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Thread: Let's Start At the Very Beginning...

  1. #1

    Let's Start At the Very Beginning...

    So this is the kids first trip to WDW.
    Part of me feels like I should start with the Magic Kingdom, BUT it doesn't have the magic hours on the day we arrive.
    We are not doing park hoppers but do have 6 day passes. I want to stay the most at Magic Kingdom, but to maximize hours I should be beginning with Animal Kingdom.
    Anyone have specific opinions about this? I sort of feel like it's a shame not to start with MK but maybe I'm over thinking it.


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  3. #2

    Assuming they've been to DL (I'm guessing based on your SoCal location?), it may not be a big deal.

    Are they old enough that they understand the basics about what is in each of the parks? For maximum number of rides, obviously MK is the top, but very similar (though we all know with differences) to DL.

    Only you can probably judge how your kids will react to the different parks. Many kids may find much of Epcot boring since it's not a lot of rides (though a few really great ones are of course there - but then you need to fill the rest of your day without them getting bored since you are not hopping).

    Do you have a rough schedule in mind, like MK 3 days and each of the other parks one day? If so, spacing things out such as MK-DHS-EPC-MK-DAK-MK (just an example) might be a good spread (assuming MK is the favorite, that's also good for any desired "repeats" on the last day, assuming your desired repeats won't be all big headliners (with long standby lines) that will be hard to get FP+ for at the last minute once your trip is underway)

    I'd suggest the bigger plan is maybe more important than maximizing extra magic hours. Others may disagree.

    -Dave

  4. #3

    I started with MK and actually wished I hadn't. It started my trip with much frustration: there should be X here or why isn't the bathroom around this corner. It was REALLY hard to not make comparisons between MK and DL.


  5. #4
    Registered User GrumpyPete's Avatar
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    6 days... I would do MK and EPCOT twice each, and once each for AK and HS. Definitely start or finish with MK, or maybe bookend with MK.


  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoveCats View Post
    Part of me feels like I should start with the Magic Kingdom, BUT it doesn't have the magic hours on the day we arrive.
    We are not doing park hoppers but do have 6 day passes. I want to stay the most at Magic Kingdom, but to maximize hours I should be beginning with Animal Kingdom.
    I do understand the sentiment that you have to start with Magic Kingdom first, but if you can get over that sort of "automatic" instinct, I think you should go with maximizing hours. Animal Kingdom is third on my list of WDW parks, but I do think there's quite a bit to do there. I agree with GrumpyPete that both Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios really only require a day each, but if you can manage to do four different parks in your first four days (whatever order), then I think you can get a better idea of where to spend the extra two days. I would also agree with the general sentiment of allocating the two extra days to Magic Kingdom and Epcot because there's a lot to do at Magic Kingdom, and Epcot is my favorite WDW park, but you may find that you and your kids enjoy the other two parks more.

    Have fun!
    Within the valley of shadowless death; they pray for thunderclouds and rain
    But to the multitude who stand in the rain; heaven is where the sun shines.

    Dinner at Pez Cantina - March 4, 2017
    Sometimes, "be the better person" is code for "be a doormat".
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  7. #6
    At home in the hills candles71's Avatar
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    In the spirit of maximizing hours, we did Epcot first. We were off property so we avoided the park with extra hours, and there were Halloween parties so I think we did MK third. We were happy we did that one first as it is the least Disney feeling park. We enjoyed it but at the end of the day everyone was glad we started there. We actually ended there as well, but we had hoppers and it was the third park of that day.


  8. #7

    Wow! So many great responses!

    Dave1313 - yes, they've been to Disneyland a few times. Their ages are currently 8, 10, and 11. We purchased a WDW guide book for them at Christmas and they sort of understand what's going on. We are still explaining there is no Screamin' or Matterhorn and they kind of understand the idea of four different parks. They do not understand how expansive the parks are and we've more than once had to explain you can just walk to one. There is a large part of me that wanted MK to be front/back of the trip but I think I need to let that go.

    3Princess1Prince - This has consistently been my problem in the park! Especially after Space Mountain. I do the piddle waddle to that bathroom that seems a mile away from the exit. It's excruciating.

    GrumpyPete - I was definitely thinking along those lines! I think they are still young enough to enjoy the kid activities at Epcot.

    cstephens - Agreed. My only worry is that once Avatar opens (we are going in August - brutal) Animal Kingdom is going to want more time. I've done everything in that park, it's actually my favorite park to end a trip with when I go on NO KIDS trips.

    candles71 - I'm actually thinking of converting one day to a hopper. We didn't get them this time because I felt a day per park would be sufficient. Now I'm considering an Epcot/Hollywood Studios option.

    So I'm hoping that this image attaches correctly. It's all the hours of the week we are going and the blue squares indicate my suggested park visit for that day. Oddly enough, I'm thinking about NOT going to a park on the day we arrive. Usually we "hit the ground running" and my plan all along had been to go straight to MK. There is part of me that likes the idea of taking it easy day 1 and just doing the luau.

    If the image is too small you can also check out the copy on my Dropbox. https://www.dropbox.com/s/jl5tqmund5...%20AM.png?dl=0

    IMG_1753.jpg

    EDIT TO ADD: my thinking is to ask the travel agent how much making Thursday a hooper would cost additionally as well as adding in a seventh day. The extra day seems less important, I just know I'm going to be itching to get into the parks.


