My brother and I recently went to Orlando, and we were asked the same two questions before and after our trip. First people wanted to know why Orlando? Second, how much does it cost to go to Disney World?

The answer to the first question is easy, why not? Orlando is an awesome destination. I find most people who are anti-Orlando or Disney have never actually been. Some just assume that Orlando is just for kids, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Orlando and the theme parks have done a tremendous job over the years appealing to the older crowd.

Answering your second question about how much does it cost to go to Disney World is a little trickier. There are so many variables that can determine your costs, so I’ll try to go over all of them below. I believe the following breakdown is a good estimate of what a family of four should expect to spend during a week in Orlando in U.S. Dollars

One week Disney World budget for a family of four

 Estimated costNotes
Airfare$1,800$450 X 4
Car rental & gas$150Car rental $100, Gas $50
Parking$150$25 per day, per park
Accommodations$1,050$150 X 7 nights
Disney World Tickets$1,616$404 X 4 (1 park per day)
Other attraction tickets$700This varies depending on the attraction
Food$840$120 X 7 (just an estimate)
Additional costs$400This depends on the family
TOTAL$6,706 USD

The above estimate is based on US dollars. If you want to know what it costs in your local currency, use XE.com for the conversion.

Understand that the above table is an estimate of costs for an average family during a regular time of visit. Even though I’ve built the itinerary around 7-nights, I’m only going to factor in four days at Disney as many people will do other things while in Orlando. There are plenty of different ways to save money in Orlando which I’ll highlight below, so let’s look at how much does it cost to go to Disney World by category.

How Much Does it Cost to go to Disney World

Flights

Flights can be a bit tricky since prices fluctuate based on where you live and what season you’re travelling. I used $450 per person as it seemed to be the average price for flights to Orlando within the U.S./Canada. That said, if you’re flying within the U.S., prices can be much lower. As you can imagine, if you’re coming from Europe or Asia, you could end up spending much more.

Even though $450 is pretty reasonable per person, that’s still $1,800 for a family of four. If you’re able to, you may want to consider driving to save you money. For example, the drive to Orlando from Toronto is 20 hours. It’ll require about $200 in gas and probably another $150 in hotels, but a Canadian family could save over CAD $1,000.

Canadians should consider applying one of the best travel credit cards in Canada since they can really reduce the cost of your flights. Let’s say you’re a family of four. If both parents applied for the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard, they each get $250 WestJet Dollars after their first purchase as well as an annual companion voucher for $119. The card also gives you free checked bags which could easily cost the family $240 if everyone checked a bag. Even though the card has an annual fee of $119, that family could still end up saving $1,000+ depending on where they’re flying from. That sure beats driving.

Car Rental

With car rentals, I’m assuming you’re booking it with your flight at the same time. Booking them together will save you an incredible amount of money. I booked mine through Expedia and ended up paying just $20 for a 3-day car rental! Had I booked my car rental separately, I would have been looking at about $120 so I ended up saving $100. You probably won’t spend more than $50 on gas unless you plan on driving off-site a lot. I rented a Prius and only spent $3.63 on gas while driving about 150 KMs.

I should also note that it’s possible to see Disney World without a rental car. Many hotels offer free airport pickup and have a free shuttle to the various Disney properties. Do take a look at what your hotel offers before booking your rental car. However, the times may be limited, so having a car is much more convenient. If you do end up driving, parking is $25 a day at Disney. This parking fee applies to all their parks and you get in/out privileges.

If you do end up getting a rental car, find out what insurance you have before you depart. In most situations, your regular auto insurance policy or credit card insurance will cover your rental car, so there’s no need to purchase additional insurance. Keep in mind that since everything on the ground will be paid in US dollars, you should use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees if you’re not American.

Accommodations

The cost of hotels greatly varies on where you stay and the time you visit. I personally break down costs based on location. Cheap Disney vacations are possible, it just depends on what you’re willing to do to save money.

On-site – If you’re staying at an on-site property, you can expect to pay up to $300 a night. This is the most expensive option, but it’ll put you closest to the action. Some on-site properties also allow you entry into the parks early which appeals to many people. Keep in mind that many people choose to stay at a Disney owned property for the full Disney experience. That may be worth paying the premium for some people.

Off-site but close enough – Just a five-minute drive from Disney, you can find hotels for just $150 a night. There are plenty of hotels and villas near the intersection of S. Apopka Vineland Rd. and Winter Garden Vineland Rd. including the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort where I stayed.

