Ever disappointed with a budget trip?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by HenDuck, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. HenDuck

    HenDuck DIS Veteran

    May 11, 2004
    Here's the reason I ask the question, we have taken DS to DL on a spendy trip in April. We save and scrimped and garage saled our way to a fabulous vacation at DL. (Stayed at Embassy Suites South - loved it!)

    We are going December and, while it will be more on the budget side, we'll still be doing most if not all of what we did in April. I'll have less of a spending budget, but that's no biggie since we're not buying gifts for friends this time and since DS doesn't really need souvies. (Staying at Residence Inn - not quite as nice as ES, but basically the same deal - and sharing the suite with parents).

    BUT if we were to go again anytime in the next year or so, it would REALLY have to be a budget trip. I'm talking no suite rooms. Cheap hotel, possibly no rental car (or only for a couple of days). Minimal spending money. No trips to the outlet store. Definitely no character meals (although I don't know that we'd miss it).

    SO, my fear is that we/I will be disappointed because we'll have to cut back. While we don't go all out like others do, we do like to stay in a nice hotel and eat what and when we like. I'm just not sure my family is ready for pop-tarts in the room and sharing meals at the park.

    Have any of you experienced budget-trip let-down?

    (I hope I don't offend anyone who has mastered the budget trip and I hope I don't sound like a snob because we are just simple, middle-class people trying to enjoy the magic as often as possible).

    Just wondering...::yes::
  2. CarolA

    CarolA <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

    Aug 21, 1999
    I would not be willing to stay offsite without a car so I understand part of what you are saying.

    However, some of the budget ideas have to be considered in regards to your family. Do they already eat everything on thier plate... if so sharing meals won't work.

    I have done budget (Days Inn) and luxury (YC/BC) and enjoyed both.
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  4. Chicago526

    Chicago526 <font color=red>Any dream will do...<br><font colo

    May 6, 2003
    I've never taken a truely budget trip myself, but for what it's worth...

    I think a truely "cheap" trip would be easier for your family to swallow if you could stay on-site at Disney. You can often get one of the All-Star resorts for $50-$60 per night with a code, and you can't do much better than that off site, anyway. This way you have 27/7 Disney magic and MUCH better transportation options. Many of the off-site shuttles only run 3 or 4 times a day, so you have to make your schedule match up with the bus schedule, and you may not always want to do that.

    Sharing meals for kids shouldn't be an issue, just get the adult meals instead, if you think 2 kids sharing a kids meal wouldn't give them enough food. My mom and I split adult counter service meals several times and had plenty of food. You could also have them split the meal and order and extra side, the side would still be less than another full meal.

    Also, maybe try to budget one extravagant event, like a big sit down meal (with or without charactors). That will give everyone something to look forward to (besides the trip itself).

    With some careful planning, you should all have a great time and still not break the bank!
  5. yecats

    yecats Living to vacation.

    Jan 8, 2003
    Budget trips are great fun. My last true one was a 10/11 day trip in Dec. 2002. We had a 7 day PHP for WDW and a 5 day consect. pass for US. I pricelined my way into a hotel offsite for the entire trip (we were about 1 mile or less from AK. As I drove I found that my vehicle was wonderful in that I didn't have to wait for the hotel's bus service which only ran a few times per day. The hotel, although not the greatest was nice enough and had several amentities (refrigerator, safe, iron/board, hair dryer, pools, hottub, rest, bar) which we did enjoy and we got to see several fireworks shows going off at Disney everynight from the hotel. Total for hotel for the entire trip including movies and a few drinks was around $430 I believe and for the length of time and the fact in were in AK backyard, I think I had a GREAT trip.

    Do what you need to do and you'll enjoy any vacation at Disney, be it offsite or on.

