TP Feedback? 1st WDW visit--still recovering from a DL disaster!


#1

First time to Orlando. Anyone wanna have a look at my itinerary and give me feedback?

Background:
Mom, Dad, 4 boys (9, 11, 13, 16). The boys--especially Dad--are all thrill seekers. We live in Northern California and do Six Flags, Universal, etc. We've done Disneyland once and unfortunately it was a cursed day*, so I'm trying to redeem Disney parks for my family.

About us: We do theme parks often. We arrive early, have good stamina, bring snacks, and don't do any formal dining. (We do try hard not to run.) Meeting characters is not a priority for us.

Orlando Plans:
Our only option is a Christmas visit--yes, crazy, but I've at least managed a plan that only puts us in WDW when crowds are at 7-8. We're doing 2 days at USR and 3 days at WDW (with a Hopper). We're very familiar with Universal, but I'm still figuring out WDW, so I'm hoping I've put together something that will work. I know park-hopping is a bit ambitious for newbies, but we can only swing 3 days at WDW and I have a severe case of FOMO--plus we've learned from experience* that we need to have back-up options.

Touring Plans:
I've included all the TouringPlans.com "not to be missed" items, plus a small sampling of others (no characters or sit-down meals). I see this as "the only time we will ever buy 6 plane tickets to FL" so I like to make sure we hit all the highlights. I do insist on dragging the boys to a few live shows and some "classics" whether they are interested or not. I've created/optimized touring plans for everything, so in theory this should work:

ITINERARY

Dec 25: Arrival

Dec 26:

Dec 27-28:

  • 2 Days @ Universal (Crowds:10, but we'll have Express Unlimited, so we'll be fine)

Dec 29-31:

  • Weekend/New Years Eve, downtime, explore Orlando

Jan 1:

Jan 2:

Jan 3: Departure

What do you think? Any feedback?

*
Our Disneyland Disaster, ICYI:
On our first Southern CA vacation we hit Magic Mountain, Universal, Disneyland and California Adventure. Because we did Magic Mountain & Unversal first, I prepped my boys, saying that Disney is a different atmosphere/purpose and also has some amazing rides (I grew up loving Disneyland; my husband had never been).

We used (and loved!) touring plans. I used the book, but not the website, so I didn't know we could customize it or look up day-specific info about the park in advance. I didn't even notice that they had signs outside of the Disneyland entrance with a list of the day's closures. We were visiting off-season, and it turned out they were prepping for the 60th anniversary so the following rides were CLOSED: Peter Pan, Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, and Matterhorn. And then Big Thunder Mountain broke while we were in line. This is not a joke.

We also didn't have a park hopper (don't ask me why we didn't go back and upgrade--maybe we didn't know it was an option?) so we couldn't even walk over to California Adventure. When we made it to California Adventure the next day, after our first ride--Goofy's Flight School--my son proclaimed, "this is already better than Disneyland!". Fortunately everything there over there was open except for Soarin' (and the Touring Plan was spot-on), so that day was a bit redemptive, but my husband swore off Disneyland forever. I'm hoping that if this trip goes better, I can get him to rescind that!


#2

I'm certainly no expert as I just put my plans up to be checked too, but I CAN tell you that navi river and flight of passage will take MUCH longer than the plan says. The times are based on historical data. Because it's so new they don't have enough data to make accurate predictions yet. Without a fast pass your looking at potentially up to 3 hours in line for flight of passage. I'm assuming you don't want to spend the whole day there

What could possibly work is heading to navi on the 26th as soon as the park opens. Instead of going back to hs that second morning you could go to AK and fast pass fop. It depends on what your priorities are. I would not miss fop!

Also, bearing in mind that hall of presidents has been closed pretty much all year, I'm not sure if it will be up and running again when you are there- keep an eye on it.


#3

Thanks for the feedback! Funny enough, I was just reading about Flight of Passage and realizing that my wait-time was probably way off and I actually had the same thought to go back that second day. I think we'll plan an extra-early arrival for AK on our first and second day, if needed (as you suggested) and see if we can't hit those 2 rides.

I'm thinking I need to have my kids watch Avatar before we go; they hardly know what it is. (Actually, it would be fun to make a movie list based on all of the attractions, and work through it for the next couple months...)


#4

We've done a great long countdown- one movie a week for the past 18 months or so :grin:

Was never able to get hold of Tom and Huck though :thinking:


#5

A quick look at the first day at DHS. You have all 3 fastpasses listed for the same time - they have to be a minimum of an hour apart. And this will throw your plan out. You may need to re-plan this.


#6

Oh, I def. didn't realize that, thank you!! I've changed and re-optimized them.


#7

DHS now looks fine. My only concern is you are relying on that fastpass leeway right at the start, so you need to make sure you leave AK in time!

