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What is worth extra money to you at the resorts and parks

Discussion in 'Resorts' started by Merida, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. Merida

    Merida Veteran Member

    Joined:
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    First Name:
    Sherry
    one thing has that's changed over the years are the special events and extra that add to the cost of the vacation. Most every one adds on something . I imagine we all have different list of what we will spend extra on.
    Here is my list . What is yours ?

    What is totally worth it?

    Staying on property

    Firework cruises

    Food and wine booths

    Ts meals ( well some of them)

    Being able to walk to the resort at night

    Twinings tea at U.K. Shop

    Group tours of behind then scenes


    What is not worth the extra cost?

    The Christmas and Halloween parties

    Character meals

    Refillable mugs

    VIP tours

    Desert dinners

    Princess costumes
     
    AuLYNi likes this.
  2. AuLYNi

    AuLYNi Well-Known Member

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    Totally worth it
    • Character Meal. At least 1 of them (some are more worth it than others). I just think about the time it saves not waiting in line to meet favorite characters while at the parks.
    • Staying on Property. Again, time savings due to proximity and Disney transport.
    • Preferred Parking. If you're staying at a resort and want to drive anyway, it is only $15 to park in the preferred spots. They give you a free cold bottle of water for each person in the car (it was 5 for us). Free water bottles and not having to deal with folding the stroller for the parking tram was well worth the extra money for us.
    • Tables in Wonderland. We had lots of sit down meals, for a party of 7, so this saved us over $400 on this trip alone. Glad my mom is a Florida resident. This is one of the few perks I wish I could have access to as a second-class DVC member (but won't matter until my mom moves out of Florida).

    Not worth it
    • Spirit of Aloha Luau. A luau with no free Mai Tais. Boooo!
     
    Russ likes this.
  3. Frank

    Frank Staff Member Moderator

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    AWESOME thread, Sherry! I will give this some thought and come back to post........:tu:
     
  4. 3 DD love princesses

    3 DD love princesses Elite Member

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    totally worth it
    -all the memories we create and relive
    -some of the character meals
    -BBB - yes its over priced but I will continue to pay it for the memories
    - EMH great to ride extra rides without the crowds
    - community halls - so far we have had a great experience at them
    - refillable mugs - for us its saved a lot as kids can get a drink and if they don't drink it all its not like we lost a lot of money from buying each of them a drink each time
    - character interactions (I know we aren't paying extra as they are included in the park ticket) but wouldn't miss these
    - free transportation ( like not having to get a rental car right now to save us some money, I know one day we will have a car or will rent a car)

    not worth the extra cost
    - haven't experienced these first hand but the halloween and christmas parties
    - photo pass - some pics aren't even clear, if it wasn't for it being included with the annual pass wouldn't have gotten it this last time
    - quick service dining plan
    - most of the snacks
     
    Frank likes this.
  5. DVCNewbie1212

    DVCNewbie1212 Master Member

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    Totally Worth It:
    Park Hopper
    Select Character Meals
    Photo Pass
    Grocery Delivery
    Staying on Property

    Not Worth It:
    Dining Plan
    Renting a car while staying on property
    FP+ for fireworks
     
  6. USofAScott

    USofAScott New Member

    Joined:
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    Scott
    The Totally worth it to spend the money!
    Disney After Dark party
    Halloween and Christmas parties (early in the season)
    Dining Plan. It forces us to actually spend the time and money dining on more than nuggets, snacks and burgers. We always get our money worth and EAT A LOT
    Staying on property. I would not have bought Walt Disney World if I did not want to stay there :)
    festival food booths. Allows us to be adventurous eaters.
    Annual Passes

    The Complete waste of our money list
    Refillable Mugs Last 2 times we visited, the mugs were filled when we picked them up, but never filled them again.
    Express Transportation
    Guided Tours
    <sarcasm>Universal Studios </sarcasm>
     
  7. Wakey

    Wakey Active Member

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    Paul
    I heard resale could buy Tables in Wonderland- I don't think it is listed as an extra you cannot buy resale anywhere. As they charge for it, I think they want people to buy. One person on a forum said that they rang up and ordered it over the'phone. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone first hand who said they tried to buy it and was refused.
     
