Friday, June 24, 2022

Average Cost Of Trip To Disney World

Planning A Trip To Disney World On A Budget: Top Tips + Costs

What Did a Walt Disney World Trip Cost in 1971?

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Yes, planning a trip to Disney World on a budget is possible! Its never going to be the cheapest trip, but there are many ways you can save money on accommodation, transport, and food.

Weve been to Disney World in Orlando, Florida three times as adults. The first two visits we were on a tight budget and stayed in off-site motels and packed sandwiches.

On our last trip we had more to spend and stayed in Disney Worlds cheapest resort hotel and ate in the parks at a mix of fast food and table service restaurants.

They have all been wonderful experiences, and below I compare the costs of staying on-site vs off-site, explain step by step how to plan a Disney vacation on a budget, and give tips on how to save money on every aspect of your stay.

How Much Does It Cost To Get To Walt Disney World Resort

How you get to the resort can also affect the cost of your Walt Disney World vacation. Depending on where you live, airfare throughout the United States can run from $100 – $500 per person. However, once you arrive at Orlando International Airport, all of your transportation is included when you book a Walt Disney World Resort package for travel in 2021. Youll take Disneys Magical Express to your Disney Resort Hotel to begin your vacation, and board it to head back to the airport when your trip is through. Guests traveling in 2022 will need to budget for transportation to and from the airport and may want to consider a ride share like Lyft or Uber, a shuttle or even new train options that will be available sometime in 2022.

If you live close enough to drive, that can obviously help your family save money on getting to Walt Disney World. And once youre on property, all of the transportation, including the Monorail, boats, buses and Skyliner are all available to use at no cost.

How Much Does It Cost

Now that weve detailed all of the different expenses you can expect to incur while planning for and taking your Walt Disney World dream vacation, well look at three total breakdowns for separate tier vacations: value, average, and splurge.

Each of these is based on a five-night stay with four days in the parks for a family of four . They do not include any transportation costs, which can be significant .

Read Also: Where Is Walt Disney World

How Much Does It Cost To Fly To Disney World

In order to figure out how much it will cost a family to fly to Disney World, we have to take into account where the family is flying from, and what kind of flights are available to them.

The range we are going to put in here will be based off of North American travelers. If travelling internationally, like from Europe, the cost of the flights will be much more and will make the cost of the overall trip more expensive.

We are also assuming that you will be flying into Orlando International Airport , since thats where Disneys Magical Express picks up guests.

In order to save even more money on your flight, you can drive to a bigger airport if you dont have one close to you these normally have more flight options available. You can also choose a flight with more layovers versus a nonstop option since that will be cheaper as well.

To And From The Airport

How Much Money Does A Disney World Trip Cost?

While flight prices are unpredictable for the purposes of this article, airport transportation costs are not. Disney no longer offers its Magical Express service, which used to transport guests and their luggage from the airport to their hotels. Unless youre renting a car, youll have to book a shuttle or pay for a taxi or rideshare.

Shuttles typically cost around $30 for children and $40 for adults, roundtrip. Keep in mind that youll likely have to make multiple stops to drop other guests at their resorts.

Rideshares vary depending on the time of day and the number of passengers. Most taxis and other services do not allow four guests to ride in standard vehicles, so youll need an SUV. An UberXL will be between $50-$60 one-way.

Therefore, our family of four needs to add at least $100 to their vacation costs to get from the airport.

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Factors That Will Determine How Much Money Will Your Disney World Trip Will Cost

A Walt Disney World family vacation is almost always a magical and memorable experience. But it can also be a significant expense.

How much it will cost depends on many factors, but it comes down to your particular situation and the decisions and compromises you make. Most families spend anywhere between $3,000 to $6,000 on a Disney World vacation, but how much costs will depend on how long you stay, where you stay, what dining plan you choose, car rentals, theme park tickets, souvenirs, and other such factors.

This Disney World vacation expense guide will cover the bases for you. So lets get started

All ticket prices mentioned below are accurate for Disney vacations in June 2020. This is subject to change.

Without A Dining Plan

If you decide to visit WDW without a dining plan, take a look at some of your dining options ahead of time to try to game plan costs. Be realistic about how often youll want snacks, need to buy a bottle of water, or will crave a sit-down dinner. Also, be sure to factor in alcohol if that applies to you.

There are ways to cut down on costs. We always recommend bringing a box of granola bars and even ordering snacks to be delivered from the grocery store to your hotel. Even if you can just do breakfast this way, youll save a lot of money.

For simplicitys sake, we recommend budgeting at least $60 per day per adult and $35 per day per child. This doesnt include extras, so plan accordingly.

