Everyone knows a Disney World Vacation can be expensive. Knowing how much it costs to go to Disney World and accounting for any expense that might come up is important. This would be your first step in planning a Disney World Vacation. This will let you know how much a Disney vacation will cost you, so you can estimate how much time it will take you to save the money. My Disney World Budget Worksheet will walk you through all the expenses related to your vacation.
How Much Does it Cost to go to Disney World?
A Disney World vacation can be super frugal costing an average of $150/per person per day to extravagant prices like $500+/ per person per day. Which end of the spectrum you are on depends entirely on what type of experience you are looking for.
Unfortunately, I have never been able to experience the upper end of the spectrum but I have always had a magical Disney World vacation. There are lots of ways to keep the cost closer to the $150/per person a day and that includes park tickets, lodging, and dining.
Expenses to Include in Your Disney World Budget
Let’s take a look at everything you need to include in your Disney World Budget. This breakdown matches my Disney World Budget Printable.
Disney World Planning Expenses
I include Disney World planning expenses because I believe in using a Disney World guidebook, such as Birnbaum’s Unofficial Guide to Disney World when planning out your vacation. There are also planning printables available for sale on Etsy for almost every situation you would need plans for.
You can also find free resources online very easily, such as this free budget printable.
Also, if you book a vacation through an authorized Disney travel agent, you are basically getting a person who could write the guidebooks planning your vacation for free.
Disney World Transportation Expenses
In this section, I include everything transportation-related including the cost of getting to Walt Disney World and the cost of getting around once you are on Disney World Property.
- Rental Car
- Fuel/ Maintenance /Tolls – If you are driving to Disney World this section is for you to add up all your expenses related to driving to Disney.
- Airfare Luggage and Seat Fees
- Uber/ Lyft/ Minnie Vans – this is for getting around Disney World if you don’t want to take advantage of the Free Disney Transportation options. Uber and Lyft are the most economical ways to get to the surrounding theme parks.
- Parking – This is for Disney World Parking, either for your resort or for the theme parks.
Disney World Lodging
People will debate all day long about the benefits of staying on property vs the benefits of staying off. No matter what you decide there is pretty much a broad range of prices and amenities to choose from. Here are lodging expenses to include when you are determining the cost of a Disney World vacation.
- Lodging en route – If you are staying somewhere on your way to Disney World then make sure to include that cost here.
- Resort/ Hotel
- Mousekeeping Tips – A lot of people choose to tip Disney Resort housekeeping. It is not mandatory.
- Resort Fees & Parking – A lot of times these fees are extra and not included on sites such as Hotwire or Hotels.com.
How Much Does it Cost to get Into Disney World?
Just like lodging, tickets prices have a range. Ticket prices depend on which time of year you go and how many days you go. The more days you go, the cheaper the tickets. A one-day adult ticket will run you about $125 plus taxes. Other than theme park admission, there are other Disney World activities that you might need to budget for in your vacation cost.
- Theme Park Tickets
- Water Park Tickets
- Golf/ Recreation
- Party Tickets
- Guided Tours/ Other
How to Create a Food Budget for Walt Disney World
There are two basic ways to look at planning out a planning budget for Walt Disney World. One is going the easy way and just getting the Disney Dining Plan. Sometimes that is not the best/cheapest option for your family. I have a separate planning worksheet in my Guide to the Disney Dining Plan post that helps you make that determination.
The second way is to price out each meal you have, including setting a budget for in meal rooms.
Please also keep in mind that Epcot Festivals usually have small plates and some of them are included on the Dining Plan as snacks, some are not. Check out the Disney Food Blog for full festival menus.
- Dining Plan
Disney World Extras
As with every vacation, there are expenses not quite related to the vacation destination itself but just things you would need.
- Souvenirs – There are Disney Souvenirs for every budget.
- Memory Maker (Disney World Photography)
- Vacation Wardrobe
- Disney World Essentials to Buy Before Your Vacation
Disney World Budget Printable
As you uncover costs and ways to save come back to your budget and update it. This budget page is a work in progress. Make sure to use a pencil to fill it out. Also, remember to keep the maximum amount an amount that actually works with your income. While I would love to stay at the Grand Floridian, my maximum I can afford is much lower.
Check out my Ultimate Budget and Timeline Checklist Printable Bundle that includes a PDF editable Budget Worksheet. Just enter your numbers and the math is done for you! Also included in this bundle is the flying vs. driving comparison worksheet, resort comparison worksheet, and package comparison worksheet.
Post Originally Published June 22, 2016.