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Old 01-20-2010, 07:43 AM   #136
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We do 10 days at beach each summer(driving 8 hours) and WDW each year. We don't go to movies or out to eat much during the rest of the year, an occasional play or something mainly as we like to cook and enjoy having fun with our kids. Main things we save at WDW is we rent DVC points for the rooms.... we eat lightly... and we don't spned much time in the gift shops. We usually stay 6 nights each time, enough to fully enjoy and be able to go every year. The major thing is we have zero debt... house is paid off, car paid off, no credit card debt whatsoever. Makes life much easier.
~~WDW for ONE day in 1980(it was 105 degrees!!)
~~Nov 2004 Polynesian with my 2 princesses ages 2 1/2 and 5
~~Nov 2005 Contemporary
~~November 2006 Contemporary Making memories with my 21 year old niece with cancer
Sweet Lindsey passed March 2007
~~November 2007 WL
~~Nov 08 VWL
~~Nov 09 WDW BLT DiscoveryCove SeaWorld and DCL Wonder
~~April 2011 B2B Disney Dream
~~Nov 2011 WDW/BLT
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Last edited by scootch; 01-20-2010 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:17 AM   #137
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We go every year. We haven't paid rack rate in 8 or 9 years and don't plan to either. The key is the discounts. I just booked the GF for 5 nights room only for a little over $1500 with a pin. Rack rate is $3200. The killer things are park tickets and airfare. Basically our tax refund covers it almost every year. It also depends on your eating and spending habits as well. We limit the kids to one item per day under $30. We are also not big eaters so the dining plans haven't saved us any money in the last few years. We usually can feed the four of us for under $150 a day with one sit down meal, a counter service, and a snack for each of us.

When you spread that all out over time and add in the tax refund it's doable. Now, that's just what we do. I've seen people get second jobs throughout the year just to pay for disney and then they quit when they have enough. Or people stop giving large gifts for the Holidays. This year we only got each other small gifts, and the usual for the kids and nothing over $25 for 4 other relatives. That's it, Christmas was done for 8 people under 1000.00 If you could do that alone it may pay for a Disney vacation by itself. God knows I've spent triple that in years past.

There has been 1 year in the past 10 where we didn't go due to unplanned medical expenses with pets and a bad car insurance market in Jersey. So just plan based on what you can save and have fun. I don't need to stay in the GF, but I do because I work hard to get my family there. If I really had to go, it would be the POP
Steve Belyo
Por favor, mantenganse alejados de las puertas!

1982 - 86 Offsite WDW
1989 - 94 Polynesian
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:37 AM   #138
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We are a family of 6, we've been to WDW every year starting in 2004. The best investment we ever made was DVC. We eat breakfast and a few suppers in our villa every trip, having a washer and dryer in the room is priceless.
Me, DH, DS 20, DD 17, DD 9, DS 7
June 2004 Pop Century
July 2005 Pop Century
July 2006 Nick Hotel
August 2007 Saratoga Springs
August 2008 Boardwalk Villas
January 2009 Old Key West
July 2010 Animal Kingdom Kidani Village
July 2011 Boardwalk Villas
July 2012 Beach Club
July 2013 GVC
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:40 PM   #139
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I agree w/ PP we LOVE LOVE LOVE DVC you can get APs for a reduced rate and set up your visits so you only have to buy passes every other year BLT is on the timeshare store too!!! So there is your monorail. We think of WDW as our home away from home
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:52 PM   #140

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We have been 15 times in as many years....we owned DVC for 6 yrs but had to sell it last year...

DVC made a huge difference but that was only 7-8 of our trips...the rest were all reg disney hotels and mainly...

we buy annual passes - you get 2 trips this way (saves over hoppers)
get ap rates at hotels - the first few trips we split between mods/dlxs to save money
- never have done the dining...we budget for our meals
- airfare is always a big expense not much you can do about that

we save, save, save. We sell stuff on ebay to save, use any extra monthly money to save, tax return money.

