A little over two years ago my sister was planning a once in a lifetime Walt Disney World vacation with her kids and grandkids. She and her husband were about to hit a milestone anniversary, and they wanted to celebrate! My sister had plenty of questions, and I had plenty of answers. I realized that some of the questions that she had others might have as well, and Disney Over 50 was born.
A few days ago the same sister and I were talking about their trip. They went all out on a few things, and even though it was expensive she said that it was worth it. Her oldest grandson still talks about the vacation all the time, and his eyes light up when he does. She mentioned that they would like to do it again sometime, especially since they’ve added another granddaughter since that trip. So I guess it wasn’t once in a lifetime after all.
Right after our conversation, a Disney Over 50 reader asked me some questions about planning a trip. She said that due to finances and circumstances, it would most likely be a once in a lifetime vacation. She asked me about planning a trip for early next year. It broke my heart, but I told her that I think that she should wait.
Things are strange right now because of Coronavirus. Disney is about to reopen, but it will be different. Some of the things that make a Walt Disney World vacation so special will not take place for the foreseeable future. When my sister was here, they ended their last night by watching Happily Ever After. I stopped by the next morning to see them off, and the kids could not stop talking about it. It was the perfect end to their vacation. I can’t imagine planning for an once-only vacation and not being able to see fireworks, parades, or shows. Visiting Walt Disney World only once and not getting a picture hugging Mickey? It makes no sense to me. If you’re only going to visit one time, make sure that you visit when you can enjoy the entire experience.
That said, if you’re the type of person who has visited over and over again, the current situation is not as much of a factor. It will not be the same, but you already know what to expect. Disney aficionados will know how to maximize what is open, instead of dwelling on what is closed.
What does this have to do with saving? It may not be about ways to save money, like I usually write about on Sundays, but it is about saving for a Walt Disney World vacation. My advice is that if you have never been, wait. If you were hoping to come in the next few months, save a little bit extra. Then, once the fireworks, parades, and meet and greets return, use that extra money and splurge a little bit. Maybe stay on property instead of off, or upgrade from a Value to a Moderate Disney Resort. Work with a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations, and who is also able to work within your budget. Buy Disney Gift Cards to help pay for your vacation, and use them like a payment plan. If this will be your only chance to visit Walt Disney World (or your first), you will want to be able to see all of the magic.