Planning help! 5 days with 2 & 6 yr old

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by JackStraw, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. JackStraw

    JackStraw Earning My Ears

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    Hi -

    We have five full days for our first ever trip to DW next week. We are staying at The Poly. Trying to come up with a loose itinerary and seeking assistance.

    Day One - MK
    Day Two - AK
    Day Three - Universal (6 yr old in peak Harry Potter phase)
    Day Four - Epcot
    Day Five - MK

    Honestly, I am not hung up on what days we go where other than bookending with MK -- seems like a treat to start and end the trip there.

    My main issue is that my kids love Disney Jr and are gung-ho on seeing those characters at Hollywood Studios (Sofia the 1st and Doc McStuffins etc are only at HS). So, I need to find an afternoon to add that to the schedule. I don't want to commit much more than a couple of hours to HS since it seems like a better fit for older kids, anyway. If we had an extra day, then I'd spend more time at HS but right now we need to prioritize!

    I tinkered with the idea of trying to do AK thru lunch, then finish day at HS...but I prefer devoting more time to AK. I could try and combine Epcot and HS -- I know they are close to one another. Don't want to shortchange Epcot but not sure it will be as compelling for the little ones as us. Plus, my wife and I might get a sitter one night and beeline straight to Epcot anyway so we can make up the lost time.

    Confused. Help, pls!
     
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  3. Goseethemouse

    Goseethemouse Mouseketeer

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    To be quite honest I would skip Universal in your case. Not only is it a lot more expensive to get a ticket for Islands of Adventures (which is where Harry Potter World is) than add another day at Disney, but in my opinion Islands of Adventure really doesn't have a lot for kids of that age.

    Harry Potter World itself is great but there isn't a lot to DO there. Seuss World is really nice and there are some nifty playgrounds but most of IOA will probably be a bit too scary for your kids (well, at least it was too scary for mine at age 6 and 9).

    I am not saying that you wouldn't have fun at Universal - it is a great park. But given that it is your first trip and that you are only there for a short time I really would stick to Disney. Touring parks every day is exhausting and I highly recommend some downtime.

    If I were you I would spend half of day 3 at Disney Studios (which again is more geared to older kids in my opinion) and take the rest of the day to either visit downtown Disney or a waterpark. Or just spend some time at the pool or visit Camp Wilderness which is a lot of fun with hayrides, singalongs, movies etc. in the evening.
     
  4. CarolineB

    CarolineB DIS Veteran

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    I would go to HS the morning that you are going to EPCOT. EPCOT stays open until 9 p.m. and doesn't have as much for little kids -- go on Spaceship Earth, go to Living with the Land ride and Circle of Life movie, Living Seas ride & Turtle Talk, Figment ride, get FP for Soarin and Test Track (baby swap), Mission Space (baby swap), go to the 2 rides in World Showcase (Mexico and Norway), go to Innoventions (Sum of All Things for 6 y/o if 48 inches.) Innoventions has some fun games for 2 year old (puzzle, put out fire, bank with pig.)

    Skip Universe of Energy and Captain EO.


    When you are near Living with the Seas, have someone check out the times that the diver is in the water feeding the fish and the dolphin demonstration -- the times are posted on the 2nd floor. These would both be entertaining for 2 year old as well as 6 year old.

    http://www.*********************.com/article-epcot-with-young-children.php
     
  5. iheartjuppy

    iheartjuppy Mouseketeer

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    I am guessing you are doing park hoppers? We are in almost the exact same situation - 5 1/2 days with a 23 month old (DD) and DS turning 5 on our trip. We arrive midday Sunday and are considering this schedule, without DDP:

    Sunday - arrive midday, Downtown Disney with Disney Quest (2 free vouchers with our MYW package), eat at Earl of Sandwich, POSSIBLY Epcot in the evening or Boardwalk

    Monday - Animal Kingdom or Epcot, undecided (or AK in the morning, Epcot in the evening) - we will be there during Flower and Garden, so we may go over several evenings

    Tuesday - breakfast at Ohana, MK for the day (DD's 1st haircut!)

    Wednesday - DHS, lunch at Hollywood & Vine - hoping to get DS into Jedi Training Academy, maybe walk to Epcot in evening

    Thursday - MK (AM EMH) - DS's birthday! Dinner at Chef Mickey's, maybe back to MK in the evening

    Friday - last day! Maybe AK or maybe back to MK one more time. Up in the air.

