Author Topic: Family of 4 spends 10% of their gross annual income on a trip to Disney World  (Read 10634 times)

VaCPA

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Why go to Florida if you aren't going to the beach? 

To go to Disney? I would go the opposite way with your line of thinking, and contend that there are great beaches all over the place, and often driving distance to where people live. There is no chance I'd spend the time and money to travel all the way to Florida for Disney and waste a day at the beach.

Our kids loved exploring Spanish forts at St. Augustine and on a different trip - Fort Morgan. We've explored the USS Alabama. Found cool little (unique) Mom 'n Pop places for lunch or dinner here and there. Plenty of other amusement parks to choose from across the country. Don't want to visit the most famous destinations like Disney b/c of the crowds and costs.

What's great is take a trip on the cheap and when the kids want to stop for a snack and a soda - it no big deal. If they want to visit a "surf shop" for a T-shirt or trinket - its nothing really in the big picture b/c we've optimized our trip in other ways like the meals and our accommodations.

I don't expect our family will ever visit Disney. I do expect we'll visit the fresh seafood market on our next trip to the beach and have a nice meal from the grill at our rented condo on the cheap.

We absolutely love the beach, and go for a week or two every summer. Just not in FL because we have beautiful beaches within driving distance. I do think there's a big difference between Disney and most other amusement parks though, and most kids would probably agree. If my kids do end up being indifferent towards it I won't bother, but I suspect they'll want to and we'll do it at least once for them.

elaine amj

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I love tent camping in the woods and exploring various provincial and national parks. But I make no apologies for my love for Disney trips. I had gone a couple of times as a kid and always thought I would also take my kids 1-2 times. Then I took them once for a long weekend. We loved it so much we promptly returned for a 10 day vacation just 2 months later.

We have done short trips but much prefer 10-14 day trips. It's more relaxed and enjoyable IMO. Plus I have never yet run out of things to do.

Yes, it's expensive. But I usually travel hack enough to get it down to a somewhat reasonable cost. Cheaper than cruising and definitely cheaper than all-inclusives. And cheaper than many vacations if we have to pay for entertainment/attractions/shows. Going for such lengthy trips means our ticket costs (which provides us 12-15 hours of entertainment a day) work out to about $30ish per person per day. Which is pretty darn reasonable for that caliber of entertainment.

Our last splurgey 2 week trip to Disney World worked out to $80ish/pp/day including onsite accommodations, tickets, and an insane amount of food on their meal plan. Mind you - this was a splurge and I had upgraded a few things. A more normal trip would be 30% cheaper. It definitely has gone up in price though - I got hooked in the days when it cost me under $50/pp/day for a similar vacation.

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crispy

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I love tent camping in the woods and exploring various provincial and national parks. But I make no apologies for my love for Disney trips. I had gone a couple of times as a kid and always thought I would also take my kids 1-2 times. Then I took them once for a long weekend. We loved it so much we promptly returned for a 10 day vacation just 2 months later.

We have done short trips but much prefer 10-14 day trips. It's more relaxed and enjoyable IMO. Plus I have never yet run out of things to do.

Yes, it's expensive. But I usually travel hack enough to get it down to a somewhat reasonable cost. Cheaper than cruising and definitely cheaper than all-inclusives. And cheaper than many vacations if we have to pay for entertainment/attractions/shows. Going for such lengthy trips means our ticket costs (which provides us 12-15 hours of entertainment a day) work out to about $30ish per person per day. Which is pretty darn reasonable for that caliber of entertainment.

Our last splurgey 2 week trip to Disney World worked out to $80ish/pp/day including onsite accommodations, tickets, and an insane amount of food on their meal plan. Mind you - this was a splurge and I had upgraded a few things. A more normal trip would be 30% cheaper. It definitely has gone up in price though - I got hooked in the days when it cost me under $50/pp/day for a similar vacation.

