Thursday, April 8, 2010

Day Planning

One of my favorite (and most stressful) parts of planning a WDW vacation is determining our day schedules.  Now, let me just say, i'm not a crazy planner that plans hour by hour.  I simple make note of where we will start our day off at.  I'll also note an dining reservations on that day along with the confirmation numbers. 

I use information from (plug) which is the Unofficial Guide's website.  I'm a member so I get access to crowd calendars before the general public.  I think you can see like 30-45 days or something if you're not a member.  The website predicts the best and worst parks to visit for any given day based on statistics they've gathered.  They do advise you to stay away from the Extra Magic Hour park days but we typically only use morning EMH and then leave that park once we've got what we want accomplished.  I also figure in what days nighttime shows fall on... especially Fantasmic since it only shows 2 times during our vacation. 

Given that we won't be using the dining plan this trip it will be a bit easier to schedule our days.  It's one more thing I don't have to plan around.  I do have to include a day for water parks, though.  We'll probably just pick one park and be done with it.  I like water parks but i'd rather be in one of the four major theme parks.  The only hitch into my plans at this point would be Cirque du Soleil.  We don't know what night we have tickets for yet.  Lastly, i'm doing American Idol Experience again so i'd like to do that on a weekday rather than a weekend as well as after we've already spent some time at DHS.

Here are a few scenarios i've come up with so far.

October 9 - Arrival Day - MK
October 10 - DHS
October 11 - EP
October 12 - AK
October 13 - DHS (AIE Day)
October 14 - MK (morning EMH)
October 15 - WP
October 16 - Depart in the afternoon

This plan allows me to do AIE on a weekday but requires us to do a water park on the last full day of our trip.  Not my favorite idea but we would probably go to MK or EP to finish the evening off.

October 9 - Arrival Day - MK
October 10 - DS
October 11 - AK (morning EMH)
October 12 - EP (morning EMH)
October 13 - WP
October 14 - MK (morning EMH)
October 15 - DS (AIE day)
October 16 - Depart in the afternoon

This is the EMH full plan.  Using the most of our time.  Note that I moved the water park up to a weekday but i'd be doing AIE on our last full day (yuck).  My main requirement when using EMH is being able to utilize it for Magic Kingdom because I feel like there is more to accomplish at that particular park. 

I'm throwing around the idea of doing AK in the morning and then heading to a water park in the afternoon.  The only downside to this is that the water parks get filled up during the day and the morning is far less crowded.  I also have us doing MK on our arrival day simply because I want my mother-in-law to see the castle first thing.  It's the staple of all of WDW for many.  I think if she were to go to another park first she might be slightly let down. 

I will probably come up with a few more alternative plans (i've actually got two written down that i'm not showing you) that will work even better.  I may have to go against Extra Magic Hours and against advice.  Speaking of which... here is what's outlook is like.

Day         Crowd Level       Best Park      Worst Park
Oct. 9             6                      AK                DS
Oct. 10           6                      DS            MK  EP  AK
Oct. 11           4                      EP             MK  DS  AK
Oct. 12           4                   DS  AK             EP
Oct. 13           5                   DS  MK            EP
Oct. 14           4                   EP  AK          MK  DS
Oct. 15           5                   MK  DS            AK
Oct. 16           6                      AK                 DS

Note:  As I was typing this I got an e-mail from the Orbitz rep and she asked what day and time i'd like to attend Cirque and take my Swedish Massage.  So, i'll be figuring this into what schedules I mentioned about.  I'll let ya know when I figure it out. 

Any advice or tips would be much appreciated! 


  1. Well, I have no advice because you and I really couldn't be more different when it comes to Disney trips...haha!

    But for what you want, I think those plans both look okay. I don't know if I'd be very happy with the last full day being AIE though. Unless that's your favorite thing. I always like to end a trip with one of my favorite places.

    For me, your trip is lacking AK and Epcot time....but that's because those are my two favorites (well, behind Disneyland)...haha! :)

  2. Well, we park hop a lot. Epcot is hands down my favorite park. But, other than Soarin' there isn't anything we need to RUN to first thing. So being there are park opening is silly for us. We can always come in in the afternoon and do WS or small FW attractions and walk right on.

    Typically we'll start a day with AK, get bored and leave. Then we might come back one more time to do EE or KS.

    I don't like the idea of making my family stick around for me to do AIE on our last day either. It's a long day with a lot of doing nothing. Especially if I made it to the finale again. My mom and I got stuff done just... not at the same pace we'd typically move at.

  3. Hi! So fun, I love reading about your plans, it gets me more excited for mine :) I would go with your thought of doing the water park in the afternoon after Animal Kingdom. I usually get all of my stuff done at AK by about 1 pm and then you could head to a water park. Since you said that you like the theme parks much more than the water parks (as do I), I wouldn't waste a morning on one.
    I agree with you re: Epcot. Epcot is definitely my favorite park, but last trip, I didn't go there once in the morning! I was able to do everything I wanted there and some things more than once, by going in the afternoons only...freeing up my mornings for the parks that get those super crowded rides. (Like you said, Soarin is really the only one of those at Epcot, and since you aren't going during a crazy holiday/spring break time, you should be good.)

    Good luck and can't wait to hear more!!

  4. Oh and I agree AIE might not be the best idea for the last day...just kind of eats up a lot of the day that you want to really enjoy... and that would suck feeling nervous on your last fun day there! (unless you don't get nervous like I would! ha!)

  5. You guys make it sound like AK is a chore or something...haha!

  6. hahaha! I didn't mean it ;-) I do love AK, but never seem to stay for the entire day.

  7. That's how I am, Ellen. I go, stay till like 2 and then i'm done. I just can't find enough to do.