How much does it cost to go to Disney World?

by Shannon Albert · 59 comments · Like the Facebook page

How much does it cost to go to Disney World? from article was published in 2012 and based on prices and info available at that time.)

Lots of people dream of a trip to Disney World but aren’t sure how much money to budget. Asking how much a trip costs is almost like asking how much a house costs – it just depends.

Let’s take a look at 3 different families who all share the same demographics except 1: their Disney World trip budgets.

Hopefully this will give you a better idea how to budget for your own trip.

Our 3 families each have 4 members – two adults and two children ages 8 and 11 – and they all live in Chicago. They each have different budgets made up of these 5 major expense categories:

  • Transportation – road trip expenses, plane tickets, train tickets
  • Lodging – off site, on site, hotel, condo
  • Park tickets – 3 different levels of tickets available
  • Food – eating in the parks, cooking some meals in your room
  • Souvenirs

Let’s see what these families’ trip costs looks like.

The Fancy Family

How much does it cost to go to Disney World? from WDWPrepSchool.comThe Fancy Family does not care much about cost. They just want the best hotel for their family, best restaurants, tickets with the most options and the easiest method to get there. Their only constraint is their schedule because they do want to work around the kids’ school calendar.

Travel dates: The Fancy Family has decided to go to Disney World June 9 – 16, right after the kids finish up their school year.

Transportation: There are a few airlines with direct flights between Chicago and Orlando and The Fancy Family will choose a schedule that’s convenient for them.
Cost: $350/ticket

Once they arrive in Orlando, The Fancy Family will take a limo to their hotel to make the trip quick and comfortable.
Cost: $127 + 20% tip

Hotel: The Fancy Family will be staying at the Polynesian in a Club Level Theme Park View room. They want to stay in the Hawaii longhouse due to the convenient location plus they like the amenities that come along with being Club Level – the food that is available, the extra service and use of the lounge.

They also like the convenience of the transportation available at the Polynesian and the ability to view fireworks right from the hotel.
Cost: $820/night weekday, $870/night weekend (Friday and Saturday nights) + 12.5% tax

Park tickets: Our no-cost-is-too-high family wants the most flexibility with options for water parks so they are going to get the tickets with the long name: Park Hoppers and Water Park Fun and More.
Cost for 8 day tickets: $402.88 for people 10+, $387.64 for people ages 3-9

Food: The Fancy Family wants to try out a couple of restaurants each day of their trip and they’ve decided to get the Deluxe Dining Plan which allows them to eat 3 meals a day in either Counter Service or Table Service restaurants plus they’ll get 2 snack credits per day.

They could just pay out-of-pocket for their meals but they’ve decided to buy the Deluxe Dining Plan just to simplify things and allow them to enjoy their trip without thinking about what each thing will cost. Also, it makes calculating this budget much easier on me.
Cost: $85.52/day for people 10+, $23.79/day for people ages 3-9

Souvenirs: This family has allocated $500 for souvenirs during their trip.

Other costs: The Fancy Family has decided to take an Illuminations cruise.
Cost: $325 + tax and gratuity.

They will also plan for some cab rides for those times when Disney transportation isn’t the most convenient option.
Cost: About $50

Total costs:

  • Plane tickets: $350 x 4 = $1400
  • Limousine: $127 + 20% tip = $152
  • Hotel: ($870/night x 2) + ($820/night x 5) = $5840 + 12.5% tax = $6570
  • Park tickets: ($402.88 x 3) + $387.64 = $1596.28
  • Dining: ($85.52 x 3 people x 7 days) + ($23.79 x 1 child x 7 days) = $1962.45
  • Souvenirs: $500
  • Illuminations cruise: about $400
  • Taxis: $50
  • Total trip cost for The Fancy Family: $12,630.73

Obviously, the largest expense is the pricey hotel room. Although The Fancy Family wouldn’t necessarily be looking for discounts, their travel agent (if they used one, and I highly recommend it for people not wanting to do all of their own research) would have applied a 20% discount that was available during these dates, resulting in a lot of savings. They could also have opted for a non-Club Level room which saves a few hundred dollars per night.

The Moderate Family

How much does it cost to go to Disney World? from WDWPrepSchool.comThe Moderate Family likes nice vacations but they have to choose which areas they’d like to splurge on and try to be conservative in other categories.

Travel dates: August 25 – September 1. The Moderate Family noticed that prices and crowds decrease around mid-August and their school year doesn’t begin until after Labor Day so, even though it will be hot, they think these dates will work best for them.

