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Strongly Considering a Trip to WDW: Please Help me plan or talk me out of it

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
So boredom has kicked into full gear. I never thought these would be the conditions I'd want to take my families first trip to WDW but here we are. I’m starting to seriously consider a trip in late February/ early March. Masks, 5 year old, 5 month old (if and when we go) and all. The perks of low capacity and short lines seem to outweigh the mask requirement, shorter hours and less entertainment. Plus we all need it. Well maybe not my 3 month old daughter. But the rest of us do. Looked up the weather in late Feb and it seems pretty nice and mask friendly. This would be our first trip to WDW. Deals seem to be pretty good right now. I looked into pricing tonight for an 8 night stay in late February to Mid March and Coronado Springs is available for $200 per night. The Lakers recently stayed there during the NBA bubble so it can't be too shabby right? 8 nights and 5 day 1 park per day tickets are going to cost about $3500. Flights are about $120 non stop. Dining plans aren't being offered right now but I'm not sure id buy one anyway.

Im a little concerned about how this trip would go with my 5 year old son AND a newborn daughter who is pretty much breast feeding all day So I'm open to anyone calling me crazy or telling me to stay home. With that said its very common for us to go on a day trip and for my wife and I to ask each other if we left her at home as she'll sleep for hours in her stroller.

Here is my rough itinerary: Im planning on spending full days at the park. They all seem to be closing pretty early anyway. I don't think park hopping or going back go the hotel mid day is necessary with the low crowds or convenient with the kids.

Day 1: Arrive at WDW. Dinner at hotel or Disney Springs
Day 2: Park Day
Day 3: Park Day
Day 4: Down Day - Relax at Hotel, Disney Springs and/ or check out other hotels
Day 5: Park Day
Day 6 Park Day
Day 7: Down Day - Relax at Hotel, Disney Springs and/ or check out other hotels
Day 8: Park Day - (whichever park I pick to do twice)
Day 9: Depart

Side note: I might add a Universal park hopper instead of one of the down days (or 5th park day at WDW) and shift my itinerary around a little bit.

So a few questions for some of you WDW vets or DL'ers who have been to WDW:

1. Would you make any changes to the itinerary? Considering I'm going with two young children I figure I'll need the relaxing days in between the days at the park.

2. Are there any days of the week you would recommend for specific parks?

3. With the current capacity restrictions, do I still HAVE to be at the parks early to ride headliners like FOP and MMRR and still be able to do most of the rest of the parks?

4. Which park would you do twice? Ideally, knowing what I know about WDW and being a DL vet, Id probably appreciate a second day at AK the most. However, due to the higher attraction count at MK and more stuff to do for the kids, MK might make more sense.

5. We'll be going with my sister, brother in law and 2 year old nephew so we'll be doing a lot of child switching on the coasters etc. Is this any less convenient at WDW than it is at DL?

6. What are some MUST EATS at the parks, hotels and Disney Springs? Anything from a snack to fine dining. Although the latter may be difficult to pull off. It doesn't have to all be about the food. For example a lunch at Sci Fi Dine in really appeals to me. Something unique or atmospheric is fun too on vacation.

7. Am I making a mistake not getting a park hoppers? I just don't see the value in them on this trip because of the lower crowds and just the inconvenience of it all with my young kids. I also feel like Im allowing myself enough time to where I don't need them. I do worry however about one of my must do attractions going down and missing my chance to ride (unless its at the park I do twice). With park hoppers you can try again another day.

8. Any strong opinions on Coronado Springs? Is it a bad location and does it make it difficult getting to the parks with youngsters? Am I better off staying at the POP Century that has easy Skyliner access for example AND saving money? Caribbean Beach resort also has pretty good rates for a Moderate, is that hotel any good?

9. What are the best ways to get to the parks with a baby and a 5 year old? Babies don't need car seats in buses right? Im not planning on renting a car as it doesn't seem necessary since I'm staying at WDW the entire time except for maybe the one day at Universal.

10. What is the best way to get from the airport to WDW?

11. Id like to hop on the monorail and Skyliner at some point, even if buses may be more convenient from my hotel. What would be the best days to try out those modes of transportation? Whats the best way, convenient and or fun/scenic way to get to the parks from Coronado Springs?

