Squeezing in another trip? A lament


#1

I have to cut to the chase. You all are bad for one’s sanity.

Yes, you. No, I’m not talking to that other guy over there, but YOU.

Because, see, all this talk of imminent Disney trips and resort choices and trip reports and helping one another make touring plans is facilitating a feeling of discontent.

Now, see, I pride myself it being a rather contented person. I accept the fact “anything worth doing is worth taking time to do” or whatever little saying you prefer that keeps the envy at bay.

It isn’t working. I’m trying to hold on, making all my Disney plans, finding Disney T-shirts (and other Disney-themed items) for our trip in 2020. My wife and I have been filling our free time watching Disney Food Vlogs.

But it isn’t working. Because both of us keep looking at the calendar and wonder why it is taking so long to get to 2020. It is taking FOREVER.

So, this leaves three options.

  1. Everyone else on these forums must STOP POSTING about their trips IMMEDIATELY. Share nothing about the joys of planning, the joys of staying, the joys of reminiscing. Easy enough.

  2. I stop visiting this forum. Oh, and I’m sure that would make many of you SO INCREDIBLY happy, too. Don’t think I don’t know that. But, see, here’s the thing: I don’t have that kind of self-control, and I think you all know that. I mean, would you expect an chocoholic to NOT partake of a piece of dark chocolate for over TWO YEARS? I don’t think so!

  3. I plan another Disney trip in 2019 to tide us over until our trip in 2020. Not an expensive trip, mind you. Just a little off-site trip with 3 kids. Thing is, this would mean dropping our trip to Silver Dollar City, which we’re looking forward to. But how can we possibly afford TWO TRIPS in one year? Can’t be done. Well, not without incurring significant amounts of debt.

And yet…

Hmm. If I charge the entire trip on our Disney Visa card, then 2% of the cost will go back into our 2020 trip. So, it really is a win.

No. I have to be strong. And so it leaves me no choice. I’m afraid you all are going to have to stop posting. Going with option 1. See, it really is in everyone’s best interest. (And by “everyone” I really mean me.)


#2

I used to live in Springfield, MO and I’ve got to say Silver Dollar City is no Disney Park. :grimacing: I think you’ve mentioned that you’ve been before? To be fair, I haven’t been since 2001 but I was very disappointed and I just drove 30 minutes with discounted tickets.


#3

True. But we loved Silver Dollar City. Our last trip there, we did 2 days. This time we’re doing 3 days. (More like 2 1/2.) The entire trip, including food, gas, lodging, and tickets, plus tickets to the Titanic Museum puts the entire trip for us and 3 of our kids at about $1600. So you’re right that it is “no Disney Park”. Because the tickets, ALONE, for Disney would be that much! :wink:


#4

Lol. Good. I thought I’d seen somewhere that you’d been before. Just checking expectations. They are very different animals. :slightly_smiling_face:

The Titanic museum wasn’t there when I went last but it sure looks neat. I did like Dixie Stampede.

Not to sound like a drag, but two years will fly by and debt is a drag. Also, a variety of experiences is good. Have you ever been to the Gatlinburg area? I’ve been in Memphis for about 6 years now and still haven’t made it over there. It’s got Dollywood and a lot of the other elements of the Branson area PLUS the Smokey Mountains.


#5

BTW, if you were there in 2001, they didn’t have The Grand Exposition Coaster, Outlaw Run, Time Traveler, and potentially Wildfire when you were there, not to mention the Barn Swing, etc. So I imagine it has built up.

We love Marvel Cave there, as well.


#6

Yeah. We pass through there every now and again. We haven’t actually been to Dollywood yet, but it is on our list of things to do. It is owned by the same company that owns Silver Dollar City. I’m looking to go perhaps in the 2022 time frame.


#7

BTW, everyone. Now that I’ve blamed you all (and rightfully so) for this whole mess, I think I’ve recovered. You may go about your usual business. But if things get out of hand again, I’ll have no choice but to post another admonition! :wink:


#8

Have you thought about trying for some credit card sign-up rewards card bonuses to take the edge off of the costs? Last year using the Barclay Arrival (and my Disney Visa) I racked up a few thousand $ in rewards.

Just the Barclay rewards travel reimbursement feature erased about $1250 in ticket costs.

I am just about to start doing it again, hopefully with another set of Barclay Arrivals for my DW and I, plus with Chase Sapphire and possibly Ink cards. My ultimate goal is to get super cheap or possibly near-free APs so that I can use them over 2 summer trips in 2019 and 2020.

If possible, I may also try to get a Marriott rewards bonus to get a “free” stay at the Swan or Dolphin too. (Not really free, since using points to stay free means you still end up paying almost $50 a day for resort and parking fees, but still a good deal.)

Since as a rule we do not carry credit card debt from month to month, right now I’m going over my timing so we can earn the sign on bonuses sequentially without spending money on anything we don’t already buy. (Plus, I want to get this all in within a year, since I get cards with no annual fee in year 1 and want to avoid getting hit with those fees next year.)

What is really kinking up my plan, though are my kids’ summer activities - DD11 takes a few classes at the local high school each year right after school ends, then my DS15’s HS marching band camp takes up about 10 days in August. Plus, this year he went to a drum major academy and is already talking up going again next year. Squeezing 2 trips in within 12 months with so little calendar time open is proving difficult.


#9

Have you thought about doing all of this work for someone else and then charging for it?

I mean, if you’re gonna be obsessed over this stuff anyways, and if you enjoy the experience of planning a vacation, be a TA as a side gig. Make a little extra money and put it towards your own vacation. And maybe even write off the cost of your own vacation as a business expense, since you’re doing “research” about the various properties and attractions.

