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Old 10-02-2012, 11:29 AM   #1
toomanypaws2
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Ak or HS with 4 year old

We will be visiting WDW with our 4 year old granddaugher November 11-15. We will arrive at MCO for 3:15. Staying at WL.
I have planned most of the days around MK since this is her 1st trip.

During our stay, I am considering a visit to one other park. Since it is such a short visit, I don't want to cram too much into the schedule.

Which park would be best for a four year old? I am considering AK or HS?

Thanks!
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:34 AM   #2
mjp12831
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IMO, HS has much more that a 4yo can do if compared to AK.

HS
Disney Jr area/show
TSM
Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Beauty and the Beast Show
Muppetvision
Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playground
Lights Motors Action show

AK
Safari
FotLK
Nemo the musical
Bug's Life

There are other things in each park that a 4yo could do (walking trails in AK for instance or Indiana Jones Stunt show at HS), but I tried to list the things that a 4yo might really like. I think the HS plusses outweigh the AK ones.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:37 AM   #3
smitch425
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HS hands down, but EPCOT is also a good park for young ones. MK is great, but not sure I would spend every day there but one.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:42 AM   #4
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Our DD was 5 on her first visit, and she enjoyed Epcot much more than either HS or AK.

Enjoy your vacation!
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:51 AM   #5
toomanypaws2
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I am leaning more toward the HS than AK because it does seem to have more attractions she would be interested in. However, she loves Nemo and I have heard the Nemo show is extraordinary.

I don't think we wil be going into any park on on first day. Our flight doesn't land unitl 3:15p. My thought is by the time we arrive at WL, get settled in and have some dinner, it will be after 6:00pm. It might be best to hang out and explore the resort until bedtime. Hopefully, she will get a goon night's rest and an early start on Monday.

Monday: MK with a 5:05 pm ADR at 'Ohana. It is my DH"s B-Day.
Tuesday: MK or HS
Wednesday: AK??
Thursday: MK with 9:05 am ADR @ Whispering Canyon (our flight leaves at 7:40 pm)

This is a very rough outline, I think I might use touringplans.com for a little guidance.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:51 AM   #6
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It depends on the kid. My friend's daughter loves animals (and watches Animal Planet all the time), so AK would be the perfect choice. But if the kid is more into cartoon, Disney channel etc. I would choose DS.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:53 AM   #7
louisedisney
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My son is five, and have been to WDW three times, and he also prefers Epcot to AK and HS. However, between these two he prefers Animal kingdom, since he is not into shows. He likes to ride the safari to watch the animals, dinosaurs, the little train, and the water ride( forgot the name). Also he reqlly likes the bugs life 3d films. Last time ( he was four) he told me the only thing he liked about HS was Toy Story Mania.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:55 AM   #8
beaut1016
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What is she into? There are more shows at HS, however at AK there is a large play area in Dino Land.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:59 AM   #9
smitch425
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toomanypaws2 View Post
I am leaning more toward the HS than AK because it does seem to have more attractions she would be interested in. However, she loves Nemo and I have heard the Nemo show is extraordinary.

I don't think we wil be going into any park on on first day. Our flight doesn't land unitl 3:15p. My thought is by the time we arrive at WL, get settled in and have some dinner, it will be after 6:00pm. It might be best to hang out and explore the resort until bedtime. Hopefully, she will get a goon night's rest and an early start on Monday.

Monday: MK with a 5:05 pm ADR at 'Ohana. It is my DH"s B-Day.
Tuesday: MK or HS
Wednesday: AK??
Thursday: MK with 9:05 am ADR @ Whispering Canyon (our flight leaves at 7:40 pm)

This is a very rough outline, I think I might use touringplans.com for a little guidance.
The Nemo show IS wonderful, but it is long and at 4, it may go a little bit over her head, but it is very entertaining. There is a Nemo ride at EPCOT along with Turtle Talk with Crush. Those might be more age appropriate. For rides at AK, you are basically looking at 3 or 4 that a 4 year old would be interested in. I would go to the Disney website and read through the attraction descriptions to see which park offers the most things for her liking. I would also consider going to the parks the first day. Even if you just go to MK for the parade and fireworks, it will be a great way to start, and then you could skip them if you wanted to on your other days. Best of luck with your planning.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:06 PM   #10
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My son was 4 when we first took him to WDW and HS is still one of his favorite parks. Both my kids love Epcot too - the Nemo ride is a lot of fun and Turtle Talk with Crush always gets big laughs.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:10 PM   #11
toomanypaws2
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switch425,

Thanks for the great suggestion. It does sound like a good idea about the parade and fireworks @ MK on Sunday night. Hopefully, fingers crossed, she might nap on the plane.

