Every kid dreams of a magical trip to Disney World. If we’re being completely honest, there are not many adults who would skip either. This raises three important questions:
If this is really the ultimate vacation destination, why are we not going there more often?
Is it because of the cost of Disney World vacation?
How much does it cost to go to Disney World anyway?
Making this estimate is really not an easy task. Why? Well, because of two things:
- Too many factors
- Too many variables
Calculating the Disney vacation cost requires you to add together the travel and accommodation expenses, the tickets, the number of rides one will take while there, etc. All these costs vary by season and visitor’s age, while the prices also diverge across different Disney vacation packages.
With that in mind and without further ado, let’s try to be as thorough as possible and offer some rough estimates of how much money you would have to set aside for a trip to Disney World.
What Does a Trip to Disney World Cost?
Before we start with the calculation, there are several factors that we will have to take into consideration here. The cost of a Disney World ticket and ticket package may vary by the date, but it is quite easy to get a specific figure. Just by knowing averages, it is fairly easy to budget tickets.
The maximum cap for the cost of a ride in a theme park is set at $15. However, different rides are priced differently, and there’s no one to limit you how many rides you should take per day.
Then, there’s the cost of plane tickets, which depends on your starting location. Calculating a road trip isn’t easy either because of your vehicle’s fuel economy and the parking fees at Disney World.
While those who plan a one-day trip (or live nearby) won’t have to worry about the accommodation, others will also have to think about the lodging costs.
On top of it all, there’s also the cost of snacks and souvenirs.
So, with that in mind and without further ado, here’s our estimate on how much money you would have to spend on your Disney vacation.
What is the average cost of a trip to Disney World?
Judging by conservative estimates, when taking a family of three or four, you’re expected to spend a minimum of $3,000 for your trip to Disney World.
On the other hand, most people feel more comfortable spending somewhere in the range of $4,000 to $5,000 for such an adventure. When all expenses are considered, the average Disney vacation for a family of four costs roughly $4,641.
Those traveling with $10,000 and more will probably be able to sample everything that Disney World has to offer without having to worry about the budget.
How much will it cost to travel to Disney World?
It all depends on the means of commute that you decide to use, as well as your starting position. Now, people travel to Disney World from all over the globe.
According to some estimates, between 10%–20% of all visitors to Disney World come from abroad. It’s also worth mentioning that there are 12 Disney parks scattered all over the globe. A tourist from France has little incentive to travel to Florida for a Disney vacation, since they have Disneyland in Paris.
Now, if trying to calculate the cost of a road trip to Disney World, even the best estimate would only be partially accurate, seeing as how cars, driving styles, and routes have different fuel economies.
Remember that seasonal changes and holidays may also impact ticket prices. Therefore, asking when is the cheapest time to go to Disney World doesn’t necessarily have to be related to the cost of Disney World tickets and packages.
When talking about plane tickets, it also comes down to your home location. For instance, the cost of a ticket based on location can be:
- Utah: from $158
- Nevada: from $339
- Oregon: from $945
- Texas: from $281
- Arizona: from $544
- New Mexico: from $787
- Washington: from $823
There are some airlines that offer 25%–33% discounts for tickets for children. Then, there are those that have a flat fare regardless of one’s age. This is worth checking out since the difference can be quite staggering.
Furthermore, keep in mind that visitors from states like Nevada may also be more inclined to go to California Disneyland due to its proximity.
How much is parking at Disney World?
Carpooling saves money in every scenario. The more people in the car, the more you save. It’s that simple. While airlines may offer discounts for children’s tickets, when traveling via a car, there’s no significant difference in gas mileage between driving alone and taking your entire family along.
Of course, other than just the cost of gas, there are additional expenses that you will have to consider. One of them is the parking cost once you finally reach Disney World. While this isn’t that high, when you take into consideration the likelihood of spending 5-10 days there, it will quickly add up. At least the question of how much does it cost to park at Disney World has a straightforward answer.
Parking is available at all four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks. Each lot charges the same rate, based on two major factors. The first one is the vehicle type:
- Those driving cars and motorcycles are charged $25 per day for parking.
- Larger vehicles, such as RVs and limousines, pay $30 per day.
The second factor is whether you’re looking for a preferred parking spot.
You see, those looking for a preferred parking spot will have to pay $50 per day.
And if you’re staying at one of the resorts in question, you’ll be charged per night. The rates are as it follows:
- Disney Value Resorts: $15 per night
- Disney Moderate Resorts: $20 per night
- Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts: $25 per night
And when it comes to accommodation…
How much will you pay for accommodation?
