,
Amy


#2

This sounds like an excellent plan. smile I agree with your concern re: avoiding Saturday HS EMH if you are staying off-site. People will have varying opinions, but Sunday HS may be a reasonable plan from RD then go straight to airport (essential To-Dos there are TSMM, RnR, ToT), then you could have SW breakfast but avoid EMH, and do MK second day on Satuday. If you're in for thrills and/or have park-hoppers, Expedition Everest, Primeval Whirl, and DINOSAUR! are good fun at Animal Kingdom (the Safari is just one attraction, albeit a headlining one), and the shows (Lion King, Nemo) are excellent... but I think you're just as well off to have a second MK day.

In summary, you'll have an excellent time no matter what you do, including if you leave your plan exactly as is. (PS Congratulations and have a wonderful wedding/honeymoon!)


#3

A couple of thoughts...Coral Reef is OK, but there are a lot of choices in Epcot, and the nearby resorts, that many people think are much better restaurants. Check the menus on line.

Avoid Downtown Disney, construction will still be in progress. A second evening at City Walk will be easier.

Swap Saturday and Sunday. A second full day at MK and a morning at DHS may be a better use of time.


#4

I understand the concern about EMHs but you seem to have a good plan. What attractions do you want to do at HS? Toy Story is OK, but you say you love thrill rides . I love thrill rides and I FP RnR, ToT and ST, and I am fine.

You are going to EP during Flower and Garden. Although it is not a Food and Wine it would be great to avoid a Saturday. Pick another day and enjoy the booths.


#5

I agree that DTD will be difficult due to the traffic/parking. If you really want to eat at DTD, I can't really recommend T-Rex for a honeymooning couple; it's crazy loud, frenetic, and to food is only average. Highly recommend Raglan Road instead; excellent food and drink, and the entertainment is top-notch.


#6

Hi, wow, thanks for all the advice!

Really love the idea of having a second full MK day! My only concerns with that would be:

  • Won't MK be crazy on a Saturday due to local visitors?
  • I won't be able to watch Fantasmic! if I do HS on the Sunday. Is this not a must-see?

I did choose Coral Reef because the aquarium looks so cool smile But I will have another look. Any personal favourites / recommendations at Epcot?

I also chose T-Rex because I love dinosaurs and the atmosphere looks awesome from what I can see online. Also wanted to go to DTD because my fiance and I are huge Lego fans and I really wanted to check out the Lego store. But sounds like it will be a bit nightmarish?

At HS, I would love to do all the ones you listed, PrinicalTinker, RnR, ToT and ST. So will try and organise FastPasses for those.

Also wanted to ask - is it necessary to follow a Touring Plan when crowd levels are fairly low (i.e. 3 at Epcot, 4 at MK?). I will definitely use them to see which attractions to do first thing in the morning, but will it be necessary to follow it throughout the entire day?

Thanks!
Amy


#7

I think you may get many answers here about touring plans. I usually create one for each day. It gives me a good idea of how long I should give myself to do everything I want to do. Does that mean I always follow it step by step? Nope, I like to be distracted by the unexpected at Disney. To me, that is the magic. Others can follow a touring plan and just optimize if they wander off. You decide what's best for you. Of course many will tell you that a touring plan will allow you to get so much more done, and they may be right.


#8

Greetings from another South African!

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! What a great honeymoon you have in store!

I agree with skipping Coral Reef. Epcot has many wonderful places to eat around World Showcase. As far as recommendations, it would depend entirely on what food you would like to experience. Research menus on Lines. Favorites of liners are Teppan Edo, Rose and Crown, Le Cellier, and Biergarten.

Also, since you're staying off site I recommend not doing any park that has EMH, since it will be more crowded for you. Maybe switch days instead, as suggested above.

Overall it sounds like a fantastic plan. The Star Wars breakfast is baie lekker! I thoroughly enjoyed it last year. I wouldn't stress too much about your plans. It is your honeymoon, and will be unforgettable regardless! Have an amazing trip!


#9

I know there is a lot of advice to switch days but can you rebook your HS dining? I think @bswan26 posted about Coral Reef the other day. Maybe he can help with that?


#10

I like Coral Reef well enough, but it's certainly not at the top of my list in EP. The setting is certainly unique and I've always had good (not necessarily great) food and service. But this seems to be one of the most uneven restaurants in EP; there are as many "awful, will never go back" reports as there are "we do it every trip" reports.

Biergarten and Via Napoli are my two favorites in EP, and amongst my favorites in all of WDW; I try to do both every trip, but if I can only fit one in, it's BG. La Hacienda and Tutto Italia are on my second tier of favorites. San Angel Inn, Teppan Edo and Rose and Crown are in my "good, but no better than I can get at home" category. The setting of San Angel IS one of the nicest in WS, but the food is just average. 9 Dragons is mediocre (at best) "Chinese" food at premium prices. Marrakesh is arguably the most impressive looking restaurant in WS, but having have authentic Morrocan food, I find it somewhat lacking in flavor; the apps and desserts are quite good, but the entrees are very flat. I do not like Les Chefs and have no intention of ever going back.

