May 132011

How Much Does It Cost To Go To Disney World?

My husband and I go to Walt Disney World almost every year. One of our friends has decided that he wants to go out and really enjoy life- and so has asked if he could join us on our next trip.

Our friend is a bit on the frugal side, and while Disney World gives you great value for the money, the cost to go to Disney World can cause a bit of sticker shock if you’re not used to traveling a lot. Hubs and I often consider going elsewhere, but by the time we tally up normal-ish vacations (a week at the beach, 4 days in a city), the cost to go to Disney World is usually within $500 one way or the other, and has much more (enjoyable) things to do.

So I told my friend that I would work up a sheet to answer the question “How much does it cost to go to Disney World?”. At least for him. Keep in mind that we usually go for 8 days, and would do longer if we had more vacation time. That’s one of the great benefits of going to Disney World- the longer you go, the cheaper it gets by daily rate. :-)

I thought that my “cost to go to Disney World” worksheet would be useful to others out there, so I’m putting the information up here. Now, this is only how much it costs for a single person to go to Disney World. I’ll put up another worksheet on what it costs for a couple, and maybe another for 2 adults 1 child or 2 adults 2 children in the future.

I’m going to start estimating the cost to go to Disney World for 8 days, since that’s how long we’ll probably go, and then drop back down to 4 days so that you can see the differences.

Also- we only travel during the Value season and we always stay in a Disney World Resort, so that’s where my numbers are coming from.

How Much Does It Cost To Go To Disney World For 8 Days?

Value Resort- Value Season: 6 weekdays at $82= $492 + 2 weekend nights at $92= $184. Hotel total= $676

7 Day Base Magic-Your-Way Ticket (no add ons, no park hopper): $263.06 at gate or $253.95 through UnderCoverTourist* (about the same as pre-ordering directly from Disney World if you book a package instead of hotel and tickets separately).

-OR- 7 Day Park Hopper Magic-Your-Way Ticket: $320.57 gate price, or $307 from UnderCoverTourist/DW pre-order.

-OR- 7 Day Water Park Fun & More (base park ticket, plus one water park, Disney Quest, or Wide World of Sports entrance per day)- $320.57 gate price, $308 UnderCoverTourist
-OR- 7 Day Park Hopper Water Park & More (park hopper ticket, plus one water park, Disney Quest, or Wide World of Sports entrance per day): $378.08 gate price, $$340.85 UnderCoverTourist

I include all of those options because we may or may not want Park Hopper tickets (allows you to go to more than one park per day), and our friend that I’m working this out for wants to hit the water parks.  Individual water park tickets cost $45-$50, so even if he only uses the water park portion of his special ticket once, he at least breaks even. Still, we’ll keep him busy, and he’s on a budget, so for  now, I’ll continue by counting only the base ticket- no park hopper and no water park. You can always upgrade your ticket later, as long as you have one day left on it, so it’s best to start low, and add on if you need it.

So, now we have a hotel room that costs $676 + 263 for the tickets (gate price). Total so far is $939.

Our friend is also a bit of a cheapskate, but is unlikely to bring his own food. Table service dining costs more, so he’s more likely to hit a counter service and a few rides if we sit for a nice meal.

Estimating based on an average counter service (food court at the hotel, quick service/fast food at the parks) breakfast, lunch, and dinner, he’ll be at about $28 per day (adult breakfast platter, double bacon cheeseburger w/fries, 1/2 rotisserie chicken meal, plus 1 soda and 1 bottle of water).  So $28 per day, times 8 days = $224. Plus $12 for the refillable mug at the hotel- he’ll surely drink more than this at the parks, but technically, he can bring a water bottle and fill it at the fountains. So, $236 approximately for food while at Walt Disney World. Dessert and treats are extra.

So, the cost to go to Disney World for our friend- at minimum for 8 days is $1175.

Not too bad. Even if he splurges here and there (water park ticket, more than one bottle of water a day- their tap water is awful), he’s still at about $1300 for the whole LONG trip to Walt Disney World.

How Much Does It Cost To Go To Disney World For 4 Days?

Now, the cost to go to Disney World for 4 days probably won’t be a lot less, but lets work it out anyway (that’s how long the average WDW vacation is).

I always estimate 1 more hotel day than I do tickets. This is mainly because we drive down and need to relax upon arrival, but also because if you fly down, you may arrive too late to make use of your first day, or still be too knackered to get out to the parks.

So, Disney Value Resort during the Value season- 5 weeknights at $82 per night= $410

4 Day Magic Your Way base ticket- $247.08 gate price, or $239.95 UnderCoverTourist 5 days of food at $28 per day = $140

Total for a 5 night, 4 day Walt Disney World Vacation for my friend? $797 (not including resort refillable mug since you need to use it 6 times to break even).