    Just a side note - you may want to visit Skyauction for Silverlake condo/property. This is also in AK backyard, couldn't get closer to Disney if you tried. People win bids off of Skyauction for this property for $300 plus a bit more for an entire week (2 bedroom condo unit and most reviews I've read are good - I passed this property plenty heading to Disney and they are clean and recently built). However, staying there you would need to rent a vehicle but could do that using priceline.
  6. year2late

    year2late <font color=green>I bite off the head of <font col

    Apr 28, 2001
    My budget trips tend to be very fun. They tend to be very spur of the moment "if this all can worlk out we will go tommorrow" kind of trips. No expectations, no schedule. Just go and have fun. No build up leading to missed opportunities. Just a constant feeling like "holy crap, how did I pull this off?"
  7. ksoehrlein

    ksoehrlein Once (and Future?) CM

    Sep 15, 2003
    My budget trip was one of the most fun ever. DD(4), DS(15 mos), and I left DH at home, so that saved us a ton on food. We'd been doing a LOT of character meals in the past because DH always gets more than our money's worth at the buffets. I didn't want to omit character dining altogether for DD's sake, so this time we just did the Ice Cream Social.

    It was a surprise trip for the kids, which helped cut down on any disappointment DD might have felt. Without a lot of time to think about spending money on souveniers, she was excited enough just being there and we didn't have many "gimmes" at all. I did let her spend her Disney Dollars that she had been saving, and she did a good job staying on budget. In fact we still have one DD left.

    I actually had fun not splurging this time. We were able to just focus on being together at WDW, and took full advantage of every (free) thing the parks had to offer while we were there. Odds are really good that when you get there, you will be paying more attention to what you are doing than what you're missing. Enjoy planning your trips!
  8. drumflower

    drumflower DIS Veteran

    Aug 27, 2004
    Just ask your kids, " Would you like to go to Disney on a cheap budget, not getting every perk we are used to, or would you like to stay home?" I bet I know what their answer will be ! lol:rolleyes1 I bet they will be ...:bounce: :Pinkbounc :bounce: :Pinkbounc :bounce: :Pinkbounc Any questions? Just kidding!;) Go and have some fun!
  9. sweet maxine

    sweet maxine DIS Veteran

    Apr 21, 2004
    I love a budget trip!

    I took a very budget minded trip in September of this year, and probably will always remember that one! I had a condo at CPGV for $249 for the week, stayed a night at Pop Century on Reward Dollars, stayed a night on HHonors points, rented a car for around $200 for 11 days, and used my restaurant.com certificates for a few meals. Mom and I ate lunch on one VKL voucher at the Rainforest Cafe in AK one day, and had too much food! We ate at Cici's for lunch one day with a BOGO coupon from my Entertainment book, and even had a really cheap lunch while shopping at the Costco in Orlando (gotta love those very berry sundaes!). We only ate a good meal once a day, otherwise we snacked in our condo, and had bagels (from Costco) and yogurt for breakfast. My AP got us in the parking lots at Disney free, and I had days left over on hoppers from our trip earlier this summer.

    I think the thing I enjoyed most was just the satisfaction I had from knowing I had just as much fun, while doing it on the cheap.

    I forgot to add....I had also gotten a really good deal on airfare with Southwest ($49 each way), and a very special friend let me park my car at her house instead of at the airport.
  10. MEM

    MEM DIS Veteran

    Oct 25, 2001
    We just returned from what for us was a budget trip on November 1st. We wanted to visit WDW during MNSSHP but didn't see how it was possible after 12 days there this past August.

    Well, when $49 one way airfare from Boston to MCO came up on JetBlue, I bit! We already had annual passes and I was able to get an A/P rate on POR -- which I fell in love with, BTW. I felt the tickets for MNSSHP were a bargain for five very special hours at the park.

    Tiffany gave us a grocery stop at Publix and we bought a six pack of water, a box of cereal and one of oatmeal, as well as a bag of pretzels. We bought 2 mugs at the food court and shared beverages by using the glasses in the room.

