Surprise trip brings lots of confusion with it, should I just go with a premium plan?

Hello! This is the first time I am posting, so I’m sorry if I’m not good with the lingo. I have been a huge fan of the Unofficial Guide since my day got me a copy in 1988 when I was 8! In early May we are planning a surprise trip right after my son turns 6. It’s my 30th trip, my son’s 3rd, and my husband’s 8th ( I think) We are staying at the Boardwalk Inn. For the first 5 days we are getting into the parks for free with my bro-in-law castmember, we can hop as much as we like. Then we have 2 and half days left (with a 2 day hopper and probably half day at DD). Here’s the confusing part, at least for me, this is our first trip with magic bands and the whole MyDE thing. We cannot make any of our own FP+ reservations for those first days when we are getting in free, but he can make them 7 days before. So we are at the mercy of his choices and luck of what’s available. We also don’t know how much touring we will be doing with by bro-in-law and his family, or if we will split up. We also still haven’t even added in the confusion of ADRs on the meal plan, which I need to do ASAP. I’m thinking that it makes sense to go with the premium touring plans rather than a customized one since we don’t have as much control over things as we normally would. We are so thankful to be able to get such a great deal on a vacation, but we give up a bit of control in the process. If you were in this situation how would you use the app to your best advantage? And how might you set up the last two days where we can make FP+ and customized plans to our heart’s content? So far I have a mine train FP and I’m happy with that. ALSO, one last thing: I don’t get a lot of computer time for organizing this surprise so the time it takes to set up 7 days of customized plans isn’t really available anyway. Any help from you experts will be greatly greatly appreciated. We live in Massachusetts, so after such a long snowy winter (we still have about 2 feet!) this vacation is going to be great for our mental health!! Thank you!

I would make personalized plans for the first few days anyway - once you Optimize them you will be able to give your BIL some ideas for useful FPP reservations to try and get. Even if you decide to go with the Premium Plans, you should still copy them as Personalized Plans so that you can Optimize them for the day in question.

I live “down the Cape”, so I feel your pain!

@erinthehealer I have a question. My daughter will be in the DCP starting in June. We’re planning on visiting the week before Labor Day. I’ve read she can get us in to a park up to 6 times for free, but I think she has to accompany us, or do we just get passes? How does that work? And we won’t be able to make FPs? She’ll have to do that for us up to 7 days in advance? Is that right? And is park-hopping allowed? This is a bit confusing. Have you done this before? Is there anything we should know about how that works before we go? Thanks a mil for any advice you can give.

I don’t know all of the details, but here’s what I do know: My BIL has to meet us each morning and be present to get us in, but we can later hop without him. Only he can make the FPs and we have to wait until 7 days before we arrive so we gave him a list of the attractions graded on a scale of 1-3 (1 is must see on this trip no matter what, 2 is would love to see, but wouldn’t die if we couldn’t experience, and 3 is Don’t care either way we can skip it.)
This is the first time we are going with my BIL, but I can update when we return. We got 40% off of our room rate, free tickets while he is also there and I think 10% off on the 2 day hoppers we purchased for after he leaves. It’s an incredible savings and allowed us to vacation 5-6 months earlier than we had planned on when we were making a savings calendar.

When you copy a premium plan into a personalized plan do you just go down the line and add each thing in the same order? Can you not optimize a premium plan?
I suppose I could make this an “after my kid’s bedtime” project each night and chip away at it.
I think my BIL will do his best, and we will just have to roll with what he gets. This isn’t our first trip and won’t be our last, but we are going in May before school is out and before Star Wars weekends begin so we’d like to capitalize on the relatively less busy time of year.
If you think of anything else, please let me know. Thanks so much for your suggestion!

It’s really easy - just go into the Premium Plan you are interested in and click on the “Copy This Plan” button

Voila! The Premium Plan is now a PTP that you can Optimize or play around with to your heart’s content.

Sweet! Thanks!

@erinthehealer Thanks so much for the info. The “the CM must be present” was the part I was wondering about the most. How can she “let us in” if she’s working? That will be interesting. I know she’ll get 6 “passes” to allow in up to 3 of us at a time & we can buy any extra days.

Do the FPs show up in your DME? If so, I imagine that your BIL gets them & then you can edit/tweak them to some extent. The hard part is waiting until June when she starts to make plans because she has to do all the booking. But I agree, the savings is significant & appreciated.

Looking forward to hearing about your trip & how it worked out.
Thanks again. :slight_smile: