One of the most common questions that families have when it comes to Disneyland is how much will this Disneyland vacation cost? There are many different factors to consider when estimating a vacation to the Happiest Place on Earth. Hotel cost,ticket prices, food expenses, travel estimates, and souvenir costs are important elements that make up the financial expenditures of this trip.
Nevertheless, if these costs are budgeted beforehand, you and your family are sure to have a fantastic adventure.
One of the biggest factors to consider when estimating cost is the hotel. We broke this down by Disneyland Vacation Costs with different options for families to consider based on the hotel they choose: Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, and Disneyland Good Neighbor hotels.
Discount Disneyland Tickets
Our favorite Disney-approved re-seller, Get Away Today,offers the best Disneyland discount tickets around. In addition to great discount prices, their customer service and easy support is absolutely fantastic. They have an entire department dedicated to making sure every order has a wonderful experience and they are on-call to help you during your vacation if you need them.
Buying tickets from Get Away Today is easy and convenient since all their tickets are sent electronically. You can take their vouchers and head straight to the gate without needing to wait in any ticket booth lines. They also offer layaway plans so you can pay off your vacation over time.
You can read my review on my personal experiences booking through Get Away Today and how much you can save here!
Disneyland Vacation Cost #1: Hotels
There are three Disney owned hotels in the Disneyland Resort: Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, and Disney’s Grand California Hotel and Spa. Staying at these hotels may carry a higher price tag than the Disney Good Neighbor hotels but there are plenty of perks that families enjoy which include:
- Extra Magic Hour privileges (one-hour early access to the parks depending on the day)
- Close location to the gates and monorail access
- Being immersed in Disney magic every second of your trip
- Room key can be used to pay for the parks and includes free package delivery to the hotel for souvenirs
- Top notch Disney themed pools/waterslide amenities
- Character dining on site
Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel
Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel is one of the three Disney owned hotels in the Disneyland Resort. This hotel falls in the low-range level of costs compared to the other two hotels. The cost of the rooms vary based on view, suites, and amenities. The view options at this hotel include the parking area, Disneyland Drive, or California Adventure. This hotel is the furthest away from the park compared to the other hotels with about a 10-15 minute walk from the park entrance. The pool at the Paradise Pier hotel is a rooftop pool with a waterslide and provides a great view of the fireworks at night.
The average cost for a standard room with two queen beds with a basic view (parking lot/street view) when you book through the Disneyland Resort starts at $444 per night.
This hotel is scheduled to receive an exciting transformation to a Pixar theme with a brand new entrance to California Adventure! No official start date for construction has been announced yet but the hotel will keep during this transformation.
Disneyland Hotel is one of the three Disney owned hotels in the Disneyland Resort. This hotel falls in the mid-range level of costs compared to the other two hotels. The cost of the rooms is broken down into options that vary based on view, suites, and amenities. The view options vary from a view of trees or the parking lot to the premium Downtown Disney view. The better the view, the higher the cost. This hotel has a classic 1950’s Disney theme and includes a renovated pool area with monorail themed waterslides.
The average cost for a standard room with two queen beds with a basic view (parking lot/trees) when you book through the Disneyland Resort starts $517 per night.
Disney’s Grand California Hotel and Spa
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa is one of the three Disney owned hotels in the Disneyland Resort. This hotel falls in the high-range level of costs compared to the other two hotels. The cost of the rooms is broken down into options that vary based on view, suites, and amenities. The view options are all great and they vary with a view of the courtyards, Downtown Disney, the pool, or California Adventure. The better the view, the higher the cost as per usual. This hotel is the most luxurious option with a wood lodge and stone California theme. It also has the most convenient location with a private entrance to California Adventure and easy access to Downtown Disney. The pool has great landscaping and a redwood themed water slide. And don’t forget the spa!
The average cost for a standard room with two queen beds with a basic view (parking lot/street view) when you book through the Disneyland Resort starts at $682 per night.
Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotels
One popular option for families that want to save some money on their vacation is to stay at Disney Good Neighbor hotel! There is plenty to choose from with these hotels and most of them are within walking distance to the parks and offer great amenities and budget-conscious prices. There are over 40 good neighbor hotels to choose from, which offers guests great flexibility when finding a hotel that meets their needs. Here are a few visitor favorite good neighbor options for visiting the Disneyland Resort.
The Clarion Hotel is a Disney Good Neighbor hotel located just south of Katella Ave with about a 15-minute walk to the parks. This hotel falls into the low-range level of cost among the Good Neighbor hotels. It was recently remodeled and renovated and, according to most reviewers, this has been a huge improvement to the hotel. One great perk of this hotel is that kids eat free with a paying adult in their in-house restaurant. They have a heated pool although no water slides/water playgrounds.
The average cost for a standard room with two double beds when you book through their website $166 per night.
