Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
Walt Disney World is a magical, but expensive, family vacation destination. Planning a Disney World vacation requires much more than tickets and transportation. Where will you stay? What will you eat? What type of tickets does your family need? Our TravelingMoms are Disney experts! Here, they tell you exactly what you need to consider when determining how much it costs to go to Disney World.
A trip to Walt Disney World sounds even more magical than ever right now. Covid restrictions mean smaller crowds, which means less time waiting in lines and more time having fun!
But it also means getting a park reservation via the Disney Park Pass System in addition to having an admission ticket. That’s just one of the Disney World changes in 2021. Face masks are required for all guests while on the Disney busses, monorail or Skyliner. Masks are required indoors for guests who aren’t fully vaccinated. Certain experiences, such as stage shows, are still on hold, and some resort hotels remain closed at this time.
Join our NEW Facebook Community: Making Travel Easier. We promise to always tell you what we would tell our best friend -- what works for kids, what doesn’t and what you need to know before you go to have the Best. Family. Vacation. Ever. Our group of travel experts are ready to answer your travel questions!
On the plus side, you can now book a Disney World vacation up to 500 days in advance! That means you can book now for visits in 2022. All it takes is a $175 down payment. No balance is due until 7 days prior to travel.
For more details, as well as help with your booking, reach out to our partners at Get Away Today.
So, How Much Does It Cost to Go To Disney World?
Figuring out how much it costs to go to Disney World is a complex equation. It’s easy to see why so many people choose to work with a Disney travel agent.
It starts with tickets but it includes so many more Disney vacation expenses, including food, transportation, hotel stay, and extra expenses.
This post breaks it all down to help you get the bottom line answer to the question: How much does it REALLY cost to go to Disney?
Editor’s note: All ticket prices mentioned in this post are accurate for Disney vacations booked in April 2021. They provide an idea of how much a Disney vacation costs. Disney pricing is complicated and changes regularly. The prices you actually pay will depend on when and how you travel.
Here’s how Disney World operates now, in the wake of the coronavirus shutdown and reopening.
How Much Are Disney World Tickets?
A Walt Disney World vacation starts with purchasing park tickets. Add-ons for tickets include Park Hoppers and/or the Water Parks and More option.
In Orlando, the Walt Disney World resort includes four theme parks and two water parks:
- Animal Kingdom
- Magic Kingdom
- Hollywood Studios
- Blizzard Beach (water park)
- Typhoon Lagoon (water park)
In the past, the cost of a single day park ticket to the Magic Kingdom was higher than a single day ticket to the three other parks.
However, park admission prices now are tiered. The cost of a park ticket is based on which day you visit. Tickets cost more for park visits on the weekend and during higher demand times, such as the holidays and during the summer.
Multiple days equal savings when it comes to tickets. For trips in 2021, the price for tickets to any theme park will range from $109 to $159 per day, depending on the time of year you visit. Get more details on the tiered ticket pricing here.
If you’re just in the planning process and want to see how much a Disney vacation will cost your family, you can fill out this form and Get Away Today will reach out to you with a personalized quote for FREE!
TravelingMom Tip: Once you book your trip, rev up the pre-trip excitement with this easy DIY Disney countdown craft project.
Disney Genie Service Lightning Lane Access
The Disney Genie Service will launch this fall. It will replace the free FastPass system with a paid system that will add $15 per person per day to the cost of a ticket.
The fee includes several extras, but most critically, it gives visitors access to the shorter ride line, which will be renamed “Lightning Lanes.”
Special Deals on Disney Tickets for Florida Residents
As of April 2021, Florida residents get special rates on theme park tickets. A 4-day ticket can be purchased at a savings of 40% of the original price, and 3-day tickets can be purchased at a savings of 30% of the original retail price.
Florida residents will have to show proof of residency, so don’t mistakenly purchase these tickets if you are not a Florida resident!
Where Can I Buy Discount Disney Tickets?
Searching online for discount Disney tickets can feel overwhelming. It’s important to make sure you’re buying from a reputable website. Our TravelingMom team recommends Get Away Today for discount Disney tickets and vacation packages.
If you ever find park tickets cheaper, Get Away Today won’t just match the price, the company will beat it! Great customer service is another reason why we recommend Get Away Today. From buying your tickets to planning your Disney vacation, they help you every step of the way. Read our full review of Get Away Today here.
