The planning involved for this trip to Disney and Universal Studios in Orlando is breaking our brains. AND, we are discovering that going in the summer would be the worst time for first-timers due to the insane crowds, so we'd see less. On top of that, some things need to ideally be booked like 2 months in advance, like any rides you want to use a fastpass on or restaurants you want reservations at. And lets not forget Magicbands, which we'd get if we book a resort within Disney but would have to buy outside of that. Disney resorts cost the most during the summer...actually everything does. It's literally the worst way to go to Disney all the way around when you crunch the numbers.
I'm not technically a first-timer and neither is my husband, if you count going as kids. Well, he went as a kid but I went when I was 14 because I won a Lion King coloring contest. True story! I got a park hopper pass, hotel, and tickets all for free...everything but air-fair I think. I lived with my grandparents though and they couldn't do any rides or swimming, and none of my friends wanted to come with with their parents (or couldn't because we had set dates in which to use the winnings-so I had 2 extra tickets we couldn't do anything with) so I actually found Disney to be kinda boring. The things I remember most were the "Honey I Shrunk the Audience" 4D theater experience (also my first experience with a 3D film) and the Star Tours ride. That's pretty much the rides I went on while at Disney.
Fast forward to now and Disney is like...totally different, plus we are going to also hit up Universal while we're there. I'd be able to ride rides and go swimming, and the stuff they have there now is amazing and you kinda want to do it all if you can. It sucks I missed out on Jaws, Tower of Terror, and Back to the Future...bummer. But planning all of this out is a nightmare. And some tickets allow you to park hop but others don't, or only allow you to one park per day. I think we only plan on 5 days...3 in Universal and 2 in Disney. But in order to get the most out of those days, we'd have to go in August when it's balls-hot outside after school has just started in order to get the best prices AND be able to see and do everything we are choosing to, which we would get to do because at those prices we could afford buying the fastpasses and express passes to guarantee we can get on everything we want with little to no waiting.
I don't know how people manage to do a Disney trip every year. Actually this will be the first real vacation I've had since our Honeymoon 10 years ago. Most of the time we just head up to Wisconsin Dells since my hubby's folks live right next to there, spend a day at a waterpark and that's that. A multi-day vacation for me is like...wow. Trying to plan this right though...I almost need...Excel...and...spreadsheets...and...no...No...NOOO! Any time I hit the Excel on accident I panic!