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Old 05-25-2009, 05:44 PM   #1
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How do you do it? Disney every year?

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!
Me: Regan (31) - 1st trip in June 2007
DH: Jason (36) - many many trips before
Upcoming trip: August 2012 - Caribbean Beach
Recent trips: June 2007 - Polynesian; August 2008 - Polynesian; August 2009 - Polynesian; August 2010 - my parents joined us and we stayed atBay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort; May 2010 - 3 nights on the Disney Dream, followed by 4 nights at the Polynesian to celebrate our 5-year wedding anniversary!; February 24-27, 2012 - Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend!
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:14 PM   #2
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We have recently tried to go once per year to Disneyland (couldn't this year, though). We are currently planning a trip to the 55th Anniversary for Disneyland in 2010. We stay off site (even though I am D-Y-I-N-G to stay @ Grand Californian!!), we cut back some on eating out while on our trip and although we do save money throughout the year, it is mostly our tax return that gets earmarked for Disney. For us, the airfare kills our budget. A great deal is $900 just for airfare, but has cost us just under $1500 (4 people, Round Trip).

I do like forward to others' responses here as I am always wondering how people get to do Poly or GF or WL even once, let alone every year or multiple times a year. Sometimes I think I was born into and married into the wrong family (money-wise I mean). But then I have to remember that most of our money goes to our house. If we had done a little less there, we would have more money in our budget for vacation.

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Disneyland 1987 - DLR suites
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Disneyland Family Reunion 2008 - Park Vue

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Old 05-25-2009, 06:21 PM   #3
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We make Disney a priority like it was any other bill! We have extra taken out of our taxes and our return is always MORE than enough to cover a trip. We have never paid "rack rate" for a Disney trip yet so that is also a big plus for us. We recently bought a house so the Disney trip is being scaled back this year (POP for only 5 days) but we are still going. I also went for a 4 day trip with DIS friends in February. In exchange, I didn't get any bday/Christmas/mother's Day/valentine's day gifts. Good trade off in my opinion.
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:29 PM   #4
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This is the first time we are going back within a year and I am making it happen by saving every extra dollar and watching what we spend, we basically budget for Disney. We will be staying Value resort this time and we don't mind since we spend most of our time at the parks. I pack special snacks and drinks that my kids aren't used to having at home and it saves a little $$$ when snacking in the park. We drive rather than flying- we spent about $300 for a road trip from MD to FL and back again. Airfare for 4 would have blown the bank for us.
You don't have kids but we ask family to give our kids Disney Dollars for Christmas and birthdays so they have spend money. Since it's Disney money they won't spend it until we get there. We also go value season and are keeping our fingers crossed that Disney releases another great deal like last year!!!! If they offer the 4/3 every Jan we could keep going every year!

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Old 05-25-2009, 06:30 PM   #5
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We go two weeks a year with three children but we own a timeshare so we obviously stay off property. I coupon all year, we live in a modest house (below our means) and we just try to live frugally as much as possible. We use our Disney visa for everything and pay it off at the end of the month. You'd be surprised how much that "little reward" can turn into!

We also consider any tax refund as our Disney money. I have to admit that even staying off property we spend more than $3500 some years (the year we buy our 10 day passes). Flying for a family of five usually runs us around $1500 (sorry that was for 7 of us this year) add in rental car and tickets (we try to buy multidays that last more than one year) and we are not at a "cheap" vacation.

We couldn't afford to do these vacations when we were first married. You'll get to this point too! I think it's great that you can go every other year. Good things come to those who spend and invest wisely!

2000 - Dixie Landings
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Took a break from Disney for Grand Cayman 2013.

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I need to remind myself often to: "Enjoy life. To remember that life is not Disney World and you certainly don't want a fastpass. Make the most of everyday and enjoy the ride!"

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Old 05-25-2009, 06:40 PM   #6
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well most ppl don't take a deluxe vacation every year. They take budget-moderate vacations. Our family of 6 doesn't cost $3500 for 10days at WDW so it's all about where you choose to spend your dollars and whether you are willing to find a good deal or not.

You don't need to do deluxe dining. You don't need to be on the monorail. You don't need to stay at a deluxe hotel or at least get some discounted rooms if you do want to stay there. You can price out better ticket ticket options. Etc...
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by uncspin View Post
How do you do it??
.....We want to go every year, but I just have to figure out how to do it and still save money!

