MVMCP or Universal?

Bringing my mom on a happy retirement/happy birthday surprise first trip to WDW in early December with my 30 year old sister and my 2 sons (9 & almost 2). I’m paying for the whole trip (aside from my sister’s flight from halfway across the country - straight to MCO). I’m driving down (approx 12 hours) with my mom and the kids, I booked 2 rooms at All Star Movies for 5 nights, and got 6-day base tickets.

Planned on doing MVMCP one night. ($459.03 for our party) If we don’t do MVMCP my mom won’t see fireworks at the castle at all.

My sister (who hasn’t been to Disney in like 20 years and has never been to Universal) told me it is her “life dream” to go to Hogwarts. Now I feel obligated to make this happen for her but since I am on a limited budget something has to go. Or I need a tip/trick for getting super discounted 1-day P2P tickets for universal (I’m aware that these literally do not exist).

MVMCP will cost $459.03
Universal will cost $707.17 just for tickets – without factoring in the cost of possibly staying an additional night or 2 at an off-site hotel closer to Universal.

Anyone have any solutions/out-of-the-box ideas?

Maybe rearrange your park schedule so that you will be at MK on a non-party night? Then you can drop MVMCP and do a day at UOR.

ETA: I guess I’m a little confused as to why you can’t see the fireworks if you don’t go to MVMCP. I’m assuming it’s just down to your current planned park days.

You’ve basically posed an unsolvable problem. You can’t give up MVMCP because it’s awesome and your mom has to see the fireworks at the castle. You can’t give up UOR because the Harry Potter stuff is awesome and your friend has to see it.

Split the group for one day?

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I’d give up the MVMCP and do universal. I have been 3 times with kids and still haven’t done fireworks at MK. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything important. There’s other attractions I’ve missed too. If that’s a must do you should try to rearrange your park days. I would focus on doing everything you can without any add-ons.

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So, keep this in mind: I have only been to Universal for 1 day about 25 years ago, so my knowledge of that is very limited. Also, keep in mind that this is a Disney message board, so you may get advice slanted toward Disney. Especially from me. See the first line from me.

My advice would be to go to MVMCP. It’s awesome. You can do party stuff, or you can focus on rides and do more of those because the lines won’t be as long as they are on regular nights. There are some rare meet and greets you simply cannot get without being in the party. Jack Skrellington. The 7 dwarves. Etc. If you aren’t in to meet and greets, that’s fine. See the shows. Watch the parade. The parade is awesome by the way. I’m not into parades, but they have toy soldiers playing drums, they have gingerbread men, they have every character you can think of. And it’s followed up by the big man himself. Santa. Everything about the party is amazing. Plus, you can get in around 4 PM, and it’s almost like a whole park day in itself.

Plus, you said the difference is around $250 in Disney’s favor.

Mic drop.


So we are going during the week of the cast member party (MK closes at 4:30pm) and opening of Rise of the Resistance. Every single day we are there except Wednesday is a party day. We have HS planned for that day now that Rise of the Resistance is opening the next day. CM party and Rise of the Resistance were obviously announced AFTER I booked and I can’t change my vacation time with work.

I thought of that – maybe send my mom and sister to UOR for the day and take the extra time at MK with my kids. But my 9 year old will definitely get jealous and want to go to UOR. So that leaves me and the almost-2-year-old on our own. I guess I could take a day at MK with the baby?

The place you went to and the place that exists now are so utterly different as to render your mic drop worthless.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is as good as anything WDW has to offer.


Agreed. Which is why this is a hard decision.

Unless my sister backs out of the trip, which she has just hinted at. Idk how anyone in their right mind turns down a Disney Trip paid for by someone else…

That doesn’t solve the problem. I’m thinking on MVMCP day, one group goes to UOR, one group goes to MVMCP. They choose.

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It’s great of you to do all of this - very generous! It seems, from your post, that the main concern is budget. I hope this doesn’t sound awful, but there is a point where you’ve done all you need to. If your sister really wants to go to Hogwarts, then she should make arrangements. You can’t make everyone’s dreams happen. Good luck!!


:cry: you are probably right.

And I’m definitely overthinking all of this.


Splitting up on the MVMCP day seems like the best idea. You can ask your 9yo which he wants more, a Harry Potter-centric day at Universal or staying up late for MVMCP. Definitely a difficult decision, but I bet he can make it, and an aunt-older nephew adventure day sounds like it might be fun. I’m assuming that your mom isn’t as big a Harry Potter fan as your sister – since it’s a surprise you’re going to have to make the decision for her.

Oh, the other thing I thought of, since your sister is responsible for flying herself in, she could add on a day at the beginning or end to visit Universal on her own.


I like this idea alot! However, while I would give anything to have a day alone in any of the parks, I’m not certain she feels the same way. I will ask her though. :+1:


What are your current plans for each day? Maybe there is some creative juggling we can do to make this work out for everyone. :slight_smile:

Actually, it’s worth right around $250. :rofl::rofl:

Sunday Dec 1 – Arrival, relax at resort, Epcot for evening show if not too tired
Monday Dec 2 – 8am BOG, MK (closes at 4:30), early dinner at 1900 Park Fare, relax
Tuesday Dec 3 – AK until 2pm, break at resort, (MVMCP planned - back to AK if we skip)
Wednesday Dec 4 – 8am Ohana, HS (focus on TSL rides/character meets)
Thursday Dec 5 – 8am Akershus, Epcot (ugh I just realized this is EMH day and my ADR isn’t PPO)
Friday Dec 6 – MK (closes at 6:00) - checkout day at Disney, begin driving home after park day or check-in off site and begin driving the next morning

Universal would be on Saturday if we added it in, plan would be to go to the park that doesn’t open early for on-site guests, go straight to HP attractions, Hogwarts express to other park and do those HP attractions, and then do anything else we want (with no plan) if time allows. We would then be traveling on Sunday.

Yeah, with the party schedule that week it is really tough. My one thought is that you could view the fireworks from a location like the Poly beach on any day except for Monday. That way you don’t have to spend the $$$ on MVMCP just for that.

Do you know how much it would cost to upgrade to park hopper tickets? If it’s not as much as the cost of the party, maybe you can head to MK after HS on the 4th. And if your sister is the one with a dream to visit Universal, maybe she can chip in to make it happen?