Average Theme Park Food Prices In Orlando:
Breakfast cheese and ham croissant $5 Mickey Pretzel $7.50 Mickey Ice Cream Bar $6 Hotdog and chips $10 Nachos and chilli $14 Bottled water $3.50 Coffee $4
You may know that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, you were able to save money by purchasing Walt Disney World park tickets along with the Disney Dining Plan. This is currently not being offered due to restrictions, however there is a new 50th Anniversary Dining Credits package available for some dates. Find out how to book the deal here or read our designated post about it.
Average fast food prices in Orlando: Big Mac Meal $6 Happy meal $3.25
How Much Is Walt Disney World Dining
Dining at Walt Disney World can vary greatly. Walt Disney World Resort is currently not offering Disney Dining Plans, which typically would cost $80 per adult and $30 per child daily for a base plan. That cost would go up for more deluxe plans. However, there has always been controversy over whether or not Disney Dining Plans saved guests money. Many guests preferred Disney Dining Plans simply for the convenience. However, Disney has made great strides to provide guests easier contactless ordering and payment for dining.
As a typical guideline, there are snacks, quick service and table service dining options. Snacks including churros, ice creams, fruits or veggies will typically be cost $5-$10 per item and can oftentimes be used as a small meal. Quick service dining options are available throughout all of the parks and typically cost $15 or less per meal. Table service restaurants vary the most. For example, Be Our Guest Restaurant serves a prix-fixe dinner menu for $62 per adult not including tax or gratuity. But, the 50s Prime Time Cafe serves dinner items ala carte for around $20 per plate.
While cost can vary greatly, you can budget it all in with a little pre-planning. The My Disney Experience app makes it so easy to look at menu prices beforehand so you can get a good idea of what you may be spending. At this time, you can make dining reservations for table service restaurants up to 60 days in advance.
Budget Disney World Trip
Just as you can get as expensive as youd like, you can budget travel just about as low as youd like. The actual floor to qualify for this would probably be the price of a one day ticket into the park on the cheapest day of the yearplus a Dole Whip for good measure.
But Ill be making some reasonable decisions for this post. In the future, maybe Ill do a cheapest Disney World trip possible post, but this isnt it .
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In The Parks: Genie And Genie+
If you visited WDW in the years before the pandemic, you may remember a wonderful, free service called Fastpass+, where you could reserve up to three attractions per day ahead of your visit to the parks and skip the lines. Unfortunately, Disney has done away with this free service and instead started using Genie and Genie+.
You should research each carefully and decide if you want to pay for the extra service ahead of time. Luckily, Genie is free, but Genie+ costs $15 per ticket per day. With Genie+, you can access so-called Lightning Lanes.
With only Genie, you cannot access Lightning Lanes or make ride reservations. You can tell it what youre interested in riding and let the app guide your day by suggesting the shortest wait times and itineraries.
If you decide to sign up for Genie+, you simply log in to your app, make a Lightning Lane reservation , and return during your ride time window.
You can only make one reservation at a time every two hours, and you can only reserve a ride one time each day .
In addition, certain attractions will cost even more for Lightning Lane access. Disney charges individual fees to access two attractions in each park:
- Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Space Mountain
- Epcot: Frozen Ever After and Remys Ratatouille Adventure
- Hollywood Studios: Mickey and Minnies Runaway Railway and Rise of the Resistance
- Animal Kingdom: Avatar Flight of Passage and Expedition Everest
Benefits Of Staying At A Disney Deluxe Resort & Villa
The deluxe resorts are the nicest ones on property, both in regards to experience, convenience, and appearance. If youre staying at a resort on the monorail loop like Disneys Contemporary, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian, youll be able to catch the monorail to and from Magic Kingdom and Epcot so youre not solely reliant on bus transportation. Furthermore, you can walk to various parks depending on where youre staying.
You can walk to Magic Kingdom from both the Grand Floridian and Contemporary. You can walk to Epcot and Hollywood Studios from Disneys Yacht and Beach Clubs, BoardWalk Inn, and Swan and Dolphin hotels . Likewise, guests staying at these resorts can take watercraft transportation to these parks, as well.