Transportation: The Moderate Family wants to fly but will want the best deal they can find. They decide to book Southwest Airlines tickets. The times aren’t always the most ideal but they are non-stop. They will also keep an eye out for sales and Ding! fares knowing that Southwest will give them a credit if prices decrease.
Cost: $300/ticket

Once they land in Orlando, this family will make use of Magical Express bus transportation to get to their hotel.
Cost: free

Hotel: The Moderate Family likes nice accommodations but doesn’t want to spend a lot on their hotel. They decide to stay at Port Orleans – Riverside which is the most recommended Moderate resort.
Cost: $164/night on weekdays, $179/weekend (Friday and Saturday)

Park tickets: This family wants the flexibility to hop parks but won’t be visiting any water parks or extra places. They’ll buy the Park Hopper passes for their family.
Cost: $347.88/person 10+, $327.64 for people 3-9

Food: The Moderate Family lucked out and free dining was offered during their stay (and it has been offered during this time for the last few years). This allows them to use the standard dining plan which is 1 Table Service credit, 1 Counter Service credit and 1 Snack credit per person per night of their stay.
Cost: free!

Souvenirs: they’ve budgeted $150 for souvenirs

Other costs: The Moderate Family decided they wanted to plan 1 special event for their family during their vacation. They’ve booked the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage for their pirate-loving kids and to give them a unique way to watch Wishes fireworks.
Cost: $57.50/people 10+, $33.01 for people 3-9

Total costs:

  • Plane tickets: $300 x 4 = $1200
  • Magical Express: free
  • Hotel: ($179/night x 2) + ($164/night x 5) = $1178 + 12.5% tax = $1325.25
  • Park tickets: ($347.88 x 3) + $327.64 = $1271.28
  • Dining: Free!
  • Souvenirs: $150
  • Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage: ($57.50 x 3 people 10+) + $33.01 for 1 person under 10 = $205.51
  • Total trip cost for The Moderate Family: $4152.04

This price range is accessible for more people than The Fancy Family’s, but for those that are wanting to save the most money possible, there are even more ways to save.

Meet The Frugal Family.

The Frugal Family

How much does it cost to go to Disney World? from WDWPrepSchool.comAs their name tells you, this family is focused solely on saving the most money possible. They don’t get to take family vacations a lot and they need to budget carefully to make this trip affordable. They are willing to take the kids out of school for this trip since they don’t take the opportunity to travel often.

Travel dates: October 13 – 21 (October 13, 14, 20 and 21 will be travel days). The kids will miss a week of school but the family will get to enjoy light crowds and lower prices.

Transportation: The Frugal Family used the Fuel Cost Calculator to determine how much it would cost to drive from their home in Chicago to Disney World. The travel time is about 20 hours each way so they’d also need to budget a night of hotel each way.
Cost: $368.68 roundtrip for gas + $200 for hotels = $568.68

Hotel: This family decided it was more economical to stay slightly off-site by choosing a hotel from the Mousesavers Preferred Hotel list. They decide on the Holiday Inn Resort Lake Buena Vista which is located a mile from Disney World and will provide transportation to Disney World for free.
Cost: $80/night

Park tickets: Because The Frugal Family is visiting during a time when a Y.E.S. class is being offered, they will buy their park tickets through Y.E.S. ahead of time.

This family will only need 5 days of tickets since they are spending 4 days driving. They have opted to get the Base tickets for their family.
Cost: $164.27/person (savings of $103.05 per person)

Food: The hotel that they’ve chosen to stay at will allow anybody 12 and under to eat breakfast and dinner for free which The Frugal Family plans to take advantage of a few times. For lunch, they will pack food they can eat while in the parks (since they have a car, picking up groceries to pack lunches will be easy).

They do want to eat 1 Table Service meal during their trip, but since the portions are big, they will plan to split two entrees between the 4 of them.
Cost for the week: $300

Souvenirs: $50

Total costs:

  • Road trip costs: $368.68 for gas + $200 hotels while driving = $568.68
  • Hotel: $80 daily cost + $11.95 daily service fee x 6 nights = $551.70
  • Park tickets: $164.27 x 4 people = $657.08
  • Dining: about $300
  • Souvenirs: $50
  • Total trip cost for The Frugal Family: $2127.46

Summing it all up

So now when somebody asks how much a Disney World trip costs, we can say “$2000 or $12000 or something in between.”

Some things to keep in mind, no matter what your budget:

  • Packages (which were used in The Fancy Family’s and The Moderate Family’s trips) are convenient because they include everything but may not always be the most cost-effective
  • Booking with a travel agent that specializes in Disney trips is generally a good idea, no matter what your price level (side note: general travel agents are often not a good idea on Disney trips. You can spend 1 hour reading this site and know more than most of them.)

