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How much does it really cost for a week at Disney World?


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#1 Just Kate

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 01:58 PM

I am in the midst of planning for a beach trip coming up in a few weeks (see this thread) and I am overwhelmed thinking about the cost. Then I got to thinking...if it costs this much to just go to the beach, how much would it cost to take my family to WDW (which I desperately want to do someday!).

Here is what I am looking at for our beach trip:

House for the week - Free (my brother owns it and is letting us stay for free!!!)
Rental car - $500 (long story...we can't take our car)
Gas - $400
Kennel cost for our dog - $120
Daily food/activities - $1,050 ($150 x 7 days)

This puts us a little over $2,000 for the trip. Maybe we won't actually spend $150 per day on food, but for some reason, I bet there will be other costs that I'm not even thinking of so I want to leave that number.

Would it be a ton more expensive for my family to go to WDW? If so, how the heck do so many people afford it???

#2 hsmamainva

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:36 PM

We go to Disneyworld every year. Here are our average expenses.

Off-site 3 bedroom townhouse - $800 for the week (we go off-season)
Gas to drive from Va to Fl - $600
Food from Publix to eat while we're there - $300
Disneyworld Base Tickets for 6 for a week (the big expense!) - $1700
Kennel for the dogs at home - $500

We eat one meal in the parks per day, which is usually counterservice and runs about $60. Add in a Mickey balloon ($10) and a stop for Dole Whips ($40) and it does all add up!

We average anywhere from $4,000 to $5,000 per year for our Disney vacation. And we don't even stay on-site! Some of the really nice resorts are very pricey -- and we don't fit in them, being a family of six!

For us...it's something we're doing now at this time in our lives. Our youngest has autism and just adores Disney! When she seems to outgrow it, we'll do something else for vacation instead.

#3 AngieC

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:45 PM

We did a week at Disney in 2010 and are going back this fall. Here is how our pricing breaks down:

Airfare: $800 2010, $1,100 2012
Disney - 7 nights in a value resort with free dining and 5 day park tickets: $1700 2010, $1,800 2012

There will be airport parking, some extra food that we will bring and we will probably have to buy a little (on our last trip we spent $0 out of pocket on food), souvenirs and gratuities. We will also rent a car and drive to the beach for a day. Everything included, our 2010 Disney trip cost about $2,800, this year it will be slightly more, mostly due to airfare increases.

If you live close to Disney, I think it can be a reasonably affordable vacation.

#4 DianeW88

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:46 PM

Well, there's no good answer to that, because you can definitely do WDW on the cheap if you choose to (and cheap being relative), or you can spend a fortune.

Only speaking for my family here...it costs us approximately $10,000 for a two week trip to WDW. That's how much I budget, and I try to come in under that. Keep in mind that we are a family of five, living in Salt Lake and therefore airline tickets generally eat up $2,000 of the cost. Although I try to cash in frequent flier miles when I can and hopefully reduce that aspect of it.

For our trip next year (we go annually), we will be staying at Art of Animation, which is technically a value resort. I will not stay off property...just a personal preference of mine. That's about $305 per night (approximate, because I don't have next year's package prices yet). We also get the regular dining plan, because I refuse to worry about food and how much each individual meal costs on my vacation...again, personal preference. That totals up to about $3,000 for food for my entire family for the length of our stay. We also get the 10 park tickets with the park hopper and water parks and more option. Not sure how much that is...$2,000 or so. Then we budget about $500 for souvenirs and about $500 for unexpected stuff.

How do I save? My dh gets a really good monthly bonus and I save almost half of it each month for our vacation fund. I also buy Disney gift cards when I can and save those. You can get a discount on them at Sam's Club and I use my Target rewards card to get them for 5% off at Target.

I save as much as I can at the grocery store each month. I plan all my menus and coupon. I've had to increase my food budget to $500 per month because food prices have gotten ridiculous :glare:, but I still save as much as I possibly can that way.

I do online surveys whenever possible and the money I get from those goes directly to my Disney fund.

