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  • [Question] How do you split up your time between parks?

    Hi! So I'm new to the boards, but I had a big question so.. I was just wondering how you split up your time between parks? I'm going to be planning a trip to WDW and Universal for Spring Break 2011, and I'm really wondering what parks need more time etc. Any advice is welcome! Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: How do you split up your time between parks?

    It will vary from person to person. If you have kids with you, you might want two days in the Magic Kingdom. If you don't, or have already been to Disneyland often, you might only want one day.

    Epcot should be at least two days.

    The Disney Studios can be done in a day.

    Animal Kingdom can be done in a day, but it's a beautiful park and lends itself to lingering. It's nice to spend more than one day there just so you can take it slowly and soak up all the atmosphere, do the little side trails, etc.

    Use park hoppers to take advantage of varying park hours. If Animal Kingdom closes at 5:00, you can still get a few hours in at Epcot for example. More bang for your buck that way.
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    • #3
      Re: How do you split up your time between parks?

      You will need at least 1 day in each park. Magic Kingdom and Epcot may require 2 days, depending on how busy it is and how much you get done, and who you are traveling with. LAst visit we went to MK 2x's since we had the extra day and it made the world of difference.
      DHS and AK are only 1 day parks. I have never needed any more than 1 day for AK, even enjoying the scenery. It is a lot of walking, but not many rides, so not many lines. I have never needed more than 1 day at DHS either.
      If you get a park hopper, you can hop between the parks. AK closes early, so you can finish off your evening at Epcot. When I was younger and traveled without children, we always park hopped and made the most of our day- from opening to closing. Again, it all depends on who is in your party. Now I travel with small kids so we do not park hop. The day is long enough as it is for them so park hopping is too much. We just spend a minimum of 1 day in each park.
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      • #4
        Re: How do you split up your time between parks?

        I pretty much concur with everyone. Magic Kingdom can be two days, but if you've been to D-land, you can shave off one. EPCOT? Two days for myself, but it's not that there's more to do---it's physically a very, very, very large park.

        DHS one day. AK one day. We usually break off and go to D-Quest in DtD.

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        • #5
          Re: How do you split up your time between parks?

          No one really addressed universal, so let me give you a few options what I'd recommend. I by no means am an expert but I've done a good bit of studying of all the parks.

          MK you can do pretty much all the popular attractions in a day easily and still see the fireworks at the end of the night. Of course you want to use fastpass to your advantage.

          DHS you can easily visit the main popular things at this park in 1/2 to 2/3rds of a day. Fantasmic is a skip since its not that great compared to DL version.
          With the rest of the day I'd go to Epcot and maybe see the Illuminations show at night.

          Epcot, as mentioned already the vastness of this park leads you to probably spend over a day here. I'd spend 1 additional day in addition to visiting it after DHS. There is so much to see make sure you figure out what is worth skipping in your opinion. In my opinion illuminations, innoventions, and ellen's boredom conservation ride.

          Animal Kingdom. If you want to visit a zoo like atmosphere for a day then spend it here. If you just want to hit up the main rides here, you can do them all in probably a half day. Spend the rest of the day doing anything else at WDW you would like to repeat.

          Universal has 2 parks. I would definitely spend a day at each if you have time. Maybe a 3rd day hopping back and forth between your favorite attractions at each if your friends are more thrill riders. Otherwise I'd spend another day at WDW probably in MK or Epcot. If you like water parks that is another option for another day or two as there are two water parks. I personally would skip them as it just adds more $ to your already steep vacation bill.
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          • #6
            Re: How do you split up your time between parks?

            Originally posted by megloowho View Post
            Hi! So I'm new to the boards, but I had a big question so.. I was just wondering how you split up your time between parks? I'm going to be planning a trip to WDW and Universal for Spring Break 2011, and I'm really wondering what parks need more time etc. Any advice is welcome! Thanks!
            I think it depends on how many days you are going to be there.

            I'm usually at WDW for about 5 days. Here's how I like to spend my time:

            • Islands of Adventure/Universal - One Day
            • Magic Kingdom - One Day
            • Animal Kingdom/Studios - 1/2 day each (usually lump them together into one day)
            • Epcot - One day to see the park and end several evenings there for dinner.
            • The extra day is used to pick up anything that I didn't get to see that I really wanted to do. It could also be used for Sea World, Busch Gardens, Shopping, Downtown Disney, Water parks, etc.
            If you have extra time, Epcot is usually good for two days. And now that Harry Potter Land has opened, you might need a day for Islands of Adventure and a Day for Universal Studios as well.

            If you have fewer days, skip the water parks or skip the Disney Studios park.

            This is just my schedule. You've really got to look at what is important to you in each park and then estimate how much time to allow.
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            • #7
              Re: How do you split up your time between parks?

              I think I use to take five days (six fully in Florida). I would give most of my time to the Magic Kingdom. But I would atleast give a day to the Disney Hollywood Studios (still MGM the last time, I went) and Epcot. I hardly ever gave my time to the Animal Kingdom. Though, I haven't been around since they had the Expedition Everest. I would very much would love to ride that one.

