When planning How do you decide which park you are going to visit each day ?

cjlong88

Earning My Ears
Joined
Aug 1, 2019
Another thing to consider is whether or not your family wants to invest in the park hopper option. Yes, it is more money. Yes, you have to take time out of your day to travel to another park. Yes, you have to go with the flow and allow the FP's to take you wherever they lead you. Yes, it can turn into a more fast-paced touring style. Yes, you will miss out on some things.

BUT, the biggest factor for us buying the park hopper gives us the ability to move to another park that has better FP options beyond your initial 3 and potentially lower crowd levels (check wait times on the app), and those two things lead to a better overall experience for us. OR maybe you found the elusive SDD / 7DMT / FoP as your 4th FastPass that day and you are free to ride it with no wait because the park hopper allows you to just leave where you are and ride it. This happened a few times on our last trip, and we loved it, because NOTHING beats riding our favorite rides again with no wait.

The good news is that there are no wrong answers! Do whatever fits you and your family
 

pooh2001

been there, done that, TRYING to go back
Joined
Feb 16, 2000
We arrive on a Friday night in mid-November
Since Saturday is our first day and a busy day at MK - we will do our 1/2 day at AK - we like Lion King show, maybe Safari, definitely Kali River Rapids (if open), and maybe Navi River ride
Also weekend day to do DHS - Buzz Light year ride, Indiana Jones and Beauty and the Beast show

Our favorite parks are EPCOT and MK
We want to do the Very Merry Christmas Party - eat a lunch-dinner around 3 PM at a TS in MK - then do the party from 4 PM to midnight :)

Also EPCOT has the Food and Wine Festival to enjoy
 

pjynx

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 23, 2005
If your family is dead set on riding specific attractions, consider putting those park days near the end of your trip to get the maximum FastPass availability.
Please forgive my naive.....It's been several years since I've been to WDW and even more years since we stayed on property. I see a lot of people in this thread advising to put hard-to-get FP's at the end of their trip. Why is that?
 
  • SaintsManiac

    Adventure is out there.
    Joined
    Dec 9, 2014
    Different planning for every trip, but plans usually depend on how many FoP we can get. I'll book HEA dessert party every trip, so once that decision is made I make FP plans around that.
     

    DSLRuser

    Age is a state of mind
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2009
    Just planning at trip for next year and trying to work out which park to visit each day .

    Do you get hard restuarant booking and do fastpasses around that .
    Do you go on what hours the park will be open each day including emh
    Does fastpass selection make you push back some parks to have better shot at hard to get fast passes .
    If doing a splits stay at different hotels does that change plans
    Our process is this....

    1. Look at the schedule.....avoid any parks with extra magic hour mornings. We tend to arrive at 9ish, so not early risers.
    2. try to hit parks when they do have extra magic hour nights. We are night owls
    3. for the most part, we do mornings in 1 park, evenings in another. Swim in the afternoon.
    4. create a list of where we will be each day
    5. book ADR's based on where we will be
    6. book FP+ at 60 days,
    7. tweak as needed
     

    DSLRuser

    Age is a state of mind
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2009
    Please forgive my naive.....It's been several years since I've been to WDW and even more years since we stayed on property. I see a lot of people in this thread advising to put hard-to-get FP's at the end of their trip. Why is that?
    This is an over simplification...but

    FP+ allows you to book at 60 days + the length of your stay (up to a point)...so in reality....people book the hard to get FP+ like FOP 67 days out. meaning your 1st day, will have limited time slots....but the farther you get past day 60, the less people who are illegible to book those times.

    person A is only staying for 4 days......so on day 60, they can make 64 days worth of FP+
    person B is staying 7 days.....3 extra days beyond person A they are not "competing" for the same FP+
     

    gorkt

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 18, 2011
    Similar to others on this thread, I tend to:

    1) Avoid EMH except if I am leaving the park by mid-day (as an example, one morning I am going to Epcot on a morning EMH, riding TT, then Soarin, LWTL, eat at Garden grill at 10am, then depart for the day, heading to either another park or the hotel.
    2) Avoid MK on Saturdays
    3) Work around difficult to get ADRs

    I buy Park Hoppers for the flexibility. I also tend to take longer trips less frequently. My last trip was in fall 2016, and there were no really hard to get FP except maybe SDMT, which I rode during EMM.

    Things that are new to me this trip:
    1) Kids are teens and more independent so I am planning a few date nights for DH and I.
    2) The difficulty of getting SDD and FoP fastpasses plus the potential hordes at GE means I prioritized putting an AK day and a HS day at the end of my trip in order to get those fastpasses. If those fail, I may resort to after hours parties. The one down side of only going every few years is an urgency to see the new stuff, since I won't be back for awhile.

    I am three months out, and I have my plan 75% done - I just need to see where FPs line up and where after hours parties, dessert parties or EMM dates will be, as well as whether they will be extending the EEMH at HS for GE.
     
