Friday, June 8, 2012

You're going to Disney? You must be rich!

You don't need to be Scrooge McDuck to go to Disney.
We all do it. We hear of someone's vacation plans and we immediately start thinking of how much they're spending and if they can afford it. Some trips, by name, just sound extravigant. Disney, apparently, is one of them.

Don't get me wrong, I know there are vacations less expensive - and I've discussed this several times on the blog - but you have to weigh in everything and not just the dollar to see just how much one is spending. As noted in the Disney Math blog post a few days ago, breaking down costs can really put a Disney trip into perspective.

I recently got a few comments saying I must be really well off to be going to Disney so often. (The Disneyland trip will mark my 9th Disney trip, the Disney World trip next year will be #10.) This is a general misconception. I don't make big figures. I don't have a financially stable business. It is not cheap to live in Alaska - and I work a second job while fighting to keep my fledgling photography business afloat. I have more money going out than coming in most months.

So how is Disney possible when I am not Donald Trump? Well, for one, you have to remember some of my trips I didn't pay for. My first trip to Disneyland I was five - grandparents paid for it. Of the Disneyworld trips, however, I have paid for most (2004 being the only exception). Disneyland I've only paid for once. That's not to say I don't pitch in my own cash for special items and food at Disney, but the main chunk of change is taken care of by others. Family trips and gifts have made a lot of my travels possible over the years.

Secondly, I don't normally go during peak season. Peak season is just that, peak. It's when everyone goes. There's no incentive for Disney to give deep discounts to entice people to go. Summer and Christmas week are to be avoided if you want those special deals. I typically go to Disney World in January or November. Crowds are lower and we've gotten some killer deals in the past. Yes, things are closed for refurbishment, but the discounts make up for that in many ways.

Third, I live at home. There. I said it. If it weren't already well known, it is now. I moved back into my parents' house a year ago next month. It's easier to save up when I don't have rent, utilities, food, etc. I pitch in and buy things that the family wouldn't otherwise get, but really I'm not obligated to pay for things noted above. Some consider that a mooch, but it is what it is. My jobs are not consistent moneywise, and until I am financially more stable it makes more sense to live at home. Granted my dad is getting a little pushy, and I know things have to change, but ultimately this is how we roll for now.

I don't use every penny to plan disney trips, I do use my money wisely, but I have a Disney vacation fund. It's something I decided to have for myself. Others budget in a general vacation fund, which is what this savings originally was, but I keep going back to Disney. I normally go with others to keep costs down by sharing costs. I don't splurge and stay at the most expensive hotel. There are many ways to cut the costs of a Disney trip.

I've also been told instead of Disney I should use my money to help the poor. This suggests that all of the money used for vacation is ALL the money I have. Again, this is not the case. My Disney trips come out of their own savings. It's all extra. Not that I have anything to prove, but I do give to others. I help out in my own way. I do not, however have to sacrifice one for the other. It's caled a budget, and anyone can have one of those!

I like Disney, and I like to visit the parks. It's my "happy place." I don't feel guilty for having one. I believe before people start judging about how much someone ELSE gives to organizations and what not they should be looking at themselves and decide if they are giving "their all." It's not my business what you do with your money.

Yes, vacations are extravigant. And, yes, they are not a right of anyone. You can have more relaxation duing a staycation - and you'll be saving money, too! I've done that as well. My trips are not me bragging, showing off how much money I have (honestly I don't have much). It's something I'm excited about. Something I enjoy sharing. Not everyone in their life will get a Disney trip, that's not my fault nor is it my job to get them there.

Basically if you want a Disney trip - take one. Figure out how to save the money and go. There are tons of resources out there - in books and online - that can help you. I even give tips from time to time. But, please, don't email me or comment on the blog saying I need to give money to charity instead. I'll decide where my money goes, what groups to support, and whether or not I get to go on a dang vacation!


  1. Toni, don't worry about what others think. If I had the money to go to Disney I'd be going again too, so good on you for being a smart financial planner and being able to put aside money to save up for your trip. Have fun and say hi to Mickey and Minnie for me will ya?

    1. Not too worried... just a general rant sparked by a misinformed comment! LOL

      And yes I will say hi to the Big Cheese and his lady!