Short trip advice needed!

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by ShannonBS, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. ShannonBS

    ShannonBS Earning My Ears

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    We are heading to WDW in April for my daughter's 9th birthday. We will only be there for 3 nights and plan on doing 2 full days in the parks and are trying to decide if it's worth it to buy a 3rd day or not. We fly in pretty early, I think we arrive around 9 am on our first day. Would you hit a park that day or just do a fun meal and hang at at the hotel? We did Disney as a whole family 2 years ago and hit all the parks except for Animal Kingdom. How would you plan 2 or 2 1/2 days for a 9 year old girl? We are definitely going to do MK on her real birthday, I have Castle reservations for lunch already. Can't decide if we should do 2 days at MK to keep it simple or hit another park or 2. She seems to remember 1 really fun thing she wants to do at each park which isn't helping me with planning at all! (well...2 at Epcot, Test track and Soarin, then TSMM at HS...she hasn't done any of the big roller coasters yet, not sure if she's up for those even this time around, she likes princesses, but doesn't LOVE them, my husband is pushing for Star Wars but she's just so-so on it).

    I appreciate any advice you have to offer! TIA!
     
  2. Upatnoon

    Upatnoon DIS Veteran

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    If you arrive at 9 a.m., I would go to the parks on the first day. This will also let you see 3 nightime shows, for example the Star Wars fireworks or Rivers of Light.

    I might also get a hopper so I can visit all four parks. We will often go a park in the morning, take a break, then visit a different park in the evening.

    Also, just because it is her birthday doesn't mean she gets to make all the decisions on where to go everyday. It's more fun when everyone gets to see some of what they want.
     
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  4. belledreamer

    belledreamer Writer, dreamer, and Honorary Lost Girl

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    I think you could hit a park on your fly-in day. We've done what I call 'four day slams' where we would catch the first flight that morning, land in Orlando, go to the hotel and then head straight to Epcot where we wouldn't in the park by 11am. Then two full parks days, followed by AK on our last day and catch the last flight that night. It's a hard trip, absolutely exhausting and I probably wouldn't do it now, but it can be done.

    Just to make sure I understand your schedule correctly, your schedule is

    Day 1: Fly into Orlando and there by 9 am
    Day 2 and Day 3: Full park days, one of them being Magic Kingdom
    Day 4: Flying home

    If that's the case I would definitely go into a park on day one, probably Epcot. I'd also agree with getting a hopper if possible and do AK in the morning (To help beat the rush for NRJ and FoP), then HS in the afternoon for the sake of seeing Star Wars fireworks at night. I would also make sure to already have a plan in place for which rides and attractions are your must-do's to get FP for. If you're wanting to go to all four parks on your trip in that amount of time, it's definitely going to be doing what you want to see the most and if there's time to do more, then that's great.
     
  5. chloelovesdisney

    chloelovesdisney DIS Veteran

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    We also have a short trip coming up, I ended up deciding to go to a park on the first day. Just booked the FP+ last week. With such a quick trip I think even a few hours on the first day will make a difference and my son cares more about going on some rides and seeing the fireworks than going out to dinner like I had originally planned.
     
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  6. Ensusieasm

    Ensusieasm DIS Veteran

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    Yes, I think you should go to a park the day you arrive. Also, do include Animal Kingdom on this trip. Flight of Passage is absolutely not to be missed. Trust me!
    If you are unable to book fast passes for Flight of Passage, plan to arrive an hour and 15 minutes before park opening. You will get in the Park about 45 minutes early and be held on the bridge into Pandora, then, about a half hour before scheduled park opening they let the line move on to the ride. I did this three times two weeks ago, on three different days. In each case I walked off the ride at the same time the park was scheduled to open. At this time the Flight of Passage already had a three hour wait.
     
  7. mamamelody2

    mamamelody2 DIS Veteran

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    Absolutely hit a park on your first day!!
     
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  8. ShannonBS

    ShannonBS Earning My Ears

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    Thank you! Yes, you've got our schedule down! I think our flight actually arrives at 9:15 but it's still pretty close and I couldn't get a late flight back on our last day, I think we leave at 11:30, so I know we're out of luck that day. If I can't swing the park hopper, and just have 3 days for parks, just curious, which would you skip?
     
  9. belledreamer

    belledreamer Writer, dreamer, and Honorary Lost Girl

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    That's a really hard question lol! Each park has its own advantages/disadvantages for me.

    AK has FoP which was hands down my favorite ride on our last trip. It is absolutely stunning. Not to mention FOTLK and Finding Nemo: The Musical which are two of my favorite shows on property. However, crowd levels at AK have been much higher lately because of the addition of Pandora (it was the most packed park of our trip) and FoP reached a 3 1/2 hour wait the day we were there. Thankfully we had FP so this wasn't a problem but I don't care for crowds of that size...

