Shocking Truth Revealed: The Real Cost of a Disney World Vacation!

Are you trying figure out how much does Disney World truly cost?

Some people find it difficult to successfully afford to travel and enjoy Walt Disney World, especially families.

As a solo traveler myself, I do find some benefits because of that.

The fact of the matter is, we can all find it feasible to visit and enjoy the most magical place on earth.

If there are two things I learned as a Disney expert it’s this:

  • Research will be your guide and savior
  • Shop with your wallet, not other’s

By researching, you understand your options and what is available to you in order to make this trip come true.

Being aware that most cost guides are family focused and not solo travel focused, meaning your expectations of cost may deter you from trying if you’re traveling solo.

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.  Which means if you click on certain links, I may receive a small commission at no additional charge to you.

How Much Does Disney World Cost: Family of Four versus a Solo Traveler

The three key things when it comes to planning is how you’re getting there and back home, where you will lay your head and what you will eat.

On average, a family of four seeking to have a moderate vacation to Walt Disney World will be looking at the following costs:

7-Day Walt Disney World Vacation Package Cost for Family of Four ($6,818.06)

Family of Four Total: $6,818.06

On average, below would be the costs for a solo traveler to have a moderate vacation at Walt Disney World.

7-Day Walt Disney World Vacation Package Cost for Solo Traveler ($3,439.36)

Solo Disney Trip Total: $3,439.36

Numbers don’t lie and according to these numbers specifically, where everything is the same for each party, a solo traveler will save $3,378.70 compared to traveling with a family.

Imagine what a solo traveler could do with that kind of money on a Disney World vacation.

But then this leads to the next question, how do I save up for this kind of trip?

ORDER NOW to secure your Walt Disney World theme park ticket! GET MY TICKETS.

How to Save for Your Walt Disney World Vacation?

To start, while you are probably excited about being in the magic, you do have to have a bit of realism and ask yourself:

How to save for disney in six months. Save Money for Disney Savings Jar Piggy Bank Chart. Making it good to know how much does Disney World Cost.
Disney Savings Jar for Solo Traveler Going for 3 to 4 Days (Save This Image for Later Using the Share Button Below)

1. Get the Free Dining Plan Package

These kinds of questions really do determine how much you’ll be spending.

2024 2025 Disney Dining Plan Comparison Chart
Save This Image for Later Using the Share Button Below!

If you go during summer, expect to drop a lot more money versus early September where you could save on a Disney Dining Plan with Disney’s annual free dining plan offer.

There are only two ways to get this option and they are by:

  • Being a Disney Visa Cardmember and booking a non-discounted 4-night, 4-day Walt Disney Travel Company package that includes a room at a select Disney Resort hotel and a theme park ticket with a Park Hopper option
  • Disney+ Subscriber and also booking purchasing a non-discounted 4-night, 4-day Walt Disney Travel Company package that includes a room at a select Disney Resort hotel and theme park ticket with a Park Hopper option

Looking back at the cost comparisons, it would save you about $546.07 as a solo traveler and $1,519.28 as a family of four on a 7-day vacation.

2. Start Saving Early

The best advice I will give, as I mentioned before, is to research and start as early as possible so you can allow yourself a budget for saving.

3. Skip the Dining Plan

As a solo traveler, I would not recommend getting the Disney Dining Plan. Being as that its only yourself, you know how you will eat vs you having to figure out with a group what is feasible and affordable for you.

So, you can plan out all your dining ahead. Plus, Disney has all the menus for all their quick and full-service restaurants so you can plan in advance for how much to save for your dining that way.

Consider even bringing your own snacks too to the parks.

4. Use Gift Cards

Another great tip is gift cards. Places like Costco have Disney gift cards on sale sometimes which can allow you to save money.

Disney Memento Mori Store Haunted Mansion Merchandise at Magic Kingdom Theme Park Master Grady Gift Card. Keep reading to see how much it cost to go to Disney World and how to save for your trip.

I have used this technique to pay off my Epcot Food and Wine Festival expenses plus my dining expenses when I planned it in advance.

This way, my credit/debit card isn’t getting a beating. It’s also a wonderful way to pay off your vacation package expense and help with your Disney World cost.

Disney World GUIDE Blog Banner

Hipster Power Tip: By planning to put a certain amount on a gift card at the end of the month to put towards certain aspects of your vacation, it will help you stay organized and not overwhelmed with cost.

5. Use Online Airfare Saving Websites

One of my absolute favorite ways to break up my costs is by using Airfordable, CheapAir or CheapOAir for my airfare. This is my personal secret way to get down to Orlando multiple times a year.

Orlando Airport Gates and Security Check. Keep reading to see how much it cost to go to Disney World and how to save for your trip.

You find your flight, put in the website your chosen flight information and total cost and it will allow you to pay off your flight in payments as often as every 2, 3 and 4 weeks.

Airplane on road Cheap Flights to Orlando

Plus, you simply pay a deposit and a small service fee. This system on Airfordable allows me to be secure in my flight with a guaranteed price.

6. Choose the Best Time to Go to Disney World

Finally, to save you big money on your package, try to visit during the following times of the year:

Disney always has deals throughout the year around the same time every year so keep your notifications on for those.

Best Time to Visit Disney World Infographic. Best day to go to Disney with this Crowd Calendar.
Save on Pinterest for Later Using the Share Button Below!

Now you could always save more by getting a package with one of Disney’s Good Neighbor resorts too and still be near the magic.

If anything, if this is your very first visit, I would highly recommend booking with a specialized travel agent who can assist you with every aspect of your trip and even give you some of their amazing tips and trip knowledge for your future vacations.

How to Find Disney Deals?

Let’s go through a few ways that you can save money at Walt Disney World by finding the best travel deals.