When you book through our partners, Get Away Today, you can save considerably on hotel prices. The same room booked through Get Away Today is $147 per night. Book this hotel now >
That is $19 in savings per night which makes a budget-friendly hotel even better when it comes to cutting costs. The best part is that this hotel frequently offers one or two nights free through the Get Away Today website if you stay a minimum of three nights!
Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel & Water Playground
The Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel & Water Playground is located just a block north of the gates which makes the walk about 8-10 minutes to the parks. This hotel falls into the mid-range level of cost among the Good Neighbor hotels. The best part of this hotel is the Pirate Cove waterpark area. There may not be giant waterslides to boast of but the waterpark area offers plenty of entertainment for families with children under 10. There is also an arcade and a small convenience store on site for souvenirs and snacks. Unfortunately, this hotel does not offer onsite dining but it does own a small restaurant called Mimi’s Cafe across the street.
The average cost for a standard room with two double beds when you book through the Howard Johnson website $409 per night.
When you book through our partners, Get Away Today, you can save considerably on hotel prices. The same room booked through Get Away Today is $334 per night. Book this hotel now >
That is $75 in savings per night which adds up quickly depending on the length of your stay. In addition to those savings, Get Away Today’s hotels will often offer one or two nights free depending on the hotel or length of stay.
Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Theme Park Entrance
The Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Theme Park Entrance is one of the highest rated Good Neighbor hotels near the Disneyland Resort and boasts of just a five-minute walk to the front entrance. Which is actually closer than some of the Disney owned hotels! This hotel falls in the high-range cost level compared to the other Good Neighbor hotels. The best part of this hotel is the waterpark which has six waterslides, water cannons, a 400-gallon drench bucket, and a children’s sized pool. This hotel offers an in-house restaurant which has also received some high star reviews.
The average cost for a standard queen and two bunk beds when you book directly through this hotel $417 per night.
When you book through our partners, Get Away Today, you can save considerably on hotel prices. The same room booked through Get Away Today is $329 per night.
That is $88 in savings per night which is a huge amount off of your Disney vacation cost! Book this hotel now >
If you want to learn more information about other surrounding hotels and deals, check out our 7 Best Hotels Near Disneyland.
Disneyland Vacation Cost #2: Resort Tickets
Of course, you cannot forget to estimate the Disneyland vacation cost of your tickets when planning your Disneyland trip! Depending on the size of your family and the length of your stay, this will be a big part of your budget estimation. There are two main types of tickets: Park Hoppers and One Park Per Day.
The Park Hopper tickets allow you to go back and forth between Disneyland and California Adventure on the same day. The One Park per Day tickets only allow you access to either Disneyland OR California Adventure in a single day. If you only have one day to spend at the parks, it is highly suggested to get the Park Hopper tickets so you can see both parks! The breakdown of ticket costs varies depending on the duration of days in addition to whether you pick Park Hopper tickets or not. The Park Hopper is always recommended so you can get the best out of your visit to the parks by having that flexibility.
Disneyland Ticket Prices
Gone are the days of $41 ticket prices! I urge you to take a look at our Disneyland Ticket Discounts. As you will see, the savings will really add up and help put some extra cash towards food, airfare, or souvenirs.
Booking discount tickets through our site is easy and convenient. The ticket vouchers are emailed to you in advance and all you have to do is bring them straight to the ticket booth. No more waiting in line to pick them up!
To give you an idea of average cost, a 3-day park hopper ticket for an adult booked through our travel partner is $323 (a savings of $20) and an child 3-day park hopper ticket is $323 (a savings of $20) – if you book multiple tickets through our partner, the savings will really add up.
Your first step when planning the cost of your vacation is to first consider these factors:
- how many days you will stay
- this determines the cost of your hotel and what ticket type you purchase
- park hopper ticket or 1-park per day ticket
- we always recommend park hoppers because it's so easy to park hop at Disneyland with the two parks being just minutes across from each other
- if you're looking to do things on a budget, you can save an average of $30 per ticket if you do 1-park per day
- your hotel selection
- hands down, the priciest hotel options are the official Disneyland resort hotels- if money is no object, then splurge!
- if you're looking to travel on a budget, consider one of the lower priced good neighbor hotels- there are plenty within easy walking distance to the parks
Once you've figured those important steps out, you have a good idea of what your base cost will be!
Disneyland Vacation Cost #3: Travel Cost
This will depend on where you live and how you're traveling to the Disneyland Resort. If you're driving to Disneyland, figuring out the cost is a formula that will simply work best to figure out yourself since it depends on how many miles, gas prices, and the gas mileage on your vehicle. We'll instead focus on flying into California when discussing cost in this part of our guide.