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I am with you! We are fortunate to have a good friend who works at WDW who often books rooms for us with her discount so we never spend a ton. Disney planning stresses a lot of people out, but we have been enough times that I can plan a trip in a few days and then just go and enjoy. It is actually less stressful for me.

We love doing a variety of vacations. In the past few years we have done a road trip to the South Dakota/Wyoming, a Route 66 trip to the Grand Canyon staying at vintage motels, a trip to Washington DC, a cruise, a trip to Canada, a trip to Boston, and a trip to Chicago. We also do a few weekends at various state parks a year. We love to explore and learn! I spend a ton of time researching and planning these trips. The idea of relaxing at the beach is my least favorite type of trip...I relax at home, not on vacation. 

(BTW, JustJoe, I grew in Mobile which is the home of the USS Alabama. It's such a neat place. Alabama schoolchildren raised money by collecting pennies on order to preserve it. Did you visit the Mardi Gras museum in Mobile? Another cool place!).

The Fake Cheap

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Personally I'm not looking forward to the blow out fight that is going to occur between my wife and I when the day comes when she wants to take our son to Disney.  I personally don't buy into the whole Disney thing, I don't get it.

We manage to get along pretty well finance wise, even though she is nowhere near mustashian.  I'm pretty sure I won't be giving the green light on what is sure to be an insane amount of money for a 1 week-ish trip. 

partgypsy

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Separate your distaste from "Disney" which I know has a whole lot of connotations. Think instead of your wife and your kid, whether you can justify the vacation costs in your budget, depending on how you spend or save, and how much or little it is important to her. I really do not like people who "veto" other people in the relationship their wants and needs just because they want to make some kind of stand, when not recognizing maybe the other partner is making sacrifices for the other. Instead think about the trip and the costs in the overall scheme of things. The reason why I'm saying this, is my ex did this a lot. For a lot of holidays. Making a lot of hurt feelings for a relatively small percentage of money saved.  Guess who bitched the most about the Disney trip both before and during, who on the last day said he was really glad he went. But at that point, I'm like f- you. 
« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 07:47:48 PM by partgypsy »

charis

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Personally I'm not looking forward to the blow out fight that is going to occur between my wife and I when the day comes when she wants to take our son to Disney.  I personally don't buy into the whole Disney thing, I don't get it.

We manage to get along pretty well finance wise, even though she is nowhere near mustashian.  I'm pretty sure I won't be giving the green light on what is sure to be an insane amount of money for a 1 week-ish trip.

Why would you choose to have a blow out flight about this? Several posters have mentioned travel hacking and other means to reduce costs. My family's been twice and paid almost nothing, including flights and rental cars.  If my partner wanted to take a typically expensive vacation that I wasn't thrilled about, I'd figure out a way make it work or compromise at the very least.

VaCPA

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I personally don't buy into the whole Disney thing, I don't get it.

There are exceptions(my old boss LOVED Disney stuff and I know greatly enjoyed her trips) but generally you're doing it for the kids, not yourself. As with many many things you do for your kids, the parent's enjoyment comes from seeing the kids having so much fun, not from directly enjoying the activity. Although I am expecting some of our inevitable Disney trip to be pretty fun for me too.

elaine amj

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I personally don't buy into the whole Disney thing, I don't get it.

There are exceptions(my old boss LOVED Disney stuff and I know greatly enjoyed her trips) but generally you're doing it for the kids, not yourself. As with many many things you do for your kids, the parent's enjoyment comes from seeing the kids having so much fun, not from directly enjoying the activity. Although I am expecting some of our inevitable Disney trip to be pretty fun for me too.
Haha...my kids go to Disney for me :) And a little while ago, my DH and I were discussing a trip just for the two of us and I offered him the option of doing just about anything. My mother was completely shocked when he said he would like Disney best!

If you like live productions and musicals - Disney really provides the best entertainment value by far. Broadway shows (even our local community theatre) are $$$! And their nightly fireworks/light shows take our breath away. It all depends on your tastes though.

