With the Parks Closed, Let’s Plan the Perfect Disney Vacation!
With Disney theme parks currently closed, I find myself fantasizing about my next trip. Right now, I don’t have to worry about financing any of it, as this is all imaginary. And that got me wondering. What would the perfect Disney vacation entail?
A Land/Sea Adventure
The first choice that I’d make is to split my trip. My family frequently takes long vacations, often a week or longer. After a few days at the parks, I’m sometimes ready to take a break and relax. For this reason, my family loves Disney resorts with great pools. We hang out there to recuperate. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Rather than spending a couple of days sitting at the pool, I’d prefer a land/sea vacation. These trips mean that I spend four or five days at the parks, along with three nights at sea.
I’m not picky about cruises. My main goal is to get away from it all and relax on a point for a while. A three-night cruise blends perfectly with a four-night stay at a Disney resort. This way, I get the best of both worlds.
Disney has made these trips easy to coordinate. The Port Canaveral Disney Cruise ships dock 60 miles east of Walt Disney World. And since money is no option, I’d select the ultimate in comfort and convenience, a Minnie Van trip.
Disney Cruises embody the ultimate in luxury and relaxation. My family can hole up in our room or roam the ship’s decks, embracing the plentiful Disney entertainment options. Plus, the ship cuisine is so decadent that I feel like I need to work out right now after just thinking about all the calories. Nobody ever goes hungry on a Disney Cruise.
Plus, a couple of days in The Bahamas and at Castaway Cay goes a long way in re-energizing me for a few days at the parks. However, my perfect Disney vacation would involve a Halloween cruise first followed by a park stay. I’ll explain why as we go along.
Where to Stay
I am something of a Disney hotel connoisseur. I have stayed in more than 10 of them, and I know what I like. Generally, I prefer a split resort vacation, which means that I resort hop. I treasure the convenience of spending the night at a resort that’s right by a park.
However, for my dream vacation, I don’t want to move my luggage multiple times. Instead, I’ll spend the entire park portion of my trip at the same location. For me, the decision about where to spend my trip comes down to two locations.
I’m actually not as big a fan of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa as the other two monorail resorts. Don’t get me wrong. It’s absolutely breathtaking, but I prefer the convenience of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. I will never get tired of hopping on the monorail at Magic Kingdom and then being at the Contemporary in a couple of minutes. Even so, that’s not where I would stay on a perfect vacation.
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort & Spa embodies everything that I love about Walt Disney World. It’s one of my favorite hotels on the planet.
I adore the vibe of the place, as I can luxuriate when I’m away from the parks but am only a quick monorail trip away from Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. Plus, Kona Café, Capt. Cook’s, and ‘Ohana guarantee that I’ll feast like a king while I’m here.
All Disney resorts are spectacular. The Polynesian is the best of them, though.
Deluxe Disney Dining Plan and Other Dining Musts
This one’s a no-brainer. I DO want to feast like a king. So, I’m not going to cut any corners here. I’m going to choose the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan. It will allow me to utilize three Table Service meal entitlements per day, and my wife will get three as well.
Between us, we won’t use all of them each day. Instead, we’ll have a chance to pick all of our favorites across four nights at Walt Disney World. I can quickly tell you what we’d pick:
- Cape May Café Breakfast
- Akershus Lunch
- Rose & Crown Dining Room Dinner
- Coral Reef Lunch
- Special Dinner
- ‘Ohana Breakfast
- Woody’s Lunch Box Lunch
- Sci-Fi Dine-In Dinner
- Chef Mickey’s Dinner
- Be Our Guest Final Meal at Disney
I didn’t need to hesitate in filling out that itinerary since I know which places where we’re almost certain to eat. With this schedule, we’d expend 20 entitles out of our allotted 24.
However, we’d probably pay cash at Woody’s Lunch Box, giving us a total of six extra entitlements. We could turn around and “buy” two different meals for a party of three! This ability explains why my family prioritizes the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan.
Attentive readers noticed that I left something vague in that itinerary, though. Since I’m discussing a dream vacation where money is no object, I might as well do something that I wouldn’t ordinarily choose.
A Special Meal for a Special Trip!
I’m eating at Victoria & Albert’s! TripAdvisor voters believe that it’s either the best or second-best restaurant in America! I might as well take this opportunity to sit down at the Chef’s Table and order a meal plus a wine pairing. Sure, it’s $800 (plus tip) for a couple, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, right?
If I’m honest, the main reason why I don’t eat here, as a rule, isn’t even the price. I’m the opposite of a foodie. I’d worry that I’d insult the chef with my request for the dullest meal possible with the fewest ingredients. But I’ll make an exception this time so that my wife can savor the experience! It’s easy to act nobly when I’m only imagining everything, right?
Look, if money doesn’t matter, I’m doing Disney the way that celebrities do. I’m hiring a plaid and strutting around the parks like I own the place. After all, at these prices, I kind of do.
For those who don’t know, Disney offers VIP Tours for paying guests. For the cost of roughly $3,000 (to start), park visitors can hire a cast member to act as tour guides. These Disney workers wear easily recognizable plaid outfits, which is why they have the nickname of Plaids.
When you have a Plaid beside you, doors open at Disney that are otherwise closed to the masses. You get to enter the FastPass line for most attractions. Some even allow you to enter by side passages right at the front of the line!
In fact, I did a VIP Tour the last time I went to Disney. During the middle of it, I realized that I hated the thought of going back to a regular park visit. Now that I know what’s available, I sob at the notion that the velvet rope is closed to me. That one taste got me addicted.
Friends, if you can ever afford a VIP Tour, you owe it to yourself to participate. As an FYI, some Disney communities actually find parties of ten willing to split a tour and thereby mitigate the expense. It’s something to consider.
My VIP Tour was legitimately one of the best times I’ve ever had at Disney. However, I actually preferred a different option slightly more…
Disney After Hours
The name may change, but the premise remains the same. Throughout the year, Disney hosts several after-hours ticketed events. On these nights, the parks close a bit earlier than usual, often 7 p.m. Afterward, the only people who can enter the parks are ones who possess tickets.
Variations of this event include Disney After Hours, Disney Villains After Hours, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, the most famous one.
Some of these ticketed offerings include special parades and nighttime presentations, an added bonus. However, all of them come with the most crucial benefit. They grant access at a time when the parks aren’t open to regular guests. As such, the lines are extremely short.
I cannot imagine a dream Disney vacation without at least one after hours event. I’ve done two of them over the past six months, and both evenings qualified as unforgettable.
Oddly, I got more done during the three-hour Disney After Hours evening than with five hours at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Even so, I prefer the Halloween festivities because I don’t feel as rushed.
All other things being equal, I’d pick a vacation when I can attend this show. Besides, I could stay for another couple of days and watch cast members display the Christmas decorations, something I always love.
Okay, we’ve had our fun and should be real now. We can’t afford a trip like this most of the time. However, we all aspire to have the best vacation imaginable at an affordable price.
To make that happen, I strongly suggest that you contact a MickeyTravels agent. These Disney experts know all the smartest tips for maximizing your vacation budget. They’ll help you take a trip akin to this at a reasonable cost! Best of all, their services are totally free for you!