April 30, 2019

How Much Does it Cost to Go to Disney World

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It can cost as much as $3,000 just to get a family of 4 into Walt Disney World, so while it's a dream of most parents to take their children to the most magical place on Earth, it's not cheap!

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The three biggest factors for cost are:

  • The date you travel.
  • How long you stay.
  • Where you'll stay.

Cutting costs in these categories will help you save the most. However, even with a lot of cost cutting, it's still a fairly expensive trip. Here's a run down of costs, and other ways you can save.

The Cost of the Most Magical Place on Earth

Ticket prices only make up a small portion of the total cost of attending Disney World. The more days you purchase, the cheaper the tickets become.

Here's a breakdown of ticket prices with a more detailed description below.*

Days AttendedPer-Day CostTotal Ticket Cost
One Day$109 - $129$109 - $129
3 Days$98 - $115$294 - $345
7 Days$59 - $68$413 - $476
10 Days$45 - $51$450 - $510

*ticket prices are subject to change and are dependent on a number of variables. To get the most accurate estimate for your trip, contact Disney World directly.

Cost for One Day
On average, you'll spend between $109 and $129 per day if you buy a one-day ticket to any of the four parks.

Disney World has four parks. You can choose any of the four parks to use your one-day ticket. The number of days you plan to visit the parks in total determines your final cost. The more days you plan to visit the parks, the cheaper your per-day cost gets.

Cost for 3 Days
The cost of spending three days in Disney world is between $294 and $345 per person.

That means the per day ticket price for a 3 day price is between $98 and $115. On the most expensive day to visit Disney World, that's a savings of $14 per person per day compared to the one day price.

While it doesn't sound like much, let's say you have a family of 5 visiting Disney World for three days. If all of the visitors are adults, you'd save $210 on all tickets combined by purchasing the 3-day tickets versus one-day tickets.

Cost for One Week
The cost for going for a week is between $413 and $476 per person.

A 7 day pass reduces your per-day ticket price to between $59 and $68.

Comparing that to a one-day ticket, you'd pay $61 less per day if you bought a 7-day adult ticket.

Cost for 10 Days
Attending the park for 10 days will cost between $450 and $510 per person.

That's just $45 a day on the cheaper end. Of course, the cost can get up to $51 per day depending on the exact dates of your visit.

Buying Your Disney World Tickets

You Can Use Disney World Tickets on Non-Consecutive Days
Disney World gives you a window of opportunity to use your tickets, which is typically 2 days more than your passes.

For example, if you bought a 7-day pass, you have 9 days to use it. This gives you a chance to take a "non-park day" and relax.

What ages are considered "kids" in Disney World?
Kids under 3 can get into Disney World for free. Kids between ages 3 and 9 are charged for a youth ticket. Anyone age 10 and older pays the adult price. Though, at heart everyone's a kid in Disney World, right?

While the savings of a child's ticket versus an adult's isn't going to make you rich, every penny that you can save when going to Disney World can certainly help. On average, you save between $5 and $19 per ticket, depending on the number of days of tickets you purchase.

The longer your park visits, the less you save per day. One-day ticket holders save $5 per ticket, whereas 10-day ticket holders save $19 overall, which comes out to $1.90 per day.

Cost for Family of 2
Your total cost for a trip for 2 for 5 days and 4 nights would be between $1,988 and $2,600.

A moderate resort with a standard view for four nights will cost around $245 per night. Your park tickets for 3 days would cost between $98 and $115 per day, depending on the dates of your visit.

The cost of the Disney Dining Plan, which allows you to eat throughout the parks and resorts for a fixed fee, costs between $52.50 and $116.25 per day.

Cost for Family of 4
The cost for a Disney World trip for a family of 4 can also depend on many factors, including the age of the children. A rough estimate puts the cost between $2,688 and $3,560.

For that number, we assumed both children are between 3 and 9 years old and that you'll stay at a moderate resort, visit the parks for 3 days, and dine at Disney restaurants with the Disney Dining Plan. Here's a complete cost breakdown:

Family of 4 Cost Breakdown:

A moderate resort with a standard view for four nights will cost around $245 per night.

The exact cost depends on your chosen hotel and dates. Your park ticket for 3 days (one park per day) will cost between $98 and $115 per day.

The Disney Dining Plan costs between $23.78 and $43.49 for kids (per day) and $52.50 and $116.25 (per day) for adults.