12. Would Disney Springs even feel like a down day? With the hassle that it takes to get there, would I be better off using it as a park day or just going to Disney Springs on days where I possibly finish with the parks early?

13. Is a 1 day park hopper enough for Universal? Is another day there, worth sacrificing one of my down days? Off the top of my head, there are only about 5 Must Do's for me between both parks.

14. Whats the best way to get to Universal from WDW?

15. Am I crazy for considering this trip right now with a 5 year old AND 5 month old?


Thanks in advance for the tips! I promise a very thorough trip report when I get back.
 
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BasiltheBatLord

Well-Known Member
(I’m on mobile so this post will be kinda scatterbrained)

Honestly I would wait on a WDW trip until 50th anniversary details/concrete opening dates for the new stuff are nailed down. There’s still a ton of new stuff under construction including almost all of Epcot and a new e-ticket at MK (Tron).

IMO Epcot and AK are not full day parks. Haven’t been since Avatar though so can’t comment on how much that adds. Epcot is being totally overhauled right now so it would be a crappy first time experience I think.

If it was me I would definitely choose MK to do twice. If you’re super familiar with DL you may want to choose differently but MK is still hands down the best park on property.

The Sci Fi Drive In’s food is low key pretty bad but it’s still worth doing cause the experience is so cool. I’m not really a table dine in guy so not a lot else I can comment on but if the Space restaurant at Epcot is open by the time you go you can check it out. Crystal Palace at MK also does Pooh character dining if your kids want that kinda thing. Check out the food cart in Fantasyland by the Dwarfs Mine Train, it has some amazing desserts which aren’t found in any other park worldwide.

I’ve only been to USF once but I think it’s worth it, especially if you rarely go to Florida. This was several years ago and memory is kinda fuzzy but I thought Studios and IoA were both full day parks. And this was before they expanded the Harry Potter stuff into Studios. If the weather was right I would also definitely check out Volcano Bay cause it looks awesome.

I’ve always bought and made use of park hoppers when I went to WDW but can’t comment on if they’re currently useful cause of COVID

There’s a bus service Disney runs (used to run?) from MCO to WDW, I think it’s called Magical Express, although I have no idea what the current status is considering COVID
 

mlayton144

Well-Known Member
Some random thoughts:

- If it’s in the budget and you feel like getting away then go, can’t think of another more baby/toddler friendly place in the world than WDW, they have accommodations and welcome all ages even in their nicest restaurants (except for maybe 1 or 2)
- I wouldn’t goto Universal, parks are designed for thrill ride demographic
- Coronado is nice , but riding the buses with kids especially w Covid capacity restrictions that age can be stressful - don’t need car seats though . If you could swing a resort walkable, skyliner, or monorail will make your life so much easier with kids that age , Pop century has tiny rooms - go with art of animation suite or yacht club (sand bottom pool great for little ones) if you can swing the extra money
- SciFi must do - make reservations at 60 days out
- Magical express free round trip to any Disney resort and still runs - use it
- do MK 2x , animal kingdom and Epcot world showcase would be 2nd choice for just walking around but shows are dark unfortunately
- IMO park hopper only worth it if you stay at crescent lake resorts with young kids (boardwalk or yacht club) or skyliner - not going to want to wait for buses multiple times per day - if you like ethnic food you could walk to Epcot for dinner multiple nights
- Hollywood studios busy every single day, do on a weekend and save other parks for early and mid week
- some restaurant recommendations for atmosphere and entertainment - sci-fi, garden grill , skipper canteen , raglan road , San angel inn, prime time cafe , Sanaa during daylight , Biergarten
- WDW is missing a lot of entertainment , but it’s so damn big depending on your need to just get away you could have a great time , just plan on returning some day
 

SaltyD

Active Member
Years ago I did a trip to WDW with my then 4 year old son and my 3 month old daughter and it was awesome! Granted that's before there was covid and there was a lot less to do, but nonetheless, it was a perfect time to go since the baby wasn't on a schedule and WDW is super easy to sit and nurse a child.

I'd say go and enjoy! Your kids won't know that there are limitations right now, it will still be magical for the 5 year old. So to answer some of your questions...

