Two Days, Four Parks - Is it Possible?

juniorthomas

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Next week I'm heading to The World with my wife and four year old DD. This is my DDs first visit ever, in addition to being the first visit with the three of us as a family. It's quick visit, so we'll only have two days to hit all four parks. While we wont have to factor in long line rides like RnR or Soarin', we will be watching Parades and doing Meet and Greets.

My question - what are things I should try to include/avoid in order to be able to spend time at all four parks in only two days? We have meal reservations both days, so our schedule would be like this:

Day 1: MK and DAK
Day 2: DHS and Epcot

More specifically, I've never done the Meet and Greets for various characters - how long are the lines usually? Also, how early in advance of parades do we need to scout a good spot to sit?
If there is anything else I should know, I am all ears. (Excuse the Disney pun)
 

hsisthebest

Well-Known Member
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Meet and greet waits can get really long, especially at MK. I would definitely get to MK at rope drop and head straight to princess/fairy meet and greet. DAK should have a much shorter wait for everyone other than Minnie/Mickey. Epcot's main meet and greet can have long lines, but they move quickly. DHS has many meet and greets both indoors and out and they are spread throughout the park- so if one as an abnormally long line, try another. Also, restaurants with character meet and greets are nice- the characters come around to all the tables while you eat, giving you plenty of time to get cameras ready and let your 4-year old get use to the characters by seeing them interacting with other kids. Have fun next week!
 

DaGoof00

Well-Known Member
I've done this in 2006 when I went down for the opening weekend of Expedition Everest... It can be done, but you can really only hit the high points, and it can be a rushed and stressful endeavor. I did day 1 DAK/MK and then day 2 DHS/Epcot. When are you going - lines will vary based on your time of year allowing for either more or less to be tackled in a limited time frame...
 

bigorangeandy

Well-Known Member
We did a AK and MK on a one day trip a few years ago, and it was fun. My kids at the time were middle school/high school age and were able to go the whole day without a break. We started at AK then went to MK after lunch, as AK was closing at 5pm that day, and MK was open to 11pm. The afternoon parade at MK is around 3 pm if I remember correctly and the night parade is after dark. I seem to remember the AK parade being at around 4pm. The shady parade spots will fill up long before the in the sunny spots do, I've seen the people on Main Street sitting an hour or more before the parade starts, but your experience will vary.
 

juniorthomas

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Meet and greet waits can get really long, especially at MK. I would definitely get to MK at rope drop and head straight to princess/fairy meet and greet. DAK should have a much shorter wait for everyone other than Minnie/Mickey. Epcot's main meet and greet can have long lines, but they move quickly. DHS has many meet and greets both indoors and out and they are spread throughout the park- so if one as an abnormally long line, try another. Also, restaurants with character meet and greets are nice- the characters come around to all the tables while you eat, giving you plenty of time to get cameras ready and let your 4-year old get use to the characters by seeing them interacting with other kids. Have fun next week!
Thanks for the feedback. Do the meet and greets go on all day, or are they separated with breaks?
 

juniorthomas

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I've done this in 2006 when I went down for the opening weekend of Expedition Everest... It can be done, but you can really only hit the high points, and it can be a rushed and stressful endeavor. I did day 1 DAK/MK and then day 2 DHS/Epcot. When are you going - lines will vary based on your time of year allowing for either more or less to be tackled in a limited time frame...
I'll be there on Saturday.
 

juniorthomas

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We did a AK and MK on a one day trip a few years ago, and it was fun. My kids at the time were middle school/high school age and were able to go the whole day without a break. We started at AK then went to MK after lunch, as AK was closing at 5pm that day, and MK was open to 11pm. The afternoon parade at MK is around 3 pm if I remember correctly and the night parade is after dark. I seem to remember the AK parade being at around 4pm. The shady parade spots will fill up long before the in the sunny spots do, I've seen the people on Main Street sitting an hour or more before the parade starts, but your experience will vary.
Thanks!
 

