pomelo / 5500 posts
@caitcat: My som complained through the whole line to the People Mover: “why do we have to do this ride, this is going to be so boring, ugh, I don’t wanna...” and then he fell in love with the moving sidewalk up to the ride and we did it four times.
kiwi / 500 posts
@lindseykaye Great tips! I’m definitely going to look for princess pajamas, and bring our fire stick too.
It’s too early for crowd calendars for the Christmas parties to be posted yet, but I saw one from last year that had historical records about how quickly they sold out. Based on that, we’ve decided to change our Christmas Party days to Sunday and Tuesday, and have dinner at Ohana on Thursday. So the current itinerary is:
Saturday Arrive, swim if possible (or watch movies)
Sunday MK Christmas Party 9 AM - 12 AM
Monday Epcot 9 AM - 9:30 PM
Tuesday MK Christmas Party 9 AM - 12 AM
Wednesday Epcot 9 AM - 9:30 PM
Thursday MK 9 AM - 6 PM, Ohana 8:30 PM
Friday MK 8 AM - 6 PM, swim at the resort, depart 8 PM
We are going to keep a close watch on crowd levels between now and November, since Rise of the Resistance is supposed to come out around then. I’m really hoping the crowd predictions stay about the same...but we are prepared to cancel our trip if the Star Wars hype makes it crazy.
eggplant / 11693 posts
Ugh---only you guys will understand my mess up this morning. Our fastpass window opened, AND I FORGOT.
I am totally in summer mode. My last day of work at school was last Friday. I set a reminder last week for fastpasses at 7am this weekend, and set an alarm on my phone for 6:30. Well......Summer Mode Me snoozed my alarm because I totally forgot and the kids actually slept till 6:50 this morning (about 50 minutes later than usual). So I got up at 6:50, was taking my sweet time going to the bathroom, having the girls potty, brushing teeth, etc. At around 7:05, I turned my phone of airplane mode and THEN got all the reminders. AUGH. Was logged in by around 7:10 and already, some of my fastpass plans were gone or had bad times. I was literally running through the apartment, looking for the laptop and charger cord and my 5 year old asked, "why is mommy so stressed?" hahahaha.
Anyway, this is what we got in the end:
We arrive on a Sunday afternoon, we have a booked dinner at Boma that evening. I may still change that to Dinosaur.
Monday: Hollywood studios: I booked Early Morning Magic a long time ago and paid for it, so we'll already be riding all the Toy Story land rides. I used my fastpasse on just shows. I don't think we'll spend all day in the park. I do have a dinner reservation plus the reserved seating for the show that evening.
Tuesday: Epcot. I booked Akershus for breakfast at 8 am so we plan to go directly to Frozen. Park opens at 9am, so hopefully it won't matter that we don't have a FP. I'm bummed though, because I wanted to ride it twice (once at opening and once with FP). But the FP were all gone for morning. We used our FP on Nemo (9am), Soarin (10 am), Turtle Talk (11 am). So I guess our plan will be to walk from Frozen back towards where Nemo/Turtle talk are and maybe hit the Mexico ride on the way. Then maybe go back to World Showcase in the afternoon. I do want to try to walk on Test Track, but not sure when to fit that in, since we're trying to do Frozen at Rope Drop. Maybe the lines won't be too bad (crowds right now are fairy low--3-5 the whole time we are there).
Wednesday: Animal Kingdom. We have breakfast at Tusker House at 8 am. Fastpass at Kilamanjaro Safari at 9am, Kali River Rapids at 10, Na'vi River Journey at 12. This is because all of the FOP fastpasses were already gone?!! I'm hoping there will be some FOP fastpasses the day of. Do any of you know what times they tend to release the day-of FOP fastpasses? Everything else, we'll attempt to walk on. Should be lower crowds, so not expecting too many lines, and of course after we've used our FP, we'll try to book more.
