Disney by the numbers

As we creep closer to our Disney 2011 trip, I needed to figure out how much this trip is going to cost us. With several Disney vacations under my belt as the responsible paying adult, I have a better idea of what we should expect to pay while traveling. Each line will give the total plus an explaination as to how I came up with that figure.

Plane tickets: Free
This year, instead of buying Christmas presents, my parents decided to buy the plane tickets for the two of us plus my older brother and sister-in-law. Thanks Mom and Dad! I do owe mom $68 to make up the difference from the baseline tickets and the preferred afternoon flights that we wanted to take. In our experience, leaving Disney at 7 am to come home makes for one super early morning and is worth the money to get 4 more hours of sleep for all 4 of us.

Gas to and from Chicago: $42.84
Our flights leave from Midway in Chicago which is actually pretty far from home (almost exactly 3 hours). We’ll most likely drive Brian’s car which is roomy enough for 4 adults and luggage which gets (conservatively) 25 miles per gallon on the highway. At $3.15 per gallon of gas, it should cost us $21.42 each way or $42.84 round trip.

Long Term Parking at Midway: $70!!!
I don’t think I’ve ever had to pay parking fees at any airport since we can usually arrange for people to drop us off and pick us up. Chicago is too far for friends from home and the family cannot do it since they’ll already be in Florida. I’ve never realized how expensive parking is and $70 is for the economy lot! I cannot imagine paying for the full priced parking garage.

Transportation to Resort: Free
Magic Your Way transportation provided by Disney

Hotel: Free
Another gift from Mom and Dad. My family belongs to the Disney Vacation club and are redeeming their points for the year to put all 9 of us up for the four nights we are there. We are staying in Bay Lake Towers, one of the newest DVC resorts in Florida.

Park Tickets: $448
This is the price for 3 1 day, 1 park tickets for two people. If we knew we’d be going again soon, we could buy more days (the more days you buy at a time, the lower the base price) and add the “no expiration” option. That could effectively lower the cost per day by about $20 but since we’ve not made plans to return just yet, it would be a little excessive.

2 Casual dining meals : $120
We’re estimating $30 per person for 2 meals so at $60 per meal, our dinners out on the town should be about $120.

4 Counter service meals : $80
This time we estimated $10 per person for the 4 lunches we will be in the parks.

Contribution toward family meals: $30

$790.84 total

Bottom line is that a Disney vacation isn’t the cheapest vacation you can take but there are several ways to cut those costs like cooking in your hotel kitchen and sharing a room with family. The more I think about it, the more excited I get!

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