How Much It Costs to Go to Disney World – Trip Cost Report

Disney World Trip Costs Follow Me on Pinterest Have you ever wondered how much it costs to go to Disney World? If you guessed expensive you’d be right! A trip to Disney World is definitely not cheap but to us it was definitely worth it. First, I’d like to let you know that I didn’t pay full retail price. I took advantage of a factor that not everyone qualifies for. As a Florida resident Disney World gives me special discounted rates on the hotel and park tickets. Other than that everyone can get the same prices I did on everything else.

Disney World Ticket Costs

I did a lot of research in this category to find the best price and the best match for what we wanted to do. We had two options as far as what type of Disney World tickets to get. The first was a 3 day Magic Your Way ticket which allows you to enter one park per day of your ticket. The second was a Park Hopper pass which allowed you to visit as many parks as you would like each day but it came with an additional cost. Ultimately we decided we were only going to go to one park each day anyway so we just stuck with the Magic Your Way Ticket.

I also scoured the internet to find the best prices possible on tickets. Unfortunately it seems that Disney didn’t seem to have any discounts on the tickets. I didn’t want to buy the tickets from a third party because I wouldn’t be able to tell if they were genuine or not. Instead I found what seems to be the one exception that was able to get me a discount on the tickets.

My Florida resident status saved me some major money and seemed to be the only way to get a discount! Our tickets cost $180 each after tax for a three day Magic Your Way pass.

Total Ticket Cost: $360 for three days of fun in Disney World!

Disney World Hotel Costs

We decided to stay on the Walt Disney World Resort for a couple reasons. First, by staying on the resort we were able to have free shuttle transportation to all of the theme parks each day. We also could park at the theme parks for free if we wanted to drive ourselves. If you aren’t staying on the resort you have to pay $14.00 a day for parking… ouch!

Another reason we stayed on the Walt Disney World Resort was the fact that everything was included in the rate we were quoted and there were no hidden fees, resort fees, WiFi fees or anything else. Although they don’t provide breakfast it was cheap enough to bring our own so it wasn’t a deal breaker for us. We ended up staying for four nights and once again got the Florida resident discount.

Total Hotel Cost: $322.64 for four nights at the Disney All Star Sports Resort

Transportation To/From Disney World

We decided to drive to Disney World. It is about a 6 hour trip which isn’t that bad and it was cheaper than flights if you just consider the gas cost (I know there are other costs as noted in my mileage reimbursement and redbox posts). We also wanted to have the convenience of having my car in case we wanted to leave early or go somewhere else that the resort transportation wouldn’t take us.

We were glad we drove because during our trip Tropical Storm/Hurricane Issac couldn’t decide if it wanted to go to Orlando, my home or somewhere else. Luckily Issac decided to go away from both Orlando and my home and the transportation wasn’t necessary but if we flew we wouldn’t have had that option.

Part of driving included $10.50 in tolls to get there and back. We could have avoided the tolls at the cost of more time. To us it was worth it to get there earlier so we could go to Downtown Disney and on the way back we wanted to get home to be able to get home and relax.

Total Transportation Cost $116.95

Food at Disney World

The night we arrived we ate at Planet Hollywood at Downtown Disney. It is a more expensive restaurant but part of our Disney World Resort package included a $15 coupon to Planet Hollywood which brought the cost down to that of a normal Disney restaurant.

Other than that, we brought food from home for breakfasts and ate lunch and dinner at the Disney Dining establishments in the park or at our resort. I’d say we averaged about $20-$25 a meal and always drank water and the snacks that we packed instead of buying extras. We didn’t get anything extravagant and just ate at the quick counter service establishments. The prices were high but as I mentioned Wednesday, theme parks can price gouge and get away with it.

Total Food Cost $156.03

We had a great time and spent under the amount that we had budgeted for the trip! Overall it was a great success!

Total Trip Cost $955.62

Have you ever been to Disney World? Was this in line with what you would have expected it to cost? Share your Disney World stories!

Photo by @CDHarrison

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About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the founder of Money Manifesto. You can read more about him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.

Comments

  1. For us its 3 hours drive north, we leave in the morning and return back in the night. Total cost is park entrance and food. Which is around $200 in all. Some incentive for living in south Florida!

