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Old 04-09-2012, 10:32 PM   #16
WDWJonasGirl
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I love the plans so far!!
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:09 AM   #17
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I've stayed at the Mariott and loved it! In my former career I traveled for work 3 weeks out of the month and was a Marriott girl for sure! The property is beautiful, the staff totally awesome, and while food choices are lacking, DH and I did order room service one night and it was delicious and VERY affordable!

The only advice I'd offer with these two properties is that both of them back up to the convention center. Normally their room rates are awesome, but if you happen to visit with a big time convention, both hotels sell out quickly or boast high dollar room rates.

While its not the most glitzy hotel I LOVE the Fairfield Inn across the street from the park. I also really like the Marriott Suites and Embassy Suites! Located down Harbor.
Glad to hear great things about the Marriott - it looks beautiful!

We did room service when we stayed at the Hilton and I was surprised by how affordable it was (much cheaper than eating at several of the places we ate at in the parks).

Thanks for the heads up on the convention aspect. I knew Hilton was part of the convention center stuff, but I didn't put it together that Marriott would be as well ... oops!

I will check into the Marriott Suites and Embassy suites for sure

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When did you stay at the PP? They went through a huge revamp winter/early spring 2011 and I have to say it improved the property leaps and bounds! DH loves it- and I have to say with a park view room it provides a SUER COOL World of Color view from the room!
We stayed there in 2009 so it was before the revamp. Glad to hear it is vastly improved. However, I'm not sure if I cold convince DH or his parents (if they come) to give it another try. We, sadly, encountered many mishaps there - our rooms keys quit working all the time, several staff members gave us attitude, the closet door fell off in the middle of the night and the shower water was alway super cold or super hot

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I love the plans so far!!
Thanks
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:05 PM   #18
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Infamous Disney Math

Who wants to do some infamous Disney math with me? I thought you would!

So, I got to thinking (uh-oh!) that since we are going to WDW for 10 days next year I should look into the price difference between the 10 day pass and an annual passport. But then, my mind really started turning when I remembered that we are fortunate enough to also be going to Disneyland next year. So, it was only natural that I start thinking about the Premier Passport. I mean, come on, it gets you into Disneyland, California Adventure, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, DisneyQuest, Wide World of Sports and one of the golf courses. How does that not make sense

Here's what I came up with (all prices are per person):

4 Day Disneyland Park Hopper - $219
10 Day WDW base ticket - $291
WDW Park hopper add-on - $54
Waterpark Fun 'n More add-on - $54

Grand Total - $618

Ok, so those are the items that we originally planned on purchasing. The only one that is somewhat iffy is the Waterpark option. But, James and I love our water and Candi and I have always wanted to visit DisneyQuest so for now it stays


Now, let's take a look at all the annual passport options:

WDW Annual Pass (w/DVC discount) - $524

Well, that one doesn't make much sense because the WDW only part of our vacation is $125 less than that





DL Deluxe Annual Pass (w/DVC discount) - $359

That doesn't really make sense either because that is $140 more than the tickets we plan to buy.

But, wait! Disneyland is fairly cheap to get to, so we could quite possibly plan another trip (or two ) there and then it would be cost efficient.

Ugh! The Deluxe pass has lots of blackout dates - usually weekends. And, since that's when we would be able to get away that really doesn't make sense.

Lucky for me, DL has another passport option





DL Premium Annaul Pass (w/DVC discount) - $479

Hmmm, that's $260 more than the tickets we plan on buying which are $219 for 4 days. So, even if we went back once for another long weekend the pass still hasn't paid for itself. As much as I want to try, I may be pushing my luck to go back a third time next year. So, that one really doesn't make much sense either





That brings me back full circle to the Disney Premier Passport - $749 OUCH! (anybody know if there is a DVC discount on this one? I didn't see it on the website )

But, if you remember we are already planning a trip to DL and WDW and those tickets added up to $618.

So, in reality, the Premier Passport is only $131 more than what we expect to pay as it is. If we added a second DL trip for four days, then the premier passport would be $88 less than the cost of the tickets we need.

Then you have the discounts for food and shopping that I didn't even add in. I'd say that's easily another $100 in savings.

Oh, and did I mention, I am lucky enough to celebrate my Birthday, Mother's Day and our Anniversary all in May. Ok, maybe that should have been worded "Candi is unlucky enough ...."

