How Much Does it Cost to Go to Walt Disney World in 2023?
One of the most common questions we see is: how much does it cost to go to Walt Disney World? While there are several different ways to answer this question, it often boils down to key aspects of the trip that impact the overall cost of a Disney Vacation.
In this article, we're going to look at different scenarios to answer the question: how much does it cost to go to Walt Disney World? From choosing the right hotel for your budget, to the many food options and even transportation, we'll break it all down so that you can get a sense of how much you should budget for your Walt Disney World vacation.
Plus, we're even going to explore some options that will not only save you money, but even give you more bang for your buck! So, keep reading this article on the cost of a Walt Disney World vacation to learn more!
How Much Does it Cost to Go to Walt Disney World: Summary
Our guide on how much it costs to go to Walt Disney World is going to break down all of the details you need to give you a realistic idea of how you should budget for your next Disney vacation. However, let's take a look at the final costs now so that you can then see as you read along how we got to those numbers. This will make the numbers you see below make more sense since we're going to give you all the information you need!
For this article, we're going to assume that a family of 4 is looking to price out a 5-night vacation to Walt Disney World. So, let's dive in and see how much it costs to go to Walt Disney World!
|Budget Vacation||Balanced Budget Vacation||All Out Splurge Vacation|
|Total Estimated Cost||$4,763||$6,565||$11,055|
As you can see, their are a few numbers we're sharing with you, depending on the type of vacation you're looking for. If you're curious as to what the numbers all mean, keep reading to learn more!
How Much Does it Cost to Go to Walt Disney World: Breaking it Down
Before we begin, it might be helpful to lay out a roadmap of the pieces we're going to consider when pricing out a Walt Disney World vacation. These are the components of a Disney vacation that we feel can give you the most realistic sense of what a vacation can cost. Don't worry, we'll go into detail for all of these and make sure we highlight any key tips. We'll take a look at:
- When to visit
- Choice of Hotel
- Ticket Costs
- Extras (think souvenirs and special add ons!)
Though the below information can give you helpful additional details for planning your Walt Disney World trip, you'll really want to get in touch with a travel agency that specializes in Walt Disney World planning. We recommend Get Away Today.
Have a travel agent on the VIP team reach out! >
How Much Does it Cost to Go to Walt Disney World: When to Visit
One of the first things to consider when pricing out a vacation to Walt Disney World is the time of year in which you visit. Generally speaking, vacations during the summer or winter holidays are often going to cost you a lot more since it's a more popular time to travel. So, if you're looking to spend Christmas or New Years at the Magic Kingdom, you'll pay a lot more for that trip. Similarly, the summer can be more expensive since this is typically when families are able to get away with the kids. While we're going to explain in more detail the cost of tickets later, we first need to mention that theme park tickets fluctuate in price and the main determinant of price is when you visit.
Money-saving tip: Our tip to save some money is to consider whether or not you can plan your vacation during a less busy time of year. For example, September is a beautiful time of year to visit and is on the lower end of seasonal pricing. Plus, September would allow you to enjoy EPCOT's Food and Wine Festival!
How much is a week in Walt Disney World?
One of the most important choices to make when planning your Walt Disney World vacation is where your family will stay. The Walt Disney World resort and its surroundings offer tons of hotel options that can all get you to the parks in a breeze. However, not every hotel is built the same and the accommodations will vary.
Assuming you want to enjoy some Walt Disney World hotel guest extras like shuttles and early theme park entry, you have 4 major options of hotels to choose from. These options include onsite value resorts, onsite moderate resorts, onsite deluxe resorts, and Disney partner hotels. Let's break them all down!
Non-Disney Hotels On Disney Property
There are a number of hotels on Walt Disney World property or nearby that partner with Disney to offer guests some hotel perks. Disney calls these Good Neighbor Hotels. Good Neighbor Hotels are hotels located outside of the Walt Disney World resort, but close enough that you're only a short (and often free) shuttle away. Good Neighbor Hotels come in all shapes and sizes. These hotels can be small and basic accommodations to sprawling five-star properties. However, all hotels partner with Disney to ensure you get some added benefits that often come along with onsite resorts. These benefits can include:
- Variety in accommodations
- Official Disney Guest services information and desk that can help plan your day
- Transportation to the Walt Disney World resort (this is not always free and depends on the hotel you choose)
Now let's take a look at pricing. Assuming you're choosing a Good Neighbor Hotel to save money, let's go with a standard no-frills hotel. For example, the Best Western Plus – Kissimmee – Lake Buena Vista South Inn & Suites is a great option with complimentary shuttles and a daily breakfast buffet. The resort is just 2 1/2 miles away from the Walt Disney World property and even has a small pool. Again, this is a typical hotel you'd see anywhere else around the country, but still close to the parks.
