How to make first adult only trip not too exhausting and stressful?

Discussion in 'Disney for Adults and Solo Travelers' started by niklynn1, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. niklynn1

    niklynn1 Mouseketeer

    May 27, 2006
    My hubby and I are taking an adults-only trip to celebrate our 50th birthdays. He's not been since he was 4 years old, and I have only been with my children a few times when I was a single mom.

    He is such a sweetheart, and is indulging my love of Disney with a birthday trip for both of us. I turn 50 in December and he exactly one month later. I am trying to reconcile how to see all the things I want to see and ride most of the major rides, (which I know involves getting up early to rope drop) with having a nice table service meal each night, and not ending up feeling frazzled and worn out in the process.

    Because we only recently booked our trip, we missed the 180 days mark for dining reservations and therefore some of the times are slim pickings. Below is my plan as of now. Any advice as to how to minimize line waiting, while also not feeling too rushed or exhausted would be much appreciated.

    Fri 1/18 We both work all day, head straight to airport for a 5p flight arriving at MCO at 10:30. ME to AKL to check in. So already a long day before we've even begun.

    Sat 1/19 MK
    • Plan to be at park at opening, to ride as many things as possible while lines are shorter. Will book FPs next month, but for what? Rides we definitely want to accomplish: Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, 7Dwarfs, Big Thunder, Splash, Buzz)
    • Really want to see the fireworks at 8
    • Currently have Ohana booked at 9:20. By the time we do this, it will be late when we return to AKL, but I have been checking everyday and cannot find an earlier ressie to Ohana that allows us to still see fireworks.

    Sun 1/20 AK
    • Know we have to be early to park to manage the new rides. Want to for sure do FoP, Na'vi, EE, Safari, Dino. Would also really like to see Lion King, Nemo, Bug's Life, and want to see Rivers of Light which is at 6:45 this night.
    • I have 3 reservation options this night:
    1. 6:15 at Tiffins (would miss RoL, but finish the day earlier)
    2. 3:25 Tusker House with RoL dining package (not as excited about this venue, but think the reserved seats without as much line waiting would be nice?)
    3. Or, go back to AKL for Boma after RoL for an 8:15 reservation? Can we make it?
    Thoughts on which would be best?

    Mon 1/21 EPCOT
    • Rope drop again--will be dead by this time? :worship:
    • Really want to ride Soarin' (my favorite of all rides) TT. Is FEA worth seeing for 2 adults?
    • Really want some leisurely time to explore WS with my hubby.
    • Have an 8:15 at Le Cellier. Will miss Illuminations, but kinda okay with that. Park will be closed when we are done eating and I'm thinking we will miss the long bus lines? Am I right?
    • Again, another long day and late night. Thoughts?
    Tue 1/22 Hollywood Studios

    • Should rope drop, but can we, again? Eek...
    • Want to ride TSM, SDD, ToT (multiple times), RR, Star Tours
    • I think my hubby would like the Indiana Jones show
    • I would like to see Fantasmic but it's not a MUST.
    • We have a 7:20 ressie for Sanaa which means we would miss, but maybe an earlier night this night is a good way to end?
    Wed 1/23 12:30p flight home, arriving at 4:30 and work the next day! What time will Magical Express pick us up?

    This is our touring plan so far, and as you can see, it is ambitious. In the past, I've only ever gone in June when it was hot and the parks were open longer each day, so we always took a midday rest. This time, I'm not sure if that makes sense?
    Any ideas you have to adjust the schedule would be much appreciated. Thank you!
    Professor_Cookie likes this.
  2. Chrysanthium

    Chrysanthium Look at this stuff, isn't it neat.

    Oct 11, 2018
    Hi! so here's what I think:

    MK: Fast pass for 7dwarfs, and splash the others lines go alot faster. If you want also get one for peter pan for a good trip down memory lane and the line is always long
    eat at gaston's pub for a frozen apple cider and cinnamon roll mmm. Ohana is pretty late but beware of MK being swamped fro fireworks and getting out so you don't really want anything earlier-

    AK: Get fast pass for anything related to pandora. river of light was nice but yea I wouldn't wait in line for 90 minutes for it and if you like soarin you will like FoP. I'd run back to EE first when line is shorter then The safari is really worth your time here so my FP suggestions would be the 2 in pandora and the Safari- I like to do Safari sometime in morning when its cooler out more animal activity. But you'll be there in January so it might be cool all day.
    I don't eat in AK because I don't find any of their food options appealing but Boma smells amazing and their food was great sounding but didn't have time last 2 trip to try it.

