The Cost of a Family Trip to Disneyland

Saturday, November 12, 2011 10:55 PM

Courtesy of cockeyed.com

Some interesting non-enthusiast (but definitely geeky) insight and analysis in this TR.

With my $199 three-day ticket, I experienced twelve characters, thirty rides, three walk-throughs, four parades and one fireworks show.

Obviously the "ride" is the base unit of entertainment in the resort, but I needed numbers for character interactions, parades etc., so I came up with relative values to those activities and tweaked them until my total price equalled that $199.

Thus my trip can be dissected into 30 rides at $4.70 each, twelve character visits for $2 each, three walk-throughs for $3, four parades for $5, and a fireworks show for $5.

I could also divide the price by the total number of hours being entertained to the Disneyth degree, but I'm not going to bother. I'll just tell you it was well worth it.

Ok. It amuses me. :)

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Saturday, November 12, 2011 10:55 PM
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Sunday, November 13, 2011 12:20 AM

I would never quite look at it that way. I would approach it as, "It cost $x to fly there, stay there, eat until I barf, soak it in, ride some stuff, see some shows, etc. That is/is not worth it."

I wouldn't overthink it.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011 1:30 AM

Then the opening of the article is for you:

Save up, because it is going to be expensive. How expensive? Well, if you are like me, and drive your family of four from Sacramento and stay for three days, it is going to cost $1,844.

Three days sounded like a luxurious stay to Stacy and I.

The 5-to-6 pages that follow the above opening thoughts are a collection of details and overthinking that would make anyone who has ever participated in a pricing debate here at CoasterBuzz proud. (complete with priceboard photos)

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Sunday, November 13, 2011 10:22 AM

Yeah, I don't have the patience for that. I know that flying to Orlando for two from Seattle back in '09 cost two of us, on the dining plan, just over $2k for six nights. Mind you, we used some miles for the flights, so it could have been more. Regardless, I knew what the cost was, and what to expect, and enjoyed the crap out of myself.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011 11:22 AM

Somehow I feel you're missing the point.

This is from the website that also does things like How Much Is Inside, How Far Should You Drive To Save A Stamp, Does The SunChips Bag Really Break Down, The Photographic Weight Chart, and such.

They take the time to do the things most don't have the patience for, but have probably wondered about.

It was more interesting than any enthusiast TR I've read in years. ;)

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Sunday, November 13, 2011 11:22 AM
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Sunday, November 13, 2011 11:27 AM

No, I get the point, I just think people who labor over that kind of crap suck at life. :)

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Sunday, November 13, 2011 11:40 AM

Oh, there are much worse things to waste effort and/or brain cycles on.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011 11:54 AM

One of the tings I have calculated over the years was how far is it worth driving out of the way to save a few penny's on gas. And it ended up being that with an average fill up of 10 gallons and an average fuel economy of 35 miles per gallon, one would be wasting their money to travel more than a mile round trip out of the way for every 1 cent per gallon saved.

1 cent per gallon x 10 gallons = 10 cents

10 cents / $3.50 per gallon = 0.02857 gallons

0.02857 gallons x 35mpg = 1 mile

Last edited by Jason Hammond, Sunday, November 13, 2011 11:55 AM
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Sunday, November 13, 2011 11:56 AM

People who break things down to this degree enjoy doing it. Thinking people who do this suck at life is a valid opinion. But they probaby can't imagion that people could enjoy performing these breakdowns. I'm constantly running math through my head. It's not even a choice for me. I can't cook a dinner without knowing exactly how much this is costing per person for example. I don't choose to think about it, but there it is.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011 11:59 AM

^ditto. I have always been very analitical and a bit ocd.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011 12:02 PM

"Everyone needs a hobby."

After all, to most of the world, we look like nutcase coaster tools.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011 12:07 PM

Because we are nutcase coaster tools.

Another reason I liked it was that I felt a non-enthusiast was confirming an argument/debate we have when it comes to VQ/FOL stuff...and that is the idea that the value of a day at the park is more than just how many rides you get.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011 12:12 PM

On a slight tangent... Instead of these breakdown, at the complete opposite end of the spectrum is adding up huge costs, which I have always questioned. Within hour of an earthquake, flood, hurricane, etc. there are estimates of how many billions of dollars of damage there is.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011 12:14 PM

I get being wired a certain way. When I was growing up I always got in trouble for not "showing my work" with math. When the problem said 48 + 33, in my head I saw 50 + 33 - 2 because it got me to the answer faster. (Incidentally, some schools teach it this way now, amidst great controversy.)

