Pros and Cons of Walt Disney World Vacation Questions
When you visit Walt Disney World, pinheads like me will try to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do.
The truth is that you must decide for yourself, though. So, let’s arm you with some knowledge and send you along to make your own decisions instead.
Here are the pros and cons for some Disney vacation debates.
Should You Have Groceries Delivered?
The price of a bottled water at a Disney theme park costs $3.75-$5.75, depending on whether you prefer SmartWater.
Amazon will deliver a carton of bottled water to your hotel for $10-$16.25, depending on whether you prefer name brands.
Similarly, you can order pretty much anything you may want to eat at the parks and order it for hotel delivery instead.
But should you do that?
You WILL save money by adopting this approach. My family has tried it a few times, and it’s worked well.
In some instances, you might even prefer this strategy because ordering at Disney restaurants can take some time.
A Disney hotel delivery speeds up the process, presuming you can pick up your items.
This strategy is far from perfect. If you plan to attempt hotel delivery, you should understand several potential drawbacks.
First, Disney no longer allows deliveries directly to the hotel room.
Instead, Disney will likely intercede and hold the item for you to pick up at your leisure. Your hotel will charge $6 for handling fees per order.
Also, during the early days of hotel delivery, few businesses offered this service.
Now, resort delivery has evolved into a cottage industry. Some businesses, especially grocery stores and DoorDash/GrubHub, butcher orders.
When that happens, you’ll kick yourself for not sticking with the safer option of a good Disney meal.
I was a much bigger fan of hotel delivery before Disney changed the rules and added fees.
Also, the service in Orlando has generally slipped due to increased competition and a shortage of delivery people.
In a perfect world, everything will go right here, and you’ll save lots of money.
Just be aware that everything in a tourist area like Orlando can be chaotic, even food delivery.
Should You Order PhotoPass?
Disney increased the price of PhotoPass again.
As I type this, you’ll pay $185 plus tax in advance for PhotoPass or $210 plus tax on the date of your visit.
That’s a lot of money to ask people to do something that they can just as easily do on their phones, which is take pictures.
I’m gonna reverse the order and start with the Cons on this one for a reason.
The two primary arguments against PhotoPass are the price and the availability of photographers.
I cannot argue that $185 plus tax is a lot to spend for personalized vacation photos.
Notably, that price feels more expensive when you visit for a shorter time.
A three-day vacation means you’re spending about $62 plus tax per day for PhotoPass, which is admittedly outrageous.
When you’re staying for a week, that’s about $26-$32 daily, which isn’t unreasonable, in my opinion.
The other sticking point is that you’ll need to find Disney photographers to take full advantage of the service.
Yes, you’ll receive ride photos and videos automatically, but you’re really buying PhotoPass for those unforgettable theme park pictures.
My Disney Experience shows the location of photographers, but the most popular pictures often require waiting for other park guests to finish.
Okay, that was a LOT of cons, and you’re almost certainly thinking you shouldn’t do it.
Here’s my counterpoint. I look at my Disney vacation photos more than any other. We even have some of these pictures sitting on our shelves.
I am not a visual person, and I could never take a high-quality photo that reflects the beauty of Disney or captures a perfect moment in time.
Disney photographers can seemingly do this at will. They’re amazing. I’m in awe of them.
Ultimately, you’ll spend a lot of money for any vacation to a tourist destination, especially one as extraordinary as Disney.
While not every vacation budget can stretch the requisite amount for professional photography, you should consider this upsell if you can afford it.
On the two occasions when I did not purchase PhotoPass, I sorely missed it.
Conversely, the only time I ever felt like I didn’t get my money’s worth was early in the pandemic when photographers were few and far between.
Flying in Early vs. Flying in Late
Here’s an eternal debate among Disney fans. Some people prefer flying out of their cities at the break of dawn.
By taking this approach, they can often enter a Disney park by mid-day, sometimes even earlier.
When we’ve taken this approach, we’ve arrived as early as 10:30 in the morning…and we don’t have a viable direct flight in our area.
Conversely, some guests believe in the reasonable strategy of flying into Disney at night.
This way, you can get a good night’s sleep before you start your park visits.
Pros of Flying in Late
Guests who fly into the parks at night avoid paying for a less-than-full park day.
How much does that matter? The answer again depends on the length of your visit. Still, in a perfect world, you’d rather spend full days at the park.
Also, you’re refreshed and clean. We all know how gross air travel can be.
Remember that PhotoPass option you might have just bought? Your flight day photos will NOT be your favorites!
Cons of Flying in Late
The cost-benefit analysis here doesn’t favor this strategy. You’re paying hundreds of dollars more for that extra night at Disney.
In exchange, you’re getting none of the joys of a park visit. While Disney resorts are magical, too, this strategy comes at a high price.
Pros of Flying in Early
I view this tactic as a variant of Jimmy Buffett’s words of wisdom, Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.
When you fly in early, you’ll know the joy of leaving your home and being at a Disney theme park a few hours later.
All the aggravation that comes from flying at an ungodly hour of the morning proves worthwhile the moment you set foot on Main Street, U.S.A.
Cons of Flying in Early
Have you ever ridden a plane that takes off at 5:30 a.m.? Well, I have, and I can assure it’s not pretty.
There’s a fine line between people on these flights and victims on The Walking Dead.
Remember how I just said air travel can be gross? It’s that much worse at the break of dawn. Some jerks don’t even shower before early flights.
Also, you’ll feel run down during your park visit, as a morning at the airport will drain anybody.
There’s one final consideration that may just apply to me. However, when I fly in early, I get antsy once I touch down in Orlando.
I feel like I’m racing against the clock to get to the park as quickly as possible, which makes me not much to be around. Thankfully, I married a saint.
We have tried both approaches. I’m actually a night owl by nature, but I vastly prefer flying in early.
In fact, friends tease me about the fact that I say “never again” every time I book a 5 a.m. flight. Then, I inevitably do it again the next time.
The siren call of Disney proves too strong.
Using an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner
The reality is that planning a Disney vacation has grown needlessly convoluted.
Disney park officials haven’t done themselves any favors with all the recent changes. It has caused turmoil for even longtime Disney vacationers.
Relatively inexperienced tourists will struggle to schedule the best possible vacation at the most reasonable price.
That’s why hundreds of travel agencies offer some form of Disney vacation planning.
With tens of thousands of people visiting each park every day, many tourists need the help.
Still, some debate the value of using an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.
Let’s start with the reality of planning a vacation. If something goes wrong during your trip, you’ll spend part of your vacation lamenting your mistakes.
That is NOT how a vacation should work! Instead, you should be relishing every moment of your trip.
Then, we have the fact that you’ve got nothing to lose with using such a service.
After all, Disney provides Earmark ratings for these businesses, which is its way of identifying the best of the best.
So, you’ll know when you use a Diamond-Level Authorized Disney Vacation Planner like MickeyTravels that you’ve chosen a total pro.
Remarkably, MickeyTravels won’t charge you for their services, either.
Instead, they’ll find you the best possible deal and still keep looking long after you’ve booked to see if something even better comes along.
For your part, you can rest easy knowing that someone with a lot more experience with Disney vacations is handling the details of your trip.
I mean, you’d pay for someone to take care of your dream vacations, right? Imagine getting that service for free!
You should use a Diamond-Level Authorized Disney Vacation Planner like MickeyTravels for your Disney trip. It’s a no-brainer.
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Feature Photo; Disney