Thursday, September 4, 2008

Travel Thursdays - Disney!!!!

We go to Disney every year - but we do it very inexpensively. I'll outline our last trip (although not in as much detail as the ski trip) below:

Tickets: Since we go every year, I purchased ten day passes with no expiration, park hopper and the water park extras. Two adult tickets and one child was about $1000 - I used Mousesavers to find the best deal. Yes, this was expensive, but I bought those tickets three years ago and we've made three trips to Disney since - we still have four or five days left - when we go to Orlando we only actually visit the parks two or three days. With the water park addition, tickets are about $30 a day - versus the $70 one day front gate price!!! Three days: $270

Transportation: We stayed two weeks, so we drove - gas cost us about $272 (for our minivan).

Lodging: We used our timeshares - a mere 28K points scored us a nice two bedroom at the Sheraton Vistana (excellent location). Then we spent four nights at Vero Beach with our Disney points - Sun - Wed, so low point nights and we decided on an ocean front inn room - so not much bigger than a hotel room, but a great view! The rest of week two was spent visiting friends. Total cost: $553

Food: While in Orlando, we only ate out four times - we used the Entertainment book (purchased end of the year with an ebates refund for $12) for two of those - total cost was $90. One of those finds was a WONDERFUL new place for us - we are already looking forward to going there again next year! We went to the grocery when we arrived (and brought some food) $65. This enabled us to take our own snacks and water into the parks. In addition, we got to the parks early, left at lunch time and went back after dinner. Saved money and good rest for the kids. We did eat out more at the beach as we didn't have a full kitchen. But, we found some great local spots by asking around. We also enjoyed a few early bird discounts while there - good for us since our kids need to eat around 5:00 anyways, so $160. Total food: $315

Entertainment: Three days at the parks, many days at the pool and beach, a little window shopping, a few stops at playgrounds and some visiting with friends kept us very busy. We also took advantage of the kids programs at the timeshares. All of them were free except for one cooking class my daughter took. Since I already included park tickets above, this total was $7

Laundry: I only packed seven days worth of clothing for each of us, and both timeshares had free laundry, so this time the cost was 0 (I packed my own detergent - those free samples are perfect).

Extras: We let each kid pick something special to buy and encouraged them to wait until the end of the week to decide. My daughter picked a Minnie Mouse from WalMart for $6 and my son was so little we just picked up a water ball for him to play with at the pool. As the kids get older we'll probably set a price limit for this category. We also got my son his first haircut on Mainstreet - $15 including Mickey Ears!!! Finally, at Goofy's Candy shop we made our own pretzels - they are three for $3.50 so a real bargain and fun for all of us. Total cost: $28.50

So, a two week trip to Disney and the beach: $1445.50

Yes, this was expensive, but much better than those commercials - 5 nights/ 4 days for $1500 . . . I'm pretty pleased and since we go every year, we get better at making it more affordable each year!

1 comment:

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