To Disney or not to Disney... 2022 (1 Viewer)

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My wife and I have been planning a return to Disney for Mardi Gras 2022 since 2017. My oldest will be 8.5 and my youngest will be 3.5. We've saved up in an account every week since our last trip, so the trip is paid for. My concern is traveling with a 3.5 year old to Disney if COVID restrictions are still around.. Those with little ones that are more free spirited, have you taken a trip to Disney with the COVID restrictions? Would you do it again? Would you wait until restrictions are more relaxed? I've been on the fence whether or wait another year or not. We aren't the type of family that will go to Disney every year or other year. We like to travel to different destinations. That being said, it would probably be 4-5 years until we went again.

We are both vaccinated if it matters. We would also drive.
 

efil4stnias

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I get you. We flew last time. Unfortunately we flew Spirit. It was okay, but just got too expensive with all the 'upgrades' that spirit gets you on. We just simply can't afford to fly especially when only ten hours. Yes that's far, but not like crazy far. We both work for schools so we have summers off but not a ton of money since LA doesn't value public education but that's a different issue.
Anyway, we are looking at driving to save the money and spend at the park/cruise.
i TOTALLY get it. TOTALLY.

i just cannot drive for 10-11 hours any longer. Its simply too much. So i save up the $600 to fly.

if you dont mind the drive ( and we did the same for same reason back when kids were little - leaving at 2am while they slept most of the drive lol ) its worth it.

as an aside, my oldest will be attending college next year( fall 2022 ) for secondary education major ( history - wants to teach middle school ) and i keep dropping hints that post-grad, she may wanna seek employment outside LA.
 

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Cool. thanks guys for the responses/answers. Sounds like it was a good service but will not be around in 2022. Oh well.

What on site places would you guys recommend. Not crazy expensive but doesn't have to be the cheapest like the All-star resorts.

And what off-site places would you guys recommend. Thanks again.
The moderate ones are nicer as far as the grounds and amenities, but the rooms are still smallish. Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs are examples of these. Of those 2, I prefer Caribbean Beach. There's also to 2 New Orleans inspired hotels, but I see enough of that here so I skip those. I hear Port Orleans is the better of the 2. Cabins in Fort Wilderness are fun if you like the whole camping element. Of the moderate choices, I like Caribbean Beach.

Of the deluxe hotels with kids, I like Fort Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge, or the Polynesian (this is the best one). They are pricy, but the kids will love them and everything about them is a huge step up from the Moderate Resorts.
 

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I love Disney, and I love it because of the crowds and the hustle and bustle. I'd love to go, but just don't wanna go with a mask on. Masks suck. Disney is great if you aren't in a rush to do things.
 

Denzien

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Disney is the most magical place on Earth...for kids. For adults? It can be incredibly stressful. I would weigh that part of if more than COVID honestly.
Everything is stressful with kids, but if you don't sufficiently plan your Disney vacation you're setting yourself up for failure.

The trick to Disney properties, IMO, is to schedule your primary meals well in advance (if dining there) and working out the parks you're visiting and the fast passes you want based on that. Then don't worry about trying to get on every single ride. It won't happen - just enjoy the parks and the aesthetic.

If you're staying on property, I really like the dining plan because then I don't even bother looking at the prices for the food ... I just order what I want because I've already paid for it. Getting the reservations is a headache sometimes, but you can "prepay" your stress this way. Much better to have a reservation for that character breakfast than to sit around hoping they can find room for you.

I just let my wife do all this planning because she's good at it ... but I hear all about it.
 

Saint by the Bay

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The moderate ones are nicer as far as the grounds and amenities, but the rooms are still smallish. Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs are examples of these. Of those 2, I prefer Caribbean Beach. There's also to 2 New Orleans inspired hotels, but I see enough of that here so I skip those. I hear Port Orleans is the better of the 2. Cabins in Fort Wilderness are fun if you like the whole camping element. Of the moderate choices, I like Caribbean Beach.