    We made no PS in advance of the trip. Our plan was to share my last 7 Q&C vouchers and also share samples at the Food and Wine Festival. Once we arrived, we ended up making PS at Boatwright's for breakfast --cheaper than lunch or dinner -- and at 50's Prime Time for lunch where DH and I shared the fried chicken and DS and DD each had a kid's meal.

    I bought very few souvenirs -- only the pins from MNSSHP and the FWF. Each child bought a stuffed character from the Muppet Store at Disney Studios with their own allowance.

    I did not feel deprived at all (just tired!). After totaling everything up, and including the kennel fee and transportation to and from both airports, I'm still around $2,000 for four people for 5 days.
  11. crisi

    crisi DIS Veteran

    Feb 25, 2002
    I've regretted, not taking a budget trip, but cutting corners on a not budget trip.

    We cruised last year. My first instinct was to fly in the night before and stay the night at AKL. Eat at Boma (not one of my favorite places, but still nice), swim in the pool. Next morning, have a character breakfast at Cape May before driving to the port.

    The $240 room fee (no code available) scared me. As well as the additional costs of renting a car over just taking a towncar to the port.

    So we stayed at the Radisson out at the Cape for $100. Which is an ok hotel, but I regret not following my original plan.
  12. Local_Girl

    Local_Girl DIS Veteran

    Oct 6, 2002
    IMHO, planning a budget trip is much more of a challenge (scouring the web for discounts etc--thank goodness for the DIS!) than putting together a non-budget trip. Fortunately, I enjoy the challenge, LOL! Because I hunt for good deals, we are able to stay longer and do more than we would if we paid full price (if we could afford to go at all, which I doubt!). Besides, if we don't try to "do it all" in one trip, we'll always have a reason to go back!

    Personally, I feel that attitude has a lot to do with how much one enjoys a budget trip...if we go into it worrying that we'll feel deprived, we do. If we can just be happy that we are able to go to WDW, and let the "magic" happen, we'll always have a good trip.
  13. Lucky4me

    Lucky4me DIS Veteran

    Oct 11, 1999
    We're the opposite. We'd feel let down if we didn't budget. For me it's become a big game to see just how cheap we can go and still have a wonderful time.

    I guess it comes down to what's important to you while on vacation.

    If you know what you like, don't go for any big changes if you think you may not enjoy yourself while you're there.
    Any money you save won't be worth it. The point is to have a good time! :)
  14. Sandyincanada

    Sandyincanada DIS Veteran

    Oct 16, 2000
    We've gone all out and we also did a "budget" trip because signature had a great flight sale. We found a great new condo for cheap, rented a car and ate cheaper breakies, snacks in the park and then a good supper off site. It was nice not to waste so much time in the stores because we already bought our souvineers last trip. I went to www.Ibidusa.com and ended up with some great deals on restaurants. mini-golf, Wonder works, etc. We had a great time and it was nice to come home and know we didn't break the bank. With the great condo deals you can get now, you can go "budget" and never know it, lol
  15. tink2dw

    tink2dw Pixie Dust or Bust!!

    Aug 25, 2000
    I have always had budget trips; @ WDW, I would NEVER go cheap on the hotel again. I want themeing!! I want Mickey in my room. I always want a car.

    I spent 10 days at A S M - Jazz. We didn't even get the Mickey soap till the 8th day[it was a good thing I brought bath soap!] there. That was the only Themed thing in the room to let you know you were at WDW.

