After planning six major WDW trips over nearly two decades “encumbered” with kids vacation times and my allowable time off, I’m about to retire and be a lot less encumbered. My wife, being the saint that she is, is allowing me to plan a post-retirement ultimate vacation, a multi-month WDW trip! We have a “DS21DS”, a 21-year-old son with Down Syndrome that will be joining us. It is still a magical place for him, so this will be amazing for him too. My other two now-working kids are understandably jealous.
As an avid liner, I already know how to really pack things into a trip. Our trips have usually been 10 days and I fill them up completely, packing in as much as possible following all the good advice from “the book” and given here. Maximum fun per hour, sleep later. Those class of trips I think I have pretty well figured out. This will be a very different trip though, hence looking for some suggestions from long trip liners. For once we will have LOTS of time, so it will be something new to us, WDW and relaxing! There probably are some roses to stop and smell in between rides, we just never slowed down to look.
Pretty much all options are open. The core concept I am thinking of is:
- Sept 1 – Dec 31 2018. Still want low crowds, so this seems best time overall. Yes, I created a spreadsheet with 7 day, 30 day, and 90 day moving averages of crowd levels for a year!
- Find a short term apartment rental, ideally in Celebration, but open to someplace else.
- Get annual passes for WDW, Universal, and KSC (It will be mostly WDW, but like the other two too)
- Probably a “recon trip” to check out said apartments earlier in the year.
This clearly isn’t a low budget trip, but I still like to be efficient. The short term rental seems the best option but open to other suggestions. By mostly eating “at home”, I believe baseline food costs won’t be much above normal non-vacation costs. We will drive from the mountain west instead of fly, so will have a car. With those core assumptions it is looking to be “only” double the cost of a 10-day trip with most savings related to lodging and food. Reality will likely be a bit higher!
My primer question for the “long trip” experts is what extra things do you like to do when you have a lot of time and not packing in rides? Some things I’m thinking of:
- Get every liner award there is “just because”. Yes, even for IASW.
- Finally see every parade (was prime time for rides normally), and pretty much every side show there is too.
- Finally go see the water parks. More a September option than December.
- Pick my son’s favorite ride and loop it for as long as he can tolerate or the park closes (even odds in my opinion!)
- Wander the lobby and grounds of every WDW hotel.
- Go on every behind the scenes tour of even remote interest.
- Maybe try for the “every Magic Kingdom ride in a day” award realizing it is very tough.
We’ll be doing a lot of non-WDW stuff too, but I figure for starters concentrate on WDW. My general hope is to get to the parks for at least 90 of the 120 days.
I’m holding off on tactical questions, better to start with high level questions first.