How Much Spending Money Do You Need For Disney World?

Are you currently planning a Disney trip and wondering “How much spending money do you need for Disney World”?

If you want to spend time in what many see as the most magical place on earth, then the cost will go way beyond buying Walt Disney World tickets for the whole family. So before telling the kids you’ll be jetting off to Florida, what you really need to know is this. How much does a trip to Disney World cost?

As well as the cost of Disney World tickets, you’ll need to factor in food prices, travel and accommodation, parking fees and other spending money – such as mouse ear souvenirs.

This complete guide will help you work out the cost to go to Disney World.

Read on to discover all you need to know so you can find the answers to this question: how much does Disney cost?

How Much Spending Money Do You Need For Disney World?

How much is a trip to Disney World? In total, approximately $3,500 to $7,000 is needed for a family of four to visit Disney World in 2023. This figure includes the cost of tickets, lodging, food, souvenirs and miscellaneous items such as parking.

This cost of a trip to Disney World is based on the many times we’ve been to the parks ourselves as a family. You can find out more about how we’ve reached this sum further down the page. As well as all the tips and FAQs you need to save money when working out how much spending money for Disney World!

Check out our Disney World Cost Calculator too. 

Cinderella's castle at Disney World

Budgeting: What Will You Spend Money On At Disney World?

How much money it will cost to visit Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the other Disney parks depends firstly on where you’re coming from.

So you might need to factor in flight prices to Orlando International Airport, or the cost of gas if you’re driving. Plus a rental car if you want one after arriving. 

Once you’ve budgeted for that, you need to add in Disney ticket prices, the cost of a hotel room, parking and resort fees if applicable plus how much spending money you want for souvenirs, snacks, drinks, other activities and so on. 

The total cost might also depend on the time of year you visit, as accommodations and tickets may cost more during busy periods. If you attend special events, tickets for those may also be more expensive. 

Mickey's very merry christmas party pamphlet - a separate ticketed event that increases your Disney World spending amount.
Disney’s Christmas Party is just one of many separate ticketed events.

Don’t forget about money for incidentals, such as the gift shop, quick service meals, alcoholic beverages for the adults, an occasional or daily ice cream, activities at Disney Springs and so on. 

Ok, let’s get to the details:

🔷 Tickets

The first step is to decide what type of ticket to purchase for the Disney theme parks. There are lots of choices here, so it can get confusing. Theme park tickets you can buy include the Park Hopper option, multi-day tickets and more.  

Multi-day tickets

Buying multi-day tickets rather than single-day ones will decrease the amount of money per day spent on tickets, as they are cheaper per day.

Even so, buying tickets for all days you’ll be there may not be the best option for your Disney World trip. Paying for days you don’t use could turn out to be an extra cost, rather than saving you cash. 

Unless time is very tight and you are only spending a weekend at Disney World, we advise that you don’t book a park for every day of your visit.

First, it saves money. Second, a break can also be the best way to unwind, allowing you the downtime you need after spending full days waiting in long lines in the blazing Florida sun.

Some deluxe resorts, moderate resorts and value resorts have, for example, water parks where you can spend the day.

Large, white Victorian hotel, the Grand Floridian, definitely comes into play when talking about your spending money for Disney World.
Grand Floridian has a kids waterpark, a waterslide and a sandy beach.

This can be as enjoyable a part of your Walt Disney World vacation as time spent in the theme parks. So if you want to do this, there’s no point in booking tickets for the Walt Disney World resort for every single day of your stay. 

The good news is that Disney multi-day tickets do not need to be used on consecutive days. Instead, their validity is based on how many days you purchase.

So a 3-day ticket, for instance, comes with a 5-day window. That means you could visit the parks on days one, three and five, with rest days in between. 

Here’s how long each multi-day ticket is valid for. All commence on the stated start date. 