Average cost of a Disney vacation for a 5 night vacation in a two queen bed standard room = $635
Onsite Walt Disney World Value Hotel
The Walt Disney World resorts groups its hotels into three different categories: value, moderate and deluxe. All of these three types are official Walt Disney World hotels on property and offer hotel guest extras like complimentary shuttles, early theme park entry, proximity to all locations, and the ability to use your MagicBand on property for payments and room access.
Let's start with the least expensive of the options, the value resorts. Value resorts are wonderful accommodations that still give you the Disney theming and magical touches. These hotels are sprawling in size with lots of detached wings that can require a lot of walking. Amenities that are found at value resorts include pools, laundry, dining options, souvenir stores, guest service desks and arcades.
A popular value resort is Disney's Pop Century Resort. This decades theme resort has recently undergone some nice renovations and is a favorite among the value resorts. Plus, the Pop Century Resort is on the Disney Skyliner route so you may not have to rely exclusively on buses to get around. If you want to learn more about this fun resort, be sure to check out our full review here. Spoiler alert: we loved it!
Average price for a 5 night vacation in a two queen bed standard room = $1053 (average nightly rate of $187)
Onsite Walt Disney World Moderate Hotel
The moderate resorts offer the same amenities you see in value resorts, but start to take everything up a notch. The theming is usually more elaborate and typically you can find more food options at moderate resorts. Another major difference between a value and moderate resort is the size of the room. A value room runs at about 260 square feet while moderate accommodations round out at about 314 square feet. So, if you enjoy having more space, you may want to consider a moderate or deluxe hotel.
For your convenience, we've summed up all of the Walt Disney world value vs moderate resorts here so you can see what might work best for you. For this article, we decided to go with the very popular Disney's Port Orleans Resort. This resort houses two resorts: Riverside and French Quarter. However, they are similar to each other and they share the same amenities. The French Quarter resort even serves delicious southern style beignets!
Average cost of a Disney vacation for a 5 night vacation in a two queen bed standard room = $1577 (average nightly rate of $280)
Onsite Walt Disney World Deluxe Hotel
If you're looking to splurge and have that most magical Disney vacation, then you might consider staying at one of the 8 deluxe resorts at the Walt Disney World Resort. These resorts offer the most luxurious accommodations and therefore provide for the most comfortable stays. As you'd expect, the standard size of rooms is also larger among the deluxe resorts with rooms right around 344 square feet. The decor is incredibly detailed with larger pools and often within walking distance to a theme park.
We've chosen to look at Disney Beach Club resort. This resort sits right on the waters of Crescent Lake and is mere steps away from EPCOT. Plus, this resort offers the largest pool of any Walt Disney World Resort. Read our full Disney Beach Club resort review.
Average price for a 5 night vacation in a two queen bed standard room = $2767 (average nightly rate of $492)
Hotel Accommodations Summary
As you can see, the type of accommodation you choose will heavily swing your budget in either direction. To simplify, here's a summary of the various hotel options:
|Offsite Good Neighbor Hotel||Onsite Value Resort||Onsite Moderate Resort||Onsite Deluxe Resort|
|Price for a 5 night stay in standard 2 queen accommodations||$635||$1053||$1577||$2767
|Average Nightly Rate||N/A||$187||$280||$492|
Money-saving tip: we've got two amazing tips to save you some money on your hotel. The first is to book with our partners at Get Away Today. They offer the lowest prices guaranteed at discounts that you won't find anywhere else. Plus, they can even bundle your vacation cost and save you even more money! Secondly, renting Disney Vacation Club (DVC) points could be another great way to save money on your accommodations. DVC points get you access to deluxe Disney Villas with more space and comforts to enjoy while on vacation. Our partners are The DVC Rental Store and David's DVC Rentals are our top picks on securing a trusted reservation without the hassle! The DVC Rental Store has the largest selection of secure reservations making it a breeze to find that perfect vacation. Over at David's, you'll generally find the lowest price, even if it takes you a little longer to snag the perfect rental option. Note that David's will require payment upfront while The DVC Rental Store only requires a 25% deposit if the reservation is more than 75 days out. To learn more about renting in general, be sure to check out our guide to renting DVC points!