My trips are always paid in full before we go and it's so nice to just relax and have fun there.

Here's one of my favorite sites for learning how to save for Disney. www.couponingtodisney.com

Again, this is just for my family and we tend to stay for a long time so we can have a relaxing time. Disney by nature isn't a relaxing vacation, but two weeks there allows us to slow down and not be stressed out about seeing everything. Staying at a value also saves us money. As a family of five, our resort choices are limited, and unless we stay at a deluxe resort, we have to book two rooms.

Forgot to say: I do save money on our rooms by buying one annual pass for me. With the annual pass you can book up to three rooms with the AP discount. Those are usually an extra 10% or so on top of whatever discount Disney is running at the time. That saves us some money, too.

Edited by DianeW88, 21 June 2012 - 02:49 PM.


#5 Acorn

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:48 PM

We went during free dining in Jan 2011. Our whole trip (4 airline tickets, travel insurance, 5 day park passes, nearly all the food, and value resort 4 nights) was $2100. It was an incredible value. I don't think we will ever find round trip air tickets for $150 a person again that definitely made this trip possible. We loved being onsite and using the Disney buses. The All-Star Movies value resort wasn't anything fancy- tiny rooms but we loved the decor. I think rooms were about $80 a night in our trip package last year. We did bring some snacks, big box of cereal and Disney souvenirs from home. If I could do it again, and we want to but it will be a few years, I would have liked a Park Hopper pass.

#6 Just Kate

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 03:12 PM

I am just amazed. I can't believe that for what we are paying to go to the beach, we could *almost* go to Disney World! You've got to believe that I will be saving for the WDW trip next year!!!

#7 Just Kate

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 03:13 PM

Well, there's no good answer to that, because you can definitely do WDW on the cheap if you choose to (and cheap being relative), or you can spend a fortune.

Only speaking for my family here...it costs us approximately $10,000 for a two week trip to WDW. That's how much I budget, and I try to come in under that. Keep in mind that we are a family of five, living in Salt Lake and therefore airline tickets generally eat up $2,000 of the cost. Although I try to cash in frequent flier miles when I can and hopefully reduce that aspect of it.

For our trip next year (we go annually), we will be staying at Art of Animation, which is technically a value resort. I will not stay off property...just a personal preference of mine. That's about $305 per night (approximate, because I don't have next year's package prices yet). We also get the regular dining plan, because I refuse to worry about food and how much each individual meal costs on my vacation...again, personal preference. That totals up to about $3,000 for food for my entire family for the length of our stay. We also get the 10 park tickets with the park hopper and water parks and more option. Not sure how much that is...$2,000 or so. Then we budget about $500 for souvenirs and about $500 for unexpected stuff.

How do I save? My dh gets a really good monthly bonus and I save almost half of it each month for our vacation fund. I also buy Disney gift cards when I can and save those. You can get a discount on them at Sam's Club and I use my Target rewards card to get them for 5% off at Target.

I save as much as I can at the grocery store each month. I plan all my menus and coupon. I've had to increase my food budget to $500 per month because food prices have gotten ridiculous :glare:, but I still save as much as I possibly can that way.

I do online surveys whenever possible and the money I get from those goes directly to my Disney fund.

My trips are always paid in full before we go and it's so nice to just relax and have fun there.

Here's one of my favorite sites for learning how to save for Disney. www.couponingtodisney.com

Again, this is just for my family and we tend to stay for a long time so we can have a relaxing time. Disney by nature isn't a relaxing vacation, but two weeks there allows us to slow down and not be stressed out about seeing everything. Staying at a value also saves us money. As a family of five, our resort choices are limited, and unless we stay at a deluxe resort, we have to book two rooms.

Forgot to say: I do save money on our rooms by buying one annual pass for me. With the annual pass you can book up to three rooms with the AP discount. Those are usually an extra 10% or so on top of whatever discount Disney is running at the time. That saves us some money, too.


