My Disney World Cost Calculator & Our Total (Bottom Line) Price
There are so many variables to consider when it comes to the cost of a Disney World vacation.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the biggest factors affecting the total price of a Disney vacation as well as gauge expenses using our Disney World cost calculator.
With the total cost of a Disney vacation depending on your length of stay, types of park passes purchased, and how much you choose to splurge on accommodations, food, and other extras, the total cost varies significantly from family to family.
Let’s get started in working through the steps of our Disney World cost calculator so that you can custom-fit your Disney vacation to meet the exact needs of your family and budget.
Be sure to stick around until the end! By using our Disney World cost calculator, we’ll conclude with a real-life example of our family of 5’s total Disney vacation price. (FREE printable included.)
Disney World Cost Calculator: Getting There
One of the easiest decisions to make regarding your Disney World cost calculator will be on how you will get to Orlando.
You’re either close enough to drive (or are up for a long haul road trip!) or you’ll have to arrive by air.
When considering your Disney World cost calculator, let’s take a look at both!
Orlando has two main airports that you can fly into, Orlando International and Sanford International.
Most airlines fly into Orlando International which is a convenient 30-minute drive from Walt Disney World.
When considering flights, your Disney cost calculator will vary according to the time of year and where you fly from.
For the cheapest rates, it is recommended to search for flights that arrive and depart mid-week. Use Skycanner and select “Whole Month” to visualize the lowest weekday rates across an entire month.
Also, know that the least expensive months to fly to Orlando typically tend to be from late August to mid-November. And again from mid- January to mid-February.
Additional planning tip: Purchase airline tickets 9 months in advance in order to guarantee the best pricing.
Airlines such as Delta, Southwest, and American all have Disney World packages that include airfare. These are worth checking out if you’re looking to bundle your expenses.
Getting to and from the airport
If you are staying at a Disney World resort and arrive at Orlando International, Disney provides complimentary transportation to and from the airport.
This bus transport service, known as the Magical Express, also provides luggage service to and from the airport.
If you will not be using Magical Express, there are other transport options such as Uber, Lyft, SuperShuttle, and hotel shuttles.
Oh, and don’t forget the ‘Minnie’ van service that is connected by Lyft. These cute ‘minnie’-themed vans are driven by cast members and provide both airport transfers and taxi service around Walt Disney World.
Last, Orlando airport car rental agencies are plentiful, with our personal favorite being Hertz.
Consistently ranked #1 in customer satisfaction, Hertz is also always competitively priced and is our top choice.
If a road trip to Orlando makes more sense, or if you are looking to travel to Disney on a budget, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Be sure to calculate the cost of gas by determining daily gas prices, as well as account for a hotel en route and meals along the way.
If you are staying at a Disney resort, parking at the hotels and parks will be complimentary.
Some off-site hotels do charge a daily parking fee, so make sure to verify that if you plan to drive and/or rent a car.
Disney World Cost Calculator: Buying tickets
Park tickets will account for a large portion of your Disney World cost calculations.
Disney World considers ‘children’ to be between the ages of 3 – 9 years old. Any person age 10 and older needs to pay ‘adult’ ticket prices.
They can be purchased directly through Disney and can often be found bundled in Disney World packages that include hotel accommodations.
Park tickets can also be purchased at discounted rates from authorized wholesalers, such as our favorite, Undercover Tourist.
With every park ticket you purchase you get access to Disney’s FastPass system which allows you to schedule 3 rides ahead of time.
FastPasses allow you to skip the line and hop right onto the ride.
Additional planning tip: Don’t forget to account for Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon water park tickets if you plan to venture to one or both of Disney’s two water parks.
Disney tries to get you to play in their parks as long as possible. This is why purchasing multi-day park tickets will always be the best value when it comes to overall ticket prices.
For instance, the average daily rate is discounted by almost 50% when you buy a 7-day park pass versus a 1-day pass.
Simply put, the longer you stay and the more parks you visit, the more you will save on admission.
When to go
Historically speaking, the best time to visit Disney World is during the months of mid-January to mid-February and again from mid-August throughout September.
You can expect to save up to 30% when visiting during these months.
The most expensive weeks, however, are around Christmas and other U.S. holidays, as well as during Spring Break week in March.
You can almost guarantee that things will cost 50-70 % more than during non-peak times.
Other factors like weather and other special events that may be taking place at Disney greatly affect the park crowds.
How long to stay
Your length of stay will affect your Disney World cost calculator.
Most people choose to spend a minimum of 5 days in Orlando, however, the shorter the trip, the less it will cost.
If you would like to do all 4 parks, plus spend some time at Disney Springs, the water parks, and/or see more of Orlando, you may consider spending 7-10 days here.
Parking and Transportation
Guests at select Disney Resort hotels can travel to and from all 4 theme parks by bus, boat, monorail, or Skyliner.
Complimentary resort transportation begins 45 minutes prior to Disney theme park opening time and up to 1 hour after Disney theme park closing time. Additionally, buses operate until 2:00 AM from the Disney Springs area.
Certain areas of Walt Disney World Resort are also connected by well-lit, paved walking paths.
Likewise, many off-site hotels offer a free shuttle to the various Disney parks and properties.
