Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Disneyland. Yes, Disneyland. part one.

i know what youre thinking, "i thought you said you were poor, and last time i checked disneyland is super ridiculously expensive and only super rich people ever get to go more than once in their entire life, and poor people arent even allowed inside"

and i would like to take a few minutes to tell you exactly how wrong you are. 

disneyland CAN be done very inexpensively, with an annual pass. in fact, ( at least for us) getting disneyland passes, and getting to go to freaking DISNEYLAND a couple times a month (sometimes more) is significantly cheaper than say, going to dinner and a movie or a cheap concert or something of that nature ONCE a month, but realistically less than that. 

ive actually had to spend a lot of time explaining that to a lot of people, because most reasonable humans cant even fathom how this can be true. so i crunched some numbers, since its pretty dang hard to argue with math. 

so lets hypothetically say that james and i want to spend some time doing something fun outside of the house and decide on dinner and a movie. lets pretend we go to some kind of casual sit-down type restaurant for reasonable entrees and a glass of house wine. no appetizers, no desserts, no steak, no top-shelf cocktails, just dinner. thats a minimum of $40. slightly more if we bring alice and have to leave an extra large tip. next we go over to the local movie theatre, and the closest one to us is $12.50 for adults. (its a really, really nice theatre and honestly the extra couple dollars is worth the much more pleasant moviegoing experience). so that makes $25 for the movie, and thats with no popcorn or snacks (and no alice, seeing as shes one and not exactly old enough to enjoy going to the movies). and that brings us to our last expense, the babysitter. obviously if james and i are going out in the evening we cant exactly have alice hang out with my mom or sister and go along with whatever theyre doing, cause shell need to go to bed. in her bed. at our house. so lets pretend we get one of our teenage friends who likes alice and is willing to do as a favor to watch her for the night, thats a minimum of $20. 

this brings us to a total of $85. 

now if you havent noticed, this is a pretty, um, bare bones date night. adding dessert, movie popcorn, paying for parking, and maybe a sitter who demands fair compensation, adds an additional $40, minimum, making a full blown date night somewhere in the ballpark of $125 dollars. 

but lets pretend we do the more responsible version a meager once a month. thats $1020 a year. on boring, minimal, totally worried about spending too much money outings. and alice never gets to participate in this, she has to stay home and hope we find something else to do for fun. 

i dont know about you, but if i had to choose between that, or the much more enjoyable option of getting to go to disneyland (and california adventure) whenever i want (except blackout days), as much as i want (work and responsibilities permitting), i would probably pick disneyland. if you add in the fact that disneyland is significantly cheaper, then i sure as heck am going to pick disneyland. 

see, two socal annual passports and one parking upgrade costs a total of $787, making the monthly cost of $65.58. for reference dinner and a movie is $85. thats $1020 a year. so even if we only go once a month thats $233 less than the responsible dinner and a movie. but heres where it gets really great: we can go AS MUCH AS WE WANT. which for us is at least twice a month. plus, alice gets to go and have fun with us, meaning the $240 of babysitting money isnt being spent, so really a year of disneyland passes is $473 cheaper than a year of one cheap date a month. 

of course, we dont just HAVE $787 dollars just lying around, but disneyland offers california residents the option to pay for their passes monthly with an $87 down payment, which makes the cost of the passes much more manageable. especially when we got them right after my birthday and put ALL of my birthday gifts into the down payments. 

so long story short, whether you look at it on a monthly basis or on a yearly scale, disneyland is actually a very affordable recreational expense. 

stay tuned for part two when i tell you all my favorite cheap (and free!) things to eat while at disneyland!

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