Trip Planning!

Helloooooooo! It has been so long since I have posted. I think because I have had to reschedule my trip twice and I needed a break and now I also have two kids!

So we were supposed to go April-May 2020 for my daughters birthday. But that obviously didn’t happen haha. Then we rescheduled for Feb 2022. But I got pregnant (which was a miracle because our daughter is IVF) so we cancelled that one.

Now we are finally booked to come back January 27-Feb 5th. This will be our first trip with kids. DH and I have been many times just the two of us but now we will have DD3.5 and DS9months in tow. Along with my MIL, Aunt in Law and my and DHs best guy friend.

We are staying offsite in Emerald Island Resort as no one in our group had the budget to stay onsite. This will be our first time offsite as well. We have a mini van booked.

I have so many questions! So please help!

  1. Is preferred parking worth it? We will have a double stroller plus all the baby stuff. And a whole bag of snacks and stuff (MIL is type one diabetic). It seems pricey but I think we might need it especially since I’ve heard the MK parking lot is massive.

  2. Please weigh in on my tentative park days and plans. So far we have not purchased PH. And have 6 park days. DH doesn’t think we will be doing Hopping with the kids and having to drive. When we stayed on-site just the two of us we always had PH. So far I am agreeing with him as it saves us 350 Canadian. And we are considering using some of that money to book a character dining experience at a resort for our DD on one of our non park days.

1/27 - arrive and get settled into villa and get groceries etc.
1/28 - Magic Kingdom (DH wants MK to be DDs first park but I’m not as convinced if a better strategy is out there).
1/29 - Epcot
1/30 - rest day - heard there are nearby outlet stores we could check out??? MIL and Aunt want to go to NASA but we won’t take the kids.
1/31 - AK
2/1 - HS
2/2 - rest day and Disney springs
2/3 - HS
2/4 - MK
2/5 - fly home early morning

I’m wondering if we need two HS days. There’s not much for the baby to do there. But us adults really want to get on ROTR and DH and I love TOT and RnRC. Plus DD is tall enough for Slinky. Since it’s a “low time”. Think we could maybe switch it if we don’t need it?

I’m worried about our two MK days both being Saturdays…

We will buy Genie+ and are even considering some ILL if we need them. I think MIL is also applying for DAS but I have never used that and don’t know if it will work for our whole party. I have zero experience with it.

Send me any and all advice. I feel like a newbie all over again!

Edit to add: we are pretty budget conscious. I’m on Canadian maternity leave. And our dollar isn’t great hahaha. We aren’t really doing any TS and will be packing sandwiches and snacks. Probably will do QS for suppers in the park.


Lots of people on here love doing MK first every trip, especially with little kiddos who will be able to do more there than any other park. And the castle!
My family loves having multiple days at HS with the big and fun rides and because lines can be long and/or rides like Rise can have bad days.

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If she qualifies for DAS, all of you can be added. The only stipulation is that she has to tap in first and actually ride. There is a limit to the number of people in a party, but I can’t remember how many. It’s a rather large number, like 10?

She can pick up to two advance times for each day, except for ILL rides and BG rides (GOTG). Then once she taps into a park she can choose one ride at a time, including ILL rides, in addition to the two prebooked. I used DAS my last trip exclusively. It worked very well for me, but I don’t ride most of the rides due to vertigo. YMMV.

If there are rides you would like to ride that she won’t, you could use G+ and ILLs for those.


You could switch second HS and MK, doing MK on the third.

I’d highly recommend doing Adventureland first on your first MK day. Do Fantasyland on your second day. We’ve done that with several littles. Disney is overwhelming at first. Kids tend not to get attached to their first experience. Once they get the hang of Disney, they warm up to what they’re seeing/doing.

Example: our great granddaughters screamed in terror on Aladdin’s Magic Carpets, their first Disney ride. But they loved Big Thunder Mtn and Splash.

In your situation, I think I would get the preferred parking. You’re saving money elsewhere and our biggest peeve when staying off property is finding our car when we want it.

You may not even want to park hop. If your older child is an early riser, making rope drop easier, you may feel you’ve done enough by mid- to late afternoon. Six to eight hours anywhere is enough.

Above all: be flexible and go with whatever flow is happening with your 3 yo!

eta: reserve two HS days. And if AK seems to speak to your 3yo more, and the adults are done with HS, you can probably switch to AK.

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Congrats on the new arrival! I think the DAS limit is 6 people. I also think that it’s a good idea to start at MK. I wouldn’t worry much about it being a Saturday. With G+ you’ll do fine. But I would recommend reading the top post in the pinned Genie+ threads.

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I agree, it’s always special to have a first visit be at MK. It’s the most “Disney” of the parks.

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