What We Spent at Disney World for a Family of 4

 Magic Kingdom for Halloween!

Magic Kingdom for Halloween!

We recently embarked on the ultimate adventure with toddlers; Walt Disney World. I have been skeptical of Disney since we’ve had kids. I couldn’t imagine the park, the crowds, or the lines with 2 toddlers in tow. However, we decided to take on the challenge for our son’s second birthday! I knew I wanted to try to save money where ever we could without losing anything in the experience. I called around, did some research myself and I decided to stay off property and forgo the meal plan. Overall I would say Disney World was a complete success….except the fact that 3/4 of us got a horrible 24 hour stomach bug.

In order to know exactly how much we spent, I went through all of our receipts and charges. I tallied up what we spent and where we spent it. I also compared my estimate cost if we had stayed on Disney Property with a meal plan.

Below you will find exactly how much a 5 day, 4 night trip to Disney cost my family. At the very end, I also share a few ways we could have saved even more.


How Much Does Disney World Cost for a Family of 4

Tickets:

We used the Military 4-Day Park Hopper. We had to buy 3 passes. Latham didn’t need one because he is under 3. For military families, you can head to the nearest base ITT office to get your Military Ticket.

  • Cost per ticket: $222

  • Total Cost: $666


Hotel:

 Somehow I didn’t take any photos of the hotel room except this one. what an epic fail. This is the living room area of the hotel — the couch pulls out to a third bed if needed.

Somehow I didn’t take any photos of the hotel room except this one. what an epic fail. This is the living room area of the hotel — the couch pulls out to a third bed if needed.

We decided to take advantage of a Timeshare Presentation package. This means we had to spend about 3 hours listening to a presentation and saying no a thousand times. If we didn’t’ have kids with us, I would definitely do this again to save a little money.

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites - Waterpark. Our room was a 2-bedroom family suite. This means we had a king bed in a room with a door, a second room with a bunk bed. The lower bunk was a full size bed and the top a twin. We had a decent sized bathroom, large living room and a kitchenette with dining table. The resort had a fantastic waterpark, restaurants on property and it did offer a Disney Shuttle.

  • Cost to reserve: $199 (We were given this entire amount back once we finished the presentation)

  • Cost for Taxes: $43.77 (Due on arrival)

  • Cost for upgrade from a regular room: $120.42

  • Cost for extra night added to package: $100

  • Total Cost for 5 days, 4 nights in a Family Suite: $264.19


Gas:

Our drive was 6.5 hours from Pensacola to the hotel.

  • Cost for Gas: $70.01, $27.99, $58.98

  • Total Cost for Gas: $156.98


Groceries:

 The kids using their gifts from mickey in Animal Kingdom

The kids using their gifts from mickey in Animal Kingdom

We decided to make our own breakfasts, lunches and some of our dinners. This cost includes Latham’s birthday cake & medicine for the kids. We packed a small cooler of snacks, drinks and lunches for the park each day.

  • Cost for Groceries: $58.37, $105.48

  • Total Cost for Groceries: $163.85


Dinners Out:

 FREE Birthday Cupcake for latham from Kona Cafe

FREE Birthday Cupcake for latham from Kona Cafe

Our first night we decided to splurge on a Disney Property dinner. We ate a Kona Cafe at the Polynesian resort. We had an appetizer, 1 kid meal, 2 adult dinners and 3 adult beverages. I was excited to learn that the kid’s meal came with ice cream AND the waitress brought Latham this amazing birthday cupcake for free!

Our last night we decided to stop at Chipotle on our way back to the hotel.

  • Cost for dinners: $115.48 Kona, $15.49 Chipotle

  • Total Cost for Dinners: $131.48


Misc Travel Day Expenses:

We stopped for gas, snacks and couple meals along our two drives.

  • Cost for Stops: $20.82 BK, $12.17 misc, $16.18 Wendy’s, $18.26 misc

  • Total Misc Travel Expenses: $67.43


Laundry:

Delta Reserve

Since both of our kids got a stomach virus on our trip, we had to do a lot of laundry at the hotel. It was an unexpected and expensive cost IMO. We DID, however, get some Delta Miles for this unexpected purchase. If you’re not using a credit card to earn miles or points, you’re doing it wrong! Go HERE to read more about what we use!

  • Cost of Laundry: $10.50, $5.00, $1.50

  • Total Cost: $17.00


Cash Spent:

Disney Splurge

We brought $100 cash, plus were given the $199 back in cash for sitting through the presentation, plus we had a $150 Visa Gift Card. We were not strict about spending with these and decided to use this money as “fun money” in the parks. We enjoyed tons of food/drinks at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, balloons for the kids, a few random drinks/treats, and even bought tickets to play games at Dino Land in Animal Kingdrom. One huge unexpected cost was $87 for 2 t-shirts and 1 towel to replace/clean up our stuff that got puked on inside the park.