The average cost for a hotel room in the USA in 2021 is $103.25 per night, and hotel prices in Orlando aren’t much higher.
Naturally, resort hotels at Disney World are somewhat costlier (from $250). However, they alone are a part of the total Disney vacation experience.
Those looking to save as much as possible could find hotels for as little as $46 to $52 per night. Still, remember that the number of family members on this vacation may require you to take a bit larger room or even take two. Being there with your personal transportation may also encourage you to look for hotels that are a bit further away.
All in all, unless you’re keen on traveling in style, this won’t be a major expense. Then again, it all comes down to the number of nights you’re staying and the season.
How much will you spend on food?
When it comes to food costs, it’s worth mentioning that there are over 100 quick-service dining locations throughout Disney World. Costs of meals like burgers with fries are about $10.99–$12.99, while the cost of individual sliced pizza is $9.99–$10.49. Kids’ meals are usually in the $6.19–$6.99 range. Bottled beverages are $3.50–$5.99.
The bottom line is that the family of four would spend somewhere around $50 to dine at a Disney service restaurant.
The average cost of an individual snack at Walt Disney World is around $5 while buying a bottled beverage in this way would be around $4. In other words, one set of snacks for the family of four would be roughly $35.00.
With all of these expenses in mind, a family of four would spend somewhere between $200 and $250 per day on food.
One more thing worth addressing is the Disney Dining Plans. If you’re staying at a Disney branded resort, you can purchase one of the following packages:
- Disney Quick Service Dining Plan — $57 for adults and $28 for children
- Standard Disney Dining Plan — $80 for adults and $32 for children
- Disney Dining Plan Plus — $97 for adults and $37 for children
- Disney Deluxe Dining Plan — $121 for adults and $50 for children
These plans include meals, snacks, and beverages for every family member per night of stay.
Notably, as of December 2021, all dining plan reservations are temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How much will you spend on souvenirs?
It goes beyond saying that the chance that your kids will ask for Mickey Ears while at Disney world is quite realistic. Their cost is roughly $28 per pair, which (for the family of four) means at least $56.
Souvenirs at Disney World are a bit more expensive, seeing as how the ceramic mug can be up to $20, while a Disney Magnet costs $10. Even a balloon can set you back between $12–$15.
Then again, if you wanted to get a Pandora charm at Disney springs, the average cost would be in the range of $70.
In other words, you can expect to spend anywhere from $50 to $200 on souvenirs while visiting Disney World.
How Much Does Disney World Cost per Person?
When talking about the cost of Disney World per person, most people merely focus on Disney World ticket prices in 2021. However, there’s more to it than just the cost of tickets. Each family member needs to have their share of fun, which means paying ride fares, buying snacks, etc.
Even the cost of tickets isn’t necessarily straightforward. There are different Disney World package options like:
- Base package
- Park hopping package
- Base ticket plus water park
- Park hopping plus water park
There’s also a slight difference in cost based on the age of your children (a small discount for kids 3–9 years of age).
One more thing worth mentioning is that the costs of Disney World tickets are displayed before tax.
Let’s check out the costs of these packages and try to make an estimate of an average daily budget per person (both child and adult) in Disney World.
How much does it cost for a child to go to Disney World?
The first thing you need to understand on this subject matter is that children only pay lower fees if they’re between the ages of 3 and 9. Kids older than 10 pay adult admission prices, while children under the age of 3 can enter Disney World completely free of charge.
- A daily ticket for an adult (10+) is $109–$159
- A daily pass for a child (3–9) is $104–$154
In other words, the discount between $2 and $7 for children younger than 3-9, which is almost negligible.
Now, the ticket costs for children are:
- 1 day: $104–$154
- 5 days: $84–$116 (per day)
- 7 days: $63–$87 (per day)
- 10 days: $50–$66 (per day)
- 1 day: $169–$219
- 5 days: $101–$133 (per day)
- 7 days: $75–$100 (per day)
- 10 days: $58–$74 (per day)
Base plus water park:
- 1 day: From $174
- 5 days: From $98 (per day)
- 7 days: From $73 (per day)
- 10 days: From $57 (per day)
In other words, Disney World vacation packages make a much bigger difference when it comes to the total cost of the vacation than the age of your family members.
How much does it cost to go to Disney World for 2 adults?
