The Deal Mommy

Dear Deal Mommy: How Many Days for Disney World ?

The Deal Kids getting up close and personal with their DisneySide.

The Deal Kids getting up close and personal with their DisneySide.

I’m happy to help with travel dilemmas whenever I can and encourage you to reach out with this Dear Deal Mommy series, at info@thedealmommy.com as well as via Facebook or Twitter.

Madison asks over Twitter (edited for clarity): Taking kids (6,8,and 9) to Walt Disney World in October for a week.  Is it better to spend all 7 days at Disney or break it up with 2 days at the beach?  How many days is best for Disney World? What’s the best way to schedule the trip?

I love this question because it gives us a chance to talk about strategies to help maximize your time at Disney World. I’m going to break my answer down into three parts: my answer, my rationale, and my suggested schedule.

My Answer: Both. On a 7 night vacation you can easily visit the Parks on 6 and still spend 2 nights on the Beach. Note: This answer works with kids of the ages listed and above. Babies or toddlers? Keep it simple!

My Rationale: 

  • Take a look at Disney Park Ticket Prices. You’ll notice an interesting trend starting on day 4. Every single day after 4 is only an extra $10/day. This means visiting even for a half day or even a couple of hours can be worth your time if you use it wisely.
    Disney World Pricing, May 2015

    Disney World Pricing, May 2015

  • Open to close at a Disney Park is a LOOOOONG day. You’re going to break it up anyway with a dip in the pool- breaking it up with an hour long drive to the beach is really no different. Since parking is free as a hotel guest, you can pack up in the morning, throw the luggage in the car, drive to the park, and leave directly from Space Mountain.
  • Ditto a day at the beach. You can arrive at the beach at 2ish, get a good four hours beach time in, and feel like it’s a full beach day. The day of departure you can enjoy the sunrise, get a good swim in, then head over to the parks for lunch.
  • Disney World is one of the few places I break the minimize transitions rule on purpose. The hotels are destinations in themselves. So moving hotels twice to get the beach in is no great hardship, especially with older kids.

How many days for Disney World
Suggested Schedule:

I’m keeping the parks open because you would pick them based on the Touring Plans Crowd Calendar.

Sunday: Arrive to Disney Hotel, Evening in Park
Monday: Park, Disney Hotel
Tuesday: Morning Park, Beach Hotel
Wednesday: Beach Hotel
Thursday: Morning Beach, Evening Park, Disney Hotel
Friday: Park, Disney Hotel
Saturday: Park, Disney Hotel

Which Beach? Which Disney Hotels? I’d suggest the Radisson Melbourne Beach (be sure to book with points before May 31 if you have a Club Carlson card for the last night free).

At Disney? For two shorter stays I recommend two different on-site for fun. Which ones? Well, not these! I’ve tested and liked Port Orleans Riverside and Coronado of the Moderate level Disney hotels (my recommended level). I’ve also heard nothing but raves about Art of Animation, which is officially a value resort but is brand new and apparently miles above the all-stars, which I do NOT recommend. Or if you want to go big, splurge for one of the all-in themed deluxe on the first two night stay-Animal Kingdom Kidani got the most love from readers.

Readers: What are your thoughts on my plans for Madison? Please share in the comments.

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8 thoughts on “Dear Deal Mommy: How Many Days for Disney World ?

  1. Jennifer

    I would say to spend the time at the parks. The more days you spend the less $ each days ticket costs. The ocean is about an hour and a half away but I think I would take it easy at the parks. Take a pool break each afternoon. Repeat their favorite park one day at the end. There is so much to do at Disney that in a week we never see/do it all.

    The Radisson is a great hotel, we loved it at Christmas. But sometimes it easier to not move hotel rooms. We did not bother going to the beach until Daughter was older, what she didn’t know didn’t hurt her.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Hi Jennifer,
      It’s definitely a toss-up. I do agree that you can’t do it all and shouldn’t even try- think of the first trip as a tasting menu.

  2. brteacher

    I think what most people fail to realize is that it’s almost impossible to spend more than three days in the parks from open to close. Your legs would fall off. Seriously, you will be in pain if you try to do more than three days of that. You have to break it up with relaxation times.

    One thing that I would definitely not try to do is to see both Disney and Universal in a week. One day at SeaWorld or LegoLand? Maybe.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Exactly. That’s why I like breaking it up. I got blisters on the bottoms of my feet last time- did not know that was even possible!

  3. ABC

    Let’s say you love the beach and Legoland much more and only have one day for Disney World for a 2 (f) and 6 (m) year old. Which park would you suggest?

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Honestly? They’re young enough that I’d fake em out with no park at all! I’d do a night at a Disney Hotel with a great pool, a character meal for photos, some Downtown Disney shopping for souvenirs and call it a day.

      If you must do a park? Gotta be Magic Kingdom.

  4. Pingback: #FT4RL Family Travel, 26 million in Membership Rewards, structuring while manufactured spending, how many days for Disney, and a free shipping change! - Points with a Crew

  5. icicle

    No!! Maybe!!! 🙂

    Wait, let me ask first:

    when you say beach, do you mean the ocean??? Or the Gulf?

    Because if you do not mean the ocean or the Gulf, how about….

    The Beach Club resort at Disney itself? Now, I’m not sure how much one wants to splurge so I know it might be a bit pricy (starting at $356???). Maybe as a last night gift to oneself (we need to enjoy life too; that’s why we save and coupon and budget!). The pool is only open to guests but the beach areas seemed open to everyone. They had s’mores that evening and a movie too.

    There’s also a Disney Vero Beach hotel, but I’ve never been there (it’s 2ish hours from Disney). Tampa is closer to Disney too, then Melbourne. But if one is using points, you’ve got to do what is best for you (WDW is expensive as it is, I try to save my money for all the sweet WDW treats!).

    I just toured around Disney for free (for fun) last week (sadly, only for a day). Disney is much more than the parks- and I agree with Dia about enjoying the other parts of WDW.

    Although, I do question picking only Magic Kingdom if one had just a day. I think it depends on what time of the year one goes to WDW. If recently, and one is a huge Star Wars fan, I’d say Hollywood Studios because it’s Star Wars Weekends!! And Epcot has a ton of festivals. If one is going during December, then the only place to go for 1 day is Magic Kingdom (although the light show at Hollywood Studios is completely awesome)!!

    One can take the Disney park buses for free to the Animal Kingdom Lodges (two parts really) and see the animals for free. And free marshmellow roasts in the early evening, plus movie! I saw giraffes and an ostrich chasing some sort of deer!

    I have done Disney and Universal in the same week- totally awesome, 100% agree about the feet pain! I’m planning to do it again. I think it depends on the age of kids. Since I’m the kid in the situation, it’s all good. 🙂

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