We were there last Sept and DD was about 1 1/2. Now, keep in mind, DD is usually a night owl, only recently have I gotten her a to a reasonable bed time of 9:30-10:00.
We did a lot of rope drop mornings. We were there within the first hour of opening, usually around 9 am. We didn’t do many morning EMH. To me, the extra hour of sleep was more valuable than 1 hour early in the parks. We did do almost all the evening EMH’s and found that it was more than reasonable. Bear in mind that September is notoriously slow, so in most cases, crowd levels are always manageable.
We usually ended up going back to the hotels right after the afternoon parades-around 3-4. We would take a swim/nap until it was time for diner around 6/7 PM, then head back to the parks. I also found this to be a good time, as the sun is usually ridiculously strong around those hours of 3-7 pm. At night, we would just wing it. More often than not, DD was asleep in her stroller for the ride back to our room. That too was nice, as we were able to walk around calmly and enjoy some adult time!
Best advice I can offer, take it day by day. Some days, they’ll be more tired than others. You probably won’t see all the shows/parades. We never got to see the MGM parade (stars n’motor cars), because both days we were there, DD was obnoxiously tired. So, you go with it, and go back to the room. It’s not worth sacrificing the rest of the day with a tired toddler for that “one” parade. There are only 3 daytime shows/parades around 3:00-they are in MK, MGM and AK. If you see them once each, consider it a success. Don’t bother pushing the kids to see them over and over again. Also, figure out which evening shows are the most important to you and gear for those. Consider the others bonuses. I LOVE FANTASMIC! so that is a must do for me, along with Wishes in MK. If I miss Illuminations, I’ll survive. If you know you are planning to watch fireworks at 9 pm, head back to the resort a little later, take a later nap, and head back to the park later, that’s all.
As far as transport times, it’s all pretty relative. If you are leaving directly after a show, the buses are more crowded, and the lines are long. Sometimes, the buses are packed and you have to wait for the next one. I didn’t find the wait times to be bad at all. If you expect to wait, then getting back and forth quickly will only make you happier!