Young Kids - What to Expect

I know I’ve read some posts about this recently, but I thought I would get some feedback as we need to book FP+ in a few weeks and I’m trying to get organized. We have a 6 1/2 year old boy who loves Star Wars, but also loves other Disney classics (although he sometimes pretends he is “too big” for these). We have a second son who will have just turned 4 and is not interested in Star Wars, but loves classic Disney/Pixar. The 4 year old is a thrill seeker so anything he is tall enough for he will want to ride. The 6 year old is not a fan of rollercoasters in the dark (i.e. Space Mountain would not be fun for him).

So, this is what I’m thinking for FP+:

AK - Na’vi (2nd is too young for FoP; on the fence about 1st - maybe book FoP and modify to Na’vi day of if he is too scared? What are my chances of getting a Na’vi day of?)
Lion King
Youngest is too short for Expedition, oldest wouldn’t enjoy it. Dinosaur and Primeval same.

MK - Big Thunder, Splash, and Seven Dwarfs (if I can get them all).
Youngest is too short for Space; oldest won’t like it.
Enchanted is our fourth option if one of the above is not available.
Plan to rope drop and head left to get pirates, jungle and haunted before it gets too busy. Then do FP+. Use 4th FP+ for whatever rides we can find.
We have EMM a different day and plan to do Fantasyland mostly on that day when crowds are not bad.

Epcot - Frozen, (not sure on tier two yet). Plan to rope drop Test Track and get a 4th FP+ for Soarin since same day fastpasses seem to be regularly available for Soarin.

HS - We plan to split the day with my husband and oldest doing mainly Star Wars and youngest and I doing TS and Pixar.
Starting out together in TS with FP+ for Slinky Dog. Meet up at lunch for Indiana for all of us. Then afternoon split up again. Other FP+: Star Tours for oldest and Beauty or Frozen for youngest.

We don’t have breaks planned since we have done other amusement parks and our kids can handle 8-10 hour days (they haven’t napped since they were 2). We plan to RD every day and be out by 2-3 pm (not doing everything obviously), except for MK which is a 9-5 sort of day with a second morning later in the week.

I know the one thing to expect with kids is not to expect anything at all, but do you have any suggestions for planning as best I can?

I think your plan looks pretty solid! You have a great attitude on being flexible if the kids throw you a curve ball. My oldest two are similar to yours in terms of their thrill seeking desire. DD8 has to this point refused to ride ToT, RnRC, EE, etc. DS7 has risen them all and loved them!

I think NRJ would be fairly easy to pick up SDFP for with a little refreshing if your oldest balks at FOP. Our first trip my oldest was 7 and she went all the way through both preshows for FOP and refused to ride at the end. She finally rode it this year in February and it’s now her favorite ride in all of

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CHave you shown your sons Youtube videos of the rides you’re not sure they’ll like? That really helped our DS5 make some choices on rides like BTMRR and FoP (he loved both!)

MK - I’d skip ETWB (better bang for your FP buck elsewhere) and do Barnstormer or Buzz instead…maybe consider these if you can’t get 7D?

EP - SE can get gnarly lines, so it’s a good option for FP. Or if you need a “throwaway,” LWTL or MS:G.

Tips that have helped us with DS5 over a handful of trips:

  • Talk about the trip A TON before you leave. Watch ride-through videos together. Show them ride seats. Talk about expectations (ie we may pass an attraction, but we will come back to it later). Help them talk through the TPs. Kids thrive when they’re prepared.
  • Snacks! Have them on hand. Also good to have a sucker or two in case of a meltdown/need for regulation.
  • Personal water bottle for each person
  • Take the AC break, even if that means a little longer line (ie waiting in the PoTC queue).

Have a wonderful trip!

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We skipped FoP entirely since we were on the fence anyway and RS still takes a while. NRJ does sell out - not sure how easy you can pick up a same day. You might want to book it.

Epcot - I’d RD FEA and get a FPP for TT since it goes down a lot.

Don’t over do it. Plan everything so you can be done essentials by mid-afternoon so that if everyone is tired you can call it quits.

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We took our 4 year old and 8 year old twins in 2016. We didn’t really do any breaks either. We did one open to close day with lots of in park breaks and other days we either left like you plan on doing or arrived around noon to the parks.

I saw you were planning on Splash Mountain. Just a heads up that there are a few dark spots on that attraction, including an area with a hill, as I see that your 6 year old doesn’t like dark coasters.

I just found out that both Splash and Test Track will be down for refurbishment during our trip so that will obviously require some changes to the plans. I knew it was a risk with Splash in January, but i didn’t know Test Track would be down too. I might move Epcot to our first day since Test Track closes starting on our 2nd park day. I’d have to move around some dining reservations, but I’ve had pretty good luck finding things that fit our family’s preferences so far so it hopefully won’t be too bad.

I wanted to echo what @Flutegarden said and recommend rope dropping FEA and getting the FP for TT. We rope dropped FEA easily and watched the whole rope drop crowd head to TT. And, since TT goes down a lot, a converted FP let’s you ride later when it’s up again. The option to rope drop doesn’t reappear during the day!

Also, as far as ride videos go, I think they are great in general, but not completely sufficient for FoP, since most of the feeling of motion is from the screen and, for us at least, that didn’t translate well. My DD was on board riding FoP based on the video, but bigtime regretted that decision. FWIW.