TravelingMom Tip: Find out how to get official Disney gear at a discount.
Book Your Disney Vacation with $175 Down!
If you want to know what it would cost to go to Disney World for your family, ask for a free quote here.
Get Away Today is offering to hold your 2021 Disney vacation for just $175 down. Better yet, the final payment is due just seven days before you go. So put your next Disney vacation on layaway and have fun planning your next trip!
Is a Park Hopper Ticket Worth the Cost?
As of this article’s publishing, park hopping has returned to Walt Disney World. However, it is not the same as it was pre-Covid. Due to the capacity limitations, all theme park visitors must “reserve” their spot to visit a park through the Disney Park Pass System. Visitors with a valid theme park ticket with park hopper option as well as an initial park reservation will be allowed to “hop” to any other park after 2pm.
If you’re buying a multi-day pass (which is substantially cheaper than buying single tickets each day), you have to pay for the “hopping” for the entire ticket, even if you only plan to hop on a day or two.
This can really add up if you’re traveling with your family. Plus the time you take traveling from one park to another is less time spent actually enjoying a park!
TravelingMom has even more in depth details on whether a park hopper is worth the money.
You’ll have to decide if the additional cost is prohibitive, especially considering park hopping is only available after 2pm. Are you willing to pay anything to ride on three different coasters in one day (Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom, Slinky Dog Dash in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Expedition Everest in Disney’s Animal Kingdom) then head to EPCOT for a three-course meal at Le Cellier? Then park hopping might be right for you!
Read More: Is the Disney Vacation Club Worth the Cost?
When Is a Park Hopper NOT Worth the Money?
You may not want to actually park hop, however. Why? Because it takes time to move from one park to another. It is easy to hop from EPCOT to Hollywood Studios because they are located right next to one another. But it takes much longer to hop from the Magic Kingdom to Animal Kingdom. A trip on board the free Disney transportation can take 45 minutes or longer. That’s 45 minutes less time you’ll have in the parks.
Many people plan to use their hoppers to go to a water park to cool off after a hot day in the parks. As of early April 2021, Blizzard Beach is open but Typhoon Lagoon remains closed.
How Much are Hotel Costs at Disney World?
Unless you are a local with an annual pass, you’re going to need somewhere to stay during your Disney World trip. Will it be a resort on Disney property? Will it be at a “Good Neighbor” hotel?
Staying off Disney property can mean savings, but you need to factor in the time and cost of transportation to and from the park every day, as well as parking if you’re driving your own vehicle.
Disney World has three categories of “on property” hotels: value, moderate and deluxe. Each resort has pros and cons.
For example, deluxe resorts are the most expensive (from $496 per night in April 2021), but they are often the closest to the parks, and they have some of the best pools.
Value resorts offer a significant savings (starting around $189 per night in April 2021), but the rooms are smaller, and transportation to the parks takes longer.
Currently, only limited resorts have reopened. You can find an up-to-date list of these here, along with information about tentative reopening plans.
Disney Springs area hotels are another great option for saving on lodging, but they are not as conveniently located to the parks. Work with your travel agent and/or family to decide what is most important to you: location or cost savings?
Saving Money on Hotels at Disney World
One of our favorite ways to save money and get more in our accommodations at Disney World is to rent DVC points. That’s a program that allows people who are not members of the Disney Vacation Club to get access to Disney luxury resorts and hotels for less.
Read More: Is the Disney Vacation Club Worth the Cost?
How To Save Money at Disney World: The Best Kept Secret
The following paragraph was sponsored by RVshare, a peer-to-peer RV rental website that connects RV owners with people who want to rent an RV.
This is one of the best ways to save money on a Disney vacation and one of the best kept secrets about RVing!
Did you know that there are campsites and RV sites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness at Disney World? These RV sites have concrete pads as big as 18 feet wide and 60 feet long. This means you can stay in a luxury RV for a fraction of the cost of staying at a luxury Disney resort. And, unlike a standard hotel room, the luxury RV will sleep your family of 5+!
Even better, staying in an RV at Fort Wilderness entitles you to all of the perks of staying at a Disney resort, including extended hours in the parks and free Disney transportation. Best of all, there are lots of RV rental options in Orlando and many of them will set up the RV for FREE at the campsite.
Here are a few of the RVs we found in the area that would be ideal for a Disney vacation! These rentals are anywhere between $100-$200/night.
