To Hollywood Studios or not to Hollywood studios?

First timer here planning a Disney birthday trip for my 7 turning 8 year old son. We are going to be there 9/18-9/22, his birthday is 9/20. Prior to the announcement of GE I was planning on is going to Hollywood studios on his birthday but now I’m considering only doing 2 parks (MK,AK) and hitting HS next time.

This is a short trip but I’m wondering if 2 parks enough, we’ve never been so my son may not realize he is “missing out” on something but I will and I’m struggling with that aspect.

Also if we were to do only 2 park days that would leave us not going to a park on his birthday which seems not fun.

So many unknowns with GE but any advice from experienced Disney goers.

Also we are not early enough risers to participate in EEMH without some pretty pissed out kids.

Since it’s before SW opening I’d go. Is he interested in TSL, RnRC or ToT?

September will be after it opens

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Sorry - I read as 8/20. I must be tired. Tough call then.

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I’m confused. Were you always going to do a two park visit or has SWGE made you want to cut down on the number of days? Are you saying you were always going two days, but now one of them is AK instead of DHS?

If you were planning on doing 3+ days, why not do a return to MK? There’s so much to do in that park that two days will help see much more of it. Why not Epcot? (Test Track, Soarin’, Space, FEA & etc… plus so many character interactions)

If you are asking is two days long enough, well… that’s a judgment call. I could live there every day!

If you are asking should you cut back on the trip, I don’t think so… there’s so much to see.

If you are asking should you even try to go into DHS or substitute AK, that’s tough! How often do you get to go to WDW? If this is a once in a lifetime or maybe one of only a couple they’ll ever go – then I’d brave it if my kids were SW fans. If they don’t care about SW then maybe it’s not a such a big deal.

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How many days do you have tickets? Only 2? Like @darkmite2 said, If you have tickets for length of stay and want to avoid HS, I’d do 2 days at MK, 1 at AK and possibly 1 at Epcot. If you only have 2 days of tickets and want to go on DS’s birthday, then go on the 20th and 1 other day (they don’t have to start on day 1 and they don’t have to be consecutive)

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It was a 3 day. Trying to decide if I should cut back to 2 days. This ain’t a once in a lifetime trip but will likely be a few years before we go again so my now 2 year old can enjoy even more rides etc. I was debating a second MK day but it would be on a party wasn’t sure if I wanted to do that. My 7 year old is an SW by default because my husband loves it but not a huge fan of crowds. I guess I could stick with the 3 days and decide last minute. May mess up my fast pass selection but shouldn’t be too bad. Thanks!

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For three days w/ your concerns in mind - I’d go to AK or Epcot for 9/20/19 . (At Epcot, it’ll be Food & Wine Fest time - treat yourselves too!)

I get wanting to be in MK for the actual birthday. My suggestion is to make the entire time a birthday celebration. Let him wear his birthday button all three days! I definitely think NOT going to any park on his birthday would be far worse than not getting to be in MK.


Are you opposed to EPCOT for one of the days? If not, how about making FP reservations at HS, but knowing that if reports coming in close to your dates suggest utter craziness at HS, then you’ll switch to EPCOT? You wouldn’t get the best FPs at that point, but I bet you could get something good enough.


I vote for keeping your three days and spending two of them in MK. A MNSSHP day should keep the crowds slightly lower during the day. On a first time trip, it seems MK would be the natural focus anyway. Enjoy!

I agree about the crowds on party day. However, for a lot of ppl it’s hard to justify only doing a “half day” and still paying full price. I don’t see park hopper listed in their plans or even if they plan on taking breaks. (Which with an 8yr old they should - IMHO)

Last September, I accidentally went to MK on a party night, arriving at 4:30PM. We figured out on the bus that it was a party when we saw the costumes. The crowd was so low, we were able to do 6 rides and make it out the gates at 6PM to head to DS for dinner. There’s a lot to be said for going on a party day with low crowds. You might get more done on that short day than on a normal full day.


Get a park hopper and you can start at DHS and then bail if it’s too crazy.

sniffle, sniffle

EPCOT gets no love.


That was my thought too. However, since it didn’t sound like they want to pay to stay in MK, I’m guessing they don’t want to pay the extra for PH either.

We looked into park hoppers but didn’t seem fiscally beneficial because we’ll only be park hopping the one day.


Lol I want to go to Epcot especially for food and wine but my son would probably side eye me the ENTIRE time. I haven’t closed it completely off. Once we reveal the surprise I’ll let him YouTube until til his little heart is content and see what he thinks. If I know him like I think I do it’ll probably be a no.

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This is good to know.

But…what do YOU think? Trips to Disney shouldn’t just be about the kids. In fact, it should be MOSTLY about what you want (which, of course, includes wanting the kids to have a good time…I get that). But if you want to do EPCOT, don’t let your son stop you.

Our kids enjoyed EPCOT. I enjoyed EPCOT (I was there the year it opened, at 9!). It is still probably my favorite park after MK.

Epcot has always been our whole extended family’s favorite park. We have taken kids to Epcot starting at 2 yrs old.

Epcot scores an 85, MK and AK tie for second at about 60 with HS a close last at 58.

For years we’d open MK, AK or HS and close Epcot, every night. It depends on your goals and preferences, maybe.

We could just be those weird folk who have fun while not on a ride. :roll_eyes: