Wrap Up of a Glorious 30-Day Trip to WDW!

Although I started my adventure by posting in Chat I have too much information to post the full wrap up there.

I put the following notes together while waiting for my plane home. All my notes are based on the fact that I am a justone in most of my travels so your milage may vary.

5 things that made trip easier or more comfortable.

    1. Brita Water Pitcher…game changer and will never not bring. It was great to have water easily accessible in the room and helped me reuse the few water bottles I had.
    1. Pump soap for the bathroom…hate bar soap at sinks.
    1. Small blanket from home…nice if sitting on couch/chair.
    1. @Totsy recommended water kettle
    1. Old refillable plastic mug for water in the room and old porcelain coffee mug (left behind) …coffee tastes better in coffee mug from home (IMO). Kept both clean by keeping the dish soap and small scrubby from first DVC stay.

Adding a 6th one here. Originally, I had planned to rent a condo off site but canceled and decided to stay on site. Since I am a justone looking at the parking lots (from Disney transportation) solidified in my mind that I made the right choice. I would have hated the drive back and forth. Disney transport isn’t perfect but when I don’t have to do the driving and worrying about car then I am truly on vacation…and it is free (well sort of but you know what I mean). Also, staying on site allowed me to follow the changing winds easily meaning I could decide to start in one place and end in another then hop the appropriate transportation to get back home easily.

Food Costs

Averaged $65.50 per day with a range of $122 to $25.50. Note that I ate breakfast in the room nearly every day except for 2-character b’fasts and 1 day when I order the stuffed waffles from RIX (mickey waffles stuffed with chicken and on a stick so couldn’t resist). The costs also include the Sangria University. I did bring some food from home including oatmeal, peanut butter, some bagels, Nutella and Entenmanns prepackaged coffee cake and purchased some clementines and bananas included in costs. Food costs also includes some treats I purchased to bring home (may or may not have a tub of popcorn in my bag).

Note on food and cash room costs…used rewards card (Disney Visa) and prepurchased discounted gift cards from Costco and BJs.

Table Service/Lounge I would redo?

· Ohana’s – Yum

· Tiffans – Yum Yum

· Nomads – Best churros and relaxing. I could spend a whole afternoon relaxing on the porch!

· Three Bridges – love the atmosphere and food was really good…no room for Churros so must go back! Note that Three Bridges offers a discount which isn’t always available in lounge like places.

· Geyser Point – love the bison burger which is my favorite burger at WDW.

What resorts are redos?

· Love CSR so much that I could live there (Disney Storybook Living please be like this). Yes, some of the rooms are further out (I was in Ranchos) but it really is just a few minutes’ walk to the center lake which makes you feel connected. I never took the bus from the Rancho stop and instead walked to the main building. I loved walking through the GDT each morning.

· AKL Kidani loved this resort, and it was great to be there at the end of the trip. Loved sitting out on the balcony communing with the animals. For those that are worried that there are only busses I never had a problem. The only other issue I can see is that Kadani doesn’t have a lot of food options which for me was no issue but might be for others.

· GFV…it’s my home resort what more can I say!

· BRV…in general I love the WL and I feel the draw to purchase points here, but I will not buy more points, I will not buy more points, I will not buy more points.

What were the most special moments?

There were tons of moments with kids and characters…just too cute. One special thing in Epcot were some characters I haven’t seen suddenly came out of a side ally (Rabbit, penguin from Mary Poppins, and oddly but nice a Country Bear). Also, I prepaid for a balloon in MK and asked the CMs to give it to someone. The CMs were so surprised someone would do this and it made me happy to know that some little (and family) would have a nice surprise at some point over the day.

I also had the opportunity to see 2 Earning Their Ears CMs Earn their Ears. It was sweet and special, and the CMS were very excited.

Other moments included noticing a special detail or just taking the time to enjoy something fully like a sunset etc. I also really enjoyed the shows this time which on shorter trips I sometimes skip.

What I would do again?

All of it…but kidding aside I am already planning for a Mid-May to Mid-June for 2025. I’m a firm believe that it is hard to recreate an experience again exactly so I would do some things differently (see below).

In terms of restaurants, WDW has so many that I never went to one twice. I would absolutely go to Tiffans, Ohana, Nomads, Three Bridges again but I’ll try others as well!

Get the Willy Wonka like popcorn tubs from Main Street Confectionary as many times as possible. This is actually a great deal $12.77 with AP discount and it lasts 3-4 days.

Always order a side of peanut butter sauce (it is just melted JIF peanut butter I saw them put it in the microwave) with an Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich.

Stagger DVC stay and Cash Stays

What do I wish I could have done?

I really did almost everything I wanted. I ended up canceling my WAT because the weather on the day I was scheduled was predicted to be severe (it wasn’t). I will plan WAT for my next long trip. I also never stayed in the parks for fireworks and next time I will at least once maybe with a desert package.