    Russ likes this.
  8. DVC Mike

    DVC Mike Founder

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    Mike
    To purchase the card, you must be one of the following:

    1. Florida Resident
    2. Disney Vacation Club Member
    3. Annual Passholder
    I believe you have to show a valid DVC Member Card, which are now only available to those who have purchased at least one contract direct from Disney.

    How to Purchase:

    • If you are a Disney Vacation Club Member, visit any Guest Relations location at a Walt Disney World® Theme Park or Disney Springs™ to purchase your Tables in Wonderland membership. Please present your Photo ID and your DVC Membership Card.
    However, if you purchase over the phone and have the card mailed to you, I guess the same restriction might not be enforced.
     
    Russ likes this.
  9. Wakey

    Wakey Active Member

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    Hi Mike, as a resale buyer you do get a digital membership card you can print, and also you are a member of DVC. So not sure, would like to see someone trying. Also someone reported ringing them up, getting it over the phone and having it posted. There is nothing on the TIW site I can see that says it is restricted to members who only purchased direct/ before April 2016. I am not saying you are wrong, but the restriction is not listed on there.
     
  10. Russ

    Russ Staff Member Site Owner

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    Do you have one of these printed cards? Does it indicate somewhere you are a member who purchased after April 4, 2016? Seems like a major loophole if not, as they are supposed to accept those cards in lieu of physical cards.

    Note, the DVC Member Benefits site which lists TIW as a Benefit states all the benefits listed are not eligible for DVC Members purchasing resale after April 4, 2016:

    upload_2017-3-3_9-22-32.png
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
  11. Russ

    Russ Staff Member Site Owner

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    Here's my list -

    Totally worth it:
    • DVC (obviously)
      • Allows us to stay on property which totally changes a WDW vacation experience -- you slow down and hang out more at the resort - pool, movies, etc.
      • Allows us to book FP+ at 60 days, which fits in with our uber laid back approach to the parks (we show up for our FP+ before dinner, have a dinner ADR, have FP+ after dinner, then EMH or less busy late park hours)
      • AP Discounts - $200 per person per year = $800/year savings per year, which will probably pay for two of our contracts over the life of the membership
      • Access to TIW, which probably saves us $700+/year
    • APs
      • If you visit more than once in 12 months, DVC Gold APs are cheaper than two sets of multi-day tickets.
      • Totally change the WDW vacation experience (much like DVC) - we aren't rushing around to get 12 hours in each day at a park - we sleep in, go to a late breakfast ADR, maybe do a FP+ after breakfast (if ADR is in a park), then hit the pool, hang out at the resort, and show up at a park before or after dinner, then do 2-3 FP+ and stay out late or with EMH once everyone else is exhausted and goes home
      • This also allows the occasional shorter visits, which are fun
    • TIW
      • Wouldn't leave home without it - we started our DVC adventure exchanging in via RCI and made the mistake of getting Deluxe DDPs, which is way too much food, but that allowed us to try nearly every table service restaurant across two two-week trips. So, we were hooked on TS meals, but TIW is a much more sensible and economic way to do it since we only eat 2 meals a day at Disney, so no DDP fits our needs, plus TIW covers mommy and daddy drinks :p
    • TS Meals
      • We had our first QS meal last trip (IKR?) and we were sorely disappointed. We spent nearly as much as we normally would for a TS meal yet had burger and fries, had to scavenge like wild dogs for a table, and it just wasn't that great of an experience. For $10 more we could have had a TS meal in nice, quiet air-conditioned restaurant, with friendly service and good food. Granted, there are much better restaurants to be had outside of Disney, however we prefer to live inside the bubble for our WDW vaca. Leaving the bubble changes the entire vibe. It goes from Vacation to National Lampoons Vacation when you do that :D
    • Fort Wilderness - Breakfast at Trails End, Hoop-Dee-Do, hay ride, playground, etc. It's an oasis - the perfect respite from the business of MK. This is the one experience we don't miss every trip. If you are skipping it, you are missing out. BTW, I recommend arriving by boat not bus, which is a much more magical experience.
    • Busses - air conditioned busses every 15 minutes to anywhere in the World are splendid.
    • DME - if you are renting a car doing it wrong (IMO)
    Not worth it:
    • Most character meals - we did them until the kids stopped enjoying them (which believe me they will if you do them 2-3 times a year). It is a huge relief every time we knock one of these off our list. At current count, we are down to Chef Mickey's, 'Ohana, Akershus, and Tusker House. 'Ohana is on the way out (way to pricey for a non-buffet and service has been consistently terrible the past 2-3 times we've been).
    • MNSSHP - if dressing up is your thing, it's probably fun, but for the rest of us it's 3 hours of running from one candy depository to the next, ending up with a grocery bag full of candy...for $80...which you then have to eat the rest of the week or take home. Fun once...not again.
    • Refillable mugs - save yourself the money and buy a case of water for $15 in the DVC store and you'll be fine. Water is your friend at Disney. It's easy to get dehydrated with the walking and the salty (and sugary) food. Ice cold water never tastes as good as it does at Disney after a long day.
    • Parades/Fireworks - we don't believe in schedules or plans (for the most part). We enjoy a serendipitous vacation, so enjoy the parades and fireworks as a backdrop as we walk past
    • Bibbity Boppity Boutique - 3 hours of your and your kids life you won't get back. They just complained their hair was too tight and immediately took it all out. Cute pictures, but never again.
    • Driving at Disney - I don't like driving, I don't like parking, I don't like hot cars. Don't do it.
    • Renting a car - Busses +DME are your friend. Spend the money you save on ADRs to stay onsite.
     
