Help an overwhelmed dad out


Well-Known Member
My son wakes up at 6 am even on weekends and vacation. There is no extra hour of sleep in my family. My family tours the way we choose and everyone else is welcome to tour the way they choose.
And I never said otherwise. Just telling you what has become of EMH. It used to be so much better


New Member
Original Poster
Lol, we can't get into Olga's Cantina any day of our stay in November. I didn't even know reservations had opened up. We were able to get a reservation to Savvi's for 10:30 AM. I'm hoping if we get in line for the ride at 8:00 AM, that will be enough time to make it to Savvis.


Well-Known Member
And I never said otherwise. Just telling you what has become of EMH. It used to be so much better
I still generally find EMH worth it, even in the am. It used to be better, yes, or rather just not as taken advantage of by so many guests, but a morning EMH still results in an extra 2 (and maybe 3) rides on average for me. I get the frustration but sometimes I think the gripes about EMH are a little overblown. It’s still a nice perk overall in my eyes, especially in the upcoming months. Not everyone is going to get up at 6 am for DHS... but I will!

Back to the point of this thread. I really like the immersive-ness of staying on property. Yes you’ll pay more but the all Disney environment is worth it for me. We generally stay in the Moderates or Deluxes but All Stars was totally fine the one time we stayed.

The buses have never bothered me. Maybe it’s because we get up early enough that the wait is never long (if we have to wait at all) but I’ve always found them convenient. Yes, you wait at night if you’re trying to leave after a nighttime show but I don’t think I’ve ever had to wait more than a half hour, and that’s rare. I think Disney overall does a pretty good job shuffling people out at night. No one can argue those buses aren’t moving with as many people they can carry. At the end of a day, bothering with a car (and resort parking fee) or Ubering on a regular basis just doesn’t seem worth it over the advantage of the buses.

Plus the 60+10 window is pretty much becoming a must in my eyes to get decent FP.

To each their own!

JillC LI

Well-Known Member
If you're only using the rooms to sleep and shower, like you said, definitely stick with Comfort Inn. I think you will feel disappointed in the Disney Resorts if you're only viewing those rooms as functional vs. an extension of the parks.
We only use the room to sleep and shower, and we prefer to rent a car so we don't even use Disney transportation, but we still prefer to stay on Disney property for the EMH, the 60 out access to FP+s, and the immersion in all things Disney. We just don't waste our money on Deluxe accommodations because it isn't worth it for us. We never miss a rope drop or early EMH because those are the least crowded times of all at the parks.

Dave B

Well-Known Member
Here was our overall cost analysis and why I made the decisions I did based on your advice here at this forum (maybe this will help someone else in the future).

Family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids - 13m, 11f)
$3,000 budget for hotel and parks
5 night stay / 4 parks

  1. Off resort main gate hotel (pros - lower initial cost, very nice breakfast included, access to lower cost fast food options. cons - rental car + parking fees or uber fees and long waits at park close make the cost about the same as staying on resort, without any of the resort perks like picking fast passes 60+ days in advance) - $520 for 5 nights. ~$780 after parking fees & rental car or uber
  2. All Star Movies (pros - cheapest, renovated rooms, preferred rooms not much more. cons - transportation can be an issue with longer lines and fewer options, not as many amenities) - $808 for 5 nights (preferred room)
  3. Art of Animation (pros - still a value resort, but some really nice amenities, including the big blue pool, close to the skyliner transport system, better food options. cons - standard rooms come in Little Mermaid only, they are not renovated, and far away from transportation options) - $1084 for 5 nights (standard room)
  4. Pop Century (pros - renovated rooms with queen beds, close to AoA so you can visit, nicer end of the value resorts, not as much as AoA, still has its own bus systems and skyliner, more food options. cons - theme isn't as nice as ASM) - $915 for 5 nights (standard room)
Decision - Pop Century standard room. Just a little more, with the advantage of dedicated buses, skyliner, renovated rooms, queen beds, more amenities, and more food options, and the experience of being "at disney" for the whole trip. We've done off resort before and it's a pain, especially to leave places like Magic Kingdom and come back later. $915

