Disney Vacation - Quality Vs. Quantity - Your Thoughts?

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LouisianaMike's picture
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Disney Vacation - Quality Vs. Quantity - Your Thoughts?

So here's a question for all of you.... confused sarcastic

Does Quality trump Quantity on your Disney Vacations? What I mean would you rather a shorter stay at say Grand Floridian (Deluxe Accodomations) with full dining plan or a longer stay at say All-Stars or off-site with no dining plan?

As someone who goes multiple times per year and with a family of four, I now tend to lean towards the Quantity over Quality, obviously due to the one over-riding limiting factor, which is $$$$!

I guess for me, the more time at the parks the better, regardless of the accomodations and packages... My wife tends to lean to the quality side, while the kids are like dad and want more park time at any expense al beit cutting costs in other aspects of the vacation...

Also, as an added perk for me as a DoD Civilian and Ex-Military (Vet), I have access to places like Shades of Green and the Armed Forces Vacation Club (over 30 resorts and condos within 10 minutes of Disney), which greatly reduces expenses for us on accomodations, as well as the discounted tickets (annual passes for us) through SoG MWR..

Let's here from y'all... mickey awesome

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Joined: 07/19/2013
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Great question!

I'd say I'm more quality over quantity. I enjoy the parks, but the parks are just one part of the WDW experience for me. I also enjoy the resorts themselves and resort hopping and eating at restaurants outside of the parks. So when it comes to the deluxe resorts, I really like having a balcony, interior facing doors, quiet air conditioning (vs those under window units) and being within walking distance of one of the parks (particularly Epcot).

I'm definitely not a "gone to the parks all day" kinda guy.

mickey

PJsLife's picture
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We go for quality simply because we live out of state and our jobs & Budget don't allow for use to come more than once a year.

I would give my eye teeth to be able to go when ever I wanted with an annual pass.

AnnielovesDisney's picture
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I think my perspective on this question is probably pretty different than most. DH and I are locals and we have Annual Passes. We go to Disney as often as possible. In the last 7 years, we've spent over 250 days at Disney biggrin We never stay onsite. We've only eaten a full meal at a TS twice in the past 7 years(Both were BOG) We aren't eligible for the free dining because we have AP so all our meals will always be OOP. We also always have our own car so we wouldn't use the Disney transportation if we stayed onsite, unless it was a deluxe resort.

We don't feel eating at the TS restaurants or staying on site would increase the quality of our visits to WDW at all. BUT, if we did stay on site and eat at TS restaurants it definitely would decrease the quantity of days that we visit WDW. If we ate our meals at TS restaurants, and stayed on site each visit, we would have to cut the amount of days a year we go to WDW in half! NO FOOD OR HOTEL IN THE WORLD IS WORTH ME LOSING 20+ DAYS A YEAR AT DISNEY WORLD-INCLUDING DISNEY WORLD FOOD AND HOTELS!!!!!

We couldn't possibly care less about the food at WDW (yep, really!!! eek) We are perfectly happy eating a mickey pretzel for lunch and a takeout pizza for dinner at the hotel. When we are home, we love to go out to nice restaurants. When I'm at Disney, I want something that I can eat quickly while I'm walking around, and get back to the parks ASAP. Spending an hour or more for each meal feels like a huge waste of time to us. But we only get to go to Disney a weekend at a time. If we had 10 days in a row, we might feel differently.

Also, just because we aren't staying onsite doesn't mean we sacrifice quality when it comes to Hotels. We only stay at 4 or 5 star hotels in the Orlando area. When we stay at The Waldorf, The Ritz, The Omni or The Gaylord Palms, they are definitely not lacking in quality! I belong to several coupon clubs and utilize hidden hotel websites to get these amazing hotels. By doing this, I can get a weekend at the Waldorf for the same price, or even less, than it would cost us to stay at most of the value resorts for the weekend. I personally love the perks of a 5 star hotel, but we are two adults with no kids and we always have our own car. A family with children and no car may not enjoy the off site hotels the same way we do.

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We fall somewhere in the middle. This year was about quantity because I wanted to maximize our return on our annual passes, but our DVC purchase that coincided with our annual pass purchase was all about getting more quality in our accommodations for the same amount of money.

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Spook's picture
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Were quantity people. Until we became DVC members we always stayed at Value and don't get the dining plan anyways.

