I'm Curious

Now that I’m back from our first trip (and therefore, planning when our 2nd will be), I’m curious:

How often do you go to WDW?

What thing(s) do you consider an absolutely must do on every trip?

What thing(s) do you feel are a ‘one and done’ for you personally?

How much do you like to change things up trip to trip? Or do you like to keep things very similar?

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We used to go every two years or less, but since they started fast pass plus it’s been three years or more. But it also prompted us to go to Disneyland. It also prompted us to try new things like camping and taking more cruises. So it wasn’t all bad.

Taking a family of eight to Disney World is extremely expensive. And I am pretty intense when it comes to evaluating the return on my investment. When I take the overall price tag and evaluate how much fun we got for the money, we have found Disney does not return as much fun as it used to.

This is a Disney message board, and I do love Disney, but there are so many other things in the world to do.

That’s just my two cents.


To each their own I guess. I still love Disney. I don’t find FPP too bad - I’d prefer it if it was day of only and one at a time (but still via the app rather than the paper system) like MaxPass in DL, but it’s not horrible, at least for me and my family.

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Yes. The pre-ordering changed everything for us.

But the upside is trying more new things. :+1:

We have gone as a family for 8-10 days every other year since 2003 (I’ve also been on 2 adult-only trips this year and 1 solo day trip as I was there for work). Thinking of perhaps going every year for shorter trips 4-6 days in the future now that kids are older, instead of doing long trips.

We have must-do attractions and repeat dining locations (TE, CRT) but I really like to try to do some new things every time–we are aiming for 20 this trip. Our resort is typically based on price as we get 2 rooms so harder to mix it up there.

“How often do you go to WDW?”

Average about 2 times a year. ONe week-ish long trip, one 4 days

“What thing(s) do you consider an absolutely must do on every trip?”

this could be a long list, so I’ll self limit to absolute musts: Dumbo (my name :-)), tea cups, Pooh, now 7DMT, HM, Tiki (I know, that will draw fire), Dole Whip, shopping on Main Street, EE, KS, Finding Nemo, ToT, TSM, Frozen Sing-Along, SpaceShip Earth, just wandering around World Showcase and letting the mood take me. I have restaurants I love, but I don’t organize myself around them. Tops: Brown Derby, Sci-Fi (bad food, fun nonetheless), the little tequila bar tucked inside Mexico, German pretzels. OK, Time to stop I’m getting hungry for Disney.


“What thing(s) do you feel are a ‘one and done’ for you personally?”

again, drawing fire but Figment. Astro Orbiter.

“How much do you like to change things up trip to trip? Or do you like to keep things very similar?”

Very great question for us all. I think the answer is I have my core things (and those for who I do different trips with) and those I book/plan first, and then I do try to try something new each time. I’ve done mini-golf, family has done golf (I don’t), I’ll choose one expensive TS per just to try. But (I’m realizing in answering) for me, Disney is about going back to the core of happy, so its mostly going back to those.

From a newbie…Have only been once (last year, with a LOT of help from this forum) but i’m now trying to pencil out when could we go back. Looking at 2021 maybe.

Would like to repeat: FOP, Safari, EE, Soarin’, Turtle talk, SDMT, SM, Splash, BTMRR, Pirates, PP, HM, magic carpets, HEA, Raglan Road

Don’t care if we do again although it was good one time: Little mermaid, tea cups, speedway, Nemo ride, FOTLK, KRR, boneyard (kids will be too old, mousetrap ride

I wish it were more often but I was last there in 2017, may not be able to make it 2029 so that would be 3 years in between trips. If money were not an objection I am sure I would be there ever year.
HM, Splash, BoG and the fireworks at MK; KS, KRR and FoP in AK; SE, S, Illuminations and TT in Epcot; F!, ToT, TSMM and MOtFO in HS (I haven’t been to TSL so these may change), Beaches and Cream won my heart over so I think I’ll be adding that to our must do list.
Once and done would be RoL and FoTLK in AK; HoP, WtP and CBJ at MK; Figment at Epcot; VoTLM in HS.
I don’t change that much between trips, just adding new stuff on, changing the order around… stuff like that.

The number of trips varies. There have been years that I’ve gone several times, but other times is years between visits; when I go in December, it will have been 5 years - my longest Disney drought. There are certain rides in each park that I consider “must do”, but that list would be long, and in all honestly are pretty much the headliners in each park. If I had to pick one in each park, I guess it would be Splash, Soarin’, ToT, and KS. One and dones would probably be ETwB, Stitch, Flying Carpets, Triceratops Spin, Nemo (the EP ride). 7DMT is also on the list, not so much because it’s a bad ride, but because I am a larger person, and it’s the only Disney ride on which I’ve been in pain virtually the entire time. If I loose a bunch of weight I may have a different opinion.

For restaurants there are too many to have ones that I go to every time. BG, CG, and RR are the three that I have probably been to the most over the years. As for one and done, The Wave, BoG, and Narcoossee’s. This last one might surprise you, but of the 8 signature restaurants at which I have dined, it was my least favorite, and therefore not one I am likely to revisit.

There is a lot of similarities between trips; other than the occasional new ride, the parks don’t really change all that much the length of my trips varies between 5 and 7 days, and I enjoy trying new resorts; I’ll be staying at WL for the first time on my next trip.

