Going Cheap

Discussion in 'DVC-Mousecellaneous' started by rowbear, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. rowbear

    rowbear Mouseketeer

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    I just put my SiL and BiL on notice that we intend to take them in 2012ish. Thanks to the economy he is out of a job currently but the hope is that within 3 years they can work past it and save enough to go. I am afraid if they don't my nephew won't get to experience Disney again before he becomes a teenager and I think that would be a shame.

    It is hard for me to judge how much of a vacation experience gets sacrificed by going as cheap as possible because we have never had to do it. I want them to have a good time but IMO getting there and being able to enjoy the parks and whatnot is the highest priority and if there is extra money add from there.

    IMO at least one character breakfast is required so we will pay for that. Obviously we are also taking care of the room.

    So how much money do you need to have at least a decent vacation beyond travel and park costs? Would eating all of the rest of their meals in the room take away from the magic? Personally I prefer to eat breakfast and lunch in the room but I do normally eat dinner out.

    My thoughts are to get there, get in the parks, and have just a little spending money for souvenirs and snacks. But does that hurt the vacation?

    I know what you are thinking. Why don't we do more to help them with the cost of the trip? 1) I think people should stand on their own two feet as much as possible. 2) We probably will help them (like we did last time) but in 3 years our situation could change too... you never know.
     
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  3. ajf1007

    ajf1007 DIS Veteran

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    I tend to agree with you that getting there and experiencing the park is the #1 priority, especially for 1st visitors. It seems that you have given plenty of notice with regard to saving $. Even if they saved $20 a week starting this Friday they would be able to save by the end of 2011 alone, $2600. So depending on where they live and what the flights would cost ($700-$800??) and if they did the ddp ($1200??) and the park tickets cost (approx $700) that would leave approx $475 in spending money Obviously my math is based on rough estimates today but I think I atleast covered the necessities.

    I do agree that people should stand on their own and you providing the lodging is a large cost savings in its self for them. I think it's a very kind thing you're doing. Also, "magic" is what you make it, so just getting into the parks, the incredible pools the resorts have along with the fireworks, etc., I think they could have a lovely time and your nephew will get the full effect no matter what. Where you eat your meals I don't believe really makes or breaks the trip (especially for children). All of that wrapped up with the family memories you'll make I think will make for a spectacular vacation.

    This is all IMHO but hope it helps.
     
  4. Cajun28

    Cajun28 Mouseketeer

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    Over our 29 years of visiting, we have done WDW at just about every financial level, from staying on-site at the Polynesian and Contemporary, eating all meals on-site to staying off site and eating some meals in our room to save money. We once did a 4 day trip for under $400 (We had AP's).

    To answer your last question, no it did not hurt the enjoyment of our trips to go cheaper. We have enjoyed all of our trips, regardless of cost
     
  5. rowbear

    rowbear Mouseketeer

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    That is one of the problems. This is their second trip and last time they went moderate as far as expense goes. So they will know a little of what they are missing.

    They live within a one day driving range (it'd be a long day but still...) but last time they flew. They also had a number of TS meals and eating in the park.

    My nephew was 5 last time we went. I am afraid as he gets older some of those memories will fade and I want him to have a second pass while he is still so young and the magic is so much more real. I know kids of all ages enjoy Disney and I look forward to taking him many more times in his life but I want him to have one more shot before hitting his teenage years. You can only truly be that young one time.

    I just need to convince them to go small and then if they can add meal plans or airfaire great but JUST GET THERE.
     
  6. eliza61

    eliza61 http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

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    :goodvibes That's us Cajun,

    Rowbear, you've got one thing in your favor and that's time.
    One suggestion. write down the things that are really important to you and use the various internet site to get a feel of the cost.

    For example: me and my family, we love to park hop especially since we go in the summer and the parks are open late. So I would be willing to skip TS meals to park hop.
    I haven't been bowled over by souveniers so that's probably where I would save also but I love pictures.
    One year we were flush so we did a lot of extras, cirqe du soliel, water parks, illuminations cruises etc. the next year, the tax man cameth so bye bye extras.
    Each year was different but all were enjoyable.
     
  7. rowbear

    rowbear Mouseketeer

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    Very on point. Thanks.

    My first trip to disney was when I was really young and the only thing I remember is walking into a holiday inn and the floor being covered with those weird bugs and how cranky my dad was after the long drive. It was obviously a very cheap trip but I don't have any other specific memories.
     