If you are taking the buses, the bus stops are usually closer than lets say the value resorts. This is a big deal for me because Im usually dead on my feet by the end of the night, so I consider this a huge benefit of the deluxe resorts.
Staying In A Disney Resort
Unfortunately, changes Disney made in 2020 and 2021 have reduced the advantages for on-site guests, but there are still some.
- Accommodation is more expensive , but you can save on transport and tickets .
- Free shuttle buses between resorts and parks so you dont need to rent a car or pay for parking. From 2022 you will need to pay for transport from the airport.
- Resort guests can enter all parks 30 minutes early every day. This is especially useful for popular rides like Avatar at Animal Kingdom and the Star Wars rides at Hollywood Studios.
- In addition, guests at Deluxe Resorts will be able to stay late at some parks on select days.
- You can book Individual Lightning Lanes at 7am .
- You can make restaurant reservations 60 days before you check-in plus up to 10 days of your trip . This is useful if you want to eat in a popular restaurant like Cinderellas Royal Table.
- Packages purchased in park stores can be delivered to your resort.
If you do decide to stay in a Disney resort, the cheapest options are Disney Value Resorts including the various All Star Resorts and Pop Century.
Pop Century is generally considered slightly better, but the cheapest one available when we booked was All Star Music, which has a standard rate of $161 plus tax per night. In low season there are discounted rates.
Our room at All Star Music was similar to the basic motel rooms we usually book off-site with two double beds, an ensuite bathroom, air conditioning, free wifi, TV, and a mini-fridge .
Good To Know: Vacation Packages
From time to time, Disney offers vacation packages that can potentially save your family a lot of money on the costs of a trip. These packages usually bundle hotel, park tickets, and dining plans and offer a flat discount. They can be generous, sometimes offering 20%-30% savings, which is significant.
These package savings apply only to new reservations, so if youve already booked and Disney announces a package deal, youd have to cancel entirely and re-book. Theyre also highly inflexible: no swaps, changes, exchanges, or anything else allowed, other than some upgrades .
Vacation packages have not been common during the Covid-19 pandemic, and fewer families are relying on them now for that reason. If you know what you want and where you want to go, we recommend not waiting for a vacation package and booking sooner rather than later.
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How Much To Budget For Genie+ And Lightning Lane
Now the tricky party. How much should you budget?
For most people, youll probably find that using a combination of both Genie+ and paying for the pay-to-ride Lightning Lane selections will work best.
With that in mind, you should plan to budget $20-$30 per day, per person for the Genie+ and Lightning Lane services.
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 .
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Saving Money At Disney World
Best month to go to Disney World?If you can sneak away during the bleak winter months and don’t care about swimming while in Disney World, January and early February are relatively less expensive times to visit Disney World. Other times of the year when you may see a drop in prices is September – early November, but it depends on what attractions the park has coming out each year, as they can build anticipation and increase the attendance during those times .
Saving Money on FoodIt’s no secret that it’s expensive to eat in Disney World, but there are a few ways you can save some dough. First, know that you can pack your own food. As long as you don’t bring glass containers, Disney World allows most other foods and drinks into the park.
You may have to weigh the pros and cons of this though, because who wants to lug around a cooler all day?
If you eat at Disney restaurants, consider skipping the drinks and just get water as well as order your food a la carte. If you won’t eat the sides, don’t pay for them. You won’t see this option on the menu, but Disney offers it.
You may also save money by choosing an affordable buffet style lunch or dinner. If you time it right, the buffet can take care of both lunch and dinner, while feeding you appetizers, drinks, entrees, and desserts.
Saving Money with Kids TicketsIf you are going to brave Disney World with kids under the age of 3, they don’t need a ticket! That means that they visit free of charge until their 3rd birthday.
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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Disney Costs Staying On
In November 2018, we stayed on-site in Disneys cheapest resort, All Star Music, for six nights including five full days in the main parks.
Other than some granola bars we brought with us, we ate all our meals in the Disney parks and also indulged in a couple of alcoholic drinks a day .
We spent a total of $2449 for two people which is $204 per person per day, nearly double what we spent staying off-site.
Heres how our on-site Disney World budget for two breaks down per person per day:
- Hotel and Tickets $139.50
- Alcohol $17
- Gifts and Souvenirs $9
The cost of the hotel and tickets was a package we booked direct from the Disney website for six nights which included a discount on tickets.