  • 1 day: valid only for the selected date 
  • 2 days: any 2 days within 4
  • 3 days: any 3 days within 5
  • 4 days: any 4 days within 7
  • 5 days: any 5 days within 8
  • 6 days: any 6 days within 9
  • 7 days: any 7 days within 10
  • 8 days: any 8 days within 12
  • 9 days: any 9 days within 13
  • 10 days: any 10 days within 14

Park Hopper tickets

Another way to visit each Disney resort is to buy Park Hopper tickets. As the name suggests, these allow you to visit more than one park per day. 

Personally, I don’t feel this is a good deal. The Park Hopper is an extra cost – approximately $50 to $70 added to the cost of your Disney World park tickets – on top of the standard price. This addition to your ticket allows you to park-hop.

The thing is, there is easily more than enough to see and do in one park that it’s just not necessary to park hop within a day.

Especially if this is your first time at Disney World. As well as in the summer months, when the parks are busier and thus take longer to get around. 

Another reason I don’t recommend Park Hopper tickets is the conditions that apply. Specific Park Hopper hours apply, and these begin at 2 pm daily. 

When using Park Hopper, you should also make a theme park reservation for the first park you want to go to and then must enter that park before you can visit another.

A reservation is not needed after the first park, and you can visit the next from 2 pm until closing time. You can use the My Disney Experience app to organize entry. 

NOTE: After January 8th, 2024, park reservations are no longer needed if you purchase a date-specific ticket.

Discounted tickets

If you’re on a tight budget, there are several ways to decrease your ticket costs. The one with the most bang for the buck is to purchase your Disney World tickets on points via credit card reward programs. 

Another option is purchasing them where a discounted rate applies, such as the Target RedCard or through a wholesale club like BJ’s.

Want to learn more about How to Save $1,000 at Disney World? Check out my ebook on exactly how to do it.

Seasonal prices

Your Disney vacation cost will vary according to demand and which theme park you go to. Prices for a one-day ticket at Disney World range from around $109 to $189 for adults and between $104 and $184 for kids aged 9 and under.

Why the huge variation? There are two main reasons. The first is that the cost can vary according to whether you go at the cheapest time or the most expensive time – or something in between. 

Life-sized Christmas gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian
Christmas at Disney is one of the most expensive times to visit, but you can visit this life-sized gingerbread house.

It is less expensive to go to Disney World in January, after New Year’s week. This least expensive time lasts until mid-February.

Mid-August through September is also cheaper. Spring break, summer and the holiday season tend to be when tickets cost the most money. 

Park prices

Which park you choose will also affect the average cost of going to Disney as a family.

On the whole, Magic Kingdom is the most expensive park for a one-day ticket, while Animal Kingdom is the least costly.

In fact, the difference in price can be as much as $60, per person, for the exact same day, depending on the park you pick. 

Tree of Life at the Animal Kingdom - the least expensive Disney theme park that decreases your spend at Disney World
See the Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom – the least expensive Disney World park ticket.

Adult and child prices

For example, a 5-day adult ticket in the summer of 2024 is around $644. This is valid for an 8-day period.

For kids aged 9 and under, the 5 days in 8 ticket price is $624. So there isn’t really much of a saving as compared to adult rates!

The best value for money is for families with younger children.

Kids under 3 go free, and this applies to both tickets and food.

Children under 3 can have their own plate at Disney buffets, for example. If you book a Disney dining plan, you don’t need to buy this for any kids aged under 3.

🔷 Lodging

How much you pay for a Disney hotel can have a huge impact on your budget.

Do you want to stay onsite at a Disney World hotel, or do you want to find one of the best offsite Disney World hotels

The price range of hotels is wide, so look carefully at the cost per night. What you actually get for your money is also very important.

Two story, southern plantation style resort at Disney World, Port Orleans Riverside, won't break your budget for Disney World.
Both Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter are moderate resorts.

You can book budget hotel rooms for $150 per night, or even less. So when working out how much money for Disney World, where you stay can make a very big difference indeed. 

Disney World hotel rates

Here are some typical rates according to the hotel category. These rates for both onsite and offsite Disney hotels.

  • Budget hotel: $150 and under
  • Moderate hotel: $150 to $300
  • Deluxe hotel: $300 and upwards

What to look for 

When making your decision about where to stay, think about the following factors. These can all save you a lot of money, so are worth factoring into your Disney budget planner.  

  • Is breakfast included? Whether it’s a table service meal or a buffet, filling up for free at breakfast time can save you a lot of money on food each day. Don’t forget to check how much breakfast costs if you want to dine in and this isn’t included with your room rate.
  • Is there a free shuttle to the parks? A shuttle service can make a lot of difference when visiting Disney, as it can save on transportation costs and parking charges. At the theme parks, parking costs around $25 to $50 per day. 
  • Is there a parking fee? Leaving your vehicle at your resort can be a better option. But not, perhaps, if you’re going to pay high fees for parking there. Some hotels include free parking, or it may be included in the resort fee. Others list the cost as an added parking price per day.  
  • Is there a resort fee? On top of the accommodation price, some resorts add an additional charge in the form of a resort fee. This might or may not cover parking, shuttle services and other facilities. Do check in advance how much this is, and what it covers, so you have no nasty surprises after arrival. 
  • Is there a kitchenette? Dining in can cost you so much less than eating at a table service restaurant for every meal – whether this is at Disney Springs, on the parks or at your resort. A full kitchen will allow you to prepare family meals like you’d have at home, while a more basic kitchenette can be good for heating pre-prepared meals or light snacks. 

🔷 Food and Beverages

How much does food cost at Disney World? There are different options when it comes to dining at a park, including fast food (Disney calls them quick-service meals), sit-down dining at restaurants and character meals.

Kids love the latter as they can meet their favorite Disney characters. But it is expensive!

Disney food prices

Here are some typical rates, from lowest price to highest. 

  • Breakfast tends to be the cheapest meal of the day
  • Quick-service meals: About $12 to $20 per person
  • Sit-down dining: About $20 plus per person
  • Character meals: About $29 to 79

The best time of day to fill up, in the parks, is at breakfast time.

At the other end of the scale, you’ll pay the most extra money to book a character dining experience. Kids do love it though, and the memories created can last a lifetime. Not to mention the photos and/or video footage!

If you are looking for a great character breakfast, check out ‘Ohana Character Breakfast. It is consistently one of our favorites at Disney World – and you get pictures with Stitch!

Young girl with large, blue costumed character of Stitch at 'Ohana Character breakfast in Disney World
‘Ohana Character Breakfast


Water cups are supplied free of charge at quick-service Disney restaurants.

To save money on drinks throughout the day, take your own water bottle and refill it as you go. 

Or you could bring in your own drinks. They can be heavy, though, so this is easier if you have a stroller with extra room in the basket, or bags that can be hung from the handle.

For a hot day, you’re going to need to carry a lot of fluid, unless you use a refillable water bottle or buy drinks in the park. 

The Disney Dining Plan

The Disney Dining Plan returns on January 9th, 2024. Though some people enjoy prepaying for all their food, I don’t find this a good option. It covers a lot of food and is more expensive than I would ever pay on a daily basis for dining out at Disney. 

If this does seem to you to be a great way to budget, keep in mind that you must be staying at a Disney Resort to purchase a Disney Dining Plan.

It must also be bought for every single night of your hotel stay too, which we find rather restrictive. 

Here are the prices that will apply when the dining plan returns in 2024. As you can see, children can eat on Disney property far more cheaply than grown-ups can!

Standard Disney Dining Plan: $94.28 for adults or $29.69 for children. This includes:

  • 1 Table-Service Meal Per Night
  • 1 Quick-Service Meal Per Night
  • 1 Snack or Nonalcoholic Beverage Per Night
  • 1 Resort-Refillable Mug

Quick Service Dining Plan: $57 for adults or $23.93 for children. This covers:

  • 2 Quick-Service Meals Per Night
  • 1 Snack or Nonalcoholic Beverage Per Night
  • 1 Resort-Refillable Mug
A group of insulated travel mugs sitting on a shelf; pink or black and handles with Mickey Mouse designs on the bottom of the cup.
I love the refillable mugs (you can also purchase these separately).