  9. #8

    The hopper upgrade is the same if you hop one day or all.


  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by 3Princesses1Prince View Post
    The hopper upgrade is the same if you hop one day or all.
    Aaah, so that wouldn't be what I wanted. Back to the drawing board.

  11. #10

    I always try to make MK my last park of the trip. I try to milk every last second of it before having to leave. I think ending a vacation with that magic feeling that MK provides is awesome.

    Disneyland will always be home, but WDW is starting to win me over.

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by 3Princesses1Prince View Post
    The hopper upgrade is the same if you hop one day or all.
    Quote Originally Posted by LoveCats View Post
    Aaah, so that wouldn't be what I wanted. Back to the drawing board.
    Just running simple comparisons on the WDW web site for tickets, there was a slight delta for the park hopper add-on when you passed the 4 day mark. I guessed (based on kids' ages, assuming they are "trip time ages" - I also assumed 2 adults) at four "Age 10+" tickets and one "Age 3-9" tickets. Up to 3 days the delta between the ticket costs was $60 per person to add park hopper (pretty sure the party size has no impact on the add-on price per person). When I went to 4 days up to 7 days (didn't try more than 7) it went up to $75 difference per person.

    I am not sure I understand what sets off the difference in the park hopper add-on costing an extra $15 per ticket at the 4 day mark. I do agree that the math doesn't make sense to try something like buying 5 days single and one day hopper.

    The discount you get for the multiple days easily offsets the cost of adding a stand-alone single day park hopper ticket.
    • Changing from 6 days single park to 6 days hopper is only an added $375 for the group (total $2305 for 6 day hopper)
    • Changing to 5 days single park and one day hopper ends up costing significantly more ($1830 for 5 day single, minimum $804 for one day hopper (I think your spreadsheet indicates later August, but I can't view dropbox right now to confirm) is $2634 for the 6 days, over $300 more than if you opt for the hopper the whole trip)
    • Meanwhile a 7 day hopper is $2405 ($2030 single park - with a 6 day single at $1930, it's only $100 for your whole group to have the extra park day if not hopping).

    Good luck with your decisions. Other thing to seriously consider is the crowds and the impact of the extra magic hours. The extra magic hours park is generally more crowded than the others on any given day. Some people (probably more frequent visitors though) intentionally avoid the EMH park. With later August being slightly lower attendance due to some schools heading back, maybe it won't be too noticeable.
    Last edited by Dave1313; 02-17-2017 at 08:56 AM.
    -Dave

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrsharp21 View Post
    I always try to make MK my last park of the trip. I try to milk every last second of it before having to leave. I think ending a vacation with that magic feeling that MK provides is awesome.
    Our last day is usually spent hopping between Magic Kingdom and Epcot. If I had to pick one park, I'm not sure which I'd pick.
    Within the valley of shadowless death; they pray for thunderclouds and rain
    But to the multitude who stand in the rain; heaven is where the sun shines.

    Dinner at Pez Cantina - March 4, 2017
    Sometimes, "be the better person" is code for "be a doormat".
    "Would it help?"

  14. #13

    Our tradition is always MK our first FULL day so we can rope drop and watch the morning show. I haven't experienced the new show yet but am still looking forward to something new with enjoying Main Street before park opening. We tend to go to HS for a short evening or Springs on our arrival day.


  15. #14

    That's interesting Dave1313, last time we compared (several years ago) the park hopper rate was the same if it was 2 days or 10.

    Found the breakdown:
    The extra cost on top of the base-price ticket is $53.25 for a Peak 1-day Magic Kingdom ticket; $58.58 for a Value or Regular 1-day Magic Kingdom ticket or a Peak 1-day Epcot, Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom ticket; $67.10 for add-on to a Value or Regular 1-day Epcot, Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom ticket; $63.90 for add-on to 2- or 3-day tickets; or $79.88 for add-on to any 4-day or longer ticket. This works out to a little over $11 per day on a 7-day ticket.


  16. #15

    Let's Start At the Very Beginning...

    Not to confuse it further, but won't you want to visit a water park in August? As for your question. I have to start at MK. I can't help it!!!! We are on the first full day of our trip today and we were there at 7.30am waiting for them to let us in We don't have Disneyland on our doorstep though.

     

    If no-one out there understands, start your own revolution and cut out the middle man (Billy Bragg)

  17. #16

    Oh, wow, Dave1313! That's a lot of great information. Thank you so much for compiling all of it! SUPER DUPER HELPFUL!!!! I talked it over with the hubster and the babies and everyone agrees we should add the 7th day if the cost incremental is that low. Even if we go for four hours on the first day it will still be worth it.

    So with that, now we can go to MK on the first day and the last day! Plus one more day in between. Lol!

    Oh scoobdooby, you can bet on me going to some water parks! The two magic hour days that go till 11pm will have the morning/early afternoons spent inside the water parks first. I know my kids' limits so 4 hours in a water park will be more than sufficient. My eldest daughter loves the thrilling drops and my son will do them but for only so long. My little one is not a big thrill seeker and still has separation anxiety from her parents. There are only so many hours I can spend on a lazy river. We also planned in pool time for them so they will get at least 4 opportunities to end their day at the resort pool.

    Tomorrow is ADR day! I'm so nervous!!!!


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