Planning a trip for May 2020 for me, DH, and DD6. It will be DD’s first trip. Debating between 7 park days and 5 park days. There is only a difference of $80 in the two packages. I feel like we can have a more relaxed touring style if we plan for more days because we can take longer afternoon breaks and still see what we want to see. But DH is all about saving $$. If we do 7 I would plan 2 MK, 2 EP, 2 HS, and 1 AK. With 5 days I would probably plan 2 MK, 2 EP, and 1 AK. HS is so hard to tour right now since they changed the tier system and GE will make things even more complicated. I’ve never taken a child to WDW and I want her to see her top priorities without having to marathon through the parks. What would you do??
I would skip hoppers and do the 7 day ticket to allow plenty of rest time as well as time to repeat favorite attractions.
How many days total is the trip? We like to have a non-park day or two if possible.
We’ll be there 8 days/7nights, driving in. We won’t be doing a park on arrival day so our 7th park day would be departure day. We’re planning to stay in Daytona Beach that night so we wouldn’t have a huge drive ahead of us. If we do 7 days we would take resort breaks in the afternoon and have at least one late arrival day where we could sleep in some. 5 park days would give us a day off to relax at the resort, but I can’t figure out how to do everything we want in the parks without giving up some of our afternoon breaks.
Definitely go 7 days! A lot more relaxed and you get to see HS!
I’m with @quicha, 7 days for sure! You could probably save the $80 through careful food planning.
For what it’s worth I started out planning 5 WDW + 2.5 Universal park days, rope dropping all with afternoon breaks most days and now have 2 full and 3 part Universal days and 5 or 6 full and 1 or 2 part WDW days (7 total plus a break day), not rope dropping daily, and it feels like we’re going to be able to do the things that are important to us in a way more chill and happy way. We’ll see in a month if I’m right about that. This is a first and possibly only trip for us.
Do you have any rest time built in? I always go for the trip with the best pattern to support our energy needs. Though for $80 you could do a rest day and still go in for a meal or a show
I like the seven day plan. I always go with as many days on the ticket as possible. That allows for flexibility and plenty of breaks. Now that my youngest is ten, I have tossed the idea around of fewer days and barreling through on those days to see everything. But my wife doesn’t really like that style either so I’ll probably stick with our usual extended days with breaks built in.
I’m a fan of the 7 day tickets for two reasons:
The $80 price difference is no big deal once you step back and realize how much you will be spending in total
The flexibility of having two extra days could be huge, especially if something happens with your plans (weather) and you miss out on something that is high up in your priority list. You also do not need to plan full days in the parks on these two days, in fact, you can go and watch a parade if you want and leave after that. Or, you can simply use one day to go watch the fireworks or a night-time show. Even if you do not tap into a park on one of those days, I think it is worth it.
Thanks all for the advice! I’m definitely leaning towards 7 days. $80 isn’t much in the grand scheme of a Disney vacation and I think we’ll feel less rushed knowing we have more days to see things.
exactly this! yes, it’s more money, which is not ideal, but two more days sounds very much worth it for $80. as others have mentioned there’s much more flexibility.
on shorter trips, i tend to arrive with the mindset that a countdown has started and felt pressure to get moving. a few extra days eliminates that feeling.
Yup, I also agree with 7 days. I always buy as many days as I will be in Orlando. Even if I don’t go to the park one day, it wasn’t much extra to add on an extra day or two. I always use all my days though It’s almost too cheap NOT to do buy tickets for your whole stay!
I was facing the same decision… I rationalized 7 vs 5 this way. 1) Can eliminate park-hopper without losing flexibility. 2) Give you more FastPass selections 3) Can do a more relaxed approach to experiencing the park with small children 4) More flexibility on selecting parks based upon schedule/crowds and 5) Gives you a little insurance to work around potential weather issues.
Are you getting the Dining Plan? If not, then adding two days in the parks might not easily be made up for with careful food planning because, well, you have two more days in the parks!