Thursday: Magic Kingdom. I have BOG booked for breakfast, but I guess now I will cancel it because they changed opening ours from 9am to 8am. And our rez was for 8:05, so now it's pointless. I got FP for Peter Pan at 8 am, Belle's enchanted house at 9am, and 7 dwarves at 10:30 am, so we'll just walk on all the other Fantasyland rides between our FP, and hopefully rebook more FP in after we use ours. We have the Festival of Fantasy lunch package booked at Tony's Town square. Everything else for that day is up in the air--we'll just see what FP we can get and which lines are shortest.
Friday--our last day. Here's one of my problems. We have park hopper tix because we booked "free dining". I had planned to do a 2nd day in Magic Kingdom, since there's so much to do there. HOWEVER, there was 1 Flight Of Passage fastpass for that day in Animal Kingdom rom 2:30-3:30. I booked it in a panic as a backup in case the lines are never short the day we are in AK. We *can* do MK in the morning and then go to AK in the afternoon for FOP. But is that crazy with a 4 and 6 year old? I guess we'd do an Uber or something to go between parks just that once. Is FOP worth doing that? Also, I can't book at FP in MK for that morning, it says you can only book FP for 1 park/day. Why is that, when people have park hopppers? Anyone know?
Anyway, since we have free dining, we'll have tons of snack and 1 counter service credit each day as well, but I'm thinking of not planning those and just seeing where we are in each park. I don't want to try to plan every minute of the day.
Also, I'm still not sure which big rides my newly-turned-6 year old will want to ride. She says she wants to ride everything, but not sure she'll actually want to do Expedition Everest, Rock N Roller coaster, Space Mountain, etc. She'll be just tall enough for all of them. In any case, I didn't FP any of those, so I guess it will also depend on lines, since we'll have to do rider switch.
My main issues to decide are what to do about Friday (go to 2 parks, just to get on FOP?). And Star Wars is going to open the Thursday we are there, but our HS day is Monday, so it looks like we will miss all the crowds completely. I'm kind of wishing they'd be doing a soft opening before the official opening.....do you think there's a change of that?
@Anagram: Ugh, I hate that! I wish there was a better way than everyone having to do that early scramble.
Have you done an Akershus breakfast before? I just booked one for us, but I'm going back and forth on whether we'll keep the reservation. It's so expensive for what is essentially bacon, eggs, and some pastries! I know it's the princess experience you're really paying for, but I still have some sticker shock. But being able to walk right onto Frozen might be worth it, like you said.
Going from MK to AK sounds reasonable. I think it's only like a 15 minute Uber ride. The only tricky part is that you have to meet your Uber or Lyft at the TTC (or you can walk over to Contemporary, but I think that might be farther?). I don't know if FOP is worth it or not because we've never been--but it sure gets hyped.
I have no idea why you can't do FP at multiple parks when you can park hop. You're right, it really doesn't make sense!
pear / 1992 posts
@Anagram: Ugh that is annoying but it looks like you got some great stuff booked! Also remember that people's plans change so you can definitely keep checking back for FP availability between now and your trip and things may magically open up!
I skimmed your plans some but I wanted to mention that the Nemo ride at Epcot is rarely that long of a wait each time we've been there so you may find that when you arrive with your FP you might not want to use it - don't scan it! Just go with the regular line, enjoy the ride, and swap it out for another FP later in the day if that's the case.
@Hypatia: We did Akershus breakfast when my oldest was 3 and it was AMAZING. We enjoyed it more than the Cinderella castle breakfast honestly. The food was really very good and the princesses were so attentive at our table. They chatted with LO, signed her autograph book, and it helped us not to have to use fast passes or wait in line for any of those princesses later on.
apricot / 286 posts
@Anagram: that’s so funny, I can totally picture myself in the same panic, running around looking for devices and my kids wondering wtf is going on
Your plans look great !! FOP is definitely worth it !! It’s such an incredible ride. You should rider swap it so both you and your DH can get a turn to ride. I would get Na’vi FPs for your kids and DH to go on while you’re riding FOP. My LOs really enjoyed that ride.
It’s probably fastest just to take the direct bus from MK bus stop to AK rather than monorial to TTC and then wait for Uber.
apricot / 429 posts
I keep reading conflicting reports of when dining and fast passes open—it’s 6am Eastern, right? I’m in California so I’ll have to be setting an alarm for sure!!
