The Complete Guide: How Much Does it Cost for a Family of 5 to Go to Disney World?

With 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, and amazing resorts, Walt Disney World is the perfect family vacation destination, but it does come with a price. Today I am sharing details about a Disney vacation cost and answering the question “How much does it cost for a family of 5 to go to Disney World?

Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida is one of the most popular theme parks on the planet. It is often a “must-do” for families and I can see why.

Walking down Main Street U.S.A. to see the reveal of Cinderella’s Castle, meeting your favorite Disney Princess, and ending your day with fireworks can make for a magical family vacation.

cinderellas castle at Magic Kingdom theme park
Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom

Overview of Expenses for Disney Vacation

Most people assume a Disney vacation is ridiculously expensive, and it is not cheap, but there are ways to save and ways to splurge.

Budgeting for your Disney trip is not one size fits all. Decide on your budget and priorities and then plan your trip. I always plan a bit bigger and then we break things down to what we feel comfortable spending.

Average Cost of a Disney World Vacation

The average cost of a Disney World vacation for a week is anywhere between $5000.00 and up for 5 people. Typical range is $4500.00 to $9000.00. This includes flight, hotel, tickets, and dining.

Hotel costs are the trickiest piece of the puzzle for a family of 5 Disney trip because standard rooms fit 4 people.

This means families of 5 either book two rooms, book rooms with a 5th sleeper, or book a family suite, more on accommodation options later in this post.

As a family of five who has been traveling to Disney World since 2013, when all 3 kids were under 5, we have learned where to save and where to splurge for our Disney World budget. (I share trip cost examples at the end of the post.)

Cost of your trip will vary because everyone vacations differently. Some want to splurge, some are okay saving. It depends on your priorities.

animal kingdom safari ride
Animal Kingdom: Kilimanjaro Safaris

Total Trip Cost

These are the basic Disney Vacation costs that all families will have to consider. Overall costs will increase/decrease depending on length of stay, choice of resort, and the time of year of your trip.

  • Accommodations: Value, Moderate, Deluxe, Off-Site
  • Park Tickets: Park hopper, non-hopper, water parks
  • Dining: Sit-Down Meals, Quick Service, Character Meals
  • Transportation: airfare, rental car, uber
  • Extras: Genie+, souvenirs

Accommodation Costs

Where you decide to stay for your Disney trip will greatly influence the cost of your trip. This is where you can significantly save money but it depends on what you are looking for in your hotel stay.

Guests have two options for accommodations when visiting Walt Disney World: stay on-site at a Disney Resort or stay off-site at a hotel or house rental.

Disney Resorts

The cost of a Disney World hotel can range from $170.00 to $1000.00+ a night. Disney World resort categories are Disney Value Resorts, Moderate Resorts, and Deluxe Resorts.

When there are special offers I have seen value resorts at $120.00-$140.00 a night. It is really important to check your dates, I use the Walt Disney World website, to see what special offers are available.

Guests that stay on-site receive early entry, 30 minutes before park opening for all 4 theme parks.

Deluxe resort guests receive early entry and extended evening hours for participating theme parks. (Dates/Theme Park vary day to day, check the My Disney Experience app for latest information.)

All guests receive transportation to and from your resort and the theme parks, as well as Disney Springs. Transportation includes bus, monorail, walking paths, boat, and the Disney Skyliner.

I am “Team On-Site”! I have never had an issue finding an on-site at Disney World resort for any budget.

If you are a family of 5 and want to stay at a value resort, consider booking connecting rooms. We are doing this for an upcoming trip and it is less expensive than upgrading to a moderate resort that fits 5.

Accommodation Options for Family of 5 at Disney World:

  • Book connecting standard rooms at a value resort. We have stayed at Pop Century and are trying an All-Star Resort for our upcoming trip.
  • Book a family suite at Art of Animation. These animation themed rooms are great for families and sleep up to 6. Check prices very carefully often the family suites cost more than 2 connecting rooms.
  • Upgrade to a deluxe resort that fits 5, we have stayed at the Riviera Resort. This includes suites and 1, 2, and 3 bedroom rooms as well as Disney Vacation Club rooms.

Off-Site Resort Options

You may want to consider staying off-site. Off-site will give you more space in your room as well as a chance to remove yourself from the “Disney Bubble”

Often people think it will save you a lot of money. In my experience it doesn’t because you have to rent a car, pay for parking at the parks, and the value of time sitting in traffic to/from the parks is not worth it personally.

Space vs. cost will always be better off-site. If you are traveling with a large group or you are only visiting the Disney parks one or two days during your week long vacation, off-site might be a good choice.

It is a good idea to compare the prices of off-site and on-site accommodations. Be sure to consider rental car costs as well as parking and resort fees for off-site hotels.

Encore Resort Splash Pad at Water Park
Encore Resort is a great off-site option for large groups or families not wanting to spend all of their time at the parks.