Lots of good ideas. I have been to the WDW and read quite a bit but feeling a little overwhelmed with all the choices!
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toomanypaws2 View Post
I am leaning more toward the HS than AK because it does seem to have more attractions she would be interested in. However, she loves Nemo and I have heard the Nemo show is extraordinary.

I don't think we wil be going into any park on on first day. Our flight doesn't land unitl 3:15p. My thought is by the time we arrive at WL, get settled in and have some dinner, it will be after 6:00pm. It might be best to hang out and explore the resort until bedtime. Hopefully, she will get a goon night's rest and an early start on Monday.

Monday: MK with a 5:05 pm ADR at 'Ohana. It is my DH"s B-Day.
Tuesday: MK or HS
Wednesday: AK??
Thursday: MK with 9:05 am ADR @ Whispering Canyon (our flight leaves at 7:40 pm)

This is a very rough outline, I think I might use touringplans.com for a little guidance.
Consider adding a park day to your ticket and hitting MK for a few hours on Sunday night, following up with your Monday there as planned (Ohana is super!). This gives you a bit more time at MK, but I think your original schedule is too heavy to MK.

From there I'd change and do the other parks. Tuesday at HS, Wednesday Epcot (as PP advised, Epcot is very underrated for small kids).

Thursday with you having to leave early would be an ideal AK day - consider breafast ADR change to Tusker (if you can get it - it is extraordinary - one we hit every visit), maybe even try to get an ADR before the park opens, then hit some of the things I mentioned in post 2 above, particularly the Nemo show which is as great as you have heard.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:26 PM   #13
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Totally agree with mjp. However, I'd try to break up the MK time. Without looking at crowd calendars, my instinct would be:

Sunday night: Magic Kingdom
Monday: Epcot (this allows you to stick with your Ohana reservation fairly easily, since Ohana is on the monorail)
Tuesday: Hollywood Studios
Wednesday: Magic Kingdom
Thursday: Animal Kingdom (and I agree about Tusker House!)


I would NOT front-load a trip with Magic Kingdom. It's likely to be your granddaughter's favorite, so doing it this way gives her the opportunity to look forward to more MK time on the last full day.... but it still gets you to all the parks.

There is plenty to enjoy for a four-year-old at all the parks. However, if I were to cut one park out, it would be Hollywood Studios.

There is really only ONE ride that will be for-sure of interest at HS--Toy Story Mania. If she likes thrill rides, then add in Tower of Terror and Star Tours--but I think it's iffy counting on those, for a four-year-old. Great Movie Ride is also do-able, but not necessarily that interesting for a kid her age.

Everything else at HS of interest is shows, and the playground.

Compare that to AK, where she'd have (for rides) the safari and triceratops spin for sure, plus the train ride to conservation station. And in addition, the shows and animal trails and playground.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:32 PM   #14
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NLD's point in pp is a good one to break up the MK days if you add on the Sunday night, and Epcot is a logical replacement with Ohana being on the monorail. It's a little more time on the monorail to get to Ohana and to go back to Epcot after, but the benfit of hoarding the second MK day until the end after getting a taste of it in day one is great.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:41 PM   #15
toomanypaws2
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Thanks

So many good ideas put forth in such a short time. The plan becomes clearer to me with each post. It has been many years since we traveled to WDW with a little one. I knew I came to the right place.

I definatelyh have re-thought the arrival day plan and will be adding the day to the ticket to spend the evening @ MK.

The Epcot idea on Tuesday is a great one. Epcot is my and DH's favorite park. I didn't even think about how easy it would be to get to 'Ohana from there.

I think she might enjoy HS. She got very excited when I showed her the Toy Story attraction. She does love Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Beauty & the Beast as well.

She is a HUGE playground fan. I don't know if we will be able to tear her away from the Honey I Shrunk... @ HS or the Boneyard @ AK.
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