Disney Vacation Cost: Theme Park Tickets
Theme park tickets are the next biggest cost when pricing out your Walt Disney World Vacation. Sure, it's fun to stay at a Walt Disney World resort, but what's a trip without a visit to see Mickey?! When it comes to theme park tickets, we've got you covered! To find the best prices around, be sure to check out our theme park ticket discounts here!
When buying theme park tickets, you'll need to consider a few things first:
- How many theme parks do you want to visit?
- Are you interested in park hopping?
- Disney water park access
The amount of parks you visit depends on what you're looking for from your vacation. We've been pricing out a 5 night vacation and so in that case we think visiting 4 theme parks is comfortable so that you get to see all the parks.
You'll find all the details in our guide to discount Walt Disney World tickets.
Park hopping is when you purchase a ticket that allows you to visit more than one park in the same day. However, these tickets are a lot more expensive: think upwards of $60 more per ticket per day. Given that the Walt Disney World resort is so large, we don't recommend park hopping. Not only is it more expensive, but it also can take a lot of time out of your day to move from one park to the other.
While we won’t consider park hopping, one thing we will consider is the Walt Disney World Genie+ system. Genie+ is the system that replaced the once free FastPass system. At a starting cost of $15 per person per day depending the time of year you visit, it allows you to book time slots to skip the standby queue and use the ride’s Lightning Lane. This feature is available on most rides and can save you a lot of time in the parks. What’s more, some rides are so popular that they require an Individual Lightening Lane purchase for that ride alone. These prices vary depending on demand, but expect at least one ride in each park to offer this feature ranging from $7 to $22 per person. The cost to skip lines can really add up but may be worth the price tag for your family if you treasure extra time to shop, dine, or relax at your resort’s pool.
Lastly, Disney does sell tickets that grant you access to either Disney's Typhoon Lagoon or Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park. These massive water parks are perfect if you're looking to spend the day in the water. However, and just like the hopper option, these tickets cost more. We're going to assume that you're not looking to add this to your vacation. Since all of the hotels we've mentioned come with a pool, we'll put this on our list for next time.
So, with all of that said, let's take a look at the prices.
|Base Park Tickets for 4 people for 4 days||$1788||$1788||$1788|
|Genie+ for 4 people for 4 days||N/A||$296 (average)||$296 (average)|
|Individual Lightning Lanes for 4 people for 4 days||N/A||N/A||$232 (average)|
|Total Cost for 4 people for 4 days||$1788||$2084||$2316|
Money-saving tip: the best way to save money on park tickets is to purchase them through our friends at Get Away Today! You're guaranteed to find the lowest prices around on theme park tickets just by purchasing through them. This is free money right here!
How Much Does it Cost to Go to Walt Disney World: Special Events
While regular park tickets will get you through the gates of your favorite park, they don't always get you in to some of the themed parties that different parks offer. We're talking about separately-ticketed special events on select nights such as Mickey's Not-S0-Scary Halloween Party, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom Park and Disney After Hours at Hollywood Studios. These events are a lot of fun with some even offering exclusive merchandise, food and character experiences. However, we must admit that they're not cheap and do add significant costs to your vacation.
For example, check out the prices below to get an idea of this added cost. We're not adding this to the overall cost we are keeping because they are not required costs, but definitely something to keep in mind if you've got extra cash to spend!
- Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
- Average Child ticket – $144
- Average Adult Ticket – $154
- Average total for a family of four – $596
- Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
- Average Child ticket – $164
- Average Adult Ticket – $174
- Average total for a family of four – $676
- Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom Park
- Average starting price for a Child ticket – $145
- Average starting price for an Adult Ticket – $145
- Average starting total for a family of four – $580
- Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom Park
- Average starting price for a Child ticket – $139
- Average starting price for an Adult Ticket – $139
- Average starting total for a family of four – $556
How Much Does it Cost to Go to Walt Disney World: Food
The Walt Disney World resort is a haven for foodies. It offers some of the best dining you'll find and accommodates all types of eating styles. Therefore, budgeting for food at Walt Disney World can vary tremendously.