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charis

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I personally don't buy into the whole Disney thing, I don't get it.

There are exceptions(my old boss LOVED Disney stuff and I know greatly enjoyed her trips) but generally you're doing it for the kids, not yourself. As with many many things you do for your kids, the parent's enjoyment comes from seeing the kids having so much fun, not from directly enjoying the activity. Although I am expecting some of our inevitable Disney trip to be pretty fun for me too.
Haha...my kids go to Disney for me :) And a little while ago, my DH and I were discussing a trip just for the two of us and I offered him the option of doing just about anything. My mother was completely shocked when he said he would like Disney best!

If you like live productions and musicals - Disney really provides the best entertainment value by far. Broadway shows (even our local community theatre) are $$$! And their nightly fireworks/light shows take our breath away. It all depends on your tastes though.

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The musicals are great!  The Lion King show was just as good as the Broadway Tour version that I saw years ago.   Nemo was also good.  So that can add a lot of value to an admission ticket.

MountainFlower

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I have to admit, in addition to miniature golf places I have a soft spot for amusement parks and odd tourist places especially older ones, that have a certain charm to them. Not that I've been to that many of them, but growing up in Chicagoland area, there was Six Flags of course, Old Chicago (closed) and Santa's Village (closed?). For that reason alone I'd like to visit Disneyland at some point since it is the older of the two parks.  Does anyone have any cool old amusement parks you went to when you were growing up? Any that are still around?

Lakeside Amusement Park in Denver.  Still family owned and has original art deco stuff. 

MountainFlower

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I personally don't buy into the whole Disney thing, I don't get it.

There are exceptions(my old boss LOVED Disney stuff and I know greatly enjoyed her trips) but generally you're doing it for the kids, not yourself. As with many many things you do for your kids, the parent's enjoyment comes from seeing the kids having so much fun, not from directly enjoying the activity. Although I am expecting some of our inevitable Disney trip to be pretty fun for me too.
Haha...my kids go to Disney for me :) And a little while ago, my DH and I were discussing a trip just for the two of us and I offered him the option of doing just about anything. My mother was completely shocked when he said he would like Disney best!

If you like live productions and musicals - Disney really provides the best entertainment value by far. Broadway shows (even our local community theatre) are $$$! And their nightly fireworks/light shows take our breath away. It all depends on your tastes though.

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Ha ha, yep, our Disney trip was for my 50th birthday.  I went there when I was 8 and wanted to go back.  My kids are 8 and 10.  Just perfect ages.  I wanted to wait until we were past the age of character greetings and to when they could ride everything.  So much fun.  Disney is magic.  For the skeptics, if your family members really want to go, just go.  My husband had never been and really didn't get it.  Now he's already talking about how we can save to go to WDW in a year or two.  I really didn't expect that. 

LifeHappens

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I have to admit, in addition to miniature golf places I have a soft spot for amusement parks and odd tourist places especially older ones, that have a certain charm to them. Not that I've been to that many of them, but growing up in Chicagoland area, there was Six Flags of course, Old Chicago (closed) and Santa's Village (closed?). For that reason alone I'd like to visit Disneyland at some point since it is the older of the two parks.  Does anyone have any cool old amusement parks you went to when you were growing up? Any that are still around?

Lakeside Amusement Park in Denver.  Still family owned and has original art deco stuff.
Well, if you're going to travel to WDW anyway, throw in side trips to Gatorland and Weeki Wachee. Those are true Old Florida attractions.

elaine amj

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Ok...I read the article and OUCH! $8800 for a week for 4 people? I thought the $10k I spent for 8 people for 14 nights last year was outrageous and super splurgey. 10 years ago, I was able to spend just $2200 for a 10 day trip for 4 people, including all the pricey character meals we could want. The same trip now costs about $5k, which already makes me cringe. Nearly $10k for just one week is beyond my imagination.

