For many families, a trip to Disney World is a once-in-a-lifetime event.
And it's no wonder why—a Disney World vacation can be an incredibly magical experience.
It's a chance to create memories that will last a lifetime, and it's an experience that you'll never forget.
But is Disney World worth it? It's a question that many families struggle with.
Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of taking a trip to the “happiest place on Earth.”
It's a Personal Decision
There's no right or wrong answer to this question. It's a personal decision that each family has to make for themselves.
Some families feel that the cost of a Disney World vacation is worth it because they know they'll create memories that will last forever.
Perhaps they have toddlers obsessed with Disney characters and they know the experiences they have will be unforgettable.
Others find that the cost is simply too high, and they'd rather spend their money on other things or vacation experiences.
Perhaps your children aren't princess-obsessed but love digging in the sand and visiting the beaches near Disney is a better option.
You could plan an amazing tropical vacation for several days longer with the amount of money you'd be spending at Disney World.
Ultimately, there's no right or wrong answer—it all comes down to what you and your family want.
The Actual Cost of a Disney World Vacation
For many families, the cost of a Disney World vacation is a big consideration.
A trip to Disney World is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination.
But if you plan your trip carefully and don't overdo it, you can manage to keep the costs under control.
There are a lot of factors that go into the cost of a Disney World trip.
Let's look at some of the costs to consider while deciding is Disney World worth it?
Consider Your Family Vacation Budget
Your budget is one of the first things you should consider when trying to decide is Disney World worth it.
How much money do you have to spend on your vacation?
For some families, the cost of a Disney World vacation is simply too high.
If you're on a tight budget, you may want to consider other vacation options.
However, if it's your first time to Disney World, you may find that a Disney World vacation is more affordable than you think.
There are plenty of ways to cut costs and save money for your trip.
Consider the Cost of Traveling to Disney World
In addition to the cost of your actual vacation, you also need to consider the cost of traveling to Disney World.
If you're flying, you'll need to factor in the cost of airfare which can get expensive for large families.
If you're taking a road trip, you'll need to add in the cost of gas and perhaps lodging if you're staying overnight on the way.
The cost of traveling can add up quickly, so be sure to consider it when building your overall budget.
Consider What You Want to Do at Disney World
Another important factor to consider is what you want to do while you're at Disney World.
- Do you want to spend time at the parks?
- Do you want to take part in special events?
- Do you want to stay at a Disney resort?
- Do you want to take advantage of the dining options?
The cost of your trip will largely vary depending on what you want to do.
A one-day ticket to Disney World now costs over $100 per person.
Then there are the costs associated with actually being at the Disney World parks: food, snacks, and souvenirs.
If you're only interested in spending time at the theme parks, you can find other ways to save on your vacation like staying off-site in a vacation rental.
If you're just looking for the Disney experience, you can explore other areas like Disney Springs or spend days resort hopping.
But if you want to do everything that Disney World has to offer, such as after-hours parties and character meals like breakfast in Animal Kingdom be prepared to pay a bit more.
Think about what your days will look like while you're at Disney World and factor that into your decision.
Consider the Cost of Visiting Other Destinations
If you're considering a trip to Disney World, it's likely because your family loves spending time together and experiencing new things.
And there's no doubt that Disney World is an amazing destination.
But it's important to remember that there are other amazing destinations out there as well.
There are many family vacation choices on the east coast.
If you're trying to decide if going to Disney World is worth it, consider quoting the cost of a couple of other destinations as well.
You may find that you can have just as much fun – if not more fun – somewhere else.
In the end, it's up to you to decide if a Disney World vacation is worth it for your family.
Cost vs. Disney World Memories
There's no doubt about it—Disney World is a truly magical place.
From the moment you step into one of the parks, you're transported into a world of make-believe where anything is possible.
For kids (and let's be honest, adults too), there's just something about Disney World that brings out the kid in all of us.
The rides are truly top-notch, the food is surprisingly good, and there's so much to see and do that you could easily spend a week there and still not do everything.
There's something about the magic of Disney World that creates raving fans who want this experience for any price – year after year.
For many families, the memories and experiences that come from a trip to The Happiest Place on Earth are priceless.
