PDA

View Full Version : Planning around Extra Magic Hours?



Pages : [1] 2

BigDisneyFan
05-07-2009, 11:11 PM
I've spent a lot of time planning out our 9-day trip in June. Most of my planning began with the EMH schedule, which then dictated our ADR's. We are not really morning people so we plan to take advantage of the evening EMH. However.....as I was surfing around the internet, I found some information that somewhat contradicted our plans. Based on extensive research (from what I can tell anyway) the information predicted what days will be the most busy for each park. Along with that information were suggestions to actually avoid the parks with EMH planned on that day (mostly the evening EMH) and in fact suggested going to that park the following day.

Now, I am not going to re-arrange our entire schedule, but I wonder how much truth there might be to this theory and if it's worth it to change SOME of our schedule. We are going at a time that I expect it to be quite busy so I think this theory warrents some consideration. Any thoughts? :cool:

Drince88
05-08-2009, 04:35 AM
Back when there were just AM extra hours, I was SHOCKED at the difference in two parks. It was the Studios, and we went on the EMH day (or whatever they called it then) because my sister and I are more morning people when on vacation. Lines were (relatively) long and the park seem crowded. The next day, we were doing a tour and went into the Studios. It looked like a ghost town in comparison! I'd read that EMH parks were 'more crowded' but I'd never really believed it until then (or more correctly, thought the reports were probably exaggerated). That's not to say that the first hour or two in the EMH morning park you can't get a lot done, because a lot of people either have NO plans to get up 'early' on vacation, or they don't get to the parks quite as early as they planned - but, those that THOUGHT they'd be there early and don't make it, still end up coming to the EMH morning park.

I have seen some evidence that the same may hold true for the Evening EMHs, but haven't had a distinct back-to-back comparison like I did with the morning hours. But if you hold out to the end of the hours, things do reportedly get less crowded - but that's not going to help you with anything before the last hour or so.

Personally, I'd probably move some things around so that EVERY day isn't at an EMH park - but I'm very anti-crowd and don't normally stay until the end of the evening EMHs. I didn't even 'make it' to the end of an AK evening EMH, even though I wanted to walk the park/play with the camera when it was closer to dusk (but that one was mostly because it was a travel day AND I had had enough of the attractions that were open).

TinaMouse
05-08-2009, 10:50 AM
When EMHs first came around, we utilized them extensively and they were great. The last few years, it seems like the EMH parks are nutso. So, now I go with the "least crowded park" and avoid the EMH parks. I do, however, occasionally go to the morning EMH park, then take off to somewhere else at 10 or 11 ish....

wishiwasthere
05-08-2009, 11:02 AM
I plan on going to whatever park has EMH just for the evening EMH. Then the next morning we will head back to that same park. I noticed in July when we were staying off property by going to the park that evening EMHs the night before there was significatly less crowds. I proved myself right because one day I messed up and we went to MK instead of DHS. It was so crowded!

TinaMouse
05-08-2009, 11:06 AM
We sometimesdo that too (evening EMH followed by next morning). It worked about 75% of the time. A few times we were met with crazy busy crowds at MK the morning following evening EMH.

wishiwasthere
05-08-2009, 11:23 AM
Honestly you can plan until your eyes fall out and still hit lots of crowds.

Let me put it this way...

If you see someone holding a flag and a bunch of teens screaming behind them RUN the other way. Run very quickly. You'll thank me.

mom22gls
05-08-2009, 11:35 AM
Especially, with the MK, I've found the best luck avoiding crowds, with the "extremes" of EMH. If there are morning EMH, get there at rope drop, and you'll be able to do a lot, for an hour or so. Last March, we were there when the park opened at 7AM, and we had a great time for the first hour, till the spring break crowds started to trickle in. Last June, we went for evening EMH, but did not even go to the park till 11PM. Right after the late parade, a lot of people left, and it was great after midnight, until they closed at 2AM. Epcot absorbs the crowds a lot better, and people will, gradually, start leaving after Illuminations.

runner110
05-08-2009, 11:54 AM
On Monday, I made the error (and I knew better) of going to AK during morning EMH, but arrived at 9:00 instead of 8:00 (thanks to a rude, stupid CM on the DME phone line - more in that in my trip report later), which means I missed the early hour and got there at regular opening. I knew it would be bad, but wow! Just walking was unpleasant. If you're not going to be there in time to take advantage of the full morning EMH, then do yourself a favor and go somewhere else!

Drince88
05-08-2009, 11:56 AM
Honestly you can plan until your eyes fall out and still hit lots of crowds.
This is so so true.