Then again, she spent an extra $2k on the hotel upgrade and $1500 on flights. The numbers make a bit more sense to me now.

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jinga nation

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Why go to Florida if you aren't going to the beach? 

To go to Disney? I would go the opposite way with your line of thinking, and contend that there are great beaches all over the place, and often driving distance to where people live. There is no chance I'd spend the time and money to travel all the way to Florida for Disney and waste a day at the beach.

I plan on going to Miami in a month. I'll be going to visit a customer and some friends. I doubt I'll hit the beach as I'm not really a huge fan of beaches. Instead I plan to get as much good food as possible. There aren't many Cuban restaurants here in Minnesota nor is there as much variety of seafoods available...

Bienvenidos!

Highly recommend going to La Carreta. http://lacarreta.com/locations/

Imperial rice, Chicken Vaca Frita are my favs. The sides are amazing too.

Got to Publix and get 2 things: a Cuban sandwich (might be a Miami version, not as good as the Tampa Cuban (I'm biased)) and the chicken tenders sub.

jinga nation

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I have to admit, in addition to miniature golf places I have a soft spot for amusement parks and odd tourist places especially older ones, that have a certain charm to them. Not that I've been to that many of them, but growing up in Chicagoland area, there was Six Flags of course, Old Chicago (closed) and Santa's Village (closed?). For that reason alone I'd like to visit Disneyland at some point since it is the older of the two parks.  Does anyone have any cool old amusement parks you went to when you were growing up? Any that are still around?

Lakeside Amusement Park in Denver.  Still family owned and has original art deco stuff.
Well, if you're going to travel to WDW anyway, throw in side trips to Gatorland and Weeki Wachee. Those are true Old Florida attractions.
Also tubing in the Ocala area. And Wekiva Springs State Park is amazing.

Just Joe

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(BTW, JustJoe, I grew in Mobile which is the home of the USS Alabama. It's such a neat place. Alabama schoolchildren raised money by collecting pennies on order to preserve it. Did you visit the Mardi Gras museum in Mobile? Another cool place!).

No but now that I know it exists, we'll be making the trip next time we vacation in that part of the gulf. We ate at the Dew Drop Inn for some really good burgers the day we were there.

All you reasonable people quoting more reasonable Disney prices may yet talk me into a family trip just to see what it is all about. 
« Last Edit: April 11, 2018, 04:31:20 PM by Just Joe »

nick663

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Is it odd that the travel toiletries bothered me more than a bunch of other things in that post?  I've never had a hard time packing normal size deodorant in my carry on and even if that family did, they checked a couple bags.  Just seems so wasteful to buy "travel sized" versions of stuff you already have in your house.
Why did they need a 7-day park hopper pass?  The park hopper part lets you go to multiple parks in a day.  Does anyone actually do that?  That costs a few hundred bucks for that option.
I could see it being handy if you did the majority of a park and want to go back the next day.  It does take some time depending on the park (MK -> Epcot is quick, others will take about an hour) but if it saves a day on a trip it may be worth the investment.

Does anyone know if you can use a multi-day non park hopper pass to enter more than one park in a day?  Like buy a 5 day pass and visit 1 park per day for 3 days and 2 parks on the last day?  I would guess not but it would be cheaper than a park hopper and serve the same purpose.

crispy

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Is it odd that the travel toiletries bothered me more than a bunch of other things in that post?  I've never had a hard time packing normal size deodorant in my carry on and even if that family did, they checked a couple bags.  Just seems so wasteful to buy "travel sized" versions of stuff you already have in your house.
Why did they need a 7-day park hopper pass?  The park hopper part lets you go to multiple parks in a day.  Does anyone actually do that?  That costs a few hundred bucks for that option.
I could see it being handy if you did the majority of a park and want to go back the next day.  It does take some time depending on the park (MK -> Epcot is quick, others will take about an hour) but if it saves a day on a trip it may be worth the investment.