If you are flying into California, you have two options of airports that are the closest to Disneyland. SNA (John Wayne Airport) or LAX (Los Angeles International). A fan favorite is SNA just for the convenience of only being about a 20-30 minute drive from the resort and the nearby hotels depending on traffic. That’s the keyword in California: traffic! LAX is about an hour away and there tends to be a heavy amount of traffic.
However, LAX tempts many guests visiting Disneyland because the airfare is generally a bit cheaper than flying into SNA. This is where you weigh the benefit of cost vs. time. We've flown into both airports many, many times and despite the money I save when I pick LAX… I always regret it when we're stuck in a shuttle van on the way to Anaheim. In this instance, the money saving option isn't always worth it!
Sticking with SNA if possible can be a way to make this part less time-consuming. Keep in mind like with most airfare: it will be cheaper to fly in the ‘off season’ and more expensive in the summer and around holidays!
Transportation to/from Disneyland
Once you land at the airport, you have a few options for transportation to/from Disneyland. Here are the most common transportation options guests use with an average cost estimate based on traveling to/from SNA:
- Uber/Lyft- $20-35 depending on time of day
- This is by far the most convenient. Once you get your bags at baggage claim, simply call for an Uber/Lyft and you're on your way to your hotel. You won't have to share your ride with other people and it's a straight shot to the hotel.
- Use our code: “gavind714ue” in the app or redeem right here to get a discount if you're a first time user.
- Karmel Shuttle- $35 per person each way
- This is a good option for guests that aren't comfort with ride share services
- Lansky- $80 each way for up to six passengers
- This is the option if you want to splurge and ride to your Disneyland hotel in style. Lansky is a higher end transportation option that provides one free grocery stop on the way to your hotel and car seats.
- Rent a car- $25 per day, depending on car selection
- We don't recommend this option since this can end up being more costly than it's worth. Most Anaheim area hotels charge a parking per night fee and since Disneyland is within walking distance of most hotels there's no need to drive.
- If you want to take a day off and see the beach options in the area, rent a car for that day only and then return it to be the most cost effective.
Unfortunately, the shuttle services were hit hard this year economically as of now formerly popular services such as Super Shuttle and Disneyland Resort Express will cease operations by January 2021.
You can read more in detail about transportation services to/from local airports in our main transportation guide.
Disneyland Vacation Cost #4: Food
Ah, now for the best part… the food! It’s always better to overestimate in the food and souvenier categories to allow for some flexibility and less stress on your vacation.
This will largely depend on your family and lifestyle. Some folks come to Disney with cash to spend and some folks come on a strict budget. You can cut back on this Disneyland vacation cost by bringing as much food into the parks as you can (which is totally allowed!). Grab and go restaurants will be the most affordable in the park while dine-in service will be the most expensive. For example, one adult and one child could easily spend $1000 on food if they ate most meals in the park on a five-day visit and splurged on one dining package with reserved viewing for one of the shows or parades. If you're looking to cut corners on food cost, you can also bring a lunch and store it in a locker. There is a reserved picnic area for families to eat lunch with lockers near by so take advantage of this great option provided by Disney.
We highly recommend reading our Disneyland Restaurant Reviews guide to get a comprehensive overview of all your dining options so that you and your family make the best of your trip.
But to help give you an idea of cost, I'll give you some insight into how much money I typically set aside for food when I'm traveling to Disneyland with my nine year old son. I tend to splurge when it comes to food so keep that in mind when you see my estimation of cost for a five day park visit.
First, I plan out what type of dining experiences we want to do. Dining packages are the most expensive dining options but we always partake in at least two on our trip. I budget for those first in our total. We usually always do the World of Color Dessert Party and the Blue Bayou Fantasmic! Package. Based on the cost for those two experiences for the both of us, I know to set aside about $350 for those two experiences.
Once I've figured out dining packages, I then take a look at the list of table service restaurants and decide where we will eat. Here is a cost estimate based on our three most favorite restaurants:
- Cafe Orleans: $60 for both of us if we get a kids meal, adult meal and mint juleps
- Carnation Cafe: $40 for both of us with a kids meal and adult meal
- Lamplight Lounge: $60 for both of us with a kids meal, appetizer, and adult drink
So based on those three most common restaurants and the two dining packages, I'm up to about $500 in cost so far with at least four large meals covered.
Second, I plan how much money to set aside for quick-service meals. A helpful thing to consider is if you will go back to your hotel room for breaks. If so then plan to eat a meal at your hotel (stop at a grocery store at the beginning of your trip for supplies!) and this can help you save some extra money. It's also helpful to know that you will want to eat a lot at Disneyland. You're walking an average of anywhere from five-eight miles a day and that sort of calorie burning will make your entire family hungry.