And, we will be celebrating our 5th Anniversary which I think deserves an extra special gift in and of itself

So, really it only makes sense that we should go back to Disneyland in May. The Premier passport would cover the cost of the parks and DVC would cover the cost of the room. All we would have to pay for is airfare and food. Therefore, the Premier Passport absolutely makes sense.

And, that, my friends, is Disney Math at it's finest



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Old 04-24-2012, 03:06 PM   #19
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It all made sense to me! Enjoying your PTR so far
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:03 PM   #20
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Haha I'm trying to convince my husband that we need the same passes! We're taking DD back to Disneyland for her birthday in March, and then going to WDW that October.

Unfortunately I already had a two park premiere pass- and our WDW trip ended up not happening because we were matched with DD. So... DH keeps saying that a WDW trip is never certain....

Good luck!
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:36 AM   #21
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It all made sense to me! Enjoying your PTR so far
It's so funny how easy it is to rationalize large expenses when they are Disney related

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Originally Posted by JennisSilly View Post
Haha I'm trying to convince my husband that we need the same passes! We're taking DD back to Disneyland for her birthday in March, and then going to WDW that October.

Unfortunately I already had a two park premiere pass- and our WDW trip ended up not happening because we were matched with DD. So... DH keeps saying that a WDW trip is never certain....

Good luck!
Sounds like the exact same worries Candi is having. He keeps telling me "what if this?" or "what if that?" My head knows he's right, but my Disney heart says take the leap of faith
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:42 AM   #22
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It's so funny how easy it is to rationalize large expenses when they are Disney related



Sounds like the exact same worries Candi is having. He keeps telling me "what if this?" or "what if that?" My head knows he's right, but my Disney heart says take the leap of faith
Have you seen the new prices?? A Disneyland Premium pass is $649!!!! I am appalled! I remember when that pass was $199. What's even worse is the premiere pass is now $849- so you're telling me a WDW pass is only worth $200???

It looks like our days of being Disneyland APs are llloonngg gone which makes me SO sad!
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:44 PM   #23
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I am joining in! We are at 120 days out now, and I for one am excited!!
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:58 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by JennisSilly View Post
Have you seen the new prices?? A Disneyland Premium pass is $649!!!! I am appalled! I remember when that pass was $199. What's even worse is the premiere pass is now $849- so you're telling me a WDW pass is only worth $200???

It looks like our days of being Disneyland APs are llloonngg gone which makes me SO sad!
Holy moly! I just read that on allears after I read your post. That is complete insanity! That makes what my next post is about even more relevant ... and depressing

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I am joining in! We are at 120 days out now, and I for one am excited!!
WAHOO - being under the 6 month mark always gets me so excited
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:16 PM   #25
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Confession time ... I have been putting off updating about this trip because it seems like it is falling out of reach for us. For reasons I'd rather keep personal, we have had to deplete our savings account which makes it hard to rationalize such an expensive trip .

With that being said, this is a memory we would really like to create for James so we haven't given up hope yet. In trying to make this trip work, we sat down and made a pretty detailed layout of how much this trip will cost us.

Since y'all are probably more accustomed to Disneyland and the supporting costs I'm hoping you will be able to help me out.

So ... here we go ...

5 day park hopper tickets x 2 adults = $580

Round trip flight x 2 adults + 1 way x 1 child = $789

*** 2 things to note on the flight. First, we almost always fly Southwest because it is generally cheapest. They don't have fares posted for January yet, so this is an estimate based off the same days on months that are released. Second, since James will turn 2 on the trip we will not have to buy his plane ticket on the way there, but will on the way back. Is this correct? ***

Spending Money: $100 x 5 days = $500

*** This is the standard we always use when we go on trips. This includes souvenirs, snacks, forgotten items at home etc ***

Rental Car: $160

*** We always rent a car because we like to venture outside of Disney to go to the beach, the store etc ***

Gas: $150

Food: $760

It breaks down as follows ...

Jan 17: Breakfast in airport - $40, Lunch @ Napolini - $30, Dinner @ Blue Bayou - $115

Jan 18: Breakfast @ Jazz Kitchen Express - $25, Lunch @ Whitewater Snacks in hotel - $35, Dinner @ Rainforest Café - $60

Jan 19: Breakfast @ Whitewater Snacks - $35, Lunch @ Plaza Inn - $45, Dinner @ Storyteller’s Café - $80

Jan 20: Breakfast @ Storytellers - $70, Lunch @ Napolini - $30, Dinner @ ESPN Zone - $70

Jan 21: Breakfast @ Carnation Café - $40, Lunch @ Whitewater Snacks - $35, Dinner in airport - $50

Grand Total (for everything): $2,939

With 17 paychecks left before the trip it breaks down to $172.88 per check.

