August 2021 stay against my better judgment

Art Vandelay

that's a shame
Ain’t that the truth? Even days where we have nothing “planned,” we have everything “planned.”

Kinda goes back to the old TGM planning, where people got so obsessed with the "perfect plan", and I'd suggest always knowing what you can do if something knocks you off schedule. Especially with young kids, extra bathroom breaks, tantrums, spills/clothing changes, etc. are guaranteed to happen, and they slow you down. Apply that same logic to "we have no plan, so what are our no hassle options?"
 

George

wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tag
Kinda goes back to the old TGM planning, where people got so obsessed with the "perfect plan", and I'd suggest always knowing what you can do if something knocks you off schedule. Especially with young kids, extra bathroom breaks, tantrums, spills/clothing changes, etc. are guaranteed to happen, and they slow you down. Apply that same logic to "we have no plan, so what are our no hassle options?"
It didn’t take me long into my first TGM Trip to realize that all that planning down to the minute was just boredom, my wanting to be doing “something” to plan. Sure, we followed the general outline once the trip started, but all those sheets I printed off (remember printers?) went unused and, worse, killed many trees in the process. That wast the last time.
 
It didn’t take me long into my first TGM Trip to realize that all that planning down to the minute was just boredom, my wanting to be doing “something” to plan. Sure, we followed the general outline once the trip started, but all those sheets I printed off (remember printers?) went unused and, worse, killed many trees in the process. That wast the last time.
Second trip ever (son was about 4) and we were traveling with my sister and her 4 kids (their first time, and they were relying exclusively on me). Boy did I have things mapped out using TGM. MK first day...I had my neat little index card listing everything out perfectly for all 9 of us, down to height requirements, etc...I dropped it/lost it on our first ride, Dumbo. Ha! I faked it the rest of the day. (Truth be told I probably had memorized it anyway, but still.)
 

Disneyfan

Well-known member
Second trip ever (son was about 4) and we were traveling with my sister and her 4 kids (their first time, and they were relying exclusively on me). Boy did I have things mapped out using TGM. MK first day...I had my neat little index card listing everything out perfectly for all 9 of us, down to height requirements, etc...I dropped it/lost it on our first ride, Dumbo. Ha! I faked it the rest of the day. (Truth be told I probably had memorized it anyway, but still.)
This was painful to read! Welp, I still plan my park days this way. I have a big copy that I print and a version that I shrink and laminate to keep in my pocket. This will be the first trip in a long long long time that I may not have everything mapped out. Scary!
 

Disneyfan

Well-known member
Kinda goes back to the old TGM planning, where people got so obsessed with the "perfect plan", and I'd suggest always knowing what you can do if something knocks you off schedule. Especially with young kids, extra bathroom breaks, tantrums, spills/clothing changes, etc. are guaranteed to happen, and they slow you down. Apply that same logic to "we have no plan, so what are our no hassle options?"
You're right! I came to the TGM party late in the game. But I remember standing outside of RnRc and watching the wait time sign explode to an enormous number as we stood there looking at it. I was panicking and shouting to my kids that TGM said HS was supposed to be a green park that day. I was frozen for a bit and couldn't decide what to do. Off topic and a another repeat of something I said in the past, but I remember seeing Grandma Barb, our June Vacation Club leader, when we exited Soarin' and I didn't stop to say hi. I always regret that and think of her when we get off the ride or when TGM is brought up here.
 

