Planning Paralysis

I am planning my family’s next trip to WDW for Jan 2019 (I know I have a lot of time, but you are my people and you understand me :grin:) and I’m having a hard time deciding what to do. On our last trip, I treated it as a once in a lifetime trip, because I honestly didn’t know if we’d be able to go back. Lucky for us, we are going and I’m so excited! But also…not sure how to go about planning.

My main issue now is about whether to get park hopper tickets or not. Last time, my DTwins were almost 5. We didn’t have parkhoppers. We’d get up early (because 4 year olds) and get to the parks before RD and spend the morning and early afternoon there and go back to the hotel for the day around 2 or 3. We had a one-bedroom at Kidani which was great for us with the kitchen (and Sanaa and the animals). We did end up cooking a lot of our own meals which works well for us.

This coming trip, I just secured a 1-bedroom at BLT :raised_hands: !!! But my dilemma is…do we park hop now that we’ll be so close to MK? Do we go to MK every evening and never rope drop? We’re also going the week of MLK day, which wasn’t my first choice, but I wanted to get away from the marathon (which is when we went last time) and this was the week that worked for all of us.

So, I guess my question is…can anyone relate? Does anyone else go through planning paralysis and get stuck at the very beginning?

And…in your opinion…should we get park hoppers (it would be me, DH, DTwins almost 7).

Thank you all! I love love this space on the internet!

How many days will you be there?

We usually do 6 days. One year we splurged on park hoppers. We didn’t use them, so on the sixth day we made a trip into MK after spending most of the day in another park JUST so that we could try to find a wallet my son wanted in one of the MK gift shops. So, in a sense, that wallet cost us hundreds of dollars! :slight_smile:

I think park-hopping becomes more important if you have fewer days.

I got hoppers on my 2015 trip and used it almost every day. Didn’t get it for 2016 and didn’t miss it. Going again Oct 2018 and I have no plans on getting the park hopper. We also go for 8-10 days at a time. If I were only going for less days I’d be more inclined to get park hoppers.

And yes, paralysis EVERY trip. It lasts for days and days and then I have to force myself to snap out of it! :rofl:

We’ll arrive on Sunday (of MLK weekend) and leave the following saturday. Probably will not go into the park on the last day because we’ll leave to drive the 10+ hours home.

My only thought was staying at BLT makes it easier to walk over to MK for an hour at the end of the day. Whereas last time we went, the only park we went back to in the evening was AK because we were so close coming from Kidani village.

Staying that close to MK I would probably get park hoppers.

Get park hoppers only if you really think you will use it. But I will say that being that close to MK will make it super easy to just walk from BLT. Spending multiple evenings in MK would be fabulous.


You are my kind of person. I went with my 6 year old twin girls in November 2016. We are going back in June 2020 and I’m already planning it now. We will be getting 10 days without park hopper. We will be spending 2 days in each of the AL,HS, and EP and 4 days in MK. When we went before, we did have park hopper, but didn’t use it that much. Last trip was a “Once in a lifetime” type trip for us too, but this upcoming one will not be. We went to MVMCP last time. We won’t be doing anything like that this upcoming time. We stayed onsite the whole time last time (8 nights). We won’t do that this time, but we will spend a few nights on site.

It looks like you will have 5 park days, or maybe 6 if I’m not reading it right. How much will you use PH? If you are going but only planning on using it once and not for something big like a TS meal, maybe you can avoid it. Is it worth the money to you to think that maybe your group will get bored and want to go to another area?

For us, we will forego the PH, but one splurge that we will get is the photopass. That was worth it to me and our family.

As my husband said: that $$ for photopass was worth it just so you don’t have to get your camera out all the time AND you can actually BE in the pictures!

I loved photopass.

Yep. I’m thinking 5 days in the parks. Maybe 6 if we go on arrival day. We may make that one a character meal (I’ve always wanted to go to 1900 Park Fare to see the step-sisters).

I’m wondering if I buy MMW tickets before we go and if we end up wanting to PH I can upgrade while we’re there?

I am pretty sure you can upgrade while you are there. I think you can upgrade number of days, PH, etc. almost anything by paying the extra money.

To me, it is a question of money. Is the extra cost for park hoppers for that many days outweigh what you might otherwise do with that same money if you didn’t hop.

So, for example, if you wanted to hop so that you could go to some restaurant some evening in a different part, the question is if that restaurant is worth the extra hundreds of dollars for the park hoppers. (Last I checked, for about 6 days, park hoppers would add about $190 to the price of the tickets for two adults.)

Me? I’d rather spend that $190 on additional souvenirs or a nice meal at a restaurant we otherwise wouldn’t visit, etc.

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I’m from the UK and all we can buy are park hopper tickets with memory maker bundled in. So no difficult decisions there. (Not only that, we can basically only buy 14 day tickets, since they cost the same as 7 day tickets. And that’s pretty much it.)

My trip last year was a once-in-a-lifetime trip. So I was a little naughty and splurged on extras and goodies. But I wanted to make the high cost of getting there worth it. And to make the most of the one-off opportunity.

Yet somehow I’m going again this year!

I don’t exactly suffer from planning paralysis. I do suffer from endless tinkering. I’ve got 119 days left to go and I wonder if I’ll ever stop making changes. Following these forums doesn’t help. I’ll read about something someone’s doing and think “Ooh! I’ll try to fit that into my schedule!” Which I do, but this necessitates about 27 other changes!


“Don’t exactly suffer”??? ROTFLMAO


I like the idea of hoppers at BLT. Mornings out to RD the other parks, then home to relax, MK after dinner for a couple of hours and then home again. (And maybe one day where you sleep in, do MK mid-day to catch the parade, and then leave and take a launch over to FW for a 6:15 Hoop-dee-doo.)

That sounds great!

I also just booked for Jan 2019 :rofl:
We are staying at AKL Jambo for the first time. I like the idea of the park hopper if you want more freedom for dinner reservations or night events. I used them a lot on my last trip because we wanted to eat at Epcot like every night!
And YES to planning paralysis. It took forever for me to decide which resort to book and I am still not too sure we made the best choice :roll_eyes:

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I guess I just consider the hoppers to be part of the ticket cost when I’m budgeting because we always get them. It could be mental, but I like to have flexibility within my structure (which involves a spread sheet, let’s be honest). Our plan is always to hit a park first thing, ride all our must-dos (with FP if possible), then take a break in the middle of the day. After our break, we often head to a different park just for a change of scenery or to catch a specific show/parade or hit a different eating spot. We don’t spend much time in lines in the afternoon because we take the “road less traveled” and hit things like the People Mover, movies at Epcot, etc. Then it’s back to the spreadsheet after dinner ;).

If I’m honest, I probably could live without a park hopper, but since I’ve always gotten them and we’re used to going wherever I want in the afternoon, we always spring for them. Maybe it’s that little “what if…” in my head!


I don’t understand how someone could go to WDW without having prepared a spreadsheet in advance.


Just got back on Friday from 5 nights. No spreadsheet. In fact, I gasp didn’t even use the touring plans I’d made. And I had a fabulous trip. The review is up.

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This is crazy talk. I’ve dialled 911 and trained professionals are on their way.