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Old 07-15-2009, 10:40 AM   #1
sherry_car
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Advise on my park plan please!

We (self, DH, DS4, my parents) will be visiting WDW 9/28-10/5, staying @ AKV with 7-day park hoppers and no dining plan. I have finally got my park schedule and ADRs figured out, but have some doubts, so I'd love to get some opinions on it. My plan is:

Mon., 9/28 - Arrive around noon, visit EP (self, DH, DS). ADR for Yachtsman Steakhouse @ 6:10PM. Return to EP for Illuminations. Parents arrive later, enjoy the resort.

Tues., 9/29 (My b-day) - Rope drop @ AK, ADR Jiko @ 7:00PM for self & DH. Parents & son eat @ Mara then watch animals. (Park chosen because it is the day after morning EMH)

Wed., 9/30 - Rope drop @ EP, finish early, resort pool, ADR Boma @ 5:05PM, MK & Wishes if son can stay awake. (Park chosen to avoid EP on weekend during F&W)

Thurs., 10/1 (DH b-day) - Rope drop @ HS, no ADRs, sit-down dinner outside WDW. (Park chosen because previous 2 days had EMH)

Fri., 10/2 - ADR Crsytal Palace @ 8:25AM (miss rope drop! ) Park chosen because day after morning EMH)

Sat., 10/3 - Rope drop @ MK, ADR Kona Cafe @ 12:10PM. (Park chosen because we hope to see SpectoMagic parade - only time during our visit)

Sun., 10/4 - Flexible day to see what we missed or repeat our favorites. No ADRs.

Mon., 10/5 - ADR Chef Mickey's @ 7:45AM, pool, DTD, late afternoon flight.

1) Does this sound like a good plan? We thought 2 days at MK, 1 day at each other park sounded about right with a 4 year old, but maybe not?
2) We want to catch the best fireworks show the 1st night, since it might be our only chance with my son along. We also want to be able to judge crowds so we can choose birthday fastpasses or birthday gift cards on our birthdays. With that in mind, is MK or EP best on the 1st night of our stay?
3) I expect MK to be my thrill-seeking son's favorite park. Would it be better to go to MK early in the trip, or save it until later?
4) If the crowds are heavy enough that we decide on the fastpasses, would they be better used at MK or AK? Would it be more helpful to be able to ride BTMR & Splash Mtn. multiple times with my son, or go to EE & Bug at AK quickly while my son enjoyed digging dinosaur bones with my parents?

Thanks for enduring this long post, and for your help!
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:18 PM   #2
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Sounds like a good plan to me.

I think that most folks would say that MK's Wishes are a better fireworks show than Epcot's Illumnations.

I think it's fine to save MK for your 4th and 5th days. You have a sound rationale for picking the park days that you have.

I'm not sure about the birthday Fast Passes, but I don't think you can get multiple sets for the same rides, so riding BTMR and Splash multiple times may not be something that the Birthday FPs help to accomplish much. Ditto regarding Expedition Everest, and they haven't been using FPs for Tough to be a Bug lately. MK has more rides for which FPs are useful than AK does, so I would think that MK would be the best bet for the Birthday FPs.
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:41 PM   #3
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looks like a good plan to me also.
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Old 07-15-2009, 06:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g-dad66 View Post
Sounds like a good plan to me.

I think that most folks would say that MK's Wishes are a better fireworks show than Epcot's Illumnations.

I think it's fine to save MK for your 4th and 5th days. You have a sound rationale for picking the park days that you have.

I'm not sure about the birthday Fast Passes, but I don't think you can get multiple sets for the same rides, so riding BTMR and Splash multiple times may not be something that the Birthday FPs help to accomplish much. Ditto regarding Expedition Everest, and they haven't been using FPs for Tough to be a Bug lately. MK has more rides for which FPs are useful than AK does, so I would think that MK would be the best bet for the Birthday FPs.
I keep hearing that Illuminations is the best fireworks show, but I'm skeptical of that. I've seen both, but don't really remember Illuminations. I do remember Wishes though. You would think I'd remember the better one (at least in my opinion), wouldn't you? So maybe I'll swap the evenings we watch those 2 - go to Wishes the day we get there, then go to Illuminations on Wednesday if my son can stay awake. I'm lucky too, since I can always leave my son with the Grandparents for a night and DH and I can go see something if we want.

