It’s every kid’s dream to go to Disney World. The excitement of meeting Mickey Mouse, and the thrill of the theme park, mesmerize the mind and imagination of all American youth.
The problem is that the average cost of a trip to Disney World can cost as much as $3,000 for a family of four.
That’s right; we can almost hear you gulping a deep breath as you read that statement. Before you cancel your plans, remember that your kids will love you forever for taking them to Disney World. As a loving parent, $3,000 is a small price to pay for your child’s happiness. So, now that you know what you’re in for let’s unpack the costs of taking the trip.
The reality is that the costs can vary depending on a few factors involved with the vacation. Before we start, we’ll lay a framework for the three most significant expense categories you’ll have to account for when planning for your family’s trip.
These four categories are;
- Your travel date
- Your travel method
- The length of your stay
- Where you stay while visiting Disney World
The final costs involved might vary if you live close by the park, or you get free tickets through sponsorship or as a prize. Doing everything you can to cut costs in each of the above four categories will determine the total cost of your family vacation.
Even if you do cut costs back as much as humanly possible, visiting Disney World is not a “cheap” experience. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the costs involved with taking the family to Disney World.
Paying the Toll at the Most Magical Place on the Planet
- 1 Paying the Toll at the Most Magical Place on the Planet
- 2 You Get a Window to Use Your Tickets
- 3 Kids Discounts
- 4 What Are the Costs of Visiting Disney World for a Family of Four?
- 5 What Are the Additional Costs Involved with Visiting Disney World?
- 6 Are there Ways You Can Save Money Visiting Disney World?
- 7 Is There Any Other Way You Can Save with a Trip to Disney World?
- 8 Other Costs to Consider – Transportation
- 9 The Final Thought – It’s the Experience, Not the Money, That Counts
To kick things off, we’ll start with ticket pricing. Tickets get you into the park, but they’re only a small part of the actual total costs of the trip.
|Days Attending||Cost Per Day||Total Cost|
|Single||$109 – $129||$109 – $129|
|3-Day Pass||$98 – $115||$294 – $345|
|7-Day Pass||$59 – $68||$413 – $476|
|10-Day Pass||$45 – $51||$450 – $510|
* it’s important to note that these ticket prices are subject to change at any time, depending on Disney’s management decisions, contact Disney World directly when planning your trip for accurate pricing.
One-Day Pass ($109 – $129 per day)
When you visit Disney World, you have the option of going to one of four parks.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park – Have the kids meet all their favorite Disney characters
- Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park – The place to take your kid’s for spectaculars
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios – A must for Star Wars Buffs
- Epcot – Disney’s next-generation theme park offering a more interactive experience for kids and adults
In case you’re wondering, “The Magic Kingdom” holds the title of “The Most-Visited” of the four theme parks.
A one-day pass to any of the four parks is only for that specific park. So, you can’t use a one-day pass and visit all four parks for a few hours. Besides, there’s so much entertainment in just one park; it’s challenging to see it all in a single day.
It’s also important to note that Disney World offers packages for multiple-day visits, and the total daily cost drops the more days you decide to visit. With multi-day tickets, you also only get a single entrance into one of the parks, but you can visit any of the four.
If you want to visit the other theme parks on a single day, you’ll need to buy a “Hopper ticket” which gives you access to all four parks.
The total cost of a three-day pass to Disney World averages between $294 and $345 per person. This saving drops the daily price average to between $98 and $115 per daily ticket, for a saving of $14 per day.
Between $413 to $476 per person, or between $59 and $68, for a saving of $61 per day.
Between $450 to $510 per person, or $45 per day, for a total saving of up to $76 on the daily pass. The average cost might jump to $51 per day, depending on the time of the year you visit Disney World.
You Get a Window to Use Your Tickets
If you take a 7-day pass, then you get 9-days to use all of your tickets. This window is a great way to take a break from the park and take the family somewhere else for a day off. (You’re going to need it by that stage)
For the one-day ticket, you get 2-days to use it, 5-days for a 3-day ticket, and 2-weeks to fill a 10-day pass.
Of course, Disney is all about the kids, but what ages officially qualify for discounts at the park? Kids under 3-years get in for free at Disney World and those between 3 and 9-years old qualify for a youth ticket. Kids older than 10-years pay the full admission price.
What Are the Costs of Visiting Disney World for a Family of Four?
It’s challenging to nail down a number when assessing the costs of visiting Disney World. There are a bunch of factors that come into play, including if you’re visiting from out-of-state, and how you’re traveling.
However, the rough estimates are between $2,650 to $3,600 for a family of four. To get to that number, we assume that your kids are between the ages of 3 and 9-years old, and you’re visiting the park for a 3-day stay, and eating your meals there as well.
Here’s the breakdown of the total costs involved.
