Disney for $0 (long story)

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by MossMan, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. MossMan

    MossMan .

    Mar 19, 2004
    Here’s a story I thought I would pass on.

    My cousin adores Disney. If she has her way, she takes her family to Orlando at least once a year.

    However, 3 years ago she and her husband bought a house. That was OK. What wasn’t OK were all the unexpected problems they found with the place. In the end they had to take out a major loan and max out their credit cards to get everything fixed. So she and her husband came to a difficult decision for them. No Disney holidays (or any holidays) until the loan and credit cards were paid off.

    Like I said, that was three years ago. They still have 2 years to go before they will be free from this unexpected debt. But as you can imagine, my cousin is starting to miss Disney something bad.

    Four weeks ago she was over for dinner and I got to talking to her about Disney’s free dining plan. My cousin had no idea that Disney did this and was fascinated by the idea of it. (She was also surprised with the magical express they now offer) She asked me a few questions and had me help her go online and take a look how much it would cost to bring her family (two pre-teen boys) – really she was daydreaming more than anything. With late August dates we found very cheap airfares. Combine this with a Value Resort stay, the dining plan and some strict budgeting and we figured the 4 of them could go for a week for $2,600 inclusive of everything. The problem, though, was this was about $2,600 more than she could afford.

    I didn’t think anything more of about this. But last week she gave me a call and told me what she had been up to. I guess this trip was all she could think about. So she decided to see if there was anyway she could swing it.

    First off she dug out some airfare dollars she had earned but forgotten about. She and her family had consented to take a later flight when her flight was overbooked. Each coupon is worth $100 and she has 4 of them.

    Then she finally decided to count all her change. She has been colleting change since college. She always knew she would use it for something special and now was the time to break into it. It took her an entire weekend even with a coin sorter, but it was worth it when she came up with $900.

    So now she’s up to $1,300 – halfway there. So she really starts to think. Then she remembered the watches. Our grandfather collected watches. When our Grandmother passed away, my cousin got 5 of the watches. There’s no way she would ever sell 4 of them, but the fifth watch doesn't really fit the collection. It’s big and gaudy and ugly and no one likes it. So she decided to get it appraised and maybe get a few dollars for it. Then what do you know, it turns out the fake looking gems are real and it’s worth $1,000 retail. The guy at the jewelry store offered her $800 for it and she took it.

    So now she is just $500 short.

    This is where I was able to come in. Before my cousin bought a house, she and her husband purchased a pretty nice trailer. It so happens that I need a trailer for 4 or 5 weekends over the next few months (my daughter’s softball team will compete in a bunch of tournaments.). So I offered $500 for the use of their trailer for these weekends – which is a great deal for me. She hemmed and hawed for about half a second before happily accepting.

    So there it was, a Disney trip without spending any cash or borrowing any money. She got the money together and booked the trip.

    I was just talking to her and she told me about telling her family. She got her family together on Easter and told them the Easter Bunny had brought them a week in Orlando. Of course her boys go crazy. Her husband, though, is fuming. He figured she had broken their word to each other and put the whole trip on their credit cards. But when she told him what she had done he pretty disolved in a pool of tears. I guess he was missing his trips to Disney as well.
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  3. lisajl

    lisajl <Font color=green>This is our dog Chloe!<br><font

    Sep 7, 2002
    That is :wizard: (magical)
  4. KJSJpipe

    KJSJpipe Mouseketeer

    Feb 20, 2006
    Thats great for your cousin. Now she can hold on for a few more years until all the debt is paid off and they can go with out sweating all the details.
  5. pearlieq

    pearlieq <font color=green>They can sit & spin<br><font col

    Aug 3, 2004
    Oh my goodness!

    What an amazing story! I hope they have a ball!!! :thumbsup2
  6. englishteacha

    englishteacha Have courage and be kind.

