Its all about the numbers...... (how much $$ we spent) post trip report edition

Discussion in 'DIS Dads' started by Dad_of_4_girls, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. Dad_of_4_girls

    Dad_of_4_girls Earning My Ears

    Dec 10, 2007
    Hello all,

    I mostly lurk on these boards, post once and a while, and way over plan our trips. Didn't want to just post this in trip reports, as I thought you guys might like to see what the actual costs were if your new to planning a trip like this.

    First time we have been to WDW since 2008 so a lot has changed, and a lot has stayed the same. Thankfully.

    Cast of characters - Me, Wifey. I have 4 girls - 17, 14, 14, 8 and she has 2 boys - 14, and 11 (thats 6 kids - 3 of them are 14)
    yes its like the Brady Bunch, and yes they played it every time we got on the Pop Century bus.

    We drove down from NW Indiana - just outside of Chicago - I was able to rent a Ford Transit 15 passenger van for $1175 for 2 weeks from Enterprise.

    Quick Itinerary - 9 nights on property at Pop Century - 6 days water parks and more tickets, Dining Plan

    Day 1 drove to Atlanta - stayed at Country Inn and Suites on points for no cost
    Day 2 drove to St Augustine, FL - stayed at Holiday inn - 2 rooms $106 each
    Day 3 drove to Daytona - beach day - stayed at Country Inn and Suites on points - no cost

    Day 4 drove to WDW, used Water Parks and More to visit Typhoon Lagoon

    Day 5 Hollywood Studios - rope drop, Jedi Training, Fantastic Dinner at Mama Melrose - skipped it and watched Star Wars Fireworks - afternoon break at hotel

    Day 6 Magic Kingdom - Be our Guest breakfast at 8am pre-park opening, afternoon break, 17 year old birthday dinner at Crystal Palace with a special cake from Disney Cakes ($119)stayed till close and saw Kiss Goodnight

    Day 7 Animal Kingdom - Arrived just after opening, Tusker House lunch, Safari at dusk, left at dark - no break

    Day 8 Blizzard Beach - at opening, left about 3, dinner at Hoop Dee Doo Review

    Day 9 Epcot - at opening, Biergarten for lunch, tried to go to Beaches and Cream with no reservations, went back to hotel for dinner, bed early

    Day 10 Epcot - Breakfast at Akershaus pre-opening - walked onto Frozen, no break, stayed for Illuminations, ate our way around the World Showcase

    Day 11 Break Day - late breakfast at Ohana, Disney Springs, youngest did Biddidi Boutique while the boys did Disney Quest on the Water Parks and More, I got a couple good cigars at Sosa Cigar shop

    Day 12 Magic Kingdom -- all the crowd charts said don't go - it was PACKED. Was supposed to be 8am pre open breakfast at Cinderella's Royal Table, park opened at 8am, and stayed open until 2am for EMH. Took a break from 2pm until 6pm and headed back - crowds thinned, then it rained and got thinner - wife took the 2 young ones to hotel and I took the big ones from 11pm till 2am - we had a blast.

    Day 13 drove to Asheville, NC stayed at Country Inn and Suites on points for no cost
    Day 14 drove through Smokey Mountain Natl park, quick stop in Pigeon Forge for a couple of go-cart laps, then home.
  2. Dad_of_4_girls

    Dad_of_4_girls Earning My Ears

    Dec 10, 2007
    ok now for the dreaded part your waiting for -- the costs

    Now to pull off a stunt like this it took us about a year of planning and saving everywhere we could, plus some creative spending.
    My wifes aunt works at WDW -- she scored us 40% off our rooms and 15% off our tickets.

    9 nights Pop Century Standard Pool View - 2 rooms (7 adults 1 kid)
    Room only - List price $3104 - with CM discount $1862.40 - saved $1241.60
    Dining - 1 TS / 1 QS / 1 Snack + mugs = $4099.08 - no discount
    Tickets - 5 day Parks + water parks and more - list price (before cost increase) $3378.22 - with CM discount - $2887.07 - saved $491.15

    totals - List $10,581.30 - Our cost - $8848.55 - saved $1732.75

    now - how to save more --
    Get the Target Red Card -- it acts as a debit card tied to your checking account. When you use it you save 5%, if you order online you get free shipping, if you use it online, and use Target gift cards instead of your Red Card, you still save the 5%.
    We used online gift card resellers (mostly and bought $285 in Target gift cards for $267.50 (on average) then used the $285 in Target gift cards to purchase 3 $100 Disney gift cards - saved an average of 8% doing this and saved an additional $689.66. We used these gift cards to purchase our tickets - sent them to wifes aunt who could only buy up to 5 days then added on the extra day at the parks when we were on site. ($16 each)

    This took our cost down to $8158.89

    Also - I set up a Disney Vacation Account. They give you $20 for every $1000 when you have an account for 90 days - not the entire balance - just some -- I put $5,000 in it over time and got another $100 gift card that we spent at the parks.
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  4. Dad_of_4_girls

    Dad_of_4_girls Earning My Ears

    Dec 10, 2007
    We went with the dining plan because I did not want the worry of how much we spent at meals, were they going to eat it all, waste the food, order the most expensive items, can I have a mickey bar......