- Accommodation at a moderate resort, with a standard room, will set you back $245 per night. Your choice of resort and the time of the year you decide to visit might also influence these prices.
- If you want to eat your meals at the park, then “The Disney Dining Plan” costs you anywhere between $23.78 and $43.49 per day for each of your kids. Adults pay between $52.50 and $116.25 per day.
So, using these two factors, the total base costs for your family’s 5-day vacation would total anywhere between $2,688 and $3,560.
What Are the Additional Costs Involved with Visiting Disney World?
Now for the bad news, that average $3,000 price we told you about at the beginning only covers your entrance and accommodation. You also have plenty of other costs tied up in visiting Disney world.
As mentioned, you can choose the Disney Food Plan option when buying your tickets. The plan gives you access to a variety of tasty meals throughout the park. The plan you decide on determines the options available to you when choosing your venues.
You don’t have to take the plan, buts it’s the most affordable option. If you do decide to eat outside of the plan, then a single meal can cost you anywhere from $15 to $60 per adult.
Parking Costs at Disney World
If you stay at any one of the Disney World resorts, parking comes included in your package. However, for those that stay outside of the Disney World resorts, you’ll need to pay $25 per day for parking. After paying the initial fee, you can move your car to any of the other parking lots without sustaining a surcharge. The parks do offer you preferred parking, but the cost doubles to $50 per day for this service.
What Do Souvenirs Cost at Disney World?
From those cute little mouse ears to family photos, what are the costs involved with buying your family a few souvenirs to remember the trip?
As you might expect, Disney World continues the tradition of charging high prices, especially when it comes to buying souvenirs. Some souvenirs cost as little as $5, while others can be in the thousands of dollars.
Can You Get Free Souvenirs at Disney World?
Most people don’t know about the secret free souvenirs you can find when visiting the park. Navigate your way to the welcome spot at each park, and you’ll find a free souvenir button waiting for you. These make for cool freebies that commemorate the trip.
Other freebies you can find in the parks include souvenirs like the driver’s license at the “Tomorrowland Speedway,” the pilot’s license at Dumbo, and access passports if you decide on visiting festivals that are on during your stay.
Are there Ways You Can Save Money Visiting Disney World?
Is there a best month to visit Disney World? If you aren’t a fan of swimming, then the winter months allow you to get a discount on your ticket prices. January and early February have the lowest ticket pricing for the parks, and you might also see a price drop in September through to early November as well.
The costs of your tickets might also depend on whether the parks are launching a new spectacular, ride, or entertainment package.
Food is another huge cost at Disney World, and many people assume that you can’t bring food into the park from outside. However, Disney World does allow you to bring your food with you. Taking a family picnic is a great idea, but it’s a trade-off when you consider that you’ll need to lug around a cooler with you every day.
However, if you do decide to bring food with you, you need to adhere to the rules of the park, and not bring in any glass containers. We like bringing in a backpack cooler with bottles of water. A bottle of water in the park can cost twice as much, and if it’s a hot, sunny day, you could end up buying three or four bottles of water for each person.
Saving Money on Admission with Kids Tickets
If you have a young child under 3-years of age, then Disney World lets you in for free. Some parents might have older kids who want to see the park, but they have a youngster that they need to bring along.
Get a AAA Discount at Disney World
If you’re a AAA member, then you qualify for a discounted ticket at Disney World. Pick up your discounted tickets from your AAA branch or find them online.
Is There Any Other Way You Can Save with a Trip to Disney World?
Here are a few other methods you can use to get a discount on your tickets.
- Discount Brokers – There are plenty of discount brokers offering cheap tickets to Disney World online. However, it’s important to note that many of these brokers are scams. The last thing you need is to find that the broker takes your money, and you never get a ticket.
- Always check the reputation of the broker with the Better Business Bureau before buying your tickets from a discount broker. In most cases, you won’t get much of a discount on ticket prices, with the best being a saving of between 2.5% to 5%.
- Gift Cards – Costco and Sam’s sell discounted Disney Gift Cards that you can use for your ticket to Disney World. In most cases, you’ll find discounts of between 2% to 3% on the face value of the card. You aren’t going to make massive savings here, but every penny counts.
Other Costs to Consider – Transportation
How do you plan on getting to Disney World? Unless you live in Florida, you’ll be coming from out-of-state to visit the theme park. Driving long-distance means you’ll have to account for the costs of gas and accommodation at a motel.
If you intend to fly into Orlando, then you’ll have the costs of your flights and a rental car or Uber servicers to consider.
The Final Thought – It’s the Experience, Not the Money, That Counts
While everyone wants to make savings on their family vacation, don’t take it to the point of being frugal if you don’t have to. A child’s first visit to Disney World is an enchanting experience that they’ll remember forever, and what price tag can you put on that?