How much does it cost to go to Walt Disney World? You’re ready to book your family’s dream vacation to Walt Disney World. You did your online research and maybe read a guidebook or two. Now it is time to find out how much your dream vacation will cost. How much money do you need to set aside for souvenirs and snacks and all those little extras that add up over time? Can you afford that Deluxe hotel that you’ve had your eye on?
There’s only one way to find out. Planning your Disney vacation starts with setting up a realistic travel budget.
It’s important to answer these questions:
- Is your dream trip within your reach financially?
- If not, how much more money do you need to save?
- Or are there ways to make your trip less expensive?
Start a spreadsheet, get out your calculator, and start crunching the numbers. If you get stuck, call us. We can help! At Take My Hand Travel, we’ve been booking Disney vacations for over 10 years. We can help your dollar stretch as far as it can go.
To help you make a realistic budget, below we’ve provided you with a list of common expenses you’ll encounter when planning your vacation.
Deciding whether to fly or drive will be one of your very first decisions when planning your Disney vacation. The decision rests on several factors including what part of the country you live in and the size of your family. If you have a large family it will almost always be less expensive to drive as you aren’t paying a per person fee as you do when flying. However, the decision isn’t always that easy. See below for a list of expenses that go along with either flying or driving. Then ask yourself a few key questions before making your final decision.
If you’re considering flying:
- Do you have any frequent flyer miles available to redeem?
- Do you have the money available to commit to and pay for airline tickets many months in advance?
- Can you get a non-stop flight or will you have to connect through another city?
- How close to the airport do you live? Would you need to spend the night before the flight at a hotel close to the airport?
The best way to estimate the cost of airline tickets is to use Google Flights. This is particularly helpful because it shows a range of prices and you can check different dates to see if you can find a better fare. The average cost of flights to and from Orlando International Airport is about $260 round trip. If you have a family of four you can estimate airfare to cost around $1000 round trip.
Boarding or legroom fees
Tips for baggage handlers
Cost of meals and other items at the airport
If you choose to fly, another possible expense is a rental car. If you are staying on-property at a Disney resort you may use Disney’s Magical Express to take you from the airport to your resort at no charge. However, if you are staying off-property or visiting other attractions in Florida, you will likely need to rent a car for the length of your stay. Don’t forget to add in those costs as well as any parking fees.
Rental Car Expenses
Cost of Rental (Expect to pay between $19/day for a compact car up to $30/day for a small SUV)
If you’re considering driving:
- How is your car? Will you make it to your destination safely and comfortably?
- How long will it take you to drive? If it’s more than one day are you prepared to add those days onto your vacation time?
- Do you have more than one driver who you can switch off driving with?
Intermediate hotel stays
Meals on the road
Entertainment on the road
Wear and tear on your car
Self parking at hotel
Parking at theme parks (if not using Disney transportation)
Disney offers three levels of resorts at Walt Disney World: Value, Moderate and Deluxe. The level of amenities you’re looking for (and your budget) will determine where you stay . Many people choose to stay off-property to save a bit of money. We always suggest staying on-property at a Disney resort because of the many additional benefits you receive. Benefits such as complementary transportation around the resort, the dining plans, complementary airport transportation, advanced booking times for Fastpasses and advanced dining reservations, package delivery and much more. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of both options before you make your decision.
The rate for the Disney resorts varies greatly depending on where you stay and the time of year. For example, a family of four (2 adults, 2 children) during low season (end of September) might expect to pay:
- Value: $145 – $218/night
- Moderate: $250 – $425/night
- Deluxe: $482 – $670/night
- Deluxe Villas: $436 – $948/night
Cost of accommodations/taxes (Room rate x # of nights)
Tips (Bellhop, Cleaning, Concierge)
Theme Park parking (if staying off-site)
A Disney vacation can’t happen without theme park tickets. Purchasing multi-day tickets will always be the best value as Disney heavily discounts multiple day tickets. The more days you add to your tickets, the steeper the discounts.
For a low season base ticket (one park per day):
- 1 day=$109/day
- 2 days=$107/day
- 3 days=$105/day
- 4 days=$101/day
- 5 days=$83/day
- 6 days=$71/day
- 7 days=$62/day
- 8 days=$56/day
- 9 days=$51/day
- 10 days=$47/day
For the park hopper option add $60 per ticket per day.
For the park hopper plus option (which includes the water parks) add $80 per ticket per day.
At Walt Disney World, there are also 2 water parks open during spring and summer. There is an additional cost to add in a visit to one of the water parks. In addition, Universal Orlando and Sea World are nearby ,as well as many other smaller attractions. Make sure you don’t forget to add in the cost of visiting other Florida attractions.
Disney Park Tickets
Park Hopper add-on
Park Hopper Plus add-on
Single day water park add-on
ESPN Wide World of Sports
Fantasia Gardens or Winter Summerland Miniature Golf
Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course
Other Attraction Tickets
If you stay on-site in a Disney Resort you will have the option of purchasing a Dining Plan. There are 3 different plans to choose from:
- Quick Service Plan: Child: $26 Adult: $55
- Disney Dining Plan: Child: $30.51 Adult: $78.01
- Deluxe Dining plan: Child: $47.50 Adult: $119
*All prices are per night, per person
You are not required to purchase a dining plan. For some people, especially picky or light eaters, it doesn’t make sense if you aren’t likely to eat all the food offered by the plans. To help decide if the dining plan makes sense for your family, use this Disney Dining Calculator.
*The dining plans are only available to those staying in a Disney Resort.
For the last few years, Disney has offered a short term promotion for Free Dining when you book a full price Disney Resort stay. As your travel agent, we stay on top of all promotions and as soon as Disney releases the dates we can work with you to try to secure a reservation.
Also don’t forget to check out the character dining, signature dining events and dinner shows. These will make your Disney trip even more memorable.
With Dining Plan
Cost of Dining Plan (adult)
Cost of Dining Plan (child)
Tips for table service meals (approx 18-20% of total meal cost)
Additional drinks/meals/snacks not covered in dining plan
Without Dining Plan
Standard Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
Signature Dining Experiences
Dining Packages (Fantasmic, Candlelight Processional, etc)
There are many extra activities to experience in addition to the theme parks. For example, you could see Cirque Du Soleil (tickets starting at $89), attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (starting at $109), Golf at Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course (starting at $35), visit Senses – A Disney Spa and Salon at the Grand Floridian Resort (prices vary) and much more.
There are always extra costs that you forget to plan for. Things like souvenirs, forgotten toiletries, rain gear, stroller rentals, etc. Don’t forget to put a little money aside to take care of all those surprise costs that pop up at the last minute.
Memory Maker or Photo Pass
Wheelchair or ECV Rental
Rain Gear (Ponchos, Umbrellas)
Water Park Towel Rentals
Now you should have a good idea of how much it costs to go to Walt Disney World. Hopefully, this will help you put a realistic budget together and get your dream vacation plans rolling. And, of course, if you have any questions, please feel free to call us at Take My Hand Travel and we’ll do our best to answer all of your questions.