1. Check the Official Disney Website

Stalking the Walt Disney World website is always a good idea Haha!

Seriously, going to the official site and seeing what they have available could make a big difference in your Disney World cost.

Disney Magic Kingdom Theme Park Festival of Fantasy Parade with Princess Tiana of the Princess and the Frog

When booking a vacation package, the deposit is only $200 and refundable.

If you book something early in the year, then see a new deal come out from Disney, you can always call and have them apply it to save money.

Ready to plan your theme park trip? Watch the best vacation planning tips on YouTube. Get started here!

2. Stay Up-to-date on Disney Travel Agency Blogs

Travel agency blogs and our newsletter have weekly updates with the latest deals and will sometimes know before the general public, which gives you a jump ahead of everyone else.

Free Disney Timeline Planner Sign Up

Sign up for these as well as Disney parks emails to stay in the know.

3. Use Special Organization Discounts

Occasionally places like AAA will have deals as well if you are a member and Disney does the occasional teacher, first responder and military deal.

For a no obligation, FREE Universal Vacation Quote, you can fill out the form with The Park Prodigy by Clicking HERE!

4. Skip Park Hopper Tickets…for now

Start off with base tickets for your package rather than park hopper tickets.

This will not only save you money in the beginning, but you may also run into a better deal before February when they usually raise ticket prices slightly.

5. Get Your Disney Tickets Early

Try to get your tickets before the price hike. Matter of fact, whether you are doing a package or buying your tickets separate from your hotel, buy them as soon as possible.

Wait until you’re about a month out to decide on add-ons for your trip. It gives you time to decide if you really need that park hopper, Memory Maker, etc.

Ready to start planning your next Disney World vacation? Listen to the latest podcast episode on Apple or on your non-Apple device now!

How to Save Money at Disney World?

The art of saving while at Disney World is a craft I’ve perfected over the years.

1. Have Money on a Gift Card

It starts with little things. While it’s okay to indulge while on vacation, put a set amount on a gift card for souvenirs and park snacks.

For every day of my trip, I put a bit aside for at least one sit down meal which allows me to partake and review some of the dining offerings at the resort.

2. Get Free Water

Doing little things like getting water from quick service locations throughout the park rather than buying bottled water will save you.

Free Water at Walt Disney World Epcot
Remember that you can get a free cup of tap water at Walt Disney World.

I have quickly moved on from this technique because I’m not trying to wait in too many lines. I invested in a filtered water bottle and fill from the park fountains.

WATCH NEXT: Top 5 BEST Quick Service Restaurants at Epcot!

3. Get Souvenirs Before Your Visit

Buying souvenirs prior to your arrival on Amazon, the Disney Store, or from small shops helps your wandering eye while you are there since everything you wanted is already in your possession.

Disney Memento Mori Store Haunted Mansion Merchandise at Magic Kingdom Theme Park Crossbody Bag
Disney Memento Mori Store Haunted Mansion Merchandise at Magic Kingdom Theme Park

Hipster Power Tip: You can also purchase $5 Disney shirts from places like Five Below before you vacation.

4. Use the Free Disney Transportation

While Disney World has lots of free transportation like the Skyliner, busses, monorail and boats, try using Lyft/Uber unless you absolutely have to.

Disney Riviera Resort Skyliner Operating Hours. Keep reading to see how much it cost to go to Disney World and how to save for your trip.

Using rideshare around property can eat through your wallet unexpectedly because the prices are higher due to being on property.

5. Buy Toiletries from Walmart of Dollar Tree

Stop at a Walmart or nearby discount store on your way from the airport to grab necessities like ponchos, sunscreen, etc.

Keep reading learn about what to pack for Florida and how to create the best Florida Packing List Flip Flop and bandanas in the Dollar Tree near Disney World
Dollar Tree

This will lighten your bags when you travel. I would especially do this for portable chargers.

Disney has some kiosks which sell them but at the hefty price tag of $30 plus tax. They don’t give a lot of charge either.

Speaking of travel, find the perfect park bag and pack light.

6. Ask Cast Members About Discounts

Lastly, politely ask the Cast Member servicing you if there are any special discounts or deals currently happening in store or at the dining location.

You may get some special magic by happening upon a time when deals are happening. Closed mouths don’t get fed after all.

Read Next: How to Find the BEST Vacation Home Rentals Near Disney World

My Final Word on Your Disney World Cost and Experience

As you can see, I have laid out some great tips, information and numbers that show how affordable your solo Disney trip can really be!

Disney Mickey's Premium Ice Cream Bar with Victoria Wade at Animal Kingdom

When in doubt, if it seems too overwhelming, always book with a travel agency that is earmarked and specializes in Disney Parks travel.

They will assure you that you will get fabulous deals and tailor it to fit your needs, as well as help you every step of the way with your Disney World cost, even during your trip.

Solo travel can be safe, affordable and fun, as long as you plan ahead and make time for the magic.

Theme Park Travel guide on How much does it cost to go to Disney World this year.
Save This Article for Later Using the Share Button Below

Have you started planning your solo trip to Walt Disney World yet? Let us know in the comments section below and stay in the know with tips in our Facebook group!

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

Victoria Wade Disney Writer at ThemeParkHipster

About the Author

Victoria is a professional solo traveler here to make your solo trips as stress free AND enjoyable as possible for you.

She has over 5 years of Disney and Non-Disney travel experience and was featured by POPSUGAR as one of the Top 50 Black Disney Creators you should follow.

She is a Proud Native to Baltimore, Md but always will call Disney World home. You can find her at Disney Tea with V.

Are you planning a Disney vacation soon? Read the Disney World Vacation Planning Guide for your next dream trip!

(Original Article Date: July 19, 2021/Updated by Editor on June 11, 2024)

Share this article!

Leave a Comment