@MommySLP: 6am EST for dining and 7am EST for FPs. I don’t know why they’re different times. That will be an early wake up call for you in California!
@charm55: thank you!!! Any suggestions for table service for lunch in magic kingdom? I’m hoping to do the early magic morning, in which case we won’t do a sit down lunch since we’ll have a late breakfast. But I want to get reservations for lunch until those dates are released. I don’t really want anything character.
pear / 1728 posts
@MommySLP: Our favorite in MK is The Plaza. It’s nothing too special but the food is good and not expensive and they have delicious milkshakes!
@MommySLP: If you’re on the dining plan, Tony’s Town Square parade Package is a great deal and we love the food. Otherwise I really like Liberty Tree Tavern, especially for lunch.
@skinnycow: @charm55: thank you! No dining plan but I will look at both!
@Hypatia: I just saw your question. We've never done Akershus for breakfast. Last time, we did Cinderella's Royal Table, and meeting the princesses was a highlight for my kids, but the price is kind of crazy just to see princesses, so we're going to try Akershus this time to compare. Also, my oldest remembers Cinderella's RT from last time and keeps asking me if we are doing the princess breakfast again, so I'm glad I can say yes, but this time we're doing it in Ana and Elsa's house, and she seems satisfied with that.
It's me, your friendly planning obsessive again. Magic Kingdom's hours changed again for our day in the parks--now it's opening at 7am with Extra Magic Hours on both of our MK days. So any breakfast reservation inside the parks is out the window, right?
I have never eaten at Be Our Guest, and normally I wouldn't want to spend my own money to eat there (I've heard the food is underwhelming for the price), but since we're on the Dining Plan, I thought it was a good time to experience the inside. I modified our BOG reservation to 9:45, so we could still have a chance to go inside the beast's castle, but I'm thinking about just cancelling altogether. Even if we rope drop at 7am and give the kids a granola bar or something so we can just go ride a bunch of rides first, they might not be ready for a rides break at 9:45--and even if they are ready for a sit down meal break, we have a big lunch at 12:20 (the Festival of Fantasy package, which I've heard is a huge meal), which is just an hour and a half later. Would it be worth going into BOG for just a mid-morning snack? On the dining plan, is it possible for us to only use like 1-2 of our QS credits and share among us? My kids love rides, so is that too much time away from rides when we have a lunch rez at 12:20?
I know we can pre-order food.....I don't know how much time that saves us.
tl:dr If we don't need a big meal, and don't want to "waste" a lot of time on a sit down meal, is it worth it taking a brunch break at Be Our Guest while using the Disney Dining Plan, and sharing some QS credits among the 4 of us? Say we use 2 QS credits on that meal, our 4 TS credits on the big lunch reservation, and then the other 2 QS credits for dinner that night?
Also, do your kids like Tower of Terror? It looks like both my 4 and 6 year olds will be tall enough to ride, but I personally don't like big drops and am wondering if I should try to get a FP for that, or just skip it.
@Anagram: good call on modifying your BOG breakfast ! You can order as much or as little food as you like. You can even just get coffee and cupcakes, go in to see the castle and take a break. The food is good but not great, but it is a fantastic deal on the dining plan. However that close to Tony’s parade package (which is a HUGE meal but sooo delicious) I wouldn’t do 4 full quick services. I’d split a couple or just do cupcakes. It is neat to see inside and wander around. And definitely pre order. You will bypass a long line and go right to pay.
My oldest (6yo) LOVES TOT. My youngest gets scared on Dumbo so she’s definitely not a fan, lol. TOT is the only disney ride I don’t like so I usually take my 4yo to Beauty and the Beast while my Dh does TOT with my oldest.
@charm55: Okay, that's good to know. So if we pre-order our food, we should be in and out pretty quickly? We may do that then, thanks!
@Anagram: yep, it’s always a pretty quick meal for us. They always have our food within 5 minutes of sitting down
@Anagram: The breakfasts also come with a pastry platter, so in addition to your meal you get, I think, 6 small pastries. You could definitely get away with a meal, the pastries, and a cupcake or something.