For me personally, I couldn’t stay sane for the next year+ in your case, so I’d probably go find something else to obsess over in the meantime with more immediate “payback”. I enjoy planning and shooting fireworks shows but I can’t lurk on those forums year-round. It’s just too hard to watch all the people in warm and pyro-friendly states talk about their fun in January while I freeze my butt off in an Ohio winter :slight_smile: I imagine it’s very similar for you right now on here…


#10

Okay. I read through your linked post there and…it is making my head spin. I’ll have to read through it a few times. Might be worth looking into, though. I’ve already earned our first $250 in rewards from the Disney Visa card. Perhaps the Barclay rewards would be a nice option to try next!


#11

Sounds like it! I used to spend my time on a writers forum for years. For various reasons, that forum eventually went away (most of the main members have gone on to be published authors), so I kind of lost my “forum family”. But here…here I feel like it’s home. Like we’re family. And as such, I feel perfectly fine blaming everyone else but myself for my obsessions. I mean, what else is family for? :wink:


#12

Good. It pretty much didn’t have anything. I felt kind of ripped off to be honest. I worked in the hospitality industry and my tickets were $28. I felt robbed. Everything was closed. No rides.

I grew up in California, so my expectations for theme parks was probably out of whack too. Lol


#13

We saved $2500 on this trip with our Chase Venture also. I don’t research this stuff like @JJT does though.


#14

Same here in Michigan, since we are less than a day trip away from Cedar Point, King’s Island, and Six Flags Great America. You had Six Flags Magic Mountain, Knott’s Berry Farm, and Disney of course! Silver Dollar City wasn’t quite the same as any of those. It is much better today. Still not as many rides, but it is also a completely different experience/feel.


#15

I say go for the additional trip
And call it research! Offsite, CS… keep it cheaper then the big trip! But my answer is alway just go!


#16

Hmm. Are you willing to allow us insight into the status of your bank account? :wink:


#17

I am embracing being a bit fiscally irresponsible :slight_smile:
Of course my son is 25, so it is just me & my BF or me alone, which certainly reduces the amount I spend.
I really don’t want a new car anyway - at 12 years it is just getting comfortable LOL


#18

Haha. Well in a dream I would just go. Reality we are going this year and not for a long time after!


#19

While I disagree about everything non-Disney-related when it comes to @ryan1, I totally empathise with the point he makes in this thread.

My two trips — this year and last year — were (a) awesome and (b) wildly over-budget. Well, I didn’t have a budget, actually. I spent like a drunken sailor. And now I have some large credit card bills to pay off. All at zero percent interest, but there’s still a big old chunk of cash that needs sending to Barclaycard and MBNA.

I’m “lucky” in a way. If it weren’t for Calvin, my dog, I think I would find a way to go back to Orlando next summer. Hell, I’d already booked the trip. But leaving him while I go away is difficult and the people who’ve looked after him during the last two trips are not super-reliable. It’s not something I’m going to do again. Since Calvin is eight and his life expectancy is twelve, that means my next trip is not likely to be before 2022.

That being said, I have wondered about what an ultra-economy trip would look like and feel like. Indeed, it’s an interesting exercise in appreciating what value premium extras really add.

I could fly economy, instead of premium economy (last year), or Upper Class (this year). That would cut the cost of my flight by around a half to two-thirds. Massive saving. Upper Class has a lot going for it, but I hate flying and I didn’t really hate the flight any less because I was in Upper Class.

I could stay off-property again — as I did for all but two nights during this year’s stay. Both this year and last year I stayed at a friend’s house. It was really terrific, but can I really ask them again? It seems cheeky. Plus there’s a lot of Uber/Lyft involved, so it’s not without cost.

But staying on property doesn’t have to mean CR and YC. My one (somewhat regretted) night at the Poly cost the same as three nights at an All-Star. The trip I was going to have next year was five nights at YC for £2,000 (accommodation only). That would get me two weeks at an All-Star.

Now, having a cosy bedroom environment is important to me — that’s why I loved YC and why I would not go back to the Poly. But is it really that important if you make the most of the hours there are in a day in the park? The All-Stars require a lot more bus travel than YC would, but is that so bad?

Then there’s the premium extras: dessert parties and so on. The nice thing is that I’ve done all the premium extras. Some more than once. (I’ve done the HEA dessert party three times!) I don’t need to do them again.

And to my surprise, this year I felt less enthusiastic about premium ADRs. V&A is a one and done for me. But even places like CG or LC are destinations I could live without. There’s plenty of great cheap(er) food. Besides, I’m just as happy eating at McDonald’s as I am V&A. I like all food!

I didn’t need to buy a premium D&B magic band. (And I certainly don’t need to buy another one.) I’ve bought all the travel equipment I’ll ever need — packing cubes and so on.

I could quite possibly do a two week trip for half the price of either of the two I’ve done in the last year or so.

Would it be as good? I think I’d rack up just as many great memories.

So — yeah — I could afford another trip before 2022 (and even that trip could be more budget than I’m currently planning).

But Calvin . . .


#20

I love it when @ryan1 and @profmatt jump into the planning fray! I think you both need to plan another trip ASAP! I’ll join in with your madness. I am doing a trip with my kids September 29-October 2. Our annual passes expires on November 19 and I keep having to talk myself out of going November 16 - 21. How severe is my madness? I’ve looked at flights, researched value resorts, thought through what we would do after our passes expire (Disney Springs time, volunteer at Give Kids the World, resort pool), looked at available ADRs…the only thing I haven’t done is ask MVT for a quote. Maybe I should get on that… Ugh! The Disney madness is so strong!