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Hidden costs of a Walt Disney World trip

Lets face it, you can budget and plan all you like but the price of a Disney trip is NEVER what it appears.

Seeing cheap ‘prices from’ can entice people in to a Walt Disney World trip, but there are plenty of secret costs to take in to account when planning.

  • Parking – Whether you are staying on site and paying resort parking fees (prices ranging from $13-$24 per night) or staying off property and paying for to park at the parks each day (prices range from $25-$50 per day). Either option is an added expense that definitely needs to be taken in to account.
  • Food – Food and drinks within the parks is expensive, a soda/water currently costs $4.50. Whether you decide to purchase the dining plan ahead of time to make budgeting easier, (prices start at $54 per night and go up to $116 per night), or, like us, you could take extra ‘food money’ with you. We budget up to $100 per person per day.
  • Events – I am a sucker for an event. These can certainly be a huge cost that will add up. Please research and take in to account how much an event could cost you and your family. I would definitely recommend an event, whether you book MNSSHP, MVMCP, dessert parties, early morning magic or after hours.
  • Taxi/ Minnie Van – Certainly a must for early morning/ late night transportation. A single way journey could cost up to $40. (Excluding tips).
  • Rentals – rentals such as ECV’s, strollers or wheelchairs. Each of these have daily/ weekly charges.
  • Tipping – Tipping is expected in Walt Disney World, whether you’re tipping your server or bartender, a tip of 18%-20% is expected. Minnie Van or Lyft drivers, a tip of a up to $5 per trip on top of your total trip cost. Mouse Keeping is recommended at $1 per person per night.
  • Festivals – If you are planning to attend an EPCOT festival, be prepared to pay around $11 per plate at any booth.
  • Memory Maker – As a UK guest the Memory Maker is included in your ticket price, however domestic guests who are not Annual Passholders will have to pay $169 for Memory Maker before arrival and $199 if purchased on the trip.

I have been to Walt Disney World enough times to know that there are hidden cost, however as a first time visitor or someone who has only visited once or twice, the first price you see is not the price you pay. ‘Extras’ do have to be taken in to account.

What are your thoughts? Is there anything I have missed that is a hidden expense? Let me know in the comments.

7 thoughts on “Hidden costs of a Walt Disney World trip”

  1. I’m soooo upset the started charging people to park at the resorts!! Ughhh the whole point of those was that you DIDN’T have to pay. (I’ve been venting about this for a year now lol) I

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    1. You and me both. If anything it will discourage drivers from taking cars and there for meaning they stay on property and not leaving Disney. Spending more money!!

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      1. Yes! We didn’t even stay on property a few weeks ago. We paid to park and it ended up being way less stressful. The bus system they have needs major updates and help. I hate standing when it gets over crowded. They need more.

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      2. I think I can handle the bus system if I don’t have to pay for parking. There are over 600 Disney buses but who knows how many are on the road at one time.

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      3. Sam is the same. I can tollerate because I am in my happy place, but he hates waiting, especially for a bus. We usually make the same joke, ‘it would be quicker to wait for Flight of Passage that to wait for this bus’.

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