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View Full Version : Need tips and advice for planning a budget friendly Disney World trip


suzybeezy
02-01-2008, 01:43 PM
I'm hopin' to go sometime in April. Need help or advice on how to do it as cheaply as possible. Also of the weeks available in April, which would you recommend to be the best to go (lowest crowds). Is it cheaper to fly on the weekends or weekdays? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

~April J~
02-01-2008, 01:51 PM
Hi. I'm new so I won't be much help just wanted to say we are going in April. We are also from Pa (Wyalusing)

The only tip for cheaper I have found to be true is book your flight asap. We could have saved ourselves $500 had we booked our flight sooner, prices went up fast!!!

Also go to a travel agent. Ours knew of some code when she made our reservations and saved on our hotel a little.

We are leaving the 8th but have found that several schools will have off for spring break so it will be a bit more crowded I have read that the end of April is better for crowd reasons.

DisneyGirl1991
02-01-2008, 05:50 PM
Sorry, I have no idea on what time is best in April. :confused3 We are going in April and this will be our first time at that time of year. I hope you have a wonderful trip though!:)

MichelleinMaine
02-01-2008, 06:26 PM
If the lack-of flights from this area is any indication, most of northern New England will be hanging out in the parks. :)(Might want to try the week after?)

It's usually cheaper to fly Tues-Thurs. Check alternate airports too (in FL,you could try Sanford, for example, instead of Orlando.) If you have choices from your hometown, check out those as well. A site like kayak.com will let you check various airlines with an option to check alternate airports too.

ilovecountry
02-02-2008, 12:07 AM
Well depending on the kind of things you were looking for, you can also book through a discount travel site (like expedia, etc) They can book your hotel & flight relatively cheaper then it would be through disney. The only downside would be you wouldn't be able to do the dining plan- which is what a lot of people prefer. *My friends & I couldn't afford an expensive vacation so after we booked through the travel site, we just made reservations at the buffets in each park since we couldn't do the dining plan. To cut down costs we sent down a package to our hotel room full of pop, water, snacks that we love, etc. In the morning, we would grab a couple of bottles & some snacks to eat in the park. Then at night if we were still hungry, we just grabbed a burger. Each day I spend no more then 30-35 dollars. That included the buffet, a few snacks, burger, etc later on. Sending the drinks & random snacks for the morning really cut down on costs. If the DDP isn't essential to you, maybe booking through a travel site could work out. Good Luck :)

dimimi
02-02-2008, 06:45 AM
I would try to go to the a travel web site and put in a variety of dates to see the airline prices. Then, I would go directly to the airline to see if the price is cheaper. That is the only way to know the airfare.

You could drive.

I would suggest you book quickly, April will be busy.

You could stay at a Value Resort or stay off disney. If you stay on-site, you won't need a rental car.

Have fun! I love planning Disney Trips!

wano
02-02-2008, 09:28 PM
I saved $300 with a travel agent on the same package that disney had online.I priced my package then went ask them if they could do better some of them also have some good tips and can tell you what and when to do things. they understand you are looking for a bargain after all they're working people too.


couldn't hurt to give it a shot

Rylee
02-04-2008, 06:26 PM
Starting with Easter, 3/30 - 4/25 will be "Spring Break" for some districts, or colleges.


Flights are usually cheaper on Tues., Wed., Thurs., and Sat.

Value resorts start at $99 per night during April. Weekends are slightly higher with Disney's new pricing system.

"Standard location" rooms are cheaper than "preferred loctions."

If you have AAA, you can receive a discount on the room.

If you stay at a Disney resort, use ME to and from the airport and Disney transportaion around the world... no car rental or parking fees.

Buy MYW base tickets... no hoppers or add-ons. Take advantage of EMH to make the most of your park time. Swim at the hotel pool.

Pack breakfast and snack items... pop-tarts, granola bars, friut snacks, mini cereral boxes, etc.

Lunch is cheaper than dinner... if you want to eat at a few TS restaurants, schedule ADR's for lunch.

At CS meals, try sharing some items - for 2 people, order 1 complete meal... sandwich, salad and/or fries, and drink, plus one sandwich and drink.

If there is something you really want... go ahead and SPLURGE on it, and save the other stuff for the next trip!

