A trip to Disneyland is a dream come true for many families. If you plan your vacation right, you can save quite a bit.
However, if you’re unprepared, you could easily end up spending hundreds or thousands more than you expect. So it definitely helps to do your due diligence to figure out how much does it cost to go to Disneyland.
On average, a family of four (two adults and two children) can expect to pay between $950 and $1,200 for a two-day trip to Disneyland California. Standard tickets range between $100 and $150 per day, depending on the time of year and how many days you plan on staying.
This doesn’t account for other related travel expenses, hotels, food and drink, or other costs. Below, I’ll give you a full rundown of what to expect, so you can budget for your Disneyland trip and make the most of it!
Now that you have a rough idea of how much it costs to go to Disneyland, it’s time to dig a bit deeper and do some budgeting. Below, I’ll give you the average cost breakdown of all of the major expenses associated with a Disneyland trip.
To give you an idea of what to expect, here’s a table outlining some of the estimated costs (in USD) for a two-day trip to the theme park:
|Expenses (Assuming two days at Disneyland)
|Average for two adults
|Average for family of four (two adults, two children)
|Disneyland ticket add-ons (Park Hopper, Genie+)
|Round-trip flight, within the USA (economy)
|Rental vehicle (economy car, two days)
|Hotel & accommodation (4-star hotel, 3 nights)
|Food & drinks
|Souvenirs & unexpected purchases
If you’re travelling from out of the country, then you may want to use Oanda’s foreign exchange calculator to figure out how much to budget in your own currency.
Keep in mind that it’s always best to account for more than what you plan on. It’s great if you can end up saving some extra money. However, you don’t want to be short on funds, especially if you’re bringing your family on a major trip.
Next, let’s go through each of these categories, so I can explain how these costs can vary depending on your situation.
Disneyland uses a dynamic pricing model, which means that the theme park’s ticket prices vary on a day-to-day basis, depending on factors like:
- The time of year
- The weather
- How busy the park is
- How many days you’re staying for
While this can be frustrating to visitors, who never have an exact idea of what price to expect, Disneyland’s dynamic ticket pricing ensures that the park always remains profitable.
The more you plan your trip ahead and purchase tickets early, the better price you can get locked in at. However, if you wait until the last minute and purchase tickets in the middle of the peak season, then you’re going to have to shell out a lot more money.
For example, at the time of writing this, a two-day ticket for an adult (without add-ons) is $285, or $143 per day. Currently, it’s the middle of winter, and it’s the slow season. You can bet that these prices will jump up by at least 25% as the warm summer months approach.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you can save a good deal on tickets by purchasing tickets for multiple days.
Two-day tickets seem to be the most popular and thus the most expensive. However, if you want to turn it into a longer trip, you can save over 40% by booking 5 days worth of tickets. Here’s the current price model for a standard ticket based on the number of days you plan on visiting:
Disneyland in California has two parks that you’ll be able to access with your tickets – Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. Standard tickets allow you to visit one park per day, which is one of the main reasons why people purchase two-day tickets to Disneyland.
Ticket costs are fairly similar for both children and adults, but this can vary depending on the time of year you’re visiting. Another thing to keep in mind is that children under three do not need to pay for a ticket, so you can save on your infants.
In addition to the standard Disneyland theme park tickets, visitors will be able to select between a couple of add-ons which give them a bit more freedom and flexibility:
- Disneyland Genie+
- Park Hopper
The Park Hopper add-on typically costs an extra $60 per ticket and allows visitors to hop between both Disneyland parks throughout the day. This is good if you have a larger group and you’re trying to make everybody happy.
The Genie+ add-on costs an extra $50 per ticket. This gives users access to the Genie+ app, which helps visitors create an itinerary and reserve their virtual spots in line for the next attraction they plan on visiting.
This can save you a lot of time that you’d otherwise spend waiting in line and can help you make the most of your day.
Whenever you purchase your Disneyland tickets online, you’ll also be given the option to pre-pay for parking, which costs an additional $30 per day.