🔷 Souvenirs

There are so many places to buy souvenirs, and it’s easy to spend a ​​lot of money on them when you’re with the kids.

It’s harder than you might think to pass these up, day in and day out. Especially when a ride exits into a themed gift shop, as many of them do.

Cookies and candy make great souvenirs when trying to rein in spending at Disney World.
Cookies and candy make great souvenirs.

Here are some of the things you can buy at the resort.

  • Apparel such as t-shirts, sweatshirts and the ever-popular Spirit Jerseys are everywhere and are Disney items you can use at home
  • There are candy stores, kitchen items, toys and games, stuffed animals and jewelry
  • Mickey ears are of course uber popular and cost from $25 upwards
  • At night, such as when watching the fireworks, the glow wands and glow toys come out. Expect to pay $15 and upwards for each item
  • I recommend budgeting $30 per day, per child – and maybe adults too if you can’t resist some Disney-themed merch!

Disney gift cards

Disney gift cards can be used at Disney World, so these can be a good way to save for your special trip.

Kids could be given these for occasions such as birthdays or Christmas before going to Disney, to spend when they get to the resort.

Three Disney gift cards - a great way to stay on budget at Disney World

You could even ask grandparents and other friends and family to give these as gifts, instead of toys or other presents.  

Another thing to know is that you can buy gift cards at a discount. Target allows Redcard holders to purchase gift cards with 5% off, for instance, while warehouse clubs like BJ’s offer a 4% discount. 

🔷 Genie+

What is Disney Genie+?

Simply put, it replaces the free Fastpass+ so many of us loved.

Genie+ allows you to pre-book a return time for a specified time period allowing access to individual lightning lanes. Typically Disney says you can access two to three attractions per day, but I routinely access 6-9.

Screen shot of a cell phone with all the Disney World Genie Plus prices on it for the day.
Genie+ prices vary by park

The most sought-after attractions are excluded from Genie+, though. For these, you need to buy an Individual Lightning Lane entry. 

You may be wondering if Disney World’s Genie+ is worth the cost. For hot summer days when you know the park will be crowded, it definitely is worth it – if you can spare the extra cash.

Prices range from $15 to $30 per person, per day. This is on top of the usual child or adult ticket price.

The variation in price is due to seasonal demand, and which park you will use Genie+ at. So you’ll pay more in high season and at the more expensive parks like the Magic Kingdom. 

🔷 Parking Fees

Parking costs can potentially add a lot to Disney World vacation prices.

Regular parking rates are $25 per day at each theme park. Preferred parking costs double – $50 per day. This gets you a spot closer to the entrance. 

There no longer is a fee to park at any of the Disney resorts. So if you stay at a Disney resort hotel, overnight self-parking is free. Though properties like Animal Kingdom Lodge can be expensive, this is one of the perks. 

When you do pay to park, keep your receipt. You might need it if you do go to more than one park per day, or if you leave and return later in the evening. Just show your ticket to the attendant to gain entry the second time.

Don’t forget that you might also need to pay parking fees at your resort (non-Disney related).

If there is a resort fee, then that might cover this. Some properties also offer free parking. The fees per day can be similar to what Disney charges, so you could end up paying twice as much. This is because you’d pay to park at the resort each day, and again at the theme park! 

If you want to stay off-site and save on parking, consider staying at one of the Disney Springs hotels with a shuttle to Disney.

Ways To Save Money When Visiting Disney World

If you’re wondering how to save for Disney World, the great news is that there are various hacks to reduce your spending when you’ll be visiting the theme parks.

Tips and tricks to use include signing up for the best credit cards around, avoiding table service dining in favor of bringing your own food and making the most of days off-park. 

1. Get a credit card that saves you money at Disney

Did you know that Disney has its own branded Visa credit card? Disney lovers will adore the 10 cool designs available. Your card also allows you exclusive access to valuable perks throughout the park during your stay. 

