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tips for 1st and only trip! - coming from australia

marge

Member
Original Poster
please give us some tips for 1st and only trip - we are making this long journey only once! our daughter will be 4 and will be with nanna, too.

was going to go to all the parks with emh's, but changed our plan. hopefully this was a good decision!
now we will rope drop all parks with no emh's and then do as many rides early and have a break after lunch to go back for a rest, sleep or swim. then come back for dinner and some rides at night and fireworks. we are unconventionally going to start our trip going to hs as it's a monday and i've heard to avoid mk. we are not able to book our fp+ until march (for may trip) so I can still change our plans. does this sound good or should I make changes? suggestions?

I have just decided to cancel our character meal. with the exchange rate and the amount of money we are spending, we need to cut a few things, so this is one. what is the best ways to meet and greet?? should we fp+? (we would like to meet ariel, Cinderella, Rapunzel for sure at mk) and alice would be nice, but should do at epcot?. we definitely want to meet mickey and Minnie and gang, but would be best at ak I read? and I would like to meet sully and mike at hs :) my daughter also really likes aurora, where can you meet her? and is the elsa and anna m&g able to be fp+? (sorry about so many!) our favs we will miss (jack and sally and we LOVE pete)!

we plan to rope drop mk. our first mk day should we fp+ sdtm or pp? our other fp+ we want are haunted mansion and then not sure if we should do ariel or belle ride or a meet and greet with Rapunzel?
on the 2nd mk day we will probably rope drop thunder? and then fp jungle and pirates and then head over the other way and maybe fp astro or take the train and fp pp or sdtm again? not sure

no idea what we'll do for the last and final day of mk. I was only at Disney once when I was 9, 30 yrs ago so I hardly remember anything in detail~
(fyi, we will go to mk 3x.)

is it a good idea to rope drop kj safari at ak? or should it be fp+ we want to see as many animals as possible. and want to ensure to see the tigers before 11a.

thanks a million if you read all that and reply!! xx
 

belledream

Well-Known Member
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There are plenty of Meet & Greets around the parks. Some, like Princess Fairytale Hall, and Character Spot, are FP+ opportunities. Others, like meeting Mike & Sully, Anna & Elsa, are not. You can always look this up on Disney's site. As for meeting Aurora, she used to meet in France but that does not seem to be the case right now. But characters do meet around the parks as well - those are displayed on each park's Times Guide which you can pick up when you enter the park (along with maps).

Character Spot and Adventurers Outposts are both nice M&G experiences, in my opinion. Adventurers Outpost might feel a little more unique, since Mickey and Minnie are in their safari gear. But you could always do both, too.

You can get a FP so you feel secure in knowing you'll meet them. I don't find it particularly difficult to get them as additional FPs later either, but it depends how busy it is when you go. The real best way to meet characters, especially the princesses, is to do character dining. I don't want to comment on the financial aspect since that is obviously a very personal decision, but it is princess-MANIA at Akershus and Cinderella's Royal Table, and may be a worthy splurge that ticks off a lot of boxes if you can make concessions elsewhere.

For your MK FP question, there is no tiered system there, so you could get a FP for 7DMT, PP, and HM if available. Also, you're trying really hard to plan second by second (I get it, I like to envision things before they happen too) but I suggest you relax and see where each minute takes you. It may be hard to follow such a regimented schedule. You never know when a ride may go down or if something has an surprisingly short or long wait time!

But yes, rope drop the safari - usually the animals are more active in the morning. It's very enjoyable!

Hope this helps a little bit. Don't try to overdo it. I know it's hard, especially for a once-in-a-lifetime trip, but I think less pressure will make for a more enjoyable experience and great memories!
 

cdeev8690

Well-Known Member
I would rope drop 7DMT and save your fastpasses for later on that morning. You can get a handful of rides done within the first hour or so of park opening. You shouldn't have a problem getting a fastness for HM. It sounds like you'll have plenty of time to play things by ear if fast passes don't work out the way you want them to.

