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Vacation Planning Tips & Tricks Discuss Opinions for an upcoming WDW trip. in the Vacation Planning forums; Hello everyone! I am a long time WDW parks visitor and annual passholder looking for some advice for an upcoming trip. In the past I have usually had the luxury ...
  1. #1
    MedTG's Avatar
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    Question Opinions for an upcoming WDW trip.

    Hello everyone!

    I am a long time WDW parks visitor and annual passholder looking for some advice for an upcoming trip. In the past I have usually had the luxury of 4-7 day trips, so planning was not as much of a necessity (aside from ADRs of course). However, now that I am in my second year of medical school with much less time, my next trip will be a three day weekend trip.

    The trip will be just my girlfriend and me. However, she is not an annual passholder, so we are planning to save money by getting her a 3 day MYW pass without park hopping. We will arrive late on a Thursday (12/5) and will leave around 3:30 PM on the following Sunday (12/8). We will most likely stay at a value resort to save money. I have never been to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and am planning to partake in that. However, I also want to my girlfriend see the Osborne lights (of course I want to see them again as well). The tentative schedule looks like this:

    12/5: Arrive, dinner at DTD
    12/6: Epcot or DHS AM-Afternoon/ Christmas Party at night.
    12/7: Full day at DHS or Epcot (whichever park we did not visit on the previous day)
    12/8: MK until we have to leave for the airport.

    There are not any extra magic hours that really work well with this plan. My girlfriend has only been to WDW one other time, and she did not get to see Fantasmic or Toy Story Midway Mania! My dilemma is whether we should spend the full day at Epcot or at DHS. I feel like either is a good choice.

    A big issue is what time the Osborne lights turn on each night. I have only been in WDW once during Christmas time. Some places say they come on at 6, others say they come on at dusk. If they come on at Dusk, DHS may be a good choice for the Christmas party night, but if they come on at 6, I feel like we would be cutting it a bit close for the Christmas party and not getting the most out of that ticket, especially with our limited time.

    On the other hand, neither of us have seen the Candlelight Processional. My girlfriend also did not get to experience Soarin' or Test Track on her first visit, nor did we get a lot of time to just wander around World Showcase. Epcot is also open later on 12/7, so it would be more park hours. It also might make me more comfortable to book an ADR outside of the park as well (we will likely only have one ADR this trip). However, I feel like Epcot is the park where we could probably do all of the attractions and see all the performances that we need to see in half of a day. It makes me sad to say that since normally I would budget at least a couple full days at Epcot

    Lastly, we will be flying in and out of Orlando Sanford airport. I have done this multiple times, but have always been picked up by family or with someone else paying for the transportation. What recommendations would you have for traveling to WDW from Sanford? Would renting a car make the most sense, or would a taxi/town car be more cost effective? We may be able to get a ride back to the airport from family, but the car may be nice since I have an AP and will have free parking access.

    Thank you very much for looking! It really is such a different dynamic planning a weekend trip than it is a week long vacation. I really appreciate any feedback!

    Have a great big beautiful day!

    -Joe

  2. #2
    HauntedGabe's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions for an upcoming WDW trip.

    What time will you fly in on day of arrival? I'm asking that question because it seems a waste pay both admission and Christmas Party admission on the same day while trying to conserve money.
    Some people are like Slinkies.

    They aren't really good for anything,
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    Re: Opinions for an upcoming WDW trip.

    We would get in around 8:30, but by the time we get luggage and on property it will be closer to 10; so too late to actually do a whole lot.

    I very much see your point about the Christmas Party, but it is something I have never done, and would like to do. It would be possible to just not go to another park that day, but with 2.5 days of actual park time, it is hard to give that up. Plus, since I want to be sure we get to the E-ticket rides in both DHS and Epcot, it really requires being in those parks early on whichever day we decide to visit them.

    It would indeed be cheaper to just visit one park per day, but we are viewing the trade off of not paying for as many nights in the hotel. Plus we found very reasonable round trip airfare ($130). Due to the short duration and wanting to see multiple night time events, we already figured we would want some sort of park hopping. However, the Christmas party ticket is roughly the same price as adding the park hopper option, and circumvents the need for it, so it seemed like a good way to take full advantage of a special event and time of year while spending a comparable amount of money.

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    Re: Opinions for an upcoming WDW trip.

    Yep that is too late. I would consider the hopper though. MGM is just not really a full day park anymore.

    I understand shoe string but the difference between 3 day no hop and a 3 day expiring hopper is $15 dollars.
    That $15 dollars affords you so much flexibility to pop in for night time festivities. I'd scale back dinner on day of arrival to cover the $15 cost, especially since the GF has so much to see.

    It is pretty slow those weeks but there are a few unofficial meets that week. I'd be opening the parks if Toy Story and Soarin/Test Track are a must see.
    Some people are like Slinkies.

    They aren't really good for anything,
    but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.