Does anyone know if you can use a multi-day non park hopper pass to enter more than one park in a day?  Like buy a 5 day pass and visit 1 park per day for 3 days and 2 parks on the last day?  I would guess not but it would be cheaper than a park hopper and serve the same purpose.

You can't do that if you bought a 5 day pass. The pass wouldn't work at the second park. You could buy a ticket at one park and then a second ticket at the other park, but obviously that would be stupidly expensive (and much cheaper to just pay for the park hopper option).

seattlecyclone

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Is it odd that the travel toiletries bothered me more than a bunch of other things in that post?  I've never had a hard time packing normal size deodorant in my carry on and even if that family did, they checked a couple bags.  Just seems so wasteful to buy "travel sized" versions of stuff you already have in your house.
Why did they need a 7-day park hopper pass?  The park hopper part lets you go to multiple parks in a day.  Does anyone actually do that?  That costs a few hundred bucks for that option.
I could see it being handy if you did the majority of a park and want to go back the next day.  It does take some time depending on the park (MK -> Epcot is quick, others will take about an hour) but if it saves a day on a trip it may be worth the investment.

Does anyone know if you can use a multi-day non park hopper pass to enter more than one park in a day?  Like buy a 5 day pass and visit 1 park per day for 3 days and 2 parks on the last day?  I would guess not but it would be cheaper than a park hopper and serve the same purpose.

You can't do that if you bought a 5 day pass. The pass wouldn't work at the second park. You could buy a ticket at one park and then a second ticket at the other park, but obviously that would be stupidly expensive (and much cheaper to just pay for the park hopper option).

Their tickets selling page seems to say otherwise. Looks like the park-hopper allows you to go to more than one park in a single day, while even the cheapest multi-day pass can be used in different parks on different days.

crispy

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Is it odd that the travel toiletries bothered me more than a bunch of other things in that post?  I've never had a hard time packing normal size deodorant in my carry on and even if that family did, they checked a couple bags.  Just seems so wasteful to buy "travel sized" versions of stuff you already have in your house.
Why did they need a 7-day park hopper pass?  The park hopper part lets you go to multiple parks in a day.  Does anyone actually do that?  That costs a few hundred bucks for that option.
I could see it being handy if you did the majority of a park and want to go back the next day.  It does take some time depending on the park (MK -> Epcot is quick, others will take about an hour) but if it saves a day on a trip it may be worth the investment.

Does anyone know if you can use a multi-day non park hopper pass to enter more than one park in a day?  Like buy a 5 day pass and visit 1 park per day for 3 days and 2 parks on the last day?  I would guess not but it would be cheaper than a park hopper and serve the same purpose.

You can't do that if you bought a 5 day pass. The pass wouldn't work at the second park. You could buy a ticket at one park and then a second ticket at the other park, but obviously that would be stupidly expensive (and much cheaper to just pay for the park hopper option).

Their tickets selling page seems to say otherwise. Looks like the park-hopper allows you to go to more than one park in a single day, while even the cheapest multi-day pass can be used in different parks on different days.

Not sure where we are disagreeing. A multi-day pass without the hopper option will not let you to use the ticket for different parks on the same day so someone who bought a 5 day pass who was planning to visit parks for 4 days couldn't use up that 5th day like a hopper to visit two parks in one day. Basically, it is one park per day unless you buy the hopper option.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 11:25:54 AM by crispy »

nick663

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Is it odd that the travel toiletries bothered me more than a bunch of other things in that post?  I've never had a hard time packing normal size deodorant in my carry on and even if that family did, they checked a couple bags.  Just seems so wasteful to buy "travel sized" versions of stuff you already have in your house.
Why did they need a 7-day park hopper pass?  The park hopper part lets you go to multiple parks in a day.  Does anyone actually do that?  That costs a few hundred bucks for that option.
I could see it being handy if you did the majority of a park and want to go back the next day.  It does take some time depending on the park (MK -> Epcot is quick, others will take about an hour) but if it saves a day on a trip it may be worth the investment.

