We recently got back from another fantastic trip to the Walt Disney World Resort. However, this time we did things a little differently and tried to really plan / budget as to how much we’d need to bring with us. Rather than just relying on the credit card and dealing with the costs when we get back – eek!
This got us thinking… How much spending money should we take to Walt Disney World? Given the high cost of food and drink compared to a more traditional holiday, and the focus on incredible souvenirs. It often feels like an impossible question to answer. However, it’s not.
That’s because, on our 2-week trip to the Walt Disney World Resort, we spent a total of $2,440.03. This is based on two adults and a baby (though the baby cost us next to nothing) and includes all of our food, drinks, snacks, transport (Uber / Lyft) & souvenirs.
It’s important to note that given this is spending money focused, it does not include the cost of our Walt Disney World tickets, flights to Orlando or our accommodation.
Of course, it’s also worth keeping in mind that everyone’s trip to the Walt Disney World Resort is completely different. Just because we spent roughly $90 per person, per day doesn’t mean you’ll spend that too.
However, hopefully, as we’ve gone ahead and broken down what we spent and where into the three key sections you’ll be able to get a better understanding of how much spending money you should plan for too.
Food & Drinks
The amount you spend on food and drink at the Walt Disney World Resort is generally going to depend on three things;
- How many people are travelling
- How many days you’re travelling for
- What type of dining you’re looking for
If you’re happy to have breakfast in your hotel, eat fast food for lunch and buy snacks from the grocery store to bring to the parks then you should be able to get away with roughly $55 per person, per night on average.
Some days you might spend more, and some days you might spend less. For example, a meal at a table service restaurant or a character dining experience costs in excess of $35 per person alone.
However, since we were travelling with a baby, the number of table service meals we had were few and far between. We (two adults, and one baby) spent $1,535.85 on food and drinks during our two-week trip to Walt Disney World. Some of the largest expenses that make up this total include;
- Cheesecake Factory: $141.10
We actually paid for ourselves and our two friends who live in Orlando when eating here. So the price was for four people, not just two.
- Sanaa: $99.76
This incredible restaurant at Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of our favourites. We had two drinks each, shared the bread service and then had one main each.
- The Boathouse: $73.51
This restaurant at Disney Springs is actually where we had our wedding meal back when we got married in Orlando in 2019. It was nice to return with our baby Oliver for the first time. We each had an alcoholic drink and one main.
- Uber Eats: $276.71
We ordered Uber Eats for lunch and dinner at our hotel a number of times during our stay. The total throughout the trip came to $276.71 with the average cost per meal being around $24.
All prices quoted include a tip of at least 10%.
It’s also worth noting that the total food cost of $1,535.85 does not include the additional $183.38 we spent in Walmart and Target during our trip which included food among some other essentials (predominantly baby things such as diapers and wipes).
A great way to save money on food and drink on a trip to Walt Disney World without compromising on the experience is to pack snacks that you eat in between meals some of the best snacks for Disney World include; nuts, chips and fruit roll-ups since they are unlikely to get damaged as a result of the Florida heat and humidity.
We booked a holiday package with TUI from the UK to Orlando. While this package included transport from the airport to the hotel, it did not include a hire car.
If you don’t already have airport transfers paid for, then the cost will likely vary depending on;
- Which airport you’re flying into
- What type of transfer you would like
- Where you’re staying in Orlando
We have guides on how to get from various airports in Florida to the Walt Disney World Resort which include some rough estimates;
If you’re planning on hiring a car while in Orlando, then you’ll have likely already booked and paid for the car. However, your spending money will need to include;
- Parking overnight at the hotel (where applicable)
- Parking at the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks
- Any additional parking costs
Sadly, we weren’t staying on-site at the Walt Disney World Resort and instead was staying at the Endless Summer Resort by Universal Studios.
Therefore anytime we wanted to visit one of the Disney theme parks we had to pay for either an Uber or a Lyft to take us there (and back).
If you want to save money on transport to the Walt Disney World theme parks during your trip without staying on-site and subsiquently increasing your accommodation costs, consider staying in a hotel that provides a free shuttle.
During our trip, we spent a total of $394.28 on Uber and Lyft with the average one-way journey to Walt Disney World costing in the region of $22.
However, keep in mind that certain theme parks are further inside the Walt Disney World Resort than others.
As such, while a one-way trip to EPCOT might only cost $20, a one-way trip to Animal Kingdom at the exact same time could easily cost $28.
In addition to trips to the Walt Disney World Resort, this total also includes going from our accommodation to Walmart, Target and the Orlando Outlets to name a few.
Again, the total cost includes at least a 10% tip for all drivers.
We have taken multiple trips to the Walt Disney World Resort over the past decade and subsequently, we have the hats, the t-shirts, MagicBands and the ears that first-time visitors to the Walt Disney World Resort may want to purchase.
We also are travelling as two adults and a baby, and therefore there weren’t the toy purchases we might otherwise expect to purchase when visiting in a couple of years when our little boy is a little older.
With all that in mind, we spent a total of $246.52 on souvenirs during our two-week trip to Walt Disney World.
However, the majority of these souvenirs weren’t purchased at the Walt Disney World Resort and instead were purchased at the Disney Character Warehouse in the Vineland Outlets.
The Disney Character Warehouse is a retail store operated by The Walt Disney Company and sells a variety of Disney-branded merchandise which was either sold online or in the Walt Disney World theme parks including; clothes, toys, homeware and more.
Being an outlet, these items are often significantly discounted when compared to their original retail price (often between 20% and 70% depending on the item).
As a result, we often try to check the outlets twice during a two-week vacation, once at the start of the trip and once at the end – in case any new stock has arrived.
We also made $80 worth of purchases while at the Walt Disney World Resort that can’t be categorised by any of the above.
- Late Check-Out: Our international flight back to the UK didn’t leave until 6pm, with the coach to the airport not picking us up until 3pm. As such we chose to pay $50 to keep our hotel room until then.
- Disney Genie+: We also spent $30 for one day of Disney Genie+ just to test out the service and see if it’s something we would want to use again in the future.
- Nappies, wipes etc: As we mentioned back in the food category we spent $183.38 during our trip. While the vast majority of this was food there were some nappies and wipes that we purchased (among other small baby items).
Walt Disney World Travel Planning Guide
🎟️ Where To Buy Tickets for Walt Disney World?
If you’re based in the US or Canada, I recommend Klook for your Walt Disney World tickets.
Klook consistently has the most competitive prices. There’s also a range of different ticket options to suit all budgets and requirements.
Meanwhile, if you’re based in the United Kingdom. Then I recommend buying your Walt Disney World tickets from AttractionTix.
I personally use AttractionTix when purchasing theme park tickets. That’s because AttractionTix consistently has the most competitive prices and incredible customer service.
🏥 Should I Buy Travel Insurance for a Visit to Walt Disney World?
If you’re travelling to Walt Disney World for vacation, then travel insurance is recommended. Basic travel insurance coverage with Safety Wing averages between $5 – $10 per day and offers peace of mind.
However, if a trip to Walt Disney World isn’t part of a vacation. For example, you live locally. Then travel insurance isn’t likely to be necessary.
🚘 Do I Need to Rent a Car for a Visit to Walt Disney World?
You don’t need to rent a car to visit Walt Disney World. Instead, you can take an Uber or Lyft, as the theme park has pick-up and drop-off points.
Parking at Walt Disney World is expensive, so taking an Uber or Lyft can, in some cases, be cheaper.
However, if a trip to Walt Disney World only makes up a portion of your vacation, then you may want to rent a car. I personally use Discover Cars to find the best car rental when visiting the USA.