As a Disney theme parks fan, what lengths would you go through to feed your Disney appetite if money and time were no object?
I am a huge Disney theme park fan and try to go to the parks as often as I can. However, it’s expensive and time consuming to visit them. But what if you had an unlimited budget and free time to travel the world and see all the Disney theme parks? What if you won the lottery or your uncle Floyd left you his Bitcoin fortune in his will? How much would it cost? How much time would it take? This is just a thought experiment on my part and is not very scientific, (by ‘not very’ I mean ‘not at all’) but a few hours of research on the ol’ Internet can produce a rudimentary estimate.
Here are my rules;
1. 3 days per park and 1 rest day will be built-in for cities with multiple parks. i.e., the California part of the trip would take up 7 days, HK will be only 3. I estimate that 3 days is enough to really get to know a park and experience most of what it has to offer. And since time isn’t a factor in this experiment, why not? The only exception I will make for this is adding 2 days to WDW for the water parks.
2. 1 day of travel will be allowed for parks that are within 8 hours of flight time of each other. So, HK to Shanghai is 1 day. The long international flights will be given 2 days for jet-lag recovery time.
3. The price of flights will be calculated as first class and non-stop, if available. Once again, why not? Money is no object here and you are going to want that hot towel for your face with all this traveling. (This will undoubtedly be the most expensive part of the trip, by far).
4. Hotels will be on-site only, to enhance the Disney experience. And of course only deluxe resorts will be considered. Club level if offered.
5. $100 a day, per person will be allowed for meals. I’m not sure how I arrived at this price, it’s just a nice round, even number. Non park travel days will be $100 as well.
6. $200 per person, per park will be allotted for souvenirs. This may seem like a lot but just consider that the LEGO Disney castle alone is $509 on Amazon, and is similarly priced at the WDW Emporium. The main reason I don’t spend a lot on souvenirs is simply from budgetary restraints. (BTW, my son worked at the WDW Emporium for the college program recently and he told me that 15 or so of these LEGO castles were shoplifted from the store. Just picked ‘em up and walked right out of the gates with them. Bold.).
7. $500 a day will be allotted to hotels for non park travel days. Hey, we’re fancy people, right?
8. I am basing this estimation on a family of 4; 2 adults with 2 adult age children. All prices come from the Disney parks websites.
9. The dates I chose to estimate prices was for April and May, 2018. There would be obvious price differences for other times of the year, but the PhD in numerology I got on the Internet only gets me so far.
10. No attempt was made to try to avoid specific holidays of individual countries. Too convoluted for me. And 3 days per park will allow one to experience the parks even if they are crowded.
11. $300 will be allotted for transport between airports and parks per city.
Ok, drum roll please… By my estimate it would take 51 days and cost $209,015. $133,648 of that is air travel via first class. You can buy airplanes for that much money. LAX to Tokyo alone was $50,488 for 4. And that’s one-way. Maybe it’s cheaper to charter flights? My research didn’t delve that far. I didn’t try to compare prices or search very hard for these flights.
The most expensive park was WDW at $10,600, as it has 4 gates. Or 6 gates if you count Universal style. ; ) DL and TDR were pretty close on price with DL being $8800 and TDR being $8500. Those prices only reflect hotel and park tickets. No food or souvenirs included. Meals for 4 at $100 a day each was $20,400 for the trip.
So what do you think? Fantastic? Insane? Stupid? Fantastically stupid? Did I forget anything? (I’m sure I did). How could I improve my estimates? How many basic math/spelling errers did I make?
Maybe Robert would like to invest $209,015 so I can actually make this trip happen. That way it would be more accurate and scientific. You wouldn’t want any ‘fake news’ on your site, would you, Robert?
Conversely, I wonder how much it would cost if you went on the cheap? I’m sure you could knock off a hundred grand or so just by switching to economy flights.
Two personal notes;
1. If I did have unlimited funds for such a gluttonous experience like this, I would donate as much as I spent on the trip to a charity like Give Kids the World or something similar. It would just be the right thing to do, in my opinion.
2. It would be a shame to visit places such as Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo, snd Shanghai without taking time to experience these wonderful cities. When I planned my first trip to Tokyo Disney Resort, I only thought to visit the parks and not even go into Tokyo. (It’s a 20 minute train ride into town). I changed my mind at the last minute and fell in love with the city.
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