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WDW Theme Parks Discuss "Why is a WDW vacation so expensive?" in the Vacation Planning forums; Hello to all of my fellow Disneyiacs! I apologize in advance if this subject has already been tackled elsewhere in one of Lou's forums. I'm totally Disneyfied, and like many ...
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    Smack81's Avatar
    Smack81 is offline Long Live IllumiNations!
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    "Why is a WDW vacation so expensive?"

    Hello to all of my fellow Disneyiacs!

    I apologize in advance if this subject has already been tackled elsewhere in one of Lou's forums.

    I'm totally Disneyfied, and like many of you, I'm famous at work for being the girl who always goes back to WDW instead of visiting somewhere else. (I shamelessly admit that it's true.) A lot of coworkers approach me and ask me about planning a WDW trip. Could I give them some tips? Of course I could! We Disneyiacs can talk about WDW for hours without breathing.

    Here's what I wanted to ask all of you about. When I talk to a coworker about a WDW trip, I'm inevitably asked, "Why does it have to be so expensive to go to WDW?"

    I guess I'm not sure that it is, comparably speaking. If you were going to take a similar trip elsewhere - flying there, paying for 5 or 6 nights' worth of hotel, buying souvenirs, buying most (if not all) of your meals etc... - I don't think it would cost that much less. Now, this assumes that you're not staying at the Grand Floridian and eating at Victoria and Albert-type restaurants every day. (I'm a 'stay at a value resort and enjoy sandwiches at the Plaza Restaurant' sort of gal.)

    What do you guys think? Maybe I'm wrong, in which case I need to adjust my thinking.

    Thanks, and have a magical evening!

    Smack81

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    ohiodisneydad's Avatar
    ohiodisneydad is offline Hi, my name is David and I like Beverly.
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    I have asked myself this many times. I talk with a lot of people and they almost all say the same phrase that ticks me off. They make reference to a giant white glove picking your pocket as you walk into the park gates. You can budget out a great WDW vacation but you have to be willing to stick to it. Our first family trip we can back with $600 bucks in our pocket becasue my wife is a stickler for budgets. We saved and scrimped and even did a time share (gasp!) My buddy went the same year and bought a time share package that his wife didn't want to go to so he had to let it go to waste. He cashed out his retirement and rolled into town with 420 in his pocket. He called me and needed me to wire him money but I was out of town and couldn't get back in touch with him.

    Tell your co wo-workers to pace themselves. There is no way they can eat everywhere or buy everything they want unless they are millonaires. Remind them that they can stay off property for a fraction of the price, hit fast food places for some meals and have nicer meals in the parks. Point them to books like "Disney on a Dime" or the Cheapskates Guide to Disney
    "Life is an occassion. Rise to it."- Mr. Magorium
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    Chrissy&Tayen's Avatar
    Chrissy&Tayen is offline counting down to my vacation
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    i must say our trip was planned in march so i have beening saving here and there when i could.. so the trip is paid for when the time comes.. food and all!! now the only think we need money for is gas for the trip and whatever we spend as far as gifts to take home or if we eat out more or so on and so forth..

    you can go to disney on a budget.. you sure can... but my question is why would you want too... plan your trip.. plan what you wanna do and what you wanna see.. i know you cant see it all.. but makes sure you do the main things you wanna do..

    we never went to disney before when i was married to my first hubby because we thought oh its so expensive them my current hubby pointed out to me.. no really its not!!

    heck some places in this world we pay $20 or more a day to park our car to go see a pier in chicago.... then you get out and spend more money on tickets and food and such whats the difference???? the difference is they just dont get it... because if they really did... they would see the money is way worth the feel, memories, and magic you get once you enter disney!
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    Shere_Khan's Avatar
    Shere_Khan is offline As the world falls down...
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    Until people stop shelling out thousands it will stay as expensive as it is.
    They basically make it expensive because of the simple fact that they just can!

    But along with that price, the service they provide and magic are well worth the cost.


    But hey if you think WDW is expensive, don't even attempt to stay at DLR! Omg I priced a 3 day trip there at one of their resorts and it was twice as much as my 7 day long trip to WDW next fall.