Coronado Springs is a great resort - all Disney resorts are great! And beautifully themed. You will be on the bus route so factor that into transportation time. It makes it more time consuming to head back to the resort for nap times, but that's what a stroller is for, right? You may want to consider a skyliner resort so you have options for transportation.

You'll want to do more than one WDW day - there's a lot to see and a lot of walking and your son will get tired and excited and will most likely want to see it again!

Magical Express still runs from the airport to the resorts if you are staying at a Disney resort, however, you are required to grab your own luggage rather than having them pick it up and deliver it.

Universal might be a bit overzealous with the little kids. You can always Uber over there for the day. If any of the adults are Harry Potter fans it would be worth it. I would suggest make that decision as you get closer to the trip if you decide to go.

With the little kids, I don't think you'll need park hoppers. Once the parks close, it's nice to go enjoy the resort and/or Disney Springs. Plus at the moment, since you have to reserve parks ahead of time, the park hopping ability comes later in the day as long as the park is available. As long as you plan your trip out before you go, it's easy enough to do one park per day, enjoy it and not exhaust everyone.

I have found with little kids, as long as you take your cues from them - tired, hungry, done - you'll have an amazing time no matter their age!

I'm happy to answer more questions in detail if you want or bounce ideas off of me - feel free to reach out!
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
(I’m on mobile so this post will be kinda scatterbrained)

Honestly I would wait on a WDW trip until 50th anniversary details/concrete opening dates for the new stuff are nailed down. There’s still a ton of new stuff under construction including almost all of Epcot and a new e-ticket at MK (Tron).

IMO Epcot and AK are not full day parks. Haven’t been since Avatar though so can’t comment on how much that adds. Epcot is being totally overhauled right now so it would be a crappy first time experience I think.

If it was me I would definitely choose MK to do twice. If you’re super familiar with DL you may want to choose differently but MK is still hands down the best park on property.

The Sci Fi Drive In’s food is low key pretty bad but it’s still worth doing cause the experience is so cool. I’m not really a table dine in guy so not a lot else I can comment on but if the Space restaurant at Epcot is open by the time you go you can check it out. Crystal Palace at MK also does Pooh character dining if your kids want that kinda thing. Check out the food cart in Fantasyland by the Dwarfs Mine Train, it has some amazing desserts which aren’t found in any other park worldwide.

I’ve only been to USF once but I think it’s worth it, especially if you rarely go to Florida. This was several years ago and memory is kinda fuzzy but I thought Studios and IoA were both full day parks. And this was before they expanded the Harry Potter stuff into Studios. If the weather was right I would also definitely check out Volcano Bay cause it looks awesome.

I’ve always bought and made use of park hoppers when I went to WDW but can’t comment on if they’re currently useful cause of COVID

There’s a bus service Disney runs (used to run?) from MCO to WDW, I think it’s called Magical Express, although I have no idea what the current status is considering COVID


Originally, I wanted to wait until about a year after WDWs 50th to enjoy the new attractions without the crowds. The one perk of waiting is that my kids will be older. The only things I feel Ill be missing out on are Tron and Cosmic Rewind. With that said, this would be my first trip so I have 4 parks worth of new attractions to experience. So I’m not sure waiting for a few more attractions (and a more normal visit) is worth losing the low capacity, no fastpass planning and shorter lines found at the parks right now.

I’m leaning towards MK twice. It doesn’t seem like the other 3 parks have a whole lot to do for the kids.

Thanks for the tips!
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Strongly consider staying home until it makes sense to travel.

“I’m bored” or “I want it” are irresponsible. Just wait.

I’m not worried about COVID as much as I am the logistics of doing this trip with a 5 year and 5 month old. In that sense I agree with you in that it might not make sense right now. Being spontaneous and not over thinking is nice sometimes though. It’s like getting married or having kids - “there’s never the perfect time.”
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Some random thoughts:

- If it’s in the budget and you feel like getting away then go, can’t think of another more baby/toddler friendly place in the world than WDW, they have accommodations and welcome all ages even in their nicest restaurants (except for maybe 1 or 2)
- I wouldn’t goto Universal, parks are designed for thrill ride demographic
- Coronado is nice , but riding the buses with kids especially w Covid capacity restrictions that age can be stressful - don’t need car seats though . If you could swing a resort walkable, skyliner, or monorail will make your life so much easier with kids that age , Pop century has tiny rooms - go with art of animation suite or yacht club (sand bottom pool great for little ones) if you can swing the extra money
- SciFi must do - make reservations at 60 days out
- Magical express free round trip to any Disney resort and still runs - use it
- do MK 2x , animal kingdom and Epcot world showcase would be 2nd choice for just walking around but shows are dark unfortunately
- IMO park hopper only worth it if you stay at crescent lake resorts with young kids (boardwalk or yacht club) or skyliner - not going to want to wait for buses multiple times per day - if you like ethnic food you could walk to Epcot for dinner multiple nights
- Hollywood studios busy every single day, do on a weekend and save other parks for early and mid week
- some restaurant recommendations for atmosphere and entertainment - sci-fi, garden grill , skipper canteen , raglan road , San angel inn, prime time cafe , Sanaa during daylight , Biergarten
- WDW is missing a lot of entertainment , but it’s so damn big depending on your need to just get away you could have a great time , just plan on returning some day


Thanks for the detailed response! Can you explain why the buses are stressful with kids? Long waits? Getting the strollers on? My bro in law and sister just went to WDW a couple months ago and said it was pretty easy and there were plenty of buses running at low capacity. Granted they didn’t have any kids with them. Would POP Century be considered a skyliner resort? Honestly a lot of things I do aren’t in my budget. This entire trip isn’t in my budget. Lol. But that’s not how I live my life. (May regret that later when it’s time to retire). So I’ll always be willing to pay a little more for value. The walkable MK resorts at their price point don’t seem to have that value for me unless you re telling me they re going to save me from a hell-ish experience on the buses. The skyliner resorts may have the upside worth it to pay a little more.

Does the skyliner go to Disney Springs?

Thanks for that Hollywood Studios tip. I might change the arriving flight to a Monday now to have more weekdays at the other 3 parks. Out of curiosity, would your opinion change if you knew I had no intention of doing any of the identical rides found at Galaxies Edge? I’d skip stuff like Star Tours too if Disneyland was open but since isn’t and it’s something I can take my son on I ll probably do it. So it sounds like Slinky and MMRR are the two attractions I want to go on that will have long lines at DHS. Are the lines for the other rides like TOT, and Rock n Roller coaster busy no matter what day too? Would it maybe be better to do DHS on a weekday since it’s the busiest park and do the least busy park on the weekend?

What would be the best days to try out the skyliner and monorail? I’m guessing Epcot and DHS days would be good for skyliner and MK days or down days would make the most sense for monorail but how would I be getting to the skyliner station or most convenient drop off to MK hotels/ MK from my hotel? Is it all so inconvenient with kids that it’s not worth it? I can live without the monorail but I kind of want to see it going through the Contemporary. The skyliner is higher on my priority list but I’m worried I’m making transportation an attraction instead of what they are intended to be - convenient transportation from the right location.
 
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mickEblu

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Years ago I did a trip to WDW with my then 4 year old son and my 3 month old daughter and it was awesome! Granted that's before there was covid and there was a lot less to do, but nonetheless, it was a perfect time to go since the baby wasn't on a schedule and WDW is super easy to sit and nurse a child.

I'd say go and enjoy! Your kids won't know that there are limitations right now, it will still be magical for the 5 year old. So to answer some of your questions...

Coronado Springs is a great resort - all Disney resorts are great! And beautifully themed. You will be on the bus route so factor that into transportation time. It makes it more time consuming to head back to the resort for nap times, but that's what a stroller is for, right? You may want to consider a skyliner resort so you have options for transportation.

You'll want to do more than one WDW day - there's a lot to see and a lot of walking and your son will get tired and excited and will most likely want to see it again!

Magical Express still runs from the airport to the resorts if you are staying at a Disney resort, however, you are required to grab your own luggage rather than having them pick it up and deliver it.

Universal might be a bit overzealous with the little kids. You can always Uber over there for the day. If any of the adults are Harry Potter fans it would be worth it. I would suggest make that decision as you get closer to the trip if you decide to go.

