If you’ve never been to Disney World before, or it’s been a few years since your last trip, the prices may be a little bit higher than you were expecting. While it is true that prices have increased over the past few years, there are also way more options out there for ways to upgrade or save on your trip to Disney. If you are wondering how much it costs to go to Disney World, I am going to break down the prices for a family of four for a seven day trip to Walt Disney World during March so you know just how much you may end up spending.
Getting to Disney World
Depending on where you are flying from and how long you wait to book your flight, you are going to pay more than if you drive. While driving can save you quite a bit of time in travel, you may end up finding the value of having your car to be worth the cost. If you do choose to drive to Disney World, keep in mind you will end up paying nightly($13 to $24) for parking at your resort or parking at the theme parks if you are not staying at a Disney resort.
Average Cost for a Flight: $500-$900
Driving 8 hours each way approximately $100 Gasoline plus $78 parking at resort
Staying on versus offsite can significantly impact your stay, remember Disney offers a lot of special perks for their resort guest, most importantly Extra Magic Hours! There are so many different cost options, so we are going to price the cheapest value, moderate, deluxe, and offsite option that will give you the most bang for your buck while at Disney World! For the sake of pricing, we are NOT going to take into account any exclusive deals, just the average rate of a standard room per night. The Walt Disney World website has a comparison feature when choosing your resort plus food and park ticket options. This tool even has a custom feature that will ask you several questions about the experience you would like to have to suggest resort and food options designed just for you!
Value (All-Star Movies): Cheapest $99/ per night. March will cost you $168/ per night.
Moderate (Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort): Lowest rate $198/ per night. March will cost you $257/ per night.
Deluxe (Disney’s Wilderness Lodge): Lowest rate $339 per night. March $529/ per night.
Offsite (the hotel we chose was the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs Resort): The best rate is $100 per night.
Now that you have a hotel, you will need park tickets. Disney has changed its ticket pricing to rates that vary depending on when you visit. The prices are lowest when Disney attendance is typically less crowded and higher when they are most busy. So if you are planning a trip over the Christmas New Year holiday be prepared to pay top dollar and wait in the longest lines! The news isn’t all bad, Disney rewards you for buying more days. The more you buy, the less expensive each day is. Some people think they can save money by not buying tickets for the arrival day and departure day, but in our scenario for two adults and two children ages 3 to 9, during March 8th week, it only costs a total of $82 to add both of those days! That’s only $10 a day for each person, giving you a chance to get in some extra fun for very little cost.
So the price for 7 days without the park hopper feature is $2035.96 and the price to include the park hopper feature is $2376.76. Unless you have very young children, I recommend the extra cost of the park hopper feature if you can afford it. This will allow you to visit more than one park per day. Since some parks close earlier than others, this allows you to extend your day, or maybe you love being at Epcot at night to enjoy the entertainment.
Minimum 5 days no park hopper: $1954.30
For the sake of saving money, we are going to assume that our hypothetical family of four will be trying to get the most bang for their buck! No matter which option they are choosing, they will find free transportation around the parks! Whether through a bus or other means to get to the parks. I often think that some of the transportation should be considered an attraction itself, the boats and monorail especially. The easiest way to get free transportation, from the airport and at the parks is to book a stay at a Disney World Resort. This will not only help them save money on their trip but also keep them from spending extra money!
There are three different food options you can choose from when it comes to dining in the parks! The first is to bring your food into the parks. While you will have to either lug a cooler around with you all day, rent a locker, or leave the parks for your meals, you can choose to bring your food! While it is possible, it isn’t practical to expect to eat lunch and dinner in the parks from items that you pack and carry all day. We highly recommend bringing drinks and snacks, which can be reasonably packed and carried. We also recommend having snacks and drinks available in your hotel room and even some easy breakfast items, to avoid paying for breakfast at a restaurant. If you are driving to the vacation, you will be able to bring these items with you, if you are flying, this will not be as easy, since you will need to go to a grocery store upon arrival in Orlando, or shop at the hotel convenience stores, which will cost a lot more than your typical grocery store.
Cost: Varies depending on your packed food
The second option is to go with the Disney dining plan. The dining plan is basically where you prepay for food and get credits to use each day. This is only an option for those staying at a Disney World Resort. There are three different tiers that range from quick service to table service meals each day. Some will include two meals a day while others will consist of three meals a day and snacks.
Cost: $1000+ for quick service option which only includes 2 meals per day.
The final option is not to choose the dining plan and eat as you go to the parks. With a dining reservation, this is possible to do! You don’t have to be on a dining plan to choose a dining reservation, and you can pay out of pocket for each meal.
Cost: About $1,800 (if budgeting $250 per day for food)
Now that we have your heading spinning with all the numbers, lets recap:
Family of four, 6 nights and seven days in March, driving to a Disney Value resort from approximately 8 hours away, quick service dining plan plus breakfast at your expense, 5-day ticket without park hopper – $4,380 and you haven’t purchased any souvenirs.
While there are quite a few different options that you can choose from that will significantly impact the overall cost of your trip, these prices are going to be the best deal you can get for whatever option you want. These are the main things you will need to consider when booking a trip to Disney World. Want a place to calculate out your trip cost and plan your days? Be sure to download our FREE Printable Disney Daily Vacation Planner that is packed with resources to plan your trip!
I have been visiting the parks annually since my parents first brought me at just a year old. Recently I was able to fulfill my life long dream of being a Florida local and moved from the wintery Northeast to the sunshine and fun of central Florida. Now I am hoping to share my Disney knowledge with you so you can have the best vacation possible!
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