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WDW Countdown Schedule. Please advise.

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WDW Countdown Schedule. Please advise.

Hi,

We, 4 adults and 3 kids (all girls, 11, 9, and 2 turning 3 during our trip), are heading to Orlando on 12/29/2014 till 1/9/2015. We’re planning on countdown at WDW and then off to DCL, back to WDW and USF/IOA and possibly Kennedy or Sea World. Here’s the plan I have so far and am wondering if you guys can give me any changes or suggestions. We’re staying at HVC Sea World and renting a car for our entire stay.

12/29/14 Arrive at MCO around 3 pm. Check in and off to Downtown Disney. ADR at Irish Pub @ 6:45 pm.

12/30/14 MK. ADR at The Plaza @ 5:10 pm. What do people do between Electrical parade, Wishes, and Pre-Countdown? Just stay there to keep your spots?

12/31/14 EP. ADR at Coral Reef @ 1:10 pm and at Marrakesh @ 7:20 pm. How’s food at Marrakesh? IllumiNations before the dinner. Where’s your favorite spot to see it? Is around Morocco pavilion good place?

1/1/15 AK/HS. ADR at 50’s Prime Time @ 7pm. Probably won’t be able to get up so early so stay at AK till close and head to HS after that?

1/2/15 DCL

1/5/15 Off the ship and head back to hotel and to AK/HS. I might go to EP instead of AK and then to HS. OR should I just stick to one park? ADR at Mama Melrose’s with Fantasmic show @ 3:30 pm.

1/6/15 USF/IOA. Mainly Harry Potter but hoping the crowd is small so that we can ride many without express pass.

1/7/15 MK. No ADR yet.

1/8/15 Kennedy or Sea World. My oldest DD is into space engineering so she and DH will have a great time there at Kennedy. Me and others maybe not so much? Is it better to split the group and have them take a car and I use hotel shuttle to Sea World? Or Kennedy is worth to go?

1/9/15 Leaving MCO in the morning.

What do you think about this schedule? Did I put too much together??

I didn’t reserve any character dinning yet. I’ve never been on DCL, but I’ve heard there are more opportunities to meet characters than at WDW, so I wasn’t sure if it’s worth the money or not.

Also, my youngest DD won’t be able to ride big stuffs, so we’ll use a rider switch. I’ve read some WDW fan page that if you want to use FastPass+ and do the rider switch, only the first group requires to have FastPass+ but not the other half. Is that true? When they had the original FastPass system, I always get it for all members and did the ride switch. If this is true, can I use my FastPass+ to book smaller rides for my youngest DD and still able to ride big ones with the rider switch card?

Chickamauga, Georgia
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for Orlando, Walt Disney World
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1. Re: WDW Countdown Schedule. Please advise.

You may know this already, but your first few days will be crazy busy as it's Xmas/NY week, the #1 busiest week of the entire year in Orlando. Be prepared to move much slower those days because of the massive crowds you'll be facing.

Once you return from the cruise, your crowds should be much better to handle as most of the holiday folks will be gone.

Wisconsin
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2. Re: WDW Countdown Schedule. Please advise.

At Magic Kingdom, just stay and keep your spots between the fireworks and Wishes. The parks are going to be insane before the cruise, so keep that in mind. You will need to find a spot for the parade/fireworks at least 1.5 hours before it starts, possibly earlier. Anywhere around the World Showcase lagoon is a good spot to watch Illuminations, but its usually at park closing(at 9pm). Your plan for the AK/HS sounds okay, but some of the parks do close due to reaching capacity during Christmas week. I wouldn't sleep in too late. The rest of schedule looks fine, but I wouldn't really expect the crowds to be small at US/IOA since the Harry Potter area just opened. Its will probably still be crowded. I think at character meal at Disney is worth since I tend to disagree with the character opportunities on DCL. We have been several times and really only meet Mickey and the Fab 5. We meet them on several occasions and it is fun because they have different outfits every day/night(formal night. Castaway Cay, etc.). But if you want to meet princesses, Pooh and Friends, or Disney Junior characters, a character meal is worth it. I don't know how the ride swap works with new fastpass system, but I do know that you can split up fastpasses. You and your youngest daughter can have a fastpass for Dumbo for example and the others can have a fastpass for Space Mountain at the same time.

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3. Re: WDW Countdown Schedule. Please advise.

Thanks for the replies.

We'll take our time to see shows and parades for the first three days being there. We probably can only ride attractions with fastpass+ and maybe 1 or 2 more anyway... Just hoping we can ride most of them after the cruise.

I was able to book Tokyo Dinning at 5:20 pm on 31st. For now, Illuminations is scheduled at 6 pm, so maybe we get lucky and can have a table by window so that we can watch from there. I also booked Tusker House for lunch just in case ;-P

I'll research more about the fastpass+ and the rider switch. It'll be nice if youngest DD can ride some of her fav rides.

4. Re: WDW Countdown Schedule. Please advise.

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