Here are some of the Disney credit card benefits that make it worth signing up. When you hold and pay with one of these Disney cards, you get:

  • 10% off selected merchandise purchases of $50 or more, at selected locations
  • 10% off selected dining locations during most days at the Disneyland® and Walt Disney World® Resorts
  • 10% off selected merchandise purchases at the online shop
  • Exclusive cardholder access to special events
  • The ability to earn Disney dollars on your purchases. These are redeemable in the parks at, on Disney cruises and onboard activities, or for Disney star movie showings at at select AMC theaters
  • A special discount on the Disney Bundle Trio of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN
  • Access to pose for special photos at our private Cardmember locations at the Disneyland® and Walt Disney World® Resorts
  • Cardholders can also receive complimentary downloads of their photos

2. Stock your hotel room with food from Amazon Fresh

Use Amazon Fresh to fill your hotel room refrigerator with water, juices and snacks. I’ve done this several times and will continue to do so each time I visit.

It can save you so much money that you might otherwise spend at the food court or on table service meals.

Here’s what you need to do:

➜ The day before your trip, complete your order on Amazon Fresh.

➜ Then arrange for it to be delivered the next day at your hotel. When completing your Amazon order, make sure you put the hotel name as the main name for delivery, then include your name in the 2nd address line. Complete the rest of the boxes with the hotel address, and also include the dates of your stay. 

➜ Most hotels are now happy to receive packages and deliveries on behalf of guests. In fact, some even have special rooms to store refrigerated items in if you’re out when the food delivery arrives. If in any doubt, though, please call your hotel beforehand to check.

I’ve ordered the following items in the past, to arrive when we get to the resort:

  • Sunscreen (so I don’t have to pack it)
  • A case of bottled water
  • Snacks such as Goldfish and Cheerios
  • Individual oatmeal packets
  • Apples
  • Pretzels
  • Yogurt

3. Enjoy non-park days

You definitely do not need to go to the parks every day. Besides saving money on tickets, it’s nice to enjoy some downtime by going to Disney Springs.

Red and Yellow M & M's at their Disney Springs store
The M&M store at Disney Springs is one of our favorites!

Or you could spend the day at your hotel pool. So many properties in the Orlando area do have a pool, and some even have a proper water park!

Take it from us – touring the theme parks is exhausting. At the end of the day, you’ll want to take a break at some point. This way you can be fully refreshed and ready for your next park day.

Here’s one of our best tips for spending time away from the theme parks, yet remaining immersed in Disney.

Did you know you can visit the Disney resorts even if you are not staying there?

We do this all the time, especially during the Christmas holiday season.

Take the monorail or the Skyliner, and you can check out the different themed hotels.

Stop for lunch or a snack while you’re there: we like to pick up a Dole Whip at the Polynesian Resort, for example. 

Budget snacks like this Dole Whip into your spending money for Disney World
Dole Whip at The Polynesian

4. Enjoy Free Things

Yep, there are a bunch of free things you can do at Disney World so as to not go over your Disney World budget.

It can be as simple as heading to Disney Springs or relaxing in a quiet area of one of Disney’s resorts.

Did you know there is a nightly water parade in the Seven Seas lagoon? It stops and puts on a show for all the Disney resorts located on the lagoon.

What about fireworks?

You don’t have to be in the park to enjoy them. Enjoy the Magic Kingdom’s fireworks from any of the monorail hotels or watch the Epcot ones from the Boardwalk area.

Read about more free things to do at Disney World.

Fireworks above the Grand Floridian
Enjoy the fireworks from the Grand Floridian

How Much Spending Money Do You Need for Disney World: FAQs

How much money do you need to go to Disney World for a week?

An average family of 4 spends between $,3500 and $7,000 for a week at Disney World. This includes lodging, tickets, food, souvenirs and transportation.

Is Genie+ worth the cost?

Yes, Genie+ is definitely worth the cost if you hate waiting in lines like I do.

However, you may only want to pay for it at a couple of parks – namely Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.

