View Full Version : Do you ever second guess your Disney vacations?

08-24-2004, 08:15 PM
Hey there.

I have admitted here and elsewhere that I am addicted to Disney. I love going to Disney and would love to live next door if I could.

My husband "likes" Disney and will go and always has a great time. However, we have been having "heated discussions" lately about where our money goes.

We are trying to fix up the house and of course, everything ends up costing more than you think it will. I try to do a budget but it gets blown out of the water the minute we go to Home Depot. :rolleyes:

So we got into a, well let's just call it a fight because that's what it was, about going back to DL in December since we just went in April. Granted my DM is paying for airfare and hotel this trip, but we still have to cover tickets and food and car (not much, but still a nice little chunk of money).

I started thinking that maybe going to Disney is not going to be a yearly thing for us after all. :( Maybe I'm just getting myself too worked up because I read about other people's vacations and think that we should/can be doing the same.

Does anyone else ever stop and think maybe they are getting too carried away with the crowd?

Just wondering...

08-24-2004, 08:30 PM
As much as I would love to go to Disney once a year (or even more :p ), I now it is not a realistic goal for us. We have other things that are more important. We will be taking a vacation every year because I do think that is important, just probably not to Disney.

Right now we rent an apartment. Our rent is super cheap. Our landlord is an elderly man who spoils us rotten. I am worried about what will happen to us if something happens to him. His son will have control of the house and he will either raise the rent or decide not to rent at all. After this trip we will be putting all extra money into paying off our debts and building up our savings. I would like to start looking at houses about a year from now. Hopefully we will be able to stay here until then.

I do get a little jealous of the people that are able to go multiple times every year. I hope someday I will be financially stable enough to join them.

08-24-2004, 09:03 PM
If you love disney then keep it in the budget but go less often. We are trying to go every two years but if not three is fine! Especially 'cuz we pay in full before we go, have cash to spend while there, and not one worry about how to pay for it when we get home.
I also read and get jealous of those who post with frequent trips. If thats what works for them cool, but it just doesn't work into our budget and I wouldn't want to stop being a SAHM just to vacation more.
I try to keep in mind that a stable income/budget is better than a week anywhere. It's hard, I know, I even find myself excited at the thought of codes coming out and I know I won't be back for at least another 660 days!!!

hockey mom
08-24-2004, 10:22 PM
I do second guess our trips because I could be doing some renovations to our house but then I look at my kids and with the oldest turning 16 my family vacation days are going to be over soon which will give me plenty of time to save for a new kitchen.

08-24-2004, 11:41 PM
Yeah - I'm second guessing it right now every time I look at my credit card bill. Due to DH's job change we took a pay cut (a lot due to increased insurance cost & deductible during his waiting period) that I had not planned for. Airfare was already purchased so DD & I went anyway. Now I am just cringing trying to figure out how to pay this off and still save for another trip. I told DD 3 years, but thought maybe I could surprise her with 2 but I don't think we'll make it.

08-25-2004, 07:47 AM
Hi, we're empty nesters now, and do go to WDW more often. When we were raising our sons, going every 3 years was our norm. I don't think I could have survived that much time between trips if they had had things like these boards that I would read regularly. I truly think these boards would have driven me and DH crazy!

Pixie dust for all of you who are raising families now!


08-25-2004, 05:52 PM
I know just what your saying. Sometimes I tell DH that I just need to stay away from the Dis. Usually, I am very good at keeping things in perspective. I've waited a year and a half up to two years in the past but this year has been a REALLY hard year! And I'm ready to throw caution to the wind and just run off to Disney!

I'm usually like the poster who said, "I try to keep in mind that a stable income/budget is better than a week anywhere." Because after the week is over real life is still happening but recently I've been ready for a break w/ just me and DH. Now, I just have to convince DH.

Well, this probably didn't answer your question directly but maybe it'll give you a little insight.

08-25-2004, 06:32 PM
Yes It is just me and DH we are staying at WL and I keep thinking maybe we should stay at a moderate because we are building a house next year. But if something happend tommorow what would i do with the big 300.00 i would save? So it's going to be tuff to save for next year but I can do it. After this trip is over I'm going to take the recipts on everything I pd out and dived by 12 and thats what I'll put into are ING account . Dh will never know the diffrence and I will be sane. We have are land and we owe 25,000 on the land well and septic are there we live were the average new house on .25 acre lot goes for 300,000. So we are way ahead on the land my Dh wanted this very very nice cape we could afford it but I don't want to live off PB&J forever. So we will build a three bedroom 2 bath ranch all together we shouldn't go over 100,000 less if I have my way. I rather not put all are money into a house and not enjoy life. I guess it depends on what is important my husband asked why other people live in really nice houses and make what we make and why I tell him we can't afford it. I told him a lot of them strugle and don't do anything but stay at home I don't want that to be us. I would rather be comfortable. KELLY

08-25-2004, 06:39 PM
You've all made me feel a little better. I have money issues, I know, don't we all.