    Friends are Gods way of apologizing to us for our families.

  5. #5
    HauntedGabe's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions for an upcoming WDW trip.

    Some people are like Slinkies.

    They aren't really good for anything,
    but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.

    Friends are Gods way of apologizing to us for our families.

  6. #6
    MedTG's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions for an upcoming WDW trip.

    Gabe, I think you may be comparing the "No Expiration" MYW 3 day to the MYW 3 day with Parkhopper, as opposed to the MYW 3 day with no extra options to a MYW 3 day with park hopper.

    MYW 3 day base ticket = $279.03
    MYW 3 day no expiration = $326.96
    MYW 3 day park hopper = $341.87

    So, the difference is $341.87-$279.03 = $62.84

    One AP discounted Christmas party ticket = $58.00 + tax. So, it is essentially the same, especially since the only day we would park hop would be the Christmas party day, and that ticket offers significantly extended hours. Also, given the early December date, likely less crowds as well.

    Does that make any more sense? I do apologize for the confusion.

  7. #7
    MedTG's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions for an upcoming WDW trip.

    Quote Originally Posted by HauntedGabe View Post
    Yep that is too late. I would consider the hopper though. MGM is just not really a full day park anymore.

    It is pretty slow those weeks but there are a few unofficial meets that week. I'd be opening the parks if Toy Story and Soarin/Test Track are a must see.
    Now, I disagree on DHS. Between TSMM, ToT, and Rock n Roller Coaster you have 3 e tickets. Not a whole day on their own, but it may very well take you from 9AM until 2-3PM to get fastpasses and get on all of them. Star Tours can easily be ridden multiple times. There are also the really good shows in Beauty and the Beast and Voyage of the Little Mermaid. We are both pretty big Muppet fans, so Muppetvision 3D is a must. In 20+ visits I have never missed seeing Muppetvision. The Animation Academy is also a great deal of fun. The nostalgic in me also loves the Great Movie Ride and One Man's Dream. If you add all that up along with Fantasmic!, the Osborne lights, and maybe one or two stops at Starring Rolls you can pretty easily fill a whole day. Also, with an earlier park closing at 8PM, it leaves time for a late dinner ADR at a resort restaurant like Boma or Sanaa.

    I definitely agree on opening the parks for those attractions. If you read my original post, that is why I have the days scheduled the way they are.

  8. #8
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    Re: Opinions for an upcoming WDW trip.

    Quote Originally Posted by MedTG View Post
    Gabe, I think you may be comparing the "No Expiration" MYW 3 day to the MYW 3 day with Parkhopper, as opposed to the MYW 3 day with no extra options to a MYW 3 day with park hopper.

    MYW 3 day base ticket = $279.03
    MYW 3 day no expiration = $326.96
    MYW 3 day park hopper = $341.87

    So, the difference is $341.87-$279.03 = $62.84

    One AP discounted Christmas party ticket = $58.00 + tax. So, it is essentially the same, especially since the only day we would park hop would be the Christmas party day, and that ticket offers significantly extended hours. Also, given the early December date, likely less crowds as well.

    Does that make any more sense? I do apologize for the confusion.
    You are right. it is $62.84!

    I just looked at Touring Plans
    Friday isn't an issue, 3 out 10 on crowd levels, park to go to MK, park to stay out of EP.
    Sat is up to 6 out of 10 park to go to EP park to stay out of HS, so this is the only day with real issues
    Sunday down to 2 out of 10 park to go to MK park to stay out of HS
    Some people are like Slinkies.

    They aren't really good for anything,
    but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.

    Friends are Gods way of apologizing to us for our families.

  9. #9
    HauntedGabe's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions for an upcoming WDW trip.

    Quote Originally Posted by MedTG View Post
    Now, I disagree on DHS. Between TSMM, ToT, and Rock n Roller Coaster you have 3 e tickets. Not a whole day on their own, but it may very well take you from 9AM until 2-3PM to get fastpasses and get on all of them. Star Tours can easily be ridden multiple times. There are also the really good shows in Beauty and the Beast and Voyage of the Little Mermaid. We are both pretty big Muppet fans, so Muppetvision 3D is a must. In 20+ visits I have never missed seeing Muppetvision. The Animation Academy is also a great deal of fun. The nostalgic in me also loves the Great Movie Ride and One Man's Dream. If you add all that up along with Fantasmic!, the Osborne lights, and maybe one or two stops at Starring Rolls you can pretty easily fill a whole day. Also, with an earlier park closing at 8PM, it leaves time for a late dinner ADR at a resort restaurant like Boma or Sanaa.

    I definitely agree on opening the parks for those attractions. If you read my original post, that is why I have the days scheduled the way they are.
    Okie Dokie.
    Some people are like Slinkies.

    They aren't really good for anything,
    but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.

    Friends are Gods way of apologizing to us for our families.

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