Disneyfan

Well-known member
@ Adrienne
Our trip is just days away, and I am just NOW figuring out a plan. All I have finished is MK at the moment. Disney opened Park Reservations again last week. So IDK how these plans will work with increased capacity. But at least I will have something. I think you only asked about AK and HS on other threads, but I HAVE to share my work with someone. DD is not interested. She just says to tell her where to go. I think she is in for a rude awaking since we don't have FP. Oh well, we will have fun. So here goes . . . My plan for you to see! :)

I have all summer to rest! Next week is fun fun fun time!
Sunday - Arrival Day
Arrive at MCO at 9:00 - Spend afternoon floating around MK Dinner at GF Cafe
Monday - MK QS lunch/Narcoossee's
Tuesday - MK Plaza lunch/Cali
Wednesday - AK Yak and Yeti lunch and move to YC - EP evening snack around the world
Thursday - EP Topolino/Dinner
Friday - BB in the AM; II Mulino ADR Maybe EP in the evening
Saturday - HS Sci Fi Lunch; Cape May dinner (maybe I should dump this one)
Sunday - HS B & C lunch (I am wondering if I should dump this one, too); Ale and Compass Dinner (maybe To Go instead of ADR)
Monday - AK, check out; Wave lunch ADR; one last walk around MK; Flight home at 9 pm

So I have looked over Josh's charts and made some of my own. I tried to figure out the best order to ride things. If we are behind schedule or a ride is not working, we will just skip it and move on. Hopefully, we can catch the missed ride in the evening. 10 min/3 min = How long I hope the wait is/How long the ride is. Boy oh boy, I hope capacity does not crazy increase next week.
Monday - Magic Kingdom
Leave GF at 6:30
Sign Up for Mobile Order at Tomorrowland Terrace
Queue at 7 Dwarfs – If line is too long, skip it.
7:30 7 Dwarfs 10 min/3 min
7:45 Peter Pan 10 min/3 min
8:05 BTMRR 10 min/3 min
8:20 Jungle Cruise 15 min/10 min
8:45 Pirates 15 min/8 min
9:15 Haunted Mansion 15 min/10 min
9:45 Small World 45 min/18 min-I wonder if this time includes the pre-show???)
Lunch at Tomorrowland Terrace ADR 12:10
Go to show(s) Philharmagic/Tiki Birds
Dole Whip
Return to GF for break
ADR Narcoossee’s @ 5:15
Return to MK for a ride or two
 
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Disneyfan

Well-known member
Tuesday - MK
Leave GF at 6:30
7:30 Space Mountain (X2??)
8:00 Astro Orbiter 10 min/2 min
8:15 Buzz 10 min/4 min
8:35 Pooh 15 min/4 min
9:00 Tea cups 10 min/2 min
9:20 Dumbo
9:35 Barnstormer
9:50 Mermaid
TTA
Buzz
??/if time
12:10 ADR Plaza
Show/Swiss Family Treehouse/Dole Whip
Break at hotel
7:15 ADR California Grill
 
@Disneyfan,
I am so hoping for an awesome trip for you! I love your ambitious plans (except for Astro Orbiter. Never again! I am afraid of heights in certain situations, when I feel unsecure. I was in the car behind my son when he was like 4 and was convinced he was going to fall out at any moment. :) Did not enjoy that ride.) I am so glad you are doing Philharmagic. I am probably very much in the minority but it is a must do for me!

I love seeing the MK plans. The only reason I didn't ask about those, is, we are doing Boo Bash so that takes some of the pressure of planning off in terms of getting to ride favorites. But I will obsess over the MK days too! Can't wait to hear about Narcoossee's. I always think about booking it but never do. Love GF cafe for breakfast and dinner. I am curious about how you picked Il Mulino. Good experience? Also, for what it's worth since you are on the fence, my son cannot stand the smell of Cape May dinner, even though he loves seafood. When you get anywhere near the place, there is a very fishy smell--combined with a rather rambunctious atmosphere usually--loud, people waiting, milling about, etc. rather unappealing. Probably very different now, but still--it always gave us a yucky feeling when we walked by. We have avoided it for that reason, even though we have stayed there many times. In my humble opinion, there are better options for you, especially on the kind of trip you are on! Maybe it is better these days without the traditional buffet. Please educate me if I am wrong, and definitely get advice from someone who has actually been there lately!!