    EP: Yep- you (and your feet) will likely be dead at this point. make use of the hot tubs at your resort for help with that.
    Anyway FEA yea its cute I was impressed would I waste a FP on it (I did but in EP you don't really need them- so i had nothing else to really use it on) If you want use your FP on soarin, TT, and if you want to be adventurous MtoM. Save spaceship earth for later its always busy because everyone goes there first. If I may suggest; if you want to see these fireworks and have a great place to watch them. Illuminations are my favorite fireworks, the music, the fire, the countries are lit up I cry every time I see them, this particular show will also be changed as of next year so I would suggest of any fireworks not to miss these. If you get a reservation at Rose and Crown in England from 1 hour up until firework time they have a private balcony that you can watch the fireworks front row. Their food is really good and desserts are great. You'll have lots of time to explore here, France has a great bakery in the back for lunch and check out the perfumes in Norway, Italy, France, and England pretty interesting how different countries likes to smell different. Might score some samples too.

    HS:You really won't need all day here unless you plan on exploring every single piece of it. So I wouldn't be pressed to get there super early. Use your FP on Toy Story first of all and ToT sounds like a definite must for you so get one for that,,,the 3rd is a toss up so whatever is most important to you.

    Early night for last night not a bad idea to plan that you need to pack up etc. See what time it is and do something spontaneous, Disney Spring is open until 2 AM if you aren't ready to let go of the magic. or the Boardwalk is a nice leisurely walk and if you get there by 9 you can see EP fireworks.

    Sleep on plane- I drive to Florida not sure about Magical Express.

    As a side note: you're going in January- it can be cooler and sometimes rainy (like all day not like a summer short storm). Also lines are crazy short that time of year so you may not need fastpasses as much as say summer.
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  4. krum

    krum Mouseketeer

    Jan 23, 2006
    If you're not in shape, start training now. I recommend walking at least 4 miles 3 or 4 times a week. Walking 15 miles a day while at WDW is pretty realistic.
    Professor_Cookie and Tempty like this.
  5. HooplaFan

    HooplaFan Earning My Ears

    Jul 13, 2017
    15 miles is probably on the low end-20 is not unusual.

    I generally recommend that people with younger children take a midday nap because the kids will be much happier. Though you don't have kids, that might be something to consider. If you are planning a park opening to park closing kind of day, taking a midday break will make it more relaxing.
    need2travel likes this.
  6. niklynn1

    niklynn1 Mouseketeer

    May 27, 2006
    Yes, thank you. We are very prepared for this. We are both fit and active adults. I've been to WDW with my kids and understand the amount of walking involved. I am more concerned with scheduling and timing, so that we don't feel rushed and worn out.
  7. niklynn1

    niklynn1 Mouseketeer

    May 27, 2006
    Thank you for your suggestions. You've given me some things to consider. :-)
  8. NH-to-FL

    NH-to-FL DIS Veteran

    Sep 10, 2015
    What a wonderful birthday present!

    DW and I made many adult only trips beginning in our late 40's and celebrated a number of milestones at Disney. We are now Disney snowbirds.

    First, a couple of overall thoughts. When DW and I were vacationing at WDW we toured with a rope drop, midday break plan. Since we were on site we usually rope dropped whichever park had morning Extra Magic Hours though with your short trip I am not sure that morning EMH would work. We found that the mid day break, usually involving a nap, was necessary for us, especially after a couple of early rope drop mornings.

    I will second some previous posters posts and suggest some walking training to prepare for your somewhat intense visit.

    I think you will enjoy a January visit. DW and I find the cooler weather much nicer for park visits. Typically low 70's. Do be prepared for some cool mornings and evenings. Temps can fall into the low 30's (or even upper 20's!) if a cold front goes through. Or it could get into the 80's. Pack one outfit for each temp extreme just in case.

