Katie Kinsley

Disney World Costs – Is the Magic Worth the Price?

how much does a trip to disney world cost

How much does a trip to Disney World cost? You might be surprised!

Disney World – a place where dreams come true, and enchantment knows no bounds. For many, a trip to this iconic wonderland is a cherished aspiration, but it’s no secret that planning a visit can be a significant financial investment.

I spent the greater part of three months researching and planning my first adult trip to Disney World for the 50th Anniversary Most Magical Celebration. And I am also celebrating my 35th birthday!

I didn’t splurge on anything other than food within the parks. The Disney World’s Most Magical Celebration includes special merchandise, sweets and treats, shows, and more. I even picked the cheapest resort with a $500 off discount for stay 5+ nights.

So how much does a trip to Disney World Cost? A lot! Disney World is the most magical place on Earth. And I believe that, but my bank account says it’s anything other than magical.

Don’t get me wrong, I had an amazing vacation. It’s just that I’ve gone on expensive trips to Europe that have cost less than this trip. So I’ve calculated every dollar I spent from flights to treats to souvenirs.



Magic Kingdom Park - Main Street USA

Disney World Cost: Resort

The magic doesn’t end when the park gates close, and choosing where to rest your head is crucial to an enjoyable vacation. Disney offers a wide range of accommodations, from value resorts to deluxe villas, each catering to different budgets and preferences.

Staying on-site comes with perks like extra Magic Hours and convenient transportation to the parks, but off-site options can be more budget-friendly. We’ll explore the pros and cons of each to help you find the perfect stay for your needs.

I first price out the trip in January, but I never booked anything. The next time I logged on to the Disney World website, I received a special offer to save up to $500 on a 5-night stay. And that did save us some!

Our resort check-in is Saturday, May 14, 2022 and our check-out is Friday, May 20, 2022. We stayed at the resort for a total of six nights. We also planned for one day at Universal Studios, otherwise we would’ve only stayed five nights.

Disney World Cost: Tickets

The foundation of any Disney World vacation is park tickets. Prices vary depending on the time of year and the number of days you wish to visit. With four theme parks to explore, you have the option to purchase tickets for individual parks or opt for the Park Hopper pass, which allows you to visit multiple parks in a single day. While park tickets can be a significant expense, they offer access to a world of captivating experiences and cherished memories.

I purchased a 4-day ticket with admission to 1 park per day and also ordered the Disney Genie+ Service (which is no longer available to buy ahead of time).

Disney Genie+ Service

The Disney Genie+ Service allows you to make the first Disney Genie+ experience selection at 7:00 AM on the date of visit and may only select the next available arrival window for an experience, one experience at a time. Guests may not select the same experience more than once per day. A Disney account and eligible mobile device are required to use the My Disney Experience app and the Disney Genie+ service.

Disney World Cost: Travel Protection Plan

The Travel Protection Plan is designed for and is available to US residents. For your convenience, they offer travel protection which can be added to your trip anytime until final payment for $165.

Honestly, I get nervous about big ticket expenses and generally purchase some kind of insurance. This is not required, so if you want to save that money you can skip it.

Disney World Package Cost

The Disney World package includes the items above: resort, tickets, Genie+, and travel protection. Only a deposit of $365 was required when booking.

The total Disney World cost is $2,197.12.

And we’re set!



Magic Bands

No, we’re not set. I thought that the cost of Magic Bands were included in the cost of the package, but they were not. There are many choices and styles when selecting your Magic Bands, but that means that the price will vary. I selected a silver glitter option, which was a little bit more expensive than the 50th Anniversary edition I picked out for Zack.

Total cost of Magic Bands: $37.90

Disney World Magic Bands



Disney World Cost: Flights

We flew into Orlando’s MCO airport from DFW. American Airlines charged us $337.40 plus $60 in checked bagged fees ($30 fee for one checked back each flight).

I booked our flights for later in the morning so we wouldn’t have to rush. But we had a whole ordeal at DFW which involved boarding, un-boarding, changing terminals and planes. Our original flight was supposed to get in by 3 p.m., but we didn’t get to our resort until closer to 9 p.m.

Disney World Flights



Getting To and From the Airport

In January 2022, Disney announced that their complimentary Magical Express transportation service will be discontinued. So we just missed out on this option.

When I was booking the package on their website, I had an option to book a van service for $201.26. I booked it, but it was canceled by Disney and refunded.

Uber it is! The total cost of our Uber trips: $290.09



Disney World Food and Drinks

When I first started planning out our days at each park, I tried to make reservations for restaurants within the parks. And everything was booked. There were only a handful of places that I was able to make a reservation, but the times were not good for us. So I canceled those.

Disney World Hollywood Studios Blue Milk

There were specific things I wanted to try, so we kind of mapped out each park by which rides we’ll be waiting in line and the nearest food or drink item that was on my list.