For your MK FP question, there is no tiered system there, so you could get a FP for 7DMT, PP, and HM if available. Also, you're trying really hard to plan second by second (I get it, I like to envision things before they happen too) but I suggest you relax and see where each minute takes you. It may be hard to follow such a regimented schedule. You never know when a ride may go down or if something has an surprisingly short or long wait time!

Hope this helps a little bit. Don't try to overdo it. I know it's hard, especially for a once-in-a-lifetime trip, but I think less pressure will make for a more enjoyable experience and great memories!
I second this! I respect your commitment to making the absolute most out of this trip! Your hard work will absolutely pay off, but there's really no preparing for how grueling and exhausting it will be, especially if you are a slave to your watch. You'll spend less time enjoying Walt Disney World and making memories with your family and more time panicking whether you will be late to your next ADR or FP. Also, with such a young child, she's definitely going to want to throw a wrench in your plans.

Keep an open mind with planning. Utilize mobile ordering while you are there to save time on those occasionally longer lines at the Quick Service locations. One of of my favorite Disney podcasts, Be Our Guest, just had an episode featuring their best tips on how to survive WDW with a toddler! Definitely give it a listen.
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
Also, with such a young child, she's definitely going to want to throw a wrench in your plans.
That's an extra reason to plan IMO, not a point against it.

OP, I think you're going about it exactly right. I plan every minute with the extremely important caveat that you need to stay flexible. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but the plan is like the pirate code... think of it more like guidelines than actual rules. If you don't have a plan, your trip can go to chaos. You'll waste time floundering around trying to figure out what to do next. But having a plan and sticking to it rigidly is no good either. Your best bet is to have a detailed plan but be mentally prepared to deviate from it, always coming back to the plan as an anchor to guide your day.

I also think your plan of rope drop followed by an afternoon break and a decent bed time is smart. Keep yourself and the family rested.

Regarding fastpasses, with three days in the Magic Kingdom you'll probably want something like:

Day 1:
Big Thunder Mountain
Splash Mountain
Pirates
Jungle Cruise

Day 2:
Meet Princesses
Peter Pan's Flight
Enchanted Tales with Belle
Haunted Mansion

Day 3:
Space Mountain
Buzz Lightyear
Tomorrowland Speedway
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Of the four, pick one for rope drop and three for FastPass+. Keep your selections physically in close proximity to one another to avoid criss-crossing the park needlessly. Plan them for as close to 9am, 10am, and 11am as you can get so you can book additional fastpasses in the afternoon. You should ideally be using your 9am to 10pm fastpass as close to 10pm as you can to maximize the short standby lines in the first hour.
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
OP, I think you're going about it exactly right. I plan every minute with the extremely important caveat that you need to stay flexible. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but the plan is like the pirate code... think of it more like guidelines than actual rules. If you don't have a plan, your trip can go to chaos.
Re-quoting because this is such valuable advice that it's worth emphasizing.
 
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aliceismad

Well-Known Member
Since your little one is fairly little, unless you have a lot of theme park or carnival experience, you may wish to do "easier" rides on the early days and work your way up to the bigger rides. For instance, I'd want to make sure my kid was ok going on Barnstormer before attempting some of the bigger rides. I know nothing at Disney is super intense or scary, but if a cautious kiddo went on Space Mountain right off the bat it could lead to a sad, scared kiddo. So, just me, but I'd make your FPs for the first MK day be the softer rides and character meets and then build up to Splash, Space, Big Thunder.

Also re the Captain's post above, Tomorrowland Speedway will probably be closed down when you go. I don't think it's scheduled to reopen until the Tron coaster opens in 2021 (?)
 

BethG

Member
My advice is to get your sleep. Be alright with not seeing everything. If we have a late night, we sleep in (or vise versa). This is especially important for little ones. Over tired and over stimulated is a recipe for a melt down.
 
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