When you’re considering a trip to Disney World, the big question is, “how much does it cost?” Let’s break it down!
The cost to go to Disney World can vary from family to family, so we’ll look at the most common expenses, plus give you plenty of tips to cut down on cost!
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When it comes to the question, “How Much Does it Cost to Go to Disney World?,” it’s no surprise that the answer is, “it depends.”
It’s just more complicated than giving one price. Just like no two families look the same, no two families vacation the same.
Pricing for your Walt Disney World trip can even look very different each time you visit.
Just like any vacation or getaway, it’s important to plan ahead and have an idea of the costs before you go.
Once you know the cost, it’s really helpful to use the Disney payment plan to break the expense down into more manageable chunks.
We’ll take a look at some of the common expenses associated with a Disney vacation, plus give you some money-saving tips for staying within your budget!
Cost of a Disney World Vacation
Before we look at any numbers, it’s important to acknowledge that there are so many factors that affect the cost of a Disney vacation. There is a wide variety of price ranges based on these variables.
The biggest factors include:
- The size of your family and their ages
- Whether you drive or fly to Orlando
- Where you’re traveling from
- Whether you need a rental car
- Whether you stay on property at a Disney Resort
- How many days and nights your trip will be
- Whether you buy Park Hopper passes
- Whether you use the Disney dining plan
- What time of year you visit
For our hypothetical example of a magical trip, let’s say you’re planning for a family of four that includes 2 adults, a child 10+ years old and a child that’s 3-9 years old.
The family will be using base tickets and staying in a value resort for 4 nights and five days in the parks.
Using those assumptions, this family of four is going to spend approximately $5445 on their vacation at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
To break that down further:
- Flights – The average domestic flight will cost each person about $350 roundtrip.
- Transportation – For a family of four to travel from Orlando International Airport to their resort, they will spend an average of $30 per person round trip on the Mears shuttle.
- Park Tickets – With Magic Your Way tickets, this family will spend about $515 per person for 5 days of tickets for the Disney parks.
- Food – For a family of four, they will spend about $175 daily on food while at Walt Disney World.
- Lodging – This family is staying in a value resort for four nights and will spend an average of $245 per night for lodging (depending on the time of year).
If we add all of these costs up, brings us to this estimated grand total of $5445 for a family of four to vacation at Walt Disney World, making each night about $1360.
Disney World Budget Tips
For families with budgets in mind but who still want a memorable family vacation, Disney World is perfect for everyone!
There are plenty of ways to stay on your budget while having fun with the kids. Be sure to check out our top tips for planning a trip to Disney World on a budget!
If you keep these tips in mind when budgeting for your trip, it can really help you have a magical vacation without breaking the bank.
Instead of staying at a Disney owned hotel, check out off-property hotels in close proximity to the Walt Disney World resort.
There are many different options and this could end up saving you hundreds of dollars on lodging during your stay.
Also, look for promotional codes for lodging in the Orlando area.
These off-property hotels often offer a free breakfast, a shuttle to the parks, plus other amenities that really make the savings so worth it.
They are especially nice if you’re traveling with a larger family. Having the space of a larger hotel room to spread out is nice after a crowded park day.
Most recently, my family stayed at an off-property hotel, where we could easily sleep six people, and used credit card rewards points to cover the entire cost of our hotel stay, which was a huge savings.
If staying on Disney property is important to you, check out some of the Disney value resorts and moderate resorts.
Related: Art of Animation vs. Pop Century: Which Disney Value Resort is Best?
With car rental fees being expensive, consider using the Mears shuttle bus or an Uber or Lyft to get from the airport to your hotel.
Mears even has a premium shuttle service that isn’t shared with other guests and goes directly to your hotel without stopping at other resorts beforehand.
Compared with renting a car, this can be a great way to save on transportation costs.
Eating in the parks is fun and can be part of the magic, but after a full day in the parks and all that walking and standing around, cooking and eating at your resort is a great way to save money and slow down.
With an on-site full kitchen (available in some on-property suites and several off-property options), you’ll have fun cooking at home together as a family instead of spending more cash on food beyond what’s needed.
Another alternative for shaving quite a bit off your total cost, which my family has done many, many times, is to bring our own food.