Have other ideas for Disney World trip budgets? Talk about it in the comments.

How much does it cost to go to Disney World? from WDWPrepSchool.comHow much does it cost to go to Disney World? from WDWPrepSchool.comHow much does it cost to go to Disney World? from WDWPrepSchool.comHow much does it cost to go to Disney World? from
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{ 59 comments (add yours) }

Ron M January 7, 2015 at 4:41 pm

Good article, except I don’t like that the Moderate family “lucked out” by happening to go during free Dining plan days. Let’s be realistic here. The free dining plans are a way to attract business during the slow months. Realistically, that is the very end of summer (like right before Labor Day) or in the fall, both of which are school periods for most places. I would hope that most families don’t just simply pull their kids out of school for a week to get some free food at Disney.

Regarding the dining options, I am a strong opponent of the Dining plans. Most people I know who get them spend their entire vacation justifying their purchase by finding the most expensive food they can find. Have they saved money? No, they SPENT it on the plan, which hides the cost from them.

The price for the middle dining plan was $60/night of stay in 2014. Unless you have a huge belly or simply like to sit in restaurants all day, $60 each day is WAY more than you need. AllEars .net has updated menus for every restaurant. You can easily find entrees for $15-20 for dinner, no more than any other sit-down place. Granted, you will spend more than $60 on a couple of days, but would you spend, say, $30 for dinner, $15 for lunch, and $15 for breakfast, every single day? Keep in mind, this does not include tips or alcohol. At the sit down locations, you are limited to an entree, dessert and a non-alcoholic drink. Don’t like desserts? Sorry, you cannot substitute an appetizer or salad. The Dining plans are a game: Disney charges as much as possible to offset the people who purposely blow $$ on them to justify their cost.


disneymama2 January 7, 2015 at 1:04 pm

Great article! Also, if you (or a family member) are in the military, there are so many great discounts for members of the armed forces. We have stayed both on and off property at a steep discount. Also, Disney offers great prices on discounted tickets for military families. You can even get discounted pricing for special events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party :)

As far as the souvenirs, I always check out dollar stores, the dollar section at Target, the Disney Store for clearance items, etc. before we go to Disney. I buy a few little things to give our kids each day of the vacation and then allow each child to pick out one souvenir while we are there. It takes a little self-control (I want to buy everything while there) but saves a lot of money in the end.


Patricia M January 3, 2015 at 7:29 pm

This is a great article and I’m bookmarking it for future reference. Great money saving tips! Not to nitpick (& I guess am, lol), but I don’t know anyone that would budget only $25 per child for souvenirs like the Frugal family. Especially if this would likely be their only Walt Disney World trip.


sharon December 30, 2014 at 5:49 pm

Going in the winter time to Disney world is the best No crowds. Me I want the cheap all I want to see is Harry potter and Small world and I will be done. But carry one bag on board the plane, and it will be just me going anyway


Margaret Abel December 22, 2014 at 7:53 am

Dear Shannon,
My adult daughter and I will be visitingDisney World (my 22nd visit) this summer from August 26 to 31. I am a Disney Vacation Club Member. Is there any way to take advantage of the free Dining Plan if it is again offered?


Lori December 12, 2014 at 2:00 pm

We are planning a trip to Disney World in 2017 with our children and grandchildren. There will be 18 of us altogether, provided there are no new additions between now and then. The group will be made up of 10 adults, 1 teenager and 7 children (ages 5 to 11 at that time). Some may be driving and others flying since we will be coming from 3 different states to meet up. Any suggestions on where we could all stay together? Are there any large condos or houses that would accommodate so many people? We would also appreciate any tips on tickets, dining, activities, etc.


Shannon Albert December 12, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Hi, Lori –
This post about doing Disney w/large families should help –


scott October 23, 2014 at 5:33 am

What is wrong with us. Can a family of 4 kids(10,12,12,16) and 2 adults, with a monthly income of $6300, go to Disneyworld? If so, what are we doing wrong with our money? Both house and cars are paid for. Help.


T. C. November 30, 2014 at 9:27 pm

OK, so you’re saying your cars and house are completely paid for, and you have $6,300 per month, which adds up to $75,000 per year, but you can’t find the money to go to Disney World for $10,000 – $15,000?

To me, this can only mean one thing, and this is assuming you have no other costs except for living costs, saving for kids’ college, retirement, etc., but I’m pretty sure you can max out on all those items, and still do this very comfortably.