Other than the Disneyland tickets themselves, the flight to Anaheim, California, is arguably the most expensive part of any Disneyland trip. Additionally, the cost here can vary significantly, depending on factors such as:
- Where you’re flying from
- What airline you’re flying on
- What time your flight departs and lands at
- The time of year
For example, a round-trip economy class ticket for an adult travelling from Atlanta to LAX in early April could cost between $350 and $600. A couple could expect to pay $760 to $1,200 before taxes and fees:
By contrast, a couple flying in mid-January (the slow season), could get round-trip tickets from Atlanta to LAX for as low as $81 per ticket:
Whenever you’re booking a flight, expect costs to vary significantly. The best way to save on your airline ticket is to purchase it several months ahead of time. Airline tickets steadily increase in price the closer that you get to the flight’s departure date.
Another great way to save on flights is to use a travel rewards credit card like the American Express Cobalt card. If you book your flight through American Express, you’ll unlock special deals and earn bonus points which can be applied to future flights and vacations.
Most families who are flying into Anaheim to visit Disneyland will also need to rent a vehicle to drive around the city while they’re in town. While you could use a rideshare service like Lyft or Uber or uber to commute from your hotel to the park, this could easily add up and requires a bit of extra planning.
If your flight lands at LAX or the SNA airport, you should be able to book a vehicle through a rental agency like Enterprise, Hertz, or Avis as you’re leaving the airport. This is the simplest option: load your luggage into the car and drive straight to your hotel.
On average, renting a four-door economy car will cost you around $150 per day, not including fuel (which is very expensive in Southern California). If you need to rent a larger SUV or minivan to accommodate your family, expect to pay around $220 daily.
Another alternative is to use a car-sharing platform like Turo.
This platform is similar to Airbnb and allows car owners to rent their vehicles out to other users. Often, the cars cost less to rent and are in better condition than the vehicles you’ll find at a traditional rental agency.
The only downside here is that you may have to hail a ride to meet the individual renting the car. However, some renters may offer to drop their vehicle out at the airport for you.
Hotels are another costly expense associated with a trip to Disneyland.
If money isn’t an issue, then you live it up and rent a room at one of the in-park Disneyland resorts. However, this could easily cost between $700 and $1,000 per night.
The majority of Disneyland visitors stay at a nearby hotel located off-site. You’ll find a handful of hotels offered by Marriott, Hilton, Wyndham, and others that range between $200 and $500 per night, depending on the time of the year and availability, as seen in this Google search for accommodations below:
While hotels are arguably the most convenient option, some may find that renting a home on Airbnb or VRBO provides a little bit more space and freedom. This is especially true if you’re travelling with kids or have a large group of people who can help you split the cost of renting a house.
Trust me when I say that you’re going to be hungry after a day of walking around in the park! If you go in the peak of summer, you’ll want to grab some ice cream or drinks to cool you down as well.
Disneyland is nothing if not full of delicious and tempting places to eat. From fine dining to desserts, street food, and snacks, the theme park has a range of options to choose from.
The cost of food varies a lot, depending on where you’re eating and how much you’re eating. As a general rule, though, I’d say it’s a good idea to budget around $75 per person per day. This accounts for buying a mid-tier breakfast, coffee, lunch, dinner, and a few snacks in between.
If you’re staying off-site and have a kitchen in your residence, then you may be able to save a bit of money by cooking breakfast and dinner at home. That way you’ll just spend money on lunch, snacks, and drinks at the park.
Last but not least, I guarantee that you’re going to want to buy a couple of souvenirs. Nobody leaves Disneyland without at least buying a t-shirt, a hat, or a keychain. Plus, you may want to buy a few gifts to bring home for your friends and family.
Again, this can vary depending on your budget. However, most of the families I’ve talked to say that they’ve spent between $40 and $100 per person on random souvenirs, t-shirts, and Disneyland memorabilia.
