Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"Best Of" Week: How Do You Do It?

I received an email from a reader today questioning how we go to Walt Disney World so often.  He also inquired as to the careers of our team.  First, thank you, Jerry, for the kind email.  Second, I am a stay-at-home mom but the men in the family work in engineering, computers and insurance.  They all make a good living but nothing outrageous.  So...how do we do it?

As you mentioned, we are a Disney Vacation Club family.  That has made all the difference.  My parents bought in 1993 and while it is still a good program, it was a better value back then.  Without that decision, this blog and most of its stories would not exist.  DVC members are eligible for reduced price annual passes and some discounts around property.  We also take advantage of the discounts offered to annual passholders and Disney Visa cardholders.  Speaking of Disney Visa, we get credits back on our purchases and we use that toward vacation.  My husband and I run everything we can through that card and pay it off every month.  This allows mundane purchases like groceries to add more magic to our trips.  I've given my brother a Disney gift card and my dad Tables in Wonderland for birthday gifts in the past. 

We all live within 575-650 miles of Walt Disney World which allows us to save money on transportation by driving.  My brother tends to travel solo but he watches Southwest and has been able to fly on some very low fares.  And now that we don't all live nearby each other, WDW gives us a chance to visit each other and catch up a bit.

Back to Tables in Wonderland, that is a discount plan available to annual passholders, Florida residents and DVC members.  For $75-100 per year, you get 20% off of table service meals plus a few other perks.  When we are going more than once in a year and/or traveling in a group, it can pay for itself quickly.

As far as the blog goes, DisneyDad has been going to WDW for 40 years so that's a lot of stories, plus when you add in the lovely friends who write along with us, it does look like someone is always traveling.

And I guess the biggest thing is that this is our main hobby.  Some people buy boats; we go to Walt Disney World.

This post originally appeared on Growing Up Disney on May 22, 2012.  


  1. And all of us do not go to WDW on every trip. With a new granddaughter last year mom and I did not go to WDW in 2011. Of course Ridge was glad to use as many of our DVC points for trips as he could. So last year he made many trips down. Armed with an Annual Pass and staying on our DVC points, his costs for trips were basically transportation (for 1) and food.

    Mom, Amy, the girls and I just finished a 5 day WDW trip that was Mom's and my first trip since October '10. We had been spending vacation time with Amy helping out with the girls last year.

    And as Amy said, for us DVC has been a good investment in family vacations. How many parents can say their ADULT children and Son-in-law LIKE to vacation with them? Last year we sold our old RV we had been unable to use and bought additional DVC points at Old Key West for the entire family to enjoy.

    1. I definitely agree about WDW being the place where our adult children love to be with us. :-) Also, how many adult children enjoy playing at the place where they work? This past summer my daughter got married at WDW - and all 4 generations were there for it.

      It's more about "coming home" these days when we visit WDW. http://marksdarkthoughts.blogspot.com/2012/04/why-i-am-not-excited-about-disney-world.html

  2. Thank you for writing this. This has shown a lot of insight into how you do what you do to make your life magical world life WDW. You really do take advantage of everything. Good for you. I look forward to your continued stories, and living vicariously through your family.

  3. I loved reading how you do it! So many different ways to go. We are 4 generations "taking on the world" as you put it in your nameplate. :-)

    I grew up watching The Mickey Mouse Show and the various Disney shows hosted by Walt as well.

    I visited DL in the late 60's and was in WDW for the first time weeks after it opened. ( http://disneyworldreports.blogspot.com/2011/11/its-been-40-years.html )

    We also visit WDW more often than most - but are not DVC owners ... but my wife and I are parents of a long time Cast Member, so our costs are quite a bit less than they are for most.

    But no matter how you do it ... WDW is a meeting place for 4 generations of our family. Here are our grandtwins making their first visit in August 2010. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Fuok9eWp4I

  4. When I was a Kid living in New Orleans in the 70s we would come to Orlando during Mardi Gras. We were out of school and the crowds were low.It was our annual event to escape the city to Magic Kingdom. After I got married and had two kids with health dissabilities I made sure they had the same opportunities to go to Disney as I did. So we started our annual trips. when Katrina hit we lost all of our kids medical records and the hospitals could not handle the load of the disaster that hit them,so for our kids we had to move.We found that Arnold Palmer could handle our kids needs and I work in the Restaurant industry, so Orlando seemed to fit our needs. When we moved here in 2005 with some insurance money we bought Annual Passes to WDW. Some people bring there kids to the movies(we wait for the dvd for most) we go to Disney on my days off. We do have a budget to follow. We may eat at home before we go or go to Crossroads before we enter the parks. But let me tell you that a Disney A.P has been the best family investment we have made. With my kids and the health issues we face our church has helped our spirit and Disney has given us a family time that I will always be thankful for. They have the opportunity to Grow Up on Disney. 2005 43 visits 2006 89 visits 2007 63 visits 2008 73x 2009 77x 2010 81x 2011 no Annuals but we did the Disney Dream instead 2012 27 visits as of Star Wars 18-20th . My biggest thrill is take pictures of EVERYTHING! The Parks change and Kids grow up. The thing that stays the same (so far) is the Smiles ..... Thanks for letting me share.



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