Does anyone know if you can use a multi-day non park hopper pass to enter more than one park in a day?  Like buy a 5 day pass and visit 1 park per day for 3 days and 2 parks on the last day?  I would guess not but it would be cheaper than a park hopper and serve the same purpose.

You can't do that if you bought a 5 day pass. The pass wouldn't work at the second park. You could buy a ticket at one park and then a second ticket at the other park, but obviously that would be stupidly expensive (and much cheaper to just pay for the park hopper option).
I figured this was the case as Disney isn't stupid enough to leave that loophole open.  Just couldn't find a definitive answer on their website.

finallyfrugal

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This seems totally insane to me! I am not a Disney fan, so I just don't get it...

calimom

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This seems totally insane to me! I am not a Disney fan, so I just don't get it...

It does to me too. I get that people are free to waste spend their own money as they see fit but it seems crazy to me to trot a couple of preschoolers around Anything Disney for a full week. You do have to love the mother's attempt at "frugality" by bringing granola bars to avoid expensive snacks on-site.

Pigeon

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I love WDW.  If a family wants to save up for this and prioritizes it, I don't see what the problem is.  Putting it on a credit card you can't immediately pay off is a different story.  There are plenty of people here who take long vacations that also end up being expensive, but are cheaper per day, and that kind of travel gets a pass here.  Whatever.

We've gone twice as a family.  It was honking expensive.  Dh is a teacher, so we were stuck with school vacations, when the airfare from where we live is jacked up and everything is more expensive.  I don't want to go to the FL heat in the summer.  We saved money where it made sense, but these trips aren't going to be frugal.

Our first trip was right after I got done with cancer treatment.  On all those nights when I tossed and turned with worry, I'd get up, go to the computer and plan minor details of the trip.  It was great therapy.

We stayed onsite, but not at the most expensive resorts.  We could have saved money by staying off-site, but we made full use of the extra hours that come with being onsite, and we didn't have to rent a car.   It's also great to be able to easily go back to your room for a rest if you feel like it.  If you get tickets for multiple days, at a certain point, you pay relatively little for the extra days as compared it the first few days.  So longer trips make some sense, but Disney does have parting you from your money down to an exact science.

I don't see Disney as just another amusement park at all.  It's a totally different experience.  I could see dh and I going back by ourselves once we are retired, I like it that much.

partgypsy

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I have to admit, in addition to miniature golf places I have a soft spot for amusement parks and odd tourist places especially older ones, that have a certain charm to them. Not that I've been to that many of them, but growing up in Chicagoland area, there was Six Flags of course, Old Chicago (closed) and Santa's Village (closed?). For that reason alone I'd like to visit Disneyland at some point since it is the older of the two parks.  Does anyone have any cool old amusement parks you went to when you were growing up? Any that are still around?

Lakeside Amusement Park in Denver.  Still family owned and has original art deco stuff.
Thanks!

mm1970

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I love WDW.  If a family wants to save up for this and prioritizes it, I don't see what the problem is.  Putting it on a credit card you can't immediately pay off is a different story.  There are plenty of people here who take long vacations that also end up being expensive, but are cheaper per day, and that kind of travel gets a pass here.  Whatever.

We've gone twice as a family.  It was honking expensive.  Dh is a teacher, so we were stuck with school vacations, when the airfare from where we live is jacked up and everything is more expensive.  I don't want to go to the FL heat in the summer.  We saved money where it made sense, but these trips aren't going to be frugal.

Our first trip was right after I got done with cancer treatment.  On all those nights when I tossed and turned with worry, I'd get up, go to the computer and plan minor details of the trip.  It was great therapy.