Cost To Go To Disneyland: FAQs
To wrap up, let’s go over a few of the most frequently asked questions about visiting Disneyland and planning your trip!
The cheapest times to visit Disneyland is January through March or September through November.
Based on some independent research, it seems like mid-January is the absolute cheapest time to visit. At this time, most people have spent their extra money on the holidays and are trying to save as much as they can. Also, airline tickets in mid-January are very inexpensive.
The spring and summer months (April through August) are the most expensive times to visit Disneyland, as kids are out of school and the weather’s favorable. The holidays can also be very busy.
Yes! Single-day and two-day tickets are the most popular options, and can cost you extra. Purchasing a four or five-day ticket can help you save big.
Disneyland is located in Anaheim, California and is a 500-acre theme park that’s mostly centred around Disney’s core franchises. Disney World is located in Orlando, Florida and is 43 square miles large. Disney World encompasses several different theme parks and is far larger than Disneyland.
Is It Expensive To Visit Disneyland?
I’ll be honest – a trip to Disneyland isn’t cheap.
Single-day tickets to the Disneyland park in Anaheim, California, start at around $100 per person (during the slow season) and only go up from there. Unless you live nearby and can drive to the park and then drive back home at the end of the day, you’ll have to account for costs such as:
- Airline tickets
- Rental vehicle or ridesharing
- Food and drink
- Hotels and accommodations
The majority of Disneyland visitors aren’t going alone either, which means that these costs only compound when you add additional children or adults to the picture.
All in all, a family of four can expect to pay at least $4,500 for a two-day trip to Disneyland, after accounting for these expenses (and that’s assuming that you’re incredibly frugal and don’t pay for any extras).
Personally, a $5,000 budget sounds a bit more realistic, as this would account for eating out a few times, buying some souvenirs, and staying in a decent hotel room or AirBnB with the family.
If you’re just travelling with your partner or a friend, then expect to budget around $3,000 for the trip, including expenses.
Tips to Save Money on Your Disneyland Trip
When planning a Disneyland vacation, there are numerous strategies to ensure that you get the most bang for your buck:
- Off-Peak Travel: As mentioned earlier, visiting during the off-peak season can result in savings not only on ticket prices but also on accommodations and flights.
- Pack Snacks: Disneyland allows visitors to bring snacks and drinks into the park. This can save you a substantial amount on food costs.
- Stay Off-site: While staying at an in-park Disneyland resort can be a unique experience, off-site hotels can offer considerable savings. Some even provide free shuttle services to and from the park.
- Discounted Tickets: Occasionally, third-party sellers or organizations offer promotions or group discounts on Disneyland tickets. It’s essential to ensure these are reputable sources before purchasing.
- Use Rewards and Points: If you have a credit card that collects points or rewards, see if they can be redeemed for aspects of your trip, such as flights or hotel stays.
- Set a Souvenir Budget: It’s easy to get carried away with the range of memorabilia available. Setting a clear budget for souvenirs can prevent unplanned expenses.
- Bring a Refillable Water Bottle: Instead of continuously purchasing drinks, bring a refillable water bottle. There are numerous water stations throughout the park.
- Plan Meals Wisely: Consider having a hearty off-site breakfast and returning to your hotel or rental for dinner to save on meals.
- Skip the Add-ons: While add-ons like Genie+ and Park Hopper offer added convenience, if you’re trying to save, consider whether they’re essential for your experience.
- Free Activities: Enjoy the numerous free activities and shows within the park. Parades, fireworks, and character encounters can add value to your trip without added expense.
A two-day trip to Disneyland California for two adults will cost around $3,000, including tickets, accommodations, your flight, food and drink, and other travel expenses. A family of four can expect to pay around $5,000 for the same trip.
While it is an expensive vacation, you can plan for it by creating a budget, setting aside savings, and purchasing your tickets months ahead of time during the slow season.
Looking for budgeting tips to help you save for your trip?
Keep on reading to see my guide to saving more money (even if you’re on a tight budget)!