Due to the current events, we had to reschedule our trip originally scheduled for last month. We are now looking at a trip in February. As we began to re-plan our trip, I started to think about what my perfect trip would be.
Now, I wanted to set some ground rules. There isn’t an unlimited budget… I won’t be getting the Steeplechase Suite at Boardwalk, the Presidential Suite at the Contemporary, or the Royal Asante Suite at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Also off the table would be the bungalows at the Polynesian. Oh yeah, the Castle Suite is off the table as well. We are Disney Vacation Club members with a moderate contract at Saratoga Springs, so I will be picking a room with the amount of points we can bank and borrow. Ok, maybe a little more…
While I may extend my usual budget, I am not busting the budget on dining or souvenirs either. This means no Victoria and Albert’s (but as you can read in my Less Obvious Bucket List, it probably wouldn’t be on my itinerary anyway). We also wouldn’t be eating signature dining every day.
One final ground rule. For this little exercise, we are suspending some of the current situations and trying to make an educated guess about what things will be like as we come out of COVID. I am assuming fireworks, parades, park hoppers, and FastPass will return.
The first thing to consider is the time of year. Since I would not want to vacation on the surface of the sun, we likely wouldn’t choose summer (June – August). Since this isn’t our first, and won’t be our last trip, I don’t mind crowds, but I don’t want to be lost in a sea of people, so Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are out as well. That leaves spring and fall.
The one time I have been there when the parks were decorated for Christmas was the week before Thanksgiving. It was the last weekend of Food and Wine, but before the Festival of the Holidays, so we couldn’t see the Candlelight Processional. Because of this, we will go with early December.
Our usual band of travelers includes my wife, daughter, and I, as well as my sister in law and niece, so we are looking at 3 adults and 2 kids. Most studios are too small. Many one bedroom villas are also too small, but a 2 bedroom villa might be overkill point wise. But since this is fantasy vacation planning, we will go with that.
We like our home resort of Saratoga Springs, but it really comes down to 2 areas: Crescent Lake or Bay Lake. Proximity to the parks is a huge draw. Boardwalk and Beach Club being walking distance to EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, Riviera, or a Skyliner ride away, is big.
As I said earlier, we wouldn’t be doing signature dining every day, but how can you call it the ‘perfect Disney trip’ if it doesn’t include a meal at California Grill. Other meals would include Boma, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Chefs de France, Skipper Canteen and Whispering Canyon.
Ever since I was a kid and saw the Mickey sand trap on #6 at Magnolia, I wanted to play a round there. If I didn’t get there through normal play, I would have to drop a ball in the middle of the trap and hit out, just for the photo op.
Other activities we would do would include the Candlelight Processional, an evening with Mickey and friends at his Very Merry Christmas Party and the Wild Africa Trek tour. Weather permitting, an afternoon at one of the water parks would be in order, and if it isn’t water park weather, a round of miniature golf would be in order.
If you were to plan the perfect (mostly realistic) trip, what would it include? Where would you stay? Where would you eat? What ‘extras’ would you include?