Help Me Decide: What to Do with a Bonus Day?

Hello everyone! I am a long-time liner (mostly lurker) and have not been to Orlando since Dec 2020! This will be our family’s fourth trip to the World. We are heading there May 12-17, 2024, staying at Poly (rented DVC points). When booking flights, it made sense logistically and financially to fly in the day before we check-in to Poly. We arrive around noon on Saturday, 5/11, so we will technically have about 24+ hours to “kill,” so to speak, before our official Disney time begins on Sunday, 5/12. We plan to do 4-day park hoppers with the 5-night stay, so we definitely could squeeze in something different/new. My current plan is Disney park days on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday (we fly out late, so we could make it happen if this is our AK day). Wednesday would be rest day/Poly pool day. We have already purchased flights and the 5 nights at Poly. We have not yet purchased park tickets. We are hoping to avoid renting a car and leverage ride share etc. Traveling party includes myself, DH, DD-12, DS-10, and DS-9. Here are some options:

  1. Try to rent DVC points for one night only at a new-to-us resort. We love exploring resorts and pool time. We have never stayed at Beach Club, so part of me is thinking of staying one night there just to do the pool and Beaches & Cream.
  2. Do one day at Disney Water Park and stay wherever is cheapest/most convenient.
  3. Do one night at Universal and get a two-day park-to-park ticket. (Fam has never been; last time I went was in the 90s, lol). In this scenario, we would go straight to Universal, check into a resort hotel, head to parks, get up early the next day for parks, and check into Poly that evening. I am leaning toward this option but it could be the priciest of them all??
  4. Make the trek to Legoland for a one-night stay, which would likely require a car rental unless y’all know something I don’t about transport options. This feels like too much to me BUT my kids are HUGE into Lego and have never been there. I think this would “check the box” for them so to speak.
  5. One day at Seaworld? I have zero context for Seaworld. Never been, never researched it. But have friends who tell us we should try it someday.
  6. Just grab a cheap hotel and do nothing on Saturday, make Sunday a full park day, and change Friday to a Disney Springs morning, then depart.
  7. Is there something I am not thinking of?

In terms of budget for this “extra day” lol, there isn’t really one at the moment. I’d like to stay under $1500 for this bonus stuff, but I honestly have not even started to look into pricing. One thing I am considering is buying convention tickets, which would get me that extra water park day. But even though so many on here have done it, I am scared to pull the trigger, like I will be the one exception to it not working for some reason, lol. I checked, and convention tickets are available at our time of travel.

Ok, that was a lot! I welcome all comments, input, questions, ideas etc. I am a verbal processor, so I appreciate the dialogue!!

Thanks yall!

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I - who does not go to the shadowy place - think the Uni option is the most fun and you’d definitely get to see/do it all from what my DH and kids tell me. They go for one day with a park-to-park ticket and express pass and find that sufficient. So two days each 3/4 in length would be fabulous

Otherwise I’d suggest an affordable hotel near DS, arrive, settle in, shop, have a nice meal, and be ready to rock the next morning.


I second it because…

Your kids are just old enough to really love Universal, or at least find out if they do!


this made me LOL!

This is very helpful feedback! I like both of these options. DH will like the second option b/c its definitely the most affordable lol. But he’s also dying to see Harry Potter stuff so he could be persuaded!


This is also what I am thinking and what I mostly want to do! I know you’ve shared a wealth of helpful Universal content so I will be hitting the search bar for that if we go this route!

(As I am typing this, they are all watching Lego Movie for the eleventy-billionth time. So I still wonder if I need to bite the bullet and make that trip happen?)

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions


It’s definitely worth seeing HP sections of UOR at least once in your lifetime.

Your older kids will likely be bored and your 9-year-old may have already aged out. The Lego concepts are cool for all ages, but the rides are very tame.

I like Sea World just fine but WDW and UOR are both so much better that it’s hard to justify going there with the other options nearby. If I go to Sea World again it will be in either San Diego or San Antonio (I’ve been to all three US locations).

That said, I would do whatever option calls to you since it’s your vacation. :blush:


I did not know there was a Sea World in San Antonio! We have family who recently moved there and are planning to visit so I will definitely save Sea World for Texas!! Thank you for sharing that!

RE: Legoland. My older two are totally roller coaster-obsessed, so I think you’re right about them already aging out. That is really good to know.


Hit me up sometime for some helpful WWOHP info!

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Send me your thoughts! I am all ears. I floated the idea just now and I think DH is here for it.

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I feel like this post is about to turn into a “help me plan 2 half-days at Universal” post lol. If so, we can move this over to the Universal board. I wasn’t sure where to start lol.

We are trying to make this as affordable as possible. Any input on off-site hotels vs. something like Endless Summer (currently $249/night)

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Get an AP rate. They usually come out about 3 months beforehand. One person in your party will need an AP, but it usually pays for itself.

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We really really like UOR but are a Disney family at heart. I have never combined the 2 in a single trip though as I like to have one or another of the vacations. I might be the only one that feels like that though. If you do UOR, def stay at a deluxe for Express Passes. The rooms hold 5 with a roll away and definitely worth it both in experience and value. An AP is not much more than tix and will get you a worthwhile discount.

I think the kids would like Legoland and this might be the end of your chance to do it before they grow out of it. My lego and rollercoaster-obsessed kid had his best day ever at Legoland when he was 11. The rides were fun (not super thrill coasters) but good fun. It was easy to navigate and re-ride and re-ride until they were actually tired of the ride. He enjoyed the lego theme and the merch too. His 17 yo brother enjoyed it as well but probably wouldn’t have if he didn’t have a younger brother having so much fun.


Thanks for this input. My kids are SO lego obsessed (and coaster obsessed lol) I am definitely feeling torn.

What kind of merch? Does special merch come with the stay?

I’ll link this, which I just shared recently:

If you decide to, just edit the first post. You can change the title and also the category to Uni.

If you’re visiting on a Saturday, then yes to Express Pass. If it’s not a Saturday, you probably don’t need it.

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It will be Saturday! Thank you!

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:frowning: I guess I’m the lone dissenter here, but I would spend the extra night at a Disney or Disney Springs hotel and add an extra park day. 1 for each park and 1 more to hit the highlights. With a convention ticket with the water park day you could do that on your arrival or departure day and DS the other.


Our extended family had so much fun staying Beach Club and enjoying that pool. We’ve spent time at Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach and now that I think of it, River Country.

If your schedule accommodated a last day at Beach Club, relaxing at that pool, you’d have a great trip.

Or if you have, as we did then, folks who need some buffer time between the work world and Disney, starting your vacation off with the Beach Club would put everyone in the right frame of mind.

Less is often more.


I think this is a perfectly fine option if that’s what they want to do. It seemed they were leaning other directions though which is why I think many of us supported that idea.

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That is probably what I would do if it were me as well. In fact, just yesterday I added an extra 1/2 park day and an additional night at another Dis hotel to the end of my upcoming vacation as it was much cheaper to fly home the next night. And Disney math.


Gets you every time.

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