How to Budget a Day at Disneyland

budgeting a day at disneyland

Disneyland tour is a once in a lifetime experience and should be experienced by all at least once. Like any other vacation trip, however, Disneyland also requires planning and budgeting. Whether you are going alone or with a family, you need to look at the various aspects of the trip in order to come up with your Disneyland budget.

Number of People

The number of people visiting is the most important factor. One person has her own cost of park tickets, daily food, souvenirs, transportation and hotel stay. Hotels are not super expensive, but keep in mind that they can only accommodate up to four or five adults. After that, there are additional charges for every adult added, and this additional rate keeps on increasing.

When to Go

At different points in a year, hotel costs fluctuates quite a bit. The cheapest months are September, January and February. On the other hand, summer months and December are considered the most expensive months for tourists. Holiday weekends make the hotels with in the Disneyland vicinity congested and hence, costly. Another important aspect to consider is that, during weekends, locals seem to crowd the parks.

Where to Stay

Among major factors of planning a Disneyland trip, accommodation huge cost. Disneyland has three onsite hotels with intricate themes and 40 Good Neighbor hotels. The onsite hotels have a price range of $280 to $400, however, Good Neighbor hotels start from $100 and the premium ones can go as high as $200 to $250. There are also some additional hotels within five miles that are relatively cheap while offering the same quality.

Park Tickets

Another important cost factor, park tickets have two options: regular park ticket for a day or a Hopper Ticket. The price difference between the two of them is only $25. In order to save time, a family can manage to upgrade to park hopper to get both parks visited in a day. However, this requires another $40 out of your budget for a single person.

Food Expense

If you manage to bring your own three time meals, you can spend roughly $5 per person for snacks, however, buying all three meals can cost $35 per person, per day. For a family of four, it can roughly go to $120 per day.


Disneyland is full of amazing souvenirs which are really hard to resist. These range from balloons to toys to shirts to pins. For one person, the souvenirs budget can be as high as $100. However, the expense can be controlled by buying Disney gift cards only.

Parking Fees and Extras

Staying at one of the Disney or Good Neighbor hotels can cost you around $10 to $20 per day for parking.

Also, If travel insurance is added to the trip cost, it can further drag the trip cost by around $70 per adult.

Transportation via Rental Car

A rental car to visit more places other than just parks can cost you $100 per day at least.

Family of Four: Per Day Cost

If a family of four stays at the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, for example, with a hopper ticket for each day, $30 for child food per day (conservatively) and $50 for adults’ food per day, $300 for souvenirs, $100 for a rental car and $20 for parking ticket, it would cost the family of four around $1230 per day.