The Dopey Challenge Cost

A common question about runDisney races are how much they’ll cost you and what you should budget for if you plan on participating in one. Well, as it happens, there’s some amazing new technology that I happen to know about, called a spreadsheet, and I’ve been using them to plan my last 3 runDisney trips, so I actually know how much to budget for each event. I’ll give you the Dopey numbers in detail. If you want the numbers for Wine & Dine or Tower of Terror just let me know.

Registration Costs – $529.15IMG_2421
The registration cost for the Dopey Challenge in 2014 was $495.00 but with Active.com registration fees, the total actually came to well over $495. With the commemorative pin, which was $14.95, I paid $544.10.

Race Merchandise - $78.00
This year, I spent $78.00 at the expo. I purchased 4 magnets ($5.95-$7.95) and an “I Did It” tech shirt ($34.95) with Disney Visa reward dollars (the equivalent of using a Disney giftcard). I also received a 10% discount off my purchase with my annual passholder discount (I’ve also used a Disney Visa Cardholder discount at the expo), which was good on official Disney merchandise, not at any of the other vendors (and I am thinking not good on the New Balance sneakers).

IMG_2689Hotel – $1,971.02
I stayed at a deluxe, Disney hotel, the Boardwalk Inn, for 7 days. This was with an annual passholder discount that came to just over 30% off the rack rate for our room and I split it with my sister who came for the weekend as well. If I had stayed at the Art of Animation, which I had originally booked, it would have cost me around $891.00 total for the week. Also, the Boardwalk was the cheaper of the three Epcot hotels.

Boardwalk Bakery

Boardwalk Bakery

Food – $50 / day
I budgeted about $50 a day for food and stuck with it. Sample eating day: after the half I opted for a buffet breakfast ($18.99 at the Captain’s Grill without characters but the waiter let us take a to go carton and extra cups of coffee with us) and a large lunch/dinner to refuel before the marathon at Via Napoli ($8.00 for fritto di verdura [fried veggies] and $17.00 for an individual pizza) day’s total came to: $43.99 plus tax and tip. Via Napoli is a more pricey place to eat but I love their food.

Add to this my $189 round trip airfare for a rough total of.. $3,117.17

My out of pocket expenses were about $900 less than that the above price because I split the hotel bill, which was my biggest expenditure, but to pay it off I put aside about $260 a month for 12 months. In 2014, I don’t anticipate doing any other runDisney races- Tower of Terror wasn’t worth it and since I’m doing the NYC Marathon, which falls the weekend before Wine & Dine, I won’t be signing up for that race either.

Basically, there are a lot of ways to do it for more or less than what I paid, just be sure to do your homework in advance and use the power of the spreadsheet.

**Edited to add: This DOES NOT include park tickets. I’m an annual passholder so that cost was actually lumped in with my Tower of Terror registration costs since that race fell right around my renewal time.**

Any questions or money saving tips anyone wants to share?

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16 thoughts on “The Dopey Challenge Cost

  1. Ugh, I really should start keeping track of what I spend on races…I think I just don’t actually want to see the number. If I pay for each part separately and never see the total it doesn’t seem so bad!

    Next race I’m trying out this new spreadsheet technology you speak of.

      • I know…a friend and I were talking about it though and I know this isn’t the most rational thinking but we were both thinking, “well…if we’re already paying for the trip and 1 or 2 of the other races, may as well do all of them!”

        Haha, we’ll see. The early mornings killed me and I would need to hear about some corral changes before I decided to do it again.

      • Oh yeah, definitely. The downside is that I felt like I didn’t get to do any of the fun vacation stuff because I was always falling asleep by 8pm and every time I went to eat I had to ask, “Am I going to throw this up when I run tomorrow morning?”

  2. Holy crap. That’s a lot of money to torture yourself. I’m curious what the pain ratio would be? I’d guess about $25/ounce of pain.

    My numbers for Goofy…
    Registration – $363
    Off-site hotel (and not a total shithole) – $180 for 4 nights
    Airfare – $155
    Car Rental (no Magical Express or Disney transport) – $107
    Food – $45/day

    There were 3 of us splitting costs, so it worked out to just over $800 for me.

  3. I was just doing the numbers myself … I paid $550 for souvenirs, food and booze; about $250 for the 10K and full marathon; and $750 for the hotel stay (because my boyfriend was splitting the rooms with me and paying the other half … two nights at Pop Century and three at the Contemporary was about $1500). I’ll throw in an extra $50 for the few random things I paid for in cash and my grand total for WDW Marathon Weekend comes to about $1600.

    The food/booze/souvenirs total also would have been a lot higher except Marcus’s Christmas present to me was that he paid for everything I ate and drank in Epcot the day after the full marathon. And we ate and drank A LOT.

    Also, yes, not counting park tickets because I bought my AP during my W&D trip in November.

    This is becoming an expensive habit. I was not that impressed with Wine & Dine so I was thinking of skipping it this year, but maybe just doing Tower of Terror just to say that I’ve done it and get some mileage out of my AP, even though I’ve never heard glowing reviews of the race. That and humidity is my worst enemy.

    • Tower of Terror was insanely humid and disgusting and 2013’s weather was actually better than the weather in 2012. The Halloween party was great, though, and I think much better done than the Christmas party so it’s worth it for that (but that’s going to cost you more with only a slight AP discount).

  4. Yeah, I’m debating registering for the Dumbo again, and responsible things like the creation of the spreadsheet would probably help deter me from doing so…which is why I will probably, unfortunately, not make one. I have issues.

    • I think it’s actually really helpful even with the potential sticker shock! It helps keep track of everything (from hotel reservations/airline confirmations to dining reservations), you figure out how you can save money, and it helps you figure out a manageable amount you could pay/save each month.

  5. Pingback: Dopey Challenge Training | Pink Elephant on Parade

  6. that IS a scary number, but i’m delighted that they offered AP discounts during marathon week! :D
    i’m hoping for Dopey 2015

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