1stluvispooh
02-07-2008, 07:49 AM
Ok I realize what I am going to say may be sacereligous to some, I am prepared to be flamed, but here is what we did to cut cost
1) Drove We live in Ohio so the trip would be the same amount of time for you as it was for us. We saved over $400 including gas being over $3/gal and hotel for night.
2) Stayed off property. We stayed at Windsor Hills townhouse and it was $79 a night so even with paying for parking we saved $12 a day in just lodging not to mention that we had breakfast at the condo every morning which for the week we were there cost about the same as 1 breakfast for my family of four at a counter service.

karajeboo
02-07-2008, 08:13 AM
I disagree with staying off property, only because there is a price to convenience, too. Look at staying in a value resort and go the very end of April, early May (we'll be there the first week of May!). That is "regular" season so prices are lower than in early April during Spring Breaks.

I do agree with driving though. Leave the day before you want to arrive and stay somewhere outside Orlando (we stayed in Kissimmee the first time we did this for around $50/night) then check in to your resort first thing the next morning. Your room probably won't be ready but you will get your park passes and you can enjoy a full day at the parks! Then kind of do the reverse when you leave. Hang out at the parks until around 3 or so, then get on the road and find a hotel somewhere on I-95 on the way home - Savannah, GA is only about 4-5 hours from Orlando.

Plus, if you drive, bring a cooler and keep in the room with bottled water, drinks, etc. Plus, while you're on the road, you can keep sandwiches, drinks, etc, in there to cut down on the cost of stopping to eat on the way. We just refill our cooler with ice each morning/evening at the resort and keep it stocked. You can also pack pop-tarts and breakfast foods, snacks to take to the parks, if you drive.

karajeboo
02-07-2008, 08:14 AM
Oh I almost forgot - I read one time that if you're looking for flights, the best time to purchase is at 12:00am on Wednesday morning. Don't know why and I've never tried it, but just thought I'd share!

karters*mom
02-07-2008, 09:22 AM
Family of 3 . Child 7 year old
flying out of Buffalo $627 for flight for our family. Southwest Airlines
:cool1:
Staying All-Star Sports 7 nights 8 days
:banana:
8-day park hopper Water parks and more option
Basic dining Plan
:dance3:

We paid $2265 for the package
Booked through CAA/AAA
:yay:

gigsmoke
02-09-2008, 10:07 PM
just a couple things to consider

First - consider renting points. Also consider 6 nights versus 7. if you are willing to skip 1 night make sure you skip either Friday or saturday, those are the expensive nights. Total point for 6 nights starting Sunday is 94 points. At $10 dollars a point the room is $940 for a very nice room.
Second - No Park hoppers. Use the magic your way tickets. Plan your days at each park ahead of time and stay at that park for the day.
3) Ship bottled water from a website like Staples.com Case of water is about $10 versus $4/bottle
4) Ship a box of breakfast food, poptarts, cereal bars etc. Consider eating early lunches, treat like a brunch.
Goodluck

pisces219
02-09-2008, 10:34 PM
we wanted to do this trip on a budget too. we typically get a rental car, i know, i know u dont really need a car at WDW but we really like to have one and use it everyday. we typically dont just visit disney. we visit friends/family in FL too. we also like being able to leave the property for dinner. with it being just us too adults, we really enjoy taking a break from the crowds, finding local restaurants and getting a chance of scenary. we also cant get the dining plan. so this trip we priced things out with dining on property with no rental car vs off property and the rental car costs. dining off property and having a rental car(assuming the cost is less then $20 a day) is cheaper. to us it was easier and more pleasurable to dine off property for dinner(we never waited, nor made reservations) however we have been to disney many times, been to many restaurants etc. so each trip we like to change things up and try new things. if we could get the dining plan we would be dining on property. anyways, i think the best money saver is bring your own snacks/drinks or buy off property. just for comparision....we bought two vitamin waters at our hotel one night, it was $5.52. the next day we stopped at walmart, i got two gatorades, two vitamin waters, one dr. pepper and a chapstick for $6.

the earl of sandwich in DDT has awesome sandwiches and are inxpensive.

shared counter service meals

carry water around with you for a drink.

eat at a breakfast buffet late morning. we had a 10:10 ressie for the crystal palace. we were not hungry till 5pm.

d1gitman
02-10-2008, 05:38 PM
If you don't mind me asking, what length of stay are you looking for and what is your budget, # of adults, # of children? Also, an FYI, for the past couple of yrs. we have taken advantage of the free dining promo in Aug-Sept. No guarantee they will offer it again but well worth it if they do. Disney usually posts it is April and has a May or June deadline for booking. That would be your biggest point of savings if you can wait.