I was thinking the fastpasses might be more useful at MK too. But that would mean going to AK on Fri. or Sat. instead. Friday we have Crystal Palace reservations, and Saturday is the SpectroMagic parade which I would like to see, once again if my son can stay awake for it. I don't think ADRs would be a problem. I wouldn't mind giving up the Kona Cafe reservations, and yesterday I could still get Jiko on Saturday.

I really think the crowds will be low enough when we are there (except at Epcot) that the birthday fastpasses won't be needed. I'm hoping to get the gift card.
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Old 07-15-2009, 06:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by sherry_car View Post
I really think the crowds will be low enough when we are there (except at Epcot) that the birthday fastpasses won't be needed. I'm hoping to get the gift card.
I think you are probably right on that.
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:12 PM   #6
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I'll be there the same time as you. Sept. 28 is my birthday. For my birthday, I'll probably do birthday fastpasses at the MK on Sept. 28 as it will probably be busy at the MK that day. I think MK, there is more of interest to see for all 6 of us.

I think the day you have chosen for DHS will be really busy (Oct. 1), as it is one of the 2 days that week that Fantasmic is being shown.

I'll be in Epcot with you on the 30th!

Ok, personally, I like to start and end with the MK. That is what I am doing. I don't think my vacation starts until I see Cindrella's castle. So I would move up MK earlier and I think your first night will be busy at the MK as it's a Monday and Yom Kippur. But I would still go to MK your first night.

2 full days at MK will be good with 1 day at each of the others. If you finish early at the other parks, you can always go back to MK later in the day.

I think your son will like Wishes better than Illuminations. I heard Illuminations can be a little boring for little ones. I think Wishes is just more magical with Tinkerbell & the castle backdrop.
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Old 07-16-2009, 11:20 AM   #7
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I think the day you have chosen for DHS will be really busy (Oct. 1), as it is one of the 2 days that week that Fantasmic is being shown.
I am a little worried about that, too, but since both of the previous 2 days will be EMH days, I think that will take away most crowds that do not want to see Fantasmic. Personally, I saw it once, and thought it was OK. It wasn't worth the crowds for me, and I certainly wouldn't take my son (too loud and scary).

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Originally Posted by djp0630 View Post
Ok, personally, I like to start and end with the MK. That is what I am doing. I don't think my vacation starts until I see Cindrella's castle. So I would move up MK earlier and I think your first night will be busy at the MK as it's a Monday and Yom Kippur. But I would still go to MK your first night.
I hadn't thought of it that way. My vacation will start in my mind as soon as we enter the WDW grounds, and will be in full swing when we get out of the bus at AKV.

I have been going to MK since 1972 (though not much in recent years), and I love seeing the castle too. But for me, each park has something magical about it. The only one I don't feel that way about is Epcot. Nothing there has really caught my interest, though maybe the new stuff will (I'm looking forward to Test Track and Soarin' for my first time).

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I think your son will like Wishes better than Illuminations. I heard Illuminations can be a little boring for little ones. I think Wishes is just more magical with Tinkerbell & the castle backdrop.
I don't know about Illuminations being boring for anyone, but I suppose it could be if you couldn't see the stuff going on low over the water. I know it is my parents favorite fireworks show. They like the combination of laser lights and fireworks.

Now I think I've just talked myself into going to Magic Kingdom the 1st night! Between the lack of magic in Epcot (for me at least), and my parents not being along and preferring Illuminations, it makes more sense to see Wishes then and see Illuminations on Wednesday night when my parents will be there.
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Old 07-16-2009, 11:29 AM   #8
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I'm not sure about the birthday Fast Passes, but I don't think you can get multiple sets for the same rides, so riding BTMR and Splash multiple times may not be something that the Birthday FPs help to accomplish much. Ditto regarding Expedition Everest, and they haven't been using FPs for Tough to be a Bug lately. MK has more rides for which FPs are useful than AK does, so I would think that MK would be the best bet for the Birthday FPs.
I have heard varying things on that. I get the impression that Disney judges estimated crowds and changes what you get with the birthday fastpasses based on that. Sometimes you can get multiples for the same ride, sometimes you can't. The number of passes you get varies too.