    You mention having a nice table service dinner in the evening. An alternative to consider is having a relaxed table service lunch as part of the midday break. This will help to both break up your day and give you more time to enjoy the evening shows and fireworks.

    Now to a few of your specific questions:

    By all means plan for rope drop at MK. Combined with FPs you'll be able to visit your "must do's". Get whatever FPs you can and then rope drop your the top must from your remaining list. 7DMT would be the one to rope drop if you don't get a FP. Since it is January and could be a bit cool be cautious about Splash as it might be annoying to get wet, especially early in the morning. Since you coming off of a long travel day I suspect you will be ready for a midday break. Perhaps after your break consider an early dinner at Ohana and then head back to the fireworks.

    This will be another early morning. Unless you can get a FP for FoP then you will want to be about 90 minutes early to rope drop and be near the front of the line for FoP. If you do that you could be off of FoP a few minutes after park opening. You could head right to Navi River and most likely walk on. From there you will have plenty of time to head to whatever attraction you might not have a FP for. Don't bother getting a FP for Dinosaur or Bug's Life. They are usually pretty easy to get as a 4th FP or just standby. In August I RD'd FoP, then Navi, then Bug, then Dinosaur and the FP'd Safari and was in line for an early lunch at Flametree by 10:50. You can get a lot done by being early to rope drop. As far as the dinner reservations go, I think you have to decide how important RoL is for you. And how you want to manage your energy. Mid day break and later evening or end the day early with a 6:15 at Tiffins. Remember you are looking at another early rope drop morning.

    Once again rope drop will give you options to get all of your Epcot favorites. Soarin' is DW's favorite as well. Personally, FEA is not all that interesting to us. Search for FPs and then rope drop what you don't get. This might be a day to consider a leisurely TS lunch at Le Cellier and then a stroll around the WS. Then you can decide whether to stay for Illuminations. Or perhaps a nice midday break and then return to wander the WS and your 8:15 dinner reservation. Enjoy a leisurely meal you will miss the big exit crowd.

    Once again, rope drop and FPs will be the only way you will get to your attraction list without excessive waits. Especially SDD. I would agree that Indiana Jones is worth the time. Fantasmic is not a must do for us. How early you want to end the day might depend on how your energy is doing.

    3 hours before is usual bus leaves for the airport time. So be there a few minutes before.
    Wishing you a pixiedust: trip!
  9. winthropf

    winthropf DIS Veteran

    Sep 4, 2009
    For AK, you may want to see if a lunch ADR at Tiffins is available since you can book it as a ROL dining package that gives reserved center seating. Will avoid having to get in the standby line 60-90 minutes before ROL and can also be a nice middle of the day break.
    rinnythepooh likes this.
  10. Pmlocke

    Pmlocke Peter Locke

    Aug 1, 2014
    I am confused. "not ending up feeling frazzled and worn out in the process". Your statement, not mine. I read your itinerary and I was exhausted. My wife and I (both 65) travel down every year and at the end of a 7 day trip we are both completely rested. Here is how we do it. 1st of all, no kids. We agree on that. I have done the kids, grandkids and greatgrandkid trips and never again. Second, when we wake up we get up. No alarms, no wake up call. I get bathed and dressed and go get a coffee and go for a walk around the resort while my wife bathes and gets dressed. We then go to the dining hall and have a nice breakfast. I always get Mickeys Bounty Breakfast. We then head to the bus stop and that's when we decide what park we will be going to. Walk around the park for about 4 hours, go on some rides, enjoy a parade, have lunch and then head back to the resort for pool time. Four hours later we head back to another park for evening fun and dinner. (Park hopper is required for this). After fireworks, if we choose to see them-it is usually the best time to get on rides, we head back to the resort and off to sleep. Continue for 6 more days. Slow down and enjoy the time there with your husband. So you don't get to go on a certain ride (fireworks hint) that shouldn't ruin four days at the happiest place on earth.
    BCPKnight likes this.
  11. niklynn1

    niklynn1 Mouseketeer

    May 27, 2006
    You make some very good points, Pmlocke. I would really like to find a balance somewhere between your type of trip, and one that does get us on some of the newer rides and attractions that we'd like to see. :-)
  12. LuvTigger

    LuvTigger DIS Veteran

    Jul 3, 2000
    Adding a comment regarding trying to find ADRs for a time closer to your preference...I've had success with the dining reservation finder on the Touring Plans website:

    It will text or email you when a reservation becomes available near your desired time for a specified restaurant. I believe you can only have two of these active at any given time.

