This year is the big 5-0 for my mom. She’s been itching to go on another trip so I told her we could wherever she wanted for her birthday. And she picked Disney! I’m pretty excited about going. I’ve never been and my mom hasn’t been since she was a kid. So I’m about to be one of the childless millennial bogging down the rides at Disney.
So you know what time it is… another trip estimate! Going to Disney is SOOO expensive. Here’s what my estimate is looking like right now:
Flight- I paid for both of our flights with points. If you read my post How Not To Travel Hack, you know that I messed up a little here. Last summer I applied for the Chase Sapphire card and got 60,000 points for signing up. Since that time I’ve only accrued about 13,000 more. So my total points before booking were about 73,000. I ended up spending 65,000 points to pay for the flight. I absolutely could’ve paid about 15,000 points less if I had transferred my points to the airline instead of booking through the portal but at the end of the day it still isn’t costing me any money (other than checked bags) so it’s a win.
Cost – 65,000 points and $120 for checked bags ($30 per bag over round trip). This same flight would’ve cost $800.
Hotel- For the hotel I’m using a mix of points and cash. Originally I was going to have enough points to pay for the hotel entirely. There was a hotel about 20 minutes from Disney and it was only 20,000ish points a night. But I started looking into the hotels more and found out that some of the hotels offer bonus ‘Magic hours’ at the park which will let you get into the park early and stay late. IHG, the hotel brand I typically stay at, had a Disney branded hotel for 40,000 points with magic hours. The hotel also has a shuttle that will take you to and from the park. After discussing with my mom, we decided to pick that hotel instead. When we decided to switch, I only had enough points to cover half of the stay instead of all of it.
Cost – 120,000 points for three nights and $275 dollars for two nights
Uber vs Rental car- Normally when I go on trips I like to rent a car because using taxis or Ubers quickly adds up. I found a rental car through priceline for $100 for the week. Then you have to add in parking at the hotel which was $15 per day. So rental car plus parking would be about $175.
Uber will cost us about $60 round trip to and from the airport. Then we will be able to shuttle to and from Disney. Right now I’m assuming all our meals will be at the park and I’m not sure if we will want to do anything else. So I think Uber is going to be the best way to go for this trip.
Cost – $100 because I’m going to round up as an estimate
Food- My readers know I am always off on my food estimate. I’m going to put the estimate at $400 for 5ish days. We will see how that works out for me. I’m sure food inside the park is hella expensive.
Merchandise- Ok so TECHNICALLY I don’t have to buy anything mouse brand. But I’m being real with myself. I’m probably going to buy a t-shirt. I already have mouse ears thanks to a bachelorette party I attended recently. I’m also going to let this be for miscellaneous in case anything else comes up that I want to get.
Cost – $100
Disney (!!)- So what you’ve all been waiting for… The cost of Disney. Again, I will say, man, Disney is expensive. We ultimately decided to get the park hopper tickets which will allow us to visit multiple parks in one day which increases the cost of the tickets some. For two people, visiting the park for 4 days using the park hopper pass is $995 and that is with the small discount I get using my discount at work. The Disney tickets are easily the biggest expense of this trip.
I used the full price of the hotel and Disney tickets. My mom and I are splitting some of the costs so I’m expecting my half of the trip will be about $1,245. Thanks to my $300 per month saving (check out Monetary Stress to read more) I have about about $1,500 saved for this trip, but I hopefully won’t go that badly over budget. As always, I will do a final cost update when I get back and I will try to post any helpful Disney travel tips if I have any!