Walt Disney World: Non-Theme Park Discussion

venny

TS Member
All whilst prices increase exponentially. Prices for the two week break we usually take on site is now more than double it was four years ago, with benefits rapidly being removed.

Bear in mind it was only a few years ago that extra magic hours were 3 hours long in the evening with longer park hours on top. You could often be in the Magic Kingdom until 2am as a resort guest.

The value just isn’t there for us anymore and we won’t be returning any time soon.
 

Benjsh

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Steel Vengeance
It's no lie that it's getting absolutely ridiculously expensive to go to Florida especially when you have kids and a mortgage to pay. We're going August 2022 and we have budgeted 9 grand for the 3 of us (my son will be 8) for the 2 weeks which i think it's very reasonable. We could probably do it cheaper than that but we're not skimping on a such a grand Holiday.

It's an incredible place to visit especially if you're a Theme Park enthusiast but 9 grand for 2 weeks of your life is absolutely outrageous it can't be argued. We sadly won't be able to afford to keep going back year after year like some can.
 

Benjsh

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Steel Vengeance
@Benjsh is that £9k flights, accommodation, theme park tickets and dining plan?

9 grand will be for everything yeah including spending money for 2 adults and a child.

- 6 nights at Disney (budget hotel only)
- 8 nights on Int drive in budget hotel
- Universal / Sea World Bush passes

We'll be doing the 4 Disney parks over first 6 days.

Probably have a day off whilst we move hotels at end of first week.

Then second week we'll do Universal X 3, Sea World and Busch Gardens.


It can be done for less too if you decide to not stay at Disney. It's something we haven't ruled out but I think the benefits of staying onsite at Disney are definitely worth it especially as we don't know if we'll ever go as a family again. it will depend on jobs etc.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
For two adults in 2016 we paid £3600 for two weeks at Disney deluxe hotel and the Disney park tickets. Then added £140 each for Seaworld/Busch/Discovery Cove and anouther couple hundred for Universal. We got the free Disney dining though which probably saved us £1000. We also paid a couple hundred for a hire car and of course $20 parking each time we went to Universal.
The dining plan is not worth paying for though, it will almost always work out cheaper to pay for each meal if you don't get the free dining offer.

Now though I think we could easily spend double that to stay on site, so we are considering more like Benjish is doing with part Disney and part elsewhere.

Currently got bargain priced flights booked for Sept 2021, but it depends how the pandemic is looking...
 

Benjsh

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Steel Vengeance
For two adults in 2016 we paid £3600 for two weeks at Disney deluxe hotel and the Disney park tickets. Then added £140 each for Seaworld/Busch/Discovery Cove and anouther couple hundred for Universal. We got the free Disney dining though which probably saved us £1000. We also paid a couple hundred for a hire car and of course $20 parking each time we went to Universal.
The dining plan is not worth paying for though, it will almost always work out cheaper to pay for each meal if you don't get the free dining offer.

Now though I think we could easily spend double that to stay on site, so we are considering more like Benjish is doing with part Disney and part elsewhere.

Currently got bargain priced flights booked for Sept 2021, but it depends how the pandemic is looking...

September is different. We're going last 2 weeks of August in summer holidays. A lot of American kids have gone back to school then but the parks are still incredibly busy so the prices are still expensive.

If you go mid to late September it's apparently much much cheaper. We won't be taking our son out of school though. They've missed more than enough school over this awful year we've had.

Real bargains to be had if you don't have kids and are flexible.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
September is different. We're going last 2 weeks of August in summer holidays. A lot of American kids have gone back to school then but the parks are still incredibly busy so the prices are still expensive.

If you go mid to late September it's apparently much much cheaper. We won't be taking our son out of school though. They've missed more than enough school over this awful year we've had.

Real bargains to be had if you don't have kids and are flexible.

Oh definitely, no kids is a big bonus and September is cheaper. But it is still looking at being over £2000 more expensive compared to five years ago for basically the same trip for us. That with the loss of a lot of benefits from staying on site means we are thinking its much better to stay off-site and save the money.
 

Benjsh

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Steel Vengeance
Oh definitely, no kids is a big bonus and September is cheaper. But it is still looking at being over £2000 more expensive compared to five years ago for basically the same trip for us. That with the loss of a lot of benefits from staying on site means we are thinking its much better to stay off-site and save the money.

Oh for sure if you've been recently and plan on going again after your next visit id definitely stay off site.

This MIGHT be our only family trip to Florida. Who knows what the future will bring so we aren't skimping on much.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
This MIGHT be our only family trip to Florida. Who knows what the future will bring so we aren't skimping on much.

If we make it to Florida this year, it will be our sixth trip...

We've stayed at
All Star Movies
Port Orleans Riverside
Port Orleans French Quarter
Saratoga Springs
Wilderness Lodge
 

Benjsh

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If we make it to Florida this year, it will be our sixth trip...

We've stayed at
All Star Movies
Port Orleans Riverside
Port Orleans French Quarter
Saratoga Springs
Wilderness Lodge

It will be my 4th in total but my first with my Son. He's Disney mad so we don't want to wait much longer or the magic might wear off a bit for him.

Never actually stayed on site before either so that will be a first for me. All star movies is looking most likely as it's cheapest and we don't plan on being in the room much at all.
 

Matt N

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Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)

jon81uk

TS Member
I’m not sure if this is the right place, but apparently, Walt Disney World is “working on” their own version of the controversial new Standby Pass system (aka paid FastPass) from Disneyland Paris: https://www.piratesandprincesses.net/expensive-walt-disney-world-standby-pass-system-in-the-works/

Does this basically mean that every attraction now has a virtual queue, and the parks are going queueless Volcano Bay-style?