Of the deluxe hotels with kids, I like Fort Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge, or the Polynesian (this is the best one). They are pricy, but the kids will love them and everything about them is a huge step up from the Moderate Resorts.
We tend to stay Value or Moderate when we go as a family and Deluxe when it's just the wife and I. My wife likes Club Level access and all that good stuff. The kids tend to want to spend every waking moment in the parks so a nice room means nothing to them.
 

Denzien

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We tend to stay Value or Moderate when we go as a family and Deluxe when it's just the wife and I. My wife likes Club Level access and all that good stuff. The kids tend to want to spend every waking moment in the parks so a nice room means nothing to them.
I adore the Animal Kingdom Lodge/Kidani Village. We always get the Savannah view.

Problem is that it's expensive and my wife never lets me take a day to spend at the hotel, except on our last trip. She let me spend the day we checked out in the hotel. :cautious: Packed the van and we sat around the pool. Which was nice, but I'd be happy never even going into the park.
 
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So me and the Mrs. are doing the same. We are actually looking at taking a Disney Cruise out of Port Canaveral, FL and taking a 3 night cruise to the private disney island in the Bahamas with my cousin's family in June 2022.
Then we are thinking about driving over to DisneyWorld for a few more days to see the parks. We have two boys age 8 and 5. We went about 3 years ago now in November and loved it. We only had 2 days at the parks then and just wasn't enough time. We are thinking about maybe doing 3 or 4 days then driving back home to the Northshore.
They have some specials right now where when you book a 3 or 4 night stay they give you one or two more days of free park fare. Not a bad deal when you consider the price of tickets. We are a go every few years type of family. My cousin goes every year so.

So has anyone taken a disney cruise? Specifically out of Port Canaveral, FL to go to the Disney island Castaway Cay? Anyone driven to Disneyworld before or after?
Would that be too much for my young boys?? We wanted to start saving and booking now to save money. Any thoughts advice is welcome.
The previous trip we spent one day at Magic Kingdom and one day at Animal Kingdom.

And the endless debate question: do we stay on site or off site?? Is staying on site really worth the extra money? and if so where for a reasonable price?
Thanks SR!!!
Quick story. Family and I drove 8 hours to Disney. On the way back I was so burnt out that I almost threw my daughter’s “Marie” from Aristrocats doll out the window. I then had to take a week off of work to recover. Don’t be me.
 
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Fly.

Fly

Fly

Unless you like 11 hour car rides.

When you see the sign that says Tallahassee 110 miles and then another that says Pensacola 110 miles you simply get deflated and just want to be home lol.

1 hr 45 min flight. direct.
That's why you go an extra day and drive half way :)
 

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I adore the Animal Kingdom Lodge/Kidani Village. We always get the Savannah view.
We stayed at Jambo House with the Savannah view. I was bummed because we got stuck on the end of the complex so I figured we would never see anything. Luckily there was a water trough there so everything came by to get a drink.

We also stayed 3 nights at Pop Century before moving to Animal Kingdom. It was a good way to get a taste of it without spending a fortune on the days we were at the park most of the time anyways.
 

Saint by the Bay

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I adore the Animal Kingdom Lodge/Kidani Village. We always get the Savannah view.

Problem is that it's expensive and my wife never lets me take a day to spend at the hotel, except on our last trip. She let me spend the day we checked out in the hotel. :cautious: Packed the van and we sat around the pool. Which was nice, but I'd be happy never even going into the park.
We did AK Club level with a Savanah view for my wife's 40th birthday. It cost twice as much as taking our entire family of 6 to Disney and staying value with 2 rooms, but man was it gorgeous. My only complaint is it's a long bus ride from most of the parks. A couple of times we actually grabbed a cab because she didn't want to miss happy hour in the Club lounge. :hihi:
 

Denzien

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We stayed at Jambo House with the Savannah view. I was bummed because we got stuck on the end of the complex so I figured we would never see anything. Luckily there was a water trough there so everything came by to get a drink.

We also stayed 3 nights at Pop Century before moving to Animal Kingdom. It was a good way to get a taste of it without spending a fortune on the days we were at the park most of the time anyways.
One of the things I give Disney massive credit for, is their attention to detail. Just like you've said, they deliberately distribute resources to try to ensure the animals walk the grounds so everyone can see them at some point during the day. Imagine if their Imagineers had designed the Cowboys' stadium ... there probably wouldn't be any obstructed views.
 
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I am now contemplating postponing until 2023 and taking a smaller trip with the boys next year. I really don't want to ruin the experience for them because of COVID if we aren't going to be going back for 4-5 years.
 
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I am now contemplating postponing until 2023 and taking a smaller trip with the boys next year. I really don't want to ruin the experience for them because of COVID if we aren't going to be going back for 4-5 years.
I'll try to remember to give you an update when we go on our trip this summer. If it sucks because of masks/COVID restrictions I'll let you know. The best thing about Disney is that it's like entering a different fantasy world. Well...if you are constantly reminded of COVID while you're there...sort of defeats the purpose in some ways.
 

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The last time we went was Christmas 2019 - we did a combo of Disney World and
Universal Studios. My kids were 15 and 14 at the time, and honestly, they wanted to spend most of the trip at Disney Springs at night (formerly Downtown Disney). We’ve been as a family 6 times since my kids were born and my wife and I have been twice alone. We’ve stayed at every level resort on the grounds and I don’t have any complaints. We’ve driven every time (roughly 10 hours as mentioned before) but we always drive there a day and half before scheduled and normally stay somewhere close by just to relax and prepare. Same for leaving out. I can’t really imagine being there with the restrictions but I’ve heard mixed reviews on it.
We’re looking at a cabin in the Rocky Mountains at the end of July/early August this year. When we do mountain trips, we’re typically outside the majority of the time which we are really looking forward to.
 

UncleTrvlingJim

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We enjoy going to Disney - there's a whole cottage industry around "winning Disney", basically maximizing your experience. If you love planning, it's a lot of fun trying to figure it all out. Basically, if you plan ahead (from your fast passes, to the route you take in the park, to eating and so on), you'll have a great time. Disney is phenomenal at systems engineering (I've often wondered what it would be like to work for them), and there's tons of ways to keep your family happy even during crowded times.

I'll echo people's love for the Animal Kingdom lodge, BUT as SBTB said - it's far away from everything and it can be tiring to get back to at the end of the day.

If I had to guess, you'll probably be fine in 2022 without masks. I have some friends with small kids who went to Disney this year with masks, and they said they had a great time, so it might not be an issue. It's a really a factor of how much masks bother your kids... mine are fine, but I wouldn't go in the summer with them. I think I'd be ok in the winter with masks on.
 

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We enjoy going to Disney - there's a whole cottage industry around "winning Disney", basically maximizing your experience. If you love planning, it's a lot of fun trying to figure it all out. Basically, if you plan ahead (from your fast passes, to the route you take in the park, to eating and so on), you'll have a great time. Disney is phenomenal at systems engineering (I've often wondered what it would be like to work for them), and there's tons of ways to keep your family happy even during crowded times.

I'll echo people's love for the Animal Kingdom lodge, BUT as SBTB said - it's far away from everything and it can be tiring to get back to at the end of the day.

If I had to guess, you'll probably be fine in 2022 without masks. I have some friends with small kids who went to Disney this year with masks, and they said they had a great time, so it might not be an issue. It's a really a factor of how much masks bother your kids... mine are fine, but I wouldn't go in the summer with them. I think I'd be ok in the winter with masks on.
Something I've wondered about the masks is the faster rides. It seems to me that would blow the masks off your face if the mask wasn't super secured.
 

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