I totally stressed about a trip with my sister and her boys (my BIL is often counted as one of her boys!) right before Easter. It was a short trip, the boys had NEVER been to a Disney park, and our first day was Palm Sunday - so really peak time. I POURED over the books like crazy. (I was mostly worrying about touring plans - we decided the days to visit which parks early on). But there were these huge variables I didn't know how they were going to play out - how bad WERE the crowds going to be, how bad WAS the heat going to be (it was really hot), how well WILL the boys do on timing, how long will the afternoon break need to be, etc. So I did what I could. I planned a hard first hour or two - and then just 'gathered data' (nappable attractions, attractions that were generally good in the middle of the day, etc)- and we made our ADRs for lunch and breakfast only, and it worked great



If you see someone holding a flag and a bunch of teens screaming behind them RUN the other way. Run very quickly. You'll thank me.
So true for screaming teens, or chanting teens or clapping teens or etc. etc. Or even a group of teens with matching anything (bags, shirts, etc) - even if there is no flag person at the front!

Looks can be deceiving, though. I was waiting for the monrail and there was a group of women in 'cheer' jackets. But I didn't see any teens around, so I jokingly said 'you're not going to start cheering, are you?' They assured me they were the chaperones/coaches and 'off duty' at the time. And then this large family group in the next section starts doing the hokey pokey, and 2 or 3 other 'circle' games to amuse themselves and the couple of kids with them. THEY were who I wanted to run from, but I wouldn't have guessed it walking up!

BigDisneyFan
05-08-2009, 12:34 PM
I have learned the hard way that if you over-plan, the stress will come in not sticking to the planned activities. I have put together a tentative plan of which parks we will visit on each day. Our ADR's were scheduled somewhat around that. I know that we need to be flexible and the last time we were there, we changed our minds a lot and just went to whatever park we felt like. It actually worked out fine, except for running around trying to make our ADR's on time.

This time, we are staying much closer to several of the parks so getting there will be much more in our control than it was last time. However, I do think that I need to re-think our strategy. Going to a park on a non-EMH day might be the better choice. We typically get tired of the same park in one day anyway and go to another one later in the day, depending on what we feel like doing at the time. I guess a tentative plan to avoid the EMH days and being flexible is really our "plan." :rolleyes:

wishiwasthere
05-08-2009, 12:37 PM
I was waiting for the monrail ....snip....And then this large family group in the next section starts doing the hokey pokey, and 2 or 3 other 'circle' games to amuse themselves and the couple of kids with them. THEY were who I wanted to run from, but I wouldn't have guessed it walking up!

Since you were waiting for the monorail you were stuck too! No place to run. I don't get why people feel the need to do that on vacation. You wouldn't do that at the mall waiting on line to pay would you?

Those tour groups with the teens are what bring my horns out on vacation. I always seem to run into them. I wish they could limit how many people you walk around with. :p Last summer they blocked the entire entrance to Haunted Mansion so they could video tape all of them chanting/screeching/jumping/singing/clapping. My boyfriend made sure he walked right through the middle of them.

I am really trying to plan for this upcoming vacation and then I said to myself 'why?'. We are the kind of people that just wake up and go but with the free dining we have ADRs every night which we are not used to. I said worst thing we drive to our ADR. What if you plan a pool day and it is pouring all day outside?

If you have park hoppers don't be afraid to break away from your plan. Don't stress yourself out on where you have to be. Just go with the flow. And make sure you flow away from tour groups. :D:D:D

Drince88
05-08-2009, 01:28 PM
Since you were waiting for the monorail you were stuck too! No place to run. I don't get why people feel the need to do that on vacation. You wouldn't do that at the mall waiting on line to pay would you?
Actually, I think if this group had been together waiting in line for a movie, they would have done it. It was a little scary. (There were NO teens in this particular group, either - all of the 'kids were in their 20s or 30s, with a couple of grandkids under 10, and grandma and grandpa).

Meisha B
05-08-2009, 02:28 PM
Actually, I think if this group had been together waiting in line for a movie, they would have done it. It was a little scary. (There were NO teens in this particular group, either - all of the 'kids were in their 20s or 30s, with a couple of grandkids under 10, and grandma and grandpa).

That's a little odd....

Meisha B
05-08-2009, 02:30 PM
As for the planning, I did a lot before my first trip with my DD and didn't stick to nearly as much of it as I thought I would. I learned that you can't be super committed to your plans with kids.

This trip I planned a lot less and still wasn't able to stick to them. There were a few reasons for that though.