  8. LindaBabe

    LindaBabe <br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/i

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    Sometimes the frugal trips are the most fun - it's an adventure to see how many things you can do for "free" and how many souvenirs you can collect "for cheap".

    Room, you've got covered.

    Park tickets are obviously a big bite.

    If you breakfast and lunch in the room, you can splurge on a counter service dinner in the park - I'm talking real food here - pork chops, salmon, chicken in the Sunshine food Fair in EPCOT, the exotic Shish Kabobs and Souvelaki at Tangerine, I LOVE Casey's hotdogs - but there's real meals to be had in Cosmic Rays.

    There's time too, for the child(ren) to collect souvenir money from birthday and holiday gifts, save from their allowances, etc.

    I like free mementos - park maps, unused fast passes, coloring sheets, the little booklets given out by resort guest services with scavenger hunts or kids games in them. The kid cot "charms" in EPCOT, and always my digital photos, even if I never get them printed.
     
  9. wdrl

    wdrl DIS Veteran

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    IMO, kids tend to enjoy things a lot easier than adults. We recently had a family reunion at WDW. It was the first visit for a niece (age 8) and nephew (age 11), and their family was on a very tight budget. After the trip, I asked the kids what they liked about it. They excitedly talked about their scores on Toy Story Mania, what rides they liked (and didn't like), seeing the characters around the Parks, and the visit to the Lego Store at DTD. They never talked about the meals, or the room (we stayed at Caribbean Beach, and the kids had to share a bed). My wife & I gave each kid a $50 gift certificate, and their parents told them they could spend it any way they wanted. The kids took their time deciding how to spend that money and in the end I think they bought things they really wanted.

    We, as adults, might worry whether kids feel cheated if they don't get a character meal, or a make over at the Pirate League or Bippity Boppity Boutique, or if they have accommodations at Motel 6 rather than the Grand Floridian. But kids will enjoy Disney even on a shoestring budget.

    Like you say, Rowbear, Just get your nephew to Disney! Everything after that is icing on the cake!
     
  10. Cajun28

    Cajun28 Mouseketeer

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    I agree, on the cheap trip I mentioned above, my best "memory" of the trip is I was able to go to WDW for 4 days and spent less than $100/day on hotel, food and transportation for 4 people.
     
  11. Cajun28

    Cajun28 Mouseketeer

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    Very good point, I totally agree.
     
  12. rowbear

    rowbear Mouseketeer

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    I am not worried about him enjoying it. I am worried that his parents may want to deluxe up the trip and put it in jeopardy.

    I remember a trip when I was 11ish where we stayed at the Polynesian. If memory serves we had a fridge in the room (no doubt to save money). Except for the Luau I can not tell you a single meal we ate during that trip. For all I know we ate PB&J sammiches for every meal. All I remember is going to the parks. So yeah I am not worried about him.

    His first trip he did the kids pirate adventure (I forget the name) that we paid for and he THOROUGHLY enjoyed the daycare service (in fact he was disappointed he only got to do it once). But I think if he gets to another character breakfast and then off to the parks he will have the time of his life.
     
  13. MrsNick

    MrsNick <font color=darkorchid>sometimes out of desperatio

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    I think any trip (budget or deluxe) is what you make out of it :)

    We've done trips where we ate mostly TS and signature dining, and others where we've had breakfast and lunch in the room and all dinners out, or some dinners out. Funny, though, those trips that were primarily TS were in hotels, and once we owned DVC, we started eating "in" more (and relaxing more).

    Like you, we've come to prefer breakfast and lunch in the villa (faster, more convenient, and more to our personal tastes). We still enjoy a TS meal or three out, but also enjoy our dinners in (we really do get tired of the "Disney" palette after a bit). We still enjoy a signature dining experience or two, but if it wasn't in the budget, it definitely wouldn't spoil our trip. I'm a pretty good cook, so we definitely don't suffer by skipping TS.

    Our next trip will include our family, my DM and DSis+family. For the week, we will probably eat three dinners in the villa (one prepared by me, one by my DSis, and we'll let the DH's do a grill one night). I fully believe we will enjoy these dinners as much as we will enjoy our dinners out. We'll break open a bottle of wine and maybe grab a deck of cards and just enjoy each others' company. We don't see each other all that often, so it will be nice to hang out (and also decompress from the Disney mania).

