How Much Does A Disney World Vacation Cost?

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Are you curious about the cost of a family vacation to Disney World? Knowing the exact expenses can help you plan and budget for future trips. However, a trip to Disney World can be expensive, especially for families on a limited budget. With so many costs to consider, is it still possible for middle-class families to afford a Disney World vacation? Yes, it is! 

To help you get started, we will review the price of a basic Disney World Vacation. For this article, a basic Disney World vacation is a 5-night stay for a family of four (two adults, two children, 3-9) during the summer. Prices will vary depending on your party size, the ages of your children, and your travel dates. You make your trip cheaper by downgrading to more affordable accommodations and reducing the number of days. Alternatively, you can make it more expensive by upgrading to pricier accommodations and extending your stay.

Pro Planning Tip: We recommend using Jessica Lieb with ET Family Travel to book your Disney vacation!

Disney World Vacation Cost for a Family

We will price out a basic vacation for a family of four traveling during the summer of 2024. Hopefully, this will help you better understand what it would cost for your family to book a Disney World vacation. Disney prices vary throughout the year, so this example helps give you an idea of what is possible. None of the prices listed below are guaranteed.

Vacation Package for a Family of Four at Disney World

Our family of four includes two adults and two children, ages 4 and 7. They will stay five nights at a value-plus Disney resort and have 4-day base park tickets, allowing them to visit one park per day. Let’s take a look at their trip pricing.

Travel Dates

Our family will be traveling from July 28 – August 1, 2024. They are visiting Disney World during their children’s summer break from school.

Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Our family will stay five nights in a standard room at Disney’s Pop Century Resort. Pop Century is a Value Plus resort, meaning the rooms are more spacious and have more transportation options than a standard value resort. The standard rooms at Pop Century are an excellent value for Disney World. Rooms feature a murphy bed, which provides much-needed function and space. The resort also has dedicated transportation to the parks via buses and the Skyliner.

Base Tickets

Our family purchased 4-day base tickets, allowing them to visit one Disney World park per day. Base tickets are the most affordable ticket option. With a base ticket, you can only visit one park per day. However, you can leave and return to the same park during the day.

Price Details

July 28-August 1, 2024
Family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children)
Disney’s Pop Century Resort – Standard Room
4-Day, Base Tickets

Total: $3,374.90

Our family of four will spend $3,374.90 to stay on Disney property for five nights plus four-day park tickets. They only need to put down a $200 deposit to book their vacation. Their final payment will be due 30 days before check-in.

Transportation to Disney World

Our family of four will be flying from Raleigh, North Carolina. Parking at their Disney resort is complimentary if they decide to drive to Florida. However, they want to save time and are opting to fly. They are flying Basic Economy on Delta Airlines. They are allowed one carry-on per person, but they will be charged $35 for one checked bag per person.

Flight Details

RDU-MCO – Arrival 8AM
MCO-RDU – Depart 9 PM
2 Checked Bags – $35/each

Total: $852.00

Transportation to Disney

When our family arrives at the Orlando airport, they will take a prearranged car service to their Disney resort. They want to maximize their time at Disney, so they opted for a prearranged service. The car service will load their luggage and provide them with car seats and booster seats. They will be taken directly to their Disney resort. There are several options for families to get to Disney World when flying into the Orlando airport

Car Service

4-people
From MCO to Disney
From Disney to MCO

Total: $230 (plus tax and gratuity)

Genie+

Our family’s Disney World vacation is during the summer, one of the busiest times to visit. Therefore, they plan to purchase Genie+ for two of their park days. The parks we recommend purchasing Genie+ at are Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, which have the largest crowds. Genie+ prices fluctuate based on projected park capacity, ranging between $15-$39 per person per day. We estimate that Genie+ pricing during their stay will be about $25 per person.

Genie+

4 people at Magic Kingdom
4 people at Hollywood Studios
tax

Total: $216

Disney World Vacation

Dining Costs at Disney World

Dining at Disney World can get pricey, especially if you plan to eat at table service restaurants. Thankfully, there are more affordable quick-service restaurants that will meet the dietary needs of most families. A family of four can expect to spend $200-300 daily on food at Disney World.

Our family of four will primarily eat at quick-service dining locations, but we do want to plan a special character dining meal during their visit. A family of four can expect to spend between $50-60 on a quick-service meal. Table services meals for a family of four can range from $75-$300 per meal.

Dining for a Family of 4

3 days quick service breakfast – $50×3=$150
5 days quick service lunch – $50×5=$250
5 days quick service dinner – $60×5=$300
5 days snacks – $30×5=$1500
1 table service character breakfast – $220 (including tip)

Total: $1070.00

Total Disney World Vacation Cost for a Family of Four

What will it cost our family of four to fly to Disney World from North Carolina, stay five nights at a Disney value-plus resort, visit Disney parks for 4 days, eat at primarily quick service dining location and one character meal?

