WDW Planning - First Time for Mommy and the kids

So we have plans to visit WDW starting on Mother’s day through the following Friday. I’ve been a few times, as a child and as an adult. But this will be the first time for my wife. Our son is 5 and is on the spectrum. My daughter is 2. As we rapidly approach our 60 day FP+ window I wanted to run by my planning ideas, see what people thought.

We have 6 nights at AoA in a Lion King room and are very much looking forward to the trip. We got a family suite so that my son and daughter can be in separate sleeping spaces. What we are stressing here is making things easy. Budget is not an issue and we plan to spend money on Minnie-vans and the like to make things easier. We have park hoppers but don’t plan on doing a lot of hopping.

With the 2 year old we figure we will need to leave the parks mid-day for rest and naps. My son loves the pool and with Dinner reservations on most nights we are not sure if we are going to head back to the parks most nights or not.

We are going to drive down the Saturday before our first day at the parks. The plan is to find some reasonably priced hotel to spend the night.

Sunday- Magic Kingdom - So we will get up early and head to the parks. Option 1 is to just drive to TTC and take the monorail in. I like the idea of the monorail, but Option 2 is to park at AoA and just take a Minnie-van in to the park. Once at the park we will need to stop by City-Hall to pick up a DAS pass for my son. Our plan is to spend the day in Fantasy land until our room is ready. We have lunch reservations for Be Our Guest. I should be able to grab a FP for Peter Pan but I don’t think 7DMT will be obtainable. Other fast passes will go to Belle’s Enchanted tales and then, maybe Tomorrowland speedway. Once room is ready we will rest for the remainder of the day. 'Ohana reservations at 7 after dinner home and to bed.

Monday - Epcot - Epcot for day 2 as this seems ot be the easiest park to get fast passes for. The plan is to FP Test Track and try to hit Frozen for RD. (or the other way around?) Soarin, we will then likely use DAS and do some of the other shorter wait rides while we wait it out. Finding Nemo is a priority here and will likely earn a FP. Back to the hotel to Rest. Dinner is at Garden Grill.

Tuesday - Hollywood Studios - So this one is still up the air. Getting there early to gety a BG for ROTR is a must. We plan to us DAS pass to get access to MMRR. We can then hit some of the other attractions and shows (FP for Toy Story) For our tier 1 I am thinking slinky dog may not be too much for my 5 year old. MFSR while I’d like to ride but may just be a casualty to I may be the only one who wants to ride it. Maybe single rider. My hope is to get SDD fast pass in the morning. If we can’t then I will get it closer to 4 pm. We can come back to the park via skyliner and then head off to dinner.

Dinner on Tuesday is Whispering Canyon at 6. We plan to Minnie-van in. From there we will take the boat to MK and then set up for the fireworks. Minnie-van back to AoA after the show.

Wednesday - Rest Day - So part of the reason we are going to stay out late Tuesday is that we can sleep in Wednesday. No planned parks this day. Only thing on the books is a Breakfast at 9:30 at 'Ohana. I was thinking we could spend the day at the pool. My other thought was to get a few FP for Frontierland, Adventureland etc and got to MK for a just a little while to hit those attractions. Maybe try to be there at 3:00 for the parade. No dinner plans that night. Oh if we don’t get a BG for ROTR on Tuesday we could try again today and still make it to breakfast (bye bye sleeping in though)

Thursday - Animal Kingdom - So by placing AK this far into our trip I think I should be able to get a FP for FOP before noon. KJ Safaris is a must do as my son loves animals. While I like the idea of Everest, this trip is not about me, and once again I think I may be the only person interested. Our plan is to use DAS to get access to Navari river. For dinner we are back to HS for 50’s Primetime. After dinner we are planning on getting an in room babysitter and going to the Villains After Hours. This should allow us to do all the MK rides that the kids are not ready for (Haunted mansion, Space mountain etc). It’s an expensive night, but as I said, budget is not a huge concern.
NOTE: Tuesday and Thursday parks could be swapped if I could get an Early enough FP to FOP on Tuesday)
Friday - Magic Kingdom - There are EMH and well it may depend on how with it Mommy and Daddy are after the night event to see if we make it for those. This is the day we will get FP for 7DMT. The rest of the day will be hitting the kid friendly rides that we didn’t do on Monday (or Wednesday?) Dinner reservations are either Mamma Melrose or Hollywood and Vine (both reserved for Fantasmic.) We will enjoy dinner and hen watch the show. Another late night but tomorrow we head for home.