Also Check: Restaurants At Animal Kingdom Disney World

Examples Of Snack Prices

Here are the prices for some of the most popular snacks at Disney World:

  • Mickey Pretzel $7.25
  • Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar $6.00
  • Dole Whip $5.00
  • Hot Dog and Chips $9.50
  • Cotton Candy $5.00
  • Carrots and Ranch Dressing $4.50
  • Churro with dipping sauce $6.50
  • Fruit $4.00 $5.00
  • Coca Cola/Soft Drinks $4.50
  • Coffee $3.29
  • Orange Juice $5.00

If you are not on the Disney Dining Plan, budget at least $10 per person, per day for snacks.

If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, make sure you use your snack credits on the most expensive eligible snacks to get the most value.

Transfer To Hotel: $0

Total Cost of our 2 Week Vacation to Universal Orlando & Walt Disney World | How Much We Spent $$$

We booked a package through Disney, which included transportation on their Magical Express buses from the airport to the hotel . Getting an Uber or renting a car probably would have been faster than waiting the 15 minutes for the bus, but this way we didn’t have to worry about traveling with carseats or driving while on vacation. Plus Disney took our luggage to our hotel room for us, so we didn’t have to go to baggage claim after the flight. With two curious boys who think the luggage belt is a ride, this was a nice bonus.

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When Is The Cheapest Time To Go To Disney World

The costs can quickly add up, but you may be able to offset these by booking your trip during the off-season. While it seems like the parks rarely have any downtime anymore, the crowds are noticeably lower during January and February. The same can also be said for late August and early September, as soon as the kids return to school.

In the past, I also saw lower prices and crowds during the first week of October, but this will not be true for 2021 due to the parks 50th celebration. Tickets for Magic Kingdom are already sold out for October 1st.

Read more:Celebrate Disney Worlds 50th Anniversary!

How To Stay On Budget At Disney World

There are a few ways you can help stay on budget at Disney World. First, you can opt to book your trip during one of the less crowded times of the year as mentioned above. Furthermore, you can bring your own snacks and water bottles into the parks. Food is permitted in the parks, but make sure youre bringing in items that wont spoil in the Florida heat. Gummy snacks, crackers, bananas, and granola bars are great options.

While you are allowed to bring in a water bottle, you wont be allowed to bring in one thats made of glass. As long as your bottle isnt glass, youre good. There are multiple water fountains spread out throughout the parks for free refills. You can also ask for a cup of water at your meal instead of bottled, as water for two people will add another $10 to your bill for every meal.

You can also stay on budget by purchasing Disney gift cards ahead of time for both ticket purchases and souvenirs. These gift cards can be sold at Target and other retailers, and you can use them to stay on track when it comes to shopping at places like the Emporium or World of Disney. We use gift cards when we go down, and it helps us make smarter purchases about what we want and will genuinely use when we return home.

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Theme Parks And Attractions: How Much Does It Cost To Go To Disney World Universal And The Other Major Attractions

We have a really detailed post that explains the different Orlando theme park tickets available and how to save money and get the best deal for your trip. There you will find a breakdown of all the different ticket packages and bundles available to buy in the UK.

Some groups want to do it all some want to stick the same resort and some want to do a little bit of everything. Take a general look at the comparative price of ticket bundles below. Sometimes, an extra experience at a different park only costs a fraction more than spending all your time at just one resort.

How Much Do Tickets To Walt Disney World Cost

My Disney World Cost Calculator &  Our Total Price

I find it is best to figure out how much your Walt Disney World tickets will set you back before researching any other cost theme-park admission will represent a fairly large portion of your vacation budget. How many days you spend in Orlando, and the type of hotel you book, may hinge on how much you plan to spend on Disney passes.

Both Disney and Universal have structured their tickets to reward you for spending more days in their respective parks. For example, one-day admission isnt of much value it starts at $109 for adults but can cost more based on the season. That is to say, such a pass will be priced at $130 during most days in the summer and $159 during the two weeks of the Christmas holiday. Thats a dramatic difference.

As you add more days to your Disney pass, the more the price per day goes down. The companys website recommends at least four days to enjoy all of the Disney World theme parks, and the research and experience we have here at Orlando Informer would support that, as well four days is a good amount of time to do each park at least once. Now, a four-day ticket works out to $103 per day, but a five-day ticket is $88 per day once you hit the five-days-or-more level, your cost per day becomes fairly attractive.