This absolutely will not work for us. With the hours I've been getting lately that is basically putting half of my check back for the trip.

So - what's your advice? How can we cut back? I know the obvious place is food. What restaurants do you recommend as replacements for the ones we are looking at?

We tried to choose food based off of places we have been and enjoyed, places that have menus that we find appealing, and a variety of foods to try.

Any tips or tricks you have for saving money when you go to Disneyland?

Thanks in advance for all the help


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Old 05-31-2012, 10:44 AM   #26
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I'm really sorry to hear you've had some unexpected issues come up. That really stinks

I don't know how much more feasible it makes it, but here's a few savings area's that I've found.

1) Do you know you get a DVC discount on food (and several DTD restaurants) of like 15-20%? Over 5 days, that adds up fast! It looks like even if you kept your food options as is, and the discount was only 15% at Disney restaurants, this alone would still save you a little over $100

2) Purchase your park hoppers through Tickets at Work, This will save you an additional $104.99. If you don't have access to Tickets at Work, let me know, I can help you with that.


3) I would change a lot of your meal choices honestly. You're planning A LOT of food at restaurants that take a lot of time, and are quite spendy. I think you could easily cut your food budget in half by doing the following:

- Eat breakfast in your hotel room. Utilize having a car, and make a grocery run to get milk, yogurt, fruit, juice (there's a fridge in the room), cereal, breakfast bars, etc. Also grab some snacks.

- Cut out your Table Service restaurants. Maybe do 1 instead of 1 every day. They're more expensive, take time away from the park, and include gratuity. There are a lot of great counter service places to eat in the park. What types of food do you like- I can help you make some decisions on which one's you'd like to eat at. Also utilize your DVC Discount.

4) With purchasing snacks, I think you could easily change your per day spending from $100 to $60 or even $50.

So, here's what I've got for you:

A) Savings on tickets: $104.99
B) Food Budget: $380
C) Daily Spending:$200

Total Savings: $685

Is driving a possibility? Or reducing your trip by 1 day?
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Last edited by JennisSilly; 05-31-2012 at 10:46 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:29 PM   #27
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I'm here!!
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:34 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by JennisSilly View Post
I'm really sorry to hear you've had some unexpected issues come up. That really stinks

I don't know how much more feasible it makes it, but here's a few savings area's that I've found.

1) Do you know you get a DVC discount on food (and several DTD restaurants) of like 15-20%? Over 5 days, that adds up fast! It looks like even if you kept your food options as is, and the discount was only 15% at Disney restaurants, this alone would still save you a little over $100

2) Purchase your park hoppers through Tickets at Work, This will save you an additional $104.99. If you don't have access to Tickets at Work, let me know, I can help you with that.


3) I would change a lot of your meal choices honestly. You're planning A LOT of food at restaurants that take a lot of time, and are quite spendy. I think you could easily cut your food budget in half by doing the following:

- Eat breakfast in your hotel room. Utilize having a car, and make a grocery run to get milk, yogurt, fruit, juice (there's a fridge in the room), cereal, breakfast bars, etc. Also grab some snacks.

- Cut out your Table Service restaurants. Maybe do 1 instead of 1 every day. They're more expensive, take time away from the park, and include gratuity. There are a lot of great counter service places to eat in the park. What types of food do you like- I can help you make some decisions on which one's you'd like to eat at. Also utilize your DVC Discount.

4) With purchasing snacks, I think you could easily change your per day spending from $100 to $60 or even $50.

So, here's what I've got for you:

A) Savings on tickets: $104.99
B) Food Budget: $380
C) Daily Spending:$200

Total Savings: $685

Is driving a possibility? Or reducing your trip by 1 day?
Thanks for all the tips

I had no idea that DVC offered a discount on dining. When we do WDW we always do the dining plan, so it never occurred to me to check into that. I will definitely look that up and work those savings into our budget

I guess I must not have access to Tickets at Work, because I have no idea what it is But I love the idea of being able to save $104!!! If you could send me info or how to access it that would be great!

Yeah, we've already started working on altering the food options. The problem is that we don't really know what DL has to offer. We've been a couple times, but always eaten at the same places (most listed in our initial budget). We know for sure we want to do a character meal on James' birthday. Any recommendations?

