View Full Version : West coast girl looking for some WDW budget info!
04-09-2010, 04:01 PM
Hello everyone! I am somewhat lost and hoping this is the best place to start coming up with some plans for a fabulous (and budgeted) WDW vacation! We’d like to go sometime within the next year, but are pretty flexible. I have been to DLR twice, and will be leaving for a third trip in less than a week. I’ve gotten reeeeally good at going to DLR for as cheap as possible (for 4 nights hotel, 2 flights from Portland OR and 2 4 day PH’s I paid less than $1,000) I am well aware that a vacation to WDW will cost more than that, but I’d still like to make it as cost effective as possible. I’d also like to pay it off in payments if that makes a difference as to where I book. ANY beginning info would be great! :goodvibes
04-09-2010, 06:20 PM
Well any Disney vacation you book can be paid off a little at a time, you just call up Disney and say I want to put some towards my ressie.
Is this going to be the start of something new, like coming to Disney every few years, or more of a once in a life time trip??
With a once in a life time trip, I'd splurge a little more on resort accomadations, like staying at Port Orleans Riverside rather than POP Century.
If you think you'll be wanting to come back every few years, stay at the cheaper hotel, and go for 10 day MYW tickets with no expire, so your next trip you don't have to worry about ticket costs.
Since you've been to DL, there's several things in the theme parks you can cross off your to-do list. Especially at MK, and some stuff at Studios. That'll give you more time for exploring new things at WDW. Since you're from way up north, and DL doesn't have any, I'd suggest adding the water park option to your tickets and enjoy a couple days doing that.
The holidays also add a lot to the parks, I love Halloween time, and never tire of the Parties. So that would be an added cost. But they festivities go on for like two months, so there's plenty of time in the off season to get the great hotel rates, but still enjoy the holiday. Jan/Feb is great for crowds, sometimes the weather can be nasty, but there's a lot of things that go under refurb. So it might ruin some of the excitement of being there.
Late September would be great, especially if you can snag the free dining deal if they release it. Then stay in a moderate resort so you can get the regular dining plan. Or The second week of November, and you'd be here for all the Christmas stuff. Halloween week can get pretty busy, and of course Thanksgiving is a mad house. Then the first 2 weeks of december things slow down a bit till Christmas/New Years times. Any sooner than Sept and you'll probably feel like you're being fried by the sun.
04-09-2010, 08:03 PM
There are so many variables when planning a trip. For example, how many people are in your party? How long do you plan to stay?
I would hesitate to buy a no expiration pass on a budget because of the cost. If you look at the gate price of a 10 day expiring ticket, it is $258. or about $26./day. To buy a 10 day no expiration pass it is $481. or about $48./day. It seems to me that the only time you make out better buying a no expiration pass is if you are only going to buy a couple of day pass. What I do is find the price for the exact number of days I need. Then, subtract that price from the price of a 10 non-expiring ticket. Divide the answer by the number of days you will have left on the pass to determine how much those extra days are going to cost.
With tickets, the longer you stay, the cheaper it becomes per day. The difference between a 3 day and 10 day pass is only about $26.
04-09-2010, 08:08 PM
Well I'd assume it's only 2 adults from the context of the first post. And with that, there doesn't seem to be any restriction on travel time, like school.
04-09-2010, 09:15 PM
It seems to me that the only time you make out better buying a no expiration pass is if you are only going to buy a couple of day pass.
The break even point is between 5 and 6 days. A 5 day expiring ticket is slightly more expensive per day than a 10 day no expiration and a 6 day expiring ticket is slightly less expensive. So, if you typically go for trips of 5 days or less your cheapest option is 10 day no expiration tickets. If you typically go for 6 days or more then you're better off with expiring tickets for the length of your stay.
04-09-2010, 11:16 PM
From a fellow West Coaster a huge chunk of your $$ will go towards your airfare. I'd start checking to see which airlines fly from the airport closest to you (and from any others that might be within a reasonable distance) and see what the cost is right now. Then sign up for travel websites that will notify you of price drops (travelzoo, southwest ding, yapta) also I'd sign up for the Mousesavers newsletter.
Since you haven't made any plans yet, you can adjust your plans and be more flexible with your flights.
We belong to the DVC so we don't have any exprience with the value resorts, but once you price out the cost of those, check out the DVC boards to see how much it would cost to rent points from a DVC member. You might be able to get a studio which will have a small fridge, microwave, wet bar area. You can then have some meals in your room. Also, the studios don't have washer/dryers, but you do have access to them in the common areas and they are FREE. Doesn't necessarily save the budget a lot, but you then don't need to pack as many clothes thus saving on baggage fees (if your airline charges for them).
The same budget tips that you use at DLR will work for WDW. The hardest part is trying to decide how many days you want to stay. Just don't try and do everything in one trip. Its impossible and you'll kill yourself trying. We love DLR because it is so intimate, WDW because it is so expansive. You will be amazed at how much bigger the MK is from DL. We really spend most of our time in FL at Epcot because it is SO different from DLR.
I've found it very helpful to read trip reports and see how people save $$ and gain great tips. Have a blast planning!
04-09-2010, 11:27 PM
From a fellow West Coaster a huge chunk of your $$ will go towards your airfare.
I'm in Seattle and believe it or not airfare is usually cheaper to Florida than it is to CA. We've priced going to DL a few times and it was always more to fly to FL and would cost us significantly more to go to DL. That being said we had a friend who worked at Disney and family in Florida so between his discounts and Florida discounts we save a lot. Now we own DVC so between that and having family in FL it's a no brainer where we go.
04-09-2010, 11:44 PM
Ahhhh, you're an Oregonian! Wasn't Portland beautiful today? I'll take the sun shining when I can get it! My daughter and I are planning a trip to WDW in September and we're hoping for the free dining (along with everyone else) and if that doesn't happen I'll book through AAA and take their discount unless something else is released. I booked our flights already ($260 round trip per person from PDX) so I stayed in budget for the flights. I have a Disney visa with $340 in Disney Dollars by the time our trip rolls around. We'll have the dining plan so that will be our spending money. This is my daughter's 21st birthday present so this is a special trip, even though we've been there twice before :cheer2:
04-10-2010, 12:33 AM
I have advice on saving on eating. reconsider the "3 squares a day" mentality. The dining plan may save a lot, but only if you were going to eat that amount of food anyway. (example, the counter service meals that come with the plan include a HUGE drink, and a sessert).
hubby and I split a funnel cake at leepy hollow (MK) for breakfast. we often snack when we're hungry, and have one "meal" a day. we also split meals. book a couple of the more inexpensive table service meals, but ones you get your money's worth, and pay OOP. (like Whispering canyon, Prime Time, Germany, Boma. Trail's End)
epcot has lots of places to get a sandwhich or pastry (norway, france) we buy a CS meal at the oriental station at sunshine seasons (Land Pavilion). it somes with 2 entress and 2 sides. we split it.
you can easily split a foot long hot dog with fries at Casey's corner (MK).
at your resort, purchase the refillable mugs.
in your luggage, bring some granola bars, slim jims, ie, thinngs you can snack on in your room. often the gift shop sells boxes of donuts, etc.
you can get free ice water at most CS in the parks (instead of spenind $ on soda).
you don't want o be tired for touring from eating too much, anyway. hungry? so what if you have ice cream for lunch? the food courts at the resort have great eals, too.
you can order a cheeseburger meal for one, and just a cheeseburger for the other, and split the fries. (they give you tons of fries!)
order a pizza from the food court, and put the leftovers in your room fridge for lunch the next day.
have lots of fun!!!!:wizard:
04-10-2010, 01:25 AM
We live in the Seattle area and went to WDW for the 1st time in 2008. When we were plannng in Feb of 2008 for our trip in Aug 2008, airfare was actually cheaper flying out of Portland than Seattle. We ended up getting a redeye flight for 4 for $956 through Alaska from PDX to MCO. Alaska ended up changing our flight times so they were kind enough to bump us to a redeye non-stop from Seattle without any additional $$$. We chose to go during free dining and stayed at POP Century and we upgraded to the deluxe plan. So our only expense once we got there was tips and souveniers (which was minimal). I did plan like mad and had a WDW binder with printouts of everything in it. I used the disboards to help plan our schedule and subscribed to to TourGuideMike to do our touring plans and to figure out which days to do which parks (this info was well-worth the subscriptilon fee). WE opted not to do parkhoppers since we were relying on bus transport and we felt that we'd lose time traveling between parks. We were only there for 7 days and 6nights. We loved flying in on a red-eye, that way we really didn't lose a day in travel. We were able to use ME to get to POP, check in and take the buses in time to make EPCOT opening. It was great. We ordered 2 cases of water from costco and was part of a fridge swap too. So that saved us a bit of money. After plugging in our receipts after our trip, it really wasn't that much more than our DL trips. I actually think you get more value out of WDW than DL. I must say that free dining had a lot to do with that.
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