You have that same wait/ride ratio at parks like Cedar Point as well

But some of those rides are, well, FUN! :-) And honestly, I don’t think I’d ever HEARD of Colonial Williamsburg until someone mentioned it on this group. I’m pretty sure my parents never heard of it when I was a kid… We have the Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village nearby, and I don’t remember ever going as a kid either.

Also

WDW varies a lot in price for different times of year. So, if you decide to go pick a low peak time of year and use a good Disney travel agent. Disney pays them not you. They can help you pick a cheaper time to go and help you find discounts.

Why wait an hour in line for a 30 second ride?

I think WDW is one of the most expensive Family vacations ever and the kids learn nothing. Consider Colonial Williamsburg where everything is set in the late 1700’s, People, shops, etc. The kids learn about history and have fun. Yorktown and Jamestown are nearby. This is where our country started and fought for independence.

As others have said strict DR says no vacations

but we are all humans here and we all suffer from burn out. It’s kind of like when you are on a diet, if you eat nothing but lettuce for a week by the weekend you are so seriously starving for a piece of chocolate you blow the whole diet. So if instead you have a piece of a candy bar during the week, or a small piece of cake you find you can stick to the rest of the diet easier.
I personally am a travel-a-holic and have been on the DR plan for four years now and have traveled to some extent a little each year. Well the first two years we traveled a lot because that was how we were making our income. But we changed how we traveled considerably. We switched over more to staycations (I have a few blog posts on that site about this as well), we don’t go as far etc.
I have a sinking fund for travel. However, that is the LAST fund we fund, so if money is tight it doesn’t get that month’s deposit. If we have a major Murphy hit and need extra cash, that’s the first fund we pull from. Doing it that way makes us really think hard about all our other expenses because we love travel so much.
Right now we are within 6-8 months of being cc debt free and now I’m kicking up a notch on planning and such for our first trip to WDW in what will be at that point 8 years, but ALL money is going into my gazelle feed until we get down to the must make deposits and such. It’s a matter of priorities. What your priority is will be different from mine. Right now I want every penny I own going to Best Buy to get rid of that sucker—Did I mention I hate that bill? But then I’ve already reserved my site at the Ft. Wilderness Campground for my projected celebration trip. After the first of the year I’ll slowly start paying expenses for said trip in cash ahead of time, along with debt payoff. Things like our annual passes (finally after 5 long years of not being able to even think about an annual pass there) will be purchased with part of our gazelle money so we can get discounts on the other parts of our planning. I’ll also be watching for tire sales for the truck and camper—I want new tires all the way around before we leave, tune-up specials etc.
This next two months I’ll be watching the “specials” for dining gift cards where you buy one get a smaller one free for restaurants I know we’ll be eating at on the trip and pay cash for those. All the time keeping my main focus on debt pay off, because the goal is to not only be cc free but to have an absolutely blow out of a trip and all in cash—I have a very large budget laid out for the trip and then of course my debt payoff budget that has a sinking fund for said trip budget in it.

Most people who have the desire to go to

someplace like WDW have VERY young kids, like 3 or 4 years old. In that case, most of us would say to pay off debt first, because the kids are too young to remember the trip *anyway*. But since your kids are older, that makes it more time-sensitive. Dave would say to wait until your on BS 3. I’ll probably be odd man out here, but I think if you can go in 3 years, that’s a good target. Odd – a single guy with no kids of my own agreeing that a family vacation is important… :-)

If you are true to the NT way

you don’t do a vacation until Step2 is done. It is a motivational factor to get you more gazelle. I’d say wait for WDW until you are done with Step 2. It’s a great pat on the back for a job well done. There are many discussions in the archives about taking very inexpensive vacations and stay-cations while on Baby Step 2, if you want to stay true to the plan.

We were on Baby Step 2 for 5 1/2 years. My DH works very hard and doesn’t ever take any time off. We are self-employed. So needless to say, we did do some weekend vacations during those 5+ years. All paid in cash/gifts of course, but we needed the break. After $259,000 worth of debt, I’d say we deserved a break.

We are looking forward to our first vacation longer than 4 days since we were married 17 years ago!

This is a HUGE bone of contention here right now

We haven’t answered it yet, but we’re trying to negotiate our way through a decision about going to Phoenix for Thanksgiving.

As some folks will recall, my folks moved to PHX a few years ago, which itself created some family upheaval. That meant the whole family was down there except for yours truly. And gosh, we should simply pack up 3-4x a year and go for a visit. When we very pragmatically pointed out that it cost us a small fortune to hire help to keep the farm tended while we were gone, wow did we get a lot of flack for that. So much flack that it contributed to me not speaking to my parents for a few months. Also keep in mind they are definitely not DR fans, and they still don’t understand what we’re trying to accomplish since “everyone” has debts and “everyone” has credit cards.

Fast forward several years, and Life brings changes. I had some health issues two years ago which really left their mark emotionally (thankfully not physically), during which time I desperately wished I could have had my folks nearby.But we still weren’t in a position to travel. Then my dad went on dialysis, and has had several health scares since then. So the chances of them coming here slimmed down to “probably not”. When my mom’s best friend died suddenly in March of this year, I felt compelled to fly down to the funeral. I was gone for all of 30hrs and hardly had time to say hello to most of the people I’d grown up with. So I came home and announced to my DH that I very much wanted to return for Mother’s Day. After a fair amount of hard-core negotiating, we paid for me to go down there alone, while DH stayed here to tend the farm. It was wonderful from a “reconnection” and family politics standpoint, but a trainwreck from a farm care and marital relations standpoint. Everything that could have gone wrong, did. So the unspoken deal when I got back was that a LOT needed to change before we traveled again.

Fast foward again to earlier this month, and my dad is continuing to have complications. None of them per se are serious, but they’re happening more frequently. Which has me feeling very compelled to go for a visit for Thanksgiving. I am starting to feel in my heart that we may not have many more Thanksgivings as a whole family. Yet we’re definitely still in BS#2, we definitely still have issues around here that must be dealt with before I or we travel, and we aren’t sure whether we want to have that much money going out, let alone make the herculean effort to get this place whipped into shape in what, three weeks? On the other hand, we just had a massive pork sale and brought in over $1000, which would go a L-O-N-G way towards making the improvements which need to be made. And airfare is as low as I’ve ever seen it. The parents have offered to pay our airfare, so all we need to do is pay for the improvements around here, and the farm sitter. We don’t have a decision made yet, but we’re talking about it. If Dad were younger and healthier, I wouldn’t even be considerating it. But we really don’t know how much longer he’ll be with us. That starts to affect the decision-making petty heavily.

I am just wondering

if those of you on baby step 2 include a fund for vacations or do you wait until you’ve paid everything off?

It’s just that we do have our yearly trip to see family every summer, but I also want to take the kids back to Disney World. It is looking like (even with Gazelle style) it is going to take up to 2 years to pay off the credit cards and another two years to pay off the student loans. Would it hurt to budget an extra few dollars a month to this Disney World trip so that it doesn’t end up being 5 plus years before we can go? My kids are 6 and 7 and they know that we are working on saving money so that we can do fun things like this and if it takes too long, they may lose their motivation. I’m thinking that a goal of having enough to go in 2 or 3 years would be the aim. They do know that we have to save up for it because none of it will be going on credit cards.

Or, would that be like going backwards because we don’t have all debt paid off yet?