Before you set a budget, think about your family's eating style. Are you a family that enjoys full meals each time you sit down to eat? Are you big eaters or light eaters? How's that sweet tooth? Do you enjoy snacking? These are just some of the questions to think about when budgeting for your food costs. If you're looking for this to be an area where your family saves money, it can be done. You can bring food with you from home, order groceries to your hotel and even bring food into the parks. This would likely save you a lot of money, but you'd miss out on some of the fun restaurants in the parks and in the resorts.
Before we break down some sample budgets, let's first take a look at the different types of food options available at the Walt Disney World resort.
Option 1: Snack Carts
Snack carts are available all throughout the 4 Disney parks and even in some resort locations. This is where those famous churros and mickey pretzels come into play! The snack cart offerings vary by location but they are typically on-the-go options like popcorn, sodas and ice cream. Depending on what you're looking for, you're looking at about $8 per person for a trip to a snack cart.
Option 2: Counter Service Restaurants
Counter service restaurants are also located inside and outside of the parks. These locations offer all types of cuisines and vary in style. All of the Walt Disney World resorts will have a quick service eatery that have more of a cafeteria vibe. Inside the parks, counter service restaurants usually offer your classic burger and fries, but can also serve unique creations such as a BBQ Brisket Melt at Woody's Lunch Box at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Disney prices their counter service restaurants at about $15 per person. As always, depending on how much you eat, this number can go up so it's always best to round up and assume a higher cost just to be safe. Reservations are not required for counter service restaurants. Take a look at some of our favorite quick service restaurants here!
Option 3: Casual Dining Restaurants
Casual dining restaurants are wonderful dining experiences that are quoted anywhere from $15 to $60 per person. Don't let the name fool you, even though it says “casual,” some of the restaurants are really nice such as Space 220 located inside of EPCOT. Locations are also found inside and outside the parks. For most families, casual dining restaurants are where you'd get your nicest restaurants. All of these restaurants are kid friendly and have options for all types of eaters. For our guide, we'll assume a cost of $40 per person.
Option 4: Fine/Signature Dining
If you manage to get the kids to sleep or can leave them alone for a few hours, then you might want to enjoy some of the best dining experiences you'll find anywhere. Disney's fine/signature dining options are the pinnacle of culinary experiences and provide for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. These experiences, however, come at a steep cost. These restaurants start at $60 per person, but even that is a low range. These meals can easily cost you over $100 per person and when you factor in drinks, you're looking at an average price of $100-$150 per person.
Option 5: Special Dining Experiences
This category houses special experiences such as character dining and dining packages for specific shows. Character dining can be found inside and outside of the parks and makes for some really special memories. For a full list of character dining experiences, be sure to check out our full guide. Character dining is put into the $35-$60 per person range, but again that all depends on what you order. For our guide, let's assume this experience will run you $5o per person.
Dining packages allow you to enjoy a, typically, pre-fixe menu and then enjoy special reserved seating for a parade or show. You can learn more about these packages in our Guide to Dining Packages Offered at Walt Disney World. Dining packages are not cheap. Let's take the new Fantasmic! dining package at Disney's Hollywood Studios. While you do get that awesome seat, this particular package will run between $50 and $70 dollars per person for adults and about $25 for children.
Option 6: Non-Park Food
As you can see, food can add up very quickly at Walt Disney World. Sometimes, it makes sense to simply bring snacks from home or even make some PB&J's in the room to take with you inside the parks. No shame here! This can be a great strategy for families to save money, especially if you'd rather put your money towards those fancy mickey ears! Budgeting here is difficult because the cost of snacks/groceries can vary, but let's say that bringing food from home will cost you about $5 per person.
Sample Food Budgets
Alright, now for the fun part. Let's see how we'd budget for our 5 night vacation. Similar to the hotels, we're going to budget three types of scenarios. Our first will be budget eaters, followed by balanced eaters and finally splurge eaters. To make things simple, we'll put this on a table so we can see total costs.
In our 5 night vacation scenario, and given the prices we've established for the categories above, here is how we'd budget:
|Budget Eaters||Balanced Eaters||Splurge Eaters|
|Breakfast||Granola Bars in the room for 4 = $20||Granola Bars in the room for 4 = $20||Character breakfast/casual dining for 4 = $200|
|Lunch||Counter Service restaurants for 4 = $60||Counter Service restaurants for 4 = $60||Casual Dining Restaurant for 4 = $160|
|Snack||N/A = $0||Snack Cart stop for 4 = $32||Snack Cart stop for 4 = $32|
|Dinner||Counter Service restaurants for 4 = $60||Casual Dining Restaurant for 4 = $160||Fine/signature Dining for 4 = $500|
|Total for 5 night vacation||$700||$1360||$4460(!)|
Bear in mind that these prices are only rough estimates and can vary depending on your family. If you throw in more dining packages, then the overall cost will increase.