No, a trip to Disney World is not just for families with children. In fact, a trip to Disney World for two can be quite romantic. It is also a great way to reconnect with a sibling (especially if you had a family tradition/family trip to Disney World in your childhood). Also, there’s nothing wrong with taking a friend for a weekend-long adventure to Disney World.
Adult tickets are:
- 1 day: $109–$159
- 5 days: $88–$120 (per day)
- 7 days: $67–$91 (per day)
- 10 days: $52–$69 (per day)
Remember that these are merely 2021 base ticket prices. A park hopper ticket price is somewhat higher. For instance:
- 1 day: $174–$224
- 5 days: $105–$137 (per day)
- 7 days: $88–$103 (per day)
- 10 days: $61–$77 (per day)
Those who want the package with the water park included will also have to pay extra.
- 1 day: From $179
- 5 days: From $102 (per day)
- 7 days: From $77 (per day)
- 10 days: From $59 (per day)
The cost for two adults (just the tickets) is, therefore, the simplest to calculate, at least when you know the package that you’re aiming for. Just take the figure in question and double it.
What is the average cost for a family of 4 to go to Disney World (Ticket Costs)?
As we’ve already mentioned, the difference in costs for 3–9 tickets and 10+ (adult) tickets is negligible. This means that the biggest difference in your Disney trip depends on the age of your children. If at least one of your kids is younger than 3, the cost of a 1-day trip will go something like this:
- 2 X $109 + 1 X $104 = $332
If both of your kids are between 3–9 years of age, the equation will go like this:
- 2 X $109 + 2 X $104 = $426
With one child older than 10 and another between 3 and 9, the cost would be somewhere along these lines:
- 3 X $109 + 1 X $104 = $431
Keep in mind that these are the costs of tickets alone (the lowest seasonal costs). Moreover, these are the costs for a single-day visit.
DISCLAIMER: The equations we did were based on ticket costs before taxes, which means that the final figure will be somewhat higher.
The cost of rides
The cost of each ride costs a different amount. At the moment, there’s maximum pricing of $15 per person per ride.
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: $10–$12
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure: $9–$11
- Expedition Everest: $7
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance: $15
The discrepancy in prices depends on the date. Needless to say, ride costs evolve over time.
While the maximum cost is fixed at the moment, there’s no reason to assume that this won’t change over the years to come.
Now, take into consideration that an average person takes 9 rides. This would set the maximum at $135 per person.
The Season and Duration of the Visit
Remember that the price range of the ticket may be quite substantial ($10-$50 of difference per day). 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, you’re 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 we’ve 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 (10+): $129
- Child (3–9): $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:
- Adult (10+): $109–$159
- Child (3–9): $104–$154
- Adult (10+): $174–$224
- Child (3–9): $169–$219
Base plus water park
- Adult (10+): From $179/day
- Child (3–9): From $174/day
Park hopper plus water park
- Adult (10+): From $194/day
- Child (3–9): From $189
Once again, these are the costs before tax.
How much does it cost to go to Disney World for 5 days?
As we’ve previously mentioned, those interested in seeing all (or at least the most) 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:
- Adult (10+): $440–$600
- Child (3–9): $420–$580
- Adult (10+): $525–$685
- Child (3–9): $505–$665
Base plus water park
- Adult (10+): From $510
- Child (3–9): From $490
Park hopper plus water park
- Adult (10+): From $545
- Child (3–9): From $525
Again, if you were to order a flexible date ticket, the cost for a 5-day ticket would be:
- Adult (10+): $460
- Child (3–9): $440
While flexible date tickets cost a bit more, they provide the visitor with unprecedented freedom when it comes to vacation planning. By booking last-minute lodging and flights, they even have the potential of saving substantially more.
What is the cheapest month to go to Disney World?
As we’ve seen, there’s quite a discrepancy in the cost of the ticket, based on the date of the vacation. A one-day ticket for an adult can go from $109 to $159 depending on the exact date chosen, making a world of difference in your budgeting efforts.
So, is there a way to turn this fact to your own benefit?
According to some estimates, the cheapest month to go to Disney World is January. This is when the hotel costs are the lowest, as well, which could ensure that you organize your Disney World trip on a budget quite effectively.
The demand is also quite low in August and September, which would make these two months your go-to Disney vacation period, in a scenario where the January date is inconvenient.
Planning Your Trip to Disney World
To budget your trip to Disney World, you need to start by managing your own expectations. First, you want to start by figuring out a couple of things. For instance, how many days do you need at Disney World?