Your total cost for a trip for 4 for 5 days and 4 nights would be between $2,688 and $3,560.

The Other Costs of a Trip to Disney World
Keep in mind that the above costs are just to visit Disney World itself. You still have to get yourself there and pay for transportation throughout the area, unless you plan to use the free bus system that comes with your stay at the resort.

Cheaper Online or at the Gate?
The ticket prices are the same online and at the gate. If you make last minute plans to visit the Mouse, you won't be penalized with higher costs as a result.

Benefits of Buying in Advance
Even though you can buy tickets at the gate, there are certain benefits you realize by buying your tickets ahead of time.

Of course, you have the benefit of knowing that you have your tickets secured, which can be helpful on days when the parks reach high capacity.

More importantly, though, you are able to schedule your Fast Passes 60 days prior to the first day of your visit.

This allows you access to much shorter lines and quick access to some of the most popular rides. You can select three Fast Passes per person per day that you have a park ticket purchased.

Are hopper tickets worth it?
The cost of your Disney World tickets could increase if you chose the Park Hopper option.

On average, it costs an additional $55 per day per ticket for the hopper option. This option gives you the opportunity to visit as many parks as you want in any given day.

The hopper can be worth it for adults traveling to Disney on their own or even parents traveling with older children. If you have younger children or it's your first time in Disney World, though, you should probably stick with the one-par-a-day option.

Other Costs of Visiting Walt Disney World

Food Costs
As we discussed above, Disney World does have a Dining Plan that charges one fixed fee per day and gives you access to a variety of meals throughout the park. The plan that you choose will determine where you can eat within the plan.

If you don't want the Disney Dining Plan, you can expect to pay between $14.99 and $60 per adult meal within the parks and resorts. Of course, there are options for snacks and less expensive meals, but these are the averages.

How much is parking?
If you stay at a Disney resort and park a car there, you don't have to pay to park at the theme parks—it's included in your stay.

If you don't stay in one of their resorts, you'll pay for parking at any of the four theme parks. Standard parking will cost you $25 per day. Once you pay the parking fee, you are free to move your car to another park's lot and you won't have to pay the fee again.

If you want preferred parking, it will cost you $50 per day.

How much does it cost to park at Disney World Resorts?
Parking at Disney World resorts will cost you between $13 and $24 per night. The exact amount depends on the hotel that you stay at and the type of car you will be parking there.

How much are souvenirs in Disney World?
Disney souvenirs are a tradition within many families. Just like their theme park and restaurant prices, though, souvenir prices can be high.

However, you can find souvenirs that cost as little as $5, but the prices do go into the thousands of dollars, depending on what you are looking for in their stores.

Free souvenirs at Disney World
A little secret many people don't know about is the free souvenirs you can find at Disney World. Souvenir buttons found at each welcome spot in Disney World are a fun way to grab a souvenir.

Whether you are celebrating something special or just want a button for fun, they are free for the taking. A few other fun freebies include park maps, Pilot's License at Dumbo, Driver's License at the Tomorrowland Speedway, and passports if you happen to visit during the Food and Wine Festival.

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 (aka the prices).

Saving Money on Food
It'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 Tickets
If 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.

Does AAA offer Disney World discounts?
AAA does have special discounted tickets and packages for members. They typically offer their deals online as well as at your local branch.

Other Ways to Save
While there aren't many ways to save on Disney World tickets, there are two that may work:

  • Discount Broker: We do encourage you to use caution if you choose to go this route. Make sure you do your research with the Better Business Bureau to make sure the company is legitimate. You should also look at the bottom line cost to make sure you truly are getting a discount after any taxes and fees are added.

  • Discounted Gift Cards: You can buy discounted Disney gift cards at warehouse stores (Sam's and Costco) as well as Target. You can then use those gift cards to purchase your tickets. You won't be able to pay the mortgage with your savings, but every penny does count.

Disney World or Disneyland?

Which is cheaper: Disney World or Disneyland?
Even though Disney World is larger, your admission to Disneyland may cost you more depending on your dates of travel.

Disneyland tickets start at $104 per day and go up to $149 for a single-day admission.

Which is bigger: Disney World or Disneyland?
Hands down, Disney World is much larger than Disneyland.

Disney World covers 43 square miles.
Disneyland covers 0.89 square miles.

There are many similarities between the two, but the size difference does make a difference.

Write to Kim P at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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