Having said that, I think 7 days is better than 5 as well for all the reasons already mentioned here.
Some mentioned dropping park hoppers. I generally don’t recommend park hoppers behind 5 days. However, if you are looking for “relaxing”, having park hoppers still does allow some flexibility, which aids in the ability to relax more. That is, you can hit a park with EMH in the morning, then go relax in the afternoon, and hit a separate park in the evening. Without park hopper, you would likely be better avoiding the park with EMH overall, etc. I think if you plan to stay in a park all day (no breaks) park hoppers serve little useful purpose. But if you PLAN to take mid-day breaks, then you are already “losing out” on that transition time between parks anyhow, so why not take advantage of the park hopper?
We are going with our girls next month and we originally planned 5 day tickets but upgraded to the 7 day. Our reasoning was based upon the planning discussions we had (we plan RD most mornings, but also plan to be out of the parks basically after lunch each day for a long break back at the resort).
As lots of other have said, $80 for some built-in flexibility is pretty cheap for Disney. Good luck!
7 park days would be great if you take afternoon resorts breaks and have a sleep in day like you suggested. Going to the parks for 7 days straight from RD to close would be too much.
We are looking at doing the dining plan for the chance to maximize character meet & greets without cutting into our touring time. And I’m not worrying about park hoppers. The 7 day ticket is cheaper and would give us flexibility to revisit a park if we decide to. Emailed my TA this morning and we’re pulling the trigger on 7 park days. Everything y’all have said just reinforces my own thinking.
I was thinking avoiding all in-park snacks and meals by packing a soft cooler bag with food each of the 7 days. Say you were budgeting a frugal $40 per day per adult (2 QS and 1 or 2 snacks) and $25 per day for DD6, you’ve got $525 for food over 5 days, subtract 80 and you have $445 for 7 days… I feel I could make sandwiches and snacks (and carry water bottles to get free water there) for way less than $63/day. But with the dining plan that’s not happening. We chose “free” dining even though it’s definitely costing more than if we made our own food because we wanted the experience and the time-saving benefits of some of the TS meals. Plus the kids want to try the snacks.
@ecwilliams82 hooray! I hope you have an amazing week.
We are lucky enough be going to Disney during a ‘free dining’ offer…it is worth it for us because our girls are all about character experiences (we get full value from plan as those meals are super expensive and all my children are considered ‘adults’ in the eyes of Disney, lol), and this let’s us get out of the heat and bustle of the parks and into air conditioning for an enforced air-conditioned break.
Our ADRs include:
Garden Grill (Chip n Dale, Mickey and Pluto)
1900 Park Fare Breakfast (Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, Mad Hatter)
Cinderella’s Royal Table Breakfast (Princesses!!)
Crystal Palace Lunch (Winnie the Pooh and Friends)
Tusker House 10:45am reservation so we are there for both Breakfast and Lunch buffet offerings (Donald and Daisy Duck, Mickey and Minnie, Goofy)
1900 Park Fare Dinner (Cinderella, Prince, Lady Tremaine and Evil Stepsisters!!)
'Ohana Breakfast (Lilo, Stitch, Mickey Mouse)
Storybook Dining at Artist’s Point (Snow White, Grumpy, Dopey, and the Evil Queen!!)
If you haven’t already had your ADR time open up, it does help to plan out your dining in advance of making the reservations. We do a lot of dining and I like to make sure menu options and the ‘heaviness’ of meals is well distributed throughout the trip. If you have any questions about different meals - ask here (tons of experts), go to disneyfoodblog for reviews and also there are plenty of videos on youtube which often go over options, pictures and reviews in almost too much detail (I joke, there is never ever such thing as too much detail when it comes to planning out a Disney trip).
I’m going to go against the grain and say five days is plenty. I love having non-park days mixed in where your brain can go back to normal and you can actually do other things in FL.