Depending on your own distance from Disney World, you could take anywhere from a single-day to a full 10-day vacation. The latter will allow you to sample everything that Disney World has to offer but it will also make the trip quite costly.
Remember that there are four Walt Disney World parks:
- Magic Kingdom
- Hollywood Studios
- Animal Kingdom
This means that going there for at least 5 days would be considered optimal (with the Park Hopper package that we mentioned above). This way, you won’t be in a rush and will have enough time to experience and enjoy everything.
There are quite a few ways for you to save money while at Disney World. For instance, when talking about snacks, it’s usually cheaper to have groceries delivered than to buy them from Disney gift shops.
Another way to save money on food is also something we’ve previously discussed; you can do it via Disney meal plans.
A trip to Disney World is also a great opportunity to acquire some credit card rewards. This can be quite helpful when it comes to your airfare or hotel room booking. This can even come in handy in terms of paying for meals.
Naturally, you could save quite a bit of money by exercising some fiscal discipline. Souvenirs are expensive, park-hopping is not as pragmatic or appealing as you may make it out to be. Restraint, careful planning, and even more careful spending are a couple of things that can benefit your budget the most.
The biggest money-saving, however, can be achieved by picking the right season to go there. This is what impacts the cost of tickets, lodging, and plane fares the most.
One more thing worth considering is special offers like group discounts and US military members discounts.
Knowing what to expect at Disney World
To figure out the cost to go to Disney World, you need to start your own calculation consisting of two major factors.
- Core expenses (commute, lodging, tickets, etc.)
- The money spent at Disney World
Now, to understand the latter, you need to be realistic and honest about what you intend to spend your money on. Rides, fares, and tickets are just some of the factors you need to consider.
Once the costs start adding up, it may seem too expensive or even excessive. The key thing is that you understand one thing – you’re not alone. There’s a reason why Disney World is a worldwide phenomenon and a global obsession. Here are some numbers to help lift your spirits.
How many people go to Disney World a day?
One of the first questions that people ask is – is there going to be a lot of people?
According to 2019 estimates, Magic Kingdom had an average of 57,425 visitors per day. Naturally, 2020 hit the hospitality and entertainment industry hard (and Disney World falls under both of these categories). Still, the numbers are not to be underestimated in 2021 either. When all four Florida theme parks are put together, the total number of guests per day is close to 200,000.
How many rides are at Disney World?
There are 46 rides in Disney World, and while it is clear that all of these rides weren’t meant to be taken in a single day, this is exactly what some people aim to do. Keep in mind that this would drastically offset the total cost of the visit.
Also, keep in mind that this is across Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom together. This means that other than finding time and money to go on all of these rides, you would also have to make quite an effort just to get to all of these rides.
Other than being immensely fun, taking all rides in a single day is also quite the achievement, seeing as how there are not many people out there who can brag with such a feat. This is especially true when you take into consideration the fact that the average number of rides that a Disney World visitor takes per day is 9.
Can you stay in the Disney Castle?
Cinderella Castle is famous both due to the magnificence of its real-life version and the fact that its silhouette serves as the logo of Walt Disney Pictures. In other words, anyone who has ever seen a Disney movie knows what Cinderella Castle looks like.
Now, while it is technically possible for one to spend the night in the Cinderella Castle Suite, there is no option of actually booking it. According to one rumor, Disney turned down an offer of $40,000 for a one-night stay at the hotel.
Therefore, spending the night at the hotel is reserved for winners of contests and special guests invited by Walt Disney World.
What time does Hollywood Studios close?
Knowing the specifics about the timelines and schedules of venues in Disney World can help you plan out your trip (especially if you’re planning a single-day vacation).
Hollywood Studios, for instance, is open from 9 AM to 9 PM.
While initially inspired by the show business aspect of Walt Disney Corporation, today, it’s the home of some of the most iconic theme rides in the world.
For instance, Star Wars fans can take the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ride. Those fascinated by the musical aspect of their favorite Disney pictures can enjoy Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage or even Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.
Fun Facts about Disney World
Let’s now check out a thing or two about Disney World. Perhaps, this will help you figure out the full magnitude of the park and help convince you that tickets to Disney World and all the additional expenses are really worth it.
How much does Disney make a day?
According to some rough estimates, the entire Walt Disney Company made almost $180 million per day in 2020.