We stayed onsite, but not at the most expensive resorts.  We could have saved money by staying off-site, but we made full use of the extra hours that come with being onsite, and we didn't have to rent a car.   It's also great to be able to easily go back to your room for a rest if you feel like it.  If you get tickets for multiple days, at a certain point, you pay relatively little for the extra days as compared it the first few days.  So longer trips make some sense, but Disney does have parting you from your money down to an exact science.

I don't see Disney as just another amusement park at all.  It's a totally different experience.  I could see dh and I going back by ourselves once we are retired, I like it that much.
We really like Legoland.  Once I priced Legoland hotel, and it's pretty expensive.  But during the "off season", it's not much more than a regular hotel.

It was really worth it.  The ability to go back to the room for a nap, or for lunch.  Ability to walk out of the hotel and into Legoland.  Activities at the hotel, nicer rooms, treasure hunts, etc.  I don't think I'd pay $700/night during prime season though.

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StacheyStache

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Hey, I love Disney so no hate from me there, but it's like they went out of their way to make it as expensive as possible and get no value from their money.  I went last year and can't help but compare:

Flights:  Can't comment here as I'm close enough to drive except to side eye 140 bucks for "airport parking."  I haven't flown in ten years so I'm not the best judge but is there a reason why they couldn't uber? 

Lodging:  Holy macaroni and a side of cheese.  I rented Disney Vacation Club points, stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge (also a "deluxe" resort) for less than HALF of what they paid for a week at Wilderness Lodge (both are excellent but I wouldn't consider one more or less deluxe-y than the other.  And I had a zebra hanging out outside my window). 

Tickets:  Park Hopper used to be a decent deal, now it's so expensive it's absolutely not worth it.  If you're there for a week and have time to devote more than a day to each park why do you need to park hop?

Food:  Good for them for packing breakfast, this is essential both for mustache reasons and time saving reasons.  Time is its own budget at Disney and you don't want to miss a second of rope drop magic (first hour the park is open when crowds are the lowest). 

But.  The budget.  WTF.  I straight up don't believe they only ate at one table service place a day.  If they did that's....really bad value for their money.  We spent 800 bucks for 9 days (not counting one meal that was a part of a semi-private safari tour, which was an additional 400 but was more about the tour than the food), and we ate LAVISHLY.  Boma (twice!), Flying Fish, Jiko (this was the safari dinner), Liberty Tree Tavern, Brown Derby, Yak and Yeti, Kona and tons of snacking at EPCOT food and wine festival.  A couple of those are Disney "signature" restaurants (Disney-speak for $$$). Even accounting for two extra kids (both of which look young enough to still get kids meals) that is NUTS.  The difference was we stocked up on regular groceries for breakfast and lunches.  We got protein bars, sandwich fixings, trail mix, fruit and bottles of water.  We rarely bought snacks (other than at food and wine fest).  We had two breakfasts out so as not to waste the precious rope drop hour, very few quick service meals (Disney food is wonderful, unless you're getting standard theme park food like burgers and hot dogs, then it's 15 dollars worth of bleh) and had sandwiches for lunch.  Not only did we not miss anything, it was necessary to balance out all the rich table service food, and even then I still got a stomachache a couple of times.  We also sometimes had table service for lunch instead of dinner.  Same experience, much cheaper.

Major side eye to the kids not sharing an entree either, or the adults for that matter.  Disney portions are enormous.

Souvenirs:  This is slightly bad but the other stuff is so much worse it seems mild in comparison.  Mr. Stachey got me rose gold (because millennial) Minnie ears before we left online for cheaper than retail (they're knock offs but you can't tell the difference).  We also got a Christmas tree ornament at the hotel because tradition.  Managed not to buy anything else but like I said, I'll let their souvenir spending slide a bit.

Face painting:  Eh, I'm finding it hard to care and the Elsa face paint was super cute.  Same with the dress.

Toiletries:  LOL.  Sorry, it's only 30 bucks but I'm massively judging this.  Remind me why they can't bring deodorant from home?  And the "deluxe" hotel has all the expensive shampoo and conditioner you could ever want.