  • Cash Spent: $25/Day Parking ($75 total), $87 for shirts, $30 for birthday cupcakes, $20 for game tickets, $100 on food/drinks at Epcot’s IFAWF, $26 for 2 balloons, $11 for hotdog, $10 for popcorn bucket, $42 on Room Service Pizza on Night 2, $40 on misc cash purchases

  • Total Cash Spent: $449


Misc Park Card Purchases:

For some reason we had 3 random park purchases with a card for drinks and 2 dole whips.

  • Total Misc Park Purchases: $26.02


Gifts from Mickey:

Gifts From Mickey

We decided to pre-buy our kid’s some souveniers so we wouldn’t be tempted by the shops inside the parks. We gave them to the kids at night in our hotel room and told them that Mickey droppped them off as presents. It was our son’s second birthday, so these gifts doubled as birthday presents.

  • Night 1: Mickey/Minnie Cups ($5 Each) & Minnie Reusable Lunch Boxes ($8.50 Each)

  • Night 2: Minnie/Mickey Dolls ($5 Each) + Washcloths ($1 Each)

  • Night 3: Minnie Shoes ($11) + Mickey Mouse Blanket ($14)

  • Night 4: Set of 6 Roadster Racer Figurines ($10)

  • Total Cost of Gifts From Mickey: $74


Total Cost for our family to visit Disney world for 5 Days/4 Nights:

  • Tickets: $666

  • Stay: $264.19

  • Gas: $156.98

  • Groceries: $163.85

  • Dinners: $131.48

  • Misc Travel Expenses: $67.43

  • Misc Park Expenses: $26.02

  • Laundry: $17.00

  • Total Cash: $449

  • Gifts From Mickey: $74

  • Buffer: $100

TOTAL COST: $2,115.91


 Our bud loves pumpkins & mickey, so he was so excited to see mickey pumpkins

Our bud loves pumpkins & mickey, so he was so excited to see mickey pumpkins


Comparison

Before we decided on where we would stay, we asked for a few quotes for cost for staying on Disney property. The lowest quote we received was for $689 for a studio style hotel room. There are perks to staying on property. Namely the shuttle system. However, we wanted the extra space and the $75 we paid to park was optional as our hotel also provided a shuttle.

My estimated cost if we had stayed on Disney Property at the lowest priced hotel, gotten the dining plan, & spent the way we did anyway in the parks!

Disney Hotel: $689

Standard Disney Dining Package:

  • 2 Adult $75.49/Night/Person = $603.92

  • 1 Child: $103

  • TOTAL: $703.92

ESTIMATED Total Cost for our family to visit Disney world for 5 Days/4 Nights:

  • Tickets: $666

  • Stay: $689

  • Gas: $156.98

  • Groceries: $75

  • Dining Plan: $703.92

  • Misc Travel Expenses: $67.43

  • Laundry: $17.00

  • Total Cash: $250 (sans the $199 from the presentation)

  • Gifts From Mickey: $74

  • Buffer: $100

    TOTAL ESTIMATED COST: $2,799.33

 Mickey at epcot!

Mickey at epcot!

 Donald duck in Animal kingdom!

Donald duck in Animal kingdom!

 pluto at epcot!

pluto at epcot!


Ways we saved or could have saved a little extra cash:

  • Pack Lunch & Snacks - A single hot dog in the park is $10

  • Bring a Water bottle to refill OR ask Starbucks for an ice water (ITS FREE) - A single water bottle in the park is AT LEAST $4

  • Use the shuttles (we spent $25/day to park)

  • Forgo the extras….but we chose to buy a few extras on Latham’s birthday including 2 balloons ($13 EACH), Lefou’s Brew ($5.79 , but if you get a souvenir cup it will cost $12.99), a hot dog ($10), Dole Whips

  • Not buy souvenirs in the park shops. It was $87 for 2 t-shirts and 1 towel when we had to buy shirts and a towel to clean up throw up. Talk about some sticker shock. We bought all of our actual souvenirs at the Disney Outlet and Wal-Mart before we left for the trip.

 Epcot’S Morocco

Epcot’S Morocco

 Epcot’s Japan

Epcot’s Japan

 Epcot’S Italy

Epcot’S Italy

Do you have any money saving tips for Disney World? Put them in the comments!!

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 Disney world is on a lot of parent’s travel lists. How much does it cost for a family of four? We have broken down how much our 5 day, 3 night trip to disney world cost us. If you’re debating bringing toddlers along, don’t! They loved the entire thing!! #familytravel #disneyworld #disneytoddlers
 Disney world is on a lot of parent’s travel lists. How much does it cost for a family of four? We have broken down how much our 5 day, 3 night trip to disney world cost us. If you’re debating bringing toddlers along, don’t! They loved the entire thing!! #familytravel #disneyworld #disneytoddlers
 Disney world is on a lot of parent’s travel lists. How much does it cost for a family of four? We have broken down how much our 5 day, 3 night trip to disney world cost us. If you’re debating bringing toddlers along, don’t! They loved the entire thing!! #familytravel #disneyworld #disneytoddlers

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