Mase's picture
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To me its always quality. Its Disney. I think even if your going for quantity... its always going to be quality for you.

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I too choose quality. I agree with Ken, our resort and where we eat are very important parts of our vacations.

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I definitely prefer quality. I like staying on site when I can and get the dining plan because it works out for me.

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I prefer quantity over quality. I'm quite happy staying at a value resort. As for the dining plans they don't fit the way I eat so are a waste of money for me as I can eat what I want when I want every day of my trip for less than what the dining plan would cost me. I'm going for two weeks next months, staying at All Star Movies, doing three tours, the Pirates & Pals Fireworks Voyage, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and Cirque du Soleil LaNuba and so far this trip is costing me $2493.65. That includes 13 nights at the annual pass holder's rate, my annual pass, the previously mentioned tours, shows etc., airfare, a room at a hotel near the airport the night before I leave, a scooter rental from Walker Mobility & the shuttle home from the airport. I would much rather go for two weeks and/or do things like the tours, special events like the christmas party or LaNuba than stay at a fancy hotel. I never take advantage of the services a fancy hotel offers and don't spend a lot of time in my room so I don't see the point in spending in spending more than I have to in order to stay on property without camping.

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We go for quantity. We stay at pop and get the regular meal plan. We enjoy 1 TS a day not sure we want more than that. We have considered spending more on the hotel portion of our stay but that might force us to cut back on total numbers of days. There will come a time that we select different accommodations but not this trip.

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My biggest constraint is how many days I can get away from work, so it's not an issue for me. Also with DVC, staying at my favorite resort and trying other deluxe resorts costs me nothing extra.

I also don't feel that the meal plan enhances quality in any way. In fact I think DDP does the opposite: it makes you think of ways to maximize the value of it. Without the meal plan, I simply eat what I, where I want. It has also doubtlessly affected the quality of food in WDW. WDW is doing the same thing as guests, trying to maximize the value of the DDP to them- by lowering the cost (quality) of food.

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Kind of in the middle for this one.
As the trip numbers have increased we do find ourselves paying for more expensive options than are available but there is a limit to how much we spend.
When we first visited we stayed offsite and travelled economy on one of the cheaper carriers.
Since then it has gone to onsite (moderates via pop century) and premium economy on VA.
Yes there are cheaper and more expensive ways of doing WDW but to do anything more would just increase the time between visits.To do any less wouldn't seem right for us.

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I agree with The Colonel. I too don't believe the DDP really adds quality or quantity of a WDW vacation. We did the dining plan a few times but when we crunched the numbers, it was cheaper for us to go for the room discount rather than dining plan.

Plus, I really like the freedom to just order whatever from the menu and not pay for things I don't want (like dessert) and not hear the DDP speech about what's included and what's not included each time we sit down for a meal. So, I guess I could say this freedom adds a bit of quality to my trip.

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It used to always be quantity for me. Value resorts, no dining plan.. etc. But after this last trip and staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani I think we're hooked on deluxe resorts. There is just something so much more magical about deluxe resorts. Not knocking value, because to be honest I do really like Pop Century, but I just felt more special and like I was really taken care of at Kidani versus "just another guest" at the values. When it comes to the dining plan, I will never do that.. We just don't eat enough to be able to justify it. Plus we never do Magic Your Way packages.. either renting DVC points, getting park admission from my cousin, or buying discounted tickets.

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Let me start by saying that I believe any Disney is better than no Disney.

That being said, if I have a choice I go for quality. A breathtaking resort with all the services is important to me, and I would rather stay 3 nights at a Deluxe than 5 at a Value. We usually take shorter trips (3-5 nights) and plus them up as much as possible. That preference for quality is a big reason we're DVC members.

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Hmmm - I would say sort of both. Last two years we went quantity and did values and no DDP - this year we are staying for fewer days so went to a moderate resort but then we ended up with the free dining plan. This is the first year we will have TS meals and honestly its kind of stressing me out trying to decide which park on which day to get which restaurant. Think we are going with park hoppers too for the first time. I sort of like no DDP so I can just wing the meals more.

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If getting time off work was not an issue, I'd go for quantity. I'd love to stay at a Value for 10-14 nights and spend more time in the parks. However, since time off work is an issue, I go for quality. Usually it's a long weekend (4-5 nights) in a Deluxe. Fine Dining is a huge part of my vacations so I always get the Deluxe DDP. If I have to pay OOP for a breakfast or two in order to save my dining credits for a Signature Dining meal every night, then so be it.

