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Old Yesterday, 10:55 PM   #1
MichaelaF
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How much do YOU budget?

....For your Disney vacation?

I realize this varies WIDELY, and often varies from vacation to vacation even in the same family (we are spending much less this year than last year, spending more time at Fort Wilderness and less at the parks). Just curious as to what you all shoot for saving up for! If you don't mind my asking.

This year we (my husband, son and I) are budgeting $1800 for 10 days (5 at the parks), but that is because we are staying at the Fort with my parents in their RV, so we can go cheap this year. We are also packing a lot of lunches. Last year we ended up spending somewhere around $3000+ (some of which we were given in gift cards over a few years), which included renting DVC points to stay at the VWL.
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Old Yesterday, 11:45 PM   #2
TNS_Tinkerbell
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I have been going to allears, and easy WDW and doing our food budget based on the menus, and serving sizes, I find pictures. I also have a safety net built into my budget, and I have extra because I used 1.14 for taxes, I would rather be safe than sorry. We too, are planning on doing breakfast in the room and packing snacks. Typically at DL we share food as a family of three. So only you know what your family eats, and how they eat. Do research, and try and have fun too. Cheers.

So for our family my food budget is:

I am shooting for 2000 for 13 days total, with a buffer of 500.

I would like to not use that all, as I have text books it would like to pay for the day after I return.

But again, better safe than sorry.
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Old Yesterday, 11:54 PM   #3
MichaelaF
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Sounds like a good way to do food budgeting...I did something similar this year as well (we did Dining Plan last year). How much do you figure for travel, lodging and extras?
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NEXT TRIP: Nov 2014 - Fort Wilderness!
March 2014 - Disneyland Off-site
Oct 2013 - Fort Wilderness and Villas at Wilderness Lodge
1994 - Polynesian Resort - Concierge and Magic Kingdom View
1992 - Polynesian Resort
1984 - Disneyland
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Old Yesterday, 11:58 PM   #4
disneychrista
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I work backwards. I price out the vacation and then save until I have the money to comfortably go on that vacation.
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Old Today, 12:44 AM   #5
letsgoreds
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I don't budget...I am just a frugal person. Whenever I set budgets for something, I feel like I NEED to spend a certain amount, usually more than I would want to. The tickets are a fixed price, we don't buy many souveneirs (who needs all that stuff), and just book resort based on 'the most bang for the buck.' This may mean a moderate or deluxe. Lately we are renting DVC from owners. We also try to do one new/special thing a trip. May be renting Sea Raycers (look for discounts), CRT, or a MVMCP party...or last trip, because it was the last trip for a while (relocated to Seattle), all 3!

So...I Disney budget, like I budget for life...just live frugally, looking for discounts wherever possible. E.G. For our last trip we were able to purchase 3K of Disney GC at about 20% off. This made the DVC rental (vs. moderate with CM discount) possible. Also took the bite out of the MVMCP and CRT splurges. Family of 4, we usually do 2 kid + 1 adult meal, or 3 kid + 1 adult meal...maybe one treat/dessert/day, no pops, etc. We breakfast in our room, and hit Publix for the occasional lunch, dinner, snacks, and treats.
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Old Today, 12:48 AM   #6
Saimaeve
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I tend to price backwards as well. I see what I want, and work towards that.

I try to keep it in a specific range though. About is where I stay $2000-$6000
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Old Today, 12:53 AM   #7
deakam
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The first time we went to Disney we stayed 6 nights but we drove so the trip was actually 10 nights. It cost with everything included $50.00 per night per person. That was staying off-site and sharing a 2 bedroom suite with another family. Then we started staying on Disney property with a dining plan and the cost (with the children older and eating more) went up to $100.00 a day per person. We stayed at POP. About 5 years ago we switched to the POFQ for the queen size beds and started going during free dining for 7 nights and flying with an over night hotel stay in Chicago both there and back so really 9 nights. The free dining covered the airfare but the upgrade and the addition of drinks at dinner (kids are adults now) punched it up to $150.00 per person per night. This year we are adding 2 nights at Universal and that made it real close to $250.00 a day per person. This could go up because I have no idea how expensive food is at Universal. And we are staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

This budget includes at least a $20.00 per night tip for dinner, paying cash for bottles of water and soda and for the past 5 years a Halloween Party.
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Old Today, 06:58 AM   #8
McKelly
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I budget $5000.00 per year for vacations. If I blow that on one vacation (Disney), that's all we do that year. If we go other places, I can usually, not always, get two vacations out of that, or at least one week vacation and a long weekend somewhere.
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Old Today, 07:06 AM   #9
MissMaryQC
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For us it depends on the vacation. My DBF and I did Disney in 2012 for under $600; long weekend, All Star Resort, brought food to the parks, breakfast in the hotel, little shopping. But next year my mom, sis and I are planning to spend about $1200 a piece for a 6 day vacation; moderate resort, almost all signature dining (which is most of the cost), special events, the whole nine. We research and plan and then we set a goal to save towards.
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Old Today, 07:12 AM   #10
DawnM
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For Disney, around $2,000-$2,500.

