Cost of Our Disney World Vacation
We recently took a Disney World vacation with 11 people. Yes, you read that right. Our group consisted of 11 people! It was quite the adventure getting everything organized, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. Our vacation spanned over 6-days/5-nights and we went in the middle of Spring Break, March 19-24.
We were able to take advantage of terrific military promotions since myself and Andrew are both members of the service. I know not all families get this privilege, but Disney always has promos going on, so make sure to check what your or someone in your party might qualify for! You should RARELY ever have to pay full price for a Disney vacation.
I broke down this cost analysis into categories: accommodations, tickets, transportation, and dining. These are hands-down your biggest expenses on any Disney Vacation.
Disney has 20 lodging options to choose from. We originally decided on All-Star Music since it was the cheapest and had reserved a standard room and one of the family suites. The total for that stay came out to be $2,938.56. Then the pandemic hit, and the All-Star hotels closed. We had to shift our reservations to the Art of Animation resort for 2 family suites to comfortably accommodate everyone. They did price match us for the transfer of the original family suite, but we had to pay additional for the second even though it wasn't our choice to move hotels. This brought our total to $4,735.45 and that was with the military discount applied to both rooms!
After discussing it with the rest of the group, we opted to stay at the Shades of Green. This is Disney's military lodging option. It is not technically owned by Disney, but guests still get most of the perks provided to Disney resort guests. The only things you miss by staying at Shades of Green are the magical express (which is being discontinued in 2022) and the Disney dining plans. For a family suite that was significantly larger than those at Art of Animation and a standard room, our grand total was $2,431.
Every year, Disney releases a "Salute" program. This offers super discounted tickets for military members. Each member is entitled to 6 tickets a piece and those can be used for friends and family! Our 4-day park hopper promotional tickets cost $265 per person. The price applies to anyone over the age of 3. I purchased 6 tickets through my ITT office on base and the remaining 5 directly from Shades of Green. Let me tell you, just buy from Shades of Green. It is WAY easier. They send you actual tickets and you won't have to go to the ticketing office upon arrival and exchange your vouchers. Its as easy as filling out a form.
To compare pricing, the same ticket options purchased from DIsney costs $532.87 per person. So, by using our discounted tickets, we saved $267.87. Thats over half the price! While not everyone can take advantage of these awesome deals, Disney almost always has some sort of discount. Make sure to check the special offers tab to see what kind of deals you qualify for.
Disney isn't offering the dining plans for the time being. We wouldn't have been able to participate anyway considering we were staying at Shades of Green. However, I didn't feel like I needed a dining plan. There's not an abundance of time for snacking (at least if you theme park like my family!) , and we often shared portions since they were so large. On the chart below you can see what the dining plans cost (pre-COVID) and what we spent. We ate one counter service and one table service restaurant every day. We also purchased starbucks coffee every morning, adult beverages in each of the parks, and drank around the world. So, the dining plan wouldn't have been of much use to us and would have ended up costing us more.
THIS IS THE COST COMPARISON FOR 2 ADULTS (myself and Andrew)
Half of our group flew and the other half opted to drive. For flights, we departed Huntsville on a direct flight to Orlando. This was provided by Silver Airways and cost about $80 per person. Since we returned on a day where Silver didn't provide service, we flew back into Huntsville with Delta Airlines. This flight did have one layover in Atlanta and cost about $100 per person. So, flight totals per person after taxes and fees came out to be $196.
We took a private transfer from the airport and it cost about $30 per person for round trip.
Click HERE for the company we used.
For our drivers, they had gas expenses and were required to pay $13 a day for parking at the hotel. This total came out to be just $130 for 2 vehicles. This is about $10 cheaper per day than what it costs to park at a Disney property!
For total pricing, I am using my sister's total since most people traveling to Disney have children. All three of them flew, so airfare is applicable for their cost analysis. Their dining, souvenir, and extras cost ended up being about $800 dollars. Here is how we break down the pricing...
Total rooms cost divided by 11 people: $221
Tickets per person: $265
Airfare/transfers per person: $226
Total cost for dining/souvenirs/extras divided by number of family members (3): $266.66
Total for a family of 3: $2,935.98
Total per person: $978.66
Just for comparison, I added up their total if we would have purchased the rooms at Art of Animation and regular priced Disney park tickets. All other costs stayed the same.
Total for a family of 3: $4,368.08
Total per person: $1,456.03
Here are the differences and total savings for her family of 3!
Total savings for family of 3: $1,432.10
Total savings per person: $477.37