I have also decided to bag B and C this trip. Just a thought--you could do hollywood brown derby for lunch that day...the Cobb salad is 20 bucks. Frankly if you both got that it would be about the same as B and C, and it would be a very comfortable respite from the heat. We are trying that this time around as a break from DHS craziness.

I really hope the crowds don't ruin it for you. I will be watching! And I am here for your last minute planning posts! :) Good luck!
 

Disneyfan

Well-known member
Thank you for sharing in my joy, Adrienne! We've never been to B&C or Cape May. So that was the thinking on that one. By that point of the trip, I will probably be stuffed past my ears. We may even just grab QS. We will have a day or so to cruise by Cape May before our ADR and check out the smell situation that I hear so much about. To reduce Zoom and F2F teaching stress this year, I would watch YouTube videos about WDW. Like I would watch them every night and just dream about our trip. II Mulino may have paid people for good reviews, but it seemed like a good place to try close to the hotel. I'll have to get back to you on that one. :)
 
First off--anyone who is not in the mood to listen to me whine about going to Disney World this summer, please ignore this post! I am getting tired of it too, yet here I am again. I am revisiting this issue because of lots of recent announcements/changes/etc.

I would love to hear from others planning a trip this summer in light of recent Disney announcements about onsite "perks" coming in October. As more October announcements are made, and as things return to "normal" for summer in terms of crowds, August is looking more and more grim. The more good news there is for October, the worse I feel about the summer.

Once again, I am questioning my decision to go in August, in light of near capacity crowds, a return to "rope drop" procedures vs soft early openings, no fast passes on the horizon, long restaurant waits even with ADRs, etc. I even spoke with guest services and they basically agreed that coming this summer and spending a lot of money is not the best idea (I paraphrase of course.) I am completely accustomed to spending money at Disney to have a comfortable trip. And I understand that Disney needs to make money first and foremost. What I can't understand, however, is why they have increased capacity so quickly, without installing anything that would make the crowds bearable in the summer months. I at least want to pretend like Disney "cares" about its summer guests. So it is hard for me to spend thousands, knowing that for the next 18 months, there will be a lot more value in that money at Disney.

I am sure anyone still reading this is thinking, "so don't go!" Which is a perfectly valid thing to say. The hard part is how badly my son wants to go this summer. But, he doesn't really understand the "cost", and also, he magically thinks things will be as amazing as they usually are. He certainly will accept and go along with whatever I say, but it would definitely be me making the call alone not to go.

Any-hoo...is anyone else cancelling a summer trip? Thinking about it? Want to discuss?
 

smwisc

Active member
First off--anyone who is not in the mood to listen to me whine about going to Disney World this summer, please ignore this post! I am getting tired of it too, yet here I am again. I am revisiting this issue because of lots of recent announcements/changes/etc.

I would love to hear from others planning a trip this summer in light of recent Disney announcements about onsite "perks" coming in October. As more October announcements are made, and as things return to "normal" for summer in terms of crowds, August is looking more and more grim. The more good news there is for October, the worse I feel about the summer.

Once again, I am questioning my decision to go in August, in light of near capacity crowds, a return to "rope drop" procedures vs soft early openings, no fast passes on the horizon, long restaurant waits even with ADRs, etc. I even spoke with guest services and they basically agreed that coming this summer and spending a lot of money is not the best idea (I paraphrase of course.) I am completely accustomed to spending money at Disney to have a comfortable trip. And I understand that Disney needs to make money first and foremost. What I can't understand, however, is why they have increased capacity so quickly, without installing anything that would make the crowds bearable in the summer months. I at least want to pretend like Disney "cares" about its summer guests. So it is hard for me to spend thousands, knowing that for the next 18 months, there will be a lot more value in that money at Disney.

I am sure anyone still reading this is thinking, "so don't go!" Which is a perfectly valid thing to say. The hard part is how badly my son wants to go this summer. But, he doesn't really understand the "cost", and also, he magically thinks things will be as amazing as they usually are. He certainly will accept and go along with whatever I say, but it would definitely be me making the call alone not to go.

