Do you ever get to that point in Disney planning when there is a very real part of you that just wants to say, “You know what? Forget it. Imma keep my money and never go on vacation again.”
Or is that just me? I can be a little extreme.
Here’s the deal. We originally planned to go in September 2021. I didn’t *love* the idea of pulling my girls out of school, but you can’t beat September for prices and crowds and when I picked these dates I was in the middle of the Quarnanteaching that seemed endless and what’s missing four days of in person instruction when I’ve been teaching these children for two months? Nothing matters. Anyway the wind blows.
Then, on June 24th, the day we have all been waiting for arrived. Disney released their 2021 packages, through September 26th. My capable and cool travel agent Elizabeth knew what we wanted, when we wanted, and she had quotes to us the SECOND they were available. Like, seriously, I had signed on to the Disney site just to take a gander and the page wasn’t through loading when Elizabeth emailed me.
I happily confirmed our reservation at Yacht and or Beach Club, our dream resort. We did a lot of research into the Deluxes, using highly scientific criteria. Yacht and or Beach Club had a lot going for it, something to specifically delight each family member.
Mr. B: Can walk or boat to Epcot, one of my fave parks.
The Glass Slipper: An amazing pool.
The Frying Pan: Proximity to a princess meal. Bon Voyage Breakfast is a few steps away at the Boardwalk Resort.
The Teacup: A deluxe. She just wants to be living the dream.
Me: Impeccably themed, and delicious on-site restaurants (Cape May Cafe, the Yachtsman, Beaches & Cream, the Ale & Compass…the list goes on.)
Plus, I really love calling it Yacht and or Beach Club. It’s the little things.
So that was that, here we come Yacht and or Beach Club!
But then I got another email. An email about school starting up in the Fall. The Glass Slipper will be in 1st Grade and the Frying Pan will be in her final year of pre-school, what they call the “KinderSkills” class. And it got me thinking. In September 2021, my Frying Pan, notably the prickliest of my pears, will be starting Kindergarten. A big, important year. And I was going to yank her out of the BEGINNING of this vital, crucial year in her educational career for a vacation??
*Quick Note: This is no judgement on people who pull their kids out of school for vacations. If we were looking a different year, say when the Frying Pan was in 1st grade, I would feel differently. But my middle takes a minute to get on board with new routines and the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a disaster in the making for our family at this specific time.*
So I stayed up half the night looking at summer options. Listen, we all know summers are more crowded than September and we all know they are more expensive. I knew what I was getting into. But to do new summer dates at Yacht Club would be an extra $500. That is nothing to sneeze at. Especially when you consider that moving our vacation to the summer means we are moving up our payment deadline as much as four months.
I just didn’t know what to do.
So I got in touch with my patient, sensible travel agent. Elizabeth, you are a treasure. A travel agent is not just the person who presses buttons and process payments for your vacation. If you get a good one, your travel agent can be a friend and sounding board. Elizabeth, my experienced and well traveled friend, has stayed at all the deluxe resorts. She was able to give me a rundown of what each of my new possible resorts could contribute to the trip. She let me run through my concerns and questions, answering each one with helpful facts and not only her personal experiences, but the experiences of other guests. I know we always tell y’all to get use a travel agent, and I know y’all are like “we get it, we get it, travel agents are great.” But as we enter a new age of booking Disney vacations in a rumpus filled world, I cannot overstate how vital a travel agent will be for making the process go as smoothly as possible.
As for me, Elizabeth counseled me to look at our new finalists and check in with Mr. B. So that’s what I will do.
2021 Family Trip
After Last Deposit: $5978.70
Total Deposit: $65.58
$30 Selling Used Dresses
$25 Random Gift from my Aunt
$10 Target Giftcard from Viewership Independent Study
$.58 Credit Interest from Savings Account
Still Need: $5913.12
But I am also going to check in with you! What’s your favorite time to go during the summer? What summer Disney tips do you have for me? If we don’t go with the pricier Yacht Club, which one do you think would work best for my family: Wilderness Lodge or the Contemporary? Give me all your advice in the comments!
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey five years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!