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Old 07-24-2014, 11:31 PM   #1
row
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Join Date: Jul 2014
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First WDW visit - need opinions/suggestions/advice

Hello all--hoping for some advice from you experts.

I'll be in Orlando 9/1-9/6. I realize it may be busy on 9/1 since it's a holiday. Which would be the best (least crowded) park to visit that day? We have a 5-day hopper and plan on only going to the 4 major parks (no water parks).

Also, some questions regarding FP+. In your opinion, is it better to schedule all FP+ first thing in the morning, or later in the day? I briefly looked at the availability in the Disney World app, and it looks like most of the things I'm interested in are still pretty much available at various times throughout the day. I feel like the lines should be rather short in the morning still, so there would be no need to reserve FastPasses for the morning. Or is it better to just knock out everything in the morning to have a free afternoon/evening? Should I just go with the "Best Match" that the app is recommending? It'll just be my friend and I (no kids). The major/big rides are our highest priority, and parades and character meet and greets are low on our list.

Thank you in advanced for your suggestions. I've been to Disneyland at least a dozen of times, but when it comes to WDW, I am a total newbie.

Last edited by row; 07-25-2014 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:37 PM   #2
sghm
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I'm going for the first time in September, also. Only have been to Disneyland. Happy planning.
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:33 AM   #3
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I've been to WDW 25 times but never with FP+, so I'm trying to figure out the whole thing, too. I have heard that going to rope drop is still the BEST way to get on the headliners, especially at MK now with A&E and 7DMT drawing such crowds. That makes it seem like early FP+s are not necessary BUT once you use your 3 FP+ you can book subsequent FP+s, one at a time (book and ride, book another and ride, book another and ride, etc.) so if you are saving your initial 3 FP+s for later in the day, you probably aren't going to be able to pull additional FP+s.

Touring Plans shows September 1st to be an excellent time to go to WDW, with a crowd level, park-wide, of a 1 out of 10! Maybe low crowd levels because many schools in the northeast have either just started school, or will be starting on the 2nd? MK is listed as a 1, but that's a MNSSHP day so the park closes to the general public at 7 (but will start to fill up at 4, when they start letting party-goers in). I'd say any of the parks look good that day… in fact, the crowd levels look EXCELLENT for the entire week! Jealous...
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:49 AM   #4
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Some FP suggestions are included in the green link in my signature.
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:52 AM   #5
think-like-tink
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Welcome.

Check out easywdw for crowd calenders. Take a look around his site, it's awesome. Schools will be back in, so crowds should be low. JEALOUS about that as summer is the time we go.
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Old 07-25-2014, 09:38 AM   #6
row
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leebee View Post
I've been to WDW 25 times but never with FP+, so I'm trying to figure out the whole thing, too. I have heard that going to rope drop is still the BEST way to get on the headliners, especially at MK now with A&E and 7DMT drawing such crowds. That makes it seem like early FP+s are not necessary BUT once you use your 3 FP+ you can book subsequent FP+s, one at a time (book and ride, book another and ride, book another and ride, etc.) so if you are saving your initial 3 FP+s for later in the day, you probably aren't going to be able to pull additional FP+s.

Touring Plans shows September 1st to be an excellent time to go to WDW, with a crowd level, park-wide, of a 1 out of 10! Maybe low crowd levels because many schools in the northeast have either just started school, or will be starting on the 2nd? MK is listed as a 1, but that's a MNSSHP day so the park closes to the general public at 7 (but will start to fill up at 4, when they start letting party-goers in). I'd say any of the parks look good that day… in fact, the crowd levels look EXCELLENT for the entire week! Jealous...
I will definitely be at rope drop every morning. I have scheduled all our fastpasses for the morning so we have a chance to snag more once we use up our 3 for the day. I think I will avoid MK on the 1st since it closes early. I heard Sept is a great time to go in terms of crowds, but could be bad cause of the weather

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesaboy2 View Post
Some FP suggestions are included in the green link in my signature.
Thank you! I used your guide last night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by think-like-tink View Post
Welcome.

Check out easywdw for crowd calenders. Take a look around his site, it's awesome. Schools will be back in, so crowds should be low. JEALOUS about that as summer is the time we go.
The thing about crowd calendars is that are so many and all seem to suggest different things. For example, Easy WDW recommends MK on Sept 1st, while Undercover Tourist predicts MK will be the most crowded.

Thank you all for your input. Various sites/blogs/forums/etc seem to all agree that the week I am going is one of the best times to go. 37 days to go!
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Old 07-25-2014, 09:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by row View Post
Hello all--hoping for some advice from you experts.

I'll be in Orlando 9/1-9/6. I realize it may be busy on 9/1 since it's a holiday. Which would be the best (least crowded) park to visit that day? We have a 5-day hopper and plan on only going to the 4 major parks (no water parks).

Also, some questions regarding FP+. In your opinion, is it better to schedule all FP+ first thing in the morning, or later in the day? I briefly looked at the availability in the Disney World app, and it looks like most of the things I'm interested in are still pretty much available at various times throughout the day. I feel like the lines should be rather short in the morning still, so there would be no need to reserve FastPasses for the morning. Or is it better to just knock out everything in the morning to have a free afternoon/evening? Should I just go with the "Best Match" that the app is recommending? It'll just be my friend and I (no kids). The major/big rides are our highest priority, and parades and character meet and greets are low on our list.

