The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

April 18, 2013

Selling Out to the Mouse (Again!?)

Filed under: travel, Wanderings — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 1:10 am

Somehow, I suspect that these next couple of months are about to get really busy.

This evening, I have been simultaneously getting stuff in order for this weekend’s trip to Disneyland, while simultaneously trying to sort out details for another trip coming up late next month for my brother’s wedding.  This weekend’s trip is, fortunately, pretty easy to figure out.  Then again, with as much time as I’ve spent at Disneyland over the past few years, I’d say that I’ve got a pretty good handle on the place by now, although they really make the whole thing easy enough that I don’t know how you could even manage to complicate it.  In a nutshell, it’s pretty much an instant vacation; just add a few hundred bucks.  Of course, with at least one, possibly two more additional trips planned for this year with various people, I’m once again finding myself in annual pass territory.  This is a bit odd, since I was pretty sure that back when I bought the first one in September of 2011 that it would be a one-time thing to get it out of my system.  Apparently it didn’t quite work out that way.  The main problem with that is that I managed to inadvertently convince some of my other traveling companions that the annual pass was actually not a bad idea, which means that now there’s several of us buying them.

In my experience, there’s no such thing as a cheap Disneyland trip, and even though we’re saving a pretty decent amount of money by not needing to pay for a hotel this time around, by the time I’m through paying for the plane ticket, the rental car and the annual passes, I think I’m looking at pretty close to $1,000, which is a little bit on the high side, but not far off what would be typical for when I go on a solo trip.  If I figure out how much I spent on the trip last June when I managed to get into Cars Land before it opened to the general public, I think even with the annual pass already paid for I still ended up spending at least $650 on that trip, not counting food and incidentals (around $200 in airfare, another $150 or so for four days of a rental car, and around $300 for three nights in a hotel.)  If I hadn’t had the annual pass, that would have been another $275 for the 4-day ParkHopper, plus I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to visit Cars Land early.  Even with the annual pass, that opportunity came only by sheer luck;  Only a relatively small number of annual passholders even got into this in the first place (last time I saw a statistic on it there were over 1 million people with Disneyland annual passes, although most have the cheaper Southern California resident passes) and I basically had to plan and book the trip without knowing whether or not I’d even get the chance at the preview.

I would have taken that particular trip regardless, but getting into the preview made for a nice bonus on that.  Since I don’t expect Disney to be doing a whole lot of billion-dollar overhauls of their parks in the next year or so I probably won’t be taking a trip like that again, but with at least one more big trip on the schedule (which would count as the de facto annual trip, currently planned for sometime in October) and a good excuse to sneak in at least a couple more weekend getaways, somehow I suspect I’ll be spending a decent amount of time there again over the next year or so.   Fortunately, I’ve got good traveling companions to keep things interesting  (especially the one I’ll be spending this trip with) and even though there’s no such thing as a relaxing Disney vacation, there should be no shortage of memories to be made along the way.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to finalize plans for our silly ride photos and figure out another round of Disneyland Fact That are Not True…  Plenty more to come, and most likely a “bored on the plane ride down” Blog post coming up later this week as well.


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