With the little kids, I don't think you'll need park hoppers. Once the parks close, it's nice to go enjoy the resort and/or Disney Springs. Plus at the moment, since you have to reserve parks ahead of time, the park hopping ability comes later in the day as long as the park is available. As long as you plan your trip out before you go, it's easy enough to do one park per day, enjoy it and not exhaust everyone.

I have found with little kids, as long as you take your cues from them - tired, hungry, done - you'll have an amazing time no matter their age!

I'm happy to answer more questions in detail if you want or bounce ideas off of me - feel free to reach out!

Thanks for the response! Great to hear from someone who’s gone in similar circumstances.

So when you say it’s easy to nurse at WDW is that because their are multiple nursing stations at the parks? Here at DL I think we have one per park.

When you Said you ll want to do more than one WDW day, did you mean MK? As a DL vet I’m a little at odds about this because I feel that I may not enjoy MK as much as DL. However it has the most attractions and most stuff for the kids to do so it probably makes the most sense. Plus it will be fun to be able to compare/ contrast everything with DL. Ill probably do MK on the first and last park days which right now would be a Tuesday and Monday.

Yeah I agree, Universal might be another trip down the road.

Thanks again!
 

mlayton144

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the detailed response! Can you explain why the buses are stressful with kids? Long waits? Getting the strollers on? My bro in law and sister just went to WDW a couple months ago and said it was pretty easy and there were plenty of buses running at low capacity. Granted they didn’t have any kids with them. Would POP Century be considered a skyliner resort? Honestly a lot of things I do aren’t in my budget. This entire trip isn’t in my budget. Lol. But that’s not how I live my life. (May regret that later when it’s time to retire). So I’ll always be willing to pay a little more for value. The walkable MK resorts at their price point don’t seem to have that value for me unless you re telling me they re going to save me from a hell-ish experience on the buses. The skyliner resorts may have the upside worth it to pay a little more.

Does the skyliner go to Disney Springs?

Thanks for that Hollywood Studios tip. I might change the arriving flight to a Monday now to have more weekdays at the other 3 parks. Out of curiosity, would your opinion change if you knew I had no intention of doing any of the identical rides found at Galaxies Edge? I’d skip stuff like Star Tours too if Disneyland was open but since isn’t and it’s something I can take my son on I ll probably do it. So it sounds like Slinky and MMRR are the two attractions I want to go on that will have long lines at DHS. Are the lines for the other rides like TOT, and Rock n Roller coaster busy no matter what day too? Would it maybe be better to do DHS on a weekday since it’s the busiest park and do the least busy park on the weekend?
Buses are stressful due to wait times , but really just that - they are clean and safe, no rifraff etc and made to handle all comers including strollers and those with mobility issues. If you are tired at end of day, or don’t want to spend all 9 hours in a theme park and want to take a break in middle of day the other transportation options are a nice luxury to have

as far as pop century - spend the extra few bucks and book Caribbean beach - slightly bigger rooms and a much nicer place (nature instead of concrete) to stroll and let the young ones run freely , and still the skyliner convenience. Of course nothing wrong with pop otherwise

Hollywood studios - without Star Wars I wouldn’t spend a ton of time there - sci-fi and a few rides , then retreat back to resort to swim and spend the night somewhere else , just my preference

Animal kingdom much better places to stroll through for animal exhibits/rides , Epcot for and international vibe and dining and some rides/movies -

no skyliner and absolute worst wait time for buses at Disney springs , I would “spring” for an Uber from any resort (probably like $12-15 with tip) - buses everywhere else are fine but budget time for them

my tip above all , list your priorities and do those without rushing - otherwise you will need a vacation from your vacation - off days take a break visit Disney springs and resorts where you can have a nice meal and take your time to appreciate them since you probably won’t be back for some time
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Buses are stressful due to wait times , but really just that - they are clean and safe, no rifraff etc and made to handle all comers including strollers and those with mobility issues. If you are tired at end of day, or don’t want to spend all 9 hours in a theme park and want to take a break in middle of day the other transportation options are a nice luxury to have

as far as pop century - spend the extra few bucks and book Caribbean beach - slightly bigger rooms and a much nicer place (nature instead of concrete) to stroll and let the young ones run freely , and still the skyliner convenience. Of course nothing wrong with pop otherwise