TinaMouse
05-08-2009, 03:55 PM
K--when you said you can plan and still hit the crowds--
(I hit something wrong and messed up your quote, so I'm paraphrasing)

That's why my mantra is plan, plan, plan and then punt, punt, punt. The more you know, they more you can ditch the plan and know what would be an awesome alternative option.

wishiwasthere
05-08-2009, 06:41 PM
Yeah Tina that's how I see it. I don't know if any of you guys have seen one of the Travel Channel Disney-sodes where that dad makes binders and super plans everything. What time you are going to be doing everything. What happens if you get to It's a Small World and there is a 40 minute wait? You better believe I will continue walking right pass it. Peoplemover has a wait? I'll come back later.

Just my family though. Do whatever floats your boat.

TinaMouse
05-08-2009, 08:35 PM
I saw that one! The dude is from the town NEXT TO ME! I've never seen him around, though....

(:eyeroll:Ashamed....: My itinerary is VERY, VERY detailed. I'm just ready and willing to dump it at a moment's notice.:geek: Oh, I'm SUCH a geek.)

mom22gls
05-09-2009, 03:08 AM
My primary plan these days is to focus on what we want to do the most, and fit it in sometime during the trip. As I wrote in my last trip report, from our President's Day weekend, we really wanted to do Toy Story Midway Mania, but, after waiting for an hour in line, they shut down the attraction for repairs, and there was no way we were going to get on it, for hours. Instead of staring at the "plan," panicked that circumstances interfered, we regrouped, and decided to hop to another park, and get a mental "start over." We did get to Toy Story, a couple of days later, and were OK with standing in a long line again. The first thing we do at a park is to head for the main attraction we want to do there, and either get in line, or get fast passes. We will make a point to get to the park early in the morning, at some point in the trip, to get to that favored attraction. On our last trip, my younger daughter finally got brave enough to try Soarin', and she wanted to do it several times, and it was a pleasure to do that, rather than stating, we can't go there now, we're scheduled to do something else. After many trips, we have learned that flexibility is key, we always can formulate a "Plan B," and we don't hesitate to park hop, when necessary, to avoid frustration.

Drince88
05-09-2009, 05:40 AM
Oh, some wise words have been posted in this thread! Too many for me to quote - but maybe we should just make this thread a sticky so everyone will read these words about planning and punting and Plan Bing and 'do overs' on the day and doing what YOUR family wants!!!

Knowledge is Power when it comes to WDW planning, but so is flexibility!

turkeymama
05-09-2009, 06:51 AM
I like to hit early EMH with the kids, especially for MK and HS. The rest of the day we use Fastpass and "go with the flow". We're going to try late EMH this trip so I'll have to allow the gang to take naps mid-day.

And ultimately, as my husband says, "Don't fall in love with the plan."

BigDisneyFan
05-09-2009, 09:15 PM
Knowledge is Power when it comes to WDW planning, but so is flexibility!

So true! I can't imagine planning everything down to a T. I've planned what parks we will start out at and where the ADR's are, but everything else will go as it goes. We are going to be there enough days that we can be flexible and still see everything that we want to see. Just a month to go now....we are so excited!!! Our DS (6) knows the countdown without looking at it!

TinaMouse
05-10-2009, 08:36 PM
Oh, some wise words have been posted in this thread! Too many for me to quote - but maybe we should just make this thread a sticky so everyone will read these words about planning and punting and Plan Bing and 'do overs' on the day and doing what YOUR family wants!!!

Knowledge is Power when it comes to WDW planning, but so is flexibility!

I agree (about making it a sticky). It's one of the first questions newbies have...

danyoung
05-11-2009, 07:21 AM
That's why my mantra is plan, plan, plan and then punt, punt, punt.

Slightly OT, but your post reminded me of when my brothers & I were kids and we'd plan for a DL trip. We lived about 15 minutes away, but only got there maybe twice a year or so. We'd spend WEEKS with the map, plotting what we'd do and when. It was a really specific list - Park opens 8am, 8:10 ride HM, 8:25 hit Pirates, etc. Of course, on the day of the visit the plan would rarely last more than 30 minutes or so, as something cool would catch our attention and pull us way off of the plan. But it was still fun to do - almost as much fun as the actual DL visit itself!

TinaMouse
05-11-2009, 01:03 PM
What a great story! I think that planning IS just as fun!! Really!

sdmp
05-25-2009, 06:07 PM
We are trying something new on our trip in a few weeks. We are staying off property for the first time and, therefore, we were planning to simply avoid parks with EMH. However, the way our schedule plays out it would be most convenient to hit AK on the day that it has evening EMH. On the same day, Disney Studios has morning EMH. What do you think the morning at AK will be like that day? We are hoping to go from 9 to 2 that day and hoping that the morning EMH at the studios will pull the EMH people to the Studios for the morning. What do you think? We do have another option, but it would be a little trickier.

In short, do you think AK will be crazy crowded from 9-2 when it has evening EMH and Disney Studios as EMH that morning?

Thanks!