$3500 seems really high...I would go with a moderate resort....we have been lucky enough to stay at the Poly a few times but overall we stay at mods.
We could NOT afford full deluxes every year...just too much
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~ WDW Boardwalk Inn May 13 ~Disneyland GCH Sept 12 ~ Disneyland GCH Nov 2011 ~ CBR May 2010 ~Polynesian Sept 09 ~ POR May09 ~ VWL May08 ~ Polynesian May07 ~ BCV May06 ~ VWL May05 ~ VWL May04 ~ BWV May 03~ Yacht Club Concierge Sept 02 ~ Polynesian Concierge for our Honeymoon May 02 ~ Beach Club 09/01 ~ CSR, POR, POFQ, and CBR on our previous trips back to 1992~
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:04 AM   #141
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We are hoping we can make it a reality to go every year. Though after this year I imagine our trip time will change since my oldest will start school and I do not want to pull him out the first month of school for a week long trip.
We normally get a very nice tax refund back 5500-6500 so we are just planning to put half towards our Disney vacation- average of 3000, a quarter toward house updates and a quarter toward savings! Spending money I will put a few dollars away here and there through the year!
I am sure the off year will occur when we need a major home update, or a new vehicle but for now I would rather drive my 2007 Jeep and go to Disney
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Sept. 2013 - Pop Century
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:42 AM   #142
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This is a very old thread...

1985 First ever trip to WDW!! WDW 1992 WDW 1995 WDW 1996 WDW 1998 WDW 2001
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:42 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by Blessedwithboys View Post
We are hoping we can make it a reality to go every year. Though after this year I imagine our trip time will change since my oldest will start school and I do not want to pull him out the first month of school for a week long trip.
We normally get a very nice tax refund back 5500-6500 so we are just planning to put half towards our Disney vacation- average of 3000, a quarter toward house updates and a quarter toward savings! Spending money I will put a few dollars away here and there through the year!
I am sure the off year will occur when we need a major home update, or a new vehicle but for now I would rather drive my 2007 Jeep and go to Disney
If you're going to make it a point to go every year, you may want to look into buying APs for the family. It will save you on the cost of tickets and there's always the possibility of great room discounts. The ticket savings alone is worth the price but there are also merchandise and dining discounts that go along with being an AP holder. You can check the 2013 benefits here:
Opinions, suggestions and comments are based on my own experience and should not be regarded as the absolute and only possible outcome of any situation.
Your mileage may (and probably will) vary.

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Old 03-07-2013, 09:46 AM   #144
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2013 will be the first year since 2007 that we havent gone, but i needed to buy a new vehicle and used our vacation money as the down payment. Im sure i will be going thru withdrawal but i was lucky enough to go twice in 2012.
1984 First Visit Off Site 1987 Off Site 1996 All Star Sports 1997 Howard Johnson Enchantedland 1998 The Spas @ Resort World 2001 Westgate Towers and HRH 2007 Sheraton Vistana Villages and HRH 2008 Parkway International and RPR 2009 All Star Sports 2010 Westgate Vacation Villas 2011 Club Seville 2011 All Star Sports 2012 Sheraton Vistana Resort and Windsor Hills 2012 Westgate Leisure Resort and POP 2013 Westgate Vacation Villas 2013 Birthday trip Royal Pacific 2013 Portofino Bay 2013 POP 2013 All Star Movies 2014 Wilderness Lodge Villas 2014 Vacation Villas At Fantasyworld2014 Boardwalk Villas2014 Vacation Villas At Fantasyworld2014 Bay Lake Towers2014 Wilderness Lodge Villas2014 Saratoga Springs2014 Fantasy World Vacation Villas2014 Disney All Star Sports2014Royal Pacific Resort
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:13 PM   #145
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My DD and I were just talking about this. We used to go 4 times a year before she got into the upper grades of school.

For the last 10 years I have driven a used car. No car payment and low, low insurance. It's a hybrid so lower in gas.

We both agreed that the car I drove not matter but she would have those memories for a lifetime!

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Old 03-07-2013, 01:25 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by uncspin View Post
How do you do it??
DH and I are late 20s/early 30s with no kids. We love going to WDW but sometimes the money just gets to me. I guess part of it is because I didn't go on "nice" vacations as a kid - my parents' idea of a vacation was going to Kings Dominion for 2 days....

Because DH uses an electric wheelchair, he prefers the Polynesian/monorail resorts. I don't care for the buses all that much, so I also prefer the Poly. How in the world do you afford $3,500+ each year to go to Disney (approx. cost for 2 people, DxDP, Park Hopper, 7 days/6 nights)? Any suggestions would be much appreciated! We want to go every year, but I just have to figure out how to do it and still save money!
It seems we go every year now. We said about 5 years ago on our first trip that we would only go every other year or maybe longer. We have been every year one way or another since.

This year will be the last for a few years. We also take at least one other vacation during the year that is not Disney. already have plans for Punta Cana in Feb. 2014.