Let me just say...WOW! I am impressed! I just can't imagine being able to take a vacation like that. Good for you for saving the money to do it!!! :thumbup:

#8 QueenCath

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 03:20 PM

The cheapest we've done it was around $2000, for a week, but we had one less child with us that time. Average is more like $3000. We do stay off site, so we can get a condo... We usually it breakfast in the condo, eat at a sit-down for lunch, and then get a heavy snack in the later evening, on days we go to one of the parks. We usually do the four day park pass, and then a water park on another day... The extra days are spent hanging out at the pool, shopping, or whatever.

#9 Mandylubug

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 03:20 PM

We stayed five nights within the resort Carribean Beach Resort Pirate Rooms. We spent 3500 for a family of six (two of our kids in a room with their gparents and on their room's dining plan) with two days at WDW, one day at Universal. Included a 20 dollar souvenier per kid at WDW and a wand at Universal, eating at Downtown Disney once at TRex Cafe. Also, included all our tips for our dining plan meals. Tips aren't included in said plan. That was with us driving down from GA. We were frugal and felt "cheap" and left out when it came to other family members and their spending abilities while there.

#10 Jennifer in MI

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 03:22 PM

We've done it a number of ways. We've stayed off-site at a condo and bought our tickets and made ALL our own food. That was definitely the cheapest, but it was quite stressful cooking all our own food and packing it up for the parks. We could have gone back to the condo - but that just took too much time! I think that vacation was about $2000. Not to bad.

We've also stayed on-site with free dining. That's what really makes it affordable for us. This next trip, we're staying at Port Orleans Riverside (a medium-priced resort) for five nights with two day passes to the parks and free dining for $1600. Now, we were only able to do that because other relatives are going at the same time and we are technically putting one of our kids on their reservation. The rooms at POR sleep 5.

We also did a longer trip a couple years ago and paid for our meal plan. I think we were there for 10 days. That was very expensive!!!

One more thing about budgeting - be sure you keep in mind all the savings you'll have because you aren't at home. We find our electric/gas/water bills are down by a bit. We don't grocery shop for that week - so that's extra money for our vacation!

#11 Anne in CA

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 03:51 PM

My dh and I took our kids on safari to Tanzania. My cousin and her husband run an international church in Dar es Salaam.

Airline tickets: $6,200

One day in Istanbul to see the sights: $370 (This is expensive, we took a bus everywhere.)

Food in Tanzania: $400, the price of groceries in a grocery store in Africa is horrific, a 2lb block of cheese is $25.

Five day camping safari: $5,300, for our family and my cousin's family. This is the price Europeans pay, not the American price which is almost double. Because of my cousin we had a connections.

That is not much more than many people are spending for Disney World, lol. Wow, I didn't know how much it could be.

#12 QueenCath

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 03:54 PM

That is not much more than many people are spending for Disney World, lol. Wow, I didn't know how much it could be.


I don't think most people are paying $12,000 to go to Disney. I only saw one poster come near that amount. Most were much closer to $3-4000.

#13 Anne in CA

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 04:23 PM

Yes, now that I read through I see that, I was shocked at $10,000 for a vacation in the US, lol.

#14 Heigh Ho

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 04:28 PM

I am in the midst of planning for a beach trip coming up in a few weeks (see this thread) and I am overwhelmed thinking about the cost. Then I got to thinking...if it costs this much to just go to the beach, how much would it cost to take my family to WDW (which I desperately want to do someday!).

Here is what I am looking at for our beach trip:

House for the week - Free (my brother owns it and is letting us stay for free!!!)
Rental car - $500 (long story...we can't take our car)
Gas - $400
Kennel cost for our dog - $120
Daily food/activities - $1,050 ($150 x 7 days)


Your rental car cost seems high for a week; any way to knock that down?

#15 praisefor3

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 04:34 PM

Rental car - $500 (long story...we can't take our car)


You need to shop around for your car rental. We just flew to Orlando two weeks ago. We rented a full size car from May 30-June 9 for $137 (all taxes and fees included) from Alamo. It was a 2012 with 6000 miles on it. There are tons of car rental deals.

