Figure out Disney World costs for your upcoming vacation using this simple budget calculator and the info in this blog post:
So you’ve decided – you want to take your family to Disney World. As you start browsing websites, saving articles on Pinterest, and talking to your friends, your excitement grows… but then some fear starts to creep in too.
You’ve pulled up the prices for tickets and it isn’t cheap. Are you going to be able to afford this trip? How much do you need to save to have a magical Disney vacation? How can you possibly figure all of this out?
That’s where I come in.
How much Disney World costs has long been one of the top questions people ask me. There are so many factors, but I know it’s helpful to have at least some ballpark numbers too – instead of just vague terms like “expensive”.
So I’ve created this Disney World budget calculator to help you get the ball rolling. Remember that this tool is just an estimate – it’s not meant to give you the exact price of your trip, but rather a general range of what you might expect to pay given your circumstances. It’s a starting point so you can play around with the details of your vacation and have realistic expectations about how much it will probably cost you.
3 easy steps to get an approximate cost of your Disney vacation:
- Put your info into the calculator
- Take that number and add in approximate costs of other items (like transportation, food and souvenirs – if you’re not sure, you can use some of my suggested price ranges below)
- Adjust aspects of your trip to get a reasonable cost for you
For a better understanding of each category and Disney World costs, keep reading. If you already have a good idea of resort type, ticket days, etc., feel free to jump down to the calculator below!
What are the factors I need to consider?
Disney can seem more complicated than a “regular” vacation, but don’t feel overwhelmed. Like any trip where you’d have to figure out hotel stay, transportation, dining, what you’re going to see and do, etc., Disney has a similar approach.
In this calculator I’ve included the major factors when it comes to budget and Disney World costs, and below I’ve given some more info about each of them (as well as the other possible expenses that are not in the calculator).
Items included in the calculator
Number of People
This should be a given, but the number of people traveling will play a huge role in how much your trip costs. Each person will need park tickets. Depending on your group size, you may need more than one hotel room or some sort of suite.
Special Note about kids: Kids under 3 are free, while those who are 3-9 pay slightly less for tickets. That being said, it’s not significantly less than the adult prices so don’t think you’ll save a ton of money if you go when your kid is 9 vs. 10 (the big exception to that in the past was with the dining plans, which cost a lot less for kids – but those are still on hiatus and we don’t have info yet on what they’ll look like when they return).
Theme park tickets
If you’re going to Disney World, of course you’ll need park tickets. If you know for certain how many days you want to be there, I consider this the most “static” aspect of the budget. The cost for 4-day tickets will vary a little based on dates, but not as much as a hotel or a flight. So if you know you want to go for 4 days, the ticket price is a good place to start.
- The price per day goes down the longer the ticket length. (For example, A 3-day ticket might cost $125 per day for a total cost of $375, but a 6-day ticket is only $75 per day for a total of $450.)
Tip: If you already have a least 5 ticket days and you’re thinking about adding on more, the price increase at that point is pretty minimal.
- Park hopping is another popular option, and it’s one set price for the length of your ticket – not per day. So if it’s $85 to add on a park hopper, you’re paying an extra $85 per person (whether you have 3-day or 10-day tickets).
- Finally, Genie+ has to be purchased through Disney’s app on the day of your trip, but if you’re planning to use it you’ll want to factor in the cost for that as well. Genie+ is $15 per person per day. You don’t have to buy it every day if you don’t want to.
Disney offers several different resort types for different budgets. They classify these as value, moderate, and deluxe. I’ve also added a “premium deluxe” category (my own phrase) to the calculator because there can be some massive price differences between some of the deluxe resorts.
In general, the values have your basics and will be the cheapest, the moderates are a bit nicer with more amenities, and the deluxes will have the best locations, pools, rooms, etc.
The ones I’m considering”premium deluxe” are the ones that price higher within that category. These would include your monorail resorts: Grand Floridian, the Polynesian, and the Contemporary. They pretty much always cost the most due to their location.
A note about off-property
I’ve noticed when people are looking to save money on a Disney World trip, the first place they look is off-property hotels. This isn’t always a bad thing, but it’s something you want to make sure you’ve done a lot of research into before you book. Often these off-property hotels end up being close in price to Disney’s value resorts (especially after you factor in transportation costs like parking, rental cars, or ride shares).
Some of the resorts have different room categories. You can get standard rooms, but you might have the option to choose a suite, a certain type of view, etc.
Number of people
The number of people traveling can affect what room type you can book, so keep that in mind. Value resorts only fit 4 in their standard rooms, so if you have a family of 5 you might be better off at a moderate (where they sleep up to 6). On the other hand, if you have 6-8 people, you might save more money getting two rooms at a value rather than a suite at a deluxe resort.
