I've read the other threads asking for advice as well as the stickied WDW advice for DLR veterans. Great info in those threads. I didn't want to derail or hijack other people's advice threads so figured I'd start my own with my specific set of circumstances. All help is greatly appreciated.
Some basic facts about me and my family and our trip.
1. 5 people total. My wife and I are 40, my little girl is 5.5, and my parents are in their 70s. My mom is a workhorse, loves walking, and in good health. My dad? Has had double bypass, is diabetic, and has pretty low exercise and heat tolerance.
2. My wife and I are DLR vets. I've essentially memorized the two parks here in California down to the bathrooms and snack stands. We have Premium Annual Passes and get our money's worth.
3. We are going 02/15/2014 to 02/21/2014. 5 full days and no park hoppers. My parents are more frail and we'll split up if necessary so they can take their time.
4. We are staying at the Grand Floridian.
My daughter and my parents have no interest or ability to go on any roller coaster rides. So that rules out: Splash, Space, Big Thunder, etc.
We are mainly going to be there to walk the park slowly, take in the ambience, go on the kid friendly Fantasyland stuff, and enjoy the food and fireworks and shows.
With that in mind, I've set aside 2 days for Magic Kingdom and 1 day each for the rest of the parks. If a park closes earlier, no problem, we'll head back to the hotel and relax. I expect my dad to last half a day each and then go back to the hotel after lunch to rest/take a nap.
Some advice then:
1. I have dinner reserved almost every night we are there but have one free night because to my utter shock and dismay Be Our Guest was sold out 120 days in advance! I'd still like to eat lunch there but how is that going to work? I've heard queuing up early but I don't want to spend half the day standing in line to eat lunch. How does that work?
2. I've read lots of philosophies regarding EMH. I understand the logic of avoiding parks with EMH due to increased traffic but in mid February how big an impact is it really?
3. I was offered "experimental" Magic Plus wristbands or whatever. I read the email describing it and had a negative impression immediately. I decided not to participate. Thoughts on this? Will there still be regular paper Fast Pass system like at DLR in 02/14?
4. For sure I want to get best positions possible for Magic Kingdom and Epcot fireworks shows. Unlike Fantasmic and World of Color I haven't been able to find any dinner packages with fireworks. Any advice to get best possible views? I've heard reserving boats? Can this be done in advance or do I do it day of? Should I make it a priority to take care of that?
5. I will make a list of "can't miss" attractions at each of the 4 major theme parks later but any advice on unique differences between rides would be appreciated so I can target them at Magic Kingdom and MGM. For instance are there any real differences between Snow White's Ride or Toy Story Mania etc?