Hello MouseTeens! Today we continue planning our amazing Senior Trip to Walt Disney World by sharing with you some helpful information for planning your days in the Parks. In this post I’ll cover the Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
How to plan your days in the parks: I put two example trips below. One is a more fast paced trip for those who want to save money or have a lack of time. The second one is more leisurely and includes a Universal day. The second plan is also better for travel days in which you don’t have much time in Orlando. Of course everyone plans differently and it’s pretty easy to put together a plan. Prioritize how much time you want to spend at various locations. The parks release their hours four months in advance so you can book your Fastpass+ (60 days from arrival for Disney resort guests. 30 days for non-resort guests.) and make dining reservations. The sooner you plan the better! All this can being done with My Disney Experience on the Disney website or app.
Fast Paced 4 Night Vacation:
Tuesday– *Arrive in Orlando (I recommend an early time)
* Check into hotel
* Epcot or if it’s too late Disney Springs
Wednesday– *Magic Kingdom
Thursday– *Hollywood Studios
Friday- *Animal Kingdom
*If you purchased a park hopper, revisit a favorite park or visit Disney Springs
Saturday- *I recommend a late departure so you can revisit a favorite park
More Leisurely 6 night Trip + Universal:
(Add one more night if you want to spend two days at Universal, which I recommend.)
Sunday– *Arrival and check in
*If there is time, go to a park or Disney Springs
Monday– *Hollywood Studios
Tuesday– *Animal Kingdom
*Possible Disney Springs before or after Animal Kingdom
Wednesday– *Magic Kingdom
Friday– *Universal or if you aren’t interested depart on this day or spend more time in the Disney parks.
*If there is time in morning hit up a park for recreational activity.
Also check if there are extra magic hours happening that day. Extra Magic Hours is when the parks are open exclusively for Disney Resort Guests. If you take advantage of these hours you have shorter lines. But it also attracts a lot of guests, so the mid-day period is going to be swamped. If you don’t actually get there early or plan to stay late, I’d highly recommend avoiding the parks when the Extra Magic Hours are happening. It is a fantastic option if you utilize the hours.
Tip: The park’s highest capacity is typically around 3pm. It builds up and around 4pm people start to go home.
Spotlight on the Parks and Attractions for Teens:
Magic Kingdom: This is the original park most people think of when they hear Disney World. Cinderella Castle swoops between the seven lands. There are a lot of classics, but also thrills such as Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain.
Magic Kingdom Tips
Personally, I recommend touring this park at night. It’s the most popular and attracts a lot of families during the day. You can enjoy sleeping in the morning or doing it on your arrival day. Arrive around 4pm and stay until 2am. If the park isn’t open late which happens in non-peak days, just tour it like a typical day. Magic Kingdom tends to be busier on Sunday and Monday’s as people like to hit this park the first day of their vacation.
Right now, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train has a lot of hype. It’s a very charming ride, but quite tame. If you want to ride, make sure to book your Fastpass+ two months in advance. If you don’t, you will probably be waiting in a two hour line. Don’t stress too much if you can’t ride, it is overrated in my opinion.
This applies to any park, but if a parade happens twice, try to catch the second showing. It will be much less crowded. Hit the thrills, but also ride some classics like Peter Pan’s Flight to feel nostalgic.
Want to eat at Belle’s Castle and save money or not have to make an early reservation? Lunch has a quick service option. Breakfast and dinner are also available with an Advance Dining Reservation.
Magic Kingdom character meet and greets tend to have the longest lines at this park, so I recommend meeting the characters at other parks.
The Walt Disney World Railroad is a great way to get around the park and relax. There are some cool sights too, like the tunnel that goes inside Splash Mountain.
Must See’s for Teens at Magic Kingdom
Pirates of the Caribbean– A classic indoor boat ride with a variety of animatronics and scenes. The Johnny Depp animatronics are extremely lifelike.
Splash Mountain– Plunge down Chick-A-Pin hill on this log flume.
Big Thunder Mountain– This roller coaster through the mountains is the wildest ride in the Wilderness!
Memento Mori– A themed shop next to Haunted Mansion with some really cool ride specific merchandise.
Friar’s Nook– This quick service stand located near Princess Fairytale Hall offers gourmet Macaroni and Cheese with topping like pot roast and barbeque chicken.
Space Mountain– The world’s first indoor roller coaster still delivers thrills.
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin– This shooter ride gets super competitive.
Magic Kingdom is the perfect place to relive childhood memories.
Epcot: My personal favorite park was inspired by Walt’s vision for a futuristic community. The park is split into two parts, Future World and World Showcase. Future World has multiple Pavilions based on science and innovation. World Showcase is 11 different countries represented as pavilions around World Showcase Lagoon. You can experience the culture through dining, shopping, and some have attractions or shows. The Cast Members from each pavilion are from the country it’s based on. Epcot is a mix of education and fun. This park has the most variety and authenticity of food.
Soarin’ and Test Track are two must sees. Unfortunately with Epcot Fastpass+ tiering you can only book one for Fastpass+. Book the Soarin’ Fastpass and either visit Test Track first thing in the morning or use the Single Rider Line. Single Rider Line is a typically shorter line that doesn’t guarantee you sitting with your party. If you visit before July 1st 2016, Soarin’ will be close for refurbishment.
If you get lucky, you may find a plethora of random characters by the World Showplace building. There’s no set schedule, but some characters train here with little to no line.
Epcot has two entrances. The main one is in Future World by the parking lot, bus stop, and Spaceship Earth. The smaller one is in World Showcase between the UK and France pavilions. It’s great for people staying at Epcot resorts or people walking or taking the boat from Hollywood Studios. If you want to avoid walking through the park to get to the back of World Showcase, take a bus to Disney’s Beach Club Resort. It’s steps away from the World Showcase entrance.
Must see’s for teens at Epcot-
Test Track– Design a car and test in on the sim track.
Soarin’– Currently in refurbishment to become Soarin’ Around the World. You are suspended in a hand glider over a giant Imax type screen.
Mission Space-A simulated mission through space. Choose the Green Team for a milder experience if you have motion sickness issues.
Sum of All Thrills– Located in Innoventions West, you get to design a virtual roller coaster and ride it.
Mitsukoshi Department Store– A sprawling store in the Japan pavilion with some fun authentic merchandise like kimonos, swords, fans, and anime related products.
Tangerine Cafe– For those with an adventurous palate, this quick service eatery in the Moroccan pavilion is for you. The veggie platter is a great vegan option which includes hummus, naan, tabbouleh, lentils and olives.
Illuminations: Reflections of Earth: Located on World Showcase Lagoon, this fireworks show combines lasers, a giant globe, and light effects.
That about covers it for The Magic Kingdom and Epcot. My next post will cover Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom and conclude my Senior Trip series. Don’t miss it!
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