  2. WOW! I haven’t been to Disneyland for about 30+ years. I used to have a Magic Kingdom card that allowed us to enter and do all the rides for $11 each. I guess I will have to put more money away for when I take my future grandchildren.

  3. Jason Clayton | frugal habits says:

    Nice write up on the cost of Disney. $1000 bucks isn’t a bad deal when you think about a couple days in a hotel, and a great vacation. Unfortunately I don’t live as close, so I would need to calculate a higher cost in transportation, but knowing that I can do the park, hotel, and food for under a $1000 is great info.

    • Just make sure you get quotes for regular tickets. They are more expensive than the Florida resident tickets I bought. It also costs more to go during peak season times as we went during shoulder season.

  4. I haven’t been to Disney World since I was a kid. Considering we had to fly from BC, it would’ve been a lot more expensive than your trip. $1000 isn’t bad since that includes everything on your trip. The hotel sounds like an especially good deal since I’m sure it was a quality hotel.

  5. We used to go to Disney World all the time. I have family in Boca, and when I was little we had season passes. I loved it so much! I would say it’s well worth it.

  6. My kid isn’t old enough yet, but I’m sure we’ll make a trip to Disneyland soon enough. I’ll have to start saving up those pennies.

  7. Driving definitely saved you quite a bit of cash. If we ever went on a trip to Disney we’d probably fly which would increase our price $300-500. Still, $1400 for a trip to Disney really isn’t that bad at all.

    • You can get some cheap flights to Orlando. We could have flown for $340 I think but we wanted the flexibility of the car. That and if you just count cash costs it was cheaper to drive. It might have even been faster to drive…

  8. That really isn’t too bad! I would have guessed the costs would be a lot more.

    As far as driving to Disney World I think my family has most people beat. My parents brought us to Disney World twice and we drove both times. From Minnesota.

    • Yea… I’d say you have most people beat. I have moved from Pensacola, Florida to Washington state and from Washington State to Jacksonville Florida so I have taken longer car rides.

  9. Comment for your previous post but the Wife and I are doing our dream trip to Orlando and Miami this Christmas and while we decided to pass on Disney we are doing Universal Studios, so what we did was order the food ticket, 24 dollars each all the food drinks you can take! So while the price of drinks won’t matter sadly the calories will.

    • Universal Studios and especially Islands of Adverture are great parks. We just decided to do Disney this time. We’ll probably do Universal next time!

  10. I could probably buy a car with the money we have spent on theme parks. Luckily our kid grew up or I’d need a second mortgage to continue…. :).

  11. We went to Disneyland this spring. It’s about a 12 hour drive for us. I think under $1K is pretty darn good. We also decided to stay onsite for the reasons you mentioned. When we were getting ready to book our room and purchase our tickets (they were about 10% cheaper to buy on disney’s website) we bought Disney gift cards from the grocery store. The store was doing a promotion at the time where we got 4X gas points for buying gift cards. We bought $500 in Disney gift cards and got 2000 points, which saved $1 off per gallon on two fill ups, so about $30. Not a huge savings, but you might as well do what you can. It was a great trip and although spendy, our daughter won’t always think princesses are truly magical, so I’m glad we went.

  12. I haven’t seen anyone else mention this, but because you won’t need a car at Disney (because of all the transportation options), people flying in should take the Magic Your Way bus from the airport. First, it’s free. Second, it drops you right at your hotel. Third, they take care of all baggage you check in at your home airport. You don’t touch it again until it shows up in your room. Awesome free service.

    • I think it is called something else now like the Disney Express or something but they did offer it and I saw it running multiple times at the hotel while we were there.

  13. We went to Disney in April of this year and stayed off campus at a local time share (I know, I know, time shares suck). It was actually a timeshare we traded for using my in-law’s time share they have in Maine.

    Anyway, military families get a great discount at disney. I think a 4 day park hopper pass was like $150 or something…

    BTW, congrats on the blog, looks great!

  14. UGH! The Wife is trying to sign me up for this trip with our boy in May and since I am flying in from NY I KNOW its going to cost me at least double or triple of your number.

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