Adapting to last-minute trip changes

TavieP

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 10, 2012
This is mostly a venting thread but happy for any advice if you have any!

I've got my annual trip to WDW coming up with my BFF of 35 years (we both just turned 40.) We usually travel together, either just the two of us or with her mom and/or little niece. Our November 2019 trip is just going to be the two of us, because we had been planning to schedule a second one for next Easter to take her niece and nephew, who's finally old enough to go.

Unfortunately, she's run into some last-minute financial issues in her family; we've had to scrap the plans for Easter, and the November plans are now going to need to be scaled down. Which is fine! We've been going together for 25+ years and can definitely enjoy a more mellow, less-spendy type of trip! I'm just relieved she still can go in November at all (especially since our plane tickets are non-refundable and my DVC points would otherwise be lost.)

I'm our Chief Planner - she gives me a few restaurant ideas but otherwise lets me plan the itineraries and make the ADRs and FP reservations. However, since the setback, not only have we NOT bought APs as we had originally planned, but we still haven't even got our 4-day non-park-hoppers which I've suggested as the cheap alternative. NO TICKETS and now we're 6 weeks out! My Chief Planner nerves are starting to itch.

I made our ADRs months ago, and after using a dining tool, I've decided to suggest we skip the DDP, cancel our Signature ADRs (or maybe just leave one) and from the numbers I've crunched, I don't even think TIW would be worth it this time around. But she HASN'T GOTTEN BACK TO ME. So I still have ADRs on deck that probably need to go, and I would LOVE to just go ahead and purchase those tickets so I can start making FP reservations already, but I need some INPUT from her. I sent her a Google Doc of my revised, money-saving itinerary. I just need her to okay it! (Yes, I'm That Friend. With the WDW trip-planning spreadsheet. Hi. That's me.) I can't make these decisions without her buy-in, especially ones that involve me laying out money for her!

I'm planning to give her a call this weekend with my suggestions... mostly I just need you all to wish me luck that she actually has time to sit down for ten minutes and talk about this! She has a very busy life, I know, but this trip can still happen and she wants it to happen! Luckily, we're both mellow about the parks - even SW:GE (I'd like to see it but I'm not interested in drowning in the crowds!) so we can probably be happy with whatever last-minute FPs I manage to snag. I just want to get things set, you know?

Wish me luck. 🙏
 

la79al

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 24, 2005
Just make sure that she is not 'not getting back to you' because her financial problem is worse than you thought i.e. she can't afford park tickets or eating out at all but she doesn't know how to tell you because of the plane tickets and DVC points. Otherwise, kudos to you for being able to wait until 6 weeks out! I still have months before I need tickets and I'm already getting antsy!
 

siren0119

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 26, 2018
Ok - so something to consider....maybe your plans (albeit scaled down) are still out of budget for her. I don't know her personality and whether she might be inclined to be embarassed, feeling guilty about having to further scale things down, not wanting you to be disappointed, or a hundred other emotions that might keep her from giving a final OK.

But as her friend, you may want to let the Master Planner take a backseat, and let her know that what you worked up may have been assuming a lot of things financially, and that if ANYTHING more needs to be trimmed back you're just happy to be there with her.

We had to significantly scale down the trip we took in August due to several unexpected financial hits. I almost canceled the trip completely. We dumped the dining plan, trimmed down most of our ADRs, and shortened the number of park days and eliminated park hoppers. As the trip got closer, we realized that trimming down wasn't going to be enough. We were struggling more than we had been honest with ourselves about.

So we completely canceled one part of our onsite stay and I found a deal on an offsite hotel that was half the cost. We canceled all of our park days, and figured out a very small (for a family of 4) number that we could realistically manage for all ADR dining and activities. We figured out that within that number we could manage ONE park day (no hopper), one party night (MNSSHP is a family favorite) and a small budget for one or two less expensive TS and some QS meals, plus a grocery run for breakfast and lunches. We made it work and had an amazing time - spent a lot of time exploring the resorts or just enjoying Disney Springs or the pool at our hotel. We didn't regret the severely scaled down plans as much as we would have regretted not taking the trip at all....but it required a change in our mindset.

I would step away from getting her to approve your plan....and talk to her about what's going on. Tell her you won't be disappointed even if the plan you came up with isn't within reach for her. Find out if there's something more than being busy going on. Then go from there.
 

TavieP

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 10, 2012
Ok - so something to consider....maybe your plans (albeit scaled down) are still out of budget for her. I don't know her personality and whether she might be inclined to be embarassed, feeling guilty about having to further scale things down, not wanting you to be disappointed, or a hundred other emotions that might keep her from giving a final OK.

But as her friend, you may want to let the Master Planner take a backseat, and let her know that what you worked up may have been assuming a lot of things financially, and that if ANYTHING more needs to be trimmed back you're just happy to be there with her.

We had to significantly scale down the trip we took in August due to several unexpected financial hits. I almost canceled the trip completely. We dumped the dining plan, trimmed down most of our ADRs, and shortened the number of park days and eliminated park hoppers. As the trip got closer, we realized that trimming down wasn't going to be enough. We were struggling more than we had been honest with ourselves about.

So we completely canceled one part of our onsite stay and I found a deal on an offsite hotel that was half the cost. We canceled all of our park days, and figured out a very small (for a family of 4) number that we could realistically manage for all ADR dining and activities. We figured out that within that number we could manage ONE park day (no hopper), one party night (MNSSHP is a family favorite) and a small budget for one or two less expensive TS and some QS meals, plus a grocery run for breakfast and lunches. We made it work and had an amazing time - spent a lot of time exploring the resorts or just enjoying Disney Springs or the pool at our hotel. We didn't regret the severely scaled down plans as much as we would have regretted not taking the trip at all....but it required a change in our mindset.

I would step away from getting her to approve your plan....and talk to her about what's going on. Tell her you won't be disappointed even if the plan you came up with isn't within reach for her. Find out if there's something more than being busy going on. Then go from there.
Thanks - this is good advice. I think you're right and my being in "Master Planner" mode may be making her nervous. I'll give this a think and approach it differently. We're so close, I hope she knows that whatever we need to do will be fine, up to and including canceling altogether and eating the cost of the plane tickets if that's what she needs to do.
 

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