Length of stay
Of course like any hotel, Disney resorts charge per night. So how long you stay will greatly affect your cost (especially if you’re staying at a more expensive deluxe resort).
The last major part of a Disney World trip which will cost you some money is the food. Depending on your food preferences (and again, the number of people!) this can vary.
In general, Disney has “quick service” food options and “table service” options. There are also plenty of snacks and drinks!
Disney dining plans have been a great way to budget for food in the past, but they are currently on hiatus. Disney tells us they will be returning though, so the calculator will be updated once we have that information!
For now, I’ve included the dining plan pricing from 2020 (assume it will be higher once it returns!). You can choose to leave this out if you don’t want to include dining in your estimate, but in case you do I would use these parameters:
|If you…||Then choose:|
|Plan to eat mostly quick meals where you order your food on the app (or at a counter) and then pick it up||Quick service dining|
|Want to do some quick meals and some table service (sit-down) meals, like a quick lunch and a sit-down dinner each day||Dining dining|
|Enjoy fancy dinners and plan to eat a lot of higher-end or signature restaurants||Deluxe dining|
What to add after you get your estimate from the calculator
Time of year
Time of year is a massive factor when it comes to budget. Cost per night can be significantly less during the off-season than during a busy time. For example, you might be looking to pay $230 per night at a moderate in September. That same room around Christmas could be closer to $400 per night.
For this calculator I’ve put in the cost for a “mid-season” stay. If you want to play around with a more accurate estimate, consider these little tips:
- If you’re going during January, the first half of February, May, August, or September, assume your cost estimate will be slightly lower than the calculator
- If you’re going during ANY holiday, March/April (spring break), October, or the second half of December, assume your cost estimate will be higher than the calculator
Are you flying or driving? The calculator doesn’t include this since there are so many variables for each family, but you’ll want to do some research to keep this in mind as well. If you’re flying you can research flight prices from your area. If you’re driving, take into account the cost of gas as well as potential parking fees.
There may be other transportation expenses as well – a shuttle to/from the airport if you fly in, for example, or the cost of a rental car.
For myself, I usually use these estimates when planning:
- Airfare: $300 round trip per person from Philadelphia to Orlando
- Mears Connect shuttle: $32 per person round trip
These may be more of your optional items, but other things you might want to keep in mind when you think about your budget include souvenirs, if you do any tours or “enchanting extras,” and whether or not you buy MagicBands.
Like staying organized? Consider vacation planning printables – 41 pages of trip planning, including a budget worksheet, guide to characters, trip comparison worksheet, info about the Disney Genie system, daily itineraries, packing checklist, and much more.
The Disney World Budget Calculator
My number is too high! What can I change about my trip to bring down these Disney World costs?
For this, you’ll want to have some flexibility when it comes to your trip and take a look at the things that are the biggest variables – i.e., the things that will affect cost the most. The top things to play around with:
- Time of year
- Length of stay
- Resort type
The “max budget” trick
The way that I’ve found most successful in planning a Disney World trip with a budget is to determine what your “maximum budget is.” Of course, you’ll want to try and get it less than that, but it’s a really good starting point when you don’t know where to start.
For example, let’s say your max budget is $5,000. You have no idea how much resorts cost, but you’ve heard great things about the Beach Club and you want to go during your kids’ spring break so you put those details into the calculator… and get back a cost of $10,000.
Yikes! Is a Disney trip impossible?
No, but you’ll want to play around with the calculator to see how you can bring that budget down. If you’re absolutely set on going during spring break, then play around with trip length and resort type.
Then you can see how much something may affect your overall cost. Perhaps a 4-night stay with 4-day tickets at a moderate resort is $5,000. You want to see if it will cost less to do only 3 nights with 3 park days, and that brings the price down to $4300. That’s less, but the more you think about it, you don’t want your trip to feel rushed and you want to visit all 4 parks. So, you may determine paying $700 more for that is worth it.
FAQs about the Disney World budget calculator
Disney World costs and budget calculator FAQs
For this calculator I've put in the cost for a "mid-season" stay. If you want to play around with a more accurate estimate, consider these little tips:
- If you're going during January, the first half of February, May, August, or September, assume your cost estimate will be slightly lower than the calculator
- If you're going during ANY holiday, March/April (spring break), October, or the second half of December, assume your cost estimate will be higher than the calculator
Just like many areas of my life, my motto here with Disney World costs is: one step at a time. Hopefully this breaks down the budget a bit better for you so you can compare the different aspects of planning.
So hop back on Pinterest, browse the blog, and talk to your friends – it’s time to get excited about your Disney World vacation!
How do you determine your Disney World costs? Which factors are most important to you?