Transport is free for resort guests so we didnt rent a car. Note that from 2022, Disneys Magical Express bus from the airport will no longer be available, so transport to the parks will be an additional cost .
We booked our trip seven weeks in advance and had to pay a $200 deposit initially and the balance one month before.
I go into greater detail about the costs of different aspects of a Disney trip below.
The Season And Duration Of The Visit
Remember that the price range of the ticket may be quite substantial . This is why the timing of your trip makes all the difference in the world.
One more thing worth mentioning while planning your visit is that the cost of a ticket is tied to the date of the purchase. For instance:
- 1-Day Ticket Valid only on the specific date selected at the time of purchase
- 5-Day Ticket Any 5 days within 8 days
- 7-Day Ticket Any 7 days within 10 days
- 10-Day Ticket Any 10 days within 14 days
This means that if you buy a 10-day ticket, youre not compelled to use it all within the next 10 days. You can take a day or two of break and then resume your Disney World vacation.
As weve previously mentioned, the ticket is tied to the date that it is ordered. However, if you were to order a flexible date ticket, the cost for a single day would be:
- Adult : $129
- Child : $124
How much does it cost to go to Disney World for a day?
Depending on the package and the age of the visitor, the costs of tickets for a Disney World are:
- Child : $104$154
- Child : $169$219
Base plus water park
- Child : From $174/day
Park hopper plus water park
- Adult : From $194/day
- Child : From $189
Once again, these are the costs before tax.
How much does it cost to go to Disney World for 5 days?
As weve previously mentioned, those interested in seeing all that Disney world has to offer should plan at least a 5-day visit to the park. Here are the costs of tickets for different plans:
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But Wait Theres More To Pay For
Of course, there are more costs to consider, and this is where things can also get really expensive. First, theres merchandise, which is one thing where guests can spend a pretty penny very quickly.
But, there are also all kinds of perks or extra things that youll need to pay to get access for. For starters, there are runDisney races. The races themselves can be pricey to sign up for and they can fill up/sell out FAST. If you want early access to register for the races, you can get it, but youll have to pay for it.Club runDisney is a special paid membership that provides guests with early access to specific races , certain virtual experiences, and more.
Club runDisney memberships are not available to purchase right now, but when they were available they were pricey. The cost of the Club runDisney Gold Membership was $478.63 and Platinum Membership was $798.43. There were other perks too but thats still one hefty price for the main benefit of early registration. But, if you wanted to ensure that youd get early registration and hopefully be able to book your spot in those popular races before they fill up, this was the way to do it.
Want extra time in the parks at night? Well, you can have that tooif you pay to stay in select qualifying hotels. Previously, Extra Magic Hours were available to ALL Disney World hotel guests, regardless of the level of the hotel where the Disney guest was staying .
Resort Guest? Right This Way!
Extended Evening Hours at EPCOT
How To Save Money On Your Disney World Trip
I do have an in-depth money-saving guide but to sum things up, here are some easy, surefire ways to help make your WDW trip more affordable.
1. Go offseason
I recommend you take a look at this crowd calendar to see just how busy and expensive Disney World during the time youre looking to plan your visit.
Generally during Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Easter, Spring Break, and the summer, you can expect to pay premium prices for resorts and airfare.
I also forgot to mention to avoid planning your trip during marathon weekends since these days are usually packed and room rates tend to increase.
Thats why I recommend going to Disney during the off-season which is after New Years all the way to March as well as from October to Thanksgiving.
Parks are usually dead and prices are the lowest, at least from personal experiences.
2. Go as a couple instead of a whole family.
As crazy as it sounds, you dont always have to bring your kids or all your kids to Disney World.
Disney World is just as fun for adults as it is kids.
Plus, the way I see if is that if half your family hates Disney and other half loves it, why not just take a father -son/daughter or mother-son/daughter trip.
3. Look at neighboring airports
If youre renting a car, it might actually be cheaper to fly into Tampa or Jacksonville, or even Miami.
This isnt always the case, but it doesnt hurt to expand your airfare search to include neighboring airports.
4. Stay off-property
5. Use credit card points
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