Welcome to the Williams Family Blog!

Now that you have found us, we invite you to return often for more adventures!



Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Could We Go To Walt Disney World and Not Do The Theme Parks?

Spring Break 2012 is 9 months away and while we haven’t taken our summer vacation yet, we are in planning mode for Spring Break.

We already have our 5th Disney Cruise reserved—a 4 night on the Dream sailing Sunday through Thursday.  So the question of what to do when we disembark remains.

One idea we are seriously entertaining is to make our way to a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel and finish off our week, but not do the theme parks.  We are wondering whether or not we would be able to do it.

Here’s some of our thinking: 

  • Park ticket prices:  Once you swallow the cost for 2-3 days, the rest is cake, so to speak.  Truly, the more you stay and play, the less expensive the park ticket prices are per day.  But, alas, the most time we would have would be 3 days, IF we fly back Sunday.  Not a bargain!
  • There is plenty to do outside of the parks—Downtown Disney which is a destination unto itself, miniature golf (the pictures in this post are of our last time playing miniature golf at Fantasia Gardens), Fort Wilderness, and many restaurants located at resorts outside the parks.
  • Pool(s).  Each Walt Disney World Resort Hotel has great swimming opportunities.  We are even thinking about staying at a new to us resort as we will only be there a couple of night and try out a new swimming pool.
  • Water Parks—while this would be an additional fee, it would cost less than theme park tickets for that day.
  • Ease of transition from ship to resort to airport.  Once again, Disney service comes into play as Disney transportation is available from the airport to the ship, from the ship to the resort, and from the resort to the airport.  No rental cars, no shuttles, no town car service needed!  If we stayed somewhere other than Disney, this would not be the case.
  • No dining plan.  This is definitely a “con” to our plan.  Since we would not be purchasing park tickets, there would be no way to add the dining plan to our stay.  There is a way around this—purchase a 1 day park ticket and then add dining for the nights of our stay at a 20% discount.  Would that be more or less than paying for food out of pocket?  Hmmm. . . I tell you, I’ve already given this a lot of thought!

In the meantime, I have 3 things I need to do before we make our final decisions---

    1. Ask a DCL rebooking specialist on board if there is anything they can “do for us” for our Spring Break Cruise.  We didn’t rebook this one on board as the prices kept going up and up so we didn’t wait.  We also “upped” our stateroom category last week.  Yet, I still want to ask to see if any other discounts might apply.  It never hurts to ask!
    2. Check for a “Bounceback” offer while we are at Walt Disney World.  Often, these offers are advertised in your resort room and we have taken advantage of them before.  All you have to do is make the reservation and put down a deposit before you check out.  The contact information is on the advertisement, but we just worked with the concierge in the hotel lobby to help us.  We even gave the credit for the booking to our travel agent! 
    3. Check for flights.  Typically, the flights we are looking for open Sept. 1 or so.  Depending on cost, availability of nonstop flights, and which airport we want to use will determine our return date.  That will make a big impact on our decision on whether or not we “do” the theme parks.  It will also be about time to make our ADR’s at that point!

9 months.  Yeah, it can seem like a long time, but it really isn’t.  And, we will have to have the cruise paid in full in 6 months—90 days from the sailing date.  So, indeed, the time is quickly approaching!


  1. Do you think you would go often enough to consider annual passes? Downtown Disney will get you the "fix" without having to buy park tickets, and you can take the boat from POFQ ,what about staying at Vero Beach, does Disney provide transportation from the Port to Vero Beach?or just going ahead with a rental car on the tail end and staying at Cocoa Beach and checking out Kennedy Space Center. Did you know that you might be able to get free KSC tickets by writing your Senator, I tried but they are already out this year but you have time for 2012, I'm sure your boy will love it at the age he will be then

  2. Annual passes, hmmm. . .The question would be whether or not we could add on the dining plan? We are tempted to try out Beach Club and hang at Stormalong Bay! Not sure if there is Disney transportation available for Vero Beach. Ah, things to think about!

  3. Brandy should know about AP and DDP give her a call