When you’re deciding whether to vacation at Walt Disney World in Florida or Disneyland in California, there’s a lot to consider, such as size of parksNumber of rides and distance from home.
But if you’re picking purely on the basis of price, which is cheaper: Disneyland or Disney World?
Lower hotel prices in Florida make Disney World cheaper overall for a stay of one night or more. But Disneyland is cheaper for some expenses like tickets and food.
A recent NerdWallet analysis looked at Disney World and Disneyland prices between April 2023 and April 2024 in four categories:
- Park Tickets (and add-ons, such as Genie+,
- Hotel room rates at the property.
- Dine at Park Restaurant.
- Add-on activities, such as spa treatments and tours.
Here’s a closer look at the cost figures for Disneyland vs. Disney World.
an overall cost breakdown
Disney World tickets are about 3.9% more expensive than Disneyland tickets, and Disney World food is about 9.9% more expensive.
But because Disney World has significantly higher prices (about 50% higher on average) than Disney-owned hotels near Disneyland, the Florida resort is far cheaper than its California counterpart.
Our Findings Average estimated cost per person across three price tiers: Value, Medium and Deluxe. Hotel room rates are based on Saturday night stays, which are generally more expensive than weekdays.
These estimates do not include other costs such as airfare, gas and parking, which vary depending on your transportation mode and starting location.
But all else equal, Walt Disney World tends to be cheaper overall. and that doesn’t even account for the myriad Free and Low-Cost Disney World Activities Available Like live music, watching fireworks, renting bikes and fishing – all of which don’t even require a theme park ticket.
Nerdy Tip: If you leave on-property hotel stays out of the equation, Disneyland is actually more affordable than Disney World.
There are some similarities between a Disneyland ticket and a Disney World ticket. At both resorts, theme park ticket prices vary depending on the park and date, but Disneyland is almost always slightly cheaper.
The average price for a one-day Disneyland ticket is $154 for admission between April and August 2023. At Disney World, an average Magic Kingdom ticket (the equivalent to the park closest to Disney World) costs $160, making Disney World tickets 3.9% more expensive on average.
A big factor in Disneyland’s high cost comes down to hotel prices on its property, which are an average of 49% more expensive per night than Disney World hotels.
One reason for the high prices is that supply is limited. There are only three Disney-owned hotels at Disneyland, compared to more than two dozen at Disney World, offering far more options at every price point, from budget-friendly to high-end.
Nightly rates for Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, one of Disney World’s most expensive hotels, start at $780, according to Disney price tracking site Touring Plans.
It makes the West Coast equivalent of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa — where room rates start at $475 — look like a bargain.
But while you should expect to pay a minimum of $210 per night for Disneyland’s cheapest property, rooms at Disney World go as low as $128 per night at Disney’s All-Star properties, according to Touring Plan.
For what it’s worth, Disneyland’s high hotel room prices tend to align with broader regional trends.
The US General Services Administration, an agency of the government that manages federal property, collects average hotel room price data. These numbers serve as an indicator for mid-range hotel prices in each market.
According to GSA data, between April and September 2023, the average daily rate of living in Orange County, California – where Disneyland is located – is $182. For Orange County, Florida — home of Disney World — it’s just $129.
cost of food in the parks
Across all price levels of dining options, Disney World food is, on average, 9.9% more expensive than the same quality food at Disneyland.
For the average budget meal at a value restaurant or cart, expect to spend at least $1 more per person, per meal, in Florida. For high-end, waiter-service meals, Disney World is roughly $10 more expensive per person, per meal.
For trips of three nights or more, NerdWallet’s data looked at additional entertainment beyond theme parks such as spa services, tours and bowling. The price difference in this range across parks is a mixed bag. Depending on the activity, it may be cheaper in one park or the other, so research your specific interests when budgeting for your visit.
To compare the cost of a Disneyland versus Disney World trip, NerdWallet analyzed more than 200 ticket prices, more than 550 price points in hotel room rates at Disney-owned hotels, and more than 100 additional activities and restaurants. Analyzed menu item prices.
NerdWallet’s travel costs begin once you’re on property, thus not accounting for parking, airfare or driving costs. Each trip includes three meals per day at the parks, daily theme park tickets, and an overnight stay at a Disney-owned hotel.
NerdWallet breaks down trips into one-night, three-night, and seven-night trips, and categorizes trips into three price tiers: value, moderate, and deluxe (the same classification that Disney World uses for its hotels).
From there, NerdWallet used the average cost to create a sample travel budget.
- Because Walt Disney World ticket prices vary by park, single-day ticket prices were based on Magic Kingdom admission. Two-day ticket prices were based on those at Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
- NerdWallet’s analysis didn’t account for Park Hopper Ticketswhich allow access to multiple theme parks in one day.
- All prices are per person, except for hotel prices, which are listed per room. If you share a room with more than one person your individual hotel cost may be less than the costs listed above.
These budgets should be used to estimate rather than determine your own Disney travel costs. For example, you may spend less if you pack your own snacks, or you may spend more if you cover miscellaneous costs (such as taxis, Mickey-shaped balloons or photopasses). .
Sam Chemis And Carissa Rawson contributed to this report.
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Article Which Is Cheaper, Disneyland or Disney World? Originally appeared on NerdWallet.
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