    I think it's nice that you want to bring your nephew to experience the magic while it is still magic :wizard:
     
  14. rowbear

    rowbear Mouseketeer

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    I 100 percent agree but the catch is we get to go a lot more often. When we took them last time they dropped their luggage and ran for a park. We went back to the room and unpacked and settled in. We feel no pressure to get to the parks because we get to do it so often. There is not a feeling of trying to cram everything into a 5 day stay because even if there is something we don't get to this time around the next trip is right around the corner. I have actually had a disney vacation where I did not step one foot inside a park for the entire trip and others I might visit the park one day only but then I have been to Disney 13 times in 8 years. I alternate between park oriented vacations to a more relaxing vacation where I see some movies, rent boats, tour some of the other resorts, etc.

    Our upcoming November trip is focused on the world showcase. We have been there but not gone through it really thoroughly in a couple of years so we are going to spend as much time as we want just exploring it and then enjoy EPCOT. We may not even go to any other park. Our February vacation will probably be park mania.
     
  15. Deb & Bill

    Deb & Bill DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention

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    By Dec 21, 2012, the world will be coming to an end anyway, so it won't matter much. ;)
     
  16. rowbear

    rowbear Mouseketeer

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    If it goes according to plan the trip will happen sometime in October that year. The world can end after my vacation. I want to go out refreshed.
     
  17. Rose&Mike

    Rose&Mike DIS Veteran

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    We went "cheap" on our trip in December, because DH's company laid folks off every quarter last year and we were a little nervous about spending the money. It was one of our best trips ever, and I was really concerned going into it. Normally we get park hoppers, eat TS every night, couple character breakfasts and do a tour or something else special. This time we ordered regular passes from undercover tourist, only had a couple of TS meals, shared lots of counterservice meals (instead of everyone getting their own thing and throwing food away), ate pizza at the BW a couple of times, and bought beer for our room ;). It was great. It was sooo nice to not be rushing to get ready for dinner all the time, and not having a park hopper turned out to not be as bad as I thought it was going to be. We tried a lot of CS places we had never tried before, and actually really enjoyed it. For 2 adults and a 17 yo boy we spent about $1600 (including gas--we live 850 miles away, but not including our room since we were staying on points).

    My DS has been to WDW lots of times, and I was really afraid he would be disappointed that we had scaled back so much, but he told us later it was one of his favorite trips ever. Just a reminder that kids really don't need all the fancy trimmings, they just want our time. I'm planning trips for October and December, and while I am not cutting back as much as that trip, I don't see myself returning to the crazy schedules that we had before.

    Good luck! Rose
     
  18. LIFERBABE

    LIFERBABE DVC MEMBER @ BCV BWV OKW SSR BLT AKV

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    I totally agree! If I let the boys plan the vacations, we would not have a single ADR and barely any park days. However, they do love that Disney time is family time. It puts us all in a great mood and we enjoy hanging out together without the everyday stresses and interruptions.

    For our family reunion we had the full range of financial situations from broke college kids on up. Some did not go to the parks at all because it was too hot for them. We did not dine out at all, even though I had Chef Mickey's planned, everyone just wanted to hang out in the Grand Villa.

    We had a blast and everyone wants to do it again real soon! I did pay for some of the college kids to "just get there" and I dont regret it 1 bit. Their presence was priceless and will always be remembered by them and myself.:goodvibes
     
  19. Brancaneve

    Brancaneve DIS Veteran

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    I just wanted to say that what you are doing is very generous and kind. It's nice to see people share a little of the magic when others are in a rough patch!

    In these situations, my Dh and I make a game out of being cheap. One will say, "I can do this for $2" and the other will come up with a cheaper approach or free! It's actually a lot of fun!
     
  20. edk35

    edk35 DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2 The food is not important to my boys ages 15 and 10 either. They could eat CS meals the entire trip. My daughter likes to have some good TS meals throughout the trip...but even she is not picky. Our kids prefer to NOT have a bunch of TS meals and a schedule to adhere too. If they want to spend all day into the evening at the park...then we do it. We are also OKAY with not going to parks each day anymore. We love the DVC resorts .......the boys love spending time at the pool, arcade, community hall. There is lots to do without spending a lot.
     
  21. edk35

    edk35 DIS Veteran

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    Check out the Budget Board here on Dis. I pop over there every once in a while. They have some unique ways to MAKE Disney trips happen. :goodvibes
     

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