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I might as well start with the fact that no doubt, and as with this previous post of mine, I will get some people reading this saying ‘well you didn’t technically get your accommodation for free did you…..?’ But put it this way if your glass is always half empty then yes you are bound to see it like that.. and you might want to stop reading now but as you know we LOVE to get good value for money and if breaking it down like this gets us back to the sunshine state sooner rather than later; then we are more than happy to look at it from the glass half full perspective 🙂
Instead of just doing some number crunching with any old dates for the sake of it; these calculations are our figures based on our dates as I can officially announce because of them we are GOING BACKKKK! If you don’t already follow us over on YouTube be sure to go check us out over there and subscribe…. is it too early for the countdown vlogs?!
In just over 1 year we will be heading back to the land of the mouse and this is how we did it… total cost for 2 adults 2 children travelling end April 2018 for two weeks and staying at the beautiful (and deluxe!) Old Key West Resort with the full free Disney Dining Plan (this includes 1 table service meal, 1 quick service dining meal and 2 snacks each per day) and park tickets for all too…
Sounds a lot doesn’t it and thats why we have taken a while to book but bare with me & just keep reading…..
The price above includes all Walt Disney World theme park car parking (you would have to pay for parking staying offsite don’t forget) so given offsite was certainly and always will be an option for us for numerous reasons we really need to deducted from the total $280 ($20×14) / £233 as a saving [it’s worth noting that in the months before our trip this went upto $22 so we technically saved more!]
Table service meals – we said if we didn’t have the dining plan and given we have small children we would definatly want to do at least 7 table service restaurants… and on average would probably be around the $120 mark + tips so $140 per meal = $980 / £816 (note this is just for the 7 we know we want to do whether we were staying on or offsite!)
We’d get a quick service meal each at least once per day however if we had been paying cash I would’ve been happy to have just gotten 3 adult meals every time we got a QS meal instead of one each. Our children will be just 3 and 7 they would’ve probably just shared so I will only calculate as that – average again at $20 each (at least!) – $840 / £700 PLUS another 7 to make sure lunch and dinner is covered everyday for 14 days = $1260/£1050
Chances are we would all end up with a good couple of snacks each too during the day be it a mickey ice cream, a bucket of popcorn or just an icee and I know for a fact there are more expensive snacks but I’m going to average at $5 per snack – $560 / £466
SO THE TOTAL SO FAR IN WHAT WE WOULD BE ACTUALLY SPENDING FROM OUR POCKET STAYING OFFSITE – £2562
Now that ‘total so far’ doesn’t include any accommodation or theme park tickets… so lets add the tickets in first and foremost as whether we stayed on or offsite we would need these to do any of the above in any event, so…
14 day ultimate tickets – 2 adult 2 children – £1556
MEANING OUR TOTAL SPENDS SO FAR inc tickets to be – £4118
Now remember that total of £4647…. well the difference between that and the amount we would be paying anyway staying onsite for food, tickets and parking two is £529 however by prepaying your holiday in advance, which is what you are kinda doing when you book free dining, you are prepaying for all your food and parking, would also give us access to:
- 7 additional table service options (there are so many we would like to try but wouldn’t necessarily pay for them with cash out of our pocket) and are worth again around the £800 mark(!). Also I don’t particularly like eating QS hotdogs/burgers all the time so the option for a sit down meal and QS gives us ultimate flexibility.
- a $200 gift card perfect for those tips that will (whether we like it or not!) rack up – this will pay for the tips of the extra 7 we are now entitled too.
- a refillable mug each (£233)
- an extra quick service (QS) meal per day to what we would ordinarily pay for…. the extra quick service meal would be $20/day = £233 (as I’ve already mentioned we would only buy 3 adult meals to share so this is an ‘extra’ meal to us)
- not forgetting a year worth of DisneyLife either (£60!)
We aren’t going to need half as much spends either doing the onsite full Disney Dining Plan (DDP) and have been thinking of taking as little as $50/day whereas if we didn’t have the DDP we would need to convert more cash and watch the pennies daily to make sure we could eat – no need to worry about any of that with the DDP!
That difference of £526 I feel would be easily accountable for with the additional things we would now be entitled too just by prepaying. We wouldn’t be watching the pennies, and as I mentioned I don’t particually like having tons of QS meals through the holiday so now we have the option of trying some new table service dining too and Z can have some coke in his refillable mug (he will be sooo happy!).
And so being said and those calculations down on paper shows how we COULD technically say that the accommodation element of our holiday is actually ‘free’! Given we are getting nearly £1500 worth of ‘Disney magic’ for just £526 we are actually in pocket over Disney! (Maybe a little extreme but kinda true as far as my particular holiday is concerned & value for money!)
So whether you want to count it as ‘free dining’ or ‘free accomodation’ it’s entirely up to you but it’s as clear as mud with the figures above that we ARE getting something for free and that sounds good to me!! Oh and FYI..no way would you get an offsite hotel for 14 days for little over £500! 😉
How crazy does that sound…?
So what do you think? Have you booked yet? Ticket prices and hotel prices overall have certainly increased for sure but adding it up and breaking it down like I have here and like i did last time it helps to stomach it a little more I feel.
We have been putting it off booking because the total amount seems like such a massive amount when its written down in front of you that that’s your holiday cost but again when broken down it really takes your heart out of your mouth and you can breath a sign of relief when realistically you are prepaying for everything so you needn’t mess around whilst there and getting excellent value for money.
Each family holidays differently I accept that and what works for one might not work for another; but this is us! We have two small children that aren’t really interested in anywhere but Walt Disney World nor are they tall enough to ride rides at other local theme parks so staying on Disney property right now in our lives is something that is very appealing and being in the bubble and getting what these calculations show as excellent value for money is certainly something we would be crazy to look at other alternatives.
Disney’s free dining release tends to be released March/April time…. so pop on over there now to see what prices you would be looking at now to give you a rough idea of costings then come April BOOK….. get yourself in the Disney bubble, enjoy yourself and let your magic band do all the work !!!!
Would love to hear about any deals you’ve got on your next trip – leave me a comment down below!
Thanks for reading!