Early on in your Disney trip planning research, you’re likely already wondering, “How much is this Disney World trip going to cost?”
A Disney World trip budget can’t be created without knowing everything, big and small, that should be included in your budget. You’ve probably already thought about the cost of tickets, food, and the hotel stay, but what else will you need to pay for? How much money should you save for the trip?
This isn’t going to give you a specific budget amount. There are many factors that affect the cost of a Disney World vacation from the length of the trip and the number of family members to the type of hotel and dining preferences. A Disney World trip budget can range anywhere from $2,000 to over $10,000!
This blog post will share the items that contribute to a Disney World trip budget so that you can create a budget specific for your needs.
Money-saving strategies will be covered in an upcoming post. Instead, this is your guide to creating your complete Disney World trip budget.
Quickly glance the post for highlighted items like this to add to your budget:
Add me to your Disney World trip budget!
Interested in seeing one of our actual Disney World trip budgets? Read Our Walt Disney World Trip Cost Breakdown for a Family of Four.
Disney World Theme Park Tickets
Disney park admission tickets are purchased for a specific number of days. The ticket prices vary slightly depending on the time of the year and are higher during holidays, around Spring Break, and some weekends. The per day price of a ticket also drops the more days you purchase.
For example, the per day price of one- to four-day park tickets will vary only slightly, anywhere from $107 to over $140 per day depending on the time of year. Each day of the ticket costs nearly the same amount.
However, once you add a fifth day or more, the per day price of the ticket begins dropping drastically to under $100 per day. A seven-day tickets start at $67 per day per day while the maximum ten-day tickets start at $52 per day. As Disney states, “The longer you play, the less you pay per day!”
In total, this means that adding additional days beyond a 4-day ticket doesn’t drastically increase the total ticket price.
These are ticket prices from the Disney website for a base ticket starting on July 11, 2021 (including tax). Note that the daily cost to add days to the ticket decreases significantly from 5 days on:
1 day // $134.19
2 days // $261.41
3 days // $377.22
4 days // $472.88
5 days // $507.91
6 days // $529.36
7 days // $550.00
8 days // $578.00
9 days // $595.25
10 days // $610.70
These ticket prices are all for “Disney adults” ages 10 and up. Child tickets for kids ages 3-9 are slightly less, average $5 or less per day.
Do you have kiddos under the age of three? Great news! They don’t require a ticket and may enter the parks for free!
Ticket price for entire family – use the Disney website for an accurate estimate
Base tickets will allow entry into one park each day. If you want to visit more than one park in a day, you’ll need to add the Park Hopper option to your tickets.
Park Hopper tickets are available again for 2021 tickets after being unavailable in 2020 after the parks reopened. The additional cost is $65 for a 1-day ticket, $75 for 2 to 3-day tickets, and $85 for 4 to 10-day tickets.
PhotoPass photographers are stationed around the parks to take your photo in memorable locations. Filter the map screen in the My Disney Experience mobile app by “PhotoPass” to get an idea of how many locations are available to help you make your Memory Maker purchase decision.
Additionally, photos of you are taken on select rides. These end up in your Disney PhotoPass account along with photos taken by the photographers.
You may purchase Memory Maker in advance to download all of these PhotoPass photos from your trip for $199. Save by purchasing in advance for $169. For short trips or if you only care to keep memorable photos from a single day, Memory Maker may be purchased for one day for $69.
Disney resort rates cover a wide spectrum from economy campsites at Fort Wilderness to luxury suites at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Prices at each resort will also vary depending on the time of year and even the day of the week. The length of your stay will obviously affect your Disney World budget as well. A 3-night stay at Disney’s Beach Club Resort can easily cost the same as 9 nights at Disney’s Pop Century Resort.
Hotel prices are lowest when crowd levels are lowest. Of course, Disney is a business and takes advantage of simple supply and demand!
Value resorts typically run under $200 per night, but can spike to over $250 at peak times of the year such as Spring Break and Christmas weeks. Value resorts have motel style layouts with outdoor-entry rooms, pools without slides, and no table service restaurants.
Six nights at Pop Century in early February runs just over $1,000. In late March, 4 nights will cost nearly $1,000.
Moderate resorts average in the $200’s to low $300’s. These resorts have pools with slides, outdoor-entry rooms in smaller buildings on sprawling lush grounds, and more dining options than value resorts.
A Caribbean Beach Resort room that sleeps five costs just over $1,600 for 6 nights in early February. The same room is $1,300 for 4 days in March.
Deluxe resorts have the greatest price range, starting in the $400’s and rising to over $1,000 per night for standard, non-suite rooms. These resorts have indoor corridors, pools with slides and spas, prime location adjacent to at least one park, and extensive dining options.
A Bay Lake view room in the Contemporary Resort tower runs $4,400 for 6 nights in early February. The same room is $3,500 for 4 nights in late March.
In addition to the room charge, budget for tips. Consider leaving $1 per person per cleaning day for the “Mousekeeping” housekeeping staff and tips if you plan on having your luggage handled.
Are you driving your own car or renting a car? Disney resorts charge nightly parking fees now. Prices differ depending on the hotel category:
Value resorts // $15 per night
Moderate resorts // $20 per night
Deluxe resorts // $25 per night
Mousekeeping and other tips
Disney World Trip Food Budget
Now that the Disney Dining Plan is temporarily unavailable, budgeting food costs isn’t quite as simple if the DDP was the best option for you. Your food budget will vary depending on dining preferences.