PiratesRock
02-10-2008, 05:57 PM
We saved some on souvineer budget by hitting the $1 store for glow sticks, parkas and such. We do this for any amusement park trip. The risk of wasting $4 on parka we don't need is nothing compared to wasting $30+ on parkas cause it's raining and we had to buy the ones at the gift shops.

suzybeezy
02-10-2008, 06:02 PM
Thanks for all the great help.

Currently we're planning two adults, two kids. I'd like to stay around $2500.

Ideally we'd like to do 2 days at Magic Kingdom, 1 day at Epcot and 1 day at MGM, then 1 day at Sea World and 1 maybe 2 days at Universal. We could skip Sea World and eliminate 1 day at Universal if we have to. But I can't imagine going all the way to Florida and not riding the Mummy so we have to find a way to do one day at Universal.

We definately want to fly rather then drive. We want to avoid a rental car. I was online lookin' around and trying to compare staying on site vs staying off site. Seems the benefit that interests us for staying off site would be the shuttles that also go to Universal and Sea World. I've also notice alot provide continental breakfast, which will cut down on our costs for food.

I can't figure out if its better to do an all inclusive package at Disney including the dining package or customize everything separately.

We've been to Disney before but budget has never been a concern - so its really hard trying to make plans taking limited funds into consideration.

d1gitman
02-10-2008, 07:06 PM
I tend to go pretty crazy with all kinds of spreadsheets for analysis on costs. Everytime I compare onsite vs. offsite, onsite wins. Everytime i compare Disney packages vs. seperates, the Disney packages win. We live in MA and fly to Orlando for our trips. With the free dining package, we were able do 9n/10d at a value resort, MYW H2O fun-n-more, no hopper, 4 airline ticks for a total of $2650. We fly to Orlando on a Friday night because the price of Friday afternoon/evening airfare has been slightly less than Sat. early AM. This offsets the price of the friday checkin vs. saturday checkin. This gives us a full saturday. The free dining in Aug-Sept is what makes it all so affordable. We have gone on the last day of promo in Sept. and they allow the free dining to continue for up to 14 days. The other bene of going from a Fri-Sun is that the airfare is the same for a 2 day trip or a 10 day trip. The MYW passes are virtually the same cost from 3 days -10 days. Free food is free food. So the only added expense from the 6n7d package disney promotes is 3 more night of hotel at approx. $100n. We think $2650 for the entire trip is fabulous. $2500 for airfare, food, disney, universal might be a stretch. I will see if i can figure out a way because i am always open finding more ways to 'skin the cat'.

suzybeezy
02-11-2008, 11:41 AM
Thank you d1gitman. We don't really want to go in the summer cause my youngest son has a condition where he can't tolerate heat well, that's why we're thinking Spring may be best.

I've noticed that it saves the more days park tickets you buy but then the cost of adding more hotel days and food increases. If we stay on site is there a way to still go to Universal one day? How would we get there without renting a car? We were leaning towards the off site option so it would provide transportation to not only Disney, but also Universal plus alot of hotels offer free breakfast, which would again reduce cost.

Still can't figure out what day to fly out and work in for attendance in parks? Are weekends bad for crowds? We thought going to the parks from Monday to Friday, arriving early Monday and leaving Saturday - thinkin' we could do MGM on Monday, MK on Tues, Epcot on Wed, and Universal Thursday, then MK for the last day.

Doing a check on air fare - on expedia best price I can do for the week of May 5 thur the 10th was $958, best price on Southwest for same week is $696. I was able to price out staying on site at an All Star resort plus 4 day tickets was approx. $1400 (no dining option); adding the first dining option takes it to $1885. Offsite - at a Doubletree with free continental breakfast came to $899 plus 4 days tickets at $780 = $1679. Whereas I found a hotel, Polynesian Inn, which has free shuttle to Disney & Universal, plus free breakfast for a total of $327.00 - then when we add on tickets from disney site it comes to around $1100 and we then only have to buy dinner and small lunch on site and if we use Southwest we should be able to stick around the $2500 mark.

UGH - too much information - all so confusing :scared:

RllngRckBrw
02-11-2008, 12:04 PM
Be sure to take into consideration all of the costs of something taht may appear cheaper. We found that once you factor in the price of a car rental and parking prices is is much cheaper to stay at a on-site hotel for us. These things can greatly effect your overall price.

We also see that food has been a huge part of our budget. We are unwilling to give up our TS resturants, however if you are willing to find unique CS resturants and/or are willing to eat burgers and fries everyday you can save money there as well.