Any-hoo...is anyone else cancelling a summer trip? Thinking about it? Want to discuss?
I'll play! :)

We are going July 27-August 6. I am mostly concerned about the fact that they seem to be opening the floodgates on attendance, with not a lot else opening up to absorb those crowds. I keep hoping for announcements on some of the shows.

I see the October announcements a little bit differently - I'm still holding on to the hope (probably in vain) that enough people will wait until then, making the summer crowds lower. We haven't been since 2015, so there's a ton of stuff that will be new to us, and even more new stuff coming just after we visit doesn't bother me.

Mixed feelings about FP+. At this point I think I've wrapped my brain around the advantages of not having them, to the point I'd be annoyed if they brought them back with little notice. We've always been a RD family, but my DH hates getting up early. I'd already been planning on doing mostly evenings, and return to traditional RD may reinforce that. The idea of spending a hour in a packed mob of people just is unappealing for so many reasons (including but not limited to the fact that my youngest isn't vaccinated). ADRs are also not an issue for us - we typically don't do many (if any), and this year that was off the table anyway (again, unvaccinated child). We stay offsite and make most of our own food.

I have some work to do in making sure my family knows how different this trip will be, but I think it will be okay. The two older kids remember our past trips but they were pretty young, and the youngest has no memory. Honestly I'm the one who is most likely to feel like we need to "do everything" - I've always enjoyed the challenge of "winning at Disney", and I have to just let that go completely. But if we have to spend 45 minutes plus in line for every ride - that is not going to go over well. I did rent a house with a pool, in anticipation of spending less time at the parks and more at the house. I'm fairly confident everyone will enjoy that part.

The main reason we are going is that I have $2k+ tied up in 5 10-day non-hopper tickets that I bought on sale Black Friday 2019 for a 2020 trip. If we didn't go this year, the price difference to buy new tickets would be substantial. Plus we have a multi-family trip to SD already planned for 2022 (was supposed to be this summer, but it was tied to an annual rotating family reunion schedule that got pushed back a year). So 2023 at the earlier, when my youngest will be 10, and the older two will be in HS so who knows what kind of scheduling flexibility we'll have. So it comes to a comparison of alternatives, and all alternatives considered, I think our best choice is to go this summer. With some trepidation.
 

DopeyRunr

the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts f
Once again, I am questioning my decision to go in August, in light of near capacity crowds, a return to "rope drop" procedures vs soft early openings, no fast passes on the horizon, long restaurant waits even with ADRs, etc.

Reposting my response from about five weeks ago:

Something for you to consider - a Summer 2022 trip would be superior in nearly every way imaginable.

This summer remains, for all intents and purposes, the absolute WORST time to go. Things (pretty much EVERYTHING) will only get better over the next 2-3 years, starting as early as this fall. Dining locations reopening. FastPass+ returning. Hotel capacity coming back online. Airfare pricing normalizing. New attractions opening. Night time spectaculars premiering. Annual Passes returning. The list goes on and on.

In a way, it's like buying an iPhone. This year's phone will ABSOLUTELY be worse than what comes out next year. And the phone that comes out in two years will be even better still! But you can't buy the 2024 iPhone today. All you can do is buy what's available now. And for your WDW vacation, all you can do is enjoy what's available now, knowing that your next trip will probably be better in some meaningful ways (and possibly worse in others).

You've said before that cancelling/rescheduling is not an option, so just enjoy it, knowing it is what it is, and spend your time worrying about Hurricane Season like you would for a "normal" August trip. ;)
 

bnoble

he's right
The hard part is how badly my son wants to go this summer. But, he doesn't really understand the "cost"
I can see that. From his perspective the choices are "go to Disney" or "don't go to Disney" and that's not a hard choice.