              I also took something that I called a Non-Disney day. I took a Lynx bus and went somewhere like The Florida Mall. But that's going beyond your question.
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              • #8
                Re: How do you split up your time between parks?

                We make good use of the park-hopper option and generally go to at least two parks a day. But to me, the best thing to do is go to EPCOT for a great dinner and wander the park afterwards, perhaps with a tasty adult beverage. It ust doesn't get any better than that.

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                • #9
                  Re: How do you split up your time between parks?

                  For newbies who have never been to WDW before, a lot what's already been said is good advice.

                  MK can be a 1 or 2 day park depending on if you've visited Disneyland before or not as they're similar, but different in their own ways.

                  EPCOT is a 2 day park at minimum. It's so big and there are so many things to see and do besides the big attractions. It's personally my favorite park at WDW (has been since my first visit in 1987).

                  Studios can be done in a day, no problem.

                  Never been to AK so can't help you there.

                  Universal... Studios can be done in a day. Islands Of Adventure... if you want to check out the new Potterland, plan on 1.5 days there as it's an extremely popular area of the park and gets crowded fast, so you may need at least an extra half day to take in all the details there. But, if you're not a Potter fan, you can just skip that area altogether and could do IOA in a day.

                  And if you want to do even more like check out the kitschy stuff on International Dr or do some outlet shopping (there are 2 big outlet malls in Orlando) or whatever, give yourself 1-1.5 days for that too.

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                  • #10
                    Re: How do you split up your time between parks?

                    I'd listen to Dustysage over me haha. I'm guessing since you are on spring break that is probably a week. Therefore you'll have probably 5 actual days you can spend at the parks. I never been to universal but if dusty only spends a day there, you'll probably be OK with a day there as well. Maybe a day for each park if you think there is a lot there you'll like. Check out there site and compare it to the attractions at the WDW site. .

                    Dusty's plan for Disney is similar to my recommendations Only difference is he splits AK and DHS a day. I'd rather split DHS and Epcot in a day. There is a boat that links the two parks and they are relatively (not walking distance) close together. Depends on your group, Animal Kingdom can either be a full day or a half day (read my other post explaining why). If a half day you would probably want to spend the rest of the day at Epcot or MK.

                    You will almost definitely want to devote more time to Epcot than just half a day. Probably another whole day. This is contrary to most people who would say 2 whole days. The World Showcase is pretty and there is a lot to see / do in each country, however, there are definitely some skippable areas if you only have 5 days and are planning to see universal too.

                    I'd spend at least 1 whole day at MK, and maybe some more if you have time .

                    Epcot is my favorite park for the evenings because the World's Showcase is all lit up, great food for dinner, and Illuminations. MK is also good for evenings because of the fireworks and just has the most rides that I'd like to go on overall . I'd try to plan at least 2 evenings in Epcot and at least 1 in MK.
                    Last edited by Yackerz; 07-13-2010, 08:07 AM.
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                    • #11
                      Re: How do you split up your time between parks?

                      ^^FYI, the boat ride between Studios & EPCOT takes about 30 min or so because it stops at all the hotels that are along the way (Swan & Dolphin, Boardwalk and Beach & Yacht Clubs). And seems like every time I ride, the A/C on the boat isn't working, so I sit in the back outside so I can get some air and breathe.

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                      • #12
                        Re: How do you split up your time between parks?

                        haha thanks for the tip . Alternatively to see some nice outside of park bonuses you could take the "water taxi" to the Swan/Dolphin hotel. Then walk down the Boardwalk past the Yatch and Beach Club to Epcot. (a route I may take since I'll probably be staying at the Dolphin and may want to take a brief nap between parks lol)
                        Hoping to raise enough money to go to DL from Pennsylvania with my wife for our 5 year anniversary. (We went there on our honeymoon!)

                        If you would like to contribute to the cause for a relatively poor private school teacher. Please private message me. I'd be very thankful.

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                        • #13
                          Re: How do you split up your time between parks?

                          Thanks for all the advice guys! It's really helpful!

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                          • #14
                            Re: How do you split up your time between parks?

                            When I went in 2008, I had 1/2 Day at Hollywood Studios, 1 day at Epcot, 1 day at MK, and 1 day at AK. I wish that I had skipped Hollywood Studios and did 1 1/2 days at Epcot instead because there is a lot of Epoct that I didn't get to see in just one day. However, I only had 3.5 days in Orlando, so I tried my best to squeeze in all that I could. I hope you have more time planned than I did! Good luck and have fun planning.
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                            • #15
                              Re: How do you split up your time between parks?

                              MK and Epcot, 3 to 4 days.
                              AK 1/2 day
                              DHS 1/2 to 1 day.
                              But we hop around and rarely spend an entire day in one park, we eight leave to a hotel or eat or another park to eat or for EMH etc.
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