I am going to have to figure out realistically how often we can go to Disney and then everyone will just have to deal with it. It'll probably be hardest for me! :rolleyes:

I tend to save save save and then spend spend spend. I do usually have a goal that I am working toward. It's just that at this moment in time, we seem to have too many "goals" and not enough money. What a surprise...;)

I really do appreciate all of your responses. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

Have a great day!


08-25-2004, 08:01 PM
Yes, DH and I do second-guess our vacations. I don't think I get egged on by the DIS crowd :) --we just have such an incredible time on our vacations that we are lured back over and over. We average one weekend a month at either Disney or St. Augustine or Pensacola (in-laws live there). Of course, we live in Florida so that helps a lot!

We live in an older house that needs lots of work. As I've mentioned in other threads, DH and I were both laid off from our jobs 5 months apart in the late 1990s. DH chose to start his own business and I accepted a job with a 40% pay cut. We are now back to making about what we did before the layoffs, and perhaps we SHOULD put our extra $$ into remodeling the house, but....

We are already saving well for retirement (25% of my income, 10% of DH's income). Our major bills (house and student loans) will be paid off before we retire at age 63 (we are both in our late 40s). Our emergency fund is not what it should be, but we're working on that.

We refinanced our house last year, kept the payments the same and cut the length of the loan and took out $11,000 equity, most of which we put back into the house to get major repairs done (roof, siding on one side of the house, regrading the yard to stop water from flowing toward the house foundation). We need more major work done, but it's not as urgent.

I struggle daily with the "live for today, save for tomorrow" issues! For me, after seeing my father deteriorate from Alzheimers starting in his early 60s, and helping care for him in his final years, it's really, really important to enjoy my life right now. But, I would not get into debt to go on vacation. DH and I went for MANY years with just a weekend or two away per year, no real vacations. It was OK at the time because it was all we could do while we saved for a house. I guess I am saying that it's a tough decision and each individual has to figure it out for her/himself :) .

08-25-2004, 09:24 PM
floridagirrl2, you make a good point about paying in cash.

At least I can say that I have taught my DH to pay cash for all of these household improvements. That is why there is a limited cashflow, because I will not put the carpet, flooring, window treatments or Disney on my credit card unless it gets paid off in full every month.

I feel a little more responsible about my situation now. I guess if you are choosing to live within your means, when your "means" runs out, you have to stop spending! :rolleyes:

By the way, I do have retirement savings, a college fund for DS, and a small emergency savings too. So what we're talking about here is strictly what to do with the "extra" money. We're not sinking in debt. (I hope I didn't make it seem that way.)

I really appreciate all of your responses.

Thanks again everyone!


08-26-2004, 09:01 PM
We have never second guessed any of our WDW vacations.
We plan for every 5 years but end up going about every 2 years. As a matter of fact we are thinking of a short trip this December. I look at it this way. If I have the money to go without tapping any reserves then we go.

08-26-2004, 09:11 PM
Helen, no, you definitely didn't make it sound like you are sinking in debt :) . I was just making a point on where I draw my lines. (OTOH, when DH and I were much poorer, we did charge a short vacation or 2 on charge cards because it was the only way we could go...and we lived to tell the tale :) ).

08-27-2004, 01:52 AM
I haven't second guessed my vacations yet to WDW but that is probably because I am going up on the enthusiasm curve, lol.

As a child my vacations were always very special times and I'm doing the same for my kid, it is the one time of year where everything goes and we don't worry about money.

I don't think I would go 2-4 times per year and maybe even once a year is a bit often. I like to keep the experience special and too much familiarity takes away the magic. While the first time was the most exciting the experience I carried has made the future visits run more smoothly. Next year should be a real blast as we are bringing first timers with us.

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1970 - Disneyland
1999 - All-Star Music
2003 - Port Orleans Riverside
2004 Contemporary
2005 Coronado Springs Resort/Polynesian

08-27-2004, 02:31 AM
a lot who go often live nearby so their expense are really cheaper ( knock off 3 hundred for me for gas and room, not to mention food for the 4 travel days)

we bought ap's this year as hubby had work related classes in Fl and i could use them for a cheaper hotel rate in Vero beach than i could get otherwise ( $40 per night for 5 nights off their group rate) so we are going 2 times this year but like i said some of the expense was business related and deductable. so we are taking another trip to get use out of them and usually would not go twice in one year and probably won't go again after that till he takes more classes at Vero! we will have spent about $3000 total for both trips by the time we are done so not really that bad for 2 yrs vacation

08-27-2004, 05:32 AM
Wow, I'm glad I'm not the only one who is fixing up a house and finding out that it cost way more than expected!

