So…I’m trying to create a budget and am in serious trade off mode. I’d love advice on which one of the ‘nice to have’ expenses you would recommend I eliminate.
Staying 8 nights (Sat-Sun), and decided on a 9 day non-park hopper pass (2 adults, one 11 year old and one 5 year old). The difference between 7 day and 9 days was a total of $41 across the four of us. No brainer to spend $5/pp per day for the extra two days. $2,055.
The addition of park hopper was NOT a no brainer…more like $275 incremental, and I have other plans for that money, so am currently leaning away doing this. My family (besides me) can’t do all day stuff at the parks, They peter out early, and thus I only have planned two days where we take a break and return.
Our ride priorities will be 7DMT (multiple), TSMM (multiple), Soarin (multiple), and likely FOP/Pandora and Slinky (I’ve never road the latter two). And, for me, F! (b/c I didn’t get to do it on my last WDW and DLR trips).
So, I have 4 shockingly expensive options I am considering: 1) EMM MK. $296: I am 100% sure we willl do this if offered while there. 2) EMM HS: $296. 3) Garden Grill @ EP to RD Soarin (w/tax and tip likely $225). and 4) F! Dining Package at HS (min. of $200).
So…after checking out the breakfast skillet family menu at GG, I’ve eliminated it. We will RD Soarin (as well as have a FP from a prior EP Land afternoon). No way I want to pay that much for eggs and bacon and a sweet roll, characters or no. We have a few character stops our plans, and that will have to suffice. Note: Hoping we can snag a SDFP for Soarin after we use our first 3. Anyone have success with this with a same day drop?
But, now I still have 3 expensive add-ons that I’d love some feedback on:
Trying hard to justify $800 more in expense above and beyond the $2,055 we are already spending on tickets. I know we’d spend $100 for dinner, so the incremental expense for the dining package is more like $100. However, we do cheap breakfasts (mostly in the room), so the value in the EMM stuff is in the FUN. Maybe a $75 value of the breakfast that’s included.
And, for context…
My husband has exactly TWO WDW trips in him (one we did in 2015 when my oldest was then 6 and my youngest was a baby, and now we have one scheduled for next year for when my youngest will be 6). Yes, I can throw in a few DLR visits w/out him (sharing costs with grandma), but when it comes to WDW, this will be it for a long, long time.
So, I want to get the most out of this trip, and no one in my family (but me) are dawn to dusk liners, so I have to get in, and get out, hence looking at ways to really maximize our time even if we have to splurge.
Any thoughts on which two you’d choose of the three options remaining? Between EMM MK, EMM HS, and F! Dining Package?
Here is my current schedule:
Day 1, Sat: arrive at hotel by 4pm. 3 hours in MK to do Mickey M&G w/FP, Alladin and Splash w/FP. Just a taste of the park, all in one concentrated area, so we can get kids back to bed for early AM rise. We are hoping to stay at BLT when DVC rental opens up, so we will be close.
Day 2,Sun: MK, EMM. It will feel EARLY for us. All FL, then RD Space and Buzz before breakfast at 9.45am, then the headliners. 7am-3pm in park. No return to park. Will likely be a party night anyway, so can only stay till 6pm.
Day 3, Mon: AK, EMH. . 6.30AM-1.30pm, then break back at hotel, then return for 5.00pmADR at Sanaa (before sunset) and Pandora at night. Maybe River Light show if fam is up for it, but not on my must do list and I won’t drag tired kiddos to it at all costs.
Day 4: Tues: Sleep-in. Free Day to relax till 3.30pm, then EP Future Land till 7.30pm with FPP’s and show’s. No illuminations as we have RD the next day.
Day 5: Wed: HS, EMM Toy Story. 7am-2pm, then break, then return for 7pm F! ADR? Then F! at 9pm. Don’t really like any of the F! restaurant options though…
Day 6: Thur: Sleep in. Free day. Then MK around 4pm till 11pm (FW’s at 10pm). Shows plus three FPP’s, etc. Back at hotel close to midnight.
Day 7: Sleep in. Late arrival at HS, not sure time but not rushing. Star Wars stuff, knowing we will give up stuff b/c late arrival.
Day 8: Sat: EP, RD. Soarin, then TT, then rest of the Worlds (since we will have hit most Land stuff on Tuesday early evening). Not sure I want our last day to be EP but this is the way it is working out.
Day 9: Sun: got the 9th day only b/c our flight will be late afternoon and it was so cheap to add an xtra day. I know my husband will have nothing to do with a 9th day, but If kiddos wnat to hit a park for a few hours,I’ll take them. Most likely choice MK as we will be at BLT, so easy to get in and out. I will secure FPPs for 7DMT, Big Thunder and Buzz in advance just in case. Definitely not a RD day :).
Sorry for such a long post, but i’m conflicted.