    The cost was $4099. After adding up our receipts we would have spent $2705.92 at table service restaurants, $1170.06 on counter service, $355.30 on snacks, and $131.20 on mugs. That comes up to $4362.48. I'm not counting that as savings - it just proved the WE got our value - I know there is a lot of hate going either way if its a value or not - to us it was, and not having to worry about food was worth it, even if we were upside down some. We shared a lot of meals, an no one was every really complaining about being hungry.

    We spent $1600 on other stuff, including the $127 to upgrade the tickets and $200 towards a bounce back for next summer. Everyone got more than enough stuff and had a great time.

    The rental van was $1174 for 2 weeks - look online for discount codes - they are there if you look hard. Spent $280 on gas - Average prices down south were $1.79/gal which was great.
    Spent about another $1500 on the way there/home on food, hotel, misc t-shirts, trip to Walgreens for sunburn cream, etc...

    14 days, 2 adults, 6 kids
    all in - $12,795.18

    hope this helps someone see how their plan fits the "real cost" - if you have questions I will be happy to answer
  5. jhoannam

    jhoannam DIS Veteran

    May 12, 2014
    Thanks for sharing the details, sounds like you guys know what you are doing.
  6. Texas2Disney

    Texas2Disney Earning My Ears

    Oct 21, 2013
    What a great break down. I'm always thinking "how much is this really gonna cost"? Thanks for sharing.
  7. Boatsanbeaches

    Boatsanbeaches Plaza ice cream sandwich is the best snack!

    Apr 8, 2015
    I remember somebody told me to budget a $1000/day. At first I was shocked but now after 4 trips I can certainly see using that for a rough estimate.
  8. KenHutch

    KenHutch DIS Veteran

    Jul 7, 2005
    I have a sort of unique problem. My daughter loves WDW but won't come without her 7 year old half sister (my god daughter) and to get permission to take both out of state for 2 weeks I have had to adopt a different approach. I pay everything for their mom, step-dad/dad, and a great aunt/uncle to come along. It solves all of my problems and all I have to do is throw money at the issue. Now it does mean that we only go every 2 years (and normally moderate) but with my angel getting ready for college I drank the Kool-Aid and booked 2 weeks at AKL for just shy of $17,000 and add to that 2 days in Daytona Beach and their gas this trip will run me about $20k. but when I look at the girls faces together...totally worth it.
  9. LBHouse

    LBHouse Mouseketeer

    Sep 19, 2011
    Wow. Sounds like you guys have some great trips

    I can’t even imagine some of these $$$ though. We are heading down to Disney dec 2-11. We will spend right around $1300 total. Using DVC (one bedroom Saratoga Springs). One night at Epcot thanks to dvc. Otherwise it will be lots of pool and resort time. Spend a day exploring a Florida Spring or two.

    2 adults, 4 kids
  10. deedubb

    deedubb Always Grumpy, except when at Disney!

    Feb 12, 2017
    Wow, I can't imagine what the cost of living would be with so many kids. We only have 2, and our Xmas trip will cost about $14K for the 4 of us. We're from Canada though and that is Canadian dollars, which equates to about $100 USD :jester:
    Zmack and WDWFan0813 like this.
  11. DrPhysics

    DrPhysics Earning My Ears

    Jul 16, 2016
    Two parents, 3 boys (7, 6, 3) tends to run us about $800-900/day ($700-800/night) renting points at a Deluxe resort, eating at sit down places most days, including some character meals. But we just bought DVC, so the numbers will drop going forward.
  12. Smittolis

    Smittolis DIS Veteran

    Mar 2, 2017
    We visit WDW every year, sometimes twice, we have AP's and Resident Discount. We usually stay for 7-14 days onsite at a deluxe monorail resort, depending on deals and discounts. We are going in August for 2 weeks, including flights, 1 week offsite, 1 week split at the poly and contemporary plus all food and purchases, it will come to around $7k. At rack rate and without any discounts on tickets or AP's etc... I dread to think what it would cost! lol

    But as above, of course that money can always be spent on other things but the emotional tie that the kids and family have to WDW and sharing that with them is priceless, and definitely worth all the hard work and money to get there. There will be a time when the kids don't really want to go on vacation with their 'olds' so I'm taking all the time we have ;o)
  13. IndyToThere

    IndyToThere Earning My Ears

    Feb 18, 2018
    With a family your size, did you ever consider staying at a rental (large condo or house)? I know it's not in the bubble, but the amount you can save on food by prepping your own food for some of the meals can really bring that cost down substantially. (not too mention, having a washer/dryer is pretty handy)

    Nice discount on your rooms though from your wife's aunt - pretty good hookup there!

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