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View Poll Results: How many nights do you stay?
Less than 4 nights 1 0.86%
4 nights 1 0.86%
5 nights 8 6.90%
6 nights 12 10.34%
7 nights 28 24.14%
8 nights 20 17.24%
9 or more nights 46 39.66%
Voters: 116. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-04-2013, 01:12 PM   #16
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 145

Last trip my boys were 5 and 2. We stayed for 7 nights and had 6 days in the parks. We go at our own pace, come back in the afternoons for nap and swim time.

We are going at the end of may and my boys will be 7 and 4. Same plan.. 7 nights 6 park days.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:30 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ::danielle:: View Post
We went last March for 8 park days with our kids who were 7 and almost 4. We did not go "commando style" (all day at the parks). We would go back to the hotel each afternoon for a much needed rest. I thought that with so many days we could do almost everything. What I realized is that there is never enough time to do it all!

No matter how many days you go, it won't be enough. I suggest that you go as many days as you can afford without being stressed. If an extra day means you'll count pennies over every trip expense then I would say don't do it. That being said, if you can afford the extra day then go for it. I promise you won't regret it!

This. No matter if you go for two days or two weeks you won't be able to do it all. You have to pick and choose and set realistic expectations regardless. It seems like a lot of people on this forum go for 7+ days, some go for 9-10 days and even longer, but that isn't something most Disney visitors can do. Like pp stated, go for as many days your budget allows and plan based on that with what you want to do the most.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:04 PM   #18
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My suggestion is 5 nights because you mention wanting to not break the bank. The first 2 times that I vacationed with my 3 kiddos I was a single mom on a very tight budget. I opted to rent points from someone (wanted a fridge and microwave) and purchase my tickets separately. Back then the cost was equivalent to purchasing the value resort w ticket package through Disney.

Each of us picked our top 3 things that we wanted to see/do at each park. Often these overlapped but that is how we planned each day, ensuring that we did the things on our list first. Anything additional was icing on the cake. I will say that being in the parks early helps immensely. This may not be possible given your kids ages but we have found if we are there at or near rope drop that we can really be finished by lunch time with all of our must do's. You can then head back to the resort for nap or pool time and then head back later if you choose.

To save $ I would suggest that Tinkerbell visit your room and leave gifts. This tip really helped my sister save money when we brought her and my niece along. She never asked for a thing and would be so excited to see what Tinkerbell left. The first day it was an autograph book, another day pajama's...

Also, bring snacks to the parks. I typically would take a backpack when my kids were younger with gummies, granola bars and frozen water. That really helped cut down on spending.

Last but not least, my kids really wanted a resort day. Yikes My thought was that I spent all this money on tickets and you want to stay at the resort??? But then I had to remember that my idea of vacation wasn't necessarily their idea and we had a pool day. OKW spoiled us because they have pool games, karaoke, bingo and my boys entered a basketball tournament. They were happy and so was I...

me (40) , DH - (43) , DS - (22) ,DS - (21) , DD - (20) , DS - (15) , DD - (15) , DGD , DDogs - Praline and Ginger

04/81 - off-site, 4/06 - OKW, 4/07 - OKW, 04/08 - SSR, 2/09 thru 3/09 - OKW and BWV, 6/09 All-Star Sports, THV and OKW, 06/10 - AKV, 11/10 - CBR and OKW, 03/11 - OKW, 04/11 - THV, 10/11 - SSR, WL, Poly and BLT, 3/12 - YC and AKV, 5/12 - OKW and BLT, 10/12 - offsite (boo!), 3/14 - AKV, 5/14 - BWV, 10/14 (last minute) - CSR, WL, AKV and GFV
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:28 PM   #19
Join Date: Feb 2010
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The first time we brought our daughter, she was 5 and we stayed for 4 nights off site. My husband and I commented that we would not enjoy being at Disney for any longer than that.

The next trip we stayed on site for 5 nights and really had a great time. We were able to take breaks at the resort but we didn't really use the pools and resort perks.

This last trip we stayed at the Yacht Club for seven nights and had the best trip yet. We relaxed, swam, and enjoyed the parks at our own pace.