What we do to afford vacations is take 5% of my paycheck and direct deposit it into a separate "vacation" account. That way when we want to go somewhere, we have the money. For the first 3 years when our kids were young, we didn't really take any big vacations so the balance built up. Now we always have enough available to spend the time without stressing. Family time is of the utmost importance to us so we made things like vacations a priority.
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:12 PM   #147
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We plan on a trip every other year and then a different vacation on the off years. We have two small children, so I have a dependent care reimbursement account that we use for vacations and large purchases. It maxes out at $5,000. We also both get bonuses, and last year we just used a portion of our tax refund to pay for our trip. We don't factor any of those into our budget, so it just amounts to extra money for savings or vacation.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:44 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by Darcy03231 View Post
For us vacation is a priority like any other bill and we put money away each week for it. It also means doing without other things such as movies, eating out, new clothes (unless its a necessity) and other non-essential spending. Anytime I find myself going to buy something that I "want" not a "need" I ask myself if I really want to take the money out of the vacation fund. Almost always the answer is no. In your case to save $4,000 a year for vacation you need to put $75 a week in vacation savings account. Its up to you to decide where that $75 is coming out of your budget. Some easy ways to trim (if you do these things) are:

No more Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, etc. each morning. Make you own and get a travel mug. That can save $10/wk

No more eating lunch out. Pack your lunch. This can save up to $5-$7 day.

Don't buy books - use your local library.

We use Redbox to rent DVDs. Its a $1/night vs $4/night from the video rental store.

Check you paper for local free entertainment on the weekends.

Rather than eating out consider take out. You save money by not ordering a drink or having to tip.

Eat breakfast for dinner one night a week and plan a meatless dinner one night a week.

DH and I also don't exchange birthday, anniversary or Christmas gifts. We put that money toward travel.
I know this is an old thread and this person might not even still post...but I agree with these tips. Dh and I don't exchange holiday gifts either. We would rather save the money for trips. We are also DVC members.....we don't buy the Dining Plan......I try and book airfare far enough out so we aren't spending a lot. We have started driving some too. Usually the years we have more than one trip we will drive. Last year we even rented a home off site at Windsor Hills and had a HUGE AMT of space and actually enjoyed it. We are doing the same thing this Aug. in another community, but because we have AP's we won't have to pay for parking at the parks. We don't eat at table service restaurant every day either. There are lots of ways to do Disney on a budget.


March 15 BCV/SSR Aug 14 OKW/SOG Aug 13 OKW/Providence Golf Club Villas March 13 SSR/AKV July 12 BLT/SSR May 12 SOG
March/April 12 Windsor Hills
Jan. 12 VWL (1/20-1/28) Jan. 12 POR (1/6/-1/11) Jan. 11 OKW July 10 SOG/SSR/VERO July 09 POLY/BCV/AKV Jan. 09 OKW Nov. 08 SSR/ASMU MVMCP July 08 OKW/BCV Jan. 08 SOG Nov. 07 SSR MVMCP Aug. 07 SSR/BWV P&PP Jan. 07 SOG BECAME DVC MEMBERS!!!
Nov. 05 SOG/CSR Jan. 05 SOG Nov. 02 CR May 98 Poly May 95 SOG Dec. 93 CR Dec. 92 CBR July 92 Dixie Landing First Family Trip Off Site 87,86,82 (Single With Friends)

Last edited by edk35; 03-07-2013 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:46 PM   #149
my TP isn't going anywhere. I can start the TP underground, anyone who is interested just let me know
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We bought into DVC, that is how we do it every year
Me (33)
DH (35)
DD (2)
DD (2014)
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:11 PM   #150
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We go with our family of 5 and sometimes grandparents every year- We have stayed in all sorts of arrangements from private house rental, and onsite and off site hotels, to our rv. We spend around 3,500 for all of us on an average trip. We tend to stay longer but not go into parks EVERY day. We always save money on food by dining outside the world, bringing snacks and water in etc. The biggest way we manage is by spending less than most of our friends on day to day stuff- I'm amazed at what some people spend on clothing, groceries and eating out- we would rather vacation several times a year than go out to eat a couple of times a week. I make homemade cleaners so we don't purchase those, we coupon for our personal care items so they are cheap and we eat mostly homemade, in season foods. I am mostly a stay at home mom, but I do work seasonally and that income goes straight to vacations and extras...The big thing is being debt free first. Not having those extra monthly payment hanging over your heads frees you up for other things! I guess it is really about setting priorites and goals- if it is what you want then you can make it happen with some effort!
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