Do you want to have a sit-down meal every day? Even twice a day?
Will you mainly stick with quick service meals that are usually lower quality, but cost less and don’t require reservations?
Full menus for all restaurants at Disney World are available on the Disney World website. Use the menus to become familiar with the type of food and price points to expect.
Quick service locations serve food at the counter and you will get your food and seat yourself. Entrees at these restaurants typically run $10-$15 each. Add beverages if you’ll be drinking anything other than complimentary tap water along with extra for desserts and more sides if necessary. As a family of four with one still ordering off the kids menu and who do not purchase beverages, we average $45-$50 per meal at Disney quick service restaurants.
Table service restaurants require reservations and offer a guaranteed seat for your meal, typically serving higher quality food and more unique menus. Casual table service restaurants start around $15 per entree up to $35. Signature and fine dining establishments generally serve entrees from $40 to over $60. At all table service restaurants, additionally budget for tips.
Will you bring any food from home? You may bring food into the parks as long as your cooler or bag falls within the Disney property rules. Plan on at least packing a few snacks to avoid those unexpected “hangry” meltdowns.
If you’re not bringing food from home, consider using Amazon Prime, Instacart, or another grocery delivery service to delivery snacks, beverages, or even food for meals straight to your hotel room. We typically bring breakfast food from home – something simple we can make in the room like oatmeal and fruit.
Groceries brought from home
Travel and Transportation Budget
How are you going to get to Disney World?
If you’re flying, you’ll obviously include the cost of your plane tickets in your budget. Don’t forget about any additional fees for your flight such as baggage fees.
Your budget should include transportation to and from the airport. Are you using a car service? Are you driving yourself there on toll roads? What about parking fees to leave your car at the airport during your trip?
Once you arrive at Orlando International Airport, you’ll need to get to Disney World! If you are staying at a Disney World resort hotel, you have the option of using the complimentary motorcoach, Disney’s Magical Express. Otherwise, budget for a car rental or car service from MCO to your hotel.
Car service to/from home airport
Car service to/from Orlando airport and hotel
If you’re driving, budget for gas, tolls, and any hotel stays and food purchased along the way.
Tolls will clearly vary depending on your route. Be aware that Florida’s Turnpike to Orlando on Florida’s west coast is a toll road if you’re arriving in the state from I-75 or farther west on I-10. From the east, if you want to bypass downtown Orlando on I-4 (which I highly recommend – it’s a construction nightmare!), both northern and southern highway bypasses around the city are toll roads – but worth the minor expense!
Once you’re at the parks, there will be costs involved if you’re planning on any transportation other than the complimentary Disney buses, monorail, SkyLiner, and water taxis.
Will you be renting a car? It’s not necessary if you’re staying at a Disney resort hotel. Disney offers complimentary transportation around the resort. Even off site beyond the reach of Disney transportation, you may want to consider using a car service instead of renting a car. However, if you’re flying to Orlando and want complete control over your transportation, add a car rental to your budget.
Daily parking fees at the parks are waived for Disney resort guests and passholders. All others are charged $25 per day to park at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.
Again, as previously mentioned, overnight parking fees are now charged for Disney resort hotel guests. Be sure to include these in your budget … and your car rental decision.
Park parking fee (waived for Disney resort guests)
Additional Events, Parties, Tours, and Recreation
Disney water parks are currently closed and one is scheduled to reopen on March 7, 2021. If you intend to visit either Disney’s Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon water park, include the Park Hopper Plus option on your admission tickets or purchase separate water parks tickets.
Extra-ticketed events including holiday parties, After Hours events, and tours have not yet resumed at Disney World.
A limited number of recreation activities are currently available as Disney World’s reopening phase progresses including horseback rides and pony rides at Fort Wilderness.
Disney water parks admission
Clothing and Accessories
Are you purchasing matching shirts, comfortable new shoes (be sure to leave time to break them in!), Minnie ears, or any other articles of attire specifically for the trip? Add them to the budget!
Park Day Necessities
Face coverings are required on Disney property so be sure to bring enough for your trip. Count on at least two per person per day in the humid Florida heat. Consider disposable face masks if you don’t want to spend time washing cloth masks or buy enough to last an entire trip.
MagicBands are flexible, waterproof RFID wristbands used at Walt Disney World for your park ticket, PhotoPass, and, if you’re staying on-site at a Disney World hotel, your room key and optional payment method. They are not required, but are a convenience over using separate park tickets, credit cards, and PhotoPass cards throughout each day. MagicBands are complimentary to Disney resort guests through 2020, but must be purchased beginning in 2021.
You’ll want to carry a bag or backpack along with some supplies to make your days in the parks more pleasant and convenient. I always carry refillable water bottles, ponchos, a phone charger, snacks, and a few other park day essentials. Don’t forget to add any new bags or essentials purchased for the trip to your Disney World trip budget.
Day bag and park day essentials
The amount you budget for souvenirs is truly personal preference. Small mementos like pins and magnets will average between $10 and $20. Large art prints can cost over $500.
Here’s a sampling of popular souvenirs and average price ranges you can expect:
Plush animals for the kids // $10-$30
Minnie ears // $25-$30
Short-sleeved tees // $25-$35
Mugs // $15-$20
What is the most difficult part of creating a Disney World trip budget?