Also, buy only what you need regarding your tickets. If you can plan well enough to get all the shows, parades rides, etc done in one park a day, dont buy the hopper (I have also been told you can add the hopper any time you want if you do decide this later). If you are unsure about waterparks, Pleasure Island or DisneyQuest leave that off as well.

Dont be afraid to play with the number of days you go to the parks. The more you go the cheaper per day it is. We ended up getting a ticket for day 7 that only cost $7 more. It was well worth the price even if we only go over for the evening on our first day.

I hope this helped. Enjoy your trip!!!

matosfam
02-12-2008, 06:20 PM
I am also in Pittsburgh -- we're planning now for a trip in Sept so this wasn't helpful to me but it may be to you!
Travelosity just sent me an alert (you can go to their site and sign up for alerts) for flights out of PGH to orlando starting at $114 round trip (Northwestern--with connections) and starting from $136 direct flight(airtran or US Air)

matosfam
02-12-2008, 07:23 PM
I have been compiling a list of cheap or free things to do from various different sites and dis-ers that I have been reading these past few weeks...It's way too big to post here in full but if you would like a copy you can pm me with your email and I will send it to you.

PiratesRock
02-12-2008, 10:15 PM
This may or may not be of any use to you... but regarding buying more days on tix for cheaper/day rates... The no expiration tix can be a good buy if you know you're going back(Disclaimer: Remember, these are the opinions of someone who has only been on 1 Dis trip.)

Rylee
02-13-2008, 07:38 AM
Thank you d1gitman. We don't really want to go in the summer cause my youngest son has a condition where he can't tolerate heat well, that's why we're thinking Spring may be best.

I've noticed that it saves the more days park tickets you buy but then the cost of adding more hotel days and food increases. If we stay on site is there a way to still go to Universal one day? How would we get there without renting a car? We were leaning towards the off site option so it would provide transportation to not only Disney, but also Universal plus alot of hotels offer free breakfast, which would again reduce cost.

Still can't figure out what day to fly out and work in for attendance in parks? Are weekends bad for crowds? We thought going to the parks from Monday to Friday, arriving early Monday and leaving Saturday - thinkin' we could do MGM on Monday, MK on Tues, Epcot on Wed, and Universal Thursday, then MK for the last day.

Doing a check on air fare - on expedia best price I can do for the week of May 5 thur the 10th was $958, best price on Southwest for same week is $696. I was able to price out staying on site at an All Star resort plus 4 day tickets was approx. $1400 (no dining option); adding the first dining option takes it to $1885. Offsite - at a Doubletree with free continental breakfast came to $899 plus 4 days tickets at $780 = $1679. Whereas I found a hotel, Polynesian Inn, which has free shuttle to Disney & Universal, plus free breakfast for a total of $327.00 - then when we add on tickets from disney site it comes to around $1100 and we then only have to buy dinner and small lunch on site and if we use Southwest we should be able to stick around the $2500 mark.

UGH - too much information - all so confusing :scared:

Hi,

Off-site transportation -
As for the shuttles from off-site locations, you need to really investigate the shuttle service before making your reservations. They often only provide 1 or 2 drop-off/pick-up times at the parks, and many of the hotels share shuttle service with other hotels... if the shuttle is full, the hotel is not responsible for guaranteeing transportation. As a starting point, you may want to check references on tripadvisor.

Park attendance - If you are not going to stay at a Disney Resort, you won't be able to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours, (EMH) so, check the park calendars for which park has the EMH's on the days you'll be there and don't go to that park, that day. (On-site visitors, without hopper passes, have to go to that park, that day, to gain admission to the EMH's, making attendance slightly higher at that park.)

suzybeezy
02-24-2008, 04:26 PM
Thanks again for all the helpful info. I'm takin' everything ya'all are saying then researching. The more I research the more confused I get - lol.

Trying to weigh the options of staying on site vs off site. The only issue we're having with staying on site is we need to be able to go to Universal one day - and now my son is begging to go to the new Sea World water park - Aquatica, which apparently opens in March.

If we stay on site - can we rent a car for just two days to go to those parks? If so does the rental company bring the car to the resort? I've never rented a car so I'm trying to figure that out.

I don't want to rely on the shuttles from off site - if there's a chance we could get stranded! YIKES!!!

