The good news here is that Disney offers many affordable options for families to fit all types of budgets. It's just a bit difficult to spout off a specific dollar amount here. It's not that we're trying to be dodgey. It's because there are SO many options and variables when it comes to Disneyland vacations....the number of people traveling, the ages of your kids, the time of year you plan to visit, the number of days you want to spend in the parks, the type of room you desire - All of these things affect the bottomline price of your vacation.
Let's start with some of the basics and see if we can come up with a ballpark budget...
We'll look at a family with two adults and 2 kids ages 10 and 5. When it comes to park ticket prices, Disney defines "kids" as being between the ages of 3 & 9. If you're 10 or older, you will need to pay adult ticket prices. Little ones under 3 get in for free.
We'll choose a week in mid July to visit. This way the kids will be out of school. July isn't the cheapest time of the year (like say Sept. when all the kids are starting school) and it's not one of the more expensive times like the December Holidays or Spring Break.
"Disneyland" is actually composed of 2 adjacent theme parks. First there is the "original" Disneyland park which opened in 1955 and is divided into 8 themed areas - Mainstreet USA, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Mickey's Toontown, Frontier Land, Critter Country, New Orleans Square and Adventureland. Disney California Adventure is the adjacent theme park which opened in 2001. to bring beloved Disney and Pixar stories to life. Here you'll find Cars Land, Buena Vista Street, Hollywood land, Condor Flats, Grizzly Peak, A Bug's Land, Pacific Wharf and Paradise Pier. You're going to want to see both. 2 days in EACH park should enable your family to see all the major attractions. We will include "Park Hopper Passes" which means you can "hop" between both parks...So 4 day park hopper passes for our vacation which also includes 1 magic morning early admission (You'll need this for Cars Land!)
For budget purposes, we want to stay at a Disney Hotel in easy walking distance to the parks. There are three Disney Hotels from which to choose. Disney Grand Californian is their Deluxe resort and Paradise Pier is their least expensive hotel. To get our ballpark price, we'll choose the Disneyland Hotel which prices right in the middle.
To to Recap:
Family of 4 arriving July 2014
Staying for 4 nights at the Disneyland hotel
4 day park hopper passes
Totals $3,218.00 which works out to be an average of $200 per person per night. To book this package, you would need a deposit of $200 per person with final payment due 60 days before you arrive.
At Vacationkids, we can set up a month payment plan to help you avoid paying credit card interest (something that could cost you big time that most folks fail to calculate!) So say you booked this trip about a year in advance, your vacation payments would work out to be about $300 per month.
Again, what we've tried to do here is to show an average, middle of the road costs for this vacation. There are nearby Disney Good Neighbor Hotel that would bring this total vacation package cost down to $1,794 for this family or $112 per person per night.
There are some other costs here that we did not discuss. First is your transportation to Disneyland. Obviously it would be impossible to calculate in flights from every major airport city. Also, many parents elect to use frequent flyer miles or credit card points to offset these costs. Other families elect the roadtrip option. Again if you are trying to calculate an overall budget, if you live more than 500 miles from Anaheim, it's probably more cost effective to fly.
The other budget point that we did not discuss is food costs. Disneyland does not offer the same Dining plans as Walt Disney World in Florida. Basically with Disneyland, you are pre-purchasing meal vouchers. There really isn't much of a savings but many people like the convenience of the vouchers. To give you some idea of food costs a vouchers for this 4 day stay would be $219 for adults and $132 for children ages 3-9.
Hopefully this exercise will give you some idea of what to expect and how to calculate for your trip to Disneyland. We hope when you're ready, you'll let us help you book your trip. Our Disney Agents are happy to work with you and within your budget. Again, this is just one vacation itinerary example. We will help you work within your budget or help you plan an extravagant tour of all the great sights in southern California, including Disneyland. Tell us your dreams and we will work to make that happen for your family. We can make suggestions and offer advice that will add value, make your trip less expensive and more priceless.