Recommendations: SpringHill Suites by MarriottCourtyard by MarriottClarion Inn Lake Buena VistaHawthorn Suites by Wyndham

Off-site and with a shuttle – Many hotels nearby Disney World offer a shuttle service which is incredibly convenient if you don’t want to bother with a rental car. These hotels have multiple departure times and often go to more places than just Disney, so you have quite a few options. Check out my list of the best hotels near Disney World with a shuttle.

Recommendations: Hilton Orlando Lake Buena VistaWalt Disney World SwanFloridays Resort Orlando

Vacation homes – You should also consider vacation homes in nearby Celebration and Kissimmee. Vacation homes are great since they come with fully equipped kitchens and come in different sizes/price ranges which will appeal to families. Celebration is less than a 10-minute drive from Disney so be afraid to expand your hotel search.

Recommendations: Meliá Orlando, Holiday Inn SWGaylord Palms Resort

International Drive – If you’re looking for something that will cost you less than $100 a night, you should easily be able to find something on International Drive. There are plenty of motels and budget friendly hotels (as well as fancier hotels) in this area to help you keep your costs down. International Drive is just 15-minutes by car to Disney and has many shopping, dining, and attractions nearby to keep you entertained.

Recommendations: Holiday Inn ExpressClarion Inn & Suites, Rosen Inn

Luxury hotels – Don’t worry, if you like to stay in style, you’ll have more than enough choice when it comes to luxury hotels. Just keep in mind that your daily price will easily cost you $200 – $400 more a day.

Recommendations: Four Seasons Resort, The Ritz-Carlton, Walt Disney World Dolphin

If you have the right credit card, you can save a fair amount of money on hotels. For example, Canadians should consider the BMO World Elite Mastercard since it typically has a sign up bonus of $250 when you charge $3,000 to your card in the first three months of card membership. This card does have an annual fee of $150 but it’s normally waived for the first year so you’re getting $250 for free. There’s also the Marriott Bonvoy American Express which gives you 51,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when you charge $3,000 to your card in the first three months. That’s enough points for up to five free nights at some hotels which could easily have a value of over $650.

How Much Does it Cost to go to Disney World Shearton

Disney Ticket Deals

Disney recently changed its fee structure. Depending on the season and which parks you go to, the prices will vary, but it breaks down into the following categories:

1 Park Per Day

  • From $109

Park Hopper Option

  • $65 per ticket for 1-day tickets
  • $75 per ticket for 2 to 3-day tickets
  • $85 per ticket for 4 to 10-day tickets

Park Hopper Plus Option

  • $85 per ticket for 1-day tickets
  • $95 per ticket for 2 to 3-day tickets
  • $105 per ticket for 4 to 10-day tickets

Multi-day tickets – This will always be the best value since Disney heavily discounts tickets when buying multiple days. A 4-day ticket with admission to one park starts at $404 ($101 per day) while a 10-day ticket is $470 ($47 a day). As you can see, Disney tries to get you to stay in their parks as long as possible. There’s a lot to do since Disney has so many rides and shows, but not everyone wants to spend so much time in a theme park. Just buy the number of tickets that makes sense to you.

I should also note that Canadians sometimes get a cheaper rate for multi-day tickets. This promotion comes and goes but always uses the same link so it’s worth checking back now and then.

Additional Attractions

Unless you plan on spending a week at Disney, you’re going to have to entertain yourself (and your family) in other ways. Unfortunately, the other theme parks aren’t much cheaper. Universal Studios costs $105 for a single park admission ($155 for park-to-park), while SeaWorld is $75 a day.

Orlando does have attractions under $20 including the Orlando Museum of Art, Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando Odditorium. Alternatively, you could spend a day shopping at one of the outlets, but that could cost even more than attraction tickets.

If you’re thinking about heading to the Kennedy Space Center; it’s $50 for adults $40 for children.

Food and drink

Disney has some incredible restaurants, but what I noticed is that they also have some reasonably priced places to grab food for families. There’s also “snacks” that you can get that is pretty much a meal (possibly for two) like the roast turkey drumsticks.

Eating out three meals a day can get expensive so I advise picking a hotel with free breakfast or to grab food at a nearby grocery store (off-site). For cheap eats, you can grab sandwiches for under $10, while sit-down restaurants on-site will cost you what you would expect in a theme park.