SMS55

Well-Known Member
I do this quite a bit and you can get a lot done, you just have to know what you are doing. Working the fast passes you can get more done. The best piece of advice is get there bright and early and move along. Don't sit around too much. We get to MK bright and early and make a left. You'll knock out Big Thunder and Splash quickly before the lines start along with jungle cruise, Pirates and Alladain if you have little ones. Peter Pan will have a line by the time you get there so get a fast pass if it is important to you. Now with the New Fantasyland I may have to reelvaluate because Ariel's Grotto has lines. Without little ones Pooh was something we skipped. We'd get a fast pass for Space and then for Buzz and we'd be done no later than 3 with MK. Meet and greets at MK are usually long waits. They will seriously cut into your riding time. What we have done before and what we are doing on this trip is going to Chef Mickey's the night before. It's pricey but you will meet Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Chip and Dale. You are knocking out the most popular characters. That is probably about two hours right there.
We usally go to EPCOT afterwards because it's the closest. DAK may present an issue in the afternoon because it closes early. The only issue with EPCOT in the afternoon is that if you go when there are large crowds you may not be able to do Soarin'. First thing is go get a fast pass for it. If not then you might have to skip it. If Soarin is a must do consider EPCOT in the early morning of day 2. You'll be able to get a fast pass for Test Track no matter what time you go. It's not as bad as Soarin. You can usually ride most other rides without too much of a wait. That's usually how we do day 1. We'll improvise day 2 a little. It depends on what rides we are most interested in riding. Most people in my family prefer HS because of TOT, RR and if my 17 year old is with us, Star Tours. This parks popular rides will get fuller than DAK's but if you come here first, make sure you make it in time to DAK to ride what you want.
 
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SMS55

Well-Known Member
Just to add something. Since it is her first trip and the first trip for all of you as a family, I suggest spending the whole first day at MK. For the little one it will be magical to meet a lot of characters and ride some of the kiddie rides you'd skip and you will feed off her excitement trust me. For two day pick the two parks you think you would like best and leave one park for a future visit. For someone that hasn't gone a lot or with a little one the first time, you need to slow it down or it will be a blur to you.
 
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ParentsOf4

Well-Known Member
Not sure why you are skipping Soarin'; kids usually love it.

With a 4-year-old in tow, you could be done with DHS by 11, noon at the latest. The same is true for DAK.

There are 3 "lines from hell" at WDW: TSM, Soarin', and Test Track. If you want to avoid these, you have to hit DHS and Epcot at opening.

Since your schedule already is:

Day 1: MK and DAK
Day 2: DHS and Epcot

There's not much I can recommend. If you've built your trip around ADRs, then your schedule's pretty set. If you can change it (don't be afraid to cancel ADRs), then I have several recommendations, just need to know what are some of your DD's favorite characters, how tall is she, and how "brave" she is (i.e. roller coasters, Haunted Mansion, etc.).
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
Doable yes, but do you really want to do it? It will probably make you choose between choosing to do some things and passing up others. Even though a 4 yo wouldnt be interested in some of the rides, too short for others, there will be long lines for rides at this time of year requiring extensive waits. And you'll be rushing around instead of taking your time to enjoy the atmosphere. Meet & Greets will definitely take time especially for the more popular characters which draw longer lines. Waiting for a good spot and watching parades takes time. Having ADR's to eat doesn't mean you're getting right in on that time, there may be a delay for seating depending on the crowds ( although they do have a good record of being close to the actual ressie time) and a meal does eat up a lot of time.
Try it if thats your desire but be sure to plan very well, get there EARLY, use FP's, choose those things you most want to target.
 

juniorthomas

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Not sure why you are skipping Soarin'; kids usually love it.

With a 4-year-old in tow, you could be done with DHS by 11, noon at the latest. The same is true for DAK.

There are 3 "lines from hell" at WDW: TSM, Soarin', and Test Track. If you want to avoid these, you have to hit DHS and Epcot at opening.

Since your schedule already is:

Day 1: MK and DAK
Day 2: DHS and Epcot

There's not much I can recommend. If you've built your trip around ADRs, then your schedule's pretty set. If you can change it (don't be afraid to cancel ADRs), then I have several recommendations, just need to know what are some of your DD's favorite characters, how tall is she, and how "brave" she is (i.e. roller coasters, Haunted Mansion, etc.).
I just assumed Soarin' would have a height restriction. 40" is right around where she is. We'll see when we get there.

Of the three evil lines, TSM is the main one we want to go for. I figured on Day 2, we will fast pass it immediately.

The only ADR I want to keep is Akershus at 4 on Day 2. The rest can be canceled, and that's okay with me.
 

ParentsOf4

Well-Known Member
I just assumed Soarin' would have a height restriction. 40" is right around where she is. We'll see when we get there.