#16 DianeW88

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 04:39 PM

Yes, now that I read through I see that, I was shocked at $10,000 for a vacation in the US, lol.


That is for two full weeks at WDW. Most families don't stay that long, but our airfare to get there is so expensive, we don't feel like one week there justifies the cost of the tickets.

So when you are comparing the costs, one week at WDW is typical. For us, that still comes in at about $6,500. Again, because of the airfare. $2,000 is cheap for a family of five to fly from Salt Lake. $2,500 is more typical, but I do hunt relentlessly for the cheapest fare.

It also depends what time of year you choose to vacation there. Christmas week is CRAZY expensive, while going in August or September can be 40% less. Plus, free dining is usually offered during those months. We always go at the end of Aprl or early May, because of my college kids and their school schedules. Not the most expensive time of year, but definitely not the cheapest either. That's what makes the cost of a WDW vacation so variable.

#17 praisefor3

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 04:42 PM

By the way, we were at Disney from June 2-June 9 in a suite at Coronado Springs but our hotel was free due to DH's business. Our tickets were also slightly discounted. We paid $1200 for four park hopper, 7 day tix (after 5 days the rest of the days up to 10 are very, very cheap.) We ate all breakfasts in the room which is easy because we have a fridge and like cereal and poptarts while we are there. I don't like spending money on breakfast. We ate out lunch and supper, had plenty of food. I don't want anyone to be hungry but also don't like to waste money. (I will admit we did get the benefit of DH's business taking us to California Grill and Yachtsman's Steak House where both of my meals were over $100 each but I don't like food that much to ever actually pay that myself.) This is a regular trip for us so we know what we like to do/don't like to do, like to eat/don't like to eat and what special treats make it fun. Our plane tickets were $1200 for four but DH's will be reimbursed. So...with tix and transportation and the hotel being free we still spent about $2600 for seven nights. If you can drive and save hundreds on transportation then it is worth it. For us, since one child wasn't going (summer camp job) and DH's was free it was worth it to fly this year and not have the 20 hour drive each way (although we have done it many times!)

#18 hsmamainva

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 06:40 PM

Something we haven't tried, that you may want to look into, is Disney's YES program for homeschoolers.

You attend any number of educational events (classes seem to be 3 hours in length and most are for kids ages 9-15) and you receive a substantial discount on the admission tickets.

For instance, say you sign up one of your children. They have to attend the class (you can choose the topic from a list). Say that it's on Monday morning from 8am to 11am. You can purchase 7 days worth of park passes and the remainder of that week is yours to spend as you like.

I really want to try this for one our upcoming trips!

Here's a link:

http://www.disneyyou...ual-enrollment/

#19 Bensmom

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 08:35 PM

For our family of three (two adults, one child rate) to fly, stay on property at a value resort for 6 nights in value season, park tickets for 5 days, use WDW transportation (no car rental), eat 3 meals a day (2 counter service and one full service each day), souveniers less than $50, and misc. $3,500.

We have done it cheaper by bringing our own snacks and breakfast foods, and eating only 1 or 2 full-service meals. At today's prices (with airfare), I wouldn't plan a trip for my family of three for less than $3,000 (a thousand dollars per person).

#20 StaceyinLA

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 09:53 PM

I'm not sure of your family size, but, dd, ds, dgs and I are going in September. We have a preferred value room for 5 nts with free dining and 5 or 5 or 6 day passes for a grand total of $1320. Now dgs is free because hes under 3, so youd have to pay for park passes for another over 3.

Of course to that you'd have to tack on your rental car and dog kenneling, but you'd be around $2000, plus any additional park passes needed.

Going during free dining makes it SO doable! And with value rooms you get 2 counter meals per day and at least one snack (we plan to use our snack option for lite breakfasts). You also get the free refill mug for your resort so the kids (and parents) can go to the food court for drinks anytime at no cost.