A few options to start pricing out your trip:

Park Ticket Prices

For the 4 theme parks there are two options: Single Day tickets and Multi-Day tickets. Guests can also add on water park days to the pricing but it doesn’t play into the pricing options for the theme parks.

  • Single-Day Tickets: Start at $109.00/day for ages 10+. This is a very low end and most single day tickets will be closer to $119.00/day or more during the busy season.
  • Multi-Day Tickets: Start at $89.00/day for ages 10+. The pricing for multi-day is “the more you play the less you pay” per day. Guests save around $20.00 a ticket when you purchase 3 or more days.
  • Park-Hopper: Start at $228.00/day for ages 10+. This pricing is pay less the more days you play. Park-hopper tickets allows guests to visit multiple theme parks in one day. I do not recommend Park-Hopper for your first visit to Disney World.
  • Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane: Start at $15.00 – $39.00 a day or per attraction. Learn more here.
  • Occasionally there are special offers on park tickets on the Walt Disney World website.

For our family, one day at a Disney park costs on average, $658.88. This does not include dining or any extras we may purchase.

Keep in mind depending on the season you visit you can expect to pay up to $159.00 a ticket for busy season.

I checked December 25th ticket price for one day and it was $159.00 per person.

We find it beneficial from a cost perspective to plan multiple days during our Disney vacation because the per day price is less the more days you visit.

I always suggest starting with prices from the Disney World website and comparing them to Undercover Tourist Disney tickets.

Undercover Tourist has “adult ticket for child prices” special offer a different times of throughout the year and it can save a bit of money for your trip.

Dining Expenses

Dining expenses can vary from family to family but this is where we save the most money on our trips. This strategy is not for everyone but it works for us.

To save on dining we avoid table-service and character meals. We plan our Disney itinerary to eat at the quick service restaurants and we never feel like we are missing out.

Disney World offers the Disney Dining Plan to guests staying on-site. When you book your trip you will purchase the dining plan. It is pre-paid so when you are on your trip you can not worry as much about the cost, but is the Disney dining plan worth it?

Yes and No. If you have kids under 10 you may find it worth it, but if you are traveling with kids over 10, everyone pays adult pricing.

Usually you are spending a lot more per day than you would if you paid out of pocket.

  • Quick-Service Dining Plan: $57.01 for adults and $23.83 (ages 3-9) per day. Includes 2 Quick Service Meals per Day, 1 snack or non-alcoholic beverage, 1 refillable mug for duration of your stay.
  • Disney Dining Plan: $94.28 for adults and $26.69 (ages 3-9) per day. Includes 1 Quick Service Meal, 1 Table-Service Meal, 1 snack or non-alcoholic beverage, 1 refillable mug for duration of your stay (per day.)
  • Prices are on average and can fluctuate depending on the offers at time of booking.

If you plan to do a character dining meal every day of your trip you may find the dining plan to be cost effective. This is one of those things you should price out.

Menus for character meals, table service, and quick service are on the My Disney Experience app and Disney World website.

If you are doing 1 character or sit-down meal during our trip it is financially better to pay out of pocket than purchase the dining plan for a family of 5.

What About “Free Dining”?

Free Dining is not actually the best deal. Again it depends on your traveling party. When Disney offers free dining it also charges a regular room rate for your hotel and guests are required to purchase park hopper tickets and stay longer than 3 nights.

This might work for you and it might not. If you do not want to price these out feel free to reach out as I do consulting for trips and would be happy to help.

quick service at disney world epcot katsura grill
Quick Service meal in the Japan area of Epcot.

Why Age of Your Traveling Party Matter, Especially With Dining Reservations

Anyone over the age of 10 is an “adult” when it comes to Disney pricing.

This means they will pay adult ticket pricing and adult pricing at Character Meals/buffet dining. If dining cost $57.01 a person for adults, it includes anyone over the age of 9 regardless of what they actually eat.

At quick service dining you can order kids meals for anyone, so this isn’t much of an issue. Sticking to quick service dining on our trips is a huge money saver and we don’t feel like we miss out.

Another quick tip: As a family of 5 we don’t need large portion sizes for the five of us for lunch. Usually I will share with the kids and this saves a little money each day.

I also like to pick one or two sit-down meals to “splurge” on. It makes them special and balances our spending without going too far out of budget.

Additional Costs and Extras

Additional costs would be transportation, souvenirs and merchandise, as well as any special event tickets you may want to purchase.

Other than transportation, these are optional and can be where you choose to save.

What are the Transportation Costs to Visit Disney World

You will have to fly or drive to the Walt Disney Resort. This will be different for each family and I recommend comparing your options.

Once you arrive you have a few options for transportation.