So yeah.  While I can't judge a super awesome vacation to Disney, I'm judging the heck out of the value they got for their money.  They could have had the exact same trip for so much cheaper.





 
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 06:20:43 PM by StacheyStache »

slugline

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Flights:  Can't comment here as I'm close enough to drive except to side eye 140 bucks for "airport parking."  I haven't flown in ten years so I'm not the best judge but is there a reason why they couldn't uber? 

Uber's cost will vary depending on time of day and how far the family lives from their home airport. For example, I've gotten estimates for transport from Houston's southside suburbs to IAH on the north side of town as high as $130 round trip. So cost-effectiveness versus airport parking is a question of how long we're going to be away.

Njdealguy

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Also using Uber in Connecticut would have forced them to carry car seats throughout the trip which they stated as the reason for not wanting to use Uber/car rental while in Orlando, so I wouldnt cite this as necessarily their worst expense.  They could have easily went with the off-site parking for the $6 a day that was a option. 

$1781 for a family of 4 for just the lunches and dinners WITHOUT any alcohol seems totally nuts to me.  Thats about $250 per day based on 7 days for those meals for a family of 4 so figure approx $150 per dinner and $100 per lunch (at supposedly fast casual places).  We spent less than that on our recent vacation to Paris & Rome for about same amount of time including lavish meals (with nice wines) at even some top end Michelin star restaurants!

Pre-buying "souvenirs" at Target actually seems like a good idea, one badass idea I'd have on it is saving the receipt and once back from the trip if the kid seems to lose interest in any of them, return those to the store within the 90 day return period!
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 09:04:57 AM by Njdealguy »

marcela

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Pre-buying "souvenirs" at Target actually seems like a good idea, one badass idea I'd have on it is saving the receipt and once back from the trip if the kid seems to lose interest in any of them, return those to the store within the 90 day return period!

That's not badass, that's dishonest.

Pigeon

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We told the kids that the trip is the gift, and we weren't buying extra stuff.  The only souvenirs we got were refillable mugs at the resort.  I hate souvenirs.  Cheap, ugly, overpriced crap that I can't wait to get rid of as soon as we get home. 

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Pre-buying "souvenirs" at Target actually seems like a good idea, one badass idea I'd have on it is saving the receipt and once back from the trip if the kid seems to lose interest in any of them, return those to the store within the 90 day return period!

That's not badass, that's dishonest.

Not if the packaging is unopened: stores with return policies don't care why you're returning an item provided you keep the receipt. It would be different if the item had been used.

marcela

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Pre-buying "souvenirs" at Target actually seems like a good idea, one badass idea I'd have on it is saving the receipt and once back from the trip if the kid seems to lose interest in any of them, return those to the store within the 90 day return period!

That's not badass, that's dishonest.

Not if the packaging is unopened: stores with return policies don't care why you're returning an item provided you keep the receipt. It would be different if the item had been used.
The suggestion said "once the kid loses interest in the item". I assume that meant the kids play with it a bit during the trip and once home, gets over it and then the parent would return to the store.

Njdealguy

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Pre-buying "souvenirs" at Target actually seems like a good idea, one badass idea I'd have on it is saving the receipt and once back from the trip if the kid seems to lose interest in any of them, return those to the store within the 90 day return period!

That's not badass, that's dishonest.

Theres a very fine line here about honesty, but returns are by policy allowed if one is even "dissatisfied" with an item.   Now the definition of "dissatistied" is up to us to decide whether it is merely about the item having something physically wrong with it or a defect/performance issue, versus simply not liking it (or not liking it anymore) and then deciding to return it.  I think a child losing interest in an item qualifies in the second definition of "dissatisfied" in terms of "not liking it anymore".

And Target/Walmart are stores that will take almost anything back, whether opened or unopened already.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 02:55:59 PM by Njdealguy »