More importantly, you’re allowed to bring food and drink into Walt Disney World. I saw families who had multiple 2L bottles of water as well as sandwiches packed with them. It’s possible to not spend any money at all on food while at Disney. I did see fountains in Disney, so you want to bring in at least one bottle that you can refill, otherwise, you’re looking at $3.25 USD for a bottle of water or pop.

If you decide to purchase food, I would budget $120 a day (a little less if your kids are young) for a family of four. There are some Disney meal plans available which give you some savings, but that’s only if you’re doing the full Disney experience.

I personally like to over budget for food since I love eating. This Disney guide assumes only 4 days in the parks so you could easily spend a lot less on food for the remaining three days. That being said, don’t be afraid to treat yourself if you’ve budgeted the money.

Additional costs

Finally, the last thing you need to budget for is your additional costs. If you’re travelling with kids, they’re naturally going to want souvenirs. Trust me, Disney is genius about their marketing and there will be a ton of things your kids will want to buy. There are also a lot of cool things for adults such as cookie cutters, egg moulds, and even decorations for the home.

I also briefly talked about the outlet shopping above. Orlando has two outlets: Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets which is 15 minutes from Disney and the Orlando International Premium Outlets that are across the street from Universal Studios. Both outlets have great deals and are worth checking out.

Final thoughts

So how much does it cost to go to Disney World? I recommend a family of four budget $6,706 dollars for a week in Disney, but obviously, there are plenty of ways to reduce your costs without sacrificing the experience. For those who went to Disney as a child, thank your parents as it probably cost them a small fortune. For reference, here are guides on how much does it cost to go to Disneylandhow much does it cost to go to Disneyland and how much does it cost to go to Tokyo Disneyland.

How Much Does it Cost to go to Disney World?

35 Comments

  1. Chonce on July 16, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Great post and I love the cost breakdown! We’re in the process of trying to find something affordable to do on our non-Disney park days while in Florida. I found an attraction that was just like Sea World but a bit cheaper (about $49 tickets) but was wondering if you ever went to Disney Springs which is nearby all the parks and what you thought of it. Is it just shopping and food? Or actual things to do?

    • Raquel on July 21, 2019 at 1:55 pm

      Hello Chonce,
      I’ve been to Orlando many times as well as Disney Springs. DS is mostly shopping and food but they do have a bowling alley (Splitsville) and a movie theater (AMC) that you and your family might enjoy. In the evenings there is usually entertainment from various artist (local) around the area, so it’s pretty fun to grab a bite or drink and enjoy the music. Hope this helped and happy vacation .

  2. Anne on August 2, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    Thank you. This really helped 🙂

  3. truth447 on March 24, 2018 at 4:44 am

    You mentioned you went during non peak times, what month did you visit or would you say is the best time to visit

  4. Pam on April 15, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    Best site I’ve found so far for information. thanks

  5. Sue Cole on April 15, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    Thank you very informative.Answered my question.

  6. Terry on November 15, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    Great information planning a trip for family group of 25

  7. Clint on December 5, 2018 at 11:35 am

    Great info Barry. We visited Disney in early January/17 (family of 5). I wasn’t afraid of doing my research and shopping around. It was a 12 day trip with 7 days at Disney. Our whole trip cost $6200 (CDN). We had airmiles to use for three Disney tickets. Rented a condo with a 15 minute drive. Bought groceries for breakfast and packed lunches for everyday in Disney. Purchased dinners on site in Disney. We even drove to Cocoa Beach for a day to enjoy the ocean.

    It was an amazing trip. The planning sure makes it worth while. It can save you a lot of money and headaches.

    Keep the great information coming.

    • Barry Choi on December 5, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      Hey Clint,

      Thanks for sharing. I think you nailed it. Planning is definitely worthwhile and can save you some money.

    • Loku on January 11, 2019 at 3:19 pm

      Hi Clint. Is this amount with airfare? and what type of Disney ticket did you purchase?

      • Clint on January 11, 2019 at 7:39 pm

        Hi Loku.

        Yes that includes airfare. We are in Winnipeg and I found cheap fights through Allegiant in Grand Forks. Now Flair Air has lots of cheap flights to Orlando from Winnipeg.

        We purchased 1 park a day tickets. It is so huge there that you need at least a full day per park to see everything you want.

        • Loku on January 11, 2019 at 9:02 pm

          Great infor. Thanks very much!!!

  8. Park on December 11, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Great article! I agree with those families that pack their own food/sandwiches etc. Especially if you’re a family of 4 or more! Thank you for these awesome tips!