That leaves the two "signature" restaurants - Le Cellier in Canada and Monsieur Paul in France. Both are excellent and get my highest recommendation; I consider Monsieur Paul to be one of the finest in WDW. But these come at a cost; expect to spend $50-75 per person, depending on what you eat (and drink).

With regards to T-Rex I recommend going in and having a drink at the bar; you can get the "atmosphere:, walk around a bit, etc. I've had a love of dinosaurs for 50 years - but a full meal there is too much for me (maybe I'm just getting old).

Personally, I would keep the full day at DHS. It will be during Star Wars Weekends, and there are a lot of special events going on. Although not something I do every trip, F! is something you should definately see at least once. There may also be SWW special fireworks in the PM as well - I saw them last year and they were quite spectacular. For the MK, two RDs and 6 FPPs and a day and a half in the park should really be enough (it certainly is for me).

Like @PrincipalTinker, I make a TP for every day, but it's more of a general planning guide than a must-follow step by step.


#11

Hello! DH and I Disneymooned in 2011. smile

I don't know how well this suggestion will go over, but perhaps give a thought or two to only spending 1 day for both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure...? DH and I also thought we were going to need 2 days for those parks (we are huge Harry Potter fans and we like roller coasters/thrill rides) but when we got to US/IOA, we didn't even need 2 days. We rode everything we wanted to ride, and then we were done.

Maybe you could tentatively say that if you go to US the first day and find that you have the time/energy to also tackle IOA, you could use your IOA day for Animal Kingdom. I agree with what others have said- AK is much more than just the safari ride. Dinosaur is the scariest (and I'll admit, jerkiest) ride on Disney property. And there is Expedition Everest, and the Lion King and Nemo shows.

I also think that maybe TRex isn't the best place to eat in DTD, but that is really just personal preference. Our favorite restaurant in all of WDW is at DTD- Raglan Road! Go at night for dinner to catch the Irish band, Celtic dancers who dance on the tables, and if you are lucky, there will be some locals there who sing and raise their glasses to you. (Man, I love Raglan Road so much.)

Hope this just gives you a different perspective! smile


#12

Just to add... As a rule I do not do character meals, so I have no first-hand review of Akershus or Garden Grill. I LOVED Akerhus when it first opened and was strictly a Norwegian restaurant, but when the Princesses took over the menu was gutted and the price raised; I have no desire to go back. Likewise Garden Grill (originally The Good Turn)was excellent when it first opened, but it, too, was turned into character dining, the menu was cut down, and the prices were raised.

And I forgot Tokyo Dining. It's a very good non-teppanyaki Japanese restaurant with above average sushi. But like Teppan Edo, I can get the same at home (for less).


#13

Disney World Crowds don't fluctuate as much on weekends vs. weekdays as many amusement parks or even Disneyland, since the majority of visitors come from out of town. It does matter is some cases, like the Epcot Food & Wine Festival or other special events, but not as much as other factors.

I consider Wishes and Illuminations as "must-sees", but don't feel the same way about Fantasmic! It's a nice show, but not amazing, and getting a good seat requires a significant investment of time. Getting out afterwards can also be pretty unpleasant.

You have better views of the aquarium just walking around the seabase where you land after the Seas with Nemo ride. You could easily spent an hour or more just walking around in there, so consider that as you're working on plans for the day, but you don't need to eat in the restaurant to have a great undersea experience at the Seas.

A couple possibilities for Epcot. Sunshine Seasons is a favorite counter service location and may be a good choice for lunch if you're planning on touring Future World in the morning (which you probably will, since attractions in World Showcase don't open until 11:00 AM). With a variety of offerings, most everyone finds something they like at Sunshine Seasons and the food is above average quality for counter service.

Dinner in World Showcase makes sense, especially if you're planning on visiting the Boardwalk after hours. If you and your fiancee like steak and aren't averse to high prices, then you won't be disappointed in Le Cellier. If there's another nation's cuisine that you would like to try, then give that a shot. Another choice could be to order appetizers and drinks at a lounge (I'm a fan of Tutto Gusto) or one of the counter service restaurants, then eat a late dinner after Illuminations at Yachstman Steakhouse (at the Yacht Club) or Flying Fish (at the Boardwalk).