As I alluded to, your question probably means one thing, and that one thing is you have no budget, nor do you follow one. Everything you buy is on a whim, you don’t shop sales, there is no accountability financially, and so on.

“You Need a Budget” is budget software that could help you, but you need to stick with it. Dave Ramsey ( has a way to look at finances that blows everything away that I once believed regarding debt, credit, loans, getting on top, and staying there. I would suggest it all. Good luck.


Riwade June 26, 2014 at 7:02 pm

We are wanting to go in October to take our 6 yr old son for the first time. we only want to go to the Magic Kingdom for 2 days and Animal Kingdom for 1 day. So, basically staying 3 nights/4 days…what is the most affordable wdw resort to stay at? Where do they offer teacher discounts? and do they have websites for discounted park tickets? Any help would be greatly appreciated!


Ginger Carey June 3, 2014 at 9:06 pm

What is a Y.E.S class? We always stay on site…but would consider off site if savings were significant


melissa May 24, 2014 at 11:53 am

I have used for savings. It is very neat site. Mobile and computer based. I put X amount in weekly direct deposited. Whenever you need a withdrawal for the WHOLE amount, you can do so but takes a few days to hit your checking account. I opened one for my daughter to direct deposit her allowance and her dog walking money. Very cool graphics to show how close you are to your goal – cute visuals, etc. So this is an option instead of the Disney account that seems to be having problems…


Dsnyrn May 23, 2014 at 5:22 am

Current upcoming trip plan November 2014- 2 Adults, nonstop airfare, Park hopper, dining plan,Wilderness Lodge standard room, Keys to the Kingdom tour, MVMCP $4000 (Souvenirs not included).

My thoughts about planning-
I have been to WDW 3 times, planning my 4th trip for November 2014. This is the first time I am using a travel agent specializing in Disney-totally the best idea ever. I felt like I had to be knowledgable the other times, and this time I can sit back and enjoy the planning more.

This is also going to be my first trip NOT using the delux dining plan (3 table service, and 2 snack credits), and am using the regular dining plan (1 quick, 1 table, 1 snack). I like the delux plan because you really don’t have to think about anything. If I wanted to plan a meal-I could. My daughter and I had 9 character meals in a 6 day/5 night trip (took each daughter for a mommy and me trip for 2 of my vacations). I know I am going to save money this time-even though I plan on paying for some extra table service meals, but I miss the ease of the delux dining plan-I got spoiled.


Kelly May 15, 2014 at 10:19 am

You can also open a Disney Vacation Savings Account if you are planning in advance (up to five years ahead!) and direct deposit to the account as often as you want (you have several options when you sign up). You can also pay into the account at times other than your direct deposit and even with disney gift cards, etc! You don’t earn interest but your account can then be used to pay for your Disney vacation (resorts, dining plans, park tickets, cruise, etc). It is also completely refundable if you decide not to use all or part of it towards disney. Pretty cool!


Kelly May 15, 2014 at 10:52 am

I included the website, but didn’t realize it was going to link it to my name- click my name (in red) to go the the Disney Vacation account website. (I’m not a disney travel agent or employee, I don’t get any compensation for referring people. I’m just a single mom trying to find all the ways I can to be able to afford taking a wdw vacation).


Kelly May 16, 2014 at 1:15 pm

ok, I’m replying to my own comment. again. I’ve done some more research as suggested by Shannon… and it turns out that the DVA might not be the greatest thing. It is relatively new and seems like there are A LOT of issues to work out that might actually turn it into a nightmare for some! DOH! Hopefully, the bugs will be worked out soon. I recommend doing some thorough due diligence before signing up. I’m glad I haven’t signed up yet.


Jamal Thompson April 16, 2014 at 9:49 pm

How much would it cost for me and my 2year old to go to Disney world flying,hotel and tickets


MG April 16, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Question- we are Marriott Vacation Club owners and were thinking about trading out one of our weeks for one near Disney. Does anyone know which Marriott Vacation Club is closest? Is it even worth it to not stay on property?


barbara steinour October 27, 2014 at 10:36 am

the imperial palms and royal palms are right outside the entrance to the resort property- 1 is all two bedrooms the other 3 bedrooms. you will need a car


Sherry March 26, 2014 at 10:54 am

hoping to get to Disney World this summer. We have 4 kids ages 6 thru 11. Any recommendations on parks and hotels? My kids are not huge on thrill rides. They love the water – we have a pool at home. They will do one (or 2) and then lose interest. My boys are the oldest and into everything from nemo to star wars. My daughter who is 6 is not a girlie girl. She loves her some toy story! We also want to maybe do a day at lego land. All love animals and any super hero of any kind. Also thinking about driving but not too thrilled about 4 kids asking are we there yet for the trip from nj to fl. Also, any restaurants off the resort like steakhouses or red robin? are there coupons anywhere?