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Great question. I'd say in general for me, I'm in the middle where I value quality and quantity though I lean towards quantity. Considering how my last three trips were all in value resorts and only 5-6 days, I've said time after time I'm at a point where I want to do more activities beyond the theme parks. Just doing all theme parks all the time drains me physically and maybe even emotionally because there is a great deal of pressure to do everything I want to do in the parks and not enough time to stop and smell the roses. So that is my argument for wanting quantity.

But I still value quality though. I've traveled a ton but I just feel in Disney World, the environment should make me want to venture out and experience the resort and everything they have to offer. If I'm staying in Disney, I shouldn't feel like the only thing for me to do in the resort I'm staying in is to stay in my room watching TV all day if I'm not in the mood to visit the parks. I don't want to feel out of place in a pool surrounded by kids everywhere because that may be the only activity in the entire resort area. I know I can still enjoy my fair share of signature dining or kayaking in the Seven Seas Lagoon while also staying at a value resort but I've felt I've done enough in terms of staying in values and I want new experiences so that every Disney trip I make isn't always the same. If it's always the same, then it gets boring. But if every trip is different and special in a good way, I'll enjoy it much more.

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scrappy wrote:
I too choose quality. I agree with Ken, our resort and where we eat are very important parts of our vacations.

Ditto!

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My first priority when planning our trip was to try and stay as long as we could afford to at the parks while also staying on property. We could probably have stayed twice as long had we stayed off property but I wanted to be IN Disney World.

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sorry about extra posts ....new tablet is way too sensitive!

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We book for quantity. I don't like to feel as if I have to cram everything in to a few days. We are from out of state so we don't get there as often as I would like. I like taking my time and not rushing...... more time in the parks! I love the resorts and one day we may stay in a deluxe to experience it, but also right now when I am planning on footing the bill for adult kids .....values are the way to go for our budget.

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I'm in the middle but leaning toward quantity. We usually stay DVC, but that's because doing a timeshare exchange into a DVC property is more affordable for us than staying in a value resort. If we didn't have timeshares to exchange, I would happily stay at a value resort so I could spend more time in WDW. As for dining, we usually have several ADRs, but usually at the more affordable restaurants as opposed to those signature dining experiences.

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I'd have to go with a lovely middle of the road mix of quality and quantity. Give me my POFQ and a week and I am very, very happy.

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awesome awesome

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I love all of the different perspectives on this thread.

Everyone has a different point of view of what is best for them. The one thing I refuse to do at Disney is rush! I think that would reduce the quality of my visit three fold if I felt like I needed to rush to ANYTHING. I will cancel a fast pass before I rush somewhere. Smile I am just as happy sitting on a bench watching the crowd go by as I am on a ride. I have rides that I love but I love shopping more! eek Much to my husbands dismay!

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PJsLife wrote:
I love all of the different perspectives on this thread.

Everyone has a different point of view of what is best for them.

That's one of the things that I like best about the community we've built here at WDWFG. Everyone is encouraged to enjoy Disney in a way that works best for them. There are *so* many different ways to take a Disney vacation, and they're all work for someone!

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Very good question..This year was our first 12 day vacation instead of 14 days, and our first taste of deluxe compared to moderate..Because of my early rises ( most mornings we were up at 6.30am ) We had achieved 90% of our must see and do agenda in 8 days, which left the last 4 days to take our foot off the gas pedal..We never at any time felt tired or exhausted by our routine..As far as quality goes..Yes, we did fall in love with WL but payed homage to PORS for old times sake..If I stayed in America I would probably choose quality over quantity ..

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Well, I sort of want it all. biggrin

And like Colonel said, DVC makes it possible to have a bit of both.

BUT....that said, I would probably go for quantity too. More days, always.

There are just never enough. mickey

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Yes! No rushing, though when it comes to vacations I am a squirrel and my wife is more of a sloth. For example this past summer we went up north and upon arriving she had a lie down and i went for a five kilometre hike in the woods! I have promised her that I will do my best to not scurry madly to to and fro at Disney World but instead try to slow down and enjoy the scenery. She blames my ADHD for my squirrelly tendencies.