  12. disneynut

    disneynut Well-Known Member

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    Yes....totally agree!
     
    Russ likes this.
  13. DVCNewbie1212

    DVCNewbie1212 Master Member

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    I agree 100% on the using WDW transportation. But I applaud those who rent cars, less people on our buses, boats and monorails.
     
    Lori L and Russ like this.
  14. Wakey

    Wakey Active Member

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    M
    Mmm not sure about that. As a resale buyer I have access to the benefits list. The ones I cannot get are specifically stated, such as Epcot Lounge, Moonlight events, DVC Cruise etc. Also in that list are ones I can definately get such as Top of the World Lounge (my white download membership card now specifically lists on it the member is entitled to access TOTWL, I believe to stop confusion and CMs wrongly turning away resale members.) Now looking at TOTWL on the benefits section it is worded the same way as TIW card- 'This perk is available to members and their guests... A Disney Vacation Club Membership Card is also required to verify membership'. Someone over on Disboards even says resale buyers still get restaurant discounts, and looking on the list they are not stating they are excluded. Disney seem to have excluded these restaurant discounts in their initial statement but the wording is loose and they are not stated as being excluded on the DVC site. Also Disney statement said resale buyers will not get access to 'certain' Membership Offers, not all of them. I'm still not convinced TIW is excluded, it may be though. Not that I'd buy it, I'm from UK so no use to me. Sorry to hijack thread theme!
     
    Russ likes this.
  15. Russ

    Russ Staff Member Site Owner

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    OK, white digital cards versus blue -- makes sense. Interesting about ToTW. I agree the actual TIW site doesn't mention anything which is either an oversight on their lawyers part or could be telling.
     
    Wakey likes this.
  16. AuLYNi

    AuLYNi Well-Known Member

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    Lyn
    Just wanted to add that I assumed that TIW wasn't available to post April new resale purchasers - and for some reason I thought I read that somewhere but can't find it now, so I didn't attempt to purchase with my white printed membership card (my mom had arrived a day prior so just made sense for her to go buy the card with her FLorida ID). I'd be VERY interested to know if anyone gets first hand knowledge of buying TIW as a resale buyer (my mom plans on moving to Seattle from FLorida, so I have a limited number of years where I can count on her Florida discounts!)
     