For other vacations, it just depends.

This year we have spent a LOT on travel. One Disney trip. Two trips to the West Coast. (One for just me, one for my son and me.) Two trips to Atlanta. One trip to Ohio. Four camps for the kids. Beach weekend.
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Old Today, 07:16 AM   #11
nugov2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saimaeve View Post
I tend to price backwards as well. I see what I want, and work towards that.
That is how we do it as well. I list everything we want to do and what it would cost. I add it up with a buffer in case we need extra and see how long it would take to get that with our vacation monthly savings. While I am pretty frugal in general, we are not frugal vacationers.
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Old Today, 07:45 AM   #12
ronandannette
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelaF View Post
....For your Disney vacation?

I realize this varies WIDELY, and often varies from vacation to vacation even in the same family (we are spending much less this year than last year, spending more time at Fort Wilderness and less at the parks). Just curious as to what you all shoot for saving up for! If you don't mind my asking.

This year we (my husband, son and I) are budgeting $1800 for 10 days (5 at the parks), but that is because we are staying at the Fort with my parents in their RV, so we can go cheap this year. We are also packing a lot of lunches. Last year we ended up spending somewhere around $3000+ (some of which we were given in gift cards over a few years), which included renting DVC points to stay at the VWL.
For us (family of 3) $1,800 would barely cover airfare. We don't have DVC or AP's or any other way to amortize the expenses. A Disney vacation is always a very expensive trip for us - every one we've taken has worked out to be about $1,000/day all in. We manage it by simply limiting the length rather than trying to cut a lot of corners. Like you said, everybody is different.
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Old Today, 07:46 AM   #13
Happyjen27
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I am another frugal person who does not take frugal vacations.

We budget about 7000-8000 for our Disney vacations.
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Old Today, 07:54 AM   #14
Marionnette
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelaF View Post
....For your Disney vacation?

I realize this varies WIDELY, and often varies from vacation to vacation even in the same family (we are spending much less this year than last year, spending more time at Fort Wilderness and less at the parks). Just curious as to what you all shoot for saving up for! If you don't mind my asking.

This year we (my husband, son and I) are budgeting $1800 for 10 days (5 at the parks), but that is because we are staying at the Fort with my parents in their RV, so we can go cheap this year. We are also packing a lot of lunches. Last year we ended up spending somewhere around $3000+ (some of which we were given in gift cards over a few years), which included renting DVC points to stay at the VWL.
We purchased DVC and have enough points to stay for 1-2 weeks in a studio each year, depending on the resort and the season. I think that I figured out that it costs me about $11 per point annually between the buy-in costs and the annual dues.

Then there are the tickets for 2 adults. A DVC PAP voucher sold for $484 each this past spring. I paid for them with Disney GCs purchased at Target, back when you could still use the Pharmacy Rewards coupon in conjunction with the REDCard for a total of 9.75% off of the face price of the GCs. If I time it right, we can get 2-3 visits with a single PAP.

For food, we purchase the TiW card ($100 for DVC members). It's good for 13 months, so again, we get 2-3 visits from it and end up saving a lot at the TS restaurants. Food is probably the most expensive line item for us because you cannot the cost out over several trips. It costs the same amount per day, whether we visit for one day or 20!

Airfare is covered through FF miles or points. We haven't paid for airfare in years. The 9/11 fees cost us $5 pp RT in the past. I believe that it has gone up to $5.60 pp one-way as of July 1.

Overall, I think that it costs us between $1,000-$1500 for two people to vacation at Disney for a week. That's with using DVC (and extrapolating the cost), buying a PAP and pricing out the cost per day based on 15-20 days per year, airfare and dining.
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Old Today, 07:58 AM   #15
Marionnette
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronandannette View Post
For us (family of 3) $1,800 would barely cover airfare. We don't have DVC or AP's or any other way to amortize the expenses. A Disney vacation is always a very expensive trip for us - every one we've taken has worked out to be about $1,000/day all in. We manage it by simply limiting the length rather than trying to cut a lot of corners. Like you said, everybody is different.
I totally get where you're coming from! We're a family of 5 and before we purchased DVC (and the kids grew up) we spent a lot of our vacation budget at Disney. I tend not to be frugal while on vacation. I save all year so that I don't have to go cheap on vacation!

Disney has become a much more affordable trip now that the kids have grown up and vacation on their own.
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