Hollywood studios - without Star Wars I wouldn’t spend a ton of time there - sci-fi and a few rides , then retreat back to resort to swim and spend the night somewhere else , just my preference

Animal kingdom much better places to stroll through for animal exhibits/rides , Epcot for and international vibe and dining and some rides/movies -

no skyliner and absolute worst wait time for buses at Disney springs , I would “spring” for an Uber from any resort (probably like $12-15 with tip) - buses everywhere else are fine but budget time for them

my tip above all , list your priorities and do those without rushing - otherwise you will need a vacation from your vacation - off days take a break visit Disney springs and resorts where you can have a nice meal and take your time to appreciate them since you probably won’t be back for some time


I can book Caribbean Beach for the same price as Coronado Springs. Caribbean Beach is starting to sound like a winner. I’ll only need to use the buses on the MK and AK days when it comes to the parks and be able to conveniently use the skyliner instead of going out of my way for it.

Ubering to Disney Springs sounds like a great idea.


I appreciate all the advice. Thank you 😊
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Some random thoughts:

- If it’s in the budget and you feel like getting away then go, can’t think of another more baby/toddler friendly place in the world than WDW, they have accommodations and welcome all ages even in their nicest restaurants (except for maybe 1 or 2)
- I wouldn’t goto Universal, parks are designed for thrill ride demographic
- Coronado is nice , but riding the buses with kids especially w Covid capacity restrictions that age can be stressful - don’t need car seats though . If you could swing a resort walkable, skyliner, or monorail will make your life so much easier with kids that age , Pop century has tiny rooms - go with art of animation suite or yacht club (sand bottom pool great for little ones) if you can swing the extra money
- SciFi must do - make reservations at 60 days out
- Magical express free round trip to any Disney resort and still runs - use it
- do MK 2x , animal kingdom and Epcot world showcase would be 2nd choice for just walking around but shows are dark unfortunately
- IMO park hopper only worth it if you stay at crescent lake resorts with young kids (boardwalk or yacht club) or skyliner - not going to want to wait for buses multiple times per day - if you like ethnic food you could walk to Epcot for dinner multiple nights
- Hollywood studios busy every single day, do on a weekend and save other parks for early and mid week
- some restaurant recommendations for atmosphere and entertainment - sci-fi, garden grill , skipper canteen , raglan road , San angel inn, prime time cafe , Sanaa during daylight , Biergarten
- WDW is missing a lot of entertainment , but it’s so damn big depending on your need to just get away you could have a great time , just plan on returning some day

I forgot to ask, are their any dining reservations I should jump on sooner than later. Since I’m probably doing two days at MK, should I do Be Our Guest?
 
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MouseMelly

Well-Known Member
I forgot to ask, are their any dining reservations I should jump on sooner than later. Since I’m probably doing two days at MK, should I do Be Our Guest?
It's more about the experience/ atmosphere than food. If you're willing to pay for those things or have big BatB fans, then it's very cool. I haven't been impressed with the food, but others may differ.
 

MouseMelly

Well-Known Member
I should also say that I took a nursing 6mo several years ago and had a delightful time. There is so much to see that generally keeps the baby's attention and then the stroller is perfect for the naps.

And we love Caribbean Beach. Lots of pretty scenery and walkways.

Have a great time!
 

PiratesMansion

Well-Known Member
Could I get away with just a 1 day park hopper?
For the highlights, probably, but you'll have to be efficient, and even though Uni's much less stressful than WDW, it can be a lot.
I'd make sure to hit Spider-man, Hulk, Hagrid, Mummy (different, superior ride vs. Hollywood's), Gringotts, Hogwarts Express, Men in Black, and ET if you're feeling nostalgic. Ripsaw Falls and Popeye & Bluto are fun if you are willing to own the fact that you will not escape them without being impossibly drenched. Seuss Landing should be fun for the kids as is the otherwise disposable Kidzone. Most rides not explicitly targeted to younger children are probably a little much for kids those ages.

I think you've paced the trip right, with two days on and an off day. Skip the hopper, especially with kids.

