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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Monday, February 11, 2013

Is A Walt Disney World Vacation More Expensive Than Other Vacation Destinations?

Is a family vacation to Walt Disney World really more expensive than any other vacation destination?  I’m just wondering as a friend’s family of four is getting ready to embark on their first vacation to Walt Disney World and I have already been told it will be their only trip due to cost.

Yes, an on property resort can be more per night of your stay than an off property resort.  But let’s focus on what you get for those extra dollars:
  • Free and unlimited use of the Disney transportation system.  A fleet of buses, boats, and monorails at your service to whisk you to and from parks and resort.  This also means no rental car expenses if you so desire and no parking fees at the parks which be an additional fee if staying off property.
  • Free transportation to and from Orlando International Airport using Disney’s Magical Express Service.  This also includes handling of luggage and delivering it to your resort room.  Again, no rental car fees or paying for gas.
  • Extra Magic Hours—those precious hours when parks are only open to resort guests.  As they say, time is money, and your time can be well spent taking advantage of Extra Magic Hours either in the morning or after the park officially closes to the public.
  • Theming, immersion in Disney service and magic, and great pools are also included with your stay at a Walt Disney World Resort.

Park Tickets, depending on the length of your stay and options you add can vary the price of this feature of a Walt Disney World vacation.  Park Hopper and Water Parks & Fun, and No Expiration can add to the price of tickets.  Yet, Disney has changed some pricing recently to make adding Park Hopper and Water Parks & Fun to tickets more economical.  And, veteran Disney guests know the more you stay and play the less per cost of your day of tickets.  For example, we added a day to our tickets for our upcoming trip and  the cost was $31 total for all three of us.  And, here’s what you get when purchasing theme park tickets:
  • Access to four theme parks—Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.
  • Parades, fireworks, shows, rides, attractions, character greetings, and all other entertainment inside those theme parks—other than special tours—is included with your theme park ticket.
  • Fastpass and use of Fastpass which is FREE with your theme park ticket.

Available to guests staying both on property and off property is access to Downtown Disney and incredible dining throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, but as an on property guest, you have more efficient access to those amenities.  Add on two water parks, several golf courses, and miniature golf and you have the Walt Disney World Resort in a nutshell.

Is a Walt Disney World vacation more expensive?  Maybe; initially as the cost for resort stay and tickets, and dining plan, are paid for in advance.  Yet, when pricing other active vacations that may include show tickets, museum visits, ball game tickets, admission to zoos or other amusement parks, parking, driving, gas, etc. a Walt Disney Vacation is comparable.


  1. We actually find that a Disney vacation is more affordable for us then a cruise or going to say Hawaii. It's basically the closest holiday location (2.5 hr flight) and we can usually get a great package deal by booking flight/hotel together.
    However, if we were to do DisneyWorld it would be significantly more expensive as the flight is over 6 hours for us.

    1. And, a flight to any distant location would be additional costs. You are so right, Disney offers many discounts and specials to make a Disney vacation even more affordable.

  2. 3 more days to go and it will be 7 fun filled magical days at Disney World. I cannot get through work I'm just too excited...

    1. Michael,
      That is such a wonderful feeling to be so excited about your upcoming Disney vacation. Have a magical trip!

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