Park Tickets
  1. One day per park 4 day tickets (pros - lowest cost, stay at disney the entire time and go to all 4 parks. cons - stuck at the park if lines end up being long. Crap shoot whether or not to use EMHs when staying on resort) - $1,837.96 USD
  2. Park hopper 4 day tickets (pros - You can park hop, which is especially useful at AK, or on days when MK closes early for special events and likely to be less crowded until MIckey's Christmas party. cons - more expensive, may not be worth the $340 upcharge. Especially not worth it if your kids are little.) - $2,178.76
  3. One day per park 3 day tickets + 1 day at Universal or Lego Land (pros - Animal kingdom just is not a priority for us. Except for the Lion King show, Everest, and Pandora which we aren't willing to wait 4 hours for, there isn't much there for us. cons - more expensive option) - $1,872.34 USD
  4. Same as 3 but add park hopper (pros - we could do the most if we keep ourselves on the run going from ride to ride and place to place. cons - exhausting and expensive). $2,100
Decision - One day per park 4 day tickets. We can always add park hopper when we are in the park on the first day if we decide it would be worth it based on wait times. There is no need to spend the money now. Going to Animal Kingdom will give us a chance to spend part of the day at the resort or wandering around Disney Springs. $1837.96

Total: $2752.96 ($250 under budget; but we have flexibility)

Our flights are free using skymiles, and we're putting the tickets on another card for the bonus points
Great decisions so far, the only thing I would say is this, Pandora and Flight of Passage are really special, FoP is the best ride I have ever been on, I think you are missing out by not visiting, I would definitely reconsider


Well-Known Member
For a trip where the rooms are basically just a place to sleep, there's very little perks to staying on property in the age of Uber and Lyft. Most of the Disney Springs hotels give you EMH, so it's really only the extra time for booking Fastpasses - that's a lot of money to pay to save a couple of hours in line.

Disney bus transportation is certainly an overrated perk, mainly praised by those who haven't even tried using a rideshare app at WDW.

It's much better value to stay in a Disney Springs area hotel (they're not Disney but geographically they're closer than many official hotels and most of them give you EMH anyway, as well as being at least $100 a night cheaper than any Disney value hotel) and then spend $30 a day on Uber costs - you still save a decent amount, and have more flexibility.

An Uber can be summoned and have you back at your hotel within 15 minutes from wherever you are on property. With a bus you might be waiting ages for one to turn up, or they might be full and you have to wait for the next one, and then an ECV might rock up which adds even more time... they're convenient, but boy are they slow. People staying offsite using rideshare apps definitely have a superior experience when it comes to transport.

So stay off property and you can be at the parks quicker, be home quicker, save money, avoid crowds, still get EMH... it's a no brainer really.


New Member
Original Poster
I don’t know...we got an Uber from Hollywood Studios in May, and it took nearly and hour to get picked up because of the long lines at the rise share location and we were back in our hotel until almost 2 hours after the end of Fantasmic


Well-Known Member
Our family of 4 went to Disney for the first time 3 years ago, and have been back once since then. We have a trip planned for 4 days November 8-13. I've never stayed in a disney resort hotel, but I booked two resorts - All Star Movies and Art of Animation. We have a preferred room for $808 total at ASM, and $1094 at Art of Animation (Little Mermaid room). I also have a room reserved at Comfort Suites east maingate (rated 9.0/10.0) for $500 total. We also get 10% back on that so it's more like $450. We only use our hotel rooms to sleep and shower. We spend most of our time in the parks.

So, I need to cancel 2 of those rooms, but I'm trying to understand why staying at a Disney resort is worth so much money. I guess you get access to free transportation, extra magic hours, and free magic bands? I admit the free transportation looks good - Ubering to and from MCO costs $50 each way. Ubering to the resort each day from local hotels cost $15 each way last time. That's potentially $250 right there + $100 for parking at the parks. I don't care about the Magic bands because we still have them from our last trip.

I'm worried about the potentially long waits for buses. Monorails and boats at MK are an absolute nightmare at closing time, I can't imagine how many hours you have to wait for a bus back to your resort. When you stay on resort, can you get there well before rope drop? We're going to want to get in line quickly for Galaxy's Edge. I'm also not sure what to think of the possible lines for the Skyliner when it opens near AoA. How long does it take to bus from the resorts to the parks?

I also have a question about park hopping tickets. We can easily spend a day in MK without park hopping, but AK isn't our favorite (still a few rides we would like to do, and can easily be done with that park in 1/2 a day). 14 hours in Epcot would be a little much with extra magic hours thrown in, but we could start the day at Magic Kingdom and head on over. I guess, adding a 5th day is only $20 more per person, compared to $85 for a park hopper. Can we use the ticket for the 5th day instead of buying a park hopper?

Don’t get me wrong, those buses can be a pain but ultimately you are never far away from your bed. The thought of those ferry boat and monorail lines at the end of the day at MK, for me, ruin the end of a magical day. Stick to Disney hotels, you won’t regret it.

Register on WDWMAGIC. This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.

Top Bottom