The key is to make time for the things you really want to do. Make sure that you are comfortable with the amount of money you are spending so that you don't dwell and worry about that end while you are there. Have a wonderful time!!
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:35 PM   #20
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For my friend and I, we're doing Th-Th so seven nights. We're planning to do 1 AK, 1 HS, 2 MK, 2 Epcot.

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Old 01-04-2013, 03:45 PM   #21
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5 nights is enough if time and/or cost is an issue. If you don't know if/when you'll ever return, 7 is wonderful.

4/14- 7nt Eastern on the FANTASY! 11/13- Weekend at DLR and stay at Disneyland Hotel
8/13- CR at WDW/ 4nt Cruise on DREAM! 6/12- Poly/POR Split Stay at WDW
8/11- DLR and stay at Grand Californian 1/11- 2 night Cruise to Nowhere on WONDER
10/10- DLR/ Mickey's Halloween Party and stay at Paradise Pier
2/10- WDW and a Week stay at the AKL 2/10- 4 Night Bahamas Cruise on DCL WONDER
6/09- DLR- Stay at Paradise Pier 4/09- DLR/ Club 33- Stay at Disneyland Hotel
10/08- Halloween Party at DCA 3/08- 3 Night Bahamas Cruise on DCL WONDER
2/08- WDW and stay at The Beach Club 10/07- Halloween Party at DCA and stay at GCH
Other trips to DLR- too many to count since 1969
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:19 PM   #22
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we're in the UK,so it would not be worth our while to pay the small fortune on flights for a quick trip- shortest 12 nights,longest 15- next trip 17 nights in August can't wait!

op- I think it depends what you want to do during your vacation.
do you want to go to all the parks?
do you want to spend time at the resort?
are you going to be out for rd?

I do think anytime spent at wdw,is better than no time there at all.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:20 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by BensWife View Post
I have only been to Disney World once - in 1995, so obviously, that was a million years ago when I was in college. Now, many years later, there are more resorts than were there in 1995. We are planning a family vacation the first part of June. Would 5 days be enough time or do we really need to do a full week? We are trying to save some money, but at the same time not cut too much. Our kids are small (6 and 3 when we would go), so we would need to take some breaks. How long do you stay?
I usually stay anywhere from 4-7 nights.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:22 PM   #24
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We don't go less than 7 nights, and 9 nights is perfect for us. DH and I did a 4-night trip for our 10th anniversary without the kiddos, and it was too short, but we went back for a longer family trip two months later.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:25 PM   #25
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7 nights. I like having 6 full days.

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Old 01-04-2013, 04:28 PM   #26
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We have found that 10 nights/11 days at a deluxe resort has given us the most relaxing vacation around. We did that in July and enjoyed it so much that we are doing it again in April. It gives you time to slow down and enjoy the resort, and not feel the need to rush from one thing to the next. It would be hard to stay any less than 10 nights, I think.
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JUL 1985 OFFSITE • JUL 1989 OFFSITE • MAR 2000 ASMO • SEP 2000 ASMU • SEP 2002 ASSP • NOV 2009 POP • FEB 2011 CBR • JUL 2012 WL CL • APR 2013 YC CL • SEP 2013 POFQ • AUG 2014 BC CL
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:29 PM   #27
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I would suggest 7-nights especially if you could go during a non-peak season. We don't go the parks on travel days (I save that for Downtown Disney, mini-golf and resort sight-seeing). That allows you 6 full days (1 day each for the theme parks and 2 days of water parks or 1 day for water parks and one ull day to relax and enjoy the non-park areas of WDW).
AoA suites seem to have the amenities that would allow you to stay at a value and bring your own items to re-heat and snack on from home or a store in order to save money.
Typically I tour as follows: MK- 1 full day with a midday break; Epcot- FW morning, DHS afternoon; AK- morning and water park afternoon; MK/ Epcot WS with a midday break. That allows for most (if not all) of the park attractions, some rest and that is doable on a tight budget: 5 nights at a value (or deluxe with a nice discount if available) and 4 day park hoppers, pay for the water park out of pocket if your only going one day. I only add the water park and more option if I am staying longer and know I will be using the water parks at least twice and Disney Quest. Hope that helps and gives you some ideas on different options
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:35 PM   #28
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We stay for 21 nights, got to make the long journey worthwhile.
97,98: All Star Music. 99,00,02: All Star Movies. 03: Caribbean Beach. 04: Riverside, Wilderness Lodge, French Quarter, 05: French Quarter, Wilderness Lodge, Clearwater Hilton, Dolphin. 06: Caribbean Beach, Boardwalk. 07: Royal Pacific, Swan. 08: Pop Century, Dolphin, Wilderness Lodge. 09: Pop Century, Royal Pacific, Riverside, Beach Club.10: Coronado Springs,Contemporary,Hard Rock,Beach Club.11:Coronado Springs,Bay Lake Towers,Hard Rock,Yacht Club? 12:Old Key West.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:41 PM   #29
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If you can, I would allocate:
2 days MK
2 days EP
Because these two parks are spread out, you really need 2 days to do them.

