Disney magic (or, "Why I want to be a VIP")

There was some lighthearted banter last weekend about me booking the Festival of Fantasy Parade Dining Package. I didn’t really plan on eating the food, I just wanted a good spot for the parade. The (overwhelming) majority view was that this was nuts. So I cancelled it.

Then today someone posted some photographs they’d taken in the viewing area you get when you book the dining package. Wow! So I rebooked it.

There are two reasons for this.

First, I don’t deal well with stress. Maybe there are great viewing spots for the parade, but where are they? How early do I have to find them? How easy will it be to defend them? This is why I love the HEA dessert party. Zero stress. Guaranteed good view. No waiting.

But second, it’s about what’s magical about WDW for me.

I’ve lived on my own for the last ten years or so. There are all kinds of advantages to this and I’m not complaining. But one of the disadvantages is that I have to do everything myself. No-one ever says to me, “I’m making a cup of tea. Do you want one?” (I work from home, so no-one says this to me at work, either.)

Indeed, I remember one of my early thoughts during my first and only serious relationship was, “Wow! This is amazing! I don’t have to do everything for myself!”

Well, you can see where this is going. When you go on a holiday like one to WDW you feel special. People do things for you. They make meals for you. They even put on shows for you!

So standing in the “VIP” area for the parade, with its great view, will be a lovely moment for me. It’ll make me feel special. Because I don’t really get that in my normal life. No-one says to me, “you’re looking nice today”. Again, I’m not complaining. Other people have tougher lives than me.

But it’s nice from time to time to feel like a VIP.


Hey, whatever works. If you have the money, go for it. And by the way, you’re looking nice today!


I think that’s the secret to a Disney trip. Doesn’t matter where you stay or what you do as long it’s magical to you


@profmatt, you will need you hat. It will be full sun if it itva sunny day but there will not be any stress and you will have a great view. I set up across from the train station so I could turn and see the parade coming down Main Street, view it clearly as it passes Tony’s and then went right by me! But all areas work!


I did this last year because crowds completely stress me out and as a result, I had never seen the parade. I also missed out of Wishes for the same reason. I am thrilled Disney added ways to experience these things but not get the anxiety, even if it costs me a little (or sometimes a lot) more.

The parade viewing area is hot, but it was amazing. No wait, curbside seating and we watched the parade approach down Main Street. It was just me and DS. We loved it.


I bought a hat specially for Disney last year. I’m covered on that front. Literally!


Have you considered, though, which shirt to wear on that day so as to match whatever special display they may have in the town square? Your shirt matches the pumpkin theme so well here, I can’t help but hope you’ve considered this on your upcoming trip as well.

(I jest.)

Seriously, though, it’s your vacation - make it what YOU want it to be!

(I’m just going to sit back and see how it actually unfolds LOL)


That’s part of the fun!

But every report I’ve read from people who’ve done it says that they thought it was great and they have no regrets.

This is a terrible thing to say, but I don’t care about the money. I’m spending so much anyway, another $54 or whatever is a drop in the ocean.

If it rains, then I’ll be really disappointed, but if the weather’s nice, I think I’ll be glad I did it. And it just makes my day less stressful and more magical.

I think I’m more likely to regret not doing it and having difficulty finding a regular spot, than I will doing it and . . . well, what? What’s the downside of doing it? Money? Pah. Sun? I have a hat. Rain, well that wrecks everything anyway.

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I meant the whole trip, seeing as it changes day to day :wink: I’m sure this individual element will be fantastic!

In fact I saw a post titled something like “Princess Indecisive” and thought it was maybe a post of your own! :wink:


Do I have to explain this every time?

The plan is refined.

16 days to go. I’m at the tweaking tiny details stage. Tiny tweaks. Barely visible to the human eye.

Like switching MP to TE then back to MP, then trying to switch it to LC.



I am having trouble with the abbreviation LC. What is that?

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Le Cellier

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I tend to feel the same way. It isn’t that I don’t ‘care’ about money overall but when you are spending so much on a trip, a little more for something special doesn’t seem to matter.
For people with families I know this would be a lot harder, because it is an extra $200 or more, but I am going on a solo trip also and since I am splurging on the trip anyway I don’t want to skip things that I think I will enjoy.


And here lies one of the biggest advantages of going to Disney solo, probably only matched by the flexibility advantage. The cost difference when you start only needing to buy only one of everything is insane.

This. As planners, I think it’s safe to say we almost all agree that you get out of these disney vacation what you put INTO them. You wanna put out extra money for the VIP experience because you enjoy that, then you’d be wise to do so.


This is an obvious point, but money plays a huge role in Disney planning for me.

Because it’s so expensive, I want it to be as good as possible. Just arriving at the entrance to MK costs me a huge amount of money. And that’s before I’ve bought a ticket or spent a night.

If I lived in Florida, I’d go to WDW all the time with an annual pass. I wouldn’t care if I couldn’t get a good view of the parade because I’d be coming back next month anyway.

@SteveofEngland, of Liner fame, deals with the problem differently. His most recent trip was something like a month long. Bad view of the parade? I’ll come back next week.

I’ve got seven nights in Florida. And that’s it till next year. In that time I’m trying to cover six theme parks, including the two at UOR. And next year’s not guaranteed. Business needs to stay good for me to be able to afford it.

But it’s not just about money. It’s about time. I can’t take time off whenever I want. I’m restricted essentially to late June, July and August. I could do two trips, I suppose, but then there’s the issue of who’s going to look after the dog while I’m away. And can I ask the person whose house I’m staying in to use her house twice. She uses it in the summer, too. I could stay on property, but then we’re back to money.

I could take cheaper flights: I could fly economy. I could stay at an All-Star resort. I could not eat at two-credit restaurants. But flying business class, and staying in my friend’s lovely home or in a deluxe resort, and eating at signature restaurants is all part of the magic. I hate flying. It’s a miserable business. Flying business class makes it exciting and fun. Staying at an All-Star resort means lots of busses. Staying at Yacht Club means walking to Epcot.

And it’s not just about money. It’s about wanting to be a king for a day. Well, a week. I like the idea of being in the VIP parade viewing area. Not because I want to feel better than other people. But because I want to feel special. I want to feel treated and looked after. Because, as I said, I don’t get that in my regular life.


We are planning to go there in December, if I can score an ADR. We chose that over Monsieur Paul.

This is exactly why we’re doing the parade dining package. It just feels so much better to me to know ahead of time that we’ve got a spot.

We will eat all the lunch, though–my husband is not an especially discriminating eater and orders spaghetti and meatballs every time he sees it on a menu, so Tony’s was already a restaurant I’d picked out for us before I knew there was a parade package. I’ll enjoy the theming and I’m sure I’ll think the food is fine.

I’m very much the same kind of traveler you are. If I’m going to spend some time and money on a trip, I’d like to do as much as I can to make it as special as possible! (And in the case of this trip, we are flying from Seattle, which I think might be almost as far as you–we go to California fairly often, but won’t go to Florida again for many years if at all.)

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As I just dropped a small fortune to travel to Disney “VIP” style for the foreseeable future…

I applaud your reasoning.

Although for me it’s not “feeling like a king” (or queen for me), it’s being able to go, relax and just do whatever we want whenever we want without the stress of massive planning. I let others plan and we go have fun.

But yeah. I get it. Plus it’s always fun to read your changes!!!


Now you’re making ME want to buy the dang spot! Pretty soon OBNURSE is going to be signed up too :joy:


As I said before, I sat DIRECTLY OPPOSITE the reserved viewing area for 100% free. And I was only there maybe 1/2 hour ahead of time.

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