    I have done budget trips; @ DL and I would stay at any hotel on Harbor between Katella and Ball Road. Theming isn't the big thing at DL being in walking distance IS!! Because transportation isn't good. I always want a car.
  16. bobcat

    bobcat <font color=magenta>I had a horrible case two year

    Aug 19, 1999
    All of my trips have been budget trips! It's the only way we can afford to go. I would rather be on a budget and spend 10 days than not be on a budget and spend 4.
  17. frannn

    frannn <font color=blue>please stop the madnesssss alread

    Nov 2, 1999
    I don't know how not to budget, if that makes sense. It's just the way I live. I try to get the best deal on what I want, and don't deprive myself of much. But, I don't have champagne tastes. I enjoy staying on site at the AS Movies. I enjoy a few character meals and feel like the counter service meals with the Q&Cs and one meal with the VKLs is a great treat. We always get APs and try to use them over two years/two trips. For our last trip (9/04), for 10 nights, for DD2, DD11, DH, and I, it cost about 1600 for airfare, AS Movies, AP, and rental car (we had credit for one plane ticket, and reused our APs from our last trip). I bought a bunch of meal vouchers, restaraunt.com certs, and a few coupons for food. I shopped a lot at the Disney Store's summer clearance. I got a great deal on our rental car from Alamo. I did do a lot of planning & a lot of work getting the costs as low as possible, but I enjoy it. We did two character breakfasts (with the vouchers), a character dinner, and a character lunch. I don't feel I missed much by not staying at a moderate or a deluxe resort, nor do I mind eating a lot of counter service (I don't think I could eat at the food court every day, though). Would I like to stay at a nicer hotel and eat gourmet meals each day I am at WDW? Of course, if I had the $ to burn or someone else was paying. I don't think I mind going budget enough to pay for it now, though. So, I budget without it feeling too much like I'm budgeting. If this is the way I have to vacation in order to go once a year, I'm happy as a clam!
  18. DisneyCowgirl

    DisneyCowgirl DIS Veteran

    Jan 16, 2004
    We have had trips at both extremes--from Grand Floridian and eating at whatever Epcot restaurant we wanted to 4 people in the All Star Music eating PB&J in the room for most meals--and we have LOVED every trip. If you manage everone's expectations beforehand, I think it works fine.

    I agree though that staying onsite is key if you are not renting a car.
  19. HenDuck

    HenDuck DIS Veteran

    May 11, 2004
    Boy you guys have sure made me feel better and more optimistic about planning a real budget trip. I think it's very true that you can enjoy any sized budget trip if you prepare everyone in advance and adjust your expectations realistically.

    It's good to know that there are a lot of people out there who sometimes splurge and sometimes scrimp to go to Disney. Add us to that list!

    I really appreciate your responses. ::yes:: Let's keep them coming!

    Thanks again! :wave2:
  20. wide awake

    wide awake <font color=darkgreen>Nuts are good<br><font color

    Nov 27, 2003
    I think DL and WDW are two completely different trips. I've never known anyone to make a big deal about staying offsite at DL...and if you're within walking distance who needs a car? There are also lots of cheap places to eat in the area around the main gate. As for character breakfasts and souvenirs...who buys this stuff more than once unless your children vary widely in age ? I love a luxury hotel, and great meals, but to me DL is for the park...if I want a luxury hotel and fabulous meals I'd rather go to London or Florence. It is the same thing when we go to Hawaii...the point isn't the food...it is the beach, the different cultures, the history, and the attitude. And lets face it, a real Hawaiian meal is a plate lunch for $6. We really try to base our budget on the point of the trip, what the destination is known for...you can spend a ton of money anywhere you vacation, but that doesn't mean you've had an authentic experience.
  21. danield

    danield Earning My Ears

    Feb 20, 2004
    I'm wondering why anybody would want to get lodging on Disney property while going to the Park.?

    Let me explain:
    We,re going for an 8 day trip to Orlando in Feb-March 2005
    We travel from Canada: 2 adults-2 children
    Cheapest airfare from Canada so far is 290$us ea. return

    If I am going to the park from 8AM to 10PM for 4 days, would my money be better spend on staying off-site while i am visiting the different site on a 4 day hopper + and THEN enjoy all the facilities of the Disney Properties ( health spa, etc) while staying on site for the next 4 days?

    Just a thought.



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