Epcot has another issue. Did you know about the tiering at Epcot? You can only choose one from Soarin, Test Track and FEA in your initial 3. After using the first 3 you can try for another tier 1.

Opinions vary. I think you should fp TT, unless you're happy to use the single rider line. Soarin has 3 theatres so is quicker than it was. Also I assume you've done Soarin in DL? And another reason is TT is next to Mission Space. Do those 2 and book SSE as the third fp. Then across to Soarin.

Have you picked a country for the Agent P adventure? I can't remember exactly where they all are.
And do you know where you might eat? Those two things might change your plan for later on, i.e.: World Showcase.

Finally MK. I notice you have left a lot of free time, presumably after putting in your must-do attractions. Which means you have time to do more. In which case all I would point out is your plan has you walking most of the way round the park anti-clockwise and then back tracking half way round, all before lunch. That's a lot of walking in a few hours; I think personally I would break for lunch and then start back again filling in with stuff like Phillharmagic, People Mover, Little Mermaid etc.

Also the queue for HM is fun, but you will miss it with a fastpass. It's also easier to get as a 4th than Splash. I would be tempted to play with the plan a bit (take a copy first if you want) and see what happens if you got a fastpass for Splash instead, then by switching times of PP and BTRR you might be able to make your way round the park a little more consecutively for your main attractions.

I suggest you make sure you leave enough time after 7dmt in case the wait is longer than expected. Maybe allow an hour; and I saw it longer than that by 10:30 at the same time of year.

4th and subsequent fastpasses for HM (maybe), Pirates, Jungle Cruise are all possible.

And I wouldn't think Hall of Presidents will be open by then.


#8

Nice catch on the tiering, thanks. I've updated Epcot with your suggestions. The automatic optimization put Soarin much later in the day. Manually bumping it up added 10 min. to the waiting time, but we haven't done it yet (it was closed when we did CA), and I think we'll feel better with it checked off our list once it's later in the day and we're trying to decided whether to wait in line for Frozen or not The flow is much better now. I think we'll do Agent P at Mexico, so that should be good start to walking around the showcase. Let me know what you think.


#9

Just FYI- we thought the Agent P adventures were best in Germany, France, Japan, and the UK. Mexico and China were just so-so to us...but that may be because we did the others first. If you start in Mexico, it may just build better and better.

PS- Soarin' is closer to the Canada/UK side of WS than the Mexico/Norway side. Just wanted to point that out if you didn't want to criss-cross.


#10

Thanks for the input; we're flexible on that and open to advice. We may do the Gran Fiesta Tour in Mexico, so a stop somewhere else for Agent P might be better anyway


#11

You can do both if you have the time and multiple/all Agent P adventures too. Pressing skip on Major Monogram helps speed it up without taking away from the story too much. :slight_smile:


#12

I would probably leave HS and have lunch in Epcot, as the food options are much, much better than in HS.


#13

Great ideas about MK; would you mind having another look at what I tried? I still need to build in a buffer for 7 dwarfs (should I just insert a break?)


#14

As far as I know, there is also a tiering at DHS: You could choose only one of RnRC, Fantasmic and TMM as your initial three. So late you use them and regarding the time you are there, I’m afraid you will not find one of them as a 4th FP+.

Sure you could try to use Single-Rider-Line at RnRC but as there so many groups use it when parks are crowded, you hardly save any time - sometimes you even wait there longer than at standby.


#15

You don’t need to have watched avatar to enjoy FOP

We’ve still not watched it but you’ve reminded me that having been on the ride we all said we wanted to watch it

There’s an avatar sequel coming soon so I imagine FOP is only going to get bigger focus in the future


#16

MK looks better, from what I can remember anyway. You can just add a break after 7dmt, at the time the plan says you will be finished, and don’t allow any leeway on it (that’s an option you can use).

If then, you find getting to HM and back to PP really tight, then you can do Philarmagic instead of HM at that point, then go to HM on the way round to BTMR. Again, if HM would put BTMR ‘at risk’, then you can leave HM for later on.

Being prepared to be flexible is key, as you have plenty of time in the afternoon to do anything that you had to miss out.

As someone pointed out, DHS does have an issue. You will need to chose either TSMM or RnR as your tier 1, and use another tier 2 before you can try for another tier 1. I’m not sure that you have time to do that though, if Beauty and the Beast stage show is a must. By the way, check the show times for BatB; on your TP it lists the times up to 4pm, yet is allowing a 5pm show - double check that there is one at 5pm. You may need to drop one and do it on your DHS am day.

Fantasmic though is often available later on as a 4th, so that should be OK. However, given this is Christmas time, it may not - be prepared to have to queue for longer. But you have an hour as it stands, so that’s OK.