Which parks? All of them? Skip one?

First time trip with 4 days at the parks for our family of 5 in November - my children (DD9, DD7, and DS5) are not the bravest when it comes to rides. Initially I was thinking that we would skip HS altogether and hit MK twice. I’d like our visits to be productive but somewhat casual at the same time, which is why I figured 2 days at MK would be best. Our plan is to arrive early each day, leave the park for a nap/rest late-morning, and return to the same park until close. I’ve read some posts that say as first time visitors, we should see all of the parks regardless. Do you agree? If that’s the case, will we be spending an entire day at HS? I wasn’t planning on the extra expense of park hopper, but will consider it if it sounds like we shouldn’t skip a park. Decisions, decisions!?!??

There is so much to do at the Magic Kingdom! I think I would start at the night time shows. In November Rivers of Light will be at AK, Wishes at MK - do you want to see all four night time shows? If Star Wars fireworks are a all year thing I think I may keep HS.

Watch the calendar for party nights at MK and will you be in the world during Food and Wine?

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First of all, do you have 4 full days? What about your travel days - will you be arriving early enough or departing late enough to spend some time in a park?

My initial instinct is to do all four parks. Base your plans on the 1-day TPs that are geared towards your family’s age group.

I would not get PH - focus on 1 park each day. If you can go to a park on one or both of your travel days do that instead - adding additional days costs far less than adding PH.

Also, consider skipping the nap break on AK day as it usually closes much earlier than the other parks. Finish a little bit earlier on that day and then go back to your resort and relax that evening. EDIT: forgot that RoL would be starting when you are there, so this may not be a good idea for you.

We are doing 4 days and skipping Epcot. HS has loads of shows and Fantasmic. My kids at 10/7 found epcot boring after MK.

This is tough. Since it’s such a short trip, I would typically say give DHS a pass. We skipped it on our first few trips, but now our kids are super into Star Wars, so it’s a must-do. I do think that MK deserves two full days. You will still have stuff you wish you could do even after the two full days!

I really like the idea of adding a park day for either arrival day or departure day. We went last summer for a four day trip, but ended up adding a park day even though we didn’t get there until like 4pm. That’s how we got DHS in so we could do the Frozen stuff which was big for the kids last year.

If you foresee going back again, you could just save DHS because I think it’s fun to add new things on each trip and that would be a big new thing.

With the ages of your kids, I would definitely go with your original thought - 2 days at MK, 1 day at EP, and 1 day at AK, no park hopper. By November, HS will be a shadow of it’s former self. :frowning: If your kids aren’t big into rides, you may skip RnRC and ToT at HS anyway, and those rides are some of the big draws to go there.

1 day at MK won’t be enough…we spend 3-4 days in MK with now DD9 & DD7 and still don’t see and do everything. For your first trip, the MK is really where I would want to be. It is magical for sure, especially for your kids. I would start and finish there, so: MK, EP, AK & MK. Having my kids see the castle as their first impression of WDW is something we will never forget.

Good luck deciding - I’m sure it’ll be amazing ! :smile:


We are also going for the first time in October - DD will be 4. Also planning on 4 park days - 2 MK, AK and HS. Planning to skip Epcot this trip. HS has a lot of shows that will appeal to DD4 - Disney Jr, Little Mermaid, Frozen, Beauty & the Beast. Starting late morning though since we plan to stay for Fantasmic (and our only ride will be Toy Story). Also not planning to get PH tickets.

AK and its hours in November may be interesting. I would expect the park will be open until at least 8:30-9:00 once RoL opens during daylight savings time- but in November?

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We just returned from our first trip. I had the same concerns as you about the kids not wanting to do the rides. they shocked me though and my just turned four year old did everything - including tower of terror.

I would definitely suggest seeing all four parks. Animal Kingdom is most definitely a shorter day. We were finished there by 2pm.

We also kicked off our trip by starting at Epcot. I was worried that if we did magic kingdom first that my kids would get antsy being at Epcot. I think it was a great choice for us as they loved Epcot and had a lot more patience for it that way :slight_smile:


I feel like you will end up happy with whatever you choose and you should just go with your instincts. 2 days at MK is definitely helpful. If you’re going to skip a park, I’d say either HS or AK, depending on which you like better - animals or Star Wars. AK has a lot of rollercoasters as well, so it could be the one to skip. I’d take a look at the list of shows in both and see which look better for your family too. I also did EPCOT first day on our first trip so that the kids would see it before MK. They enjoyed and were fine going again on our 2nd trip.

That’s a tough call :slight_smile: We enjoy little pieces of all the parks :slight_smile: If you had the park hopper then you could enjoy spending time at the other parks. AK and HS if you just get the basics done you could spend a little over 1/2 a day at each and still have extra time at Epcot and MK :slight_smile: (these are the largest 2 parks :slight_smile: If it was me, I would not want to miss out on one of the parks :slight_smile: I would want to see them all :slight_smile:

I know one of the suggestions in the Unofficial Guide for Families for a first trip with little ones is to save MK for the second or third park visited. That way the kids can enjoy places like Epcot and AK for what they are and not compare them to MK. For my kids Epcot ended up being one of their favorite parks to visit. My son especially liked the Seas with Nemo and Spaceship Earth. Based on having only 4 days I’d suggest really making sure there are enough attractions your kids will be interested in at HS before deciding on a whole day there. Who knows what all will be closed by the time of your trip. If you have additional time on arrival or departure day might want to do HS then, but IMO it’d probably be my choice of parks to skip and do 2 days at MK instead. Good luck and enjoy!!

I am going for 7 WDW days, and have only allotted 3 hours at Animal and 2 hours at Hollywood, both are at the magic hours of the day. Our family is not into the shows. I’m pulling teeth to get them to agree to one of the AK shows-currently Nemo. Of the hundreds of times I have gone and the ten or so my kids have gone, we just do not enjoy full days in these two parks. HS no longer has a few things we enjoyed, half of that park is closed, and half of that closes during fireworks and loud/bad music that follows. We love Epcot and MK! However, if you like walking nature trails, petting farm animals, and watching shows- you could make a longer day at Animal. The only coaster at Animal is expedition Everest, the rest of the rides are tame and still working. I can not say the same for HS.

In November you would not watch Rivers of Light?

I’m not that fond of Finding Nemo, but we never had been to Lion King :slight_smile: I loved it :slight_smile: Can’t wait to go back to this one again :slight_smile:

I agree! I think Nemo lost me at…what was the song, “can’t we just cooperate” or something like that? I love Lion King! Of course, I will be traveling with someone that I think will love Nemo on my next trip- so I guess I will do both!