Saturday - So the plan is just to drive home. But if we didn’t hit the parks Wednesday we could in theory go to the parks before we leave. It could be a chance to use a FP for something like MF:SR or something like that. I don’t know if we would want to stay long enough to try for a second Boarding group to ROTR. But it’s a possibility.

So those are my preliminary plans. Yes, there are spreadsheets and yes they are color coded. Any thoughts or commentary are welcome. I want to make this a visit that makes us want to come back to Disney over and over.

Maximum Experience. Minimum Inconvenience.


We’ll be there for those same days. (Actually, we arrive May 9, and leave May 18, six of the days at WDW.)

Anyhow, my thoughts concerning Minnie Van versus driving to MK? Well, Minnie Van would definitely be faster over all…BUT, I will admit, I have a love for the Monorail. It is part of the magical experience…it is like a ride, but giving you a glimpse of the Contemporary and Chef Mickey’s down below as you pass through, etc. It is something to keep in mind in terms of overall “experience” at WDW for your kids. If you don’t think your kids will care, and cost of the Minnie Van is not a concern, then go for it.

It looks like you have a reasonable plan.

On this day, I recommend hanging in MK for awhile to let people move out after HEA. It’s pretty crazy trying to leave then. I’m talking like 30 minutes–maybe get a ride in first. I think Minnie Vans are hard to come by following HEA, although my experience was last spring so their fleet may have quadrupled since then so hopefully someone with more recent experience will chime in. You can always also walk to Contemporary and get Lyft (but I guess you need car seats so harder to do).

On your AK day, if you really want to ride EE (and you should!), it is very quick at RD as the masses go to Pandora. Arrive at RD and you will be on/off in 10 min. The rest of your fam could do triceratops spin maybe and meet you.

It sounds like you are well prepared for your trip. Just a thought, Everest has a single rider line which may allow you to ride without much of a wait. We used it several times this past fall and didn’t wait longer than 10 minutes. Perhaps mom could hang back with the kids and have some ice cream while you ride. There’s even plenty of places where they can watch the coaster go down the hill which might be fun for the kids to try and find Daddy.
Back in 2016 we arrived right after Mother’s Day and had a great trip crowd wise.

Thanks for the insight. MinnieVan cost is sort of baked in. We were going to stay at plot but switched to AoA because it seemed like a better fit for my family. As a result we saved a lot of money on lodging and decided that could be a MinnieVan budget.

I totally agree on the monorail experience. Honestly it would be more for my wife than my kids. Just wonder if it’s worth the hassle of making our way through the TTC parking lot.

Decisions, Decisions.

Another thought? Take the Minnie Van to the park, but then at some point during your day, hop on the Monorail just to loop around and experience it.

Is riding even possible after HEA? I thought it was at park close. I figured all transportation is going to be packed after HEA. 30 min wait not a bad idea.

AS for AK, thanks for the endorsement of EE. I had not considered RD for it. don’t know if my fam could do Triceratops as it would be my wife with 5 and 2 year old. Unless they could ride 3 across.

Thanks for the info. Yeah, Daddy may try to conquer Everest after all. Keeping my fingers crossed that the week is lower in crowds. It was really our primary goal.

Yeah we could do that. I’ve also thought about riding it after our O’hana breakfast.

Sometimes, HEA is before park close…but the week we’ll be there, you’re correct…you won’t be able to get on a ride once HEA is over unless Disney updates their hours.

They can. It’s like Dumbo. Also, the “Boneyard” was an unexpected and amazing place for my kids (4 and 1) in January. They have slides and ropes and water features. And an entire “sand” pit that the kids can dig in - it’s sand that doesn’t stick to you. A lot of good sensory options if that helps with your son. We used this as one of our “rest” times on our AK day - to get out of the heat, away from the crowds, etc. Kids perked up dramatically afterwards. So an easy option if/when you want to do EE on your own!

Also - if this is mommy’s first time and money is no object, and it’s the week of Mother’s Day, I might recommend you schedule her a spa treatment at the Grand Floridian or Saratoga Springs on your non-park day…

I don’t think many people know it exists, we’ve never waited long using single rider, it moves very quickly too.

Not a bad idea. Me thinks I need to do some research.

We shall see. Now can you sneak me on ROTR?

Ha, if you find out let me know!