The cost to go to Disneyland can vary quite a bit, but if you’re planning a trip to one of the happiest places on earth, it’s a good idea to have a rough budget in mind. The nice thing about Disneyland is that it’s smaller than Disney World so navigating the parks is a lot easier. Disneyland is also just an hour away from Los Angeles so many people visit the parks as a day trip when they’re in California.
In case you didn’t know, Disneyland has two theme parks: Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. You really don’t need more than two days at the park so I’m basing 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 Orlando.
So how much does it cost to go to Disneyland? In this article, I’ll cover everything from attraction tickets to Disneyland parking costs. Just be aware that for the purpose of this guide, I’m going to assume two travellers.
|Airfare||$900 ($450 X 2)|
|Car rental, gas, parking||$170|
|Disneyland tickets||$470 (2 X 2-day tickets)|
|Food and drink||$200|
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.
If you’re Canadian, you may want to consider applying for one of the best travel credit cards in Canada to help offset your costs by collecting points. For example, the American Gold Rewards Card gives you a signup bonus of up to 30,000 American Express Membership Rewards points which have a minimum value of $300 (potentially more if you transfer your points to Aeroplan or Marriott Bonvoy). There’s also the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card that has no foreign transaction fees, a sign up bonus worth $250 and it comes with airport lounge access.
I’ve estimated $900 for flights which works out to $450 each. Admittedly, if you’re flying from within the U.S., that’s going to seem very expensive but I’m using just a rough number here. If you’re flying from eastern Canada, $450 would be pretty standard. If you’re coming from outside of North America, you’ll likely end up spending more than $600 a ticket.
The odds are that you’re coming to Disneyland as part of a bigger trip so I wouldn’t obsess over the cost of flights. They are what they are and you really can’t do much about it. As mentioned above, credit cards are a great way to offset your costs.
Car rental, gas & parking
If you’re coming to California, you’re going to need a rental car. Disneyland is located in Anaheim which is an hour from Los Angeles or about 25 mins from John Wayne airport. I personally don’t find car rentals too expensive in California. Economy sedan cars are quite affordable, but if you want a bigger or nicer vehicle, you’ll obviously pay more.
I estimate you’ll need to spend about $85 a day for your car rental, gas and Disneyland parking. Since you’ll be here for two days, that’s $170 you need to budget. You can probably save $20-25 a day if you went for a basic vehicle.
For reference, Disneyland parking cost is $25 per day. I’ve factored that amount into my estimate. If you’re staying on-site, you’ll obviously not have to pay for parking.
When estimating your Disneyland cost, you need to consider if you want to stay on-site or off site. Disney owned hotels have themes so a Disney purist will insist on staying at one, but I don’t think there’s less of an experience if you stay somewhere else. Disneyland hotels located on-site are typically more expensive so that’s something to consider. That said, staying on-site does get you early access to the theme parks on select days which may be worth the price premium for some people.
I personally think you’re better off staying at a hotel off-site since you get way more options and you can easily find a hotel that fits your budget. Speaking of budget, I’ve estimated $150 per night for your hotels so that’s $300 total your two-day trip to Disneyland. You can spend less than that or you could spend more. Not sure about where to stay? Here are some recommendations:
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.
Disneyland ticket prices
Disneyland has two theme parks Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. Most people will do both parks but if your time is limited, just pick one. What annoys many people is that Disney uses dynamic pricing so the days where there’s more anticipated demand, tickets cost more. Here are the Disneyland ticket prices.
- 1 day – $104-$154
- 2 days – $235
- 3 days – $310 (includes one magic morning
- Park hopper ticket option for 1 day ($55 add on)
Child tickets (ages 3-9) cost a little less. If you want to take things at a leisurely pace, you should just buy the 2-day tickets. That’ll give you to one park, each day. Now, if your time is limited, you may want to consider the park hopper ticket option which is cheaper than two regular tickets.
If you’re interested in one of Disney’s special events such as Villains nite, Oogie Boogie Bash or Star Wars Nite, that’s a separate ticket will cost you another $100+
During the low season (and even sometimes the high season), you could easily finish both parks in a single day. You wouldn’t get on every single ride, but it would allow you to go on a few at each one and see all the different lands.
What ticket you choose is really up to you.
Food and drink
Since this is Disneyland, you can expect to spend a small fortune on food. You’re probably looking at the $20-30 range for each meal. You’ll also probably need two meals a day in each park so you should estimate about $200 in food for two days for two people.
I know that sounds crazy, but you’re in a theme park and that’s the price that needs to be paid. On a positive note, Disneyland allows you to bring in your own food and drink. That means you could technically spend much less on food.
Although I’ve budgeted $100 for additional costs for your Disneyland cost budget, you may or may not spend anywhere near that amount. Souvenirs in Disneyland aren’t cheap, but if you’re only buying one or two things, it likely won’t matter. I personally haven’t spent more than $50 on souvenirs during any of my Disneyland trips, yet I see people at the cash register spending hundreds of dollars every time.
Sow how much does it cost to go to Disneyland? Based on my estimate it’ll cost you US $2,140, but this is only for the two days you’ll be at the park and your flights. You’ll likely be spending much more as Disneyland will only be a small part of your trip. For more inspiration, check out my guides on New York, Japan, Europe, Bali, Italy and Hawaii.