WDW, DL or ... somewhere else? WWYD & W?

Friends … I have four Southwest tickets that I need to use by September 7, originally purchased for a trip in April 2020 that we didn’t end up taking, for obvious reasons.

We’ve already scheduled and paid for our summer vacation to Hilton Head, and since we live in OH, we drive. When I mentioned to my husband our need to use the tickets, he said, well, maybe we could take a super-cheap (I know, I know, try to hold in your laughter) to Disney. I said which one? Disneyland or WDW? And he said (wait for it …) I don’t know.

So I am looking at a week in August (13-20) before school starts for DS7. I looked at RT airfare and 5 day non-hopper, non-G+ tickets, and flights are higher to CA but tickets are higher in FL, so there is only about $300 difference in the trips.

I have been to WDW three times, as has DH, once has teens, once when DS17 was 7, and then in Nov 2019 when our older was 14 and our younger was 5. I’ve been to DL three times, all back in the early 2000s. DH has been there once or twice, also in the early 2000s. Neither of our children has been there.

I have also looked at pricing on hotels and have found, in FL, Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista at $965 incl taxes and fees, and ASMo at $1383 incl taxes. In CA, I have Tropicana at $1489 or farther away the Hyatt Place at $1352 for the week. I have done that walk, so I know it is about a mile and right across from the Convention Center. Also, if my hotels are trash, please tell me that and make a recommendation.

Then there is the whole less experience for more money and people continuing to throw money at Disney despite this. Our vacation dollars are limited. We usually take one vacation a year, usually to Hilton Head, and sometimes we visit my in-laws in Huntsville AND take a family vacation. We are headed to Huntsville next week, to HHI in June, and my husband said let’s do Disney on the cheap (or as inexpensively as possible) is … well, I should probably take him for a brain scan, but instead I plan to move on this before he changes his mind, before airfares go up any more than they already are.

If we go to FL, we might also try to squeeze in a trip to Kennedy Space Center and Gatorland. If we go to CA, we might try to add a trip to the San Diego Zoo and a day at one of the beaches.

So, my friends, what would you do and why? What else should I consider (beyond I want to go to Disney)?

I put this under WDW because I couldn’t tag both WDW and DL. If you think I should change the tag, please let me know. Thanks!

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I would pick DL since the kids haven’t been. And August is slightly less brutal in LA vs Orlando :joy: You could do 4 days DL and see most of the parks. WDW in 5 days is pushing it but I always feel rushed in 5 days with a family.


Wyndham Garden gets very mixed and mostly meh reviews. I would look at a different DS area hotel. That’s a tough choice. I might say DL since several new things have opened since your last trip there.

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I second DL for these reasons. We’re actually looking at a DL trip in that time frame, too. I just told DH this morning we should start looking at flights in earnest for that.
We’re looking forward to a slightly more relaxed Disney trip and getting to see and do all the things unique to DL - especially Avengers Campus.


As someone that also has a “non-theme park” spouse I’d go wherever you think your husband will enjoy. I’ve done this my wife in order to break down her resistance to theme parks. If your spouse has a great time, I’m betting, they’ll want to go again soon! (I know you said he doesn’t care, but somewhere in his heart he has an opinion - even if it isn’t a strong one!)


I’d pick DL for the weather alone. Way better weather that time of year, less storms. After my parents lived in St. Augstine for years, I made the decision to never visit FL in August unless I had to. Plus, you can do DL in 3 full days no problem, and then spend a glorious day at Huntington Beach!

We stayed at the Hyatt Place in Ahaheim in January of this year and it worked out well. We got two connecting rooms using points (points are super cheap there). Rooms are big and modern, two queens with a separate sitting area. The staff was really great.

However, hotels in DL don’t have a resort feel like they might in WDW. I.e. the pool at the hyatt is a postage stamp in the parking lot and there is no view to speak of.

FWIW: We always took the city bus to the parks vs walking (my husband insisted on walking and never beat us). I did a trip report on the DL forum that shares how to use any of the 3-5 bus pick up lanes at DL to get back to the resort at night in a flash. In the AM, you have to look at the various times and just go to the stop that has the soonest pick up. We used the multi-day pass which was very cheap.

I’m planning a WDW trip, and staying 8 nights, and I still feel pressed to get everything in at the parks. Shorter time, I’d do DL for sure. Plus Genie is great there, and the park hopping is so easy.

Good luck.