If you do end up driving to the parks, however, parking is $25 a day at Disney. This parking fee applies to all of their parks and comes with in/out privileges.
Disney World Cost Calculator: Lodging
Lodging is a big determinant of your Disney vacation cost calculator. Quite honestly, this is where you can either spend or save a huge chunk of money.
There are literally a ton of options for when it comes to accommodations and prices can range from $100 a night to $800 a night or more.
Your individual selection will come down to your budget, space requirements, location, and availability.
Disney vacation accommodations are available in the following generalized categories.
There are currently more than 25 Disney Resort hotel locations to pick from when staying at a Walt Disney World Resort.
Disney World Resort hotels are categorized by pricing and amenities including Value, Moderate, Deluxe, or Deluxe Villas.
Off-Site hotels with Disney-like benefits
Hotels with Disney benefits include: The hotels located in Disney Springs plus Shades of Green, The Four Seasons, Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, Waldorf Astoria and the Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts
For the most space and cheapest rates, Orlando is packed with off-site hotels in close proximity to Disney World.
Amazing deals can be found on websites like Mousesavers that frequently feature hotels with excellent quality and outstanding value.
We’ll never regret our choice to stay at Holiday Inn Resort Lake Buena Vista and would highly recommend it as an off-site option.
Many people choose to stay in vacation homes in nearby Celebration or Kissimmee, Florida.
Vacation homes are great since they come with fully-equipped kitchens and come in all different sizes and price ranges.
With so many vacation homes to choose from, it helps to first consult on how to pick the best rentals.
Additional planning tip: Once again, lodging is an area where it is worth looking into a Disney World vacation package.
Disney World Cost Calculator: Food
With a Disney World vacation costing anywhere from $1000 – $5000 USD per person, one of the biggest determinants is the amount of money spent on food and dining.
This is the portion of your trip where the cost can really vary.
Disney World itself has a variety of restaurants to choose from. They generally consist of:
- Counter service (fast-food style): $10-$15 USD per person
- Sit-down: $20-$50 USD per person
- Character meals: $20-$60+ USD per person
Disney resort guests also have access to purchasing a Disney dining plan.
Essentially you prepay for a set number of meals and snacks to be used at different types of restaurants throughout your stay.
Your Disney dining plan cost calculator will be based on which Disney Dining Plan that you choose in terms of how many meals, snacks, and drinks that it includes.
If you want to reduce the amount you will spend on food, however, your best strategy will be to pack your own meals. After all, you are allowed to bring food and drink into all Walt Disney World Parks.
We found a ton of value and convenience in stocking our Disney day bag with water bottles, sandwiches, fruit, and other healthy snacks to avoid the high cost of meals on-site.
Additional planning tip: Disney occasionally runs a Free Dining Promo. The dates are incredibly limited and the promotion must be booked very quickly when it is offered.
Other Costs to Consider
Your Disney vacation cost estimator should account for extras such as:
- Special ticketed events and Disney dinner shows
- Stroller/scooter rentals
- Disney Memory Maker photo packages
- Other Orlando activities and attractions
Adhering to your Disney Cost Calculator
Along with determining approximately how much your Disney Vacation will cost, I highly recommend you put time into planning your days at the parks.
Basic planning will aid you in saving time, avoiding unnecessary long lines, and will make your Disney World vacation much more enjoyable and on budget.
Our 1-day Disney touring plans can be found here:
Disney Cost Calculator Recap
- Drive or fly to Orlando based on your budget and proximity.
- Reduce transportation costs once there by using any complimentary services offered to you.
- Travel during the ‘slower’ months for the best overall prices.
- Check every park ticket offer that applies to you and choose the cheapest option and how many parks you plan to visit.
- Choose a lodging option while considering the perks of staying on-site, versus the cost savings of staying off-site.
- Go all-in with a Disney dining plan or save by picking up groceries and packing as many meals/snacks as you can.
- Don’t forget to account for extras like parking, souvenirs, and ticketed events and activities.
- Finally, go into your Disney World vacation with a solid touring plan in order to make the most of your Disney World cost calculator and budget.
One Week Disney World Budget for a Family of Five
Answering the question of, “How much does it cost to go to Disney World” is tricky, as you can now see.
Disney is definitely not a one-size-fits-all family vacation.
The following is a breakdown, using the components of our Disney World cost calculator, of what our family of 5 spent during a week in Orlando.
As an overview, we rented a minivan from our home state of Minnesota and drove to Orlando. We stayed off-site, visited 3 Disney theme parks, used complimentary hotel transportation, and did not purchase a Disney dining plan.
Other shortcuts for us involved eating breakfast in our hotel every morning and shopping for souvenirs off-site.
In other words, your Disney World cost calculator will be more expensive if you fly to Orlando, stay on-site, visit all 4 parks, and purchase a Disney dining plan.
Click here for a free pdf version of our Disney World cost calculator that outlines our bottom line price of $5,030. (Photo image below.)
*Before leaving, be sure to check our Travel Resources Page to find exclusive travel discounts and to book hotels, rental cars, and guided tours.*
If you like our Disney World cost calculator and enjoyed reading about our Disney adventures, click here to check out our Related posts:
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- 15 Ways We Saved Big on our Disney World Vacation
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