6 Steps to Saving for Walt Disney World

This step-by-step guide will show 6 steps to saving and budgeting for your solo Walt Disney World trip.

  1. Decide which park or parks you want to visit.
  2. Determine the total cost of your trip.
  3. Start your 6-month savings plan.
  4. Book your vacation once you have saved approximately 50% of your goal.
  5. Track your spending while on vacation.
  6. Have fun!

Disney savings jar with Mickey Mouse in front of Spaceship Earth at Epcot
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I’m excited to show you a few simple ways you can save for your Walt Disney World vacation with this budget friendly guide! (Last updated November 27, 2018.)


How to Save for a Disney Vacation


6 Steps to Saving for Disney | ThemeParkHipster Podcast Episode 5

Step 1 – Decide which park or parks you want to visit.

There are many different ticket options available for Walt Disney World. I’ve listed the three basic types of offers you will find for the parks.

  • The 1-Day Ticket is valid for one admission to any one of the four parks on the date that is valid for the ticket type.
  • The Multi-day ticket is valid for one theme park per day for each day of the ticket.
  • The Park Hopper addition allows you to enjoy same day admission to all four theme parks on each day of the ticket.

I recommend buying the multi-day ticket if you’re planning a vacation or visiting Walt Disney World for more than three days in one year. Plus, you can save $20 when purchasing the 3-day or longer tickets online from the official Disney website.



You can also safely buy the cheapest, valid Walt Disney World multi-day ticket from authorized ticket sellers such as the Undercover Tourist. The Undercover Tourist allows you to make FastPass+ selections prior to your visit.

Grab your free Walt Disney World Parks One-Day Itinerary Here!
Walt Disney World One-Day Game Plan with Mickey and Minnie Mouse in parade.
Click image to grab your Disney Parks one-day game plan!

Step 2 – Determine the total cost of your trip.

Once you have the itinerary set, figure out how much food, tickets, transportation, lodging, souvenirs, and entertainment will cost.


Solo Disney Travel Vacation Budget

Woody in front of Toy Story Land.
Woody in front of Toy Story Land.


How much can you expect to spend on Food at Walt Disney World?

If you eat on a budget, meaning you dine offsite or purchase groceries for your vacation with one quick service meal within the parks, you can spend about $30 to $50 per day.


If you plan on eating onsite for all meals, then you’ll want to increase that budget to $40 to $60 per day.


How much can you expect to spend on Tickets at Walt Disney World?


One-Day Ticket VALUE Season
Adult Child
1-Day Magic Kingdom    $109 $103
1-Day Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom            $102 $96
1-Day Park Hopper        $164 $158
1-Day Park Hopper Plus (includes Water Parks, Golf, and the ESPN Complex)          $189 $183

*Prices subject to change*

Ticket savings are given to you when purchase multi-day tickets. More info here.

How much can you expect to spend on Transportation at Walt Disney World?

If you’re staying onsite at a theme park affiliated hotel, then you will most likely have free transportation to the parks. The Walt Disney World Resort has its own transportation system that transports guests throughout the property free of charge.

The typical plane ticket cost to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida averages about $185 round trip per person.

How much can you expect to spend on Lodging at Walt Disney World?

The Walt Disney World Resort has over twenty hotels, including Value, Moderate, Deluxe, Deluxe Villas, and a campsite, for theme park guests to choose from. If you’re vacationing on a budget then you’ll save money by booking a Disney Value Resort or an offsite Orlando vacation home averaging $150 per night.



The perk of staying onsite is the ability to skip the hassle of baggage claim with free transportation from the Orlando International Airport to Disney World. You’re also able to take advantage of the extra magic hours in Walt Disney World theme parks, allowing for more time to conquer the essential attractions.


Disney Resort Hotels Average Cost


Other Select Deluxe Disney Hotels Average Cost

How much can you expect to spend on souvenirs and entertainment at Walt Disney World?

When budgeting for your solo trip to Walt Disney World, be sure not to forget to include miscellaneous items like souvenirs. The price of souvenirs can get really costly. Disney guests usually spend about $250 on theme park trinkets.

Sample Disney World Souvenir Cost
Autograph Book $6.95 to $10.95
Character Toys $12 to $100
Commemorative Pins $10 to $100
T-Shirts $16 to $35

Resource: Fodor’s Travel Walt Disney World *Prices subject to change*


Entertainment at Disney is another cost to factor in. The theme parks have wonderful shows included in the park ticket prices. On your dream Disney vacation, you may want to experience some of the special dining events such as, Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue, a dessert party at Epcot, or a savory Savanna nighttime dinner. These events range in cost averaging between $60 to $200.



Hipster Power Tip: Family of Four Vacation Budget

Remember that traveling alone cuts the vacation in half, especially if you have to do one without your whole family. The average cost for a day at one of the central Florida theme parks with a family of four can range from $500 to $800. This cost usually includes the ticket price, food, hotel, transportation, and souvenirs.

Red classic car in water at Disney Springs Boathouse.
Photo: Disney Co. The BOATHOUSE

The good news is that you’ll have a little bit of change left to splurge on that spa day you’ve always wanted to do, or that special V.I.P. tour that’s on your theme park bucket list.


Step 3 – Start your 6-month savings plan.

If you’re going to make this a big trip or just an extended weekend trip, then you probably could save in 3 to 6 months. The cost of a solo four-day Disney vacation is about $1500.


How to Save for Your Solo Walt Disney World Trip in Six Months

Week Amount to Save
1 $20
2 $35
3 $45
4 $100
5 $20
6 $35
7 $45
8 $100
9 $20
10 $35
11 $45
12 $200
13 $20
14 $35
15 $45
16 $100
17 $20
18 $35
19 $45
20 $200
21 $20
22 $35
23 $45
24 $200




Hipster Power Tip: Open a separate savings account to help organize your vacation funds and keep track of your savings goal.


Disney Savings Jar

How to save for disney in six months. Disney savings jar.
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How to Save for a Four-Day Trip with a Family of Four to Walt Disney World in Six Months


Week Amount to Save
1 $125
2 $150
3 $175
4 $300
5 $125
6 $150
7 $175
8 $300
9 $125
10 $150
11 $175
12 $300
13 $125
14 $150
15 $175
16 $300
17 $125
18 $150
19 $175
20 $300
21 $125
22 $150
23 $175
24 $300



*Change savings goal to twelve months by dividing each amount to save in half*


Step 4 – Book your vacation once you have saved approximately 50% of your goal.

Booking through certain travel agencies or authorized Disney planners such as, Destinations in Florida, gives you an opportunity to set up a payment plan. Once you’ve paid for half of your vacation, continue saving the other 50%.

The additional half may include the cost of dining, entertainment, souvenirs, and any other miscellaneous items you may want to purchase.


Walt Disney Vacation Package

Step 5  – Track your spending while on vacation.

You can use a tool like, Every Dollar, to track each item that you spend on vacation. You can also create a little note in your phone, carry a small notebook with you, or download an app to keep track of how much you spend on each budgeted item.

The Trail Wallet app is an easy travel expense tracker for iPhone and iPad. Designed to be fast, it takes the headache out of expense tracking so you can focus on the fun.

Trail Wallet Travel Spending Tracking App
Trail Wallet Travel Spending Tracking App

Steps 6 – Have fun!

After all, you’ve done all the “adult” planning for the perfect solo vacation!

Why not enjoy yourself?

If you’ve save up for a Disney trip before, what was your best way of saving money fast? Let me know in the comments below!

Want more theme park tips? Check out the theme park tips page. If you’re thinking about going to a theme park alone, then read the top 18 tips. Are you planning a Disney vacation soon? Read the Disney Vacation Planning Guide for your next dream trip!

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Don’t forget to discover the new magical and mysterious Disney adventure of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!



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