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Have you been dreaming of taking your family to Disney World, but not sure if you can afford it? You’ve always heard how expensive it is, but how much does it REALLY cost? Let me show you the hidden and not-so-hidden expenses of a Disney World trip so you will know exactly what the true cost of a Disney World vacation will be for your family.
No Two Trips Are Alike
Just like no two families are the same, no two trips are the same. This means that the true cost of your trip will probably be very different from that of someone else’s trip.
But, the beauty of this is that you can customize your Disney World trip to fit your budget and your family’s preferences.
We will explore the various options so you can decide what is best for your family and your budget.
The first big costs you need to factor into the price of your trip are those associated with transportation. And the first question you have to ask yourself is: Am I going to fly or drive to Disney World?
If you are flying, your transportation costs will, of course, include the price of your flights. But, you also need to add into your total Disney trip cost baggage fees, parking fees at your home airport, and the price of a rental car if you will be getting one.
If, on the other hand, you will be driving, you need to include the price of gas, any hotels you stay in on the way to and from Florida, tolls, and any meals or snacks you anticipate eating during the drive.
Whether you drive your own car or rent one once you arrive in Florida, you will have to pay parking fees at Disney World. So, this also needs to be added into your total cost.
Additionally, if you plan to use Lyft or Uber while visiting Disney World, be sure to figure these costs into your transportation total.
Of course, if you are staying on property, you can use Disney transportation to get to and from the parks for free.
Next, let’s look at the costs associated with lodging during your trip. This is the next biggest expense of your Disney World trip.
First, decide if you will be staying on property or off? (Read my post on whether staying on property is worth the extra money to decide.)
If you decide to stay off property, are you going to stay in a hotel or rent a vacation home?
After you choose where to stay, multiply the nightly rate of your lodging by the number of nights you are staying. Then, add in any taxes and fees (such as resort and parking fees) associated with your stay to find your total lodging cost.
Don’t forget to include any shuttle fees if you are staying off property and will be using your hotel’s shuttle to get to the parks each day.
The next step in determining the true cost of a Disney World vacation is to figure out how much park tickets will cost you. There are a few things to remember when deciding on your tickets.
First, keep in mind that tickets at Disney World vary in price depending on when you go. To find the exact price for the dates of your trip, please visit Disney’s website.
Also, remember that the daily price of tickets goes down as you add more days. So, a 5 day ticket is cheaper than five 1-day tickets would be. And, a six day ticket is only a few dollars more than a five day ticket.
You also need to decide whether you want base tickets, which allow you entry into one park per day, or park hoppers. The park hopper tickets give you entry into multiple parks per day, while the park hopper plus tickets also entitle you to visit the water parks, miniature golf, and the Wide World of Sports Complex.
Lastly, remember that everyone 10 years of age and older must pay adult prices at Disney. Children between the ages of 3 and 9 pay child prices. Children under the age of 3 get in free.
Once you have determined your transportation, lodging, and ticket costs, the next piece to consider when looking at the true cost of a Disney World vacation is dining.
This starts with deciding whether to get the dining plan. Now, you can only get the dining plan if you are staying on property. (Find out if the dining plan is right for your family.) So, if you are staying off property, this is a nonissue.
If you will not have the dining plan, then you need to figure out the average cost of meals for your family. To help you with this, look at the menus of all Disney World restaurants at allears.net. Find restaurants that your family will like and that have prices that fit into your budget.
And don’t forget to include the cost of tips, tax, and any snacks you will be eating too!
The last area you need to think about is all of the miscellaneous costs that are many times overlooked. These include travel insurance, souvenirs, the Memory Maker, any special events you want to do, and anything you will buy for your trip such as matching shirts or mouse ears.
Try to be as specific as possible here so you can accurately determine the true cost of a Disney World vacation for your family.
Once you have thought through each category and calculated all of the expenses within each one, then simply add them all up to get a final total of what your trip will cost.
After you have decided on the perfect trip components for your budget, then you are ready to book that trip!
Taking your family to Disney World can be the trip of a lifetime, but it is expensive. The last thing you want to happen is to save for years for this trip and then find out that you don’t have enough money for it.
The above information will help you know exactly what the true cost of a Disney World vacation is for your family so you can plan and save exactly what you need to make it a reality.
For help saving money on your trip, read Disney on a dime, and how to save money on food, and souvenirs.
For more Disney planning tips, see my step by step guide, best resources, quick tips, best time to visit Disney, and secret to a great Disney trip. And see how to speak Disney’s language.
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