Right now only Rise of the Resistance regularly uses a virtual queue due its awful capacity and poor reliability.
But I think they did use virtual queues on a few rides where the standby line overflowed into the walkways.
For most rides though the capacity is so good that the standby was just continually moving so the regular queue held enough guests. The standby pass is only designed to be used when the queue can't hold all the guests.
If they bring in paid fastpass to cheaply and then everyone gets it, then the standby queue grinds to a standstill, but given free FastPass+ usually worked on 80% FP and 20% standby, the standby queues moved slowly anyway!
Only if the standby is slow and long so it spills out the queue will the standby pass be needed.

Long term I don't think its too certain what will happen though, other than it seems unlikely that free FastPass+ is coming back.
 

Benjsh

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
You have to join a virtual queue to then return back later in the day and join the actual queue for it. This won't be fastpass this will just be a regular standby queue. If you want to skip the queue you then must pay to do so. So you're basically waiting twice for the one ride, once virtually and once physically.

It's an absolute ludicrous system and hope it falls flat on its face. Disgusting way to treat guests especially after the year it's been and the fact it already costs fortunes to visit these places anyway.

Chapek is the devil.
 

Rob

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Disney have confirmed that Fastpass and Fastpass+ are going from Walt Disney World, and MaxPass is going from Disneyland. They are both being replaced by Disney Genie.

The basic service is free but doesn't seem to offer all that much. It seemingly makes personalised recommendations and creates an itinerary for your day at a park. Could be useful for first time visitors who don't really know much about Disney parks I guess.

Then there is Genie+, which is going to cost $15 per guest per day at WDW and $20 per guest per day at Disneyland. This is like the current Disneyland MaxPass system, only not as good. Fastpass lanes are being replaced with Lightning Lanes, and if you have Genie+ then you can select a ride to make a reservation on. Why is it worse than MaxPass you ask? Well looks like you can only have one reservation at a time for a start (MaxPass was more flexible than this) and some of the most popular rides at each resort will not be included.

For these rides, you have to pay for individual access to the Lightning Lane. Prices have not been announced and will vary by date, attraction and park. You can use this twice each day.

So goodbye free Fastpass at US Disney Parks.

I suppose one of the good things about this is that you no longer need to choose your ride reservations way in advance at WDW.
 

KingNemesis

TS Member
Honestly, the Fastpass+ system was a good free perk, however, in reality, the inclusivity of it all lead to longer wait times overall. Hopefully, the "exclusivity" of the Lighting Lanes should reduce wait times, especially for those popular rides not included on the $15 Genie+ (although I guess that depends on pricing)

I'm happy not to have to drop everything at midday 30 days before my visit to try and get Fastpass' only to see the popular rides are gone due to the hotel guests taking them 30 days ago and stuck with rides that either don't really need a Fastpass for them or rides you are only really getting a Fastpass for them because that was the best of a bad bunch.
 

Matt N

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Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Out of curiosity, is this system the same as or similar to the system at DLP, or does it differ?
 

Matt N

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Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
It’s different. The DLP version is simply the equivalent of one shot Fastracks at Merlin parks. For the likes of Tower or Terror it costs €15pp for one ride.
Ah OK. So DLP is more like regular Merlin Fastrack whereas this is more like Universal Express, for instance, where you pay a set price for access to every ride (although you can only reserve one at once)?
 

AT86

TS Member
I am highly sceptical of the new Genie service that is marketed as making it easier to plan your day. So you input all the rides and experiences you want to cover and the system works out a plan for you to ‘maximise your day’.

I imagine it will be designed in such a way that you will be guided through the attractions in an order that means purchasing Lightning Lane access is necessary in order to get everything done.

For example if you arrive at Magic Kingdom for opening and have Space Mountain on your list in the Genie app, I’d be surprised if it told you to go there first when the standby line is quiet. Instead it will guide you elsewhere bringing you to Space Mountain a couple of hours later before helpfully suggesting that you drop another $40 on queue jump passes.

In terms of not having to book Fastpasses 60 days out, I do understand that some people didn’t like this. However at least you knew you had secured the headline attractions you wanted before travelling thousands of miles to the parks and you only had to do this once for your trip. Under the new system it’s a daily race to book lightning lane (and you have to pay per ride for all those major attractions such as 7DMT, TOT etc that were worth booking a Fastpass for).

Also, it’s seems so bloomin complicated. Not sure how this makes it ‘easier’ as Disney are marketing it as.

Ah OK. So DLP is more like regular Merlin Fastrack whereas this is more like Universal Express, for instance, where you pay a set price for access to every ride (although you can only reserve one at once)?

Yes, except for the big caveat is that not all rides are covered. The headline stuff such as Space Mountain, 7DMT etc will not be included in the regular Genie+ Lightning Lane access and you will need to buy a one off pass per ride (prices will vary by day and depending on how busy the park is), so effectively making it the same as a Merlin one shot fastrack.
 
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jon81uk

TS Member
Ah OK. So DLP is more like regular Merlin Fastrack whereas this is more like Universal Express, for instance, where you pay a set price for access to every ride (although you can only reserve one at once)?
Genie+ is almost the same as Disneyland MaxPass which was the same as the old paper FastPass (and the original VQ back around 2001 at Alton Towers).
You pay $15/20 and can select the next available time slot in the app. MaxPass at DLR was great that you just opened the app and found a time to ride something, also at DLR it includes photo downloads. But we only spent two days at Disneyland so a $20 per day up charge wasn’t too bad. But at WDW we would normally spend at least six days in the main parks, so it would add up quick!

it’s not like Universal Express where you can just walk on to rides without reservations. That’s more like Fastrack platinum.
 
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