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Old 05-25-2009, 10:01 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by maidenfairy View Post
We drive down. Airfare is outrageous for all four of us. and if you add up wait times in airports and on the runway, it's probably the same as driving if you live in a 10 hour radius.
So true. We flew once, in 2005, and between having to be at the resort 2 hours early for Magical Express and the time we arrived home it took us 11 hours. It takes 10-12 for us to drive and is a lot less stressful (to us anyways! ).
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:42 PM   #32
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We recently returned from our 2nd trip to DLR this year (we're AP holders)! We plan to visit again in mid Sept. and our 1st WDW trip is this Oct!

$50 from each pay check goes into a Disney Savings Fund.

Our trip this Oct. is for my kids and I & my mom. We're staying at Pop for 9 nights, 8 day tix & free dining! Our total is $1900 ~ not too bad. My mom & DS already have their airfare ($10 each! Delta Skymiles ~ thanks Gma) so now I just need to purchase airfare for DD & I. My mom and I will split the cost of the hotel in half (kids are free) and she'll pay for her ticket, I'll pay for my kids and I. I've already purchased tix for MNSSHP!

My rent is low (I'm working on buying a home and my payment will go up a bit ~ but we'll go from 2 BRs to 4!) My car payment is $85 a month. I'd say we live within our means very well. This summer I plan to work a lot of overtime ~ I work 30 hour weeks but while my kids are out of school and spending time with Great Grandma I'll work quite a bit extra for some extra $$$
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:01 PM   #33
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It sounds like you feel like your situation pretty much demands a monorail resort. Fair enough. Ways to save money on the trip:

1. Join AAA, carefully compare package price vs. room only, remembering to factor in payments and cancellations. You'll probably find room only with a AAA discount the most cost-effective overall for 2 people. It goes without saying to stay at the cheapest monorail resort available when you go (and you should go during Value season)

2. Buy your tickets at the local Disney store, DON'T do hoppers.

3. While you're at the Disney store, buy yourself a gift card to use for dining. DON'T do any kind of dining plan, which rarely pays for itself with 2 people unless you eat yourselves silly. Prepare to eat a lot of counter service meals, which ain't gonna hurt you.

As for having enough money to do this in the first place....that's a whole different post, which basically comes down to: DON'T SPEND!!!
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:07 PM   #34
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As other posters said, it's all about your other priorities and expenses outside of vacations. You didn't say whether you own a home or not, but if you do not own a home yet you may want to consider that as an expense when figuring out what you can afford.

When we shopped for our house, we qualified for a $550,000 loan, but bought a cheaper, older house and took out a loan for only $200,000 instead. Yeah, it was kind of a letdown after looking at all those beautiful McMansions, but we wanted the freedom of taking vacations when we wanted, where we wanted. We also drive our cars into the ground -- my minivan is 10 years old and I don't plan on getting rid of it until it dies.
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:18 PM   #35
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For me, I am fine with staying at a moderate or if needed, a value resort. We (me, DS and my boyfriend) went for the 4/3 deal the first week of March staying at POR and will be taking a 5 nighter (just me and my boyfriend this time) at Pop for free dining in mid-September.
I used part of my tax refund to pay for the 4/3 trip. The 2nd trip was originally going to be for me and my best friend, but she just lost her job, so my boyfriend is going instead and we bumped the date back 1 week so we can be there for his birthday. I did put the FD trip on my Disney card, but my DS is starting kindergarten in August, so that will be $200 a month saved in childcare expenses to cover part of it, plus sold some stuff online that I made about $500 on.
I would love to stay at Poly, we are thinking of doing it with my tax refund next year, especially if they have the 4/3 deal again!

March 2009 - Port Orleans Riverside
Sept 2009 - Pop Century
Feb 2010 - Caribbean Beach Resort
Jan 2011 - Port Orleans Riverside & Villas at Wilderness Lodge
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:18 PM   #36
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Magical Vacations [Tikiman's travel company] is offering October rates of $200 per night. CRAZY GOOD.

Buy non expire tickets and divide over 2-3 trips. Spend 2 days enjoying various resorts or lounging, etc.

Hang out on Codes & Rates Boards and don't pay rack rate. Sign up for everything so you can get a pin code although deal above is better than our 40% pin code last year.

We did have 40% off room last year but we spent for family of 5 dining 2 A and 3 Kids just under $3500 last year 6 days 5 nights.

April 2011 Offsite @ Bonnet Creek
June 2009 Offsite @ Windsor Hills followed by Beach Week @ Anna Maria Island
October 2007 Hawaii @ POLY
January 2006 Connecting Rooms @ POP 50s Sect.

Last edited by TnTWalter; 05-25-2009 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 05-26-2009, 03:33 AM   #37
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Many of the same ideas as others:

-buy 10 day non expiration passes and stretch them over 2-3 visits.
-stay offsite-we have never paid over $250 for a week in a condo for our trips
-stay onsite in a value with free dining
-credit card rewards-we max out at $600 a year and never pay interest
-fuel rewards programs if available
-if paid every 2 weeks, you have 26 pays a year. We take the 2 "extra" pays for vacation.
-money from recycling cans and papers is our child's spending money, he had over $175 last trip.