I suggested driving to Candi and he looked at me like I had 3 heads He said he would rather cut the trip by a day than spend that much time in the car.

We've been working on areas to trim back and I will definitely use some of these to work in there. Thanks again!
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:54 PM   #29
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Hi Everyone! I hope you are having a great start to your weekend We have a graduation party to attend today and then tomorrow we are off to the Botanical Gardens for a picnic and visit to the butterfly exhibit. I'm excited to see how James reacts to all the butterflies and he always loves sitting on the grass while eating - should be a great day!

In what little downtime we've had, the Hubs and I have been working on cutting down the cost of our trip. We started with the food and made quite a few changes that have made a good dent in the overall budget.

We sat down together and looked over a bunch of menus on AllEars and tried to get a feel for what options are really available. From there we talked about which choices we made prior that we really didn't want to eliminate. Finally, we discussed how we really don't eat like we used to (thanks to losing 50 pounds between the two of us ) and that, although vacation is always a time when we lay the diets to rest - our stomachs really wouldn't be able to tolerate 3 huge meals a day.

So, with all that said here is what we are looking at now

Jan 17: Breakfast in airport - $25, Lunch @ Napolini - $30, Dinner @ Café Orleans - $75

Jan 18: Breakfast in room - $0 (pre-purchased), Lunch @ Whitewater Snacks in hotel - $35, Dinner @ Rainforest Café - $60

Jan 19: Breakfast in room - $0 (pre-purchased), Lunch @ CS in park - $35, Dinner @ CS in park - $35

Jan 20: Breakfast @ Storytellers - $70, Lunch @ CS in park - $35, “My Disneyland Birthday Party” - $55 Dinner @ Jazz Kitchen Express - $30, dessert @ cupcake store - $20

Jan 21: Breakfast in hotel - $0 (pre-purchased), Lunch @ Whitewater Snacks - $35, Dinner in airport - $40


As you'll see almost all the breakfasts are listed as pre-purchased. Since Candi isn't a huge fan of breakfast there is no reason to venture out to a restaurant each day for it. The one exception is on James' birthday - we both agree that we want to do a character breakfast on that day.

We are hoping to grab breakfast items (and a few other things) on our arrival day either on the way to the hotel, or shortly after dropping all our stuff off and checking in.

Does anybody know of a Super Target that is near the Disneyland resort?

We are looking at buying milk, bottled waters, #2 candle, lighter or matches, bagels, cream cheese, bananas, oranges, Gogurts (the only way James will eat yogurt ), cereal, granola bars, juice, and, possibly, Candi's hot chocolate supplies. These will also serve as items for most of James' snacks when we take breaks in the room each day. Does $60 seem like a reasonable budget for all that? I don't know how much more groceries cost in CA

Also, do you guys know what the size of the fridge is in the studio rooms at Grand Californian Villas? I'm assuming it's the dorm size fridge. Is this big enough for a gallon of milk? Or would 1/2 gallon be more realistic?

So, with all those numbers that brings our food budget down from $760 to $640. But, thanks to Jen, I also realized that most restaurants give a discount to DVC members, so I pulled up the information on that and found that with the different discounts we will save an additional $32. Bringing the new amount to $608 - a savings so far of $152

Also, what are the temperatures like in January (17-21)? Is it cold enough to enjoy hot chocolate in the evenings? Weird question, kinda, but in the winter we have a tradition of drinking hot chocolate (chocolate milk for the little guy!) each night.

And, not food related, but what are the temperatures like in the daytime? We are trying to decide if it makes sense to plan a beach day or not. Not necessarily to get in the ocean, but just to enjoy being on the beach, the pier etc.

Have a great weekend everyone

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Old 06-03-2012, 11:32 PM   #30
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Since you will have a car, would you consider eating a couple of meals off property? Maybe join some restaurant email clubs (make sure to use DL's zip code). I've joined severaL of these clubs, Monk's Cafe and Millis's are always sending me buy one, get one free coupons. Also check anaheimoc.org and they offer a few coupons for places like California Pizza Kitchen and Rainforest Cafe.

I booked my trip to DL through Costco Travel, still technically through Disney. Our package included the hotel for 5 nights (Desert Palms), 3 day ph, a $20 Disney gift card and a free character meal. You just have make the $200 deposit and you have until 30 days out to pay it off.
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