Is there such a thing as too much of a good thing? I suppose this depends on what you are used to. As a WDW Dads International Writer (probably the best job title I have ever had!), I do sometimes wonder what the main differences are between a US visitor to WDW and one from further afield, and how the experience differs.
It strikes me that many US visitors typically go for the little and often approach with their visits, fitting in a few trips each lasting a few days. Being on the same continent helps with that approach I suppose. How would you feel about spending two whole weeks, or even three there? I have one Disney friend who spends five to six weeks there every summer!!
Would you get bored? Could you cope with that length of exposure to WDW? Is there such a thing as too much of a good thing?
Forgetting the small matter of the costs for a little while (and I wish I could do that in real life) there are some practical considerations when planning a longer stay. For those of us staying for a couple of weeks or more, accommodation needs careful consideration. As much as on site stay appeals to the inner Disney fan, if like me your family unit includes three women (I have two teenage daughters, I’m not a bigamist), is it practical for you all to stay in one hotel room for two weeks or more? Sure, we could get two rooms, and as soon as my daughters start paying for themselves we’ll do exactly that. Whilst we are on my money, we are bunking together!
Whilst a night or two is probably OK, a longer stay in these circumstances will only lead to tears….usually mine, so typically, a villa is an ideal option. Whilst they are of course not on site, it would appear that every single villa in Florida is “only fifteen minutes from Disney”. It must be true as every single villa listing says this.
The extra space afforded by a villa is very welcome over a longer stay. It gives my daughters the space they so desperately need to spread their things over as the holiday progresses. Having more than one shower is also pretty much a necessity with three women to fight to get ready. In a hotel room with just the one shower, I get around seventeen seconds in the shower on each Wednesday, whether I need it or not!
The novelty of having a pool out the back is quite exciting too, as the nearest we get to that in the UK is if your back garden floods in one of the fifty weeks of the year it rains. Some villa renters will also take advantage of the kitchen facilities, as eating out for every meal can get quite expensive over a number of weeks. We do the same. Most breakfast times you will find me expertly preparing toast, cereal or even, if I am feeling adventurous, a bagel. Beyond that, we do eat out for every meal, as for us, that is a massive part of the holiday (vacation), and there are never enough days in the trip for us to fit in all our favourite eateries.
As our experience has grown, our trips have got more adventurous, and we have spilt our stay up into several locations and types of accommodation, and this works well. This type of approach adds variety to the trip, and avoids theme park burn out both in terms of energy and apathy. With a day or two at somewhere like Vero Beach, and a visit to a baseball game (us Brits are those sat in the crowd looking confused), you can keep things fresh over a longer trip, especially if you have been to Florida and WDW multiple times.
Many Brits will also have shopping as an activity on their itinerary. How this is classed as a leisure activity I will never know, but again the demographic of my family unit means I have little choice. It isn’t so much that things are cheaper in the US than the UK, but more that when you are buying things in a foreign currency it is a well known fact that it doesn’t count!
After all these considerations, at the end of your extended trip we have to transport half of our worldy goods (we always bring too much) back over the Atlantic, typically on an overnight flight, which means that you arrive home to grey drizzle (if you travel in the summer, ice and snow in the winter) having had no sleep, bad food and films edited beyond all recognition. Because of the aforementioned shopping, we have also had to dash out on our last morning and get a new suitcase from Walmart to fit all the stuff we have acquired on our extended trip into.
Don’t misunderstand me, I love my holidays, and I’ll take them in whatever shape and size I can get them…..but which is better, little and often or one big trip?