You’ve already put all of this money into your family’s Disney vacation, and now you’re wondering how much spending money for Disney is needed. It almost feels overwhelming, trying to figure it out.
…I know the feeling.
Let’s break down how much spending money for Disney you will need and how to figure it out.
What is it?
The first thing you want to do is decide what “spending” money actually means. For every family that’s going to be a little different but let’s go over some of the regulars.
Many think that Magic Kingdom is the biggest park at Disney World but it’s in fact significantly smaller than both Epcot and Animal Kingdom, However, it does seem like we do the most walking at Magic Kingdom. In order to tour the park correctly, you can’t necessarily do the 3-mile walk around the park. You’ll find yourself zigzagging across the park, definitely worth it when you aren’t waiting more than 20 minutes in line, but all that walking will make you all kinds of thirsty and hungry.
How much is water at Disney World?: Mid-2016 came in with price increases. Bottled water is now $3 and a large fountain drink is $3.69.
While a popcorn is $4 and a cotton candy is $4.40.
No matter how many times I go to Disney World, I always find something I want. Souvenirs are going to take up at least 50% of your spending budget.
T-Shirts at Disney World are on average $24.99. While the Mickey ears, that everyone has, are minimum $14.99.
Check out my list of 25 Cheap Disney Souvenirs for a better idea of how much the cheapest souvenirs will cost you.
Spending money on souvenirs is inevitable but with a plan, which we will discuss below, it’s possible to keep your financial sanity.
Check out the newly updated Disney on a Budget ebook!
How much is parking at Disney?: Parking at Disney World is currently $22/day.
Walt intended there to be a no drinking policy at Magic Kingdom. For the sake of the children of course. In 2012 that changed when Be Our Guest restaurant began selling a few alcoholic beverages. Four more restaurants were added to that list in 2016.
Alcohol is now available in Magic Kingdom.
If you’re going to Epcot you might or might not be drinking around the world, meaning you will be getting a drink from each of the 11 countries and trying to make it to then end. (yes, this is real)
Mexico Margarita – $13
Canto Loopy from China – $7.50
Glacier Shot from Norway – $8.25
Alcoholic beverages at Disney World cost anywhere between $8-10.
I’m not big on alcohol but Disney World has some of the nicest pools and on my rest days, I love a nice drink by the pool.
Putting your Disney Spending Budget together
Putting together a plan on how much spending money for Disney you should have, is a very strategic task. That’s why is natural to be lost as to where to start. Follow the steps below and you will find success.
- Figure out what “spending” money means for your budget.
- Use the information above
- Parts of your budget that you can’t estimate to the dollar.
- Go through the things you listed as extra and use the information you have to guestimate as best you can.
- Add 10% to any estimate you’ve put together.
This budget will never be exact because we just can’t know how many Disney souvenirs you will fall in love with or how many drinks you’ll need, but we have to do our best to at the least estimate more than what we’ll probably spend.
It’s better to come home with money then to overspend.
Save on your Disney Budget
Now that you have put together a spending plan for the extras during your Disney vacation, it’s time to start cutting costs where you can.
- Prebuy souvenirs for your kids before you go. Surprise them daily while on vacation. The Dollar Store is a great place to start. I’ve never been to one that doesn’t have a few Disney toys, stickers, notebooks, pens, etc.
- Purchase your own snacks either by bringing them with you from home, grocery delivery, or buying them at a Disney resort store.
- Bring snacks and drinks with you in your park bag to avoid all of those costs while touring the parks. With this tip alone you can eliminate 90% of the snacks part of your budget.
- Use a few tips from my post to save 10% off of Disney gift cards and use those for souvenirs, snacks, and everything else.
- Ask for Disney gift cards for holidays and other celebrations. Don’t use those for anything else except the spending part of your budget.
- Find souvenirs while you’re home that will get you the same items for 75% off.
- Get your kids into Disney pins. You can start off a collection inexpensively and since they get to trade at the parks, it will keep them busy.
Keep Your Disney Spending Budget Under Control
Any budget can get away from you so quickly. Especially when you’re at Disney World. I’ve researched a whole bunch of different methods that people use to stay on budget.
- Put most of your spending money on Disney gift cards. You can use those gift cards almost anywhere on Disney property.
- Give your children a specific budget and guidelines.
- I read about a family who waits until the end of the day to get the souvenir of their choice. That way they know that they have seen every possible option.
- One souvenir/day, that’s it.
- Use the Shop Disney Parks app to scan items you want into your cart. At the end of the trip you can go through all of the items and take out what you don’t want. The rest can be delivered to your hotel room or home. This is one of my favorite things to do. For starters, it means not walking around with bags and you’d be surprised at how many things you’re ok with deleting the day after.
- Don’t buy in the moment. Give yourself some time to decide.
- Use the same credit card for souvenirs so you can easily keep track.
We’ve gone over what spending actually consists of, how to estimate your budget, and ways to save on your Disney spending budget. What tips do you have?