    Russ likes this.
  17. Pattie

    Pattie Active Member

    Joined:
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    Worth It
    Staying on site with DVC
    Ordering groceries from Garden Grocer for breakfast and snacks
    Character Meals, at least 1 a trip while grandkids still request it
    FP+ at 60 days
    ME
    AP's (but won't renew after this year,have to let points build up for more frequent trips)
    Free activities, such as movies at resorts, riding boats and monorail, touring different resorts
    Jelly Rolls
    Candlelight Processional Dining Package

    Not Worth It
    Halloween Party (have done it several times and have watched it decline)
    Dining Plan
    TIW since the price went up
    Fantastic Dining Package
    FP for parades, shows, or fireworks
    Refillable Mugs
    Having a car at Disney
     
  18. brerfrog

    brerfrog Veteran Member

    Joined:
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    Worth it:
    Staying on property
    Annual Passes (We've got the Platinum Passes, but we don't do golf and we haven't used it for the water parks yet, but I don't know if I want to give up my 365 days without block-out)
    DVC ownership - we've gotten to do so much more as DVC members (we no longer have to pay bulk amounts OOP for hotel rooms since 2012, I'm much happier with monthly DVC dues payments). Wonderful memories and experiences with family and friends directly as a result of being DVC members.
    Drinking in room vs. at the bar. While we enjoy drinking at any of the Disney lounges, you can buy wine and drink in your room too. The gift shops sell wine in the bottle. Saves so much money.
    EMH - I love extra magic hours. I was disappointed when they reduced it from 3 to 2, but I'm still happy they have it.
    TiW - we use it all the time. Even use it for valet parking sometimes, which is a terrific perk.
    FP+ - great perk, we try to use it when possible.
    Spending more points on a DVC room closest to where you want to go, like MK area or Epcot area. It can really save a lot of hassle with transportation.
    Checking out movies from Community Hall and getting a to go pizza to eat in the room! FUN!
    Penny souvenirs.
    Doing the Wagon Ride at Fort Wilderness at least once, bring a cushion if you have back trouble, it's a wood bench seat.
    Seeing the classic Disney attractions: Carousel of Progress, Country Bears, Tiki Room, Jungle Cruise...
    Trying something new

    I'm going to mention the Osborne Family Lights because to me it was always worth the trip to see the lights.

    Undecided:
    Halloween Party - we've gone several times, we really enjoy it, but it is getting more and more expensive, we didn't go last year, and I'm not sure what to do this year. We always end up with more candy than we could ever possibly eat, but we have fun, and we like the parade and reduced crowds.
    Christmas Party - haven't been yet, but I want to go at least once.


    Not worth it:
    Most buffets/Character Meals - we don't really eat enough to justify the buffet costs. I do like the experience but not the cost. Sometimes we will splurge but we usually stick to Trail's End or WCC. We like Whispering Canyon, Trail's End, Garden Grill, Akershus, Biergarden, Tusker House. You can practically eat two meals at TS for the price of one buffet.
    FP for stuff that has no lines anyways, like most shows, like Muppets 3D for example. I don't even know why they offer it as a FP selection.
    Waiting in line - we usually don't wait longer than 20 minutes for any ride, if it is a long wait, we will just skip it.
    I'm going to say going on the weekends as not being worth it, that is IF you are able to go during the week, that is better obviously.
    Most of the F&W items, it's kind of hit or miss for us. While F&W is a fun activity, it is not fun during the peak weekends or during the last few days, it is too crowded.
    Dining Plan - there is a very slim margin where someone can actually break even or "profit" from using a dining plan. But it generally is not worth it, especially the longer your stay is, the more likely you will not be breaking even. Dining plan is most worth it for Deluxe Dining Plan and holiday periods where TiW is blocked out, pricey buffets or character meals like Akershus.
    Camping out for a long time waiting for parades or fireworks.
    Fireworks cruise, fun but expensive.
     
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  19. KitKat

    KitKat Active Member

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    First Name:
    Katie
    Worth It
    Staying on Property
    Fast Pass Plus
    Disney Transportation
    Cape May Cafe
    Food & Wine Festival Drinking Around The World

    Not Worth It
    Waiting in a huge line to get a photo with a character
    Staking out a prime spot an hour or so before a fireworks or parade show.
     
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