Money-saving tip: all of these options can be paid for with Disney gift cards. Before you leave home, be sure to purchase Disney gift cards at Target at a 5% discount. Those savings will add up quickly and help with the overall cost of the trip!
How Much Does it Cost to Go to Walt Disney World: Transportation
With the rise of fuel prices, getting to Walt Disney World has jumped up significantly. Depending on where you live and/or your family situation you might consider driving or flying. Driving will likely save you money, but the drawback, outside of a potentially long drive, is the added time and cost that can add to your vacation. For example, if you are driving from far away, you'll have to consider the cost of a hotel for the night to rest and all meals along the way.
For our family, let's assume they're going to fly from Chicago to Orlando. The best airport to use when flying to Walt Disney World is Orlando International Airport. We'll use the same dates that we used for the hotel estimates. For the family of 4 to travel roundtrip from Chicago to Orlando, we're looking at a total cost of about $375 per person or $1500 total. The cost of flying can vary depending on several factors such as airline, airport, time of year route and fare. However, this seems to be a fair estimate for flying.
From there, you'll need to book your transportation to the Walt Disney World Resort. Since Disney's Magical Express is no longer available, you have options with either Uber/Lyft or a shuttle service.
Uber/Lyft prices vary depending on when you request the ride, but you can typically get to and from the airport for about $70 one way or $140 roundtrip. Luckily, you won't need to worry about transportation throughout the Walt Disney World Resort as you'll have the complimentary shuttle services.
A bus shuttle, similar to the Magical Express costs around $32 roundtrip from the airport to your resort. This is an easy option, but keep in mind that it's $32 per person, so for this option you're really looking at a total cost of $128 for our family of four.
Money-saving tip: pre-booking reservations can sometimes save you money. Do some searching around for the best deals and compare the types of transportation available to you. If you have credit card miles, you can also book flights or even rental cars with your points. This can bring significant savings!
How Much Does it Cost to Go to Walt Disney World: Extras
Now for the fun part! While nothing we talk about in this category is a must, they are things that add a little extra magic to your vacation. We're talking about things like souvenirs! This is a hard one to really estimate as it really all depends on what you're looking for. For some, souvenirs aren't necessary at all. For others, spending time in the Emporium on Main Street is part of the fun!
Let's assume that each person in the family is going to want to spend $100 on something special to take back home. This could be a combination of small items or a single spirit jersey. It would be wise to assume that $400 could be a healthy souvenirs budget. Again, this number can go lower or higher depending on what's on your list.
If you do some digging around, you'll eventually find what Disney calls their Enchanting Extras Collection. These selections are unique and special experiences that are not included in the price of a regular theme park ticket. Some of the experiences include scuba diving inside of the Living Seas aquarium in EPCOT, a private tour of the savanna at Animal Kingdom or a chartered pontoon boat on Seven Seas Lagoon from which you can enjoy the Magic Kingdom Fireworks. These experiences are truly above and beyond and, naturally, come at a steep cost. You could easily spend $150 per person or more on these experiences and therefore might not be for everyone. It's something to consider, however, even if it's something for next time!
Money-saving tip: similarly to food, you could preload a Disney gift card and use that to keep a strict souvenir budget. The Target 5% discount would allow you to save some money upfront and help you plan accordingly.
How Much Does it Cost to Go to Walt Disney World: Final Verdict
As you can see, planning and budgeting for a Disney vacation has many different factors to consider. After reading this article, we're hopeful you have an idea of how much a vacation could cost you. However, to sum it all up, it might be easiest to consider all of the estimates we've shared and put together an estimated total cost depending on whether you want to travel on a strict budget, balance between splurging and saving or go on a total splurge vacation. Let's see the final verdict:
|Budget Vacation||Balanced Budget Vacation||All Out Splurge Vacation|
|Total Estimated Cost||$4,763||$6,565||$11,055|
Again, these numbers can fluctuate particularly if your family drives to Walt Disney World or if you add on some of the Enchanting Extras, but this is the verdict given our sample budgeting.
Plan your next Disney vacation!
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