1 day DHS
1 day AK

So 6 full days of touring, not counting travel days. I would use this as a guideline but go with what your budget allows. Have a list of must do's and go from there.

But as mentioned, even with this, you won't see or do it all.

We like a more leisurely trip, and go twice a year, 7 -10 days in Jan. and 12 or 13 days in August. For us it's not just about touring the parks, but also relaxing and enjoying our resort, go to a water park or 2, and DTD.
Past Trips:
Aug 2003 WDW Marriott Courtyard, [B]Aug 2005 [/BSeaWorld, Universal, Busch Gardens Hilton Garden Inn, ]Aug 2007 WDW CBR, Jan 2008WDW WL, Aug 2008St. Pete Beach, Universal-HRH, Sea Workd & Aquatica- Hyatt Place & Doubletree, Jan 2009WDW AKL, Aug 2009Key West Sheraton Suites, Cocoa Beach Hampton Inn, & WDW POR/WL, Jan 2010WDW Poly, Jan 2011WDW POR, Aug 2011WDW POR/BC CL, Jan 2012WDW WL, Aug 2012AKL CL, Jan. 2013POFQ Aug. 2013 WDW Pop, GF, YC Jan 2014POR, Aug 2014 Universal Portofino Bay, & WDW GF,

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Old 01-04-2013, 05:41 PM   #30
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With the ages of your kids, I think to feel like you hit the highlights of each park for your kids' ages, you need to have 2 days at MK, and one day at the other parks. If possible, I would add in one additional day for relaxation/perhaps going back to a park you liked for a few hours to repeat a few rides/attractions.

We have done Disney twice now. The first time, we stayed off property and only allocated one park a day in our itinerary. We went to the parks mid-morning (10 a.m.) and stayed until about 6-8 p.m. (or whenever the park closed). Our kids, at that time, were 2, 5 and 7 (our 2 year old was a very good stroller napper). While I felt pretty satisfied leaving AK and HS after one day, we still didn't get a chance to do everything or see everything. With MK and EP, there were many things we didn't get a chance to do or see, but we hit the highlights that were age-appropriate for our kids.

This past trip (kids then aged 5, 8, 10), we stayed on property for 7 nights. This time, we got to the parks around 9-10 a.m. and stayed until about 7-8 p.m. (no naps). It took us a good 3 days to do MK and see *everything* (there are only 2-3 things we haven't done now in MK), 2 days to do Epcot (there are still a few things we haven't been able to do), and 1 day again in AK and HS (again, a few things we haven't done). My kids aren't super adventurous with roller coasters and the "scarier" rides, but there were many more rides and attractions that we were able to do this time because they were older. We are booking the same number of nights for our upcoming trip: Because we were just there a few months ago, there are several things that we did that we definitely won't do again, a few things we have to do because they were closed or we didn't get to them last time, and a few things that we have to do again because we enjoy them. But we plan to take it at a much more leisurely pace and enjoy the resorts more.

I will also say that after 7 nights, I was beat and ready to get home. Even being in good shape and being physically fit, our first two Disney trips were anything but relaxing. I was glad during our last trip we scheduled some time at Hilton Head following our trip and had a few days to unwind at home before getting back to work.
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