Disney World Vacation Price – Family of Four

Travel Dates: July 28-August 1, 2024
Travelers: 2 Adults, 2 Children (ages 7, 4)

Hotel: Disney’s Pop Century Resort – Standard Room
Tickets: 4-Day, Base Tickets
Price: $3,374.90

Flights: Delta Airlines round-trip from RDU-MCO and MCO-RDU
2 Checked Bags – $35/each
Price: $852.00

Car Service
From MCO to Disney’s Pop Century
From Disney’s Pop Century to MCO
Price: $230 (not including tax and gratuity)

Genie+: 2 days (Magic Kingdom & Hollywood Studios)
Price: $216

Dining for a Family of 4
13 Quick Service Meals
5 Snacks
1 Character Dining
$1070.00

Total Trip Cost: $5742.90

Additional Disney World Expenses

The plan above includes the essentials for a Disney World vacation, but there are other expenses you may need to plan for. The budget above does not include spending money on souvenirs or additional tips for service workers. It also doesn’t account for unexpected expenses like flight delays, medical emergencies, or other unforeseen circumstances. You should always budget for these additional expenses when traveling.

Upgrade Your Disney World Vacation

There are several ways to upgrade your Disney World vacation from the sample vacation quote above. You can customize your vacation and choose where to splurge and where to save.

Adjust Your Travel Dates

You can adjust your travel dates if you are limited on when you can travel or want to experience a special event like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Peak travel times will be more expensive but worth the additional cost if you have a specific travel window.

Add Another Night

Extending your trip by a day or two will increase the cost but will allow you more time to explore the parks or enjoy your hotel. If you plan to visit all four parks during your trip, we recommend scheduling a rest day in the middle of your trip. A rest day will allow you to sleep in, enjoy your hotel amenities, and rest your weary feet.

Upgrade Your Hotel

If you value space, amenities, and proximity to the park, the benefits of booking a moderate or deluxe resort may be worth the extra price. While a value resort will save you money, you will be compromising on your vacation type. Deluxe resorts usually have the best proximity to the parks, quicker or more varied transportation options, larger rooms, more amenities, and more on-site dining options.

Upgrade Examples

Here are a few price examples if our family of four upgraded to a Moderate or Deluxe resort. The price below includes the Disney vacation package, which includes a 5-night hotel stay and 4-day base park tickets.

Moderate Resort

Coronado Spring, Water View – $3,878.90

Caribbean Beach, Standard Room – $3,701.16

Deluxe Resort

Contemporary Resort, Theme Park View – $6,007.40

Grand Floridian Club Level, Theme Park View – $8,941.40

Upgrade Your Ticket

You may prefer to choose a different type of park ticket instead of the base ticket. You can upgrade to the Park Hopper ticket, which gives you same-day admission to all four parks. You may also want to upgrade to the Park Hopper Plus Option, which provides same-day admission to all four parks plus access to both water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach.

Genie+ and Individual Lighting Lanes

Optimize your time by purchasing Genie+ daily and individual Lighting Lanes on select rides. Genie+ and Lightning Lanes will save you time and allow you to see and do more during your vacation. If you visit during a busy season, the price per day will increase, but the value will also increase as wait times soar.

Disney Dining Plan

Make your vacation feel like an all-inclusive trip by purchasing one of the Disney Dining Plans. The Disney Dining Plan is a way to prepay for your meals and snacks at Disney World. The price per person may not always be the most economical way to dine on vacation, but if used properly, the value may be worth it for your family.

Special Events and Activities

You may want to attend an extra-ticketed event at Disney World, such as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or an After-Hours Event. These events charge admission and are ticketed separately from regular park admission. Likewise, you may want to participate in extras like a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique makeover for your little one, a fireworks dessert party, or specialty dining.

Ways to Save Money on Your Disney Vacation

It is possible to book an affordable Disney World vacation if you consider the following when booking your trip.

Use a Travel Agent

Using a travel agent to book and plan your Disney vacation is free. Travel agents earn a commission when booking Disney vacations, and your price is the same regardless of whether or not you use a travel agent. A travel agent will help you book the best room at the best price and constantly check for new promotions that may save you money if applicable. A travel agent will also help you plan your trip itinerary so you can plan where to eat, when to purchase Genie+, and how to maximize your time and money.

Pro Planning Tip: We recommend using Jessica Lieb with ET Family Travel to book your Disney vacation!

Be Flexible with Your Travel Dates

If you can be flexible with your travel dates, you will find better prices on hotels and tickets. Disney pricing is date-based, meaning busier times will have higher prices. Traveling during Christmas is more expensive than traveling during September.

Transportation Options

You can save hundreds of dollars if you live close enough to drive to Florida instead of flying. If driving is out of the question, you can still search for budget flights and take only a carry-on bag instead of checking luggage.

Change the Length of Your Trip

Staying fewer days and spending fewer days in the parks will save you money. A long weekend trip will cost hundreds less than five nights.

Opt out of Genie+

If you travel during a less busy time of year, you may not need to purchase Genie+. Genie+ is an optional add-on service that will help you see and do more in the parks. However, it may not always be necessary, especially if the parks are not crowded. This can potentially save you hundreds of dollars.

Share Meals or Pack Your Meals

A few great ways to save money on dining at Disney World are to share a meal, eat off the kid’s meals, or pack your own food. When dining at quick service locations, you can easily share an adult meal or order off the kid’s menu to save money. Additionally, you can bring snacks, sandwiches, and other food and drinks to the parks to save money.

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