Read Also: Best Disney World Resort Hotel

Transportation: Getting There Is Half The Budget

The typical vacationing U.S. family spends about 44% of their travel funds getting to, from, and around their destinations. They spend an average of more than $2,100 each year on the transportation costs for their vacations. This figure spans a variety of different modes of transportation, ranging from driving a family’s own car to taking cruises. The table below breaks down each type, and provides the average expenditure for households that report incurring them.

Average Annual Transportation Expenses, If Incurred By Vacationing Households

Airline fares



These costs are much steeper when a familys summer vacation involves an airport. Those who fly , spend more than $3,304 on airfare annually on average. Two ways to stretch your vacation dollars further are to utilize frequent flyer miles , and to plan ahead. Youre more likely to get cheap flights if you buy them about seven weeks before your trip although for travel during the busy summer season, youre better off booking about 11 weeks before your travel dates if youre hoping for a low cost airfare.

Since most international trips from the U.S. – except a portion to Canada and Mexico – require a plane ticket, transportation costs eat up an even larger proportion of the budget, about 54%. Transportation is about 39% of the overall cost of domestic vacation trips.

Cars & Other

Overview Of Disney World Costs:

Lets get started and take a general look at how much a trip of 7 days for a family of 4 will cost to Disney World, then we will break it down into detail.

Hotel: $748 -$7,861

Transportation $0 $500

Special Themed Tickets $0 $4200

Now, the overall cost of your Disney World trip can be anywhere from about $4,000 to $13,805. Plan accordingly and figure out which aspects of your Disney World trip are most important to you and your family. After all, the most important part of your vacation is to have a magical day! If you need more help planning, check into hiring a travel agent. They are so helpful.

Recommended Reading: Disney World Resort Transportation Map

Traveling Cheap To Disneyworld

How cheap can you make a vacation to Disneyworld? The cheapest trip to Disneyworld is about $139 per person per day for travelers willing to take standby flights, deal with inconvenience, and otherwise limit travel expenses. About 1% of rentals are available in the $0 to $100 range for an entire place, and vacation rentals can be booked for as low as $85 per night. These inexpensive rentals must be booked as early as possible and may not be in the most desirable areas. 1-star hotels are more likely to be available, with rooms starting at around $54.

Even cheaper trips are possible depending on where you live and whether you can drive. Check the cheapest times to fly for more saving ideas.

Why Travelingmoms Love Rv Rentals

How to cut down the cost of your Disney vacation

TravelingMom Jenn Mitchell rented an RV from RVshare for a vacation with her teens and found even more reasons to love traveling by RV like having their own bathroom and lunch whenever and wherever they wanted it.

Heres what she has to say aboutRVshare:

I cant say enough good things about our experience. I researched a number of RV rental companies and found the value and services provided by RVshare to be the best choice for us. My husband agrees. We think renting an RV provided a unique opportunity to spend quality time together as a family.

You can read the full review of her RVshare rental experience, including how it works,here.

Read Also: Walt Disney World Map Of Resorts And Parks

What Extra Expenses Should I Expect

Speaking of extra fun, dont forget to factor in extras to your total cost. These extras can include things such as specialty food offered during the holidays, souvenirs for the kiddos and a round of mini golf at Fantasia Gardens. Even though many special experiences havent reopened yet! there are still so many ways to have fun outside the theme parks. And heres how to save on Disney souvenirs and 14 things to buy before your trip to save money..

My family loves the benefit of having aDisney Visa credit card. Our credit card saves us 10% on purchases of $50 or more at most Disney stores. We also earn points on every purchase that we make, Disney or not, that we can then turn into a redemption card that can be used at any Disney Parks resort, restaurant, or store!

Its $expensive$ But People Want To Go Anyway

Alright, so its clear, Disney World can be expensive. But, regardless of how much it might cost, it seems many families are still interested in going.We can tell that first and foremost by the crowds weve seen in the parks. But, participants in various surveys and article research have further confirmed it.

According to a poll from Insider, which had just over 1,000 respondents, people who make less than $75,000 per year are the most likely to consider visiting Disney destinations. Specifically, people who said they made between $50,000 and $74,999 per year were seemingly the most eager to visit Disney. Those who earned between 25,000 and 49,999 were the 2nd largest group who indicated they would consider visiting a Disney park this year.

Crowds waiting outside Hollywood Studios!

But, some people did indicate that Disney has simply gotten too expensive for them. More than 50% of respondents to the poll said they felt like Disney trips were too expensive in general.’Thirty-two percent of poll participants with kids said theyd like to go on a trip to a Disney property, but cant afford it.

Considering that the median household income from 2020 was LESS than 2019, that leaves even less in the vacation budget.


How much do you think people should budget for their Disney trips? Do you think Disney is too expensive? Tell us in the comments! And stay tuned for more Disney news.

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