An interesting discussion taking place over on the Disney Cruise Line forum at DISboards.com really made me stop and think for a bit.

Most families plan a Disney Cruise Line vacation pretty far in advance as they’ve got specific times of the year that work for them and many other reasons, such as saving up the money. Cost plays a big factor here too because when you book your cruise way ahead of time, you don’t necessarily have to pay for the full fare at the time of booking.

DISboards poster ‘Rob1872‘ started a thread entitled, “I’m going to end up with $11,450 in Disney Gift Cards. Now what?” and I thought I’d share some of the responses as it seems a whole new world has opened up with folks thinking about completely changing their original plans of going on a Disney Cruise in the first place; some are even thinking about giving Adventures by Disney a try!

OK, I’m assuming that my Fantasy Eastern cruise at the end of May will be cancelled in a few weeks (bye-bye 10% OBB discount and $200 OBC), and that I will also be cancelling my pre-cruise visit to WDW. (So much for an AWESOME family summer vacation. I’d even splurged on Club level rooms so I could purchase 3 extra FastPass+ a day to really make it a memorable trip!)

I had purchased Disney Gift Cards for the whole trip, and had been pleased at saving 8-10% by strategic buying at BJs when the gift cards were on a good sale.

Now, I’m going to end up with everything back on Disney Gift Cards. I’m trying to figure out what to do next. I don’t want to take the Future Cruise Credit because then I’m locked into picking a cruise next year and we don’t have a lot of flexibility in the family schedule next year.

At least Disney Gift Cards won’t expire. (But they will slowly lose value as prices go up each year.) I can use them at the theme parks, Disney stores/Disney online, DCL, Adventures By Disney, and Disney Resorts.

What would you do in my situation?

Poster ‘DisneyPrincess‘ said, “I’m going to end up with over $17,000 in gift cards…I’m highly considering an ABD. :)”

I think poster ‘MomOTwins‘ has a great idea; “I’d save it for a cruise on the Disney Wish! That way you get the fun of trying a new ship.” That’s a really fun thought amidst the bummer of having to digest cancelling your dream vacation!

Poster ‘spacecanada‘ shares a bit about why this situation could be a great time to consider visiting Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa:

Adventures by Disney has the highest guest satisfaction rate of any Disney product, and they are rated one of the best guided tour companies. If you haven’t tried it yet, I would highly recommend it.

I haven’t been able to go on one yet, but every single person I know who has come back raving and has gone again (and multiple times, for some). It is an intimate way to experience a destination. Definitely give it a try!

Aulani is amazing, but you would have to stay in a suite or large villa for a long time to spend that much. Though if you eat in the restaurants every day, and add excursions, it does add up quickly. As much as I love Aulani (and have been there), I still recommend AbD or a unique cruise itinerary like Iceland or Greece.

What would (or will) you do with thousands of dollars worth of Disney Gift Cards if you found yourself in this position? Would you try something new or would you rebook the original vacation you had planned? Let us know in the comments below or join in on the discussion on the boards!

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