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    ohiodisneydad's Avatar
    ohiodisneydad is offline Hi, my name is David and I like Beverly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy&Tayen View Post
    i must say our trip was planned in march so i have beening saving here and there when i could.. so the trip is paid for when the time comes.. food and all!! now the only think we need money for is gas for the trip and whatever we spend as far as gifts to take home or if we eat out more or so on and so forth..

    you can go to disney on a budget.. you sure can... but my question is why would you want too... plan your trip.. plan what you wanna do and what you wanna see.. i know you cant see it all.. but makes sure you do the main things you wanna do..

    we never went to disney before when i was married to my first hubby because we thought oh its so expensive them my current hubby pointed out to me.. no really its not!!

    heck some places in this world we pay $20 or more a day to park our car to go see a pier in chicago.... then you get out and spend more money on tickets and food and such whats the difference???? the difference is they just dont get it... because if they really did... they would see the money is way worth the feel, memories, and magic you get once you enter disney!
    We budget because we have too. We pack all that we can while we are there but we can't go to every character meal in the park adn we can't afford a 10 park hopper w/ no expiration. All the planning in the world doesn't replace revenue. I'm glad for those of us who can scrimp and save all year long but I know that Disney can be done on a budget and you can have fun. Chrissy is right we spend more to do things that once combined would really help on a disney trip
    "Life is an occassion. Rise to it."- Mr. Magorium
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    For some reason to me I've never thought of it as being overpriced if you do it right. To me you're paying for the atmosphere. You're paying for something you can't get anywhere else in the world... an experience unlike any vacation you'll ever take again. That said however one of my favorite things about a Disney trip is the ability to truly budget it. You can book it and put down a deposit and then spend the next year making small payments on it. For someone like me who spends her money like it's burning a hole through her pocket... that's a fantastic feature. I'd never be able to just sit and save and save and save and afford any sort of vacation so the ability to make payments when I have the cash is a huge benefit for me. LOL!
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    harra's Avatar
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    Well, I was always told that Disney's prices are so expensive because they feel a high price is in order to put a certain level of value to it. Just like people view stuff purchased from wal-mart and target to be cheap because their prices are affordable, people will view Disney's product as being "high class" because you pay a premium for it.

    This isn't just unique to Disney. I heard the same arguments when I lived in Aspen, Colorado and the Aspen Ski Company would boast about having the most expensive lift ticket prices in the country.

    I personally feel that there is a component to the pricing that involves what someone else already said....

    They are high because people will pay those prices. Just like people will pay $4/gal for gasoline

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    tizzo is offline E-Ticket Holder
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    I suppose some would say that this is a cop out, but as far as I'm concerned, the answer is as simple as "you get what you pay for".

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    Veritas's Avatar
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    Disney can be expensive, but I look at it as having levelas of expense. If you time thigns right, do research and are flexible you can get pretty good deals. If you are cost conscious you can eat pretty reasonably and even more if youa re will to bring snacks etc. On one ens fo the spectrum you really can limit your costs and still enjoys allt he same attractions, shows and actvities as most everyone else. Cost becomes a real factor when you eat at costlier restaurants, buy gewgaws, stay at pricier lodging, do hard ticket events. One thing to keep in mind though, Thundermountain rail road si the same no matter where you stay, where you eat or if you bought a souvenier.
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    Take a trip to New York City and I assure you, Disney will look like a bargain.
    Things were truly certified insane when I started comparing the cost of things like food and beverages, hotels, here on Long Island to Disney, and Disney cost less.
    And I'm not even talking about something in the Hamptons! This is a hotel right next to a regional airport and an industrial area: $149 a night, minimum. Why? No idea, except that "Because we can" theory.

    Walt Disney World at least maintains its own fire departments, security, transportation network, sewer and sewage treatment plants, a power plant, tree farm, nature reserves, a government, employs 60,000 people, and provides a quality experience for its guests in an area twice the size of Manhattan.
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    iwannabeminnie is offline I'm old! I'm like the cryptkeeper!
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    The last time we went to WDW, it cost us a grand total of $2500 (give or take, that is the rough figure). We flew into MCO. We were there for 8 nights. There were two of us. We stuffed ourselves stupid on great food the entire trip. We went to every park, every water park, PI, and bought a boat load of souvenirs (pins mostly). That comes out to about $150-$160 a person per day. Where on earth can I go for prices like that? It costs me about $800 to spend four days at Christmas with my parents, sleeping under their roof, eating their food, and watching their TV (which is about the extent of the entertainment---sorry Mom and Dad).