DH & I bought a large, older "fixer upper" two years ago, and it is costing a mint to rehab it. And that's with DH doing most of the work himself! HenDuck, I can sympathise with your argument w/DH, because my husband and I have argued much more than usual, too, now that we are doing this huge remodeling project.

It's hard for me to give advice about whether trips to WDW are worth it, because I don't know enough about your financial situation. I agree with the comments that hanging out on the DIS boards can really make Disney cravings worse. I usually show up here only when I'm planning a trip -- otherwise, I'd be too envious of other people's trips!

I would guess that some of the folks here at the DIS boards have substantial financial resources. It's important to remind yourself that most people aren't that fortunate. If you compare yourself to the folks who stay at the Grand Floridian twice a year, you'll just feel bad. Remember that very few people are able to do that -- it's just that many of the ones that are able to afford this, post here at the DIS boards!

Also, if you do go to WDW, don't feel that spending more money equals having a better time. Some of the best moments I've had at WDW were free -- the boat ride to Port Orleans at sunset, the Boardwalk Buskers.

Hope you are happy with whatever you decide!

08-27-2004, 09:32 AM
I absolutely do second-guess myself. We're living on a very tight budget so that I can be home with my 2 little ones as much as possible (they're 3.5 and 1.5). Technically speaking we could use the Disney trip money for so many things around the house. If you looked at our finances you'd probably say we couldn't afford to go to Disney (although we don't have any credit card debt and we're paying cash for our trip). We just don't have much extra coming in each month. I'm managing to pay for our upcoming trip through survey money, DH's sales bonuses, selling on Ebay, basically just saving every dime of extra money we can scrounge up.

Sometimes part of me thinks "we could be using that money to loosen up our budget and do more fun things throughout the year, or do some upgrades to the house". However, vacations are just really important to us and we have such a good time at Disney that the sacrifices are worth it to us. My kids will only be this age for a little while, and I want to take full advantage of it while I can. In a couple years DS will start school and we won't be able to take Disney trips whenever we want (and I also want to enjoy the last year and a half of my youngest still being free). My FIL passed away last April and it has really reminded us that our family won't be around forever, and we need to enjoy time together while we can.

As long as my family has the basics covered (retirement savings, emergency fund, no credit card debt) we'll continue to go on vacations if we can possibly afford it. After all, we're not living frugally so that we can never enjoy life! I've seen several sets of older relatives deny themselves throughout their working life and sadly, when they retired they had ill health and never got to enjoy themselves.

fun & fancy free
08-27-2004, 09:54 AM
My family of 4 (DH, and 2 DD's) began our once a year disney trip right after the awful 9/11 in NY. My Dh and I sat and talked for very long hours about what had happened. This event made us look at our lives very differently.

We are a middle income family with alot of the same budget problems. Our plans were to spend our childrens early years doing more localized trips and spending more of our $ on improving our home. As I already said 9/11 brought about some different thinking.

We decided that all of those lives that were cut short so very unexpectedly never had the chance to change course. I'm sure many were working to save for a home, college fund or simply home improvements. I wonder if we were able to ask any of those families that were so effected by this horendous act if the time spent together was less important saving to side the house. This is exactly what altered our path.

We booked our first trip as a family in May 2002. We might not be able to get to the WDW as often as we wish but those times we do go are the most special days of our lives.

Don't get me wrong we don't lose sight of our responsibilities we have just made our trip to WDW one of them. I know this is only our reasoning but it works for us. Thanks for listening.

09-01-2004, 07:40 PM
We do take multiple trips but like another poster said, we live in Florida. We don't pay airfare and we drive a relatively new van that gets decent gas mileage. With DVC our rooms are paid for (except when we stay on cash) and with DVC we just don't eat as many meals. Even in the studio we tend to eat out one big meal a day and eat the other two in the room. And Disney is very generous with FL resident deals on both tickets and rooms. It helps ... a lot.

09-02-2004, 10:29 AM
I have moments of guilt, but you know - you can look at going to WDW as a luxury, but I, for the most part, look at it as a necessity. An escape from the every day grind. I certainly do not feel guilty while I'm there, because I forget about every other stress maker that I left behind - even if it is only for a week. I can either spend the money on a psychiatrist, or spend it on a vacation. I chose the vacation. As long as I have something to look forward to - that's all the therapy I need.;)

09-02-2004, 11:03 AM
Another poster with a house that needs fixing! We own a 1903 Victorian, and have plowed so much money into that house that it makes me cringe. It still needs more work though, and DH has been pressing to back off vacations for awhile so we can finish the house for good. I am so torn. Our DS is 11 and I know the time will soon come when he doesn't want to vacation with us. I so enjoy our family trips to WDW, and the other trips we take, and we all have wonderful memories as a result. I am trying to think of ways we can compromise, and maybe do both the house and at least one trip per year for the next couple of years. Up until now we have been vacationing 3-4X per year, but I know that it's not realistic to continue to travel that often if we want to get the house done too. My DH more easily seems to be willing to give up our trips than DS and I are!

09-02-2004, 11:23 AM
Years ago my family and I started taking Spring Break vacations (it was either WDW or Las Vegas). My DH used to get depressed in the winter and since we have had an annual trip, it gives us all something to look forward to and he doesn't have winter depression problems anymore.

Anyway. We drive from SW Michigan and camp at Ft Wilderness. We buy PHP tickets and limit our visits to the parks to 3 times per trip with a couple visits to the water parks. Because our visit to WDW is as much for the warm weather as it is for the atmosphere this works well for us. We spend a lot of time by the resort pool and walking through the various resorts at WDW.

Even though prices have gone up through the years, we still are able to do the trip at a resonable cost. Please note because of cost we have never been to the Hoop-de-doo Review, any character meals, etc -- but that's okay because we are able to go and that's what counts. The last couple of trips we did fit in O'Hana's but that is really the only "big expense" other than tickets that we have.

We have now worked our way up to 2 weeks and since our kids are both in college this year, we'll fly them down for their week off.

When we used to visit when the kids were little we didn't have much money so we never got food (except for ice cream) in the parks ... always ate at the camper or took snacks in. Also we gave the kids a set amount for spending money.

You can go the econo route and still have the time of your life!!!

09-02-2004, 11:23 AM
Hmmm, dh and I have been discussing this issue a lot lately. We have recently switched to one income, and of course this is a choice we have made, but the reality of how this has impacted our budgeting process is a hot topic. We are going to WDW in December but this may be our last trip for a while. Of course I always hold out hope that some super bargain miracle will occur and that we can keep going each year, but I know that spending a few thousand yearly for WDW is not a prudent decision when there are a lot of other ways to spend our vacation fund.

We also have bought AP's at DL yearly since we live close enough to visit easily, but this too has to be re-evaluated. I think that we will get them again - but it still will be a big spend for us on our income. I guess what we decide is that we would rather enjoy Disney than go somewhere else or buy a new couch or spend our discressionary (sp?) dollar elsewhere. I have traveled all over the world and I have never gotten the warm fuzzy feeling I get when I visit a Disney park anywhere else!

09-02-2004, 12:31 PM
I loved reading all of your posts and can really relate to everyone! And yes, reading the DIS makes me even MORE resolved and excited! :)

Traveling has always been a HUGE priority in our home. We've always included trips to WDW over spring break along with our long road trips in the summer that often include DL. And now that we're fast approaching the time when both kids will be in college, i am soo thankful we did. Our time together is more precious than jewels!

Some things in life are totally priceless and have a small window of opportunity ~ and that includes having our children at home. So we'll do all we can to juggle schedules and find the time and $$ for trips together. As others have said, we do not neglect our responsibilities but we'll have many years to redecorate etc.

That's why two of my all time favorite quotes include:

"The world is like a book. Those who do not travel read but a page." ~ St. Augustine

"Some people know the price of everything and the value of nothing." ~ Oscar Wilde

Happy travels! :)

09-02-2004, 10:58 PM
We are one of the families that take multiple trips to WDW. This year we have been there for spring break (4 kids in school), stayed 3 weeks in the summer and have reservations to bring in the New Year in Dec/Jan. We also stay in our camper and eat most meals at the camper. With 5 kids (9 and under) I take a soft sided cooler on wheels filled with frozen juice and water and I bungee another soft sided cooler on top of that filled with snacks. I load up on snacks when they are on sale. Our youngest is still only 2 so we rent a double stroller and put the coolers on one side and Logan on the other. We buy season passes (that is our biggest expense) but, usually, with ap you receive discounts on the camp site. For the summer we paid about $300.00 for 7 nights. When we did not have all of the little ones, I would rent a cabin. This was at full price and we could never afford one of those for a week 3x a year. One week in the cabin at full price is 6 months worth of camper payments! Not to mention we all fit in the camper nicely thanks to our 4 bunks. We live about 7 hours away so pulling it down is no inconvenience. Without the camper, I would probably be a once a year person. If you ask the little ones where they want to go on vacation, it is always the same. It did not take a lot of bribing to yell Disney :teeth:

09-03-2004, 01:24 AM
No I don't second guess my Disney vacations because DH and I don't go often. Last time we went was May of 2001. Our next trip won't be til May of 2006. It doesn't fit our budget to go every year or every 2 years even though we are FL residents and can get great deals. I just chose to save for special times and I make the trips to Disney trips of a lifetime! :hyper: :teeth:

09-03-2004, 02:10 AM
My husband and I have only second guessed a potential trip that we would have taken a few weeks ago. (In August for my B-Day). In fact we went so far as to buy airfare back in June, and then a week later we called off the trip! Sure we were out $500, but we would have been out a lot more had we gone thru with the trip.

Reason we backed out of this trip is because we really need to fix up our condo and put it on the market. We just got married 9 months ago, (and honeymooned at WDW), and would like to get into a house.

As BIG as a Disney fan as I am, there are priorities that come first. I'm proud of myself that I saw planning this trip was a mistake, and stopped it before more money was spent! My husband has promised me though, that next time we plan a WDW trip we will certainly go! He promised this because I cried was upset when we cancelled the trip. I was the one who called back Disney reservations....it was hard. :(

Bet you can guess who the big crazed Disney fan in my family is! ;)

09-03-2004, 02:00 PM
:D Ya know, I used to second-guess my Disney plans all the time, but no longer. Our first family trip was May '03...I worried and saved, worried and saved, and everything was totally magical. Now I'm planning our second trip for June '05 and I'm not feeling guilty at all. I teach private Kindergarten, so I just got back to work and I'll get my first check next week. So I'm excited to be officially saving now and it seems real!!! We have discovered that a love of travel is something all four of us share and DH and I have made it a priority to make special trips each year. Disney every year for us? No, but fo me it makes it all the more special. Of course, I thought we'd go every 3 or 4 years before I saw my girls faces at the gates of MK for the first time! We'll probably go every other year as long as they love it so! Oh, and we're cash all the way - absolutely!!!!

09-06-2004, 07:39 PM
Just wanted to say I truly appreciate everyone's responses. I have nothing to complain about. We will be taking our trip in December as you can see by my counter.

I am trying to be supportive of my DH's desire to fix up the house. Hopefully, we will be able to do everything he wants to do and maybe have some money saved to take DS back to DL before the 50th Anniversary is over (2006?).

You guys are the best. Thanks again!:earsgirl:

Jen D
09-06-2004, 11:32 PM
Yep. We don't own our own home yet-- we're in an incredibly expensive housing market, so it isn't that unusual in our city for a family in our age / income bracket to still be renting-- it's just such a long, hard road to get that down payment. We're probably still a few years away.

I know some people- like my parents-- and some people on the Dis-- think you shouldn't be blowing your money on things like Disney vacations until you own your home... but that could be a long way away-- and my children are only this age now-- and we just need a break every now and then.

09-06-2004, 11:53 PM
I went to WDW for the first time 2000. Since then I've become addicted to it. We go once a year, and find ways to save for our trip. I have the Disney Visa and although the rewards don't add up as fast as other cards, it's just part of our saving. We came back last week, between Disney reward dollars and saving change we had $1400.00 in spending money. We actually came home with $100.00. Which went right back into the jar for next year.
Granted there may be other items we need for the house, but for the next few years while are kids are with us, we enjoy these trips. My only regret is that I waited until I was 40 until I finally went!!
:Pinkbounc :bounce:

09-07-2004, 08:04 AM
Originally posted by Jen D
I know some people- like my parents-- and some people on the Dis-- think you shouldn't be blowing your money on things like Disney vacations until you own your home... but that could be a long way away-- and my children are only this age now-- and we just need a break every now and then.
I know exactly what you mean!

We are a single-income family, own a small house (we are in the process of finishing an addition that is giving us a much-needed additional bathroom and a little more space) and yes, we do have a small amount of debt.

However, dh and I are young (35) and our ds is going to be 12 soon. We feel like we only have so many more "family vacation" years with ds (we didn't even take our first family vacation 'til he was 5) and we want to make sure we do Disney every year 'til ds has his own stuff going on and doesn't want to or *can't* go anymore (I mean, when he's 18 and in college, dh and I will only be 41). At that point, God willing, we'll have plenty of years to work and sock away money for the future.

Everyone has to do what works best for their family. :)