Disney Vacations

The Real Cost of Disney Theme Parks

Last updated 29th March 2018

Once again, Disney Parks has increased it ticket prices. One-day tickets to the Magic Kingdom are now $129 per person. Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom one-day tickets are now $122. California’s Disneyland Resort, which includes Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure are now $117, each.


What Isn’t Included

A family of four visiting a Disney Park will certainly need more than $500 to visit for just one day, as the ticket prices are for entrance and rides only. Additional fees include:

  • Parking. Unless you stay at a Disney Resort or affiliate hotel that offers complimentary shuttle service, parking at Disney Parks will cost you $22 for standard parking or $45 per day for preferred (closer) parking at all four Orlando-area resorts. In California, parking is $20, although Anaheim hotels can utilize a free shuttle and are often in walking distance of the resort.
  • Dining. You can elect to purchase snacks and meals a la carte or choose a Disney Dining Plan. Quick-Service plans are the cheapest, providing two quick service meals and two snacks per person, per night ($52.49 per adult; $21.75 per child, ages 3-9). The Disney Dining Plan includes one table service meal, one quick service meal and two snacks per person, per night ($75.49 and $25.80, respectively). The most expensive is the Deluxe Dining Plan, which is nearly all-inclusive for families, includes three table service or quick service meals and two snacks per person ($116.24 and $39.90, respectively). Gratuities are not included.
  • Character Experiences. Character dining experiences range in price from $30 to $58 and can use Disney Dining Plan tickets, although some pricer meals will eat up all quick- or table-service meals in one go.
  • Avoiding Long Lines. Lines for rides at Disney can extend an hour, which is why Disney offers Ultimate VIP Tour packages, one for younger kids and one for thrill seekers. These tours include lunch and follows a group of 40 people and can maximize rides for $299. The tours are only available on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The service also provides VIP seating for parades and shows, and door-to-door transportation from any hotel.

Disney Resort Prices

Disney Resorts touts extra hours at the park, free transportation to the parks, and close proximity to the parks. The per night price of Disney accommodations depends on the level you choose:

  • Deluxe Villas begin at $341 per night during the cheapest seasons. These include Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, Disney’s Old Key West Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas at Kidani or Jambo Village, Disney’s BoardWalk Villas Disney’s Beach Club, Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Resort, and Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
  • Deluxe Resort Hotels begin at $338. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn.
  • Moderate Resort Hotels begin at $199 per night. These include Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter and The Cabins at Disney’s For Wilderness Resort.
  • Value Resort Hotels begin at $107 per night. These include Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort, Disney’s All-Star Music Resort, Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort, Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.
  • Campgrounds begin at $53 per night.
  • Disneyland Resorts start at $269 per night at Disney’s Paradise Pier Resort, $360 at Disneyland Resort, and $417 at Disney’s Grand California Resort & Spa.

History of Disney Price Increases

When Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom opened in Florida in 1971, Disney rides were offered per ticket, with an admission package that include seven rides. Guests could buy more packets of tickets, from A to E, and ride prices were based on ride popularity — everyone wanted more E tickets for the best rides. Back then, admission was under $5.

Tickets moved to a set ticket price in 1982: $15 per ticket. The price increased to $25 in 1986, still a steal. In the 1990s, Disney began increasing ticket prices with the addition of new rides and parks: $31 by 1990, $40 by 1996, $45 by 1998, $50 by 2001, $55 in 2004, $80 by 2010, and crossing the $100 mark by 2015.