We are on the 4 year plan for our Disney Trips. This trip included 4 adults 3 teens and an 8 year old. (4 disney newbies) We stayed at an airbnb house off site. We mostly only care about rides.
Day 1: Magic Kingdom using Genie + and premade touring plan
Goal: Get the headliners in excluding Seven Dwarfs
7:00 am I picked LL for Jungle Cruise in late afternoon
Missed rope drop because of slow travelling companions and poor estimate about how long parking, walking, monorailing takes. Entered gate around 9:10
Started at Buzz Lightyear as all 8 people would enjoy it. Split into two groups for Space Mountain and People Mover x 2. Went to Monsters Laugh Floor during which I picked up the next LL. Ate lunch.
Plan was to go to Haunted Mansion but it was not operating.
Did Thunder Mountain in stand by, maybe a 30 minute line. 8 year old terrified out of his wits entire ride and exclaimed “I am still alive!” when train pulled back in. Luckily he was still cheerful and willing to keep going.
Split parties: One group did Tom Sawyer Island and Tiki Room, other group standby for Splash.
Joined up for LL for Pirates and LL Jungle Cruise. Walk through Treehouse Following with LL for Small World and Tea Cups. LL something else that was down so we didn’t get to ride it.
Really hot and really tired from travelling so headed home around 5. Knew we were coming back a second day.
Overall frustrated by closure of Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain Briefly, and Peter Pan. Definitely frustrating and cut a bit into our day and original plans. Also, annoying that you can get LL at 7, 11, 1, 3, etc. So it is hard to use them in the morning when we are there if we want any for popular rides.
Day 2: Epcot
goal: Rat and do everything else, all standby
Again my party was slow so we entered park 10 minutes after rope drop. TP recommends Spaceship Earth first so we walk on to that. Drag everyone to Rat and stand in line 20 minutes and then it closes for a long time. Sigh. Wander around countries before they are actually open and go on 3 Caballeros. Head to the Sea. Enjoy ride and exhibits. By now very hot, hungry, tired, grumpy from rat closure. Head out for lunch and rest.
Tell people we are returning at 3. Finally get people moving and arrive back at close to 4. (a pattern is developing)
Hit the land which is my family’s two favorite rides Soaring and Living with the Land. Hit Imagination (and let people actually play with the exhibits after) and butterfly garden and split for snacks. Meet at Remy and wait 90 minutes. Get dinner. Sit around and wait for Harmonious. Watch that and go home.
My overachieving self personally disappointed we didn’t get test track (or Frozen) in. No one else cares. Original plan also had us do the countries after a morning Rat and snacking but since the ride was closed nothing was open yet. In hindsight we should have walked back down to the nature lands.
Day 3: Rest
Nice lunch with just hubby and I at Disney Springs Chef Art Homecoming(without a reservation!) Then the 4 ladies walk around Disney Springs in the afternoon. Goal to go in LEGO shop, but we refuse to wait in line to go into a store. Have fun looking at outdoor Lego sculptures and wandering through the other shops. Get nauseated by the overpowering smells in the candy shop. Wow! Get matching Mickey shirts at Uniqlo. Our only souvenirs for the trip.
Day 4: Hollywood Studios with Genie + and ILL for ROTR
Goal: ROTR and all other rides (acheived with flying colors)
7 am reserved LL for SDD for 7:55 pm. Saw earlier times available later but kept that so not to lose it. Frustrated you can’t pick your times.
8 am Actually got my family there on time for a change. (even early enough for DH to replace his lost entry card) In line to enter and snag ILL for ROTR early evening. Offsite guests can have fun too!
Touring plans says TOT then RRC. Sadly RRC down for extended time period. Head to MMRR. Throughout the day we LL Millenium Falcon, Indiana Jones, Woody’s RoundUp, Swirling Saucers, SDD, RRC(yay came back online) MMRR
Standby: Muppets, Star Tours, Tower of Terror
Did an afternoon break in there somewhere. Overall awesome day as we did every single thing we wanted despite Rocking Roller Coaster being down the entire morning. LL to the rescue there. Successfully did a split LL with half our party going to RRC and half to MMRR. Left the park as the show was going. Best day ever!
Day 5: Magic Kingdom Day 2
Goal: Haunted Mansion and all the rides we missed on Day 1.
Genie+ reserved Haunted Mansion first thing. This was our priority. Not a smart move in general but important for my family.
Again my family was really slow and we were not there when the park opened.