Now, a bigger family would of course cost more, but some moderate rooms sleep 5. It'd be a little more costly, but it does bump you to a better dining plan with table service meals.

We are actually excited to do a trip with no table service meals - we don't want to be tied to any reservations.

Anyway, definitely worth looking into. I think staying on property during free dining is certainly a cheap way to go (and so much nicer than being off property).

ETA that I did go back and see that you have 2 children. Y'all could definitely do a value during free dining and probably spend $1500-1600 for room, tickets and, of course, meals would be free. You'd have your travel expenses and dog kennel costs, but I can't imagine you couldn't come in under $2500, and that's probably including some souvenirs.

Edited by StaceyinLA, 21 June 2012 - 10:02 PM.


#21 tex-mex

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 09:59 PM

Back in 2006, when we were rolling in the $$$, we spent a week at WDW at a sister hotel near Downtown Disney. It was about $2000 for the 3 of us for airfare, hotel, park passes (4 day), and meals. We also did 2 days of hanging out at Downtown Disney or Blizzard Beach which was very fun, but pricey. HTH

Edited by tex-mex, 21 June 2012 - 10:02 PM.


#22 tex-mex

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 10:09 PM

The cheapest we've done it was around $2000, for a week, but we had one less child with us that time. Average is more like $3000. We do stay off site, so we can get a condo... We usually it breakfast in the condo, eat at a sit-down for lunch, and then get a heavy snack in the later evening, on days we go to one of the parks. We usually do the four day park pass, and then a water park on another day... The extra days are spent hanging out at the pool, shopping, or whatever.

:iagree:
The year we went (2006) was with a conference we attended and got the hotel conference rate. We had Southwest $99 r/t fares (wow), Disney Dining Plan tickets (2x a day per person) and let the bus shuttle us to and from WDW and the airport. The hotel gave us free breakfast and we chowed down before park hopping at WDW. One of the Dining Plan tickets was a snack and the other was a full dinner at a nice sit down place (w/reservations). We had a blast!!

#23 katilac

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 10:13 PM

We went for a week in January, and paid $1,900 for a package deal for our family of 4 (both of my kids are Disney adults; under 9 is a bit cheaper).

That's off-season pricing. It included accomodations at Pop Century, a value resort, our park tickets, and counter service dining plan - 2 meals and 1 snack per day, which worked out to more than enough food for us.

We paid $200 or so for gas for the drive there and back; $100 for hotel/food on the way there (we drive straight through going home). We spend about $75on Disney pins online before we go, because we all like to trade once we get there.

The price could be a lot more if we stayed at a moderate or deluxe resort, or went at peak times of year. There are various rates throughout the year, and we have always gone when they had the free dining plan deal, which we LOVE.

All things considered, I think it's a surprising affordable vacation.

#24 LucyStoner

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 10:23 PM

We went for a week in January, and paid $1,900 for a package deal for our family of 4 (both of my kids are Disney adults; under 9 is a bit cheaper).

That's off-season pricing. It included accomodations at Pop Century, a value resort, our park tickets, and counter service dining plan - 2 meals and 1 snack per day, which worked out to more than enough food for us.

We paid $200 or so for gas for the drive there and back; $100 for hotel/food on the way there (we drive straight through going home). We spend about $75on Disney pins online before we go, because we all like to trade once we get there.

The price could be a lot more if we stayed at a moderate or deluxe resort, or went at peak times of year. There are various rates throughout the year, and we have always gone when they had the free dining plan deal, which we LOVE.

All things considered, I think it's a surprising affordable vacation.


Where did you book through?

#25 I.Dup.

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 12:36 AM

We paid $1600 for myself, my 10 yo and my MIL to go in January of this year. We used free dining. That also includes the airfare. My MIL paid us back $300 for her part, so we paid $1300. 4 days in the park, no park hopper, no water park, counter service dining.

I will never want to go and not use the counter service dining again. It was awesome!!

