Which Days for Which Park for ADR Planning

We’re heading to DisneyWorld for spring break 2017; we’ve never been there before and trying to get our planning right. We’re arriving Sunday 3/19 (flight arrives just before 11 am) and leaving Saturday 3/25 (flight leaves at 4:20 pm). That’ll give us five full days at the parks; right now, the thought is to spend two days at Magic Kingdom and one day each at the other parks.

After doing our research, we’re wondering if we can squeeze Animal Kingdom into our arrival day. That would, in turn, free up another day to spend at either MK or Epcot. We don’t have to make those decisions today, but our 180 day window opens Tuesday morning, so we need to start making a few plans.

We’ve only identified four character meals that require us to make reservations; we’re staying at Bay Lake Tower and planning to take advantage of restaurants that deliver along with leftovers and sandwiches that we can have in the room, especially since we’re staying so close to MK. But setting these meals will probably set our days for which parks, so I want to get a rough schedule set to guide me for making reservations. Here are our four:

Minnie’s Seasonal Dine with the Fantasmic Package at Hollywood & Vine (See the main Disney characters plus prime seating for Fantasmic)
Cinderella’s Royal Table (10 yr od daughter & one parent; 7 yr old son would probably be happier on rides)
Crystal Palace
Chef Mickey’s Brunch (Lowest priority, but since it’s at our resort, we’ll probably give it a shot.)

We had an idea of doing brunch at Chef Mickeys on our last day after a quick run through MK before heading to the airport, but I’m not sure we have enough time. I was originally thinking noon, but I’ve since realized that we’ll probably have to leave for the airport at 1 pm.

I think the first two are the most difficult to get, and based on the Touring Plans crowd size estimators, I think we want to go to Epcot on Wednesday and visit Hollywood Studios on Monday-Wednesday. My tentative thought is work from this:

Sunday: Animal Kingdom in afternoon
Monday: Magic Kingdom (alternate day for AK)
Tuesday: Hollywood Studios (Hollywood & Vine/Minnie’s Seasonal Dine/Fantasmic Package)
Wednesday: Epcot
Thursday: Magic Kingdom
Friday: Magic Kingdom (perhaps EPCOT again, if we already spent 2 days at MK)
Saturday: Magic Kingdom in morning

Magic Kingdom days will be split with morning touring and spending the afternoon at BLT, and returning to the park in the late afternoon or evening after supper. Maybe even going back and forth.

I figure that I’ll have a better chance at getting Cinderella booked for Friday than any other day. But I’m thinking that Chef Mickey’s might be better for Friday if we can’t do Saturday. But with Crystal Palace being a big request from the kids, do I set that for Thursday and skip Mickey’s, or lock myself into Monday and doing Animal Kingdom on Sunday?


Are you taking DME? If you are your pick up time on Saturday will be around 1:00. You will need to check out, will your airline participate in resort check in? How tired will you be on arrival day? I think you could do AK if it is open until at least 7:00. Will Flower and Garden be open at EP? What is your plan for EP?

DME? Probably. Flying Southwest back.

We have a short list for Epcot at this time, so I don’t know what our plans are for that day. I don’t think Epcot is a two-day park for us.

As for how tired we’ll be on arrival day, who knows? We’re flying from Omaha, but breaking up the flight into two days so we get to Orlando early. Flying to Chicago the afternoon before, then flying at 7 am to Orlando. Probably a little tired, but I’m sure there will be some Disney adrenaline at work.

If CRT is important to you, book that first and then book your remaining ADRs. But, I agree - you’ll have a better chance for days later in your trip on the 180 day mark.
I think Epcot is not a 2 full day park - but rather a 1.5 day par - especially if you want to see World Showcase.
If the kids want CP, give them CP. :slight_smile:
I’m not a huge fan of CM. It’s loud and the food is mediocre. Good character experience though. This year we’re trying Tusker House instead of CM. Since you are staying at BLT, could you do early breakfast at CM before heading to MK one day?

We could…but I’m thinking that pop tarts, milk, and off-to-the-park is a better use of our mornings than a sit-down meal.

The more I think about it, I’m tempted to go with Cinderella’s and Crystal Palace for lunch later in the week.

When I have 5 park days, I spend one day in each park, and split the 5th between MK and EP - but I have no kids and I much prefer the relatively relaxed vibe of WS and AK to the stresses of the MK. If AK is open until 8:00 or 9:00 Pm that night, AND, you’ll be able to make it that late after a travel day, then I think you’ll be OK. Some things close at sunset at AK, so you’ll have to take that into account when planning.