Spending money to get lessen time and frustration

I will be taking the Family to WDW the second week of April (Spring Break) and crowds look to be bad (10s on some days). So I started looking into how with a “reasonable” expenditure of money, I could mitigate the effect of the crowds and minimize wait times in line. So, what is “reasonable”? Well for instance looking at a Private VIP Tour costing $2975 seemed a bit high. Here are the opportunities I found, which I went ahead and booked

That’s my plan for my trip. I could not find anything for Epcot for this trip, but for a different trip for the Holidays, my wife and I are doing

And here are some packages I considered, but they overlapped with the Ultimate Nights of Adventure VIP Tour

These are just some ways to offset the negative impact of high-crowd days. I hope this helps some folks out. Anybody have any others they want to share?

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I think an AK after hours combined with the FoLK Tier 1 package might save you money and be a much better experience (if After Hours is scheduled during your trip).


Maybe it is the sticker shock, but I can’t help but wonder if the well known fastpass tricks will get you the same result for no extra money - particularly in MK. Even with a party of 6, I had no problem pulling SDFP during CL10s over MLK weekend.


IMO the fantasmic dessert package is much better value than the dinner


Someone pointed out that the MM package is only a few dollars more than the dessert party. Although, I completely agree with you!

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Yeah thanks good point; I should have added more detail as it’s not only money value but also for me I don’t like to waste time having long meals. Eating our little box in the stands right before the show was excellent ‘‘time value’’ for us ! :slight_smile:


Yeah, we are going at the same time and are relying on planning, planning, and more planning. These things seem fun, but I wouldn’t do more than one or maybe two as an extra extra. The wife and my daughter are doing Cinderella’s table, but my son and I are skipping it for ESPN or whatever he wants to do.

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We love dessert parties for fireworks at MK, HS, and EP. Particularly the after party at MK.


My family won’t return to MM and I enjoyed the dessert party, so it is my choice too!

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Interesting. I got almost no value out of SDFP when I was there – all the good stuff was long gone. But I’ll admit I have not read up on all the tips and tricks

After posting this, I did realize that my post was pretty much the opposite of every other “Money & Deals” post here :slight_smile: Most are about saving money. Mine is about saving time

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Whatever works best for you!

There are some of us here that value this too. I’m all about paying for convenience/time. For our upcoming trip we are staying club level (purchasing extra FPs for about half of our days), going to a number of different dessert parties, and utilizing various meal packages (Candlelight Processional, Parade Viewing, etc.).

Time is an incredibly valuable commodity at WDW (especially on a short trip) so I appreciate your tips!


@kerrilux and I share the same philosophy, so we are also staying club level and buying 5 days of extra FPP, doing 2 dessert parties, a Candlelight Processional package, ROL package, parade package at MK, etc. we are going 12/26-1/2 and all these extras are going to make packed days much easier. It’s only money, and you cannot take it with you when you go!


We really struggled in August, even at MK. CLs were low but there was very little availability even around lunchtime, let alone later on.

I got a lot two weeks ago, CL 7 but I also used it as a way to save ANY amount of time for any ride we wanted to do. I got SDFP for:

  • Dumbo (saved 30 min)
  • IASW (saved 30 min)
  • Under the sea (saved 40 min)
  • Peter Pan (! Saved 75 min)
  • Mad Tea party (saved 20 min)

Peter Pan was just lucky, but even without it we saved 2 hours of waiting in line with SDFP

Our last scheduled fast pass was at 1:40. We could have saved more time with an earlier reservation.

I hear you, @seth and I am with @Wahoohokie. The last time our entire family visited back in 2014, we did a private VIP tour. Time is very valuable and for a family of 8, we felt this was money well spent during a very busy weekend. When I went with just my eldest daughter this past Feb, I knew enough about navigating the system that the two of us just picked FPs up the entire day as we went, never standing in standby. For our upcoming trip, I opted to stay club level and purchase more fastpasses to ensure we had a set schedule. I will also purchase a dessert party if it becomes available for HEA. Staying CL for a party of 6 and purchasing 3 days of FPs came out to be cheaper than doing any sort of tour that only addresses a portion of our needs at any given park! Also for us, we’re staying in a suite at the Dolphin using Bonvoy points which is considered club level and also helps take the edge off financially :slight_smile:


Were you able to book the suite at the Dolphin online with your points, or did you have to call? The only option I see for our trip is standard view rooms at the Swan and Dolphin. How many points per night? Also what is the actual room called, I didn’t see that any of them specifically mentioned club level when looking at cash rooms. Thanks!

You have to call them directly. I’ll walk you through the process as it’s pretty elaborate, though simple but it cost me a bit of aggravation from the Marriott end as Marriott didn’t understand the Dolphin’s hotel-specific policy. For Dolphin: call the reservation number and ask if there are any “Alcove connectors”, “Deluxe Alcove” or other premium suites (each getting progressively more $$) available for your dates FOR AN UPGRADE. Any of these are considered “club” for the Signature Services FP access. If so, ask how much it would cost to upgrade. For me, it was $200/night. Then call Marriott 1-888 number and ask how many Bonvoy points it would cost for your length of stay for one room. You can only use Bonvoy points for one room, not towards suites, which is why you have to through this rigmarole. For me, it cost 50,000 points a night for a king-size bed. If you’re interested in using points and then spending money for an upgrade to a suite, book the one room through Marriott using your Bonvoy points for your length of stay. Then, with that reservation number, call the Dolphin back and ask for a suite upgrade with the room you just booked. They told me I could possibly check out using more points to cover the $200/night, but that was up to the front desk at the Dolphin, not reservations. I then put down $200 for the suite as a deposit. I really hope that was all clear. Ask me any questions!