But even now, in my increasingly financially conservative leanings, I just can't imagine hyperanalyzing my vacation. I make up my mind that I want to do it, and I do. I think of these things as a reason to not think about money, not think about it more. I have always felt that way, going back even to the days where I barely made $25k a year.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011 12:42 PM

Jeff said:
I get being wired a certain way. When I was growing up I always got in trouble for not "showing my work" with math. When the problem said 48 + 33, in my head I saw 50 + 33 - 2 because it got me to the answer faster. (Incidentally, some schools teach it this way now, amidst great controversy.)

Now you're making me wonder when/how I picked this up.

My gut reaction was to reply that most people figure this out as soon as they start grasping the greater concept of numbers, but then as I thought about it, I suspect I was taught this as a shortcut in school somewhere along the way.

But yeah, if my 4th grade son is any indication, schools teach math a lot less rigidly. So much so that I think they don't spend enough time on the fundamentals and too much on the shortcuts.

That is to say they breeze right over 48+33 & why it is and push right to the 50+33-2 mental math without the kids truly understanding why it works, just that it does.

In fact, it's my biggest concern with our shcools - that they teach in a way that feels backwards to me. They toss bigger concepts out and figure the kids will understand it in reverse (for lack of a better way to express my thinking).

More like learning to play songs on an instrument and in the process you'll figure out the notes and scales along the way instead of spending time learning the basics (notes and scales and technique) then using those skills to play a song.

It's an interesting approach, but I fear two things:

1. What happens to kids who don't work it out backwards in their own heads? They get more and more lost as things progress.

2. You end up with kids able to do the work, but not truly understand the 'why' of what they're doing.

But anyway, quantifying what the cost of entertainment at Disneyland was pretty interesting to me. Can't say I'd ever bother to do the work myself (couldn't even tell you what we spent total on out 2009 trip to WDW), but that doesn't change the fact that it was a neat read.

Which gets me back to what I think is the point of the site - they waste the effort on things most never would, but may have wondered at one time or another.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Sunday, November 13, 2011 12:45 PM
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Sunday, November 13, 2011 1:09 PM

Not everyone is wired for that math. Diana understands conceptually what I'm talking about, but her brain just won't process it like mine. I'm not sure if it's teachable or not, I guess is what I'm saying, so I'm not sold that it's the right thing to teach.

Back on topic, I suppose people might think about it, but I guess not caring enough to think it through would leave me less inclined to read about someone else who did.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011 1:22 PM

I used to agonize about these things throughout a trip. Now, I do all my money worrying before the trip. I get all the best deals I can on airfare, lodging and park discounts ahead of time so that once the trip starts, I can try to turn my left brain off and let my right brain allow me to enjoy myself.

I still found it an interesting read though. :)

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Sunday, November 13, 2011 1:32 PM

I used to agonize about all these things on trips.

Now I have a paycheck and a "Vacation" line item in the family budget (Yes, I have line items in the family budget) which is about 4% of the take home pay. When we go on vacation, we know how much the line item is before we leave and w spend on whatever we want until it's gone.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011 3:02 PM

Gonch, yes the "why" is very important. I learned that from my high school shop teacher. "Do it this way. Why? Because if you don't, you'll lose a finger."

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Sunday, November 13, 2011 3:31 PM

Jeff said:
I get being wired a certain way. When I was growing up I always got in trouble for not "showing my work" with math. When the problem said 48 + 33, in my head I saw 50 + 33 - 2 because it got me to the answer faster. (Incidentally, some schools teach it this way now, amidst great controversy.)

But even now, in my increasingly financially conservative leanings, I just can't imagine hyperanalyzing my vacation. I make up my mind that I want to do it, and I do. I think of these things as a reason to not think about money, not think about it more. I have always felt that way, going back even to the days where I barely made $25k a year.

I once got every question right on a math test and failed it.

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