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Old 02-07-2013, 02:11 PM   #1
wesjohnson
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Just back from 12 days...some advice from a seasoned Disney veteran

We just returned from a 12 day trip to Disneyworld where we had 8 day park hopper/waterpark/fun tickets. I really love Disney and I start planning a trip (for our family of six) about 8-10 months in advance. We've probably visited 15-20 times in the last 15 years.

I learned something this trip that will impact me for future trips: Don't overbook your first few days as it will burn you out. We were so excited to visit Disney and we had multiple experiences booked over the first four days: Character Breakfast at Chef Mickey's, YES program classes, Wishes Dessert Party, and multiple days of trying to ride every ride at the parks. We did so much in the first four days that we all felt exhausted and burnout for the rest of our trip. And, we accomplished so much that I didn't have much interest in returning to the parks after our fourth day. The kids wanted to keep going back, but I found that by noon they were ready to go back to the hotel pool. My 8 year old son even complained one morning, saying: "Not the Magic Kingdom again!"

Next time, I would probably stay for a shorter time--7-8 days is probably enough. I would also pace the trip out more evenly, not trying to accomplish every ride and every event in the first few days. It is better to walk away from a park before closing with your sanity than to stay there (tired and frustrated) just to make the most of your park day.

Additionally, we really struggled with staying interested in EPCOT and AK. I think that you could probably visit AK in the morning and be ready to leave by noon; you could then head over to EPCOT and ride Test Track, Soarin, and Mission Space (which isn't that great) in the afternoon and tour the Lands in the evening when it is the prettiest. Both of those parks needs some major upgrades to get me interested again. Hollywood Studios has plenty to do but you only need 1 day to fit it all in. MK is the best park and you probably need 3 days there to fit in the whole experience. I think next time we would only need five park days and a couple down days by the pool or at the water parks.

I'll admit: I'm a little burned out by Disney right now after such a long trip. Right now we are saying we will take a break for the next 3 years and visit other places as a family. That may change in a few months as I will probably get interested again. But, I will plan our trip differently next time to make it more enjoyable and relaxing for all.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:16 PM   #2
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Yup, that's why we rent a car and do other things.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:21 PM   #3
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[QUOTE=wesjohnson;47434893]I learned something this trip that will impact me for future trips: Don't overbook your first few days as it will burn you out.

It is better to walk away from a park before closing with your sanity than to stay there (tired and frustrated) just to make the most of your park day.
lQUOTE]

I couldn't agree with these two statements more.

I learned this after my first trip to disney, in which i tortured my entire family (inlaws, husband, mom...etc. before i had kids) to a torture-ish commando tour of Disney during Spring break. NEVER AGAIN.

Now we spread our activities out. We do our favorites. We let the kids lead the way. We break when we need to break. We always know there will be another trip.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:23 PM   #4
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God bless all the people that can do long trips but our family's limit is 6 days.

2 days at MK & Epcot
1 day at AK & DHS

and we go to DTD 2 nights. usually our arrival day and our AK day.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:26 PM   #5
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This is why we usually do short trips, with just 3 or 4 park days. Then, within each of those days we go all-out commando
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:31 PM   #6
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Very well said!

We much prefer to take things slowly and at our own pace than to overly plan and go crazy. We typically spend 7-8 days in Orlando, and only 4 of those at Disney parks. We will also typically only have one or two Disney meals planned for that time. If we need a little Disney fix later in the trip we will hit up DTD or one of the mini-golf courses.

If we can't ride a ride or see a show, that's OK to us, there is always next year. And yet even with our relaxed touring methodology we say the same thing as you do at the end of the trip--"We need a break, maybe in a couple of years". And then invariably 6-8 months go by and you start planning for your next Disney trip It's funny how your memory smooths everything out over time and you 'lose' the bad memories and retain the good...

I do have to disagree on the EPCOT part though--that is our favorite park. Much more relaxed than MK and we enjoy things like Spaceship Earth, Journey into Imagination, the Living Seas, etc. in addition to the "big name" attractions like Soarin, Test Track, and Mission: Space. We also go during the Flower and Garden Festival, so EPCOT has all of the wonderful topiaries to admire.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesjohnson View Post
We just returned from a 12 day trip to Disneyworld where we had 8 day park hopper/waterpark/fun tickets. I really love Disney and I start planning a trip (for our family of six) about 8-10 months in advance. We've probably visited 15-20 times in the last 15 years.

I learned something this trip that will impact me for future trips: Don't overbook your first few days as it will burn you out. We were so excited to visit Disney and we had multiple experiences booked over the first four days: Character Breakfast at Chef Mickey's, YES program classes, Wishes Dessert Party, and multiple days of trying to ride every ride at the parks. We did so much in the first four days that we all felt exhausted and burnout for the rest of our trip. And, we accomplished so much that I didn't have much interest in returning to the parks after our fourth day. The kids wanted to keep going back, but I found that by noon they were ready to go back to the hotel pool. My 8 year old son even complained one morning, saying: "Not the Magic Kingdom again!"

Next time, I would probably stay for a shorter time--7-8 days is probably enough. I would also pace the trip out more evenly, not trying to accomplish every ride and every event in the first few days. It is better to walk away from a park before closing with your sanity than to stay there (tired and frustrated) just to make the most of your park day.