    Now, granted we stayed at a Value Resort and had the Free Dining Plan. But it just goes to show that with a little planning you can EASILY do Disney on a budget.

    Don't even ask me what my next trip is costing, because I don't even want to go there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwannabeminnie View Post
    The last time we went to WDW, it cost us a grand total of $2500 (give or take, that is the rough figure). We flew into MCO. We were there for 8 nights. There were two of us. We stuffed ourselves stupid on great food the entire trip. We went to every park, every water park, PI, and bought a boat load of souvenirs (pins mostly). That comes out to about $150-$160 a person per day. Where on earth can I go for prices like that? It costs me about $800 to spend four days at Christmas with my parents, sleeping under their roof, eating their food, and watching their TV (which is about the extent of the entertainment---sorry Mom and Dad).

    Now, granted we stayed at a Value Resort and had the Free Dining Plan. But it just goes to show that with a little planning you can EASILY do Disney on a budget.

    Don't even ask me what my next trip is costing, because I don't even want to go there.
    I was just shaking my head at you while reading that! I am glad you mentioned where you stayed and that you had free dining. I was about to call the travel agent and cancel!
    My first trip, we did the same thing. We budgeted and stayed at the All Stars. The more we go, the more we seem to spend. I don't need to do the parks at break neck speed because I have to see it all. Now, I want the whole package but I am willing to save and save for it. Okay, my DH is willing to save for me.
    I have also done Disney by myself, meaning I shared the cost with another family which makes a big difference. I only had to pay for half the room, my single plane ticket and only my food. That makes a big difference. So my suggestion is to make each family member fiscally responsible. Separate it into fourths if there are 4 people in your family and let them know what their share is and give them suggestions on how to earn it. Even small children can "help out" if they know they are earning their way toward Disney.
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    Quote Originally Posted by disneydame2004 View Post
    Take a trip to New York City and I assure you, Disney will look like a bargain.
    True.

    Glad you mentioned Manhattan Pat, because I was getting ready to say something. People don't believe me when I tell them it's cheaper to do WDW for a week than to do Manhattan. Granted my longer trips to the city involve a few Broadway shows, but even a day trip into the city can add up which is why I don't get up there as often as I want to anymore.

    Think about it...a one day pass costs $75.62 and gives you a full day of entertainment; whereas, a show in NYC....you are looking at ~$100 for 2-3 hours.

    ask me how much i spent on a box of black and white cookies....oy...but they were good!
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    Smack81's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone who posted! I've definitely picked up some good arguments. I especially like the "It's not so bad when you compare it to New York!" idea, because I think New York is also a fairly popular vacation destination (although a lot less cleaner and probably a lot smellier, based on what I've heard).

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    Quote Originally Posted by disneydame2004 View Post
    Take a trip to New York City and I assure you, Disney will look like a bargain.
    Things were truly certified insane when I started comparing the cost of things like food and beverages, hotels, here on Long Island to Disney, and Disney cost less.
    And I'm not even talking about something in the Hamptons! This is a hotel right next to a regional airport and an industrial area: $149 a night, minimum. Why? No idea, except that "Because we can" theory.

    Walt Disney World at least maintains its own fire departments, security, transportation network, sewer and sewage treatment plants, a power plant, tree farm, nature reserves, a government, employs 60,000 people, and provides a quality experience for its guests in an area twice the size of Manhattan.
    I have to say AMEN to this post! My daughter is 7 and one of her favorite movies is Night At the Museum. She wants to go to NYC to see the Museum very badly. I priced nearby hotels in Manhattan and I couldn't find anything decent under $500 a night. The Excelsior Hotel, directly across from the Museum on W. 79th (i think) was the hotel of choice given its location and I was dumbfounded. Three or four nights in NYC alone will cost me nearly $2000. I am going to need a raise or just take her to the Field Museum here in Chicago and try to convince her it's the same...
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