    Also, I just learned the other day, thanks to DISboards, that there are a few (limited -- mostly resort restaurants) that can also be booked on Open Table. I had an ADR at Flying Fish that I booked through the Disney website, but at an undesirable time. When I went to Open Table, they had lots of availability around my preferred time that did not show on the Disney site.

    I only booked my trip about 2 months in advance and was able to get most of what I want in terms of ADRs, so I think you would still have a good chance of getting times and locations closer to your preference as well.
  13. niklynn1

    niklynn1 Mouseketeer

    May 27, 2006
    Thank you! I will give it a try. Must I have a subscription to Touring Plans to use the reservation finder?
  14. Gaugersaurus

    Gaugersaurus Mouseketeer

    Jan 11, 2018
    You have to register with the site but you do not have to pay the subscription fee to use the reservation finder.
  15. jennie622

    jennie622 Earning My Ears

    Jun 16, 2010
    Just saw this post. Wow! I’m exhausted just looking at the itinerary. Rope drop daily requires getting up and ready really early Especially if using Disney transportation. I agree with others about looking into table service at lunch. Schedule daily breaks Either by the pool, a nap (by the pool??), enjoying the rocking chairs and seating areas at the closest resort to the park you’re in. Calling it a day early and maybe watching the movie at your resort or the lounge. You don’t want to need a vacation from your vacation.
  16. aml3679

    aml3679 Sylvester and Sophia's Mom

    Jun 24, 2000
    Your plans sound great, but, after a 2-week trip to Disney in 2013, it also sound tiring. Our last trip, we got up at the crack of dawn. We tried to do everything. We had the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan and had 3 reservations every day. We did not have a fun trip - it was hot and crowded and the park wore us down.

    We are going in 3 weeks and here is how we have learned to relax and have a good time.

    - We are early risers any way, but, we do not set an alarm and wake up naturally.

    - We eat a small breakfast at our resort before heading to the parks.

    - We never get there at rope drop and will not wait longer than an hour for a ride.

    - We go to a single park each day.

    - We stay in the park until lunch and then eat lunch and go back to our resort to relax, swim, or take a nap.

    - We head back to the park after we have refreshed ourselves.

    - We have a late (7pm) dinner and either head back to our resort or if there is something special going on, we will go back to the park.

    You do not have to see and do it all in one trip.
  17. com_op_2000

    com_op_2000 DVC Member since '93; One Hour from WDW

    Jul 13, 2010
    You have scheduled too much to do in to short a period of time.
    You are not going on a vacation you are going on a walking hike through FL.
    I would schedule one day of no parks, to build in some down time, take time to enjoy the resort (AK is a great resort for exploring and admiring the artifacts they have throughout both AKL-J & K.
    Please, at least take an afternoon off to go back to the resort and relax.
    I understand that you are flying in and do not come as often as you like, but if DH does not like the go, go, go you are planning; it seems to me that he will not be joining you again.
  18. siren0119

    siren0119 DIS Veteran

    Sep 26, 2018
    So my husband and I took our first adults-only trip this past September (mostly for Food & Wine) and I have to say that the MOST fun of the trip was the complete lack of planning LOL. We didn't do much beyond figuring out which park we would visit on which day. Had we planned any meals that required ADR, we would have done that - but we ate easy breakfasts in the room, grabbed a plate to share whenever we got hungry, had one big meal per day (usually dinner) and it worked fine. We picked one or two specific "must do" items in each park and other than that we just kind of let the wind take us. it was the most relaxed vacation I'd had in years but we still managed to hit every ride we enjoyed :)
    BCPKnight likes this.

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