Of the three evil lines, TSM is the main one we want to go for. I figured on Day 2, we will fast pass it immediately.

The only ADR I want to keep is Akershus at 4 on Day 2. The rest can be canceled, and that's okay with me.
Yes, Soarin' has a 40" height restriction.

As far as your ADRs go, are you there to eat or there to experience rides? (It's an earnest question; some people really care more about the dining.) You should have no problem working a schedule around 1 or 2 ADRS, but if you've loaded up on ADRs, then you're taking away a lot of precious ride time for what will be a whirlwind 2 day trip.

Consider doing MK one day and the other 3 parks the second day. Exactly which days are you going and I can look up park hours. Are you staying onsite? Would your DD like "scary" rides like Haunted Mansion?

Let me know and I can provide a detailed plan, as detailed as you want it to be.:)
 

wolf359

Well-Known Member
Is there a reason you feel like you HAVE to see all four parks? I did the four parks in two days itinerary once, and while possible, I do not recommend it. Trying it with a young child in August sounds even more challenging.

I'd suggest dropping at least one park from the schedule to spend more quality time in one place. Especially considering the heat next week, I think a better plan would be one park per day, with a healthy mid-day break back at the hotel for a nap and a little time at the pool.

With table service meals, meet and greets, parades, and the stamina of a four-year-old all factored in I really don't recommend trying the commando touring plan.
 

luv

Well-Known Member
You can do any two parks in one day, but you won't be able to see/do a whole lot of what is available in each park.

Plunk down the $12 for the touringplans.com site. You can tell the computer what times you'll be in the park and check off what you want to ride and it will spit out a plan for you. If you have a smart phone, you can change and optimize as you go through the parks, if you want. You'll also get the Lines app included n the $12 and the app itself is worth the cost, IMO.

Let the kid have a nice, long nap in the afternoon if you're going to stay out late for fireworks and get up early for rope drop. Nice, long naps mean missing mid-day parades, though.

Have a great time!!!
 

juniorthomas

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Is there a reason you feel like you HAVE to see all four parks? I did the four parks in two days itinerary once, and while possible, I do not recommend it. Trying it with a young child in August sounds even more challenging.

I'd suggest dropping at least one park from the schedule to spend more quality time in one place. Especially considering the heat next week, I think a better plan would be one park per day, with a healthy mid-day break back at the hotel for a nap and a little time at the pool.

With table service meals, meet and greets, parades, and the stamina of a four-year-old all factored in I really don't recommend trying the commando touring plan.
To be honest, Epcot is pretty much only going to be the princess dinner. I wont take her around the world, and she can't do much else there. So that frees up more time to explore DHS in the AM, or even handle overflow DAK.

My park priorities are as follows: MK, DHS, DAK, Epcot.
 

ParentsOf4

Well-Known Member
To be honest, Epcot is pretty much only going to be the princess dinner. I wont take her around the world, and she can't do much else there. So that frees up more time to explore DHS in the AM, or even handle overflow DAK.

My park priorities are as follows: MK, DHS, DAK, Epcot.
At Epcot, your DD-4 also might like Turtle Talk With Crush (long wait), Nemo and Friends (short wait), and Journey into Imagination (no wait).
 

dreamfinder

Well-Known Member
Personally, trying to cram 4 parks in 2 days is a recipe for disaster for a first trip. Especially if you plan on tying up ~2 hours a day with ADRs. Yes, you can pare it down alot, but I think you will have a very tired DD by the end of it.

Thanks for the feedback. Do the meet and greets go on all day, or are they separated with breaks?
Depends on the M&G. Character meals are pretty much constant, with the characters circling the room. There may be a 5 minute break while they do line dancing or similar, but they keep moving. If you miss them, it could take an hour or so for them to come back through, so keep your eyes on where they are in relation to your table. Most of the outdoor M&G will be done in sets. Some may only have a 5 minute break between sets, but others might be a 20 min set each hour. Most of the indoor M&G are pretty constant, except for a short rest/snack/whatever break for the character.
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
Hit some of the popular rides like Peter Pan and Dumbo right away. In February we were at rope drop for MK and headed right to Fantasyland and got a fast pass for Mermaid, then rode Peter Pan (no one was in line yet), then did Dumbo 2 times in a row, and did the meet and greets for Goofy, Donald, Minnie and Daisy in the circus area in about the first 40 minu. There are also fast passes you can get for Mickey meet and greets, and that might be worth it later in the day.
 
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