I'll also check Travelocity to sign up for alerts - great tip!

idlewoman1
02-24-2008, 04:44 PM
We have always rented a car as we like to do Universal and since we stay about 2 weeks we like to drive to the different resorts to save time to scope them out or dine there and hit the outlet shopping malls. Having a rental allows you to do things on your own schedule and not rely on shuttle bus schedules and stops if you stay off-site. If you have AAA you can get some deals on rental cars as well as Disney resorts. I looked on-line and priced a room at POR and then called Disney direct and got a better price over phone giving my AAA. Don't care too much for leaving my travel plans in the hands of agents. We will be there mid-April. Wednseday mornings are when prices for airfare go down. I had been checking and tried looking on a Wednesday and got my better price that morning vs the day before or after.:confused3 HAVE FUN!!

Rylee
02-24-2008, 06:09 PM
Thanks again for all the helpful info. I'm takin' everything ya'all are saying then researching. The more I research the more confused I get - lol.

Trying to weigh the options of staying on site vs off site. The only issue we're having with staying on site is we need to be able to go to Universal one day - and now my son is begging to go to the new Sea World water park - Aquatica, which apparently opens in March.

If we stay on site - can we rent a car for just two days to go to those parks? If so does the rental company bring the car to the resort? I've never rented a car so I'm trying to figure that out.

I don't want to rely on the shuttles from off site - if there's a chance we could get stranded! YIKES!!!

I'll also check Travelocity to sign up for alerts - great tip!


Check the mousesavers site. It always list discount codes for car rentals.

There is a current code for free upgrades on Disney ticket admission... by Magic Your Way tickets and receive the Hoppers and Water Park & more option, for FREE! Perhaps your son will be content to visit Disney's Waterparks and skip Sea World.

Consider staying off-site for a few days, to save some $$$ and visit Universal and Sea World, then checking into a Disney resort for the remainder of your vacation.

We have done this before (to visit relatives) and you can use Disney's Magical Express for one-way service, too.

Also, we rented a car from a company at the airport, that also had a location on Disney property, and returned it after checking into our resort.

suzybeezy
02-25-2008, 10:23 AM
First of all - thank you again for all the help. :thumbsup2 I'm really trying to make this happen for my kids but financial concerns/limits are really worrying me and its essential that I do this as cheaply as possible, while still making it the best vacation it can be. I appreciate all the help, truly!

I had been checking and tried looking on a Wednesday and got my better price that morning vs the day before or after.

So its best to book the airline tickets on a Wednesday. Wonder why? Does it make a difference what day you fly out? Is it more expensive to fly on a weekend or a weekday?

Check the mousesavers site. It always list discount codes for car rentals.

There is a current code for free upgrades on Disney ticket admission... by Magic Your Way tickets and receive the Hoppers and Water Park & more option, for FREE! Perhaps your son will be content to visit Disney's Waterparks and skip Sea World.

Consider staying off-site for a few days, to save some $$$ and visit Universal and Sea World, then checking into a Disney resort for the remainder of your vacation.

We have done this before (to visit relatives) and you can use Disney's Magical Express for one-way service, too.

Also, we rented a car from a company at the airport, that also had a location on Disney property, and returned it after checking into our resort.

I like this option of maybe staying off site a few days then moving to a Disney resort the remainder. I never thought of that. That just may work. What's the name of the Car rental company that's at the airport and at Disney properties? And once you're at Disney, does Disney provide transportation back to the airport?

My son is really hooke on this Aquatica idea. Guess the drawl to it is that there's these slides tha are clear and dolphins are swimming all around. And i'm the one who must go to Universal cause the Mummy is my absolute favorite ride. If I get all the way to Florida, I can't imagine missing it.

Additionally what's Magical Express? never heard of it.

suzybeezy
02-25-2008, 10:56 AM
I went to the mousesaver site and couldn't find the code for free upgrade for tickets?

Rylee
02-25-2008, 12:34 PM
I went to the mousesaver site and couldn't find the code for free upgrade for tickets?

Taken from this site -

FREE PARK HOPPING AND WATER PARK FUN & MORE
Included with your theme park admission when you book a Magic Your Way package at a Disney Resort for travel from 3/30 - 5/21.
Click Here for Details
http://www.wdwinfo.com/disneypackages.htm#current

Go to the Airtran site - click on flexible dates, then put in all your info, click on "search 2 days to either side of this date."

You will be able to view several days and flight times, with prices to find the cheapest dates. I was able to find some flights starting a $79 one-way between PIT and Orlando (MCO).

Disney's Magical Express is free transportation to and from the Disney Resorts to the Orlando airport (MCO).

