Tell me about my last minute Travel and Parks plan for Jan 2-5, 2020...last minute tripl

realhousewife

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 8, 2011
Background: We decided yesterday to drive (16 hrs) to see my sons marching band play at MK during the first week of January. We plan to leave at 10 am on 1/1, drive all night and arrive in Orlando on 1/2 about 6 am. My hubby wants to sleep a few hours at our offsite hotel and head to a park that day. Then we plan to go to MK 1/3, and likely Epcot 1/4. Possibly to DHS on 1/5 at rope drop and then drive home on 1/5. With the four park ticket it is affordable. From what I can tell most parks close at 8-9 pm and it is pretty crowded that week. We have been to Disney a few time but always fly and always stay on site. This is a new (and cheaper) method for us.
Questions:
1. Is it worth it to arrive midday on 1/2? Likely AK on day one as my daughter wants to try Everest.
2. Will we have a chance at getting onto the new galaxys edge Millenium falcon ride if we go early on 1/5?
3. Is toy story mania still outrageous as far as wait time?
4. Is slinky dog dash crazy long wait time as well or has that
5. Do they still have shuttle trams in the parking lot to get you to the gates? Or will we walk from our car?
6. What are the chances that a Hampton will give us early check in on 1/2 so I do t have to buy a room for 1/1?

i hope this is the right thread for these questions. I am hoping some Disney experts will weigh in. I am super excited to return to the Mother Ship for a short time and want to get the most out of it!!!! And to see my baby March down Main Street!
 

GC&S

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 4, 2005
I planned our trip 2 weeks before our Thanksgiving trip ( we are currently here). We have found that the rides have a shorter wait at the end of the night. For Falcon the wait said 80 minutes but we waited about 45. Same with flight of passage. We also are getting FP by checking and refreshing. We got slinky dog for 1100 today.

And have fun with the band!! Our band came in March and it was a blast!! Seeing them March down main Street in front of the castle is the best memory.
 

YawningDodo

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 16, 2014
Note: I haven't been to WDW since January 2018, so while some of what I'm going to say in my answers is based on personal experience, a lot of it is based on what I've learned from these message boards and from blogs as I prepare for my own trip in late January 2020. So I could be wrong! If someone who has been there more recently spots something that's not right here, please pipe up!

1. "Worth it" is subjective--it really depends on what you want to be able to do that day. If the main goal is to ride Everest and the rest is bonus, I'd say go for it, especially if you're willing to split up your party by using the single rider line. Just keep your expectations low/reasonable; be aware that you may not "do" much that day. I've never been in the parks that close to New Year's, but I would go in with the assumption that it'll be crowded enough to make it a challenge to get on the headline attractions (particularly those in Pandora).

2. So the good news is that neither of the Galaxy's Edge rides will have FP+ during your visit. That's been keeping standby lines shorter, and it means you have the same shot at getting on the ride as anyone else who shows up at rope drop. The bad news is that everything I've heard about rope drop at DHS since the Toy Story land opened suggests that it's a madhouse, so bring your patience that morning--and get there an hour before the gates open! Showing up right at opening time doesn't cut it anymore, unfortunately. At that point the Rise of the Resistance ride will also have been open for about a month, so that'll help split up the crowds a bit. I don't know how early you need to leave DHS to make the drive home, which is going to determine how you should set your expectations in terms of how the rest of the day beyond rope drop will go.

3. I'm interested to hear the answer to this one as well!

4. What I've been reading on these boards suggests yes, SDD is still slammed with long waits. When I booked my FP+ at 60 days out I seemed to get confirmation--it was not available for FP+ at all near the beginning of my trip. I'd assume you're not going to be able to get advance FP+ for that, and if you're not able to stay at DHS until evening to ride it right before closing (when wait times are often posted higher than they really are), that's one that may just not be feasible for this trip since you won't be hitting it at rope drop and lines will probably be very long during the day. Absolutely keep checking for FP+ throughout your day there, though, just in case. Just be aware that it's a tier 1 ride, which complicates the FP+ situation in terms of being able to book it same day if you've prebooked other FP+--I can go into more detail on that (or there should be info in the general FP+ thread) if you're not familiar with that whole issue.

As for the last two questions, they're outside the scope of my knowledge--though I'd be surprised if they'd stopped running the parking lot trams.
 

realhousewife

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 8, 2011
Note: I haven't been to WDW since January 2018, so while some of what I'm going to say in my answers is based on personal experience, a lot of it is based on what I've learned from these message boards and from blogs as I prepare for my own trip in late January 2020. So I could be wrong! If someone who has been there more recently spots something that's not right here, please pipe up!

1. "Worth it" is subjective--it really depends on what you want to be able to do that day. If the main goal is to ride Everest and the rest is bonus, I'd say go for it, especially if you're willing to split up your party by using the single rider line. Just keep your expectations low/reasonable; be aware that you may not "do" much that day. I've never been in the parks that close to New Year's, but I would go in with the assumption that it'll be crowded enough to make it a challenge to get on the headline attractions (particularly those in Pandora).

2. So the good news is that neither of the Galaxy's Edge rides will have FP+ during your visit. That's been keeping standby lines shorter, and it means you have the same shot at getting on the ride as anyone else who shows up at rope drop. The bad news is that everything I've heard about rope drop at DHS since the Toy Story land opened suggests that it's a madhouse, so bring your patience that morning--and get there an hour before the gates open! Showing up right at opening time doesn't cut it anymore, unfortunately. At that point the Rise of the Resistance ride will also have been open for about a month, so that'll help split up the crowds a bit. I don't know how early you need to leave DHS to make the drive home, which is going to determine how you should set your expectations in terms of how the rest of the day beyond rope drop will go.

3. I'm interested to hear the answer to this one as well!

4. What I've been reading on these boards suggests yes, SDD is still slammed with long waits. When I booked my FP+ at 60 days out I seemed to get confirmation--it was not available for FP+ at all near the beginning of my trip. I'd assume you're not going to be able to get advance FP+ for that, and if you're not able to stay at DHS until evening to ride it right before closing (when wait times are often posted higher than they really are), that's one that may just not be feasible for this trip since you won't be hitting it at rope drop and lines will probably be very long during the day. Absolutely keep checking for FP+ throughout your day there, though, just in case. Just be aware that it's a tier 1 ride, which complicates the FP+ situation in terms of being able to book it same day if you've prebooked other FP+--I can go into more detail on that (or there should be info in the general FP+ thread) if you're not familiar with that whole issue.

As for the last two questions, they're outside the scope of my knowledge--though I'd be surprised if they'd stopped running the parking lot trams.
Thanks for the input! We may be doing a 3 day PH instead with AK/ EP the first day and only hit test track, Everest, and perhaps Pandora. Gives us the flexibility to go elsewhere and not feel trapped in a park. Then a Full day at Mk the next day, and last day DHS and MK later at night to say “goodbye” to the Kingdom.
 

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