Disney World Vacations Costs

Orlando, Florida

JUST HOW MUCH DOES A DISNEY WORLD VACATION COST?

Our expert answers the question, “Can a family on a budget really do Disney?”

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What to consider?

When you’re planning a Walt Disney World Resort vacation - regardless of budget - you’ve got three main considerations: lodging, park tickets, and dining. How you decide to combine these components will impact your overall cost.

I’m going to break down each component below. I’m also going to run through a sample vacation package so that we can really put some numbers to this exercise. For the purpose of my example, let’s price a 4-night/5-day vacation for a family of four with two adults and two children, ages 4 and 7. Our hypothetical family is going to visit one park per day for a total of four parks in the month of August.

Note: The prices that I’m quoting are standard rates with no discounts. Of course, all prices are subject to change.

KidTripster Tip: For our 10 reasons why you’d want to use an authorized Disney agent to book your vacation, click here. (The service is free!)

Lodging

For the purpose of this article, we’re going to assume that our hypothetical family wants to stay at a Disney property. While you certainly can save money by booking elsewhere in Orlando, consider the extras that come with a Disney resort stay. Resort guests can take advantage of Extra Magic Hours, which are time periods before or after normal operating hours on select days when parks are only open to Disney resort guests and guests of other select hotels. For you that means fewer people and shorter lines. You’ll also get Disney MagicBands for everyone in your party. This all-in-one wristband serves as your room key, wallet, park ticket, FastPass, and PhotoPass. Resort guests get to book their FastPass rides 60 days prior to their visit as opposed to general park goers who book at 30 days. You receive complimentary transportation from the Orlando International Airport to the resort plus complimentary transportation between hotels, theme parks, and Disney Springs. Finally, resort guests get complimentary, 1-day admission to ESPN Wide World of Sports, coupon books with discounts, and keepsake luggage tags.

There are three categories of Disney resorts: deluxe, moderate, and value. Let’s look at each separately.

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Deluxe

Disney’s deluxe resorts offer guests higher quality in-room amenities, better pools, more resort activities, and closer proximity to the theme parks. You’ll have one table-service restaurant and typically a bar or lounge. With fewer guests, buses are less crowded and getting from one place to another is generally quicker. The non-discounted prices at deluxe resorts can range from $345 to over $3,000/night.

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Moderate

Disney’s moderate resorts still offer great amenities, large pools with waterslides, and lovely grounds. Standard rooms have two queen beds; some resorts offer an additional pull-down bed to accommodate families of five. You’ll find a table-service restaurant and quick-service restaurant onsite. The non-discounted prices at moderate resorts can range from $191 to $387/night.

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Value

Disney value resorts are particularly good choices for families who plan to spend the bulk of their time in the theme parks. Why pay for amenities that you won’t have time to use? You’ll still find spacious pools, quick-service restaurants, and the same Disney quality and service at each of these resorts. All standard rooms at Disney’s All-Star resorts (that’s what Disney calls its value line) have two double beds. Keep in mind, these resorts have a large number of guests which means longer bus lines at peak travel times. The non-discounted prices at value resorts can range from $143 to $600/night.

KidTripster Tip: My family always reserves a preferred room when staying at a moderate or value resort. These rooms are closer to the lobby and the center of activity. The additional cost can be as little as $10 to $15 more per night.

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Park tickets

The per-day price of a Disney park ticket decreases the more days that you add. Single park tickets (one park per day) can range from $107/day to $138/day during peak seasons (holidays). If your family would like to add the park hopper option to your tickets, the addition is $80/person, regardless if the ticket is for a child or an adult.

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Dining

My three boys eat a lot. They are constantly asking for snacks and drinks in the parks. We also love taking a break to relax at a sit-down restaurant at least once a day. My kids’ favorite restaurants are Ohana and Chef Mickey’s. The meals at these restaurants are part of our Disney experience. We have tried every combination of Disney’s Dining Plan, and we always save by using it, especially if we dine at either of these pricey restaurants.

Like lodging, there are three levels of the Disney Dining Plan.

Deluxe Disney Dining Plan

On this plan, each person receives the following for each night of the reservation:

  • Three meals of your choice: counter or table service, including appetizer

  • Two snacks

  • Refillable drink mug for length of stay, good for coffee, tea and various fountain drinks

The cost of the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan is $43.49/night for kids (age 3-9) and $116.25/night for older kids and adults. Children under 3 are free in the park and can share off a parent’s plate at resort restaurants.

In my opinion, the deluxe plan is worth it if you’re a family of foodies. Some of the most famous chefs in the world are behind many of Disney’s signature restaurants.

Disney Dining Plan

On this moderate plan, each person receives the following for each night of the reservation:

  • One table-service meal

  • One counter-service meal

  • Two snacks

  • Refillable drink mug for length of stay, good for coffee, tea and various fountain drinks

The cost of the general Disney Dining Plan is $27.98/night for kids (age 3-9) and $75.49/night for older kids and adults.

If you’re looking to reserve a character meal, I think this plan makes sense. For example, the cost for dinner at Chef Mickey’s is $33 for kids and $55 for adults. Hence, the cost of this one dinner almost covers the cost of the dining plan for that night.

Quick-Service Dining Plan

On this budget plan, each person receives the following for each night of the reservation:

  • Two counter-service meals

  • Two snacks

  • Refillable drink mug for length of stay, good for coffee, tea and various fountain drinks

The cost of the budget Quick-Service Dining Plan is $23.78/night for kids (age 3-9) and $52.50/night for older kids and adults.

All Disney dining plans include one beverage with each meal. For adults (21 and over), they can choose an alcoholic beverage, when available. Children can choose a smoothie or milkshake at no additional cost.

Looking for a different perspective on the Disney Dining Plan from another KidTripster mom? Click here.

For more help on navigating dining at Disney including when to make reservations, read here.

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Bottom line

OK, so what does this mean for our hypothetical family? The vacation packages below have been calculated using the regular Disney Dining Plan plus four park tickets for four people (two adults, two kids) over four days in August. The variable is the lodging. Of course, you can mix and match to meet your own family’s needs.

For our sample family’s deluxe vacation package with a stay at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge in a courtyard view room with two queen beds, the total cost is $4,545.

For our sample family’s moderate vacation package with a stay at Disney’s Port Orleans-French Quarter in a garden view room with two queen beds, the total cost is $3,698.

For our sample family’s value vacation package with a stay at Disney’s Pop Century in a garden view room with two queen beds, the total cost is $3,225. Again, you could further reduce the price by opting for the quick-service dining plan (or no dining package at all) and fewer days in the parks.

Whatever your budget, a trip to Disney World Resort is bound to be one of your family’s most memorable vacations ever.

Note: Prices noted are for information only and subject to change based on availability. 

Kimberly Anwar is the owner and founder of Magic Family Getaways. She resides in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, and is the mom of three active boys. Her favorite Disney character is Moana, and she embraces Walt Disney’s quote, “When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.”

If you’d like help planning a Disney park visit, Disney cruise or Disney resort vacation, click here. Please know that if you book a trip with Magic Family Getaways, KidTripster gets some coffee money at no cost to you. And remember, the services of an authorized Disney travel agent are free to you and paid for by Disney. Thank you for your support.

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