As I have been spending the past few weeks talking with various families as we plan for their family trip to Disney, the same question seems to be brought up….
What do you think about ______________?
Many clients want to know my personal opinion on everything from the best time of year to go to where to stay. The only correct answer I feel I can give them is to tell them it is a personal preference. Just like any vacation, it is different for every family. You know your family and you know what they like and they don’t like. You need to go with that when planning your trip to Disney.
Here are a few of my responses to common questions I have been asked over the past few weeks….
When is the BEST time to go so there aren’t many crowds and the weather is perfect?
First of all, I tell my clients there will always be crowds. It doesn’t matter when you go there are crowds. However you will typically see a higher level of crowds during holiday breaks and weeks. There are summer peak times as well. We typically head to the parks early and are back at our resort by lunch and relax by the pool. Is this what typical families do? No because most families do not go every year or every other year. But this is how my family does our trips.
There is no guarantee for a vacation with perfect weather. You can’t control mother nature. Obviously if you go during the summer, you will be going and feel the summer Florida heat. You need to be smart and keep yourself hydrated as well as take breaks. We went last August. Yes it was hot. I, personally, felt it wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated it to be. We were smart and went early and headed back to our resort by lunch. This was the perfect time to cool off in our room and/or down by the pool. Then we would head back in the evening for dinner and some more park fun.
We did have an incident where I was not being on top of making sure the kids were staying hydrated properly. I was in the moment of enjoying our time and although I knew it was hot and I made sure they drank, I just wasn’t making sure it was the correct beverage (water or Power Aid) and that it continued more frequently than if we were home. Consequently, late one evening after we returned from a great dinner, Ella got sick. She was dehydrated and she ended up missing most of the next day’s activities. Fortunately Hunter and Gracie went with the rest of the “family” to the park in the morning and I was able to allow Ella to rest and hydrate. Is she scarred for life? Not for life but she will NOT let me forget this happened to her!
I have gone in the fall and late spring. Both times I have enjoyed immensely. The weather was wonderful…practically perfect as a matter of fact. This past spring when I went over Easter the weather was warm to start but we ended our week on the cold side. And yes it was Easter week and yes there were crowds!
What do you think about “XYZ” Resort?
I weigh the pros and cons with all my clients when it comes to choosing where to stay. Some families want to be near a certain park. Some families want to stay where they will get the best deal. Some families want the best beds in a resort. Some families don’t have a preference at all.
Yes I have a personal favorite but I will keep that to myself for now. Once again, I tell all my families you need to know what will work best for your family. You need to think about what you want from a resort. Do you want it based on comfort? Do you want a themed room? Do you want it to have a great pool? Do you want it to be laid back? These are things that are important to consider and to some families none of this matters. Many families want nice and comfortable but want the best deal.
What do you think about park hoppers?
For me personally, I like having that option. Is it for everyone? Like with everything, no it is not. I explain why I like the hopper option for my family. I like to be able to start my day in Magic Kingdom and end it in Epcot. Or head over to the Studios and go to the Magic Kingdom for Wishes. In April when just Ella and I went, we did not have the hopper option and it was great!
What do you think about the dining plan?
I like to have the dining plan as part of my trip. My children enjoy character meals and they are typically more expensive and really make it worth getting the dining plan. Plus I like to know all I need to budget for while we are there are for gratuities and of course my children’s “stuffy” addiction (that is a whole other post). There are families, especially those with older children, who do not get the dining plan. If you aren’t big eaters or you are staying where you are able to prepare a meal or two, then a dining plan may not be for you.
Bottom line whenever I am asked for my personal opinions, I am honest and I stress how it works for my family. I stress how it is important to make their trip is about their family. By putting your family’s needs and wants first, your trip will be practically perfect.