  • Book a car or Mears transportation to and from the airport. Mears cost $16.00 each way for adults and $13.00 for children. (As of 4/2024)
  • Rent a car. Walt Disney World resorts do not charge a nightly parking fee.
  • To save on flights check surrounding airports to find the best deals for your trip. We have also flown budget airlines like Frontier Airlines to save on transportation costs.

Once on-site at Disney you don’t need a car if you plan on staying at Disney. If you want to do a day at Universal you may want a car or you can Uber.

epcot mexico disney world
Mexico at Epcot

How Much Spending Money for Disney World

Disney World has some cute merchandise and you may want to purchase something from every park or you may want to pick one souvenir for the entire trip.

Consider the cost of souvenirs before you arrive and set an expectation for spending.

Special Events During Your Stay

At different times of the year Walt Disney World hosts special events that require an additional ticket.

These are Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. There are also After-Hour events. These special events require a separate theme park ticket and usually affect daytime park hours.

Consider these events when planning which park to visit each day during your trip and if you want to include these in your Disney vacation.

How Much for a Trip to Disney World (Example)

September 15th-Septemeber 21st, 2024: 6 nights, 5 day park tickets (not park-hopper), family of 5, all kids 10+. Does not include dining and transportation.

A 5 day park ticket will allow you to visit Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom for 1 day each, with an extra day at a park of your choice.

Prices are subject to change and this is just an example.

Disney ResortTicket & Accommodation Pricing
All Star Sports (Value Resort) 2 Rooms$4881.56
Art of Animation Family Suite (Value Resort)$5502.50
Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside(Moderate)$4597.22
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas-Jamba House (Deluxe Resort)$6889.28

Things to Consider for Pricing Your Disney Trip

Don’t be discouraged by initial costs. Disney World has been offering special deals and discounts. Always check the Walt Disney World website first to see the best discounts.

The best tips I can give you for saving on a Walt Disney World vacation is to prioritize where you want to spend your money.

If you will be at the theme parks most of your vacation don’t over spend on a resort. Consider choosing 1 or 2 table service meals and try quick service for most of your dining.

Consider the following and decide what you can change and what are non-negotiables for your trip.

  • Age of Everyone Traveling (at the time of the trip)
  • Preferred Resort
  • Time of Year You are Traveling
  • How Many Parks You Will Visit
  • What Type of Dining Do You Want to Include
  • Transportation Costs
  • Extra Costs, Souvenirs, etc.

Most Expensive vs. Least Expensive Time to Visit Disney World

The most expensive time to visit Disney World is during the busiest times. This usually means July, end of December, and mid-March-April will be the most expensive times to visit.

The least expensive time to visit Disney World is during low crowd times. This is September, January and early February, and the end of August. Read this for why I love a Disney trip in the summer!

If you can visit during the least busy times I would. When our kids were younger we would avoid school breaks and holidays.

Is a Disney World Trip Worth the Money?

The cost of a trip to Disney is definitely high. We love it so it is worth it for us, but be sure it is something your family really wants to do.

Often I hear people say they “have” to take their kids to Disney World. That is not true.

I recommend not going to Disney World if you don’t like theme parks. It is not for everyone and that is okay. We love visiting the Disney theme parks. We have visited Disneyland California and Disneyland Paris.

For us it is worth the money. Only you can decided if it is worth the money for you.

Previous Disney Trips and What They Cost

I add to this as we take trips. It is interesting to see how much the trips have changed over the years and I will continue to update as we plan more trips.

7 Nights at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort (August 2021)

2 Adults, 3 Children (13, 11, and 9), 5 Day Non-Park Hopper

  • Resort and Tickets: $4672.88
  • Dining: $945.28
  • Transportation(Flight): $1100.00
  • Total: $6718.16

Disney is certainly a pricey vacation. There is no way getting around it. I will say we had to make a last minute change to our resort and didn’t get the best deal on our package.

Dining is where we really saved. We did all of our meals at quick service locations except for one table service brunch during a non-park rest day.

5 Nights at Disney’s Pop Century (February 2013)

2 Adults, 3 Children (5, 2, and 1), 4 Day Non-Park Hopper

  • Resorts and Tickets: $1695.15
  • Dining: Included in Resort and Tickets Package
  • Transportation (We Drove)
  • Total: $1695.15

This trip was years ago and I don’t want to give the impression that cost is anywhere near this now BUT you can save a lot of money visiting Disney before your kids are over 3 years old.

A lot of people wait because they want the kids to remember it but if you want to go and see your kids experience the magic of visiting Disney World it will be the least expensive Disney trip you will ever take!

I will never forget dining with the princesses, watching the night parade, and eating a Mickey bar with my kids at that age.

They may not remember but it is a memory I will cherish forever.

I hope this breakdown of how much a Disney vacation cost for a family of 5 has given you insight into how to plan an trip to the Walt Disney World resort.

Read Next: Best Disney World Itinerary Planning Guide for Families

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