AlternaKat March 28, 2014 at 6:56 pm


The Texas Roadhouse is a steakhouse just outside of Disney with affordable prices and if you sign up on their website they’ll send you a coupon for a free appetizer:
Hope that helps!


Rachel February 27, 2014 at 4:05 pm

One thing you didn’t factor in for the budget friendly family is the cost of your time driving. If I have to take an extra 2 days off of work to be able to drive to the destination, that is 18 hours off work for me and 15 hours off work for my husband, that is roughly $2300 of hours, for both of us it does translate to $$ because at any time we leave our jobs we can cash in our leave for that money.


Anne May 11, 2014 at 8:20 pm

Why would lost wages matter? Each family is obviously taking time off, and it’s assuming that their socioeconomic statuses are all the same.


david May 27, 2014 at 8:02 pm

When a road trip is involved in a vacation, that’s part of the fun and family time together. Plan fun activities and stops along the way. I don’t think that that time is a chargeable item.


Candice December 16, 2014 at 9:38 am

I wouldn’t necessarily charge my days off as a cost, but it would be a factor in my decision, and I would prefer to pay more for the ease and time efficiency of taking a plane, and being able to reserve these vacation days for another time.

Like the frugal family, I would probably go to Disney during the school year to get better rates and to avoid crowds and extreme heat, and I simply wouldn’t choose to take 2 weeks off work for this – I’d prefer to take 1 week and be able to use the rest of my vacation during summer for camping and other activities. I also wouldn’t want to take my kids out of school for an extra 2-4 days for the car trip.

It’s less about the money itself, since the days are paid vacation anyway and more about convenience and management of my vacation days.


LM February 26, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Love this site! Very helpful and informative. We are driving down from GA (w/a toddler, so different scenario vs families where the children expect to visit a park each day) and are saving money by doing a few of the following:
-driving down in a hybrid car=gas savings
-we are a day’s drive from FL but are staying an hour away from WDW in a cheaper hotel the night before so that we can arrive for a full day the next day.
-one day a character breakfast followed by a day at our hotel pool
-another day will be DT disney T Rex cafe and hotel pool
-bringing cereal and PBJ supplies for easy meals and snacks
-one, maybe two days in a park
I feel like in our case these options will be a good pace for our kid and they also happen to lower costs for our family. Just thought I’d share if others have kids of a similar age. I think we are spending $1200 for five days in May, 4 nights @ value resort with spring promo discount. :)


Aimee Morrison February 25, 2014 at 9:24 pm

Love this! I want to take my family this April! Just don’t know where to start with all this planning and booking!


AlternaKat February 25, 2014 at 7:45 pm

Chuck – I stayed at the Orange Lake Resort (Holiday Inn Vacations) in Kissimmee a 2-bedroom villa suite in April/May 2013 and LOVED it! I am going back again with my family this June. We are renting from a timeshare owner via Good luck!


chuck macdonald February 24, 2014 at 1:35 pm

great summary , love the 3 different scenarios, Planning a trip in August with 11 year old grandson and 3 adults….Are there vacation Condo’s that you would recommend?


KGS May 31, 2014 at 9:14 am

My family and I have stayed at Liki Tiki Village many times.
It is about a 15 minute drive (you will need a car) to Disney. It is a great place and very affordable. They are all little condo’s with full kitchens and laundry in the condo.
The resort is nice too….swimming pools and activities.


AlternaKat February 23, 2014 at 11:40 am

What a great resource! For our upcoming trip in June 2014, I already have airfare, rental car, hotel, and park tickets purchased, so these are the “knowns”, but I am struggling with some of “unknowns” — mostly the food budget! I can look at menus all I want and guess where we are going to be at any given time, but the question is: how do I not over-plan every single meal and food decision (we are not staying on site and thus no Disney Dining Plan) but still accurately plan a reasonable budget for food? There are 5 of us – my husband and me, two 13-year olds and an 8-year-old. There are a couple meals I definitely want to “splurge” on and already have ADRs for, but I’m not even sure what is reasonable for the rest of the food budget. Anyone else have this problem? Any suggestions would be awesome!


AlternaKat February 25, 2014 at 7:58 pm

So I have been working on this budget and here’s what I’ve come up with: I have 3 nice table service ADRs planned, we plan on eating breakfast in the room (suite has a full kitchen), and then of the remaining meals, about half will be counter service in the parks and half will be outside of the parks (a combination of fast food and sit down restaurants). Therefore, I am estimating my top-end budget should be around $200 per day for the 5 of us. Does this sound reasonable?


Joy February 17, 2014 at 11:26 am

I love your site! So helpful, and well done.

My family of four; 2 adults, and twin girls (6), are going to Disney for the first week of December 2015! It sounds so far away, but in Disney planning time, not really! My husband and I have been to Disney before, but never with our kids. We are super excited, and I’ve been planning like crazy. After running many scenarios of what it would cost to stay in value, moderate, and deluxe thru Disney…discounts included too…I was really shocked by how expensive it can get. Because of my background in timeshare before I became a SAHM, I did some research in those roots. I’m so thankful I did. I was able to nab a great timeshare deal with BlueGreen Vacation Club, and we’re planning to exchange into the DVC thru RCI. We’re hoping to get the Wilderness Lodge, but will be happy being on any Disney property. We needed to join a vacation club anyway, to save money, and this will save us serious Disney money. We will have access to all the perks of being on property, which the DDP was something we really wanted. Plus, because it’s at the DVC, we don’t have to make it a package and buy our tickets thru Disney…I’m leaning toward using the Undercover Tourist for our park tickets. I believe we’re looking at a savings of around $2000 by choosing to go this route, plus we have a vacation ownership that we will use for other trips too.


Amy K. January 28, 2014 at 8:13 pm

Great website and incredibly useful. Thank you! I must have about a dozen different tabs open, all with information from your site. :) My family of four moved to Ft. Lauderdale from Ohio back in August. Our extended family and we pooled our holiday gift money to buy four yearly passes! We used gift money as the down payment and the rest we pay monthly so it doesn’t hurt the wallet too much. So far we have only used the passes to go to Epcot as a day trip, but found the 6 hour round-trip drive too much. Also, we went on January 20th, and the crowds were pretty heavy. Now…I am in the midst of planning a trip for Feb. 4-7. I am pulling the kids out of school because of the predicted light crowds. We’re a “Frugal Family”. I am, admittedly, horrified at the prices of Disney hotels! I lucked out and found a good deal on Groupon for a Walt Disney World Good Neighbor Hotel. That is good enough for me. In addition, I just went grocery shopping to purchase food for the trip. We don’t plan on eating any meals or snacks in restaurants. It’s just not in our budget. I spent about $260 for groceries, and some of that was “convenience” items, like V8 in cans, or tuna and chicken in ready-to-eat pouches. I feel like I’m going camping…but camping in a hotel room. Which is my kind of camping. :) My one huge splurge was going to the Disney outlet store at the Sawgrass Mills Mall in Sunrise, FL. I bought three Disney t-shirts apiece for my daughters and myself. Matching. My husband refuses to participate in that weirdness. ;) I am CRAZY excited about the trip. I’d live at Disneyworld if I could.


Meredith Raber December 9, 2013 at 5:19 pm

We are planning a trip for our family of 7, kids will be 13,11,8,2, and 1. We want to stay in park and go in the summer…where is the best place to stay with a large family and is the free dining plan available for the summer?


Carla November 26, 2013 at 4:03 pm

We are a familyof 4. Traveling from Oklahoma. Vacationing December 18-26 (Woohoo… Christmas at Disney World!!!). We checked on several ways to take this vacation on the “cheap” as we, like many Americans, are working class people :) Here is a breakdown of our trip details:
We will be driving to Dallas, TX to fly out of DFW, as this was cheaper than flying direct from OKC. Booked our flight with Spirit Airlines for around $200/pp ROUND TRIP! Bought our hotel off Groupon for around $400 total. We booked a rental car using our airline miles from past vacations and paid $0. Our WDW tickets were purchased through “Undercover Tourist” and that was around $1100 (saved us a little of gate prices). We are planning to only eat at the parks once or twice and nothing requiring reservations. Every other meal will be quick and easy. We are planning to purchase a $50 WDW gift card from Walmart for each child to spend on what they choose and that will be it for gifts. Adding to a total of around $2400 (not including our quick meals daily). Again, this is for a family of 4 for 10 nights and 11 days. Coming to around $55/pp per day!!