  • cjlong88

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 1, 2019
    Please forgive my naive.....It's been several years since I've been to WDW and even more years since we stayed on property. I see a lot of people in this thread advising to put hard-to-get FP's at the end of their trip. Why is that?
    When you stay on property, you get to book your ALL of your FP's for each day on your park ticket 60 days prior to your check-in day. Everyone who is staying on property and arriving a few days before you and staying through part of your trip dates will have already have had a chance to book FP's on those overlapping days, since their 60-day window opened before yours.

    As you go later into your trip, there will be fewer people who will have had the opportunity to book FP's on that particular day, meaning better availability for hard-to-get FP's. That's why it can be tough to get, for example, FoP / SDD / 7DMT at 60+1 - there were people who are checking in earlier and were able to book any FP's with dates that overlap with yours. At 60+5 or 60+7, however, there are less people booking FP's for those specific days because their check-in day is later than yours OR their trip ends before those dates.
     

    pjynx

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 23, 2005
    This is an over simplification...but

    FP+ allows you to book at 60 days + the length of your stay (up to a point)...so in reality....people book the hard to get FP+ like FOP 67 days out. meaning your 1st day, will have limited time slots....but the farther you get past day 60, the less people who are illegible to book those times.

    person A is only staying for 4 days......so on day 60, they can make 64 days worth of FP+
    person B is staying 7 days.....3 extra days beyond person A they are not "competing" for the same FP+
    When you stay on property, you get to book your ALL of your FP's for each day on your park ticket 60 days prior to your check-in day. Everyone who is staying on property and arriving a few days before you and staying through part of your trip dates will have already have had a chance to book FP's on those overlapping days, since their 60-day window opened before yours.

    As you go later into your trip, there will be fewer people who will have had the opportunity to book FP's on that particular day, meaning better availability for hard-to-get FP's. That's why it can be tough to get, for example, FoP / SDD / 7DMT at 60+1 - there were people who are checking in earlier and were able to book any FP's with dates that overlap with yours. At 60+5 or 60+7, however, there are less people booking FP's for those specific days because their check-in day is later than yours OR their trip ends before those dates.
    Those explanations make perfect sense. Thank you so much! It's been so long since we've stayed on property that all these extra little tips & perks can be overwhelming :)
     

    Crasstastic

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 21, 2019
    There are a number of factors:

    • I always do 2 MK days, and typically do one each of Epcot, HS, and Typhoon Lagoon.
    • I avoid EMH days.
    • I like to go to the MK on my first and last day. If not possible, the second and second last day, respectively.
    • If there is a hot new attraction or land (for my next trip, that will be SWGE), that park will be at the end of the trip to improve my chances of getting tough FPs.
    • I try to have a pool day somewhere in the middle of the trip, and I try to time it on the highest crowd level day of my trip (usually Saturday). As a byproduct of this, my stays typically go Wednesday to Wednesday.
    • Most of the above is informed by crowd levels as listed at TouringPlans.com. For instance, while I like to end at MK, if my last touring day is a crowd level 7 and my second last day is a crowd level 4, MK is happening on the 4-level day.
     
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    evlaina

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2018
    I go by 3 things:

    1. I follow Kenny The Pirate's calendar for which park on which day
    2. I go to the parks with harder to get FP at the end (Slinky and FOP are the only ones that really matter right now)
    3. ADRs - we do Deluxe Dining and we pick the harder to get ones towards the middle to end (Ohana, CRT, BOG, Storybook Dining, etc)

    We always get hoppers.
     
  • juuuliebeth

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 30, 2018
    Call me crazy, but I have a specific order I prefer to do the parks in. At least to start. I like doing the parks in order of opening - Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studio and then Animal Kingdom. I'm flexible depending on park hours and EMHs scheduled throughout the week, but I'm generally able to make this order work. I insert resort/Disney Springs days as necessary. For instance, if I arrive and depart on Saturdays, my days would go like this:

    Sunday - MK
    Monday - EP
    Tuesday - HS
    Wednesday - Resort/Disney Springs
    Thursday - AK
    Friday - Park hop, ending with MK

    My biggest tip, though, is that if you're going between September-December, schedule your MK days when the park closes early for the parties. In my experience, crowds are much lower, and you can get more done during the day than if you had a full day. Since they only schedule 3-4 full MK days per week during that time of year, they tend to be packed. So I make it my MK day, leave the park around 4pm and hit up Epcot or Disney Springs, then go back to MK for Happily Ever After on my Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom day, since I don't care as much for their evening shows.
     

    Disneypro1

    life is great!
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2019
    We always go from saturday to saturday.
    sun.- AK
    mon.-Studios
    Tues.- MK or day off
    Wed. MK
    Thursday-Epcot
    Friday- MK
    NEVER use hoppers. Get more done doing one park per day. This is how we do it EVERY visit. Early May. Get there about 10am and stay to about 10 pm. We are park people.
     
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    tguz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2018
    We do EMH hours and have found that we can knock out quite a few rides and late morning fastpasses or the last one just after lunch and then head back to the resort to swim or relax a bit and then head back to the parks late afternoon. It has worked for us for the last three years.
     

    KMarston

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 24, 2009
    We usually have our preschool grandson. Park hoppers depend on which resort we’re at. With a monorail hotel we get them. Always had them when our kids were teenagers.

    We prefer to arrive on Sunday and leave on Saturday as we don’t love the weekend crowds. Under that scenario, we plan AK - Monday, MK - Tuesday and Thursday, EPCOT Wednesday and DHS or DS on Friday.

    I had to move our next trip back and shorten it but it’s a whole different trip in that it’s the first trip my husband and I have taken alone in 25 years. So staying at an EPCOT resort for F&W and starting on a Saturday. We’ve never ridden FOP and I got a FP not far out on a Tuesday. 😩 so Sunday is MK. It’s the first time I’ve ever chosen a park day based on a FP. I have FPs for all parks but we’ll probably just spend a half day in each then head to Epcot.

    I have never had an issue getting ADRs we want eventually so I have faith that they’ll show up at least on the day we want.
     

    Disneypro1

    life is great!
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2019
    I agree with others...it is always best to avoid any park with EMH for that given day. We do just that. Always less busy that way.
     

    SoCalDisneyFan2708

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 10, 2017
    I agree with others...it is always best to avoid any park with EMH for that given day. We do just that. Always less busy that way.
    If you aren't park hopping then I agree with you and the others who have said this. But if you are, why wouldn't you take advantage of it? The only legit reason I can think of is some people like to sleep in, especially on vacation.

    My plans always revolve around EMH in that whichever park has them, I'll be there. You can usually get on 2 or 3 of the big rides in that AM EMH if you just show up a half hour before the park opens. Then when the park opens to everyone else you hit some of the less popular rides, get some breakfast, shop around, and then its time to park hop to the park you made your FP's for. Then if a park has PM EMH's I'll hop over there to finish the night. I have a trip coming up in September and this strategy was made even easier with 3 parks having AM EMH's everyday. I'm expecting the parks to be dead during this time and I'm going to take full advantage. HS will be crowded but I'm not going into GE cause I've been to the one in Disneyland several times already.
     

    JenSPF

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 30, 2019
    I love this question, I've never actually verbalized our strategy. I have a Google spreadsheet with a column for each day. In each column I put various information about that day so I can see it all in one place. This information may include park hours, EMH, ticketed parties that may shut down the park early, crowd calendar predictions from Touring Plans, etc. I then start slotting in any ticketed events we plan to attend, dining reservations, and must-do's (my must-do is MK fireworks so I have to plan that for a night with no ticketed event, another must-do is California Grill brunch if we can get it which has to be a Sunday, you get the idea). Once all that is in, I look at the whole picture and decide which parks to do in the AM and PM each day based on the rest of the info that's in there already and start plotting our desired FP's so I'm ready to go at the 60 day mark. We always plan one or two rope drop days utilizing EMH to get on a ride with a very hard to get FP, then book FP for other rides in the first three hours of the day. Then we usually plan to get evening FP on one or two days, so that may be put on the same night as the MK fireworks for example. I sometimes think about which parks to avoid on certain days (we avoid EPCOT on the weekends during F&W because we like to go during the week when crowds/drunken groups are lower).

    Bottom line is that I have a grid template I have developed over the years, which enables me to stare at all the information I consider pertinent at once and play "planning tetris".
     

    thor369

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 9, 2019
    I am trying hard to follow what you guys are saying, but it is overwhelming. This will be our first trip and are planning to go in Nov between 21st and 26th. We have 2 kids 5 and 2 year old and will focus on MK, AK and HS, but since we will stay at the disney property we can book FP 60 days advance, so how should that come into play, in our case wouldn't we have to plan 60 days in advance which parks to go to based on what FP we booked?
     

    SaintsManiac

    Adventure is out there.
    Joined
    Dec 9, 2014
    I am trying hard to follow what you guys are saying, but it is overwhelming. This will be our first trip and are planning to go in Nov between 21st and 26th. We have 2 kids 5 and 2 year old and will focus on MK, AK and HS, but since we will stay at the disney property we can book FP 60 days advance, so how should that come into play, in our case wouldn't we have to plan 60 days in advance which parks to go to based on what FP we booked?

    I'm a little confused on the question, but I will try to answer.

    You should have a plan on what days you want to visit each park BEFORE you book FPs. It's just easier that way. Here's my plan as an example:

    Monday--HS
    Tuesday--MK
    Wednesday--MK
    Thursday--AK
    Friday--HS
    Saturday--AK

    I put AK near the end, because Flight of Passage is the number one priority FP for us. I also put the 2nd HS day near the end because we want Slinky. It's easier to get those 2 FPs later in the trip because of all the people booking before you.
     

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