Our most memorable day was when we took our toddlers to Animal Kingdom. Those memories are well engrained in our memories and bring smiles to us years later.
So if you're on the fence about whether or not to take your family to Disney World, ask yourself if the memories are worth the cost.
Let's look a little closer at the cons of this type of vacation to decide is Disney World worth it.
The Pros of Going to Disney World
In addition to the pure magic of Disney World, there are also some practical reasons why a trip to Disney World can be worth the cost.
First, Disney World is located in Orlando, Florida, which means that if you live in North America, it's relatively easy and inexpensive to get there.
Once you're at Disney World, there are plenty of free things to do—you don't have to spend money on every single activity in order to have a good time.
Enjoy all the attractions, rides, and shows you can fit into your park day intinerary!
Finally, if you plan your trip carefully and take advantage of discounts, you can often find ways several ways to save money on a Disney World vacation.
The Cons of Going to Disney World
Overall, while Disney World is a magical place, it's important to keep in mind that it has its fair share of drawbacks.
From long lines to expensive costs, there are plenty of things that can ruin a trip to the happiest place on earth.
But if you go in with your eyes open and realistic expectations, then you're sure to have a good time despite these drawbacks.
It Can Get Incredibly Expensive
As mentioned above, between the cost of tickets, lodging, food, and souvenirs, you can easily end up spending thousands of dollars on your trip.
If you're not careful, it's easy to blow your budget while you're there.
If you have a one-day ticket, great. But if you can't decide between Animal Kingdom and Epcot for toddlers, you might consider a park hopper ticket which can add extra expenses!
The Lines Are Insane
No matter what time of year you visit Disney World, you can bet that the lines will be long.
Whether you're waiting to meet Mickey Mouse or take a spin on a ride, you'll probably find yourself spending more time in line than you'd like.
And if you have young children with you, they're likely to get antsy while they wait.
Plus, you can't take your stroller in line – the Disney stroller rules are clear.
The Weather Can Be Brutal
The heat can be oppressive, especially if you're visiting during the summer months.
Be prepared for some brutal humidity and high heat indexes.
The Florida weather can be unbearable at times, and it can make standing in line even more miserable.
If you have small children with you, they're likely to get cranky if they are not used to this kind of weather.
It's Crowded… Like Really Crowded
Disney World is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, which means crowd levels can get high.
Crowds are worse if you're traveling during peak times like summer vacation and Christmas break.
Pushing a stroller through the crowds can be brutal – be sure you to bring or rent the best double stroller for Disney.
If you don't like being around large crowds of people, then this might not be the vacation for you.
You Might Not Get to Do Everything You Want to Do
With so much to see and do at Disney parks, it's impossible to do everything in one trip.
That means that you'll have to make some tough decisions about what to do and what to skip while vacation planning.
Why Disney World May Be Worth It
So why does anyone still go to Disney World?
For many families, it's simply because there's no place like it.
Disney World is more than just rides and characters.
It's an experience that your family will remember forever.
For many parents, it's an experience they had when they were children.
They may want to carry on the tradition of having a one-time trip, or a yearly tradition.
Yes, it's expensive. But for many families, it's worth every penny.
Is Disney World Worth it?
So is a trip to Disney World worth it for your family?
That depends on what you're looking for in a vacation.
For some families, the magic of Walt Disney World is worth any price tag.
While there are plenty of ways to make Disney World affordable, the cost simply isn't feasible for others.
Ultimately, only you can decide if a trip to Disney World is right for your family.
But if you do decide to go, we hope you have a magical time!
Need more help deciding if a Disney trip is worth it? See our other Disney vacation posts:
- 6 Things to Know Before Going to Disney World for the First Time
- Disney World Stroller Rules: What You Must Know Before You Leave
- Choosing the Best Double Stroller for Disney
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom with Toddlers: 13 Can’t Miss Things To Do
- Animal Kingdom or Epcot for Toddlers: Which Park is Best for Your Trip
- Visit Tusker House for the Best Breakfast in Animal Kingdom
- The Closest Beach to Disney World: 13 Best Family Beaches Near Orlando