Thank you in advanced for your suggestions. I've been to Disneyland at least a dozen of times, but when it comes to WDW, I am a total newbie.
IF you're staying onsite and IF you can be at AK in time for the early EMH at 8:00 a.m., I suggest AK for Sept 1 for a couple reasons.

1. Even with early EMH, most people start their vacations on Monday and AK will not be high on their list for first park, so crowds are always lower in AK on Mondays.

2. It will be HOT and that extra hour in the cooler mornings at AK will be well worth it. AK is the hottest feeling park, so you'll want to be out of there not long after lunch.

If you're not staying onsite, I recommend MK. It's a party night, so the park will close at 7:00 and many guests don't want to "waste" a day on MK if they can't stay late.

Whichever one you choose for the first part of your day, I'd hop over to EP afterwards for dinner and maybe some FP+ reserved rides.
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by row View Post
The thing about crowd calendars is that are so many and all seem to suggest different things. For example, Easy WDW recommends MK on Sept 1st, while Undercover Tourist predicts MK will be the most crowded.
I would also recommend that you take another look at easywdw's crowd calendar to select your park days. Josh almost always recommends MK on a party night because of its early closing. People will tend to select a different park that has later hours. We've done MK several times on those days and have enjoyed very low crowds and short standby times. If you read his day by day discussion, you will see why he recommends or does not recommend each park. I used to use touringplans. Then I used both sites. Now I use easywdw exculsively. I've been very satisfied with the accuracy of his picks.

You might also want to take a look at his cheat sheets for each park. They are sensible touring plans that will also suggest the best attractions to FP, and the best ways to maximize the efficiency of your park day without a lot of criss crossing the park. Think of them as a reliable guideline.
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:06 AM   #9
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I'm not sure what time you are arriving on the first...but if you are arriving by noon or so I personally would do the following (and these are just based on my own preferences):

Monday 9/1:

-Make FP+ reservations at MK for after your arrival (afternoon) and head out to MK after arrival.
-Hop over to either Epcot (for Illuminations) or DHS (for fireworks and Fantasmic) around 6ish...grab dinner and relax until the night shows (maybe catch another show or ride after eating depending on what time it is)

Tuesday 9/2:

-Epcot (if onsite and can take advantage of EMH in the AM) or DHS...this one might depend on which you choose the night before.

Wednesday 9/3:

-Animal Kingdom (if onsite to take advantage of EMH in the AM) or MK (if offsite to take advantage of MSEP and Wishes)

Thursday 9/4:

- MK (if onsite to catch MSEP and Wishes and take advantage of EMH in AM) or AK if offsite.

Friday 9/5:

- Epcot or DHS...depending on which you chose on Tuesday.

Saturday 9/6:

- Whatever park you want for the last day...I would do MK because it's my favorite.

You have hoppers...so you guys can skip around and hop around depending on what you favorites are.

I personally like to schedule my FP+ for late morning and early afternoon when crowds are the heaviest. I also like to try and space them out when I can so they're not one right after the next...prevents rushing from ride to ride and allows me to take in several things in one area before moving onto the next. Scheduling them all by early afternoon still leaves open the possibility to get a 4th FP+...though I doubt I will personally bother with this but liked the idea of having the option open.

Just my suggestions based on the way I tour and what I like. Everyone is different so just look at the options and figure out what sounds best to you.
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:00 AM   #10
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As for which park to head to: check out the crowd calanders on undercover tourist & easy wdw to check out what park they say will be least crowded.

For fp+, it's all about your preference, if you want to make them for the morning, then you can head to the kiosks to make another one for the afternoon (you can only add in that one after you've used your other 3) or you can park hop to another park once you've finished with that one.

I personally like to just standby everything in the morning, and use my fp+'s in the afternoon when it's crowded & I don't want to wait for much. When you go to make them, don't use the suggested ones, select exactly what you want and if you want to change the times around you can after!

Have a fun trip!

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Old 07-25-2014, 11:50 AM   #11
row
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Thank you all for your suggestions! I've probably re-did my fastpass reservations 3 or 4 times already since receiving our tickets yesterday I'll do a little bit more reading and adjust if necessary.

One other question, is a resort i.d. absolutely required for admission to EMH? We are staying off property (Sheraton Vistana), but have a throwaway booked 9/1-9/2. I don't think we'll be checking in, so we won't have a resort i.d.
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:07 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by row View Post
Thank you all for your suggestions! I've probably re-did my fastpass reservations 3 or 4 times already since receiving our tickets yesterday I'll do a little bit more reading and adjust if necessary.

One other question, is a resort i.d. absolutely required for admission to EMH? We are staying off property (Sheraton Vistana), but have a throwaway booked 9/1-9/2. I don't think we'll be checking in, so we won't have a resort i.d.
Yes. If you are not staying at an onsite hotel you are not entitled to EMH.
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