"" Writer's Wanderings: A Dose Of Disney - The Plans

Monday, February 05, 2018

A Dose Of Disney - The Plans

Two of our Florida grandkids had never been to Disney World and the other two were so little they couldn't remember much. What better reason to plan a visit to Disney? We started planning a little before Christmas by making a reservation for a house near the park where all eight of us could stay together. We had done that in the past when we took all our kids and grandkids to the park and it worked out well and was a lot more economical than staying in the park even at one of the low end resorts.

The problem for planning came in the purchase of tickets however. I knew from experience that Disney always ran a special for Florida residents in January that was even less that the usual resident ticket and so we waited to purchase our tickets until the first week in January. Tickets were available for purchase through AAA and that allowed us to get the ticket numbers we needed to make any reservations and Fastpasses. (A Fastpass is a scheduled time for you to get in line and bypass the longer line of standbys. It doesn't guarantee you won't have a line but you won't wait as long. You are allowed three/day.) While we got a great deal on four days for our six Florida residents our out-of-state tickets were twice as much. I guess that meant we needed to have twice as much fun.

Our master planner, Grandpa, began by subscribing to TouringPlans.com for $14.95. The subscription is good for a year and gives you projections on crowds in each park for a given date, touring plans to use your time most efficiently and at the park, wait times in line. We asked each child to tell us their top three attractions they absolutely needed to ride and used that to begin planning each day at the individual parks.

There is a park hopper ticket that costs a little more and allows you to visit more than one park in a day. The only reason I could see you doing that is if you tried to optimize your chances of riding some of the more popular rides in the parks and could go from one to the other either early in the morning or late in the evening to catch a shorter line. No matter how we tried to schedule the new Avatar ride, the wait was never less than two hours. Fastpasses are impossible to get unless you apply for them 30-60 days out from the day of your visit. We were just two week ahead of our visit.

Dinner reservations were a bit tricky as well. We ended up with only two that were actually at a dinner hour. The other two were at 3:30 and 4:15. Those are also gobbled up 30-60 days out.

Bob finished the plans and emailed them to the kids for their approval. A week later, plans transferred to phones, a van rented that could seat all eight of us and still hold all the luggage, we drove the four hours north to the house we had rented for the week. The adventure was about to begin.

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