The million dollar question for us is whether Staw Wars is going to make the park so busy that we should just cancel. December is a long way off, but I thought this observation of SW in Disneyland for the first month it’s been open was shocking:
Between June 1 and July 2, Disneyland Park saw an average crowd level of 1.5. Last year during the same period the average crowd level was 6.4. That is nearly a 5 point dip in crowd level on our scale. This is confirmed by our team’s first-hand experience in the parks too. Although Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is very busy, the rest of the park is absolutely dead. You can ride Space Mountain on a Saturday afternoon in summer with less than a 30 minute wait. That hasn’t happened before. Ever.
Why would this be? You’d think that the parks would at least meet last year’s average, right?
@Hypatia: from what I understand, Disneyland is a “locals park”, meaning a lot of people have annual passes. The majority of those annual passes have been blacked out for the whole summer (because of Star Wars opening), meaning they can’t go at all.
Disney World is much more of a tourist destination and so may not see a similar drop in crowd level. However, I think a lot of the Star Wars hype may be overblown and I would still plan on a HS day.
Pandora has been a huge success for Disney at Animal Kingdom - raising attendance considerably and increasing wait times across all attractions. But with a smart touring plan and planning FPs in advance, AK (and pandora) is still totally doable. I’m crossing my fingers it’s all sorted by the time we go next March!!
@Hypatia: I would also suspect that a lot of people cancelled or rescheduled their trips because they thought it was going to be crazy.
@Hypatia: our trip is the week stars wars Kab’s opens, but projected crowds are still low. I’m hoping it further siphons people off other attractions and makes it easier to do everything else. But I’ll report back after our trip!
pomelo / 5084 posts
@Hypatia: We booked our first Disney cruise for June 2020! Can I play? I know NADA. Just that my in-laws have wanted to do this with us and our son (will be 4.5 by the time of the trip) so we went for it!
nectarine / 2198 posts
@Hypatia: Disneyland actually required you to book reservations to go to Galaxy’s Edge the first month it was open and reservations while free, it “sold out” within a couple of hours.
Since most people knew they couldn’t go without a reservations they didn’t bother going. But if you had gone lines were minamal outside of the land because of this. Plus not too bad inside because they limited the number of people.
Disney World is not doing reservations, so it’s really hard to try to compare them.
apple seed / 2 posts
Hey ladies can I join in and get some ideas for our upcoming (early) November trip? I've never been to Disney World but am a planner at heart so I'm diving in deep! We are taking our little one (4) and also a niece (10).
Day one is a travel day and we would arrive at the park around lunch so I'm thinking of spending half a day at Hollywood Studios.
Day two we will be doing Magic Kingdom. Day three Animal Kingdom and day four is our departure day.
Any suggestions on an itinerary or ways to work the fast passes so both kids can do things that interest them since their ages are far apart?
@lulumom: Welcome! We’re going in early November also! How tall is your 4 year old? There are so many rides that little ones can ride - especially if they’re 40 inches.
@lulumom: sure, where are you staying? And how tall will your 4 year old be?
The best thing about Disney is that the majority of rides/shows/attractions are all-ages rides. So there’s very little that your 4 year old and the 10 year old can’t do together. And if there are a few things (off the top of my head, I think you have to be 48” tall to ride RocknRoller coaster at HS, 44” inches tall to ride Flight of Passage and Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom, Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom.) Most other things are either all ages (like even babies) or have 38-40” height limits and even my shorty older DD was just barely 40 (with shoes) when we took her at 4. So you can either skip the rides that your DD isn’t tall enough for (there’s plenty of other stuff to do), or you can order switch with the 10 year old while one of you takes your DD on a different ride.
And I think paying for a Touring Plan subscription is probably a good idea—it’s worth the $15 for all the info in fastpasses and for the plans take the attractions you want to do/see and put it into a touring plan that minimizes your wait times based on past crowd/wait time data.
@skinnycow: Fun! I will have to remember to take her measurement when I get home. I keep forgetting because life is a bit crazy, haha.
@Anagram: See above -- I keep forgetting to measure her but will tonight. We are staying at Pop Century. I'll look into the touring plan, I saw someone else who posted about that and it seemed like a ton of good information.
cherry / 187 posts
Hi everyone! figured I'd stop lurking and join you all. We're going to Disney World September 18th. We planned this before the star wars opening was announced, thinking we would be before it but oh well. DD will be 6, and DS is 2.
We're pretty frequent Disney goers...we try to go once every 2 years or so. Last time we went was right before Toy Story land opened so I'm hoping we can at least get in to HS to see that. I'm a little nervous because I've read some blogs saying if you want a shot of even getting into HS during this time, you need to get there before 8am. But Touring Plans has the crowds for HS at 4 to 6 (6 being the weekend days) during our trip so I'm not sure what to expect.
For the first time ever, we decided to stay somewhere that's not exactly onsite. We're staying at Doubletree in Disney Springs - so we get some of the perks of staying onsite (60 day fast pass selection, early magic hours), without staying on property. I'm excited because we LOVE Disney springs and we'll be in walking distance, but I'm a little nervous because it's definitely different.
Look forward to swapping ideas/tips with you all! We pick our fast passes next week so I'm sure you'll be getting a lot of panicky posts from me soon
I made some big changes to our original trip plans this weekend and locked in our FastPasses so I figured I'd pop in here and see how everyone is doing!
@BeatlesFan629: We are also staying at the Doubletree Disney Springs for the first time during our October trip. I am excited to get the benefits of a suite/family room for far less $$ than those offered at the Disney property hotels. Did you book through Disney or through the hotel directly? We did direct, and I am not sure if I can link my reservation to my Disney Experience plans or not...
For our trip, we previously had to change weeknds which worked out fine (planning around a local day when kids already have off school). And now we've decided to do a park-hopper day split between MK in the morning and EPCOT in the afternoon/evening. Our trip now looks like this:
Day 1 - Thurs 10/3
Arrive lunchtime/early afternoon, check-in at the hotel
Disney Springs exploring and dinner at T-Rex restaurant. I think riding the carousel they have or little train will be fun for DD1, as will window shopping
Maybe some night swimming for DD1 with one of us if we don't get to swim earlier (or even both)!
Day 2 - Fri 10/4 (DH and my 11th wedding anniversary)
AM - Magic Kingdom
Priorities are riding new/fun rides, meeting Alice in Wonderland (we've missed her at every visit), and eating fun treats!
There are Extra Magic Hours for MK every day thru November but I'm not sure if we'll take advantage of this or not. I overplan and then relax at the park, trying to stay SUPER flexible about what we ride and see. Especially this time with a 10-month old!
My loose plan is to start in Fantasyland with Winnie the Pooh's ride, hit up Cheshire Cafe for a celebration donut, ride the Tea Cups and meet Alice, then go over to Peter Pan's Flight (first FP+). After that, do It's a Small World and get another treat at Pinocchio Haus (Tangled Eclaire). Next FP+ is The Little Mermaid, then we can circle back across the park to Adventureland, stopping at Casey's Corner for mini corn dogs and then Sunshine Tree Terrace for a citrus swirl. Last FP+ is the Jungle Cruise, then after that grab a cheeseburger egg roll from the cart and cool off in the Tiki Room.
PM - EPCOT
Start with meeting Baymax at Future World, maybe also Joy and Sadness. Then off to either Living with the Land and/or The Seas with Nemo and friends. After that hit up the ImagineWorks area to meet Ralph and Vanellope and see what's up with the Chase Visa character spot. Then down to the World Showcase to snack and sip and generally take it slow. Hopefully meet Mulan in China, but otherwise the only experience we really want to do is ride the Mexico ride. I already have a list of all the food that looks best at the different stations for Food and Wine lol.
We have no dining reservations since we plan to bring in some healthy options and buy lots of snacks. We may stay through fireworks at EPCOT or leave earlier to beat crowds and get back to the hotel for rest. Just going to wing it.
Day 3 - Sat 10/5
Enjoy the hotel and pool some more
Back to Disney Springs after checking out to have brunch at Art Smith's Homecoming (possibly meet up with my brother and SIL who live in Orlando)
Drive home and relax with the rest of our weekend before back to reality.
Who has park-hopped? Have you done it with a baby/kid?
I'm trying not to go back to the hotel for naps and just have the baby sleep in the stroller or carrier on the go. We will have a car but I think using park transportation will be easiest so that we can get from the hotel>MK>Epcot>hotel as easily as possible.
@BeatlesFan629: Sounds like a great trip! We did Toy Story Land in the last hour of the day last year and it was awesome. We had dinner at Woodys lunchbox then walked on Toy Story Mania and Alien Saucer several times. We got in line for slinky dog 2 mins before the park closed and we only waited 25 mins. That whole evening was a highlight of the whole trip and so much more pleasant than dealing with the rope drop crush. The area was so quiet because everyone was at Fantasmic.
@lindseykaye: your plan looks great !! I’ve not Park hopped in many years so no advice there. Art Smiths Homecoming was one of our favourite meals last year ... it was sooo good!!
We are getting ready for our dining plan booking date next week. This is our tentative plan... I’ve put a * beside the ones we have never done before. If anyone has any feedback on one those please let me know!
Day 1 - Arrival/Pool day - The Wave*
Day 2 - MK - Tony’s Parade Package
Day 3 - AK - Pizzafari family style
Day 4 - Pool Day - Hoop Dee Doo *
Day 5 - Epcot - Garden Grill breakfast*, Teppan Edo
Day 6 - Pool Day - Homecoming
Day 7 - HS - Mama Melrose *
Day 8 - Pool Day - Ohana
Day 9 - Epcot - Le Cellier
Day 10 - MK - Be Our Guest breakfast, 1900 Park Fare *
Disney and food just happen to be two of my favourite things so I love planning out meals
pomegranate / 3658 posts
@lindseykaye: Joy and Sadness will be gone after September
@PawPrints: Ugh so will Baymax from what I've read. They *might* relocate them but there's no info out that I have found about where, or if this is confirmed yet. I'm just going to quietly not bring that up anymore to DD and we'll focus on other fun stuff for the day.
Also, you can link a Disney Springs resort to your Disney Experience if you've booked directly with the hotel vs. through Disney which is great because prices are MUCH better.
@lindseykaye: Yeah I'm bummed, DD's favorite movie right now is Inside Out and I was so excited to tell her she can meet Joy and Sadness.
@PawPrints: We looooove Big Hero 6 and actually skipped out on meeting Baymax at our last visit for time's sake and now I'm kicking myself. Womp womp.
@lindseykaye: I agree- it's so much cheaper with a much bigger space, we figured we had to try it! My only worry is that maybe the bus situation won't be as good as it would be staying onsite. The reviews seem to say it's ok though. Are you guys renting a car or relying on the buses too? I see you were able to link the hotel to Disney experience - I was late responding to you, but we were able to do it too!
@BeatlesFan629: We're FL folks (we live about 2 hours north of Orlando) so we'll have our car with us. We have done both our own transport/parking to and from the parks as well as used the bus service from the value hotels (All-Star Movies and Music and the Art of Animation Resorts). Both have been good!
When we've done a lot of back-and-forth (say for naps at the hotel mid-day) we use the park transport. If we are going to one place and staying the whole day we drive our own car and park. I'm really hoping that the weather is nice enough and the areas are close enough to just walk to and from Disney Springs on our arrival day. If not, I'm not sure if we'll do the bus for that or use our own car. For the parks, I am remembering now that we can use the monorail between MK and Epcot which I really LOVE and I think will be so much easier than driving ourselves.
I've read about the 'Minnie Vans' which is like Disney uber (I think?) which might be a great option instead of renting a car if you're coming from out of state. If the bus situation at the Doubletree isn't great that could work out nicely.
@lindseykaye: Minnie vans are great options but they’re pretty expensive - we took them from Beach Club to Magic Kingdom and it was about $35 each time - way more than Uber or Lyft would have been. We needed two car seats so it was our only option (we got bad information about the buses not running until an hour before park opening and we were trying to get to PPO breakfasts).
@erinbaderin: Ah yeah - that's definitely pricey! I can see them being super convenient though. I can't see us using that service since we will have our car with us but it's probably still better than a car rental.
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