Struggling making planning decisions

I’ve been to wdw many times over the years although I think only 4 or 5 trips in the last 20 years. The most recent trip was early December 2017. We mostly have stayed on site, usually at a value resort ( once at POR ). The past few trips I used Touring Plans to plan out our days and was mostly pleased with the results. We enjoyed doing the work ahead of time, making our choices, and following the plan, making adjustments on the fly as we were forced to.

The family consists of my wife, 17 yr Son (turning 18 on 2/2), 9 yr Son (He has Cerebral Palsy and so we will be bringing his big kid stroller and getting an accessibility pass to use it as a wheelchair), 8 yr Son, and 2 yr Foster Daughter who has been with us since birth. It’ll be her first trip! and Me.

With changes over the past several years, and rising costs, we honestly werent sure we would be able (or willing) to spend the amount of money required to do something close to what we used to do. However, friends of ours have offered us a week at their bluegreen timeshare in Orlando for a week Jan 30 - Feb 6 to take our oldest son to USF and IOA for his 18th bday. We also have a Disney Visa we’ve been accumulating reward dollars on for several years, as well as a couple of family members who have donated their unused reward dollars to the cause, as well. So a combined Disney/Universal trip became a no-brainer. We were thinking we would add a Disney portion of the trip, doing basically what we could do with the reward dollars and gift cards we have at our disposal - around $3175, so that the only real out of pocket portion of the trip would be the Universal tickets as well as food and purchases there. But now I’m having trouble trying to wrap my head around how to best use that pile of Disney money.

So the dates we are staying at Bluegreen are locked in and we think we will purchase Universal’s buy 2 days get 2 free deal. We are planning to go to Universal parks Tues, Wed, Fri, and Sun. Taking Saturday off. Wed would be planned to be a sleep in some and go lazily stroll about the parks enjoying the Harry Potter stuff and only squeezing in what rides work out easily, if any, so It would be intended to be a bit of a break day too.

That leaves Monday and Thursday as Disney days. We are thinking we’d do Magic Kingdom Mon. and HS Thurs. That much we think is set unless someone thinks another configuration would be a significantly better strategy.

What I would love to do is book POR for Sat 1/29 - Mon 1/30, add going to Epcot on Sunday and buy Genie+ for MK and HS. Unfortunately, I estimate doing that would leave us about $280 for food and any other necessities on the 3 Disney days. I dont think we can make that work very comfortably.

Before the choices let me ask a few questions:

  1. If we stay on site Saturday and Sunday and bought 3 day tickets planning to use one of the days on Friday after we’ve moved off property, would we still be considered on site guests and be eligible to book Genie+ and ILL at 7:00 as well as take advantage of EE?
  2. Is it still worth paying for Genie+ if you are staying off site?
  3. Should our 9 yr old having alternate entrance access and being in a “wheelchair” effect the decision to purchase Genie+?
  4. Is there any chance of purchasing ILL for SDMT, ROTR, or Guardians if we are off site?

Depending on answers to those questions, and then tough priority decisions, I think we have the following options:
A. Book an off site hotel for the first two nights and have more “Disney Money.” That probably would result in spending about $120 -$200 out of pocket. Might have enough to do a character lunch at Garden Grill (which we loved when our boys were younger) and I went ahead and booked for Sunday just in case.
B. Stay on site (probably just Sunday night in this scenario) but only do 2 day ticket doing MK and HS and then have plenty of money for better dining options and extra things. Garden grill is of course out in this scenario but might be able to do a different Character meal at MK, HS, or at a resort on Saturday.
C. Stay on site first two days, do all 3 parks, do all the Genie+/ILL we can and just spend another couple of hundred out of pocket if we need to for in park spending. Dont know that we would have enough money for a character meal going this route.
D. Stay on site first two days, do all 3 parks, but skip Genie+ and have that cost to help the dining money go farther.
Any other ideas?
What are your thoughts and advice wise and experienced Lines folks?


If his disability is mobility issues only, he will still need to wait in lines. DAS is not for mobility issues; it’s for issues with being able to wait in lines. Think physical issues like needing to be able to have access to bathrooms at a moments notice (e.g., IBS, Crohns, an ostomy, etc). Or neurodiversity issues (e.g., extreme anxiety, PTSD, not being able to handle overstimulation, etc.).

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Offsite and onsite guests are identical for G+ purposes. Only for $ILL is there a difference. See post 1 in the main genie thread.

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Offsite $ILL chances:
Guardians - easy
SDMT - sometimes
RotR - very difficult

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Yes, cerebral palsy is a brain injury that primarily affects mobility, muscular coordination and endurance. He does fine if he is able to ride in his chair. What I recalled from the past was that certain rides had lines that couldn’t accommodate wheelchairs the entire way and so you would have to enter a different way. I believe last trip we would see the cast member at the entrance and depending on the length of the line, they would either direct us to the alternate entrance or hand us a return pass for a certain time. Of course rides that had lines that could accommodate the stroller the whole way we would simply wait in line. But I do remember wishing I had known what the situation was going to be for each ride, because it made following the plan more complicated. Not complaining, I’m thankful they make accommodations for him to be able to enjoy everything he wants to, but I do want to try to plan with as much understanding of what we are going to be doing as possible. If it works differently now I’d appreciate further explanation.

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I think G+ is a great way for off site guests to ride with low waits, given that early entry and early rope drop aren’t an option. If rides are important to you, I’d buy G+ and get in line for ILL attractions at park close.

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Those are handled when you get up to a certain point in line. Some of the older rides have separate entrances, like POTC. WDW has detailed maps that outline where the entrances are. They are very useful:

Scroll down to Guides for Guests with Disabilities.

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I haven’t been to WDW since 2019 so won’t try to answer your questions but congratulations on your trip and I hope you all have a wonderful time. :slight_smile:


Thanks for the link to the information.

Anyone have an answer to question number 1?

Im confused by the days. Your arrival and departure days are considered onsite. If you aren’t a resort guest at any point on that Friday, then you are off site. Access is tied to reservation not ticket.

Sorry, yes it is a bit complicated, but I think you answered it. If we do stay onsite it will just be added to the front end of our trip on Sat 1/28 and Sun 1/29, then checking out on Monday 1/30 and staying off site at the bluegreen place provided by friends the rest of our time down there (1/30 - 2/6). We weren’t sure if buying 3 days of tickets together with a 2 night resort stay would mean we would be considered on site guests for the life of those tickets. I think you answered pretty clearly, no. We would be onsite guests for Epcot on 1/29 and MK on 1/30, but not HS on 2/3.
Am I right in thinking we’d be ok waiting to use the 3rd day on Friday 2/3 if our check in date is 1/28 and first ticket used is on 1/29?

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I don’t think so. Did you get your tickets as part of a package? If so, they are good for any 3 days from the 28th -the 1st. If you buy them seperately, any 3 days between the 29th and the 2nd.

If I’m understanding your question/plans correctly, you’re a guest until parks close for the night on the day of your resort check out.

You said: If we stay on site Saturday and Sunday and bought 3 day tickets planning to use one of the days on Friday after we’ve moved off property, would we still be considered on site guests and be eligible to book Genie+ and ILL at 7:00 as well as take advantage of EE.

Is the Friday in question the next Friday?

If you have tickets unconnected to a room then you use them however you want a long as they haven’t expired. Used to be (like before covid) tickets expired 14 days after first use.

If I were wanting 3 days at POR with Genie+ and I was unsure if my food budget was enough, I’d look at menus and prices. It’s what I do anyway. DH and I were at Disney in June with 6 suppers (table service) and 3 buffet breakfasts on a budget. I looked at menus ahead of time to make sure we could make it work.

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Well, we just booked POR for 1/28 - 1/30 with 3 day tickets. The cast member said what you did, that the last day we could enter a park on this package would be 2/1. However, she did say that we would still be considered on-site guests even on 2/1 and be able to take advantage of EE. If she turns out to be wrong, it’s not a big deal for us, but she said it very clearly and confidently. We decided we could rearrange other plans to go to HS on 2/1 and make this work. Cast member also found a way to save us a bit more money, too, so I think it’s worked out well. Time to get Touring Plans made!

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If you check out on 2/1 this is true.

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