Mark S November 21, 2013 at 12:38 pm

We are a family of 4 going in mid-January 2014, with kids aged 12 and 14. We are staying 4 nights/5 days at Art of Animation Resort with 5-day passes (no park hopper) and planning on doing a half day in the parks both the day of arrival and day of departure, flying from Columbus, OH.
Here are our costs:
Southwest Airlines: $1039
Tickets through via Mousesavers: $1120
AoA Resort: $574
No dining plan, as our kids are kind of picky eaters. We plan on shipping some snacks to save some money and we have one dining reservation at Hollywood Studios, but still plan on spending $500-600 on food.
Not planning on a lot of $ for souvenirs, but I still expect it will end up being $150-200.
So we’re looking at a grand total between $3400-$3500 for everything. I guess I would consider us a mix of moderate and frugal.


Irina Anthony November 14, 2013 at 4:10 am

I am reading to make sure I didn’t over pay but I feel like I got a good deal. We are going for 2 weeks (13 nights) to Orlando, staying at a trip advisor’s number 1 rated family resort (Floridays). We picked this place because it has a kitchen and two bedrooms, our son still likes warmed milk so we need a stove plus we want to be able to make our own quick meals. I cant imagine eating out for 2 weeks with a 3yo. The resort has sandbox, splash area and a pool so that will be nice for our son. With savings deals we spent $3460 out of pocket now, this includes the most basic car rental, 3 plane tickets from Seattle to Orlando and the Hotel. It does not include another $190 the hotel will charge us in resort expenses. I am okay with this because I will be using the in unit washer and dryer, kitchen, plus their shuttles to Disney World and other major attractions. This was the best resort deal I can find, they are running 60% off promo for the hotel right now through travel sites.

Right now we are out of pocket the 3460 I mentioned (hotel, flight, car).
We project the following out of pocket expenses there:
shopping (100 – 200)
Resort fees (190)
Food (300-500) We will probably eat at attractions so this will take some $ but we will also eat often in our hotel and pack fast lunches. I am just planning this budget range. When eating at restaurants, I usually share my meal with my 3yo. We only order water to drink and “cheaper” meals.
Gas (80-120)
Fun (1000-1200) We plan to go to 3 different parks, we will enjoy lots of free things like different beaches. I am guessing this cost, I will research groupons, call Costco (sometimes they sell resort tickets), basically research to get the best deals on tickets in advance.

That’s around another 2k on top of what I already paid.


Adriana November 13, 2013 at 7:39 pm

I have 7 kids going with me and my husband 4 are above 10 and three are younger then 10 we want the cheapest hotel for a week how much would it be for our family to go


shawna November 7, 2013 at 7:30 pm

I love this my biggest thing right now is I know how much its going to be for the trip and the room I need to know for a family of 5 how much extra money should I bring with me if we have a dinner plan that gives us 3 meals and 2 snacks and refilled cup. I have 3 kids ages 5,6,9 at time of trip and then my husband who likes things. so I was planning my trip but need to know how much extra money to take what is the lest amount of money I am thinking somewhere from 2,000-5,000.


Crystal November 2, 2013 at 10:39 am

I’m trying to plan our first trip on a budget and I’m hoping to be able to squeeze it for $2000. We’re a military family living in Pensacola and we’re moving next summer so I want to be able to go to WDW before we PCS. There are six of us (but one of us is only one so at least she’ll be cheap!) I’m budgeting to use the military four day park hoppers at $169 a piece and I’m looking to stay off site because even Shades of Green can’t give me the kind of deal that I’m finding at the vacation homes with washer and dryer. We’re driving from Pensacola (6-7 hours depending on how many times the kids have to pee) and we’re hoping to go in Feb for moderate crowds. I want to just do one character dining experience and only eat lunch in the park. I’m hoping I’ll be able to manage since we really don’t have money to burn. I already feel nine months behind since I just started planning for a trip in Feb. Your site has been so helpful but now I’m worried that we won’t be able to hit all the rides my kids want. Yikes! I didn’t know it was so much work to plan this vacation!


Heather November 13, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Look at it is wyndham timeshares they are beautiful. There are several resorts in the Orlando area~ good luck


Stephanie December 21, 2013 at 10:27 am

We used to find our accommodations. They had a 4 bedroom condo with 3 1/2 baths and a full kitchen plus washer/dryer for $100 a night when we went the last week of February 2013. It was only about 10 minutes from Disney, and since our vehicle was parked right outside our condo door (we drove down), I think that put us as close to Disney as the people who stay in Coronado Springs, but have to walk 10 minutes to catch the bus or get to the parking garage.


Vacationingjim September 24, 2013 at 8:40 pm

I’ve helped many of people as I build these packages, I always recommend Allegiant Air as they’re almost always cheapest and only do direct flights (though they don’t seem to run everyday) and places like timeshare resorts when on a budget cause it does save a bunch of money. If you got money to burn a 2 bedroom place on Disney for $1100 a night is fine, but if your spending that a night you probably have your secretary book your vacations anyway. Great breakdown I did laugh a bit at the crossed out section.