DH & I try to go once a year (+ an extra once in a while). BUT, we have never stayed anywhere but the value resorts or offsite. The monorail system is a lot better than buses... it just comes down to how often you want to go. We see many electric wheelchairs and just scooters using the buses.
We drive down and have our own vehicle when we want/need it. We stay at resorts some, also.. Can't beat $300-$400/week for a 1 or 2-bdrm condo. But when you stay offsite it is another $12/day parking (unless you use an AP). But eating is usually cheaper offsite and we actually make sandwiches and cook breakfast occasionally and save money.
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:46 PM   #8
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I think it depends on what type of vacation you are looking for really.

I actually find Disney more reasonable than other vacations we have done in the recent past (a 7 night cruise for 3 was 6K with air )
For Disney we always go for some type of "break" be it AAA room only or Free dine, so to us the price is okay....I also use Disney Visa, so that $$ comes in handy as well.......This year we're staying longer (11/10 in Aug/free dine .) though I am contemplating reducing it, not due to cost but due to possible Overkill....I already know we're doing another cruise 6/10 and I'll HAVE to get in my Disney fix, so I am thinking a nice short trip in 10/10.....we do not live above our means, but even I have cut back some, out of frustration of higher costs, not so much because I need to "pinch", but because I just feel so ripped off on basically everything lately.......gas, food, restaurants...

I think in this economy everyone should have atleast the 9 mos worth of back up $$ and that is something we have subscribed too for years, so even with this downturn, we did really not have to make any major changes to our lifestyle, we just "tweaked" what we thought we should.......if I had to skip disney a year, so be it.......we're blessed to be in our situation and we know it!
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:49 PM   #9
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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!
At your age I could not afford to go to WDW every year. I can now, but I had to work on getting my debt paid off first.

Also we never do the DP or would even consider the DxDP, we stay at the level we can afford that week. Also I have never spent $3500 for a 7 day trip even when we stay at a deluxe. We get an AP and only go if we get an AP or another discount.

Last edited by wall*e2008; 05-25-2009 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:53 PM   #10
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We only do Disney every 3-4 years, so I can't help you there. I get a stipend for extracurriculars which is our vacation money, but it's only around $1000, so when we do a Disney trip, we plan ahead and save up, knowing we'll have the $1000 to start us off. All our trips are frugal, though. We are careful what we spend and look for the best bargains.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:12 PM   #11
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I would love to be able to take a trip to WDW too, but living on the other side of the country makes it very difficult---AIRFARE is KILLER. Earmarking tax returns for Disney and saving all change (coins) in a jar for Disney sounds like a good idea.

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Old 05-25-2009, 07:18 PM   #12
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We're two adults and we do go every year. We do it this way.

8 nights at a Value no special room, base tickets for 7 days for about $1200
we go during 'free dining" but will pay out of pocket for quick breakfast
we drive a car to the parks, we hate the bus system, it's free since we are staying in a Disney hotel

We will book our room for next year while at Disney and we start making monthly payments as soon as we get home.

Last year we did fly however with the budget we will drive this year.

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Old 05-25-2009, 07:20 PM   #13
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We're Florida residents so we get lots of discounts. We pretty much always stay in a value. We eat breakfast in our room and split our meals. I'm not a big eater so that helps immensely. I pull out some money every month for vacation savings.

We don't go to the movies. We don't have cable and don't buy anything until after thinking about for 24 hours.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:27 PM   #14
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We went eight times last year. We usually stay at value or moderate resorts because I love them! If we stayed at the Poly every trip, we wouldn't be able to go as often. I'd rather spend my time in the parks than spend my money on the resort every time so I choose carefully when I want to stay at the deluxes, then we catch BC on a deal and stay there.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:27 PM   #15
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We didn't do the every year trip until DS and DD were 10 and 8; prior to that it was every other year in mid January when Values rooms could be had for $49. We alternated with Dollywood in eastern Tennessee which is AWESOME Those first WDW trips were during the very slow times in the parks and we learned almost everything we needed to know and now with the use of TIW discount dining, resort packages--Values only, VISA rewards, APs to cover 2 trips within 12 months, and $79 base airfares with Allegient we are more than able to do 7 days every year. It's simply the most enjoyable way for our family to relax together and with DS now 21 and DD 19, DH and I count our blessings they are as excited to go with us as they were for that first trip. Future "dreams" include a Christmas stay and a trip to introduce our 2 nephews and niece to WDW. Right now, they are on the Dollywood schedule as a pre-cursor to Disney
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