Today I’m tackling the length of trip question.
I feel like this is really two questions in one which are:
How long should my Disney World vacation be?
How many days of tickets should I buy?
The answer to the first is pretty easy: as long as possible!
The answer to the second will take a little more explanation. Let’s dig in a little more to both questions.
Disney World is massive.
I have spent a lot of time there and I still haven’t seen “everything”. You will not run out of things to do, no matter how long you stay. However, I believe that everyone has their own threshold where the vacation is no longer fun and you just want to be home. My family has definitely hit that threshold a few times and we know better now. It’s not satisfying to come home after a fun vacation (where you spent thousands of dollars) just feeling like you wish you were home.
Staying away from that threshold feeds into question two:
How many days of tickets should I buy?
The two are related in this way: you can stay longer and enjoy more if you take more down time. If you’re going to hit it hard with a park every day, arriving at park opening and staying until closing, you are going to burn out by day three. Trust me on this, please!
I’m physically fit and so are my children. We take walks almost everyday to “stay strong for Disney.” I say that to get them motivated to walk. And we still get wiped out. People who wear pedometers from park open to park close usually report back that they walk 10-12 MILES per park day. That means you’ll have walked the equivalent of a marathon in three days!
Of course, I realize that most people have outside obligations, jobs, school and they may not be able to take a two week vacation with a day off in between every park day. You don’t need to do that to have a wonderful time. You just need to build some downtime in.
People like to do downtime different ways.
There are lots of fans of getting to the park at opening, and then heading back to the resort for lunch and a swim and a nap, followed by heading back out to the parks to enjoy the low crowds of the evening. This allows little ones to possibly stay awake for the nighttime festivities.
Other folks like to take entire days off in between park days. This can be economical because you won’t need to buy as many park tickets.
My family likes to sleep in. EVERY DAY. But some other people like to balance early mornings and late nights and enjoy both.
To help you decide what kind of downtime you will enjoy most, think about your patterns at home, especially on the weekends. Do your kids sleep in? Or are they up watching cartoons? Do you like to take your mornings slow and easy or do you jump directly into power yoga and roar through your Saturday?
What About Cost?
It can be tempting to schedule an entire day of downtime to avoid needing tickets for that day, but keep in mind that ticket prices decrease as you add days.
A four day ticket only cost you $35 more than three day ticket. A five day ticket is only $15 more than a four day ticket. And after day seven, you can add days for $10 a day.
One very helpful thing is that Disney allows you to upgrade your ticket at any point as long as the ticket isn’t completely used, and they only charge what you would have paid if you’d bought it that way in the first place. So if you bought a four day ticket and then you decide, on your last day, that you do want to hit Magic Kingdom on your departure day, you can add it for $15 a ticket, BUT you have to do it before you leave the park on your last ticketed day!
So choose the number of days that works with your work/school obligations, and build your downtime in to calculate the number of tickets you’ll need. Don’t be afraid to buy 1-2 less days and upgrade in the park if you need to do so.
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