Where to next? Help us decide 2019

January 3, 2019, 12:45 PM

Time to start considering options for vacations 2019.

Option 1: Star Wars @ Disneyland during summer. I really want to do the rides and I don´t care if crowds are crazy. The problem with planning this is that there is no specific opening date.

Option 2: Disneyland Paris. Highly unlikely. Been there before. I rather wait until they open some Marvel rides before returning.

Option 3: Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi. Never been here before. Being a big Batman/Joker fan, I really want to see this. But It´s not looking good as the rest of my party seems uninterested in visiting the UAE.

Option 4: Walt Disney World. Last visit was summer 2017. Volcano Bay and Avatar were the main reasons for that last visit. While I wouldn´t mind returning, I rather wait for 2021 Guardians of the Galaxy.

Option 5: Aulani. Never been to Aulani. I got this feeling that if we don´t visit in 2019, we might not have another chance in years.

Option 6: Japan. Never been to Asia before. We have been wanting to visit Japan for years but, being a Nintendo fan, I really want to postpone it for just one more year so we can visit Universal´s Nintendo Land in summer 2020. Btw, does anyone have a good guesstimate on Beauty and the Beast Ride opening date?

Thanks in advance for all suggestions.

Replies (5)

January 3, 2019, 2:19 PM

If you're into seeing new attractions soon after they open, I would concur with your inclinatoin to hold off on Japan, Paris, and WDW. So let's break down the rest:

We've been guessing late June for the Galaxy's Edge opening at Disneyland. If you want to be safe, I think planning a late July visit would be okay.

If you can afford the flight to the UAE, there's no timing issue there. Go whenever you want. The hotels are relatively cheap and the ticket prices are reasonable.

But if you are feeling Aulani, for whatever reason, go for it! Haven't been there, so I can't offer any specific recommendations on that.

January 3, 2019, 2:40 PM

I'm not sure why you're interested in Aulani. If you're not already a DVC member, you're going to spend more money to stay there then other luxury resorts on Oahu. Obviously, if you are DVC, you're going to stay at the Disney resort because you can use your DVC points there, but it's not like visiting a theme park, it's just a resort. There are far better and cheaper resorts on the Hawaiian islands, and honestly, I'd much rather visit multiple islands than spend a full vacation on Oahu (I'm a geologist, so a couple of days on the Big Island is a MUST).

If you want to go to the UAE, consider the time of year when you want to visit. Despite many attractions being indoors, the heat can still be a major factor when walking between buildings. If you've been to Las Vegas, and are drenched in sweat walking between the casinos on a 95-degree day, expect that times 10 in the UAE where summer temps frequently soar over 110. You might also want to consider that the UAE has a strong tourist draw from the UK, so attractions will naturally be more crowded in August when Brits are on Holiday.

We are tentatively planning a trip to Southern California in late-July early-August, and expect that Galaxy's Edge will be open and crowded, but tolerable. I think waiting until the end of August (depending upon if AP blackouts are lifted) may not see a discernible difference, and trying to visit earlier in July may see the new land either not open, fully armed and operational, or simply overwhelmed by initial crowds. I don't hold the same optimism for DHS's version of Galaxy's Edge which looks to be butting right into their busy holiday season where parks are already borderline intolerable without opening a brand new Star Wars land (not to mention MMRR). If Galaxy's Edge were opening closer to the end of September, I'd say go there, but it's looking more like it won't open until November, so I wouldn't plan a major trip there in the hope that it is ready to go before Thanksgiving.

January 4, 2019, 3:53 PM

Looking through everything you've written, I'd suggest the following...

2019: Disneyland. If Star Wars is your primary interest, I'd suggest aiming for early August or later. Most insiders are saying a June opening is likely, but there's always the possibility of delays and it will likely take at least a couple weeks before everything is running with acceptable efficiency. You'll want to check the blockout calendar as well...my prediction is that the best time to hit Star Wars in 2019 will be right before the summer blockout ends.

2020: Japan. Nintendo and Beauty and the Beast are both likely to open in summer 2020, so planning a trip here for late summer or sometime in the fall would probably ensure you can hit both of them.

2021: Walt Disney World. Not much has been added since your last visit, but a lot will be opening in the next couple years (beginning in fall 2019), so it makes sense to delay this until after everything is open.

If you've visited Disneyland Paris, there isn't much to go back for yet, so I'd save that for some time in the future (probably after the Studios redevelopment is complete in the mid 2020s). I've never been to the UAE, but from what I've heard, it's not really worth going to just for the theme parks. The parks are well worth checking out if you're visiting, of course, but if you don't have any other interest in visiting it might be best to wait until you can do a solo trip there. Lastly, I haven't done Aluani either, but it's just a hotel and would probably be similar to any of the deluxe resorts at WDW. If you really want to visit, perhaps you could do a stopover in Hawaii on your way to or from Japan.

January 5, 2019, 10:27 AM

The only one I would recommend against is the Hawaiian one. I would strongly recommend going to Hawaii, but stay in an authentic Hawaiian location in a better location instead of there. Kauai, the North Shore of Ouau, the Big Island, and all would be cheaper and better. I may get trashed for suggesting this...

Edited: January 24, 2019, 1:39 AM

Tour... Efteling >> Pairi Daiza >> Phantasialand
Triangle of 3 times some 200 km on rental car trip, with dozens of historic cities inbetween.
(I always say to people : not NOT miss Pairi Daiza ! :-) )

Extention :
>> Puy Du Fou , but that's some 700 km furter.

Anyway, it boils down to : visit 100% independent quality theme parks. Independent really means that the parks I mentioned do not belong to any amusement park chain, and do not even belong to any capital group. You can see and feel that. They are all completely unique.

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