Because our first LL was around 10 I continually booked new ones as we went through the day. Peter Pan was down a lot and was not offered most of the day. We LL Barnstormer, and Aladdin. Split for lunch. Did a split LL for Winnie the Pooh and Splash (Splash closed so we couldn’t use it). Super hot, but needed to wait for our lunch reservation. Half of the people did Pooh, Carousal of Progress and Presidents. Other half consider 7D but standby is 70 minutes in the sun and choose indoor POTC to do standby for an hour to stay cool instead. Followed by Tiki Room and Liberty River Boat. None of us had done River Boat before and it was lovely and relaxing at a hot part of the day. Ate at Jungle Skipper Canteen. Headed back home to cool off. Men were done for the day. Teen daughter promised fireworks so moms and daughters head back in the evening. Finally picked up a LL for Peter Pan. Also LL for Buzz Lightyear. Did Carousal of Progress and People Mover. Watch fireworks from behind a tree because of poor planning in not finding a spot until 8:57. Go on Peter Pan, ride stops three times. Have LL for Thunder MT but will miss it because of Peter Pan so I cancel and rebook for later. Get to Thunder Mountain early and do standby instead of waiting 30 for LL to start. Standby takes about 40 minutes. Tired, tired, tired head home. (wish I had chosen space mountain instead of thunder to save on the walk and possibly have a shorter wait) Nighttime lines not as short as I thought they would be.
Day 6: Animal Kingdom no Genie+ or ILL
Goal: FOP and Safari
Finally got my people there before rope drop and in the front of the pack. Tip: tell them they need to leave 15 minutes earlier than needed.
Walk to FOP only to find it will be closed with no estimate of reopening. Get in line for Navi River instead. Husband freaked out by posted 70 minute wait and I assure him “that is all lies” and we need to wait in it anyway. It takes us 28 minutes. Not only is FOP not operating EE is also down. So where are all the people going? Head to Safari. Wait about 30 minutes. Walk the gorilla trail. Regret letting 8 year old get Wilderness explorers book because no one else wants to wait for him to get badges. Head to Rapids and wait 20 minutes. Hop on Rafikis train. I prep 8 year old that 5 badges is a lot and he can only hope to do 1 or 2. We arrive just in time for Animation Experience and draw Dumbo. Hop the train back (with 3 complete badges). Head to lunch at Satuli. We have to wait a long time because they are out of bowls! While waiting for food, we see FOP is reopen. Sad we have already paid for our food as we watch people run to get in line. Goodbye short wait. Husband finds ILL available for FOP while we eat lunch. (We were not originally planning on getting it, but with it and EE down all morning we bite the bullet and give them our $$) Now eat leisurely and have 90 minutes before our ILL. EE is back up so party splits. Some to EE and the rest do Navi River again because it is close and the line is in the shade. 60 minute wait! Party rejoins for FOP. (8 year old closed his eyes the entire time: sigh) Head over to dinosaur to finish out the day. Husband regrets short cut path with Wilderness badge. We tap our feet waiting and finally make it to Dinosaur. Newbies love the ride even the 8 year old. (I prepped him for noise and scary dinosaurs). I remember to cover my ears the entire way and brace in a semi stand to avoid most of the ride’s roughness. DH comments that round wheels had not been invented yet. Party splits. Teens and some adults head home. 8 year old and parents stay to enjoy more badges and the boneyard.
Overall impressions. Genie+ really saved us when a ride had been down for much of the day multiple times. Having to do park reservations ahead of time was annoying. We would have preferred a second day at HS over MK. Despite being offsite I think we got good usage out of Genie+ mostly because we did a rope drop/evening split. Luckily the 8 year old handled that schedule fine. Occasionally it was annoying reserving LL while in the middle of watching a show etc. Also Haunted Mansion and Avatar areas have very poor cell service and internet so I couldn’t reserve the next LL until after the ride rather than at tap in.
My daughter’s super power is having rides stop while on them. I think there were at least 6 rides that stopped while she rode them. Notably right before the backwards drop on EE.
The 8 year old probably did miss out on experiences aimed for his age. Especially at AK and Epcot. Teens and people who have done it all before don’t necessarily have the patience to stop at every little thing or fill out workbooks or do scavenger hunts. Only 8 year olds think riding all the escalators at the Seas over and over is fun. (covid child from the sticks)
Grateful for all the tips and training on Genie+ from touring plans forums ahead of time. I did ok the first few days and was a pro by day 3, but would have been hopeless with no preparation. Knowing to continually refresh rather than give up was key.
As returning guests we could have easily skipped AK if not for the presence of FOP.
It is too hot in Florida in April for us(we are from NH). Next time we will go in the winter.