What I would do differently?

Not waste time on booking ADRs ahead of time (I had one booked for most days). I cancelled nearly all of them because it was too much to be in a certain park or place at a certain time. There is something to be said of going with the flow.

Plan for more resort time. I didn’t really partake of the pools (weather wasn’t ideal for pool time) or water parks. Genie FOMO is real and I got caught up in this sometimes (I used Genie on roughly ½ of days). Some of my best days were just walking around where the wind blew so I would do more of these types of days.

Have a picture taken with Photopass each day as a sort of diary. I didn’t think about this until the end. Next time I’ll include a small paper with Day 1, etc.

I might look to increase the amount of time I stayed in at each place to 10 days. I stayed in 6 places ranging from 2 to 7 nights. I like settling in and getting use to everything plus for me the move days were sometimes hard particularly if I was tired and wanted to rest, I like to have a room I know I can go back to.

Maybe have my family come at the end vs. the beginning. I had a bunch of kittens with me when the adventure started and as you may remember from my chat posts it was hard to corral the kittens which made me a bit anxious about my time in the World. It was nice that my DSis came towards the end for a few days I felt like a pro with the ins and outs of navigating everything.

Pack less!!! I had 3 pieces of luggage, and I seriously wore the same 3-4 things the whole trip (partly because of the cooler weather). I wasn’t sure if the weather was going to be hot or cold (it was a mix of both) so I packed for everything. I did laundry at every resort except Pop. Doing laundry made it easier to have fewer cloths. I brought my own pods but never needed them since I kept the laundry detergent from my DVC stays. I did use my dryer sheets that I packed. Laundry was done in an hour (34 minutes for wash and 20 minutes for dryer). The dryers seemed to be turbo charged and by 20 minutes the cloths were super-hot (the cloths would have fit a nuiMO if I let them go a full 60 minutes).

Figure out how to use the forum before I start my adventure…I will for next time!

Did I ever feel lonely?

I will preference this by saying I often travel as a justone and I am by nature an introvert who craves alone time to recharge.

So, did I ever feel lonely? No never! For me Disney is a place to go where I can be alone but together with others. If I want to talk to someone there is always someone to strike up a conversation (e.g., I laughed through my Ohana meal with another justone seated at the table next to me after each course came…so much good food). Also as a justone it is often very easy to get a walk up table and don’t forget lounges or counters (B&C I’m talking about you) as great places to eat. There are also many great QS spots (I somehow always digress to food) that serve things other than just chicken tenders and burgers (I’m looking at you Satu’li, ABC Commissary, even Columbia House, etc.).

Parting Notes

So, there it is the final wrap of a glorious 30-day trip to WDW…now I prepare for a 16-day transatlantic cruise not on DCL (sadly) although I’m feeling like there may need to be a DCL trip soon. I’m also planning a month-long return in May-June of 2025.

Thank you all you truly helped me plan an amazing trip. Wishing you all the best in your Disney travels and I’ll see you all online!


My apologies if this seems crass, but I’m so curious… What is the approximate cost of living on-site at WDW for a month? (All expenses - hotel, food & misc… Souvenirs not included)

I don’t think many of us will ever get to do such a thing! I found your summary fascinating. There’s a lot of the stuff you talk about that you can realistically only take advantage of if you are there for an extended period. I’ve done a two week stay before. By day 10 - 12 you start feeling like a local and slowing down to enjoy a lot of smaller things!

I stayed a total of about 35 days in Orlando during 2022 - 23, most of it solo, for about $10K - $12K. It was over $15K if you count the trips where DD & DW came along. If I had stayed in Orlando the whole time I’d probably saved about $1,000 on flights


I’m a DVC owner so several of my stays were covered with points. I’m also an AP holder so I didn’t figure that into costs. My total costs for cash rooms (AP discounts for CSR and Pop), food, genie, and transportation down (SW very inexpensive flights), tips, etc. is roughly around 5K-5.5K. I used prepurchased discounted gift cards and reward $ from Disney Visa to pay for the larger costs (food and hotel).

I know that I will be back to Disney so I didn’t try to cram everything in and I realize that my experiences are likely different because I’m traveling solo, a DVC owner, and AP holder.

Hope this helps.


I get that! I use Disney Visa points too! They’re a big help. I also sign-up for credit cards to get the free sign-up “cash” and then close the accounts afterwards… I’m a big fan of saving money!

However, what would you say the DVC point costs were? If you factored in your AP costs (As I did in my total) what do you think you spent?

I’m not trying to make disclose anything you’d be uncomfortable doing, so please don’t feel any pressure!

