Where do I spend my afternoon half day on our short TWO day trip?

So, my husband and I are taking DS 8, and DD 6 and 3 to Disney World for the first time. It’s tacked on to a family visit, so our plan is to do 1.5 days at MK and .5 day at another park in mid-March. I’ve played around with different half day plans and it seems like their are more attractions/ shows for us at HS when I check them off. I know everyone has their own opinion on their favorite park. I’m just wondering if HS is the right .5 pick for us. I’m curious about AK mostly for the safari only/ dino playground and Epcot, mostly for Test Track and the Nemo rides. Your thoughts are welcome. At this point, I’m having a hard time convincing my husband that we should come back in 2-3 years. (He’s never been. My last time was at age 14 and Disneyland prior to that).

Maybe consider visiting whichever park your husband would be most interested in.

Gee honey, sorry we didn’t get to see everything you wanted to. Guess we’ll have to come back!

Otherwise, I lean towards Animal Kingdom. Do morning there and see the shows & animals and then go to MK for the evening.

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I would lean against HS, mainly for the actual reason @Armadillo_Alert brought up. HS actually can be mostly done in a 1/2 day. EP and AK can’t. So when your husband sees all you didn’t get to do, just in that one park, that might be reason for a return trip!

There’s enough to keep you busy in any of the parks for half a day and still have plenty left to do. Some things I’d consider:

  • At the moment, there are a lot of construction walls in Animal Kingdom and probably will soon appear in the Studios, so keep an eye out for what park has more stuff blocked off when you visit (lots of construction walls won’t make a great impression on a skeptic, though they will serve as evidence of things you need to see when you return)

  • If you go to Animal Kingdom, any of the three shows - Lion King, Nemo, and Flights of Wonder - can be fun for kids + the Wilderness Explorers game encourages them to visit many areas of the park (and you won’t finish in 1/2 day with other attractions, so you’ll have to go back)

  • If you go to Epcot, Soarin is also fun for most kids, the kidcot stops in World Showcase might entertain the younger kids, the Phineas and Ferb games around World Showcase will probably entertain the older kids (and you won’t get to all of them, so that’s another reason to return), there are lots of character meets around World Showcase + the character spot and chip/dale in Future World, then there’s also the aquarium in the Seas, not just the ride and show there. You also have the best variety of dining and drink choices in Epcot, especially because the Flower and Garden Festival food booths should be out in mid-March, so you can sip and snack around the world.

  • the Studios is a good choice if some of your group will enjoy the thrill rides. The shows are a little dated, though if the kids like Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast, then they’ll like seeing the characters on stage. Toy Story works well for all ages and most can ride Star Tours. If you were going in the winter, then Osborne Lights would be a must-see, but that won’t be around in March. I don’t think either stunt show is a must see, but if your kids like explosions, then they may enjoy them.

Thanks for the great advice and trying to help me convince my husband that we should return in the near future. However, I’m mostly just trying to plan the best trip I can for my kids’ ages on a short time frame.

AK has early morning hours on our first day, but I was planning on doing rope drop at MK on both mornings (2nd day MK has EMH). I may reconsider doing rope drop on the first day, but there is so much to see at MK!

Given the EMH on your days, I would do AK for a half-day on day one, with MK in the late afternoon and evening. Then MK on day two, all-day.

I agree with @brklinck, you could get so much done!

I also gree with @brklinck. AK is a great park. Lots of folks don’t give it enough credit. You will probably not get to everything in either park. 1 1/2 days in MK sounds like a lot, but the time goes by very quickly.
The first trip to WDW is a warm up to trip 2 and beyond. You will create great memories on you first trip, but it is almost like going to a Disney orientation. It is a learning experience. Our 2nd & 3rd trips were so much better because we knew the drill. Got luck planning.

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Follow up Question:

Let’s say we go to AK for EMH on the first day and then head to MK. I’m thinking I should save my 3 fast passes for MK in the afternoon?

Also, I guess I was purposely leave MK on the EMH day in the afternoon b/c it should be busier. But, it all evens out with “busyness” I guess it doesn’t matter.

I would use my FPs for MK. No need to take a break unless you want to on your full MK day. Just plan on low wait attractions. Try a TP.

Yes, on your AK/MK day book your FPPs for MK. Make personalized TPs for both parks - they will help you make the most of mEMH at AK and determine the best FPPs to get for MK.