Additionally, we really struggled with staying interested in EPCOT and AK. I think that you could probably visit AK in the morning and be ready to leave by noon; you could then head over to EPCOT and ride Test Track, Soarin, and Mission Space (which isn't that great) in the afternoon and tour the Lands in the evening when it is the prettiest. Both of those parks needs some major upgrades to get me interested again. Hollywood Studios has plenty to do but you only need 1 day to fit it all in. MK is the best park and you probably need 3 days there to fit in the whole experience. I think next time we would only need five park days and a couple down days by the pool or at the water parks.

I'll admit: I'm a little burned out by Disney right now after such a long trip. Right now we are saying we will take a break for the next 3 years and visit other places as a family. That may change in a few months as I will probably get interested again. But, I will plan our trip differently next time to make it more enjoyable and relaxing for all.
That is why we usually rent a car and do Seaworld or another attraction in the middle somewhere. We also take things slow and don't really run from place to place. We make a few ADR's and the rest we just wing it. A few years ago we did 9 nights and were ready to head home. We do 7 nights max now and don't worry about doing everything. Gives us a reason to come back. Some of the other activities we do:

Rent a boat and go cruising through the rivers.
Fishing Excursion.
Carriage Ride.
GatorLand.
SeaWorld.
Kennedy Space Center

These kind of break it up some. We also do at least one day at the pool and DTD.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:32 PM   #8
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Your revelation is one of the reasons DW and I bought into DVC. Now we still go alot and not get burned out. With the exception of food and wine which we go for 8 days, we only go for 3-4 days. If we miss something oh well we will see it next time. Add on the TIW and Annual passes and we end up having a great time for a lot cheaper cost.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:34 PM   #9
wesjohnson
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Short trips are great if you live close. We live 1300 miles away so it makes sense to stay longer...once you pay for airfare, that cost is static no matter how long you stay. And, once you get past 4 days of park tickets the cost of additional days is minimal (relatively speaking). It wasn't the length of stay that burned me out. We spent time by the pools and at the waterparks (my favorite days). It was the pressure to go to the parks and ride every ride that burned me out.

We'll see how I feel in a couple of months, but for now, I'm ready to book a beach vacation with nothing to do but soak up the sun...
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:37 PM   #10
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yes, you definately learned things on every trip. we now do 8 nights, 6 day base tickets, we usually always go back to the room around 3ish, rest, and then go back that evening. we don't stay till the parks closes though. we are early risers so we get a lot done in the morning hrs @ the parks. then, we start slowly walking around and enjoying all the sights and sounds around us. we love the boat taxis in the evenings too. on our last park day we all decide which park we want to go back to. we do mini golf in the evenings too in the middle of our vaca. we love dtd so we usually go there 3 times during the trip in the very beginning and end. the older we get, we enjoy epcot's world showcase and the countries. yeah, we do the rides 1st thing and then leisurely walk around ws. we love all the parks! but yeah, AK we finish by 3 every time.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:40 PM   #11
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Same thing happens to us. After 4 or 5 days, my son just wants to go to the pool or arcade..
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:44 PM   #12
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I think everybody is different. We have done about 3 10 day long trips and loved every minute of them. We always schedule one resort day - we swim, sit in the hot tub, eat at the food court, purchase a few items from the store, maybe watch the pool side movie, enjoy each other. We also leave the parks early a few days and swim a little more (we're definitely pool people ). We enjoy the little things a lot, so it seems that there's always more to do. We also add in a few extras like dinner shows and a visit with family (who live in St. Cloud). I usually leave with tears in my eyes wishing it was longer. I wouldn't trade my long trips for anything, but I know its not for everybody.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:48 PM   #13
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I don't mean to burst your bubble but you are saying many things in a way which you think everyone should feel the same. My family loves staying past closing time. Why? Because we're not rope droppers. We are night owls and love WDW at night with the cool air and uncrowded feel. We don't go back to the resort at mid day to sleep and swim.

You think DHS has enough things to do and Epcot doesn't? I feel the opposite on that one. Epcot is great. AK definitely needs more attractions.

Also, we usually stay 6-7 nights but we were talking about going for 2 weeks because everything feels so rushed in 6-7 days. Everyone is different. Everyone has their opinions. Not once have my kids every complained about going to the MK. They have complained about Epcot during a F&W festival that we couldn't resist going to almost every day. Also, they have asked to go to AK since it is the park we go to least often. But complain about the MK? Never!
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:53 PM   #14
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Two years ago we did 11 days at AKL Kidani (DVC members) and had a great time. The max. days in a row we will go to the parks early in the morning is 2, then the third day is where we all get to sleep in and do whatever we want. We might go to a park in the evening, or we might not on that third day.

We also plan other activities around the area, like mini-putt tournaments, golf, shopping, heading to the beach for a day, NASA, or whatever else we can find. There are lots of great attractions around central FL.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:10 PM   #15
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Balance is definitely important - I don't think humans were made to just go, go, go - there has got to be some down time in there - especially with a Disney trip.

One of the things I have enjoyed about living in Orlando is the ability to go to the Parks and do just one or two things and go home - I love that - have a little Disney happiness and go home and chill - LOL! For day trips I find about four hours just perfect!
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