Naturally, the average visitor will go crazy on souvenirs, but that’s not technically part of the budget, and it’s impossible to know what someone is willing to spend their money on.

*Why am I using UnderCoverTourist for the discount Disney World ticket prices? Because I use (and love) their Disney World iPhone app, their website has a wonderful family feel to it, they’ve been quick to respond to my questions, their prices are the same as the other discount ticket sellers, and because they’re the one discount Disney World ticket seller that I’ve signed up as an affiliate for (see the Privacy Policy for details). In short, I like them, and it’s easy for me to find their prices for tickets.


More On What It Costs To Go To Disney World

Remember, this particular post is a work up of what it would cost my friend to do Disney World. This work up is bare minimum for a single traveler and doesn’t include travel expenses (we drive and he’ll be with us). I’ve worked up a sheet on the trip to Disney World cost for couples and will do a post on the cost for families, and then link to it from here once it’s done.

Souvenirs are not included in this work sheet, nor is extra drinks, treats, desserts, or add ons to a meal. A trip to Disney World will cost more than this sheet lets on, but how much more depends on the individual.

For example, if we choose to stay at a Disney Moderate Resort, you can tack on an additional $576 for an 8 day trip, or $360 for a 4 day trip. A lower priced Deluxe will be an additional $1266 for an 8 day trip, or $790 for a 4 day trip. And it goes up from there.

Alternatively, during the slow months (which are already the Value season) Disney often offers special discounts. Either free dining, a percentage of the hotel cost, free nights at the hotel, or a gift card when paying full price.  These can all make a huge difference in your plans and budget.

You can, of course, go on the Disney World website and put in your plans for your vacation and play with the different package choices to get a more accurate picture of how much it costs to go to Disney World, but the website only goes out 6 months, and many people plan farther ahead than that.

Please keep in mind that Disney changes their prices, often with little warning. These prices are accurate at this moment in time, which is May 13, 2011- but they could change tomorrow. This post is only to give you an idea of what to budget for as a single traveler. Multi-person planning coming soon!

Do you mind sharing what the cost to go to Disney World was for your vacation? Have specific questions on how much does it cost to go to Disney World?

  4 Responses to “Cost to Go To Disney World”

  1. once you are inside disney world, does it cost extra for the rides and shows, etc.? or is it just food and souvenirs?

  2. Hi Brandy! Just food and souvenirs. Once you’re in the park, you don’t need to pay anything extra for rides, shows, fireworks, parades, etc. There are a few random things (I can think of only one- in the train station they have these old time penny movies that you literally pay a penny and turn the handle to watch, and I’ve heard that there’s an arcade in Magic Kingdom, but I’ve never seen it- I assume you would pay to play the games if the arcade is really what I think an arcade is- husband just told me that it’s by Space Mountain and that you do have to play the games, and he says there’s one in Hollywood Studios, too). You will also have to pay for parking if you’re driving but not staying in a Disney hotel.

    Certain times of year they have special parties (Mickey’s Not-So-Scary-Halloween-Party, Mickey’s Very-Merry-Christmas-Party) and things like that which you’ll have to buy a separate ticket to, but they’ll take place after normal park hours. Sometimes Disney will run a special event like an in-park dance club that would have separate admittance fees, but they usually don’t last.

    You’ll also pay for any photos that are taken by the professional photographers at the parks (only the pictures that you keep- and you can order them from home instead of getting them while you’re there).

    Basically, under normal circumstances, normal attractions (rides, shows, etc) are included in the ticket price and you will only need to pull out your wallet for food and gifts. Does that help?

  3. How much do severnes cost ?

  4. Ashley- do you mean souvenirs? Keepsakes? How much souvenirs cost depends on what you buy. You can buy Disney trading pins for $5-10 (the price goes up depending on rarity), Mickey Mouse hats for $10+, t-shirts are usually $20+, sweatshirts are usually $35+, and then there are stuffed animals, bracelet charms, crystal figurines, and so on. You can buy a few inexpensive souvenirs at Disney World (magnets, pens, pins), but t-shirts, cd’s, and collectibles will cost a lot more. My husband and I usually spend about $500 total per trip on souvenirs now- but that’s because enough of the Disney Merchandise doesn’t change from year to year that we no longer have to buy everything in sight. On our first few trips, we spent about $500 EACH on souvenirs. But then, I was also bringing back gifts for my niece and nephews. Now they go with their parents, so I figure they can buy their own souvenirs! :-)

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