For transparency, here’s everything I did, my budget and how much I spent for that 30+ days

Universal AP Budget

Feb 2022 - Feb 2023

  • Stimulus Payments - $2600
  • Cancelled Disney Trip Funds - $3000
  • Jar of Coins - $1200
  • Credit Card Sign-up Bonus Cash - $1300
  • Escape Room Job - $1700
  • End of the Year Unexpected Work Promotions / Bonuses - $3000

***Savings & Credit Card Sign-up Bonuses Budget TOTAL *** - $ 12,800

FIRST VISIT (solo) – Mardi Gras = Mon. 2/07 - Sat 2/12/22

(Arrival ½ day, 4 Full days, No Depart day visit)

Airplane - $188

Lyft - $67

AP - $375

5 Nights Hotel - $435

Food - $235

Airport Parking - $36

Souvenirs & Misc. $80

TOTAL - $ 1416

SECOND VISIT (solo) – Volcano Bay = Mon. 4/25 – Sat 4/30/22

(Arrival ½ day, 4 Full days, Depart EPA 1/3 day)

Airplane - $278

Lyft - $68

AP Upgrade - $100

5 Nights Hotel - $582

Food –$170

Airport Parking - $36

Souvenirs & Misc. – $100

TOTAL - $ 1334

THIRD VISIT – (w/ Daughter Emily) Wed. 8/17/22 – Sat. 8/20/22
(Arrival ½ day, 2 Full days, Depart EPA ¼ day)

Airplane - $250

Lyft - $70

Emily AP - $525

3 Nights Hotel - $475

Food – $300

Airport Parking - $30

VB Express Passes - $213

Souvenirs & Misc. – $150

TOTAL = $2013

FOURTH VISIT –( Half Solo / Half Daughter) HHN = Mon. 9/19/22 – Sat 9/23/22

(Arrival ½ day, 8 Full days, 6 Nights HHN, No Depart day)

Airplane - $302

Lyft (Airports - Emily & I - plus multiple hotel transfers) -– $165

HHN Rush of Fear Passes - $280

8 Nights Hotel –$760

Food - $400

Airport Parking (Emily & I) – $175

Souvenirs & Misc. – $200

HHN Express Pass - $600

TOTAL = $ 3629

FIFTH VISIT – (DW/Kelly came with me) Christmas & Birthday = Sun. 12/04/22 – Saturday 12/10/22


(Arrival CityWalk Sunday, 5 Full days + OIM Friday Night, Departure = No Park Time)

Airplane - $450

OIM Tickets = $244

Theme Park Tickets (Kelly) = $368

Lyft – $70

6 Nights Hotel SUITE - $1293

Food – $1250

Airport Parking – $36

Souvenirs & Misc. = $200

TOTAL - $ 3911

SIXTH VISIT (solo) – Final Trip Mon. 1/30/22 – Sun. 2/5/22

(Arrival 1/2 day, SeaWorld, 5 Full days, OIM 2 Nights, Depart 1/3 day)

Airplane - $125

Lyft (Airport & around UOR) - $100

SeaWorld with Express Pass / Meals / Transportation / Dolphin / Souvenirs - $200

5 Nights Hotel - Dockside - $510

1 Night Hotel – Aventura - $125

Food – $350

Airport Parking - $42

Souvenirs & Misc. – $75

OIM Two Nights - $388

Great Movie Escape w/ cocktail & Shirt - $125

Total - $2035

GRAND TOTAL - $14,343


I need your jar of coins :slight_smile:

I don’t count DVC costs since many of the points were banked from the previous year or came as bonus points (double points) on a new contract and because I spread that cost out over a longer period (my contracts will basically pay for themselves in 6-7ish years). Also, DVC allows me to stay at a deluxe hotel which is a value-added benefit which in Disney math (in my mind) cancels costs out. I also don’t count AP costs since my current AP costs (Sorcerer) were covered in previous trips from 2023.

In the long-term I think DVC and AP allows me to do things like this. I will say that when I was looking to rent off-site the rough cost for housing (3 bedroom because family was with me for the first week), and car (car checkup, drive down, gas, tolls, hotel…2 nights each way and I’m selective in where I stay solo, food, etc.) was roughly $5000 without food on site etc.


What an incredible trip! Thanks for the write up! Did you ever feel bored or ready to go home? I don’t think I would, but have never had a trip nearly this long! What resorts would you stay at next time?

I was never bored or felt home sick (wanting to go home). I did miss my pups but they were snuggled in with family and well cared for. If I felt like I wanted to connect to home I would just FaceTime some family/pups.

I think an ultimate bucket list item would be to stay at every Disney resort. I’ve never stayed at Boardwalk, the Contemporary main building, Riviera, Beach Club Villas (stayed in Inn) and Grand Destino Tower (stayed in Rancho). I was really enthralled with Coronado Springs Resort on this trip and will absolutely stay there again and Riviera is high on my list for 2025 if I can snag a 7 month DVC stay.