    I will be following this thread for everyone's tips and ideas! We are not planning midday breaks - rented a double stroller for any naps needed (they both sleep well in motion!) but will go back to the resort in the early evenings a few nights for some pool, relaxation, etc. I don't think we will do any nighttime shows (Wishes, IllumiNationa, Fantasmic) as they are VERY late during our trip and I would worry they would throw off the kids' sleep and mess with the next day. Though that wishes dessert party is calling my name!!!!!
     
  6. CarolineB

    CarolineB DIS Veteran

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    I agree with everything that you're saying but I just had this conversation with my friends and they want to get Universal in on their Disney trip too --I think that when you're coming this far, you want to see Universal if you have a Harry Potter fan. If the poster thinks that they'll be able to visit again in a couple of years, then waiting is a good idea too. If they've already told DS about visiting Universal, it may be hard to skip it now.
     
  7. BrookeMQ

    BrookeMQ Mouseketeer

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    Six mc stuffings and Sofia the first are just part of the Disney jr live show. They are puppets p, you can't meet them.

    With my young kids we mainly met a bunch of characters at Hollywood studios (incredible, monsters inc, cars, wreck it Ralph, jake, etc.). We also did Jedi academy and rise toy story mania. We were there early for all of this. If you can't get there early morning I wouldn't do this park.

    I agree with another that said maybe do studios first thing for a few hours and then spend rest of time at Epcot. We love Epcot but our young kids didn't like t as much as other parks.
     
  8. JackStraw

    JackStraw Earning My Ears

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    Thx for the input. I already spilled the beans on Harry Potter so I am committed to Universal. That said, I can blow in and out of there in a half day and retreat to the hotel after lunch to recharge our batteries. Aside from Harry Potter, only need to hit the Spider Man ride and then we can call it a day.

    I like the HS morning, followed by Epcot idea. Especially since we only need to see the Disney Jr - Live on Stage! and Beauty and the Beast shows (and maybe throw in Toy Story Mania) at HS.

    Another thought -- as much as it pains me -- is to blow off Epcot with the kids until the next trip a few years from now. Less pressure to cram it all in. Just bookend the five days with MK, spend a full day at AK, and a half day each at HS and Universal so we can get in some leisurely afternoons back at The Poly.

    This is a GREAT problem to have ;)
     
  9. msmama

    msmama DIS Veteran

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    AK is only a half day park for my family. It gets too hot and crowded for us and we are all just generally crankier on AK days.

    That said, since 2, my son's favorite has been Epcot. If it were me, I'd do half days at AK and HS and full day at Epcot. Or make one of your MK days a half day and do either AK or HS that day.
     
  10. hollygolitely93

    hollygolitely93 DIS Veteran

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    Is arrival day an option, not sure timing?

    I vote for HS am and Epcot pm...

    HS...TSMM, Disney Jr, Beauty and Beast, maybe see a few characters and lunch.
    Epcot...finding Nemo, turtle talk, Soarin, test track, dinner.

    If it feels like too much, save Epcot for next trip!
     
  11. yaddakal

    yaddakal Mouseketeer

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    Hs is actually wonderful for those ages. In would skip universal
     
  12. yaddakal

    yaddakal Mouseketeer

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    My son loves Harry potter but he actually has to be something like 54 inches to truly experience that attraction. Our daughter is 45 inches and would have no fun at universal telling her she is not tall enough all day long.
     
  13. akayf

    akayf Mouseketeer

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    My boys are 2 and 5. We have 6 park days and so far we think we are doing

    day 1-MK all day
    day 2-Epcot all day
    day 3-MK in AM...late afternoon/evening plans up in the air...most likely Epcot
    Day 4-either water park or HS in am and then hop to MK.
    Day 5-AK in am and then Epcot or MK in evening
    Day 6- up in the air....will let the kids decide which things they want to do 1 last time
     
  14. pooh4evr

    pooh4evr Mouseketeer

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    skip universal - your 2yr old won't be tall enough for anything outside of Seuss land, and your 6yr old may not be tall enough to ride any of the harry potter rides either. Universal is definitely geared to an older crowd, much more than HS.
     
  15. CarolineB

    CarolineB DIS Veteran

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    Harry Potter ride height is 48"
    Dragon Challenge roller coaster is 54"
    Flight of Hippogriff 36" with supervising companion

    https://www.universalorlando.com/Resort-Information/Ride-Height-Requirements.aspx

    Spiderman is a great ride! 40" minimum height
     
  16. yaddakal

    yaddakal Mouseketeer

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    We want to do universal but in order to get moneys worth we are waiting until we have to kids over 48inches. Good luck;)
     
  17. letsgoreds

    letsgoreds DIS Veteran

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    Does your son enjoy Star Wars at all? The Jedi Training Academy at HS is pretty freakin' awesome...and might trump Universal. I would drop Universal, and try to get back in a year or two.

    Universal (during any sort of busy period) is best seen when you are staying at a Universal hotel to get their automatic fastpass/early entry to Harry Potter. The line ques are not nearly as interesting as at WDW, making the lines feel that much longer.

    You could always do a Universal/Sea World trip in the future, and really try to do as much WDW as possible during this trip.
     
  18. mvk

    mvk Mouseketeer

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    I have a 5yo (daughter) and 3yo (son) and we've gone the past 2 summers. Animal Kingdom was a morning to noon park for us. If they're doing Extra Magic Hours, go that day, get there as soon as it opens, get a fastpass for Kilimanjaro Safaris and go through Pangani Forest Trail while waiting for fastpass return. After the Safari, head over to Asia for the Maharajah Jungle Trek. From there, you'll have to check the Times Guide to see when Finding Nemo show and Festival of the Lion King are playing. Those are must-see's at the Animal Kingdom.

    Other than than, maybe see Bug's Life, if your little ones don't frighten easily.

    If you get lunch at the park, you could probably be out of there by 1:00 or so. Plenty of time for Hollywood Studios, though you might not get to ride Toy Story Mania at that point.
     
  19. geraghty

    geraghty Mouseketeer

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    I'm usually in the minority, but my kids 2 and 5 like Epcot. I would spend a full day there. AK is only a half day park. If HS has an evening EMH, I would do AK in the morning and HS at night. AK is a lot of fun, but if you plan it right, you can do every ride and show by 1:00. Also if MK has a night EMH, that may be a good option for a date night if you decide not to go back to Epcot. You definitely need two days to see all of MK. Make sure you take advantage of EMH and put universal studios in where it fits.
     
  20. Caseheidi

    Caseheidi DIS Veteran

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    I agree with the pp who suggested starting a day at HS and then changing to Epcot. You can stay later at Epcot, and World Showcase doesn't even open until 11 anyway. Also, you might look into the Phinis & Ferb mystery thing for your little guy if he likes the show. A great way to do Epcot with kids.

    I also disagree that IOA would not have enough for your little ones. I believe you said DS is 6. If he is at all into Dinosaurs, then he needs to check out the Dino exhibit hall (sorry, can't remember the name) that sits between HP & JP. There is lots to see here, and interactive hands on stuff. Also, both your kids, as well as you, would love Suess Landing. We took DD when 18 months and spent a couple hours here alone. She played in the Suess zoo for over an hour, and loved the flying fish ride. And the Comic Strip land was fascinating to her. Her eyes were Hugh just looking around and thanking in all the color and energy. You could easily spend all day here, making the cost worth it.
     
  21. JackStraw

    JackStraw Earning My Ears

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    Thx to all for your thoughtful comments. I think the majority of you indicated that AK can be done in half a day btw 9 - 1 so that will be our plan, followed by some pool time at the hotel, then a late afternoon/early eve at HS.

    If we find that there is too much to see at AK, then we will spend the day there and push HS into the next morning followed by an Epcot afternoon.

    As for Universal, I hear ya on getting your money's worth re: kids height. My son is 48" on the nose (by the way, how exacting are the Disney staff with height?!!) so he can go on two of the three Potter rides and my daughter is 36" so she can go on one. Plus, they will both have fun with Seuss. As I mentioned, my son already thinks we are going to Potter and would be devastated if we pushed to another trip. He is right in the sweet spot for Potter right now -- in the middle of the 5th book, broom and wand for Xmas, etc. :)

    Our trip begins Sunday so the weather will hopefully not be too oppressive. Forecast (ha ha) calls for highs of mid-80s on some days and mid-70s on others.:cool1:
     

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