Total cost of Disney World food: $1007.47

Total cost of Disney World drinks: $244.50

Total cost of Disney World sweets and treats: $81.39



Other Disney Costs to Consider

Your trip to Disney World should also account for all the “extras” that you have to factor into your budget. You never know what’s going to happen, but there’s a cost associated. We didn’t need a stroller, but if you have a child you might rent one. And we didn’t attend any special show that required an additional ticket.

We did decide to do laundry halfway through our trip. It was very hot and humid. We sweated through everything! Zack also decided that he wanted to buy a pair of sunglasses when we visited Disney Springs.

We have two dogs that need to be taken care of while we we’re on this trip, so we chose to board them. We used Camp Bow Wow because we can count on the dogs not being bored there.

  • Laundry: $8
  • Souvenirs: $579.26
  • Special ticketed events and Disney dinner shows: $0
  • Stroller/scooter rentals: $0
  • Disney Memory Maker photo packages: $10.81
  • Other Orlando activities and attractions: $233.24
  • Dog boarding: $552

For our souvenirs, we bought a lot of collectable pins. I DIY’d a Floating Frame Disney Pin Collection Display Board to show them off!



How much does a trip to Disney World Cost?

The total cost for the entire trip: $6,051.70

Was that what you were thinking? I am totally blown away. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I would love to know of any tips for next time!

A trip to Disney World is a journey into a realm of fantasy and wonder, where cherished memories are made and hearts are filled with joy. The cost of a Disney World vacation can vary greatly depending on your choices, but the magic and enchantment it offers are truly priceless.

With thoughtful planning, budgeting, and a sprinkle of pixie dust, you can create a magical experience that fits within your means.

If you’ve ever dreamed of walking down Main Street U.S.A, soaring on a magic carpet, or venturing to a galaxy far, far away, take a leap of faith and let the magic of Disney World unfold before you. After all, some dreams are meant to come true, and the memories created will last a lifetime.

XOXO,
Katie

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Be sure to check out these blog posts for more Disney travel tips and inspiration!

21 Responses

    1. The Disney Genie+ service was a good theory, but didn’t work out in our favor. It was annoying to have to check the app all the time. Not everything was available on it. Universal Studios fast pass worked so much better!

  1. I can see how Disney can get expensive real quick. I’ve never been to Disney before, and this is one of the reasons I most likely won’t ever go. Sadly I just think it’s to expensive for me.

    1. I think you have to want to go. I chose this vacation because 1. my husband has never been 2. I wanted to drink around the world at Epcot for my birthday and 3. it’s their 50th anniversary year. I knew it was going to be expensive based on the package alone, but I never factored in food at the parks. I think we could pick one park on a future vacation to keep it cheaper and stay for 2 nights.

    1. We bought pins, a shirt for your son, for Zack’s nephew, some candy, and other trinkets that we shipped for gifts!

  2. We would really love to go and visit Disney, but I didn’t know it cost that much maybe we need to save more to go there with my kids!

    1. I can’t imagine how much more it would be if I brought a kid! There’s so many “extra” experiences they can have, but they’re all an additional price.

  3. My sister has been trying to get us to go to disney, but I have issues with all the added/hidden expenses. I am going to send this post to her for her to finally see what I mean. Its more than plane tickets and park tickets. She does not see beyond those two expenses and it drives me insane! lol

    1. If it was only the package price! I would look into the meal plan options next time because the food prices stack up so quickly. And you gotta eat!

  4. I always wanted to know if the package deals were with include prices or they had add ons. Great read!

  5. It is a costly place to visit especially if you’re not already near one. It is magical and somewhere I wish I could take my kids at least once.

    1. The price of the flights weren’t even the most expensive part of the trip, but I do wish we were closer!

  6. This was interesting. It’s always enlghtening to see exactly how vacations are broken down into different categories

  7. Definitely more than I was expecting but not entirely surprised. We’ve lived in Florida and close to Orlando for a long time so there’s many expenses I just don’t entirely consider when I think of Disney or hear about family visiting. There’s the convenience of proximity on top of whatever residential deal are offered for purchasing tickets and the overall value is different since, depending on the package, it wouldn’t be a one time trip and at max value the yearly passes would allow multiple visits. This post certainly makes me feel lucky and grateful!

    1. As soon as I saw it hit over $5K, I was so shocked. And then it kept climbing! We are definitely not going to be spending like that again. I cannot imagine what the price would be with kids.

  8. Yes, it’s a magical place that it needs to be visited at least once in life. And it costs a lot, maybe too much!

  9. I’m wanting to take my son before he graduates high school. We went in 2009 but I don’t recall us spending that much. But we stayed with my ex husband’s friend. But toll roads added up big time.

    I thought about driving but I don’t think that it would be feasible to do so due to my health problems. Taking the trip alone will be rough but worth every moment.

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Dallas Dreamhaus Katie Kinsley Selkie Puff Sleeve Dress

Hello I’m Katie!

Katie Kinsley is a Texas-based digital marketer and aspiring influencer. This is a lifestyle blog focused on Katie’s work-in-progress life. She’s focused on creating joy in the everyday, sharing adventures throughout Dallas/Ft. Worth (and the world), and empowering women to find their confidence — all in her unique unfiltered style.
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