In 2020, the United States travel industry took a huge hit thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, with tourism revenue dropping from $125 billion in 2019 to just 89.1 billion in 2020. In 2021, economists saw the domestic travel industry begin to recover with the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccination. Today, various surveys have found that roughly 57% of Americans are once again comfortable traveling, an excellent sign for the travel and leisure industry.
Now that travel is on the rise, Americans are once again scheduling their travel plans and considering possible destinations for their first post-covid vacation. It should come as no surprise that one of America’s top vacation destinations is a popular pick for many families – Disneyland. As an Orange County resident, Stanley Bae is spent many years within the Disneyland parks with visiting family members and friends. As a result, Stanley Bae is uniquely able to speak to Disneyland’s many price points and what visiting family can expect to spend on a trip to the most magical place on earth.
Depending on where you live, traveling to Disneyland can be as inexpensive as a full tank of gas or as much as four airplane tickets. If you live in Northern California and are only a few hours away from Disney, driving your car is an excellent option for traveling to and from the park. When you arrive at your hotel, you will likely need to pay a parking fee that is often over twenty dollars a day, which over multiple days can add up. However, this will still be less expensive than coming in from out of state.
The good news for out-of-state visitors traveling to Disneyland is that you will not need to rent a rental car during your visit. There are six airports in Southern California, all of which provide transportation to Disneyland and its affiliated hotels. Typically, these shuttles will cost a family of three or four between $40 to $75; however, this is still much less expensive than purchasing and parking a rental car at Disneyland. The most expensive item will likely be your airplane ticket. When purchasing your family’s airplane tickets, be sure
Accommodations ($800- $3,400)
In order to develop an accurate budget, you will first need to know how many rooms you and your family will need, how many nights you will be staying, how close to Disneyland you want to be, and whether or not you would like to stay in a Disney themed hotel
If you would like to stay at a Disneyland-themed hotel, you are likely looking at least $400 per night. Most people recommend 3-4 days at Disneyland in order to fully experience the parks. This means that a family visiting Disneyland should book a stay at the hotel for at least two nights, meaning they will spend anywhere between 800 to 1,600 on hotel rooms (depending on how many rooms they need.)
Disneyland tickets ($1,320)
Next up, you are going to need tickets. The price of tickets will depend on how many days you would like to spend at the park, whether or not you are a California resident, and what sort of activities your family likes. For many families, spending three days at Disneyland is the optimal amount of time as it allows you to see the major attractions and not get too tired out. However, it is important to note that the more days you spend at the park, the less expensive the tickets get per day. If you purchase a 5-day ticket, it will typically come out to less than half the cost of the first day’s ticket! However, let’s say that you and your family are really only looking to spend three days at the parks. A family of four with children above the age of 10 can expect to spend $1,320 on park tickets on three-day tickets.
Disneyland Resort Food ($500-$900)
This question is one of the most searched questions when it comes to budgeting for Disneyland, and it is easy to see why. Disney parks are known for their excellent assortment of food from a variety of different cultures, as well as their exorbitant prices. As families are not allowed to bring in food from outside the park, the prices for food can be pretty steep. Luckily, Disney offers their full list of park menus on their website, meaning families can look online and get a better sense of how much it will cost them to eat per day.
Typically, counter service meals will cost roughly $15 dollars per person within the park for adults and $11 dollars for children, with sit-down meals costing approximately $20-25 per person for adults and $15 for children. These prices, however, do not include alcoholic drinks, which will often start at $12 for cocktails and $8 for beers within the park. As such, a family of four can expect to pay anywhere between $500-$900 for nine meals at Disneyland.