Since I know my son is the type that isn't happy unless he's eating, I set aside a significant chunk of money for quick-service meals and meal items from the stands such as pretzels and corn dogs. If I'm planning for five days inside Disneyland and I know that I have at least four large meals covered with dining packages, I need to plan for at least six quick-service meals/big snack stops. Usually one stop at a quick-service location costs us anywhere from $20-40 depending on what we order. Based on that estimate, I'll go with the higher end of the spectrum and set aside about $250 for six quick service meals.
Third, I set aside money for snacks. This is where things can easily become a money pit in our case since we are well declared churro addicts. I know that one stop at a churro stand for two churros and two sodas can cost about $20. Based on that, I set aside about $50 per day for five days for snacks on the estimate we'll stop for churros twice or snacks with a similar cost range. So in the snack category, I set aside a total of $250 to cover our churro, popcorn, and Dole Whip delights.
Here's the rundown of my estimate based on the choices I made above:
- Two dining packages- $350
- Three table-service meals- $150
- Six quick-service meals- $250
- Two snacks per day, for five days- $250
This brings my total for five days of eating exclusively at Disneyland, aside from breakfeast which we eat at the hotel, to an average of $800.
Based on past experience, I know that we will likely spend more than this and the guilty culprit is usually soda and snacks. Aside from being a churro addict, I am also lost without my Coca-Cola and I drink way more soda in a day than I care to admit in this blog post. We also tend to be a sucker for things like popcorn buckets, drink souveniers, and other little doodads the snack carts entice you with. Because I know this about myself, from learning the hard way, I will add an extra $200 to my estimate for cushion for extra food. If I don't spend it, great. But at least I planned for it!
Based on this logic, my total for two people splurge eating at Disneyland for five days is $1000. To save myself some money, I will purchase Disney gift cards at Target with my Red Card and save 5% on this total which amounts to $50 saved. So in reality, I will spend $950 on food during our visit.
Things to keep in mind about my estimated budget:
- We splurge on things like popcorn buckets and extra churros so I accounted for that
- I figured in the cost of cocktails at the Lamplight Lounge which drove the cost up for that dining option
- I also round up consistently to give myself a cushion to plan for
- My son can still enjoy kids meals until he turns ten but aside from table-service restaurants he eats about the amount of an adult at this point
- We eat breakfast at our hotel before heading to the parks
- We always pack things like trail mix, crackers, and bring bottles of water to try and eliminate too many snack stops… despite my Coca-Cola dependency
- If you plan on avoiding soda and refilling your water bottle all day, you can save a huge amount of money since one bottle of soda costs about $5 anywhere in the park
I hope this helps give you an idea of how to budget and some insight into what that planning process looks like. You can also pull up the Disneyland app on your phone and look at the menus at the restaurants which will have all the prices listed. This is the most efficient way to plan a meal budget that's realistic. Always plan to spend more and strive to spend less, this is the best way to have a happy medium!
Disneyland Vacation Cost #5: Souvenirs
Don’t forget souvenirs! There are so many wonderful Disney items to buy in the park and it’s always a safe bet to allow a little extra cushion in this category. Scroll through our Best Disneyland Souvenirs to make sure you leave Disneyland with a Mouseketeer smile.
One cost strategy to help keep that souvenir monster in check is to give each kid their own souvenir budget on a Disney gift card. This helps drive home the idea of ‘once it’s gone, it’s gone!’ and can really help avoid unnecessarily meltdowns in the parks. If you have a Target Red Card, then you can use that to buy Disney gift cards with a 5% discount. The Disney gift cards can be used everywhere in the parks, a gift that keeps on giving!
To give you an example, I typically set aside $50 on a gift card for my son to spend (after he's earned it doing extra chores…) and that's his spending money. For myself and for family purchases (ears, t-shirts, mugs) I bring about $300 to cover any souvenirs we would wear in the parks and take home purchases.
Now this is just a rough estimate, I am extremely guilty of overspending on souvenirs so I bring a little extra cushion. But I am also more of a splurger when it comes to our trips. If you want to set yourself a strict budget, I recommend loading your souvenir money on a gift card and then when it's gone… it's gone! You can also crusie the Shop Disney website to get an idea of what Disney prices look like and what you can expect to pay for items in the park.
If you plan on visiting Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and partaking in the Droid and Lightsaber building experiences… I would count on adding at least $400 to cover those experiences and accessories. It's easy to spend a small fortune on Batuu if you're a Star Wars fan!
Plan Your Disneyland Vacation!
There is always a lot of information to consider before planning a Disneyland vacation. Once you've decided on your hotel and ticket options you can start focusing on other budget items such as airfare, travel costs, food costs, and more. Don't forget to spend time planning your time in the parks and become familiar with everything Disneyland Resort has to offer. Don't forget to subscribe to our FREE Deals Newsletter to stay on top of the current planning tips, strategies, and Disney deals!
You can discover more about planning your trip to Disneyland from these links:
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