I'm sorry, I don't remember the name of the car company we used, maybe my husband will remember.

matosfam
02-25-2008, 09:51 PM
I don't know if it's true but I just heard that Southwest often has discounted fares for sale on it's anniversary/birthdate which I also heard is this week...
might be worth googling the date and checking it out...?

matosfam
02-25-2008, 10:00 PM
btw, we just got our flights about $200 cheaper than what we were finding elsewhere from Pittsburgh to Orlando thru Cheapflights.com (choose "search by date" then we chose Kayak then chose the best price from the Northwest Airlines site) 6 of us for less than $850

suzybeezy
03-02-2008, 09:54 AM
Again, can't thank ya'all enough for all the help. I'm takin' all the advice given and putting it to good use.

Grandmouse
03-05-2008, 12:05 PM
Suzy -- it has been more than 10 years since I have sayed off site and I would never do it again if I had to depend on the hotel shuttles. The shuttles service many other hotels in the area and take forever, are not very frequent and are crowded. You come and go on THEIR schedule, not yours. After only one day of this, we used a taxi. Not sure of your DSs age, but you would never be able to go back to the room during the day for a break. Call a taxi service (or limo) and see what the cost would be to go to Sea World for a day from DW, opposed to the time and cost of renting a car or moving off-site for a few days. Perhaps your son would be happy with a day visit to Sea World in Ohio later in the summer after you return. (Okay, I know it's not the same). Really, once you get to the World, you may not want to leave and go somewhere else.

It has been a long time since I've been to the TTC, but does anyone remember if there is an Orlando city bus that made stops there -- I thought there was.

suzybeezy
03-05-2008, 01:19 PM
I'd love to be able to substitute a Sea World Ohio, because its so close, but there isn't an Ohio Sea World anymore, unfortunately. I don't really know why he's so insistent on Sea World, except he got wind of the new Aquatica and is totally excited. I tried to convince him to go to Blizzard Beach or the other Disney waterpark, using the free upgrade if we stayed on site, but he's not buying it. I think the biggest draw to the Aquatica is the Dolphin Plunge, which is a clear tube waterslide that takes you thru a Dolphin pool.

I think I've resigned myself to the fact I'm going to spend more than I had hoped to just so everyone will be happy.

This is the pricing options I've calculated out:

Southwest flying out Sunday May 11 - returning May 16 $895 for 5 people (3 adults, 2 kids)

Buena Vista Suites - 6 mights $465 which includes full breakfast
Polynesian Inn - 6 nights $270 - with continental breakfast


If we stay Sunday night and Monday night off site at Buena Vista Suites =
Then Stay on site Disney Port Orleans Riverside = $2423

Disney Tix - 5 days/5 people $1003
with hopper $1228
with water parks $1478

4 days/5 = $992
with hopper $1227

Universal tix for 5 - one day one park - $323
one day two parks - $394

Sea World - 2 parks $399

Chosing Southwest, Buena Vista Suits, Disneytix with hopper $2588
adding waterparks - $2838
with 5 day hopper without waterparks, but plus Universal - $2911
with 5 day hopper without waterparks, plus 2 Universal parks - $2982
with 5 day hopper without waterparks, plus 2 Universal parks, and two Sea World parks $3381

I know it seems like alot to do, and I wonder if I'll be able to do it all. I know alot of folks make the mistake of trying to cram too much into their vacation. We did a Make a Wish before for my son, and we ran the whole time. It wasn't too bad cause we took a break every day. Here's the options I figured out.


Option 1 - has no Sea World, but adds Disney's Water parks, plus only Universal Studios
Arrival day Sunday- if we rent a car - go to beach
Monday - Universal
Tuesday - Magic Kingdom
Wednesday - MGM and waterparks
Thursday - Magic Kingdom
Friday - Epcot
Departure day, leaving late evening - Hop parks for favorite rides

Option 2 adds Sea World & Aquatica, plus both Universal parks:

Arrival early a.m. day Sunday - go to Hotel then Sea World & Aquatica
Monday - maybe Give Kids The World (8 am-9 am character pics) then MGM, rest
Tuesday - Magic Kingdom, rest mid day
Wednesday Universal Studios & Universal Island of Adventure
Thursday - Magic Kingdom
Friday - Epcot
Departure day, leaving late evening - hop parks for favorite rides

Thinkin' about staying an extra night and leaving next morning so we aren't hideously rushed last day and it shouldn't increase the cost too much, except an extra night at the hotel, which isn't much.

Still haven't been able to price out the rental car, cause I've never rented a car and I'm finding the sites rather confusing.