You’ll save money by being able to make meals in your RV and the whole experience will be fun for the family.
You can always rent an RV and drive it to Orlando, but we think the easiest approach and the best way to save money is to rent it once you arrive in Orlando and have the owners set it up for you.
Why TravelingMoms Love RV Rentals
TravelingMom Jenn Mitchell rented an RV from RVshare for a vacation with her teens and found even more reasons to love traveling by RV — like having their own bathroom and lunch whenever and wherever they wanted it.
Here’s what she has to say about RVshare:
“I can’t say enough good things about our experience. I researched a number of RV rental companies and found the value and services provided by RVshare to be the best choice for us. My husband agrees. We think renting an RV provided a unique opportunity to spend quality time together as a family.”
You can read the full review of her RVshare rental experience, including how it works, here.
How Much Does it Cost to Get to Disney World?
Next, let’s talk about actually getting to Disney. How will you get there?
If you’re a Disney regular, you’re already covered. Annual passes come with parking included.
If you’re flying in and staying at a Disney hotel, you’re covered too. Just add the free Disney Magical Express bus service to your travel plan and you can save the cost of a rental car or ride share, and get dropped off right at the front door of your resort.
TravelingMom Tip: The free Magical Express service is slated to end on Dec. 31, 2021. So if you’re planning to visit in 2022, you’ll need to find your own way to your hotel from the Orlando Airport.
Read More: Don’t Make This $80 Mistake at Disney World
If you drive, plan to pay nightly self-parking fees at Disney hotels and off property “Good Neighbor” hotels. Parking fees will be added to your room charges when you check out. As of April 2021, standard overnight parking rates at Disney hotels are as follows:
- $15 per night at Disney Value resorts
- $20 per night at Disney’s Moderate resorts
- $25 per night at the Deluxe and Deluxe Villa resorts
How Much is Your Time Worth?
Another transportation cost you’ll want to consider is time. It takes time to traverse the 47-square-mile Disney World property, whether you’re in a rental car, a Disney bus, boat or monorail. It can take even longer when there are special events such as holiday celebrations, runDisney races, cheer/dance competitions, and even Major League Baseball spring training!
I believe that time equals money on my Disney family vacation, so I’m always thinking about the pros and cons of transportation to and from my hotel and the parks.
How Much Should I Budget for Food at Disney World?
At Disney World, even dining can be complicated. Which dining plan should you choose? Should you even choose a dining plan? This absolutely depends on your family or traveling party.
The popular Disney Dining Plan is not available at this time – and currently, that includes all bookings being accepted for 2021. Limited capacity in restaurants means less room for diners – and getting into your favorite eatery has always been a challenge! You should still make reservations (recommended, but maybe essential) at this time, but you’ll be paying out of pocket for any meals in Disney.
Need help planning your Disney trip? Get all your questions answered from our Disney Planning & Fun Facebook Group!
How to Save Money Dining at Disney
The days of free dining may be behind us – at least for now – but that doesn’t mean you can’t stretch your Disney dining dollar. Restaurant meal offerings are very generous in size. Sometimes even a quick service meal keeps me full for most of the day. And my kids can always share one meal without problem, especially if we promise a popcorn bucket refill later that afternoon.
If you want to save on food costs at Disney, book a hotel room with a small kitchen and plan to eat in a few times during your trip. Or book a FRBO (For Rent By Owner) villa to spread out and eat a meal in comfort and safety – with minimal cost to you. Or rent that RV with the kitchen!
What Extra Expenses Should I Expect?
Speaking of “extra fun,” don’t forget to factor in extras to your total cost. These extras can include things such as specialty food offered during the holidays, souvenirs for the kiddos and a round of mini golf at Fantasia Gardens. Even though many special experiences haven’t reopened – yet! – there are still so many ways to have fun outside the theme parks. And here’s how to save on Disney souvenirs and 14 things to buy before your trip to save money..
My family loves the benefit of having a Disney Visa credit card. Our credit card saves us 10% on purchases of $50 or more at most Disney stores. We also earn points on every purchase that we make, Disney or not, that we can then turn into a redemption card that can be used at any Disney Parks resort, restaurant, or store!
When You Aren’t at Disney
- Sprinkle Pixie Dust on Your Kids’ Crafting with These Disney Craft Ideas
- How to Make Magical Disney Treats at Home
- Virtual Rides, Imagineer Secrets and More