    Apr 2, 2006
    How great that she was able to "find" the money to go! :)
  7. CheapMom

    CheapMom DIS Veteran

    Dec 3, 2000
    That is a beautiful thing! Good for them!
  8. Pixiedust34

    Pixiedust34 <font color=blue>It's like I'm stuck in a music ti

    Jun 23, 2005
    I hope they have a magical trip! pixiedust:
  9. babiesX2

    babiesX2 DIS Veteran<br><font color=green>There is nothing

    Aug 15, 2005
    Disney really is magical. pixiedust:
  10. rcpae

    rcpae DIS Veteran

    Jan 8, 2005
    I'm soooo happy for them!! This brightened my day.
  11. anewvance

    anewvance <font color=red>Who needs a birthday for birthday

    Feb 8, 2001
    What a fantastic story, thanks for sharing with us. I hope she has the best trip, tons of pixie dust her way.
  12. JuneChickie

    JuneChickie <marquee behavior=alternate><img src=http://www.wd

    Feb 6, 2006
    What a wonderful ,, wonderful ,, story .....

    It made my *heart* feel so good.

    I hope they have the best time ever !!!! :cheer2:

  13. DawnM

    DawnM Dawn

    Oct 4, 2005
    I am sorry to say that even if I found money, DH would never agree to spending it while we still had a loan out. I guess in some ways that is good, but honestly sometimes he can suck the fun right out of life (what I get for marrying an accountant!)

    Hope she has a wonderful time.

  14. MossMan

    MossMan .

    Mar 19, 2004
    That's funny you should say that Dawn. My cousin actually felt the same way. Her husband has almost been obsessive about paying down these debts.

    But that's one reason why she raised the money and booked the trip without his knowledge. She knew if she had brought the money to him, he would have argued to put it agains their debts. This way she was able to present the trip as a done deal. In the end, I think that is why he ended up being so accepting. What else could he do.
  15. mtblujeans

    mtblujeans DIS Veteran

    Mar 25, 2004
    This is a great story! Pass along a couple of freebies to your cousin: Play the Disney Everest Game and get a certificate for a free picture of the family on the ride; don't forget the free Disney Visa character picture, too. :sunny:
  16. jennifer293

    jennifer293 <font color=green>SHHHHH , but we live in the stic

    Jan 29, 2005
    I think that is wonderful..Disney is such a magical place!!!

    If it were me though I think my greedy side may have kicked in and said hmmmm...that ugly watch is worth 1000 now if I keep it I wonder how much it will be worth in say 5 , 10, 15 years.... :rotfl: But that is just me because I am a freak like that...LOL I am glad she chose Disney though!!!
  17. thelionqueen

    thelionqueen DIS Veteran<br><font color=green>The Tag Fairy thr

    Jun 7, 2005
    Great story! Everyone asks me how we can afford to go to Disney 2 or 3X per year, and almost all the things you've listed, we do.

    I also have 2 garage sales yearly which net about $1500.00. I buy all clothes off season (for example I just bought the boys their school clothes last week) I buy toys and christmas stuff when it is 75-90%off. I clip coupons, I drive an older model car (still runs/looks great), do rewards programs and basically skimp on everything else but our trips to Disney.

    All of our trips are paid almost entirely by skimping and saving which makes them even more magical! :wizard:
  18. Chris

    Chris DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2005
    Good for her! I hope she has a magical time! :)
  19. barbeml

    barbeml <font color=blue>Has lots of magic to share with o

    Sep 8, 2002
    Wow!!! If I was on a roll like that, I might just buy me a lottery ticket!

    Great story. That is going to be one extra magical trip! pixiedust:
  20. mickeymousemom

    mickeymousemom Missing: Three tags last seen in this space. Larg

    Apr 2, 2005
    Wow. What a great story! I duly believe they were sorely entitled to a nice family vacation! Now this has me thinking about how I can do similar things to pay for our October trip! Best wishes to them... :wizard:
  21. mello

    mello DIS Veteran

    May 26, 2005
    What an inspiring story! I hope they have the best trip ever!!! :wizard:

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