Such a cool trip!! Awesome. Thank you for sharing. I love that magic you witnessed! So cool of you to gift a balloon! That would be the most special thing.

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That’s great, sounds like a
Wonderful time. My next trip we chose the Boardwalk, excited to stay there. We are also thinking about trying all the resorts. Would be fun to accomplish!

What a great report! Sounds like an incredible trip!! Thanks for sharing this with us!!

To be totally transparent the gifting of the balloon was an idea from another liner (I can’t remember who so sorry for not giving credit where it is due) who had posted about doing this. It felt great to do something that would add to the magic of the place. I will also add that after the ballon stop I went to get some popcorn and the CM took the time to draw mickey ears on the bucket so I feel like I got some pixie dust as well.


It was 10 years of collecting them. I had a “Guess how much is in this jar” contest on the forums before I cashed it in! :rofl:

So… I’m trying to interpret what you wrote. I’m not trying to pry… I can go look up the cost of a Sorcerer AP and spread that out over 30 days. Then go look up DVC point costs for CSR/Kidani/GFV/BRV and put together some kind of median cost. I was just hoping you’d want to help others experience what you did too.

If someone else were wanting to replicate what you did, what would the initial / up-front costs and the “on the ground” expenses??

Previously, you said you spent $5k+ for cash rooms, food, genie, and transportation for a month at WDW - not including hotel / DVC and AP… Which, IMHO, is a bargain!! I can’t barely live at home at that monthly rate!! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

I won’t press any further. If discussing money makes you uncomfortable I don’t want to push you away.

BTW - Welcome to the Forums!!! These forums are a great place to meet & talk to other theme park fans! I will add a lot of us are detailed planners and really like knowing information like this. Be warned! We are crazy addicted to planning Orlando trips and will ask 1,000,000 questions!!! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


It may have been my TR about my friend who did this in memory of her mom. She would be honored to know that it’s continuing.


Very interesting wrap up, thanks for sharing!

Makes me wonder why the heck I never brought soap (among other things) when I hate bar soap! :joy:

Would you mind sharing anything about yourself (feel free to ignore if you prefer!), like what do you do? I’m just genuinely super curious (and perhaps a tiny bit jealous) of someone being able to basically live in the World for a month - and I don’t mean financially, but rather work/family/time wise :blush:

It’s just so hard for me to set a $ amount on the DVC because owning it is a longer term investment which is why I’m not counting it in my costs. Another way to think of it is the cost of the least expensive hotel at Disney (all stars). There were some great rates for AP/bounce back/etc. for January in the range of $125 w/out tax I think. I had cash rooms for 12 nights and DVC’d it for 18 nights. So the potential additional hotel cost could be roughly $2250+ plus taxes. It’s hard to be exact with what the DVC cost would be because I had different types of accommodations (2 bedroom, 1 bedroom, studios) at different resorts (some cost more points some less). For a very general idea (this is not exact because some days are more points than others) I’ll go with one of the lower point cost OKW studios which was 78 points for 7 nights so say roughly average 11.14 points per night x 18 nights = ~200 points which I’ll round up to 210 x $21 per point (I think that’s what one of the rental company charges) = $4410 (I don’t think there is tax on this).

My AP was in essence “free” for this trip because I had been to Disney in August and December and along with hotel discounts, meal discounts, etc. the cost of the pass was more than paid for vs. general admission tickets. A general Sorcerer pass is $999 plus tax but it’s less if you are renewing so it’s hard to give an exact here. In addition, I’ve saved a good amount of money on hotel rooms, food, merchandise and more. For a rough number take the $999 investment spread out over 43 days (total number of days at Disney so far for pass year) with roughly $350 (this is likely low) in discounts from hotels/merchandise/food would mean the cost for admission is ~$15 per day x 30 days = ~$450. Keep in mind that this also covers all my transportation throughout Disney and except for a few times when family was with me and used Uber for easy or convenience I never needed to worry about transportation costs except to and from the airport.

My DVC allows me to stay in deluxe accommodations and AP and DVC allow me to visit more and spend more. Hope this helps.


I am a justone and currently on sabbatical so can do work from anywhere so long as I have access to a computer and internet.


I’m jealous- that is all!


What I usually do (and seems like you do too) is add up the total lifetime cost of my points (upfront + dues at the current rate) and divide by the total number of lifetime points. For me this gets me in the neighborhood of $11-12 per point used. So if I use 100 points, I assume I’ve “spent” $1,100-1,200.

But that’s what I actually spent. For other purposes, I also consider the opportunity cost – what would I have spent if I didn’t have points? If I had stayed Deluxe, I would have rented points at $21 / point. So I saved $10/point x 100 points = $1000, give or take.


I will continue to do this every time I’m in WDW/DL!


Same! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

You get it! :wink: :wink: