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View Full Version : To ME or not to ME that is the question?


DisDiscountMan
05-13-2005, 09:51 PM
First and foremost--be gentle I just watched my beloved Pistons lose!

Secondly, I am not a troll I know this is my first post however, my better half Tess (and you can look it up) has been posting and a member since nearly day one, has graciously set me up with my own account. Thank you Tess! :)

Anyway to my thoughts.
Tonight I was looking at either taking Disney's ME vs a limo service and here is what I came up with (BTW, I am a commercial banker):

ME cost to the resort $ -0-
Pickup -Grocieries 72.00
- Using internet grocery w/tip
My travel time @ $42/hr. going to resort 63.00
My travel time @ $42/hr return to MCO 63.00

Total Cost $198.00

Using a private company:
Round Trip to resort & back to MCO $120.00
- includes tip
Grocery stop 45.00
Total Cost $165.00
This figures out to be a net savings
to us of $33.00

I recognize a lot variables will impact these numbers yet, when on vacation I want to excercise all of my time for me and my family and time is precious. If I cannot begin my magical experience when I want; then, oppurtunity cost has to be a part of the equation!

If I am wrong, then help me out.

I don't care (and please do not say I am callous for feeling this way) if a private enterprise will make a profit by using them as opposed to ME (because Mears is not doing this out of the kindness of their heart) or vice versa that Disney will be ahead--I don't care! I am looking out for what makes the most sense for my family and I to get on w/our vacation and enjoy (oppurtunity cost) the time together.

Just looking for the number aspect of my thoughts.
Thanks
Discountman

graygables
05-13-2005, 10:09 PM
I am not a mathemetician, but is the service going to beam you to WDW so you don't have any of your $42/hour time invested in that trip? You are going to have at least an hour there if you do a grocery stop and a half hour back, so that would add $63 to your limo total. I agree that DME is a bit of a cattle call and it isn't for some people, but for others (like me) it could make the difference between a 7 night stay and a five night stay. I'll be happy to stay 2 extra nights for the cost of a limo and I'm willing to suffer a tad bit of inconvenience for it. BTW, I'm major cheap and I pack groceries in my suitcase so there's plenty of room for souvenirs coming home and just buy milk at the gift shop.

Tess
05-13-2005, 10:20 PM
Graygables - - thank you for your input. In my equation I did figure my down time in the limo service. I tried to go apple for apple comparing the time spent on a bus Vs. time spent with a private company

Tess
05-13-2005, 10:24 PM
Graygables - - thank you for your input. In my equation I did figure my down time in the limo service. I tried to go apple for apple comparing the time spent on a bus Vs. time spent with a private company

This is DISDiscountman, not Tess posting--he logged in under my name--again. . . :guilty: :guilty: :guilty: I thought I was doing him a favor, his own name and all--guess not! :confused3

graygables
05-13-2005, 10:48 PM
I'm just not seeing the "line item" for your time in the limo portion, I guess. When we used a towncar, it was $120 w/ tip, plus the cost for your groceries is $165, but there isn't any mention of your time in that equation. Maybe I'm confused (which wouldn't be the first time!)

Horace Horsecollar
05-13-2005, 10:49 PM
On the trip to WDW:

Let's assume that Magical Express will take 30 minutes longer than a nonstop towncar. (Even though you can bypass baggage claim with ME, your coach may not leave right away, and it may make a few stops.)

But you're not taking a nonstop towncar -- you're stopping at a grocery store (typically 30 minutes).

So, in your scenario, I would consider the time to be a wash. There's no reason to add in $63 for travel time to one column but not the other.

(Actually, you could save time by using a nonstop towncar and a grocery shopping service.)

On the trip back to the airport:

ME picks you up 2.75 to 3 hours before your flight.

A towncar picks you up 2.5 hours before your flight.

So, you lose 15-30 minutes with ME. At $42 per hour, that's $10.50-$21.00 additional cost in the ME column (instead of $63 for travel time in the ME column and zero for travel time in the towncar column).

Other thoughts:

If you value intangibles, you should assign a value to the relative comfort of a motor coach vs. a towncar. With a driver and just 2 passengers, a towncar is clearly more comfortable and luxurious. But with a driver and 4 passengers, a towncar gets crowded; the motor coach, with its video programming, may be more fun for kids.

Don't forget the value of the ME luggage service. A towncar will drop you and your luggage in front of your resort. If you use bell services, consider what you will tip, and that you'll need to wait in your room until the luggage is delivered. (If you don't use bell services, consider that you'll have drag your luggage to your room, and WDW resorts tend to be rather spread out.) With ME, Disney pays the tips, and you don't even have to be in your room when the luggage is delivered (which may save you time).

Tracie
05-14-2005, 09:34 AM
I'm just wondering for people saying how much faster a towncar would be than ME..... how long do you wait for your luggage at baggage claim? I have waited close to an hour for my bags to come out of there!

Tinks
05-14-2005, 09:55 AM
I feel that I need to jump in my NON-mathematical brain and opinions here! ;) to offer you another point of view.

I am a control freak. I am. I freely admit that I hate not being in control, be it with my time or circumstance or what-not. This makes my personality much more comfortable with the towncar option. We have used them several times in past trips. They have always been waiting for us when we get off the plane. We haven't had any luggage issues to speak of, *yet*. (That would put me over the edge! Not in control of my time or luggage! :earseek: ) They have always been ready and waiting to take us to the airport home.

It just makes me feel more in control of my time with a towncar. I think Mears and ME just have too many variables thrown in by virtue of people, luggage, and resort stops. I would go nuts stopping at 2 resorts other than my own and waiting on people to get it together and get off the bus.

I told you I'm :crazy: that way! ;) But I enjoy my vacation more knowing I can do my own things without waiting on others or affecting others' plans, too.

Your post makes me think you are the same. You will be in more control of your trip if you do the towncar. It may cost you more and you have to decide if that cost is worth it to you, but you will control when your groceries get in your hands, when your luggage gets in your hands, and how quickly you make it to your resort (with your luggage and your groceries) No waiting on other vacationers and waiting on busses and waiting on groceries to get to you.

Just my long rambling thoughts! Sometimes even if the math says one thing, it might be better for you to do what makes you most comfortable on your vacation! :goodvibes Have fun!

mom2rb
05-14-2005, 10:02 AM
We have always used a town car and loved it. This next trip will be different. My boys and I will be staying for 12 nights at OKW in a two bedroom. Different family members will be coming to join us as their work and school schedules allow. If not for ME we would be spending about $600 on trips to the airport. So it is definitely worth it this trip. Now after this I may go back to a town car but I am very happy that I get to use it this time.

Lewisc
05-14-2005, 10:24 AM
Your numbers don't wash. The towncar will probably take longer to get to your hotel when you add in waiting for your luggage and your grocery stop. Not only do you have to add in the 30 minutes for the stop but also the time it takes to detour from the highway to get to and from the store. You'll only save 15 minutes on your return trip. I consider the time a wash but I wouldn't be surprised if ME took less total time.

You're adding in a generous tip (more than 20%) for the grocery service yet you've made no allowance to tip the bellhop. Bellhop gratuities are included with ME but not if you bring your own luggage.

I don't know how much people tip wegoshop but I thought you're dealing with the owners and the delivery fee goes to them. On a $45 order, with a $17 delivery fee I'm not sure if another $10 tip is required. I might also tip $10 but I don't think over-tipping should be included in your calculation.

I'd figure the towncar at an extra $100. I discounted the $120 by $20 to cover the cost of the delivery fee and part of the tip for the grocery service. That assumes a $8 bellhop tip and based on the rest of your numbers you sound like someone who tips at the higher end of the range.

SUGGESTION. Consider bringing some of your food items and buy the rest, milk for example, in your hotel. I know it's not cheap but by the time you add in the delivery fee and tip it might not be as much extra as you think. Go this route and you don't have to wait for the bellhop to bring your luggage (towncar) and you don't have to wait for wegoshop (ME delivery).

USE A TOWNCAR if you think the it'll make your vacation more enjoyable but you'll never justify it by the numbers.

Your vacation will cost thousands of dollars. If another $100 will increase the enjoyment of your trip go for it. Other guests might say the $100 can be spent toward a meal or souvenirs.

Brian Noble
05-14-2005, 10:43 AM
I bill a higher hourly rate than you do, and the Pistons are also beloved, but I too don't see how ME is going to take you 1.5 hours extra each way. That might have been true in the first day or two of opreation, but subsequent reports (mousesavers, long-time posters here) suggest that a half hour, maybe 45 minutes extra each way might be closer to the truth. I'm also not sure which grocery service you are using, but more than $25 on a $45 bill seems high compared to the quick check of wegoshop that I did.

For that matter, if you bill $42/hour, then a half hour grocery stop costs you $21 plus or minus. You'd be better off letting wegoshop buy it for you, and forgoing your "free" grocery stop.

Finally, is that $42 your pre-tax rate, or your net rate? If you are charging time at pre-tax rates, you really want to charge everything else at pre-tax rates, too. In other words, you have to earn about 133-150 (depending on your total marginal rate) to pay for a $100 expense. That significantly raises the cost of the towncar relative to the cost of your time.

I agree with lewisc: the way to justify this is in the intangibles, not the cost to you. Even if it takes almost the same amount of time, riding in a private car is much more pleasant than riding in even the nicest bus. Free (or cheaper) is usually not best (or even better). The question is whether the money you spend on a towncar buys you value. If it does, great! Go for it!

sk!mom
05-14-2005, 12:28 PM
I understand your dilemma. We missed ME by a few days on our recent trip but if money isn't much of an issue I don't think that I will give up the convienence of a towncar in the future.

We won't be back for a few years and I believe that once Disney gets people in the habit of using ME express they will begin charging for the service so I doubt that I will ever use it.

Luv2Roam
05-14-2005, 09:35 PM
First, let's face it. From what we have all read here lately guests would be ready to rip the resort walls down if they were PAYINg outright for ME.
There are some positive reports. But that does not seem to be the norm right now.
We almost always took a town car. We woud make a half hour stop at a Disney outlet.
I would say the average time from landing to arriving at the resort was 1.5 hours.
Luckily we only probably waited maybe 5 minutes before our luggage was ready on the carousel. That never was an issue that I recall.
IF I was on a tight schedule, I would be inclined to go with a town car at this time.
A leisurely trip, I would go with Free and ME. But the half hour stop was a big plus. :) I would REALLY miss that.
There are just too many ME bugs right now I think. And vacations can be stressful enough -- whether it be good stress or bad.

I am picking up my sister at MCO this week. It will be interesting to see what ME action I see.

LisaS
05-15-2005, 10:33 PM
I agree with other posters that the intangibles are more important. We just got back (5/8-5/14). I was monitoring the reports on mousesavers and the DIS boards in the days prior to the start of our trip and given how long it was taking for the luggage to show up at the resorts we decided at the last minute to do a one-day car rental and drive ourselves to WDW and use DME to get back to the airport at the end of our trip. We signed up for National's Emerald Club and reserved a full-size car for $36 with the AARP discount, arranging to drop the car off at the Dolphin (very convenient since we were staying at Yacht Club). We waited about 15 minutes for our luggage at MCO, then rolled our bags across the street to National, picked out a car, put our luggage in the trunk and were on our way. We stopped at a grocery store to pick up water, wine and snacks and drove to Yacht Club. We checked in at 1:00 pm and our room was ready, which was great! We waited just a few minutes for Bell Services to bring up our luggage, changed into shorts and t-shirts, drove to the Hess gas station to top up the tank of the rental car, dropped it off at the Dolphin and walked back to Yacht Club.

This worked out great for us and I would definitely do it this way again. It solved all of the issues that were nagging us about using DME to get to WDW. First, we weren't sure what we might want to do on arrival at Yacht Club -- maybe we would walk over to Epcot or maybe we would just like to relax at the pool? It would all depend on how much energy we had after our early-morning flight to MCO. We don't have carry-ons large enough to bring swimsuits, sandals and park clothes along with all the other stuff we bring in our carry-on bags, so it was nice to have our luggage travel with us to Yacht Club to keep all of our options open.

Second, we wanted to pick up some groceries, specifically a case of bottled water, some wine and some snacks. I was considering using wegoshop.com but my DH wanted to make his wine selections based on what they had in the store at what price and he wasn't thrilled at the prospect of having to specify it ahead of time so that someone else could pick it up for him.

And, third, we didn't get our DME tags and at the time we were leaving on our trip, DME was telling people that they would have to turn over their luggage claim tags to them and we weren't comfortable with that.

So, bottom line, as our departure date approached I found that the thought of using DME to get to YC was causing us some stress and that for $36 I could eliminate that stress entirely. It turned out to be exactly the right decision for us.

We planned to take the DME coach back to the airport but the coach was running late so they sent a taxi to take us to the airport. So, we didn't get to experience DME at all, coming or going! I was a little disappointed since I was curious what the coaches were like, but the taxi service directly to the airport was quick and convenient, so I'm not complaining!