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A family vacation at Walt Disney World can be magical. But figuring out how much a Disney vacation actually costs can be anything but magical. There are so many factors to consider – where to stay, whether to rent a car, food costs in the parks, even choosing between one-day-one-park tickets and park hoppers. This comprehensive guide will tell you everything you need to know to figure out your total Disney vacation cost. We’ve even included info on what’s open and what’s on hold as the parks start to reopen.
How Much Does It Cost to Go To Disney World?
After the long quarantine, a trip to Walt Disney World sounds even more magical than ever. Of course, some things have changed – at least temporarily. For example, you can’t go into a park without making a reservation through the Disney Park Pass System (in addition to having an admission ticket). Everyone over the age of 2 has to wear a face mask. You may have your temperature taken before you can enter the parks. Some experiences, such as fireworks and stage shows, are canceled, and some resort hotels remain closed at this time.
But one thing remains consistent: It won’t be free. 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 start with tickets – and ticket prices are changing — but it includes so many more Disney vacation expenses, including food, transportation, hotel stay, and extra expenses.
This post break 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 October 2020. 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 stars with purchasing park tickets.
In Orlando, the Walt Disney World resort includes four theme parks:
- Animal Kingdom
- Magic Kingdom
- Hollywood Studios
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.
In October 2020, the standard one day, one park ticket prices started at $120 a day. Multiple days equal savings. For trips in 2021, the price for tickets to any theme park will range in price from $109 to $159 per day, depending on the time of year you visit. Get more details on the tiered ticket pricing here.
TravelingMom Tip: Even when you can’t travel to Disney World in person, there are plenty of ways to get your Disney fix while at home!
Special Deals on Disney Tickets for Florida Residents
Well, yes, but only for Florida residents at the moment. WDW is currently offering a 4-day Florida Resident Disney Magic Flex Ticket for $49 a day plus tax (that’s $195 per ticket plus tax). There’s also a specially priced 3-day ticket (with no cute name) that offers Florida residents 3 days in any park (one park a day) for $58 dollars a day (or $174 per ticket, plus tax). You can go to one park a day, but the tickets allow for non-consecutive days.
These tickets are good through November 20, 2020, and from November 29 through December 18, 2020. They are non-transferrable and only available to Florida residents. (Just making sure you heard that!)
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.
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 2020 and 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?
At the present time, visitors to WDW are not permitted to “hop” from theme park to theme park on a single day. Due to the capacity limitations imposed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, all theme park visitors must “reserve” their spot to visit a park through the Disney Park Pass System – and you cannot reserve two parks in a single day.
This can actually mean savings for you, in both time and money. Park hoppers are significantly more expensive than one-park tickets. 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!
Once park hopping returns, you’ll want read this to get all of the details on whether a park hopper is worth the money.
Although nothing has been announced, unofficial talk has it that Disney plans to bring back park-hopping once capacity limitations have been eased. At that point, you’ll have to decide if the additional cost is prohibitive, or if you’re willing to pay anything to ride on three different coasters (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!
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. However, the Disney water parks are currently closed. The Disney web site states that plans are to open one of the two water parks on March 7, 2021. Of course, as with everything, this date may change.
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 $456/night in October 2020), 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 $120/per night in October 2020), 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 reopenings.
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. Learn all about how to rent DVC points, along with the pros and cons of the system, in this post.
Also, Disney has a special room rate for Florida residents, which is good through December 25, 2020. Residents can save up to 35% the rack rate for select resort hotels in the fall and holiday seasons.
Read More: Is the Disney Vacation Club Worth the Cost?
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.
Read More: Here’s everything you need to know about flying into Orlando.
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 October 2020, 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?
Everyone has to eat, even on vacation! You’ll need to account for food costs in your Disney vacation cost budget. 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
Pricing varies widely, depending on the level of dining plan, time of year and package deals. 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.
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.
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