I just booked a trip today for my dh and I to go at the end of August. :w00t::willy_nilly::001_unsure::blink: I'm kindof freaking out about it now, though. We will be bringing our baby along (he will be newly 1) and hopefully I will have a friend to watch him during 2 of the days. We are staying for 4 days and we are paying $2300, including airfare. This time we had to pay for our CS dining plan, but it is worth it to me. We are also doing the water park and more package.

So, $1300 + $2300 = $3600 for 2 Disney trips (cross country) in one year, not bad. I feel better after reading that is about average.

#26 StaceyinLA

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 01:55 AM

It may be all booked, but I know it's offered from mid or late August through late September.

#27 Minniewannabe

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 05:27 AM

A rough estimate is $800 a day for a family at wDW. This would include getting there and staying on property.


There are many ways to save including meal plans, Tables in Wonderland, free meals, AAA membership, staying an extended period of time, and annual passes. For example, if one person in the family gets an annual pass, the room savings can be 30 to 40%. A Tables in Wonderland card saves 20% on all sit down meals.

Since OP is staying for free at the beach, I do not think one can go to WDW cheaper than her trip. But both vacations sure are fun.
:)

#28 katilac

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:07 AM

Where did you book through?


I book directly from Disney. The first couple of times, I did it through one of their travel agents on the phone, but now it's old hat and I just figure it all out online :D

Their agents are super helpful. Online, you can enter various dates and resorts, and see what the price will be.

#29 DawnM

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 08:08 AM

We are a family of 5. You can see all of my cheap Disney posts if you search.

For several years we were doing Crown Financial and determined to get out of debt. I still wanted to go to Disney! So, I found the bare bones cheapest way to do it and we still got to go every year. We found we liked saving the $$ so much that we kept doing it that way.

SkyAUction Condo- $250/wk including tax
Disney YES tickets 5 days with watermarks and more- $800
Food- $200 plus our regular weekly food budget
Gas- $300 approx.

We eat b-fast in the condo, pack a lunch in a backpack cooler, and usually get back in time for a late dinner. We do budget some for eating in the parks, but we only do table service. We have done the buffets before and just can't spend $200+ on one meal anymore. ($40 each for 4 of us and $25 for our 8 year old, who will be $40 in a few months!)

#30 I.Dup.

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 02:50 PM

It may be all booked, but I know it's offered from mid or late August through late September.


No, we had to have booked by May 18 and this was a last minute, spur of the moment thing for us. Still worth it to pay for the dining plan!!

#31 StaceyinLA

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 03:56 AM

No, we had to have booked by May 18 and this was a last minute, spur of the moment thing for us. Still worth it to pay for the dining plan!!


I knew there was a deadline. Bummer to miss it, but you're right; it's worth it! I can't wait to go!!

#32 StaceyinLA

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 03:57 AM

My dh and I took our kids on safari to Tanzania. My cousin and her husband run an international church in Dar es Salaam.

Airline tickets: $6,200

One day in Istanbul to see the sights: $370 (This is expensive, we took a bus everywhere.)

Food in Tanzania: $400, the price of groceries in a grocery store in Africa is horrific, a 2lb block of cheese is $25.

Five day camping safari: $5,300, for our family and my cousin's family. This is the price Europeans pay, not the American price which is almost double. Because of my cousin we had a connections.

That is not much more than many people are spending for Disney World, lol. Wow, I didn't know how much it could be.



Why do this when you could go to Disneyworld?!? :tongue_smilie::lol::tongue_smilie:

Obviously I'm kidding.

#33 tess in the burbs

tess in the burbs

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 06:08 AM

Dec 2007 off site so gas/food/tickets/fun we did $2-3k. I remember budgeting close to 3 but spending a little over 2k.

Dec 2011 off site so gas/food/tickets/fun close to $3k. We had more money available this trip.

2k not including place to stay is low end I would budget. Closer to 3k would allow you to eat and buy whatever and really enjoy it. We are a family of four.


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