    HS has my favorite show: BATB: Live on Stage, not to mention TSMM, I really like what they've brought in with Star Wars and the Star Wars fireworks are awesome! But with not being sure that your DD would be okay with rides like Star Tours, ToT and RnRC, with the exception of the shows, there really isn't much else.

    I have the same feelings about Epcot as well. We started Epcot at EMH for 8am, our crowd levels were the lowest here, and we literally had ridden every ride by 1:30. I'm not a big fan of touring the WS except for one or two countries and ended up spending most of my time in Future World. We didn't even end up staying for fireworks because we didn't feel like hanging around another two hours. However, I do love Soarin and I did enjoy seeing the new Frozen ride as well.

    If I was traveling by myself, I'd probably drop Epcot. But that's only because the others have a greater pull on my heart than Epcot does. Yours, DH's and DD's desires could be totally different. DH's love of Star Wars could make HS a must do or DD may decide that Soarin makes going to Epcot worth it. It all depends on which has the greater pull.
     
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  10. Bete

    Bete DIS Veteran

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    Do as much as you can. With a short stay you shouldn't get tired. Try to nap on the flight. Get to bed very early the night before your flight for extra sleep.

    Take advantage of early and late extra magic hours, if you have the privilege.

    It would be great if on your first, arrival day you could do a late extra magic hour park.
     
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  11. DaisyDuck001

    DaisyDuck001 DIS Veteran

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    I would skip HS. For most of April, TSMM will have standby only; no FP, due to integrating the area with the new Toy Story Land which won't be open yet.
     
  12. Davey Jones II

    Davey Jones II DIS Veteran

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    Three full park days is essential. You can hit the highlights (or your favorites) in each park by using park hoppers. I would visit Animal Kingdom on two separate half days, since you can't get fast passes for both Pandora rides the same day. And exploring Pandora during both day and night is also a must.
     
  13. mshanson3121

    mshanson3121 DIS Veteran

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    I think it's awesome that you're planning this trip for her birthday, with her wishes in mind, since it sounds like this is a trip for her.

    I would lean towards doing a park on your arrival day since you're getting in so early. I would probably do a day at AK, MK and EP since 2 of those are the parks she knows and wants to do stuff at. Unfortunately TSMM is down to one track and standby only for most of April, so you could have a loooong wait to ride it.

    The other idea is however, upgrade to 2 day hoppers so you could do a full day at MK, and another day at both EP and AK. Then maybe on the first day, you could do a water park, or maybe do Hoop Dee Doo Revue dinner show, followed by the Chip n Dale Campfire etc...
     
  14. DisneyWishes14

    DisneyWishes14 DIS Veteran

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    I would skip DHS. If you aren't interested in the bigger rides, there is not enough there to justify a full day in that park, IMHO. I would either do 2 days in MK and then pick either EP or AK or do 1 day in each MK, AK and EP.
     
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  15. abnihon

    abnihon DIS Veteran

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    I would do MK on arrival day, an AK day and another MK day!
     
  16. KenHutch

    KenHutch DIS Veteran

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    Yet another vote for getting in an extra park day. With fastpass you can book 3 rides in either Hollywood or Epcot. If your not into AK you could do Hollywood on arrival day, Magic Kingdom on the birthday and Epcot the 3rd day.
     
  17. ArwenMarie

    ArwenMarie DIS Veteran

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    I think 2 full days at MK is the way to go with such a short trip with a 9-year-old. Keep it simple and fun

    If you decide on another park, the arrival day could be a good day to do it. Although you might have just as much fun just chilling and doing a fun dinner that night. :)
     
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  18. wdw&sonny

    wdw&sonny DIS Veteran

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    Without hoppers, with a 9 yo girl, I also vote for MK on arrival day, AK, then MK again.
    As others have said, at HS, TSM will be one track. If that's down and the primary reason you went there...that day is a bust...unless she is ready, willing and eager to ride ToT and RnRC.
    EPCOT is a maybe, if she (and you) enjoy Soarin, Test Track, Spaceship Earth, Nemo, The Land or walking/eating around the World.
    Keep it simple, slow, relaxed. Enjoy the resort, too.
    You'll be back.
     
  19. NashvilleMama

    NashvilleMama Mouseketeer

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    As many others have said, definitely do a park on arrival day! We landed around 9:15am last fall and were in the park by 10:30 (MK) and had a great first day. My girls were 8 and 6 at the time and we only had 2 park days, both in MK. I will say if we'd had a 3rd day, there's no way they would have made it. LOL Everyone was beat by the end of day 2....

    If you went slowly and didn't have to hit everything, I think I'd land and go to MK, next day AK so it's a bit slower, then end on Epcot and skip HS all together.
     
  20. Shellyred8

    Shellyred8 I'd rather be at Disney

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    We usually plan our flights so they arrive around noon and then we usually go to a part on our arrival day. This gives us a chance to see one more of the nighttime fireworks shows. Since you are arriving around 9:15am, I think you could definitely get in a park day on your arrival day.

    Have a great trip!!!
     

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