How much a Disney vacation costs: how to budget

When you are trying to figure out how much a Disney vacation costs, there are lots of variables and it’s not a straight-forward answer. This is why using an authorized planner is a great idea; they can shortcut a lot of the choices for you and get you just what you want in a budget you’re comfortable with. I’d love to talk with you about your next Disney vacation!

Step 1: packages (tickets and hotel)

First things first, go to the Walt Disney World website and start plugging in dates and getting numbers. These numbers might be higher than you thought, and that’s why we need to start here. Start with a deluxe resort, at a time when you could travel a few months from now, but NOT during the Christmas holidays. I suggest the Polynesian or Beach Club, just to get a ballpark. Start with a five-night trip; we can always adjust from there. Add tickets for everyone in your room, starting with four days with the park hopper option. Write down the number. Delete your shopping cart. Do the same for a moderate, perhaps Caribbean Beach or Port Orleans French Quarter. Write down that number. Finally, check a value resort, one of the All Star Resorts or Pop Century. Write down that number as well.

Step 2: travel costs

Now, add some transportation costs. Ballpark your gas costs using a driving calculator (AAA has a great one!) or check the prices for flights on an aggregator website or with your favorite airline. If you’re flying, add the cost of a transfer, rental car, or Uber. (I figure $50 per person round trip unless it’s a solo trip).

Step 3: meals and beverages

Finally, it’s time to ballpark your meal expenses. Quick service restaurants provide hearty meals for $15-20 per person, while table service meals can cost from $25-$50 per person. Character meals are almost always over $50 per adult, but if you absolutely MUST meet Eeyore like my husband, it could be an important part of your budget! Of course, we never eat three meals in a park. We make good use of the mini-fridge/beverage cooler in our room and eat breakfast before we leave, pack snacks and a water bottle in our backpacks, and make sandwiches for lunch in the room. We often only eat one time in the parks per day, which is better for our wallet AND our waistlines!

Step 4: decisions, decisions

Now that you know how much a Disney vacation costs, start to think about your priorities. Do you value convenience over cost? A deluxe resort may be perfect, with walking paths to some of the theme parks. Is the cost completely out of your budget? Go back to the value resort cost, shave a night off your stay and take the park hopper option off your tickets, and consider driving instead of flying. Perhaps add 10% to the current cost and plan for the next year, putting aside money now for a great trip later!

If this all sounds like too much work, I don’t blame you! That’s why it’s a great idea to contact me; my clients receive personalized service from where to stay, to what type of tickets to buy, to Park Reservations, to Advanced Dining Reservations, to tutorials in using My Disney Experience and Genie+. That’s a lot of value to add to your trip, and is especially valuable for anyone who is new to Disney or hasn’t been in a while.

When you book a package (room + tickets) with Disney, you’ll have a small deposit to pay up front (currently $200). You’ll pay the remainder about 30 days before you travel.

Now that you’ve booked, your next step is to maximize your time and magic, so start watching some YouTube videos, reading blogs, and listening to podcasts! You’ll want to know as much as you can before you go. Your Travel Planner probably has some favorite YouTubers, bloggers, and podcasters and can help you get started!

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