  9. Sean on December 15, 2018 at 11:37 pm

    Awesome, AWESOME review! This information is just what I needed, and was looking for! Thank you very much for your meticulous breakdown, I Will be referring to your information regularly

  10. How to Save Money at Disney World - Money We Have on January 20, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    […] you that much as long as you’re smart with your money. If you want a rough estimate of costs, check out this post I wrote, but keep reading now for my top tips for saving money at Disney […]

    • Micah on May 31, 2019 at 1:30 pm

      nooooo one gives a crap!

      • Barry Choi on May 31, 2019 at 5:37 pm

        Micah,

        No one cares, but you took the time to search for this post and leave a comment.

  11. Jas on June 30, 2019 at 11:13 pm

    Hi – thanks for the info. It was very helpful. I am from the Caribbean so it’s very helpful to me because it gives me a number to start with or aim to for my family of four

  12. Debbie Simpson on August 16, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    What does Hopper mean

    • Barry Choi on August 16, 2019 at 7:35 pm

      Hi Debbie,

      Hopper passes allow you to visit multiple parks per day.

  13. Sam on November 13, 2019 at 4:31 am

    I am an old time fan of Tampa, FL. I have been to the Disneyland several times. I used to drive down from Tampa. But if you are coming from out of town my best recommendation for stay would be in Kissemmee which is close to the Disney parks. Tye http://www.airbnb.com. I can promise you that you will be surprised that you can get such lovely accommodation at such low prices. They are excellent value for money and all found. You may have to rent a car if you use Airbnb accommodation..

    • Barry Choi on November 13, 2019 at 5:29 am

      Sam,

      Yes, Kissimmee offers a lot of value since there are lots of vacation homes and Airbnbs available there.

  14. Archie Roberts on November 17, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    I have been to Disney in orlando several and stayed on and off site. You can take an overseas trip to Rome or Paris for a week cheaper than Disney. However Disney is the most fun place I’ve been and worth the money.

    • Barry Choi on November 17, 2019 at 12:31 pm

      Archie,

      Yes, Disney World is not a cheap place to visit. It’s a different experience than visiting other countries, but it’s an amazing experience nonetheless.

      • Brian Henry on December 1, 2019 at 1:22 pm

        I am wondering if the tickets for Disney from Visit Orlando are OK. They are cheaper than getting it just from Disney. Thank you very much. Even with the Canadian discount they are cheaper but maybe they are not the same tickets. I checked for a 4 day ticket one park per day.

        • Barry Choi on December 1, 2019 at 1:28 pm

          Brian,

          Visit Orlando is the official tourism board of Orlando so the tickets are 100% legit. It’s possible that the price is lower because they have their Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale right now where all tickets are 10% off which includes mutl-day tickets or exclusive offers they have.

          • Brian on December 1, 2019 at 1:41 pm

            Thank you so much for your response!!



  15. Pooja on December 11, 2019 at 6:21 am

    fantastic information. Really helpful

  16. Derek Moore on December 22, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Great Artcle packing our own food & sealed water bottles

  17. Lisa on January 5, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    I just went for new years 2020. Parking was $25/day for standard car. Sometimes we took a bus, sometimes we took an Uber. The water park is by far the best value and the least crowded. I love Disney, but do not recommend going during Christmas week. By far the least enjoyable time I’ve ever had,although still a good time. Just lots of people which adds to wait times at every turn. Highly recommend going during.Food & Wine festival time, Halloween, and March

    • Barry Choi on January 5, 2020 at 4:30 pm

      Lisa,

      I went in early November when crowds are more manageable and it was still crazy busy/ I love Disney too, but the last two times I’ve been have not been as fun. The fast pass system was good when it started, but it feels like every ride is gone right away now unless you’re staying on-site.

  18. Jackie on January 22, 2020 at 8:29 pm

    Very helpful article! What is the fast pass system?

    • Barry Choi on January 22, 2020 at 9:16 pm

      Jackie,

      Fast Pass allows you to pick a few rides where you get a dedicated time to go on them. Basically, you don’t need to wait in line. That said, although every ride is available for Fast PAss, there isn’t an unlimited amount so the rides you want me not be available for Fast Pass.

  19. […] my Disneyland cost on that assumption for this guide. That’s quite the contrast compared to my how much does it cost to go to Disney World article where I assume people are spending four days at Disney and a week total in […]

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