Now that Disney World is charging different prices for Genie+ at each park, check the app at 7 am (or anytime after midnight) that day – or online crowd calendars – to see if it makes sense for your family.

Girl in gray shirt and pink hat holding her wrist to a FastPass kiosk at Disney World

Can I use Disney gift cards in the park?

Definitely. This is one of the best ways to save money in the parks as well.

You can buy the gift cards at a discount. For example, Target allows Redcard holders to purchase any gift card at 5% off immediately.

Some warehouse clubs, such as BJ’s, also discount their gift cards by 4%. Look for these extra ways to save money, as they can all add up to a princely sum.

Are there any ways to save money on tickets to Disney World?

As well as reducing your spending money at Disney World, there are ways to save when buying Disney tickets.

You can lower the cost per day by purchasing multi-day tickets, and these can be used over a longer time period than the number of days they’re valid for.
Buying discounted tickets in advance, rather than at the entry gate, can also save you cash. In particular, look out for special offers from Disney World and from authorized third parties. 

Discover different ways to Save $1,000 on Your Disney World vacation.

What are the dining plan options, and are they worth it?

Disney World offers a number of dining plan options. These include a set number of meals and snacks per day, per person. They are only available to guests staying at Disney World resorts and must be booked for every night of your stay. 

These plans can help you budget by prepaying for your meals. However, they are not often the cheapest choice.

If you prefer quick-service meals, the plans also tend not to be cost-effective. Before you book this, think about your family’s dining preferences before doing the math to work out if it’s really cost-effective.

Tri-colored slushie at Animal Kingdom - one of the snacks that add up when trying to determine how much spending money do you need for Disney World

How can I save money on food and dining at Disney World?

There are plenty of ways to save money on food and beverages while at Disney World. If you can carry it, bring your own drinks and snacks into the parks.

It’s also worth carrying refillable water bottles. Having breakfast in your hotel room or at an eatery outside the parks before you head out can also save you money. 

If you do want to eat in the parks, breakfast offers the best value.

Using quick-service restaurants can also cut costs. A few dining options at Disney Springs are often more affordable than the restaurants in the parks too.

What are some budget-friendly souvenir options at Disney World?

You don’t have to buy big ticket items to take home some cool Disney souvenirs and gifts.

Small purchases like keychains, fridge magnets and pins can make great keepsakes to remind you of our trip – or share the Disney magic.
Taking and editing photos and videos can also be a free way to create lasting memories.

You could also buy some affordable Disney-themed items in advance of your trip, before hiding them in the luggage. Produce these during your visit to surprise your children.  

Are there any hidden costs I should be aware of?

There can be a lot of extra expenses when visiting Disney World. As well as travel, accommodations and food and drinks, don’t forget to budget for items like parking fees, souvenirs, resort fees, stroller rental, and tips and gratuities.

How can I track my expenses while at Disney World?

If you want to keep track of your spending while you’re visiting the Disney theme parks, you can use budgeting apps and other tools to note what you spend. Set a spending limit each day, and keep track as you go to ensure costs don’t run away with you.

Paying in advance can also help you budget. Accommodations that include a free breakfast, parking or a shuttle service can save you money while you’re there. 

You can also buy gift cards ahead of time to spend at the parks. If you get these at a discount, then you can save more money, as well as keeping on top of your outgoings. After all, when your expenses are lower, there’s less you’ll need to keep track of!

Monorail around the Magic Kingdom

How Much Spending Money Do You Need For Disney World Summary?

If you want to know how much spending money do you need for Disney World, then we hope this guide has helped!

To some extent it is possible to do Disney on a budget, and as you can see Walt Disney World tickets (as well as Disneyland) and food prices can vary a lot. As can the cost of accommodation. 

For a family of 4 to visit Disney World for a week in 2023, expect to spend between $3,500 and $7,000 for a week. This includes tickets, hotels, transport, food and some souvenirs. 

As the figures show, it’s easy for one family to spend twice as much as another, but by planning and budgeting in advance, you can realistically achieve as low a cost as possible. Without missing out on any of that awesome Disney magic!

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