Even if multiples are not allowed, they would still help us ride multiple times. We could use a regular fastpass, then grab a birthday one to ride immediately after. Also, for some rides such as EE, we will have 5 birthday fastpasses, but only 2 or 3 who will want to ride that ride.
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:43 PM   #9
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I'd stick with EP and Illuminations your first night since you're having dinner at the YC. So close to EP (5-10 minute walk) and it's really, really, really a pain to get from YC to MK. When we were there it took over 45 minutes each time between bus wait and drive time (we stayed at the YC). The bus from YC to MK stops at BW and Swan & Dolphin first then at the BC. Once we got on the bus and because it wasn't full it went around to all the other resorts again that time it took over an hour. . Plus if you've had enough of the park crowds you can watch the fireworks of illuminations from the bridge between the BC and the BW.

I noticed you were skipping EE with your DS. If it's because your DS height be prepared for the height thing on BTMRR and SplMtn. They are strict about the height regulations for those ones we saw more than one family turned away. The height on BTMRR and SplMtn is the same as EE. BTW - my youngest enjoyed EE and BTMRR and SplMtn. They had the same thrill factor and EE was actually his favorite.

ETA - I'm not sure what time MK closes when you're going but allowing an 1 1/2 to 2 hours for dinner plus 45 minutes for getting to MK you might not make it in time for Wishes. Just a thought.
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Old 07-16-2009, 01:12 PM   #10
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The height on BTMRR and SplMtn is the same as EE.
Actually the height requirement for EE is 44", while the height requirement for BTMRR and Splash is only 40".
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Old 07-16-2009, 01:23 PM   #11
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I'd stick with EP and Illuminations your first night since you're having dinner at the YC. So close to EP (5-10 minute walk) and it's really, really, really a pain to get from YC to MK. When we were there it took over 45 minutes each time between bus wait and drive time (we stayed at the YC). The bus from YC to MK stops at BW and Swan & Dolphin first then at the BC. Once we got on the bus and because it wasn't full it went around to all the other resorts again that time it took over an hour. . Plus if you've had enough of the park crowds you can watch the fireworks of illuminations from the bridge between the BC and the BW.
Actually, I would not eat at YC if I went to MK the first night. When I made my ADRs I was still uncertain where I would go that 1st night, so I also made reservations at Plaza Restaurant in MK. Not as nice, but I wasn't looking forward to spending so much at YC anyway. We'll cancel the reservation we aren't going to use, as soon as I can decide.

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I noticed you were skipping EE with your DS. If it's because your DS height be prepared for the height thing on BTMRR and SplMtn. They are strict about the height regulations for those ones we saw more than one family turned away. The height on BTMRR and SplMtn is the same as EE. BTW - my youngest enjoyed EE and BTMRR and SplMtn. They had the same thrill factor and EE was actually his favorite.
Are you sure the height is the same?? Everywhere I've looked, the height is 40" on BTMR and SplMtn, but 44" on EE. My son is 40", a little more with shoes on, but could not meet a 44" requirement. Otherwise, I would try it.

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ETA - I'm not sure what time MK closes when you're going but allowing an 1 1/2 to 2 hours for dinner plus 45 minutes for getting to MK you might not make it in time for Wishes. Just a thought.
I would never try that. It closes after a 9:00 show of Wishes. It would definately be too rushed.
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Old 07-18-2009, 02:24 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=sherry_car;32736398]Actually, I would not eat at YC if I went to MK the first night. When I made my ADRs I was still uncertain where I would go that 1st night, so I also made reservations at Plaza Restaurant in MK. Not as nice, but I wasn't looking forward to spending so much at YC anyway. We'll cancel the reservation we aren't going to use, as soon as I can decide.


I would hurry up and decide as I've heard Disney cancels double-booked ADRs. I would hate for you to have both of your reservations cancelled.
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