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Old 11-21-2012, 02:22 PM   #1
Jadak
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I need some help from the experts!

Hi there! I am new to the boards, and this will be my family's first trip to WDW. We arrive Jan 6 8pm (ASMu) and are there until Noon Jan 13 2013. Can some expert planners help me pick which days are best for which parks? I would like to take advantage of EMH wherever possible, and also want to catch as many parades and fireworks, etc as we can. DS1 is 10, DS2 is 5, and DD will be 20 months. I know we can't do EVERYTHING I want, but we would like to maximize our time!

I am thinking this is a good place to start, but am open for any opinions/ tips!

SunJan 6- arrive and settle in
Mon Jan 7- AK for the day
Tues Jan 8- Epcot for the day ( Chef Mickey's for early breakfast)
Wed Jan 9- DTD for the day, Cirque in PM
Thurs Jan 10- MK
Fri Jan 11-HS
Sat Jan 12- MK
Sun Jan 13- checkout


I am admittedly overwhelmed by all the info out there. Do all of the parks need a FULL day, or should we be returning to our resort mid day for rests in order to catch evening events? Is there time to return using Disney transportation and not wasting a lot of our day on buses? ANYTHING you suggest is appreciated!! TIA,
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:45 PM   #2
ses1230
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I would take a look at easywdw.com and look at the park recommendations for January.

For midday breaks, I think it depends on your kids. My older DD could go from rope drop til close without a break. But my younger one would have a meltdown if she didn't get rest time. Because of that we usually take a break, and I have grown to look forward to that down time as well!
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:49 PM   #3
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The fact that you are travelling with two young children almost certainly requires you to split the day ( i hate using absolutes but in this case..). Hit each park at opening and plan on leaving around 2 in the afternoon. GIve the litte ones the chance to nap and let the 10 yo hit a pool or game room. You could probably use a nap too. Then depending on meal times and if you have any advanced reservations go back to catch the night time events. It will be post holiday so you won't have to worry about extra ticket costs for the special events. You are right, you can't do everything at once but with some planning you can hit most of the attractions. Use the online maps here and check which attractions are 'must do', 'nice to do' and 'doesn't matter if we miss it'. Plan on fast passes for a few events like 'Soaring' at Epcot and 'Toy Story Midway' at Hollywood studios. Remember to pay attention to the ride height restrictions where the little guys are concerned. Hope this helps. I'm sure you'll get lots more advice shortly.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:13 PM   #4
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After reading your post, I suspect you have a much better handle on the planning than you think. I work with a guy who spent a week down there with his family. When he returned I asked if the boys liked the Haunted Mansion? He replied, "What's a Haunted Mansion?" These are the people I worry about.

You will probably want afternoon breaks. The buses are easy to use. In fact, once you get used to them you might even be comfortable splitting up (assuming you have a second adult) so that kids who need a nap can nap and kids who don't can stay in the park. AK makes afternoon naps tricky because the park usually closes early. In January it'll be cool. You might just consider letting the 20 mo power nap in the stroller while you take 5. Losing an hour in travel could put a cramp in your AK day.

You might also consider extended your park ticket 2 days and spending a few hours in the park after you arrive and making your DTD day half park/half DTD with a nap in between. This gives you more park time, and will make it easier to see everything and still catch those naps.

Definitely do not try to over do it. You want to see everything, but you do not want to become an evil task master. Find a good balance and everybody will have a good time.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:35 PM   #5
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hi - we'll be down at the same time as you - it's a great time to go - but really anytime is a great time to go -

i know that a lot of recommendations are to take a mid-day break back in the room - but one key point i want to make is that the parks close early - so you should check out emh's - we've been bringing our kids down since they were 18 months old - and the youngest started when he was 5 months old - and we've never gone back to the room because we've always gone in the off season - when the hours are limited - but we do take a mid day break - letting the kids take naps when necessary - and taking the older kids on something else - sometimes the best naps were on the shaded walkways while we snacked -

also i just wanted to note that the second weekend is the marathon - we stayed at blt - and were able to go to mk easily but we heard that there were delays due to roads being closed early - so you may want to try mk in the afternoon -
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:53 PM   #6
Jadak
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Thanks everyone! I know we will have fun no matter what we do, but I am trying so hard to make is easy and the best it can be, lol.

So since we are planning on going to MK the Jan 12 th, thats marathon day? Does that make it a bad day to go altogether??
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jadak View Post
Thanks everyone! I know we will have fun no matter what we do, but I am trying so hard to make is easy and the best it can be, lol.

So since we are planning on going to MK the Jan 12 th, thats marathon day? Does that make it a bad day to go altogether??
Sat, Jan 12 is the half marathon. It starts around 5:30AM at Epcot, goes to the MK and finishes back at Epcot. They allow 3.5 hours for the marathon. Sun, Jan 13 is the full marathon. It goes from Epcot to MK to AK to WWOS to DHS and back to Epcot. It lasts around 7 hours and, again, starts around 5:30AM. It may be tough getting out of the All Stars resort on Sun morning.

As long as you don't have an early morning breakfast at MK on Saturday, you should be okay.

One more thing, DTD is just a shopping area. Stores, stores and more stores. Unless you are going to Disney Quest (and it doesn't open until later morning - closer to noon) or to the movies, a full day there is pretty much a waste.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:57 PM   #8
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I agree, no need for dtd. Cirque will be awesome, but you could get several park hours in somewhere else.
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