I ate at T-REX once and was not a fan. @bswan26 described the experience pretty well, though a little more politely than I would, but I like his suggestion to have a drink there (or just go in and look around) and dine elsewhere. In small doses, the restaurant might be more amusing than I found it. If you do choose to dine there, then see if the Landry's select club card is available if you live outside of the United States (http://www.landrysselect.com/). It costs $25 to join, but when you do so you'll get a gift certificate for $25 off your first meal, so it's essentially free (if you join ahead of time) and gets you seated before other guests at Landry's restaurants (of which T-REX is one)

It's never necessary to follow a touring plan, but with very few exceptions you will always benefit from making a touring plan. As others have suggested, it's ok to veer off from your original plan if you see something interested that you may not have known about, if you're tired, hungry, or for any reason, but if you want to see as many attractions as possible, then a touring plan will guide you through the most efficient way to do so (and help you decide when to make your FPP reservations ahead of time).


#14

You guys are awesome, thanks so much for all the help!

Baie dankie, @DoUwannaBldAsnowman! smile I have cancelled the Coral Reef reservation and booked Biergarten instead because that definitely looks like our kind of vibe.

That is a great suggestion, @bswan26, we will definitely have a drink at T-Rex instead of the full meal. Have booked Raglan Road instead as per @Mandakjane. Sounds amazing! Also thanks for the tips on Akerhus, I was looking into that as well. Apparently Star Wars weekends only start the following weekend and they've started character breakfasts a week early this year? That is my understanding from what I've seen online. If correct, it's a pity I won't be around for the special events.

@FlyerFan1973, didn't know about the Seas of Nemo + aquarium link (haven't really looked much into the rides yet). That makes much more sense, thank you! Will also look into those Boardwalk restaurants and decide whether to switch Biergarten out in favour of one of those instead.

I have considered only 1 day for both US and IOA parks, @Mandakjane. I was trying to find info online for that exact question, but nothing was very concrete. I too am a huge Harry Potter fan, so I would like to have a lot of time to spend in both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. I was also hoping to have lunch in both The Leaky Cauldron and The Three Broomsticks over the two days, but maybe I'm just being greedy grin Also, I don't think we are going to buy the Express Passes because it is just crazy expensive. Did you have XP when you went?

@PrincipalTinker, I can rebook the HS Star Wars breakfast, there is availability for the Sunday. So will have to make a tough choice between HS full day and MK full second day - will have the chat with the fiance!

But I am feeling a bit conflicted about Animal Kingdom now after hearing the praise. How many of you would rather do AK and only one instance of MK on a trip with limited days? And who of you would skip AK and go back into MK a second time? And why? (taking into account that I've only been to the World once when I was about 12, and am now 26 [and didn't do AK that time], and fiance has only been when he was very little, around 5 [and AK wasn't even open yet]).


#15

When we went to US/IOA, we did not use the Express Pass, but only because we were there in the off-season (September).

After reading everything you've written, I think you should stick to your original plan when it comes to park days. smile It sounds like you really want 2 days at US/IOA, and 2 days at MK, and 0 days at AK, so I would do that. smile I think that is what your gut is telling you to do, and heaven forbid I tell someone to go against their gut. smile


#16

You love thrill rides and you are skipping AK? I am sorry because I believe there is never enough time in MK, but Everest may be the best attraction in the world!


#17

If I don't make it to all four parks during a visit to Disney World, then Animal Kingdom tends to be the place I skip. There are many wonderful things to see in the park and some attractions I really enjoy, particularly Everest and the Lion King show, with the Safari and the Nemo show also being among my favorites. Dinosaur and Flights of Wonder are also worth experiencing, too, and the animal viewing trails often provide unexpected joy or at least take you away from the madness of the other parks for a short time. However, a short visit to the parks doesn't lend itself well to the slower pace that Animal Kingdom is intended to be savored, and you'll have to give something up in order to spend time there. Animal Kingdom is also in the midst of rather significant changes, meaning that some of the beauty of the park is currently hidden behind construction walls and there will be much more to see next time you visit.

Whatever you decide you'll have a lot of fun, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. If after a day in the Magic Kingdom you feel like you've done everything you want to do, then you can always change your plans to visit Animal Kingdom the last day.


#18

I would definitely choose AK over a second MK day.With kids it might be different, but as adults, I believe that you can do all of the "headliners" in one day with RD, FPPs, and a good TP. In AK, the safari, EE, Dinosaur, Lion King and Nemo are among the best that WDW has to offer. Add in the 2 trails (especially the Maharajah in Asia) and a number of other rides and shows, and there is PLENTY to do there.AK is second only to WS as my favorite park in WDW - especially if you have never been to it, you really need to go.


#19

I agree with @bswan26, but I think you should plan to do EE at least 3 times. Trust me on this one!


#20

Okay great, thanks everyone! Guess we'll make the tough decision between AK and a second MK while there and after we've had a feel for MK on the Wednesday.

So one final question then smile If it comes to giving the half day to either AK or HS, which one is more of a 'half-day' park?