Instead, this might be a chance for a teachable moment, by putting some form of "cost" in front of him to give him a basis to make the decision. The basic idea is to tie it to something else he wants/wants to do. "We can go to WDW this summer while there is a transition, or we can put it off and use some of that money towards a bigger trip later when the resort will be in better shape. If we wait, you can have/do <whatever> in the meantime. If we go now, we won't also be able to give you/do <whatever>."

That said:
The more good news there is for October, the worse I feel about the summer.
You already knew what you were getting into in August, and made the decision to go knowing more or less what it would look like. None of that has changed, so if you were happy with the decision two months ago, there's no reason not to still be happy with it now.
 

Art Vandelay

that's a shame
We're going from 7/29-8/6. I'm looking at everything from a "control the controllable" perspective. I can't control the decisions that WDW makes. I can't control the crowds, lack of FP's, limited dining, etc. But I can control what we do and where/how we spend money. So we're doing pool days on 7/30 and 7/31, a little more Disney Springs time than usual, maybe a few off the beaten path activities (mini golf, foot golf, that balloon in Disney Springs), MK and Epcot on 8/1 and the beach from 8/2-8/6.

Would we like to spend more time in the parks? Sure, but it doesn't make sense to us to do that right now.
 

smwisc

Active member
This summer remains, for all intents and purposes, the absolute WORST time to go. Things (pretty much EVERYTHING) will only get better over the next 2-3 years, starting as early as this fall. Dining locations reopening. FastPass+ returning. Hotel capacity coming back online. Airfare pricing normalizing. New attractions opening. Night time spectaculars premiering. Annual Passes returning. The list goes on and on.
I don't disagree with your conclusion, and the things that you list are (most likely) things that will get better. They do have varying degrees of value/importance to different people, though, so it's good for people to think through the impact of each - for us, the value/importance ranges from zero to modest, and none are enough to be a decider. The other thing I think about is the risk that it may be harder in the future to effectively "do Disney" on a budget the way we like to (driving, staying offsite, minimal Disney dining). The early entry for onsite guests, for example, is potentially a big negative there. And I don't want to feed into speculation on the future of FP+, but, well, who knows!

That said, if I hadn't had a 2020 trip planned, and already have tickets purchased, and couldn't go in 2022 either - I probably wouldn't go this summer either. :) The iphone analogy is on point.
 

Anne

Well-known member
If it's any consolation I just talked to someone who went last week and said they had a great time. I know the capacity will probably be higher by August, but then again maybe they will have a little more open. It is hard, knowing it's so much more expensive each time we go (even pre-pandemic) and the value keeps diminishing.
 
Thanks, everyone, for your thoughtful insight. Appreciate it. I do dispute the notion of knowing what I was getting into when I booked a couple of months ago. At the time, capacity was only slowly increasing (I am really shocked by how quickly Disney is moving towards normal--I honestly didn't expect that), and one of the big things going on was no standard rope drop and rides operating early, which really would have been a huge thing for us. So, I do feel like things have gone dramatically in the wrong direction for us over the past couple of weeks. Fastpasses, which seemed a very reasonable "hope" for the summer as capacity grew so quickly, would have certainly balanced out some of these negatives. That doesn't look promising now. So, that is why I am once again reevaluating. When I booked, things could have essentially stayed the same, gotten better, or gotten worse for us as Disney made announcements. Unfortunately for what we look for, they seem a lot worse for summer--hence the reconsidering.

For those staying offsite and also planning more non-Disney things, appreciate the input. I am actually debating adjusting to something like that, where we maybe stay onsite for just a couple of days to do Boo Bash, pool, mini-golf, Disney Springs, and then "save" (return?) park tickets for a future trip (I need to check into that!). It is a lot to think about. We could essentially cut our expenses in half by doing this type of trip, thus enabling a second trip in the next 18 months. It will be hard to plan not knowing what my son will want to be doing on his breaks, etc., but I guess if he is too busy/wants to do other things, then that's that!

smwisc and art vandalay, hope you have great summer trips!
 
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