-We don't do the tax return savings as I can invest the money better over the year than the government.
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:37 AM   #38
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We have gone to disney every year since my first trip in 2004 for my honeymoon. We have stayed at GF, POR and WL. To us disney is a priority. We figure we work hard we need to have our 10 days in "The bubble" (where the outside world cant get in) to destress and enjoy the magic. This sept we are staying at WL only because we got a bounceback of 40% off when we were at POR in december. It is going to be 3500 for my DH and our 2 girls (both under 3). I know most people would think that way too much but when you break it down its really not. We got the deluxe dining (we like to eat at 2 credit places on our vacation.... im not a fancy cook!) and we also got park hoppers since we like to start at one parkand usually end the day at MK no matter what. We start saving for the next trip during the current trip! I have jars throughout the house that i call "mouse monies" All of our spare change goes in there (includung all the change from the last disney trip) Last time I had 300 dollars from 10 months of spare change! I also have the disney visa that i use rewards for spending cash. We also buy a ton of pins off ebay for usually 1.25/pin. Then we trade like mad! Its free (since we paid before the trip) and it is fun for us hunting for a certain pin. We just bought into DVC BLT last week to help make our yearly disney trips more affordable!
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:00 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by delmar411 View Post
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...
Agree. We stay at the values, don't do ddp (we pack in our suitcases as much food as we can), and only stay for 4 nights. With airfare, we can generally be under $1200. That said, we're switching to every other year now.
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:41 AM   #40
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as you can see from my siggy I don't go every year, but from this year on I will be....We decided as a family that this is something worth doing so we budget accordingly and use tax returns to pay for some of it to. I have never even stayed at a moderate, let alone a deluxe...doing so provides us with the opportunity to get the deluxe dining which we love. We do go in peak season, but next year we are starting the value season...that way it will be less strict on our budgets...

All-Stars, and Pop are just as wheelchair accesible as the other resorts.....
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:58 AM   #41
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Two 14 day vacations, 11 mos. apart.

Hotel: Extended Stay, $30/night+tax

2 Deluxe AP (w/10% discount + tax): $450/pp

Food: $20/day/pp/vac: $560

1st vacation: $1,500
2nd vacation: $1,060

$225/vacation to drive down and back

Total: $3,000 for two 14 trips

This is 4 times longer for two years of vacations, for less than your single 7 day vacation for one year. You also get a full size fridge, cooktop, microwave, cheap internet, and clean comfortable room nearby.

Last edited by xmlguy; 05-26-2009 at 07:05 AM.
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:28 AM   #42
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Well, we don't smoke or drink and don't go out every weekend like many of our aquaintances do. We go out for dinner maybe twice a month. We always stay at a value and always with a discount code of some kind and we always book discount airfare.
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:31 AM   #43
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--- Florida resident PAP's so ticket costs are a one-time thing each year
--- Fantastic AP rates ($144 for AKL standard view for next time)
--- Rarely (if ever) do the DDP - way cheaper for us not to
--- Driving distance so no airfare

We do two or three trips a year. If we can swing an AP rate, we stay at our favorite resort - AKL. AKL usually has great rates on their standard view rooms and we gladly take one. Usually we end up with at least a partial pool view as a result but we don't mind the parking lot rooms either. If we can't do that, we go down to a moderate. We like three of the four moderates so no problem there. We've never stayed at a monorail resort.

For food, we do breakfast in the room and then share meals for lunch and dinner. We pick one or two "important" sit-down meals and then eat just for lunch. For the rest of the trip, we do counter service. We have our favorites where we know we can get good, nutritious food.

We don't buy many souvenirs. Usually we spend a morning at IKEA (eating breakfast on the cheap) and grab a few things there. We also may drive over to Haines City. WDW souvenirs are few and far between and only if we catch a deal.

Our only other big expense is kenneling the two dogs. It is not cheap but we're comfortable with our kennel (our vet actually) so we do what have to do.

Our next trip is five nights at AKL. I expect to spend around $1500. It'll be paid for in cash like every other trip and is budgeted into our summer expenses already.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:19 AM   #44
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My husband gets a bonus every march and we use tax money combined with that....

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!

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Old 05-26-2009, 08:20 AM   #45
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These threads often focus on the budget side - how to take a trip cheap and how to cut your expenses when you aren't travelling. But there is the other side of the equation. Everyone has different resources. If you are living beneath your means, it becomes possible to afford some luxuries - but living beneath those means is easier when you make $200,000 a year than when you make $40,000. You have a lot more choices. Maybe you live in a cheaper house, drive older cars, and don't eat out. For a lot of people the reality is that they have to live in a cheaper house, drive older cars and not eat out just so they can afford gasoline.

And those resources extend to more than just income - someone who has a lot of frequent flyer miles from work finds air travel cheap. Someone whose inlaws have a timeshare they never use in Mexico can trade into Orlando for free (or nearly so). It seems that most DISers with very frequent trips live within driving distance - if you live in Florida - or even Georgia - thats a whole different travel equation than living in Seattle.

Another thing that strikes me is that some people value 'quantity' - the "I stay in a Value (or offsite) , but I go more days." Other people make a different trade - they want to stay in Deluxe, eat nice meals, do special things - the 'quality' trip. Neither is wrong or right - its just a matter of preference - and what you can afford. But it only makes sense that someone who wants a monorail resort and wants to avoid buses is going to spend more - and therefore be able to afford fewer trips with the same budget - than someone who is happy tenting at Ft. Wilderness.
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