Sarah September 21, 2013 at 7:58 am

In November 2013, we are staying on-site at a Moderate (Coronado Springs) for 6 nights/7 days, with park hopper, and we got the free dining package that includes table service meals (we are doing several character meals). Our bill to WDW is $2400. We are driving from Illinois in a fuel-efficient car, staying at a hotwire hotel (under $50/night) each way, eating on the road and also buying some snacks and probably a couple souvenirs, so hoping to keep it around $3000 total.

If you stay at a Value resort during free dining and just get the quick service plan, and don’t get the park hopper, you can save even more. That is what we might do next time – but this is our first trip and we wanted to do character meals, the slightly nicer resort, etc. I have heard the Value resorts are great too, and I can’t wait to check them out next time. :)


Stephanie October 4, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Did you book this directly through WDW’s site? I would LOVE to get this same price. Was this for a family of four?


Erin November 21, 2013 at 11:58 am

Hope you had a great trip. How many were in your group? We are a family of 4 going to Disney for our 1st time in February. Would u recommend staying at Coronado springs?

Thank you.


Pattie July 17, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Totally love this post! I have booked an 8 day trip with dining plan and hotel stay. Anyways , I was worried because I thought a $1500.00 budget for souvenirs and the occasional extra like Bibbity Bobbity Boo Boutique was to frugal. We are a family of three, thanks for putting my mind at ease!


Michelle Harless June 6, 2013 at 5:40 pm

You left out Value Resorts. They usually have better buses than moderate, great atmosphere (if you’re a kid), and allow you to have access to Extra Magic Hours. My family which I would call the Disney on Budget is going in June 18-23, seven nights, dining plan, stay at Art of Animation Little Mermaid Rooms for $3100.00. I budgeting $500.00 for travel, which is a sixteen hour trip from KY with a night on the road both ways.


jennifer Irving June 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm

We have 3 kids 3,7, and 10. We want a deal but we want to stay at the park. What is the best deal for 5 people? Is it staying in 2 value resort rooms or finding a wdw resort that can have 5 to a room?

thanks so much!


Mike August 9, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Port Orleans Riverside has a trundle bed that helps the rooms support 5 people for the same price as other 1 room moderates like Port Orleans French Quarter. Also there are some new Suites at Art of Animation that can handle 5. But those are little pricier.


Vacationingjim September 24, 2013 at 8:45 pm

You got a few options I’d say. Look at some of the hotels on Disney that aren’t owned by Disney. Near downtown Disney there are a few and they still offer Disney transportation that runs often but normally are a bit cheaper than Disney owned and operated stays. With 5 people your in a sticky spot where you can get a roll away bed or have someone sleep on the floor (which I don’t recommend), or look outside that magical barrier at multi-bedroom places. Bunches are around that still offer transport if you need it and still have great on-site amenities. LBV resort village and spa is a personal fav, but look around there is great stuff around Disney just check the reviews cause photos can lie sometimes.


Hayley April 29, 2013 at 1:44 pm

I do not agree with these prices- we live in Canada and the hotel and flight alone is 5,000 for two weeks (and we are only two people)


Shannon Albert April 29, 2013 at 2:02 pm

You’re in another country and doing 2 weeks instead of 1. Totally different situation.


Kelly March 5, 2014 at 7:57 am

I don’t agree with Hayley at all. I’m from Canada’s East Coast and two of us went for two weeks for just over $6,000.00. This included park tickets with the hopper option, we stayed on the Disney property and had the standard meal plan. This cost also included our travel insurance. We got a local travel agent that specialized in Disney and she was able to save us quite a bit.


Kelly March 5, 2014 at 8:02 am

I’m from Nova Scotia (east coast Canada) and I paid just over $6000.00 for two weeks for two people. We stayed on Disney property, included the park hopper and opted for the standard dining plan. This cost also included travel insurance.


Shugz Villegas April 10, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Thank you for the round-up. I have been looking for such detailed budget idea in planning our Disney trip. We are planning to go on 2015 or 2016 since our children is still young to go (4 & under) I know prices will change by then but we are now trying to save for this vacation. And this post really would help.


Lisa September 27, 2012 at 9:56 pm

I love it! Just what I was looking for… we are planning a trip for 10 and this was really helpful coming up with a $ goal. Thanks!


Shannon September 27, 2012 at 10:08 pm

You’re welcome, Lisa! Glad it helped. You may also like this post about traveling w/large groups.


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