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I’ve been going since I was a toddler in 1971. I’ve been with my parents, children, grandchildren and extended family. For the past several years I have visited with my sister, which frankly is the most fun! We stay at the Swan on points. Her must-do ride is Test Track; mine is Peter Pan’s flight. But we both LOOOOVE Buzz Lightyear in MK and Toy Story Mania in HS. It’s great fun competing against each other. We also love to eat at Boma,

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We typically go 3-5x/year. Many of those are short 3-5 days trips.
Honestly, we don’t have any absolute must dos. We have been enough that we are flexible with schedules and aren’t upset if we miss something on a trip.
The only thing on my one and done is Mission Space. I seriously thought I was going to vomit. And I felt awful for hours afterwards. My kids on the other hand love it and ride it most trips.
We are always changing things up.

Despite our frequent Disney trips, I absolutely agree with your statement. Our big family vacations are actually not to Disney anymore.

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@qwerty6 I totally get what you’re saying about ROI. It’s not a cheap vacation, so the magic better be real! This is actually one of my concerns about repeating a visit too soon. Everything is so magical the first time you see it in person, but the 2nd time through isn’t as good. And we definitely want to do other kinds of vacations and visit other places too.

@momfourmonkeys 20 new things sounds like loads of fun! We missed quite a few things for refurbishment this year, so there will be several on my next ‘must do’ list just from that!

@DumboRunner I agree. The sentimentality of doing your favorite happy things is where a lot of the magic is!

@quicha I’m drawing a total blank. What is MOtFO?

@hollinj I was so bad at aiming on Buzz! I thought TSM was a lot easier.

To answer my own questions…
I think we’ll do a Disney-Adjacent trip in late 2020. (Resort fun but no park tickets.) And maybe another week long trip in 2022?

My short-list of must dos are Dole Whip, OUAT/HEA, Small World in MK, Soarin, FEA, Tangierine Cafe in Epcot, FoP and KS in AK, and TSM & AS2 (it’s really cute!) in HS. If DS2 continues to be as obsessed with the Beast as he has been since our trip, we’ll definitely be doing ETWB in 2022 when he’s 5 to see if he can play the Beast. If not, the 3 of us would skip that one.

Things we missed that are on next trip’s must do list: PPF, Tiki Room, Pirates, Magic Carpets, and the railroad in MK, KRR, Gorilla Trail, and Boneyard in AK, Frozen, VoTLM, Jedi Training, and F! in HS, and TT in Epcot.

Assuming our family/vacation group doesn’t change at all (which would obviously mean we’d do some of these again), my ‘one and done’ rides are: Little Mermaid in MK, Spaceship Earth and 3 Caballeros in Epcot, ROL in AK (I loved FOLK and Nemo shows, but not sure I’d need to see them again). DH would add Small World to that, but I loved it.

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I think this is March of the first order

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Well, I went twice as a teen in the 90’s, went on my honeymoon in 2007, went first time with the kids in 2016, second trip in 2018, and hopefully again in 2020.

So at this point, must dos include Garden Grill, BTMRR, Star Tours, Figment, Spaceship Earth, Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, POC

One and done: Rose and Crown, It’s a Small World (I did do it once in DL as well due to peer pressure), Tiki room, and RRC.

I just plan things as they fit into our trip. Our trips have not been the same, but I do not intentionally go out to make them completely different. For our 2018 trip, I did plan new things or things we didn’t get to do in 2016.

I go a lot, to both WDW and Disneyland. It’s an addiction, I’d say. My DH hasn’t been to WDW since 2014, though he did go to Disneyland with us in December 2017. I have taken my kids (15 and 17) to WDW and UOR every spring break since 2014, except 2016. I plan on this again this year and next, though after that it will change since DD will be off to college (University for our UK members) and will have a different break than her brother. I also go with friends to WDW, usually once or twice a year and to Disneyland with friends twice a year. I also take 1 of my kids to Disneyland in the summer while the other travels with my Mom. When I write it down it feels excessive, but in reality I would love to go even more. Sigh…I might need an intervention!
Must dos: All 4 parks. All “thrill” rides. The classics like Carousel of Progress, People Mover, Jungle Cruise, Big Thunder. Many of the same TS restaurants. Yak & Yeti, Tusker House, Via Napoli, Garden Grill pre rope drop breakfast, Sci Fi pretty much every trip.
Skippable: Mission Space Orange as it makes me feel terrible. The teacups, don’t like to spin. Anything Star Wars is avoided except the one ride.
I’d say we keep many things similar (except resort), but vary our park time based on where we are staying and what is new. For example, last year Pandora was new for my kids, so we stayed at AKL and went to AK 3 times in 8 days I think. This year we will be staying at BWV for part of the trip so have a lot of time planned at HS (Toy Story Land is new for my kids) and Epcot.


I go about once a year.

I am a huge MK girl, I always do people mover several times, Splash Mountain, Tiki Room, Haunted Mansion, IASW, COP, among others. Those are my favorites.

I also try and get a dole whip once a trip as well as a mickey pretzel.

One and Done: country bears, the american show at epcot.

My trips are fairly similar, but I do try and do something new each trip. Mostly offsite, we have done Discovery Cove, Kennedy Space Center and an escape the room.

Me too.

Apparently you need an intervention as well? :laughing:

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Well, an intervention has been suggested by my friends, but I declined. I’m not willing to admit I have a problem.