We often pack a lunch and bring it into the parks, then we choose to eat dinner at a restaurant in the parks.
Not only does this help us eat healthier at Disney World, but it can be so nice to not have to wait in line at a restaurant in the middle of the lunch rush.
If you are looking forward to eating in the parks, quick service meals are less expensive per person than table service restaurants.
You can buy many Disney-themed items for a fraction of the price by shopping clearance sales at ShopDisney. Stock up at a low price and bring them along on your trip as a special surprise!
Another option is to keep souvenirs to a minimum and enjoy special character dining experiences instead! These are memories that will last long after the souvenirs are forgotten.
Most importantly, have fun together as a family without spending all your hard earned money on expensive, overpriced Disney swag.
I also highly recommend using these Disney coupons for kids as a way to manage expectations (and your budget!).
Using these tips will allow you to save some extra cash so you’ll be able to splurge on the things that are most important to your family while keeping your wallet happy at the same time.
When purchasing your park tickets, keep in mind that you will often pay a lower price per day if you buy multi day tickets.
Our family also almost always plans at least one or two days of our vacation to not visit a theme park.
This allows us to enjoy a day at Disney Springs or spend some extra time at the hotel pool.
Skip the Add-Ons
Disney offers various add-on services, but these are definitely not crucial for your trip.
For instance, when considering whether Memory Maker is worth it, you’ll probably find you can get by with the camera on your smart phone instead of shelling out extra money!
Disney World Upgrades
If a posh Disney World vacation is more your cup of tea, there are certainly ways to go all-out.
All of these options are going to come at an extra cost to you when compared with the amount budgeted above, but they can be a great way to splurge on the things that matter, and skimp on the things that don’t.
If you do them right, they can make for a magical vacation that both parents and children won’t forget.
If you’re interested in upgrading your Disney World vacation based on the things that matter most to your family, here are just a few examples:
Theme Park Tickets
There are a variety of passes you can purchase for your Disney vacation ranging from one park tickets to a park hopper option that allows guests to visit more than one park each day.
There’s also a Waterparks and More option that allows you to visit water parks as well as the four theme parks during your stay.
With several park ticket options, it is important to really think about what parks will be most beneficial for your family and what will provide you the most bang for your buck.
Related: Are Disney Tickets Refundable?
Disney Resort Hotels
If you’re looking into upgrading your Disney hotel during your stay, there are several options available at Disney World hotels.
Deluxe resorts offer a variety of different views, and you can choose from options like golf course views to pool side views. Some of these resorts are on the monorail, making transportation a breeze.
Depending on the level of luxury you’re looking for during your stay, there is definitely an option that will work for any budget.
There are even Disney Vacation Club Villas available with extra space and kitchens so you’ll feel more like you’re visiting a home than a hotel.
Related: Kidani Village vs. Jambo House: Which Animal Kingdom Resort is Best?
If staying at one of Disney World’s deluxe resorts isn’t enough for you, there are lots of resort enhancements available to upgrade your experience.
From child care services to dining packages, water sports activities and spa treatments, the list goes on and on.
Disney World offers meals that vary from quick service establishments to world class dining to character dining experiences. A table service meal will come at a higher price than a quick service meal.
Depending on who you’re traveling with and what type of meals you prefer, this is an area that can really change based on your budget needs.
For a truly unique experience, you can book reservations to enjoy character meals at Chef Mickey’s or Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom.
If that seems out of your price range, there are also endless snack options through all four parks and resorts for quick stops when hunger strikes.
- Iconic Disney Snacks You Won’t Want to Miss
- How to Get Last Minute Disney Dining Reservations
- Best Magic Kingdom Quick Service Restaurants
Budgeting for a Disney World Vacation
Disney World packages are available for any budget, but make sure to think about your family’s needs and what you’ll really use before spending the extra money.
To determine your Disney vacation cost, take some time to talk through your vacation goals and what you think will enhance your trip as a family before making any final decisions!
Related: If you’re planning a Disney honeymoon package, be sure to check out the Disney Honeymoon Wishes registry to offset the cost!
Be sure to save this to your Disney planning board on Pinterest!