Last year, due to the pandemic, some speculations started about how much it would cost the company to close the theme park for a day. The number mentioned was $19.68 million, which is why it is safe to assume that this is the company’s daily revenue.
Other fun facts came from trivia, like what it would cost to rent out the Disney World or Disneyland for a day. According to some estimates, it would cost roughly $50,000 for a person to rent a complete ride for themselves for just one hour.
Together, this is supposed to illustrate just how big of a money-making machine we’re talking about.
How much does Disney make a year?
In 2020, Walt Disney Company generated total revenue of $65.39 billion. Remember that this is a drop from 2019, when the company made a whopping $69.61 billion.
According to 2018 statistics, The Walt Disney Company made around $20.3 billion from parks and resorts. While there are only 12 Disney parks in the world (grouped in 6 resorts), Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida is definitely the largest and the most popular of them all. It also contains four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Epcot.
While it is possible for a potential visitor to just look for Magic Kingdom tickets, most people coming from afar will rather get a Disney vacation package instead. This makes the daily revenue of individual theme parks much harder to estimate.
How much is Disney World worth?
This issue is a bit controversial, seeing as Disney claims that the appraises for the property value are inaccurate, resulting in higher than fair property taxes. According to an estimate by property appraiser Rick Singh (which Disney is disputing), the parks are worth:
- Magic Kingdom: $504 million
- EPCOT: $539 million
- Hollywood Studios: $394 million
- Animal Kingdom: $435 million
Put together, the total property worth of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, would be around $1.87 billion.
How many Disney resorts are there?
There are only six resorts in the world, two of them being in the United States. These six resorts are:
- Walt Disney World Resort (Florida, USA)
- Disneyland Resort (California, USA)
- Tokyo Disney Resort (Japan)
- Disneyland Paris (France)
- Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (China)
- Shanghai Disney Resort (China)
Across all of these 6 resorts, there are 12 Disney parks, 4 of which are in Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. This makes Disney World the biggest Disney resort in the world and the one most worthwhile visiting.
Keep in mind that since there are two Disney resorts in the US, potential visitors usually pick the closest one in order to lower the price and make the visit more convenient.
Still, as you can see, there are only 4 countries in the world with Disney resorts within their borders (USA, France, Japan, China), which is why a lot of people travel to Disney World from abroad.
Wrap Up: How Much Does It Cost to Go to Disney World?
So, how much money should I save for Disney World? The answer is – it depends on your plans for the trip.
If you’re living somewhere near Orlando and plan to take your kids to Disney World for a day, the cost won’t really be that high. Remember, this is the best-case scenario. Even for the family of 4, the cost of tickets will be a bit short of $450, parking for the day will be additional $25. Moreover, providing them with an average of 9 rides each will cost $135 for one ($270) for both of them. This is the total of $742 before adding taxes, snacks, and a souvenir or two, as well as adding the gas.
With a bit of calculation, like trying to figure out when is the cheapest time to go to Disney world, you can go there with even less.
Still, it won’t always be as cheap and simple as that.
Needless to say, the cost of a single plane ticket from Oregon, Washington, or New Mexico would top these expenses. Not to mention the cost of accommodation and the fact that it would be absurd to travel all the way to Florida for a single-day visit. Still, for people from these states, it is undeniable that California Disneyland is far more convenient.
For the majority of people, as well as for those from nearby states, taking $4,000 to $5,000 as a family of four should keep you comfortable. As we’ve also already mentioned, the average cost of a trip to Disney World for a family of four is $4,641, which perfectly coincides with this figure.
Most people choose to go to Walt Disney World from mid-November through mid-December. This is one of the most economical options available. Going there in January and early February might also be convenient.
You can choose between Disney Resort hotels and all the accommodation options available in the vicinity. While the latter is far more frugal, Resort hotels are more convenient. Moreover, they alone are designed to be a part of the Disney storytelling experience.
A resort-only stay at Disney World can be booked 499 days in advance. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this period was reduced to a little over a year. Still, this is plenty of time for anyone to budget, plan, and execute a trip to Disney World.
Disney World is least crowded in early January, all the way until Presidents’ Day (which falls on the third Monday in February). This is also when the tickets to Disney World (all packages) are the cheapest. The period before Thanksgiving is also the time when there’s not much crowd at Disney World.
When planning a one-day visit, Disneyland is definitely more expensive. The longer the duration of the visit, the higher the price. So, when trying to figure out how much does it cost to go to Disney World, comparing the resort with its Disneyland counterpart is the only natural comparison.