To me, DS makes a fine down day activity. Although it will be busy, it's still definitely more manageable and less stressful than the parks. It is bigger and better than DTD, and it's really the place to go if you want a nice sitdown meal. I'm not sure what the bus situation is from Disney hotels to DS, but it's actually really easy to drive to the area, get routed into a garage, and park. It's pretty seamless. I'm not honestly sure what is/will be open for your trip, but the water parks (if open) and mini golf places might make some fun down day activities. You could also use your down days as the time to ride the monorails and skyliner-take the bus to Epcot and ride to your heart's content, no park admission required.

MK will likely be disappointing compared to DL, but it has more attractions than any other parks and everything just *takes longer* there vs. anywhere else, so it's the correct choice for two days.

I would still try to arrive at opening, as the WDW parks get busier faster, and far more people show up at rope drop than at DLR. Everything I've heard makes it sounds like DHS, now that all the new additions are open, is just a madhouse from minute one.

In terms of snacks, some of the more well known include the Citrus Swirl (orange and vanilla soft serve) in Adventureland, the School Bread in Norway, and the bakery in France.

For meals: Be Our Guest is a cool environment but it's a loud place, the food (for lunch anyway) is meh, and getting in is competitive. To elaborate on someone else's recommendation, Sanaa is at Animal Kingdom Lodge (Kidani Village building) and is African/Indian food, with the famous bread service that is worth the price-if you go at lunch and get a window table, you'll be able to watch the animals on the Savannah as you eat. Another full service restaurant that may have more kid appeal is Coral Reef at Epcot is a restaurant at the Seas with Nemo and Friends, and you may be able to watch fish swim in the aquarium tanks as you eat.

Note that WDW counter service inside the parks, especially at Magic Kingdom and the Studios, is mostly burgers, chicken tenders, pizza, and hot dogs, all mediocre at best. Not so bad for the kids, but potentially annoying for you and the other adults after awhile. If you want anything more interesting, you'll probably have to head to a sitdown place.

WDW can be a lot for younger kids-not saying don't go, but every potential hassle is magnified at WDW vs. DL. Fortunately, you're not going during summer and so will miss peak humidity and crowds (assuming you are able to avoid Spring Break). I will say that Animal Kingdom, other than Pandora, is pretty low key and relaxed compared to the other parks (building in some time to just wander around the park and walk the animal trails is recommended), as is most of Epcot, so for the children's benefit I would try not to do DHS and MK on back to back park days. Other than DHS, all the parks will feel bigger than the DLR parks, and Epcot's walking area is freaking huge. I think that having the rest days built in and being sensitive to the needs of your travel party and especially the children will help a lot to ensure a successful trip.
 

rreading

Premium Member
My $.02 having done this lots of times.

The incremental price per day once you've hit 5d goes down significantly. I would get a 7d park hopper and skip universal this trip.
My advice whenever possible is to go early (the kids are going to be up anyway!) then head back to the hotel for a nap/swim. Then you're able to regroup and decide if you're headed to Disney Springs or to Epcot for supper. I would plan on Epcot in the evening for 2-3 nights. Definitely World Showcase has been one of the strengths of Epcot forever though it's less so now since the country representatives have been sent home. It will still be beautiful and should hopefully still have good food.

MK for 3-4 mornings and probably AK for 2-3 mornings assuming that your kids like animals. AK gets hot but you would probably want to pop back there late one evening to see it at night.

HS one 1/2 day. Gets less crowded in the afternoons so might use it as an after-nap drop. If you like it, you can pop back in later during the trip.

Missing the shows and fireworks that the parks have to offer is disappointing but not having to reserve FP might be just as nice for someone from DL.

Dining: MK - traditionally the girls love eating with the princesses in Cinderella's castle but it's $$ and not normal so maybe a pass. Would look into it though. Skipper Canteen at MK is good. Be Our Guest is $$ but good.
Epcot - We always like Chefs de France and Via Napoli but we're not too adventurous. Biergarten was fun when the world was normal
AK - we LOVE Tiffins.
HS - we always eat at the Brown Derby. It's a nice break to slow down and relax. I love the margarita flight and Cobb salad.
We also liked that Trattoria al Forno next to boardwalk in our last visit - it's on the skyliner

We rarely go to DS unless we've a reason to. Between the things available at the parks and resorts, we rarely feel the need.

Hope you have fun!
 

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