PlanningThe ParksTips

Added Costs to Budget for on Your Walt Disney World Vacation

Most of us know the big items that we have to budget for on a Walt Disney World vacation: flights, resort room and tickets.  After you have considered your budget for those big items, there are added costs that you also need to keep in mind before heading down to your Walt Disney World vacation.

By bringing these to your attention, we hope that you will be able to add these costs that might impact you to your budget and therefore be more prepared.

WaltDisneyWorld Bus
credit: Disney Tips


Prior to 2022 Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel had free transportation to their Resort from the Orlando International Airport.  Magical Express took Guests from the airport to their Disney Resort for free.  As of January 2022, this is no longer a provided service.

Guests now need to budget for transportation to and from their Walt Disney World Resort and the airport.  Although there are a lot of options, Guests will need to add this cost into their budgeting.

Mears Connect Cost
Mears Connect Cost

Both Mears Connect and Sunshine Flyer are two services that are similar to Magical Express.  Guests can book these ahead of time for their families and then they will be taken by a motor coach to their Disney Resort.  This service usually sees a 20 minute wait at the airport and Guests might have multiple stops prior to their Resort.  Current cost ranges from $34 to $32  per adult and $27 to $25 for kids.

Other options that Guests can choose to book are private transfers.  There are a lot of companies to choose from, but make sure you do your research.  What is included in your fee and is it private and direct?  Cost for private transfers range in price depending on the size of your travel party but for a family of four budgeting around $200 to $250 would be wise.

Finally, you can take Lyft or Uber from the airport but keep in mind surge pricing.  If you are traveling during a busy time of the year you might see high prices.  Usually a one-way trip is below $50 but always double check so you aren’t surprised.

Transportation is an additional cost that Guests need to budget for now where they didn’t have to do so before when heading to Walt Disney World.

credit: Disney


Another additional cost that Guests are going to have to budget for, if they choose, is Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes/Individual Attraction Selections.

Guests previously were given access to three Fastpass+ reservations for each ticket day they had purchased.  Using Fastpass+ Guests could bypass the standby line for these three rides and therefore save time in line.

Now if Guests are wanting this option, they need to purchase Genie+.  This costs Guests $15/day/person and can be paid for in a couple of different ways.  You can read more on this HERE.

credit: Disney

Genie+ gives Guests access to Lightning Lanes (these are the paths to the rides) at the four Disney Parks.  Guests are able to book these starting at 7:00 am and they can continue to book one at a time throughout the day.

Guests will also need to determine if they want to invest in Individual Attraction Selections.  These are individual rides that aren’t included in Genie+.   In order to use the Lightning Lanes for these rides, Guests have to purchase them individually or al-a-carte.

Price ranges from $7 to $16 per ride for experiences such as Rise of the Resistance, Avatar Flight of Passage, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

These are optional additional costs that Guests will have to determine if they are wanting to add to their budget.  Make sure you do some research about these features so you can make an informed decision.  We have the good, bad and ugly on Genie+ here to help you as you research.


Guests will need to add some extra money to their budget when it comes to the basics for their Disney trip.  Food and merchandise both cost more than they did in previous years.  Disney isn’t in a bubble, as much as we wish for it, meaning that it is feeling the impact of inflation and high costs as well.

Guests will see higher prices when it comes to their favorite foods such as Mickey pretzels, dole whips and those iconic Mickey bars.

We have also seen souvenirs increase in price as spirit jerseys, Minnie Ears and adorable plushies are seeing higher costs overall.

If you are looking to enjoy these snacks or grab souvenirs, you will want to budget a little more for them so you are prepared.

Woody's Lunch Box
Credit: Disney


If you are wanting to add some extra magic to your Disney vacation, you will need to budget some additional cost.  We are thrilled that tours are back in both Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom as these are some amazing ways to experience the Parks in a unique way.  These are an additional cost so if it is something that you will want to do make sure you budget for them.

We are also seeing unique experiences and events coming back but these too will cost more.  In 2021 we saw the return of holiday parties for both Halloween and Christmas, but with them came a large price increase.

Special events such as H20 Glow night are coming back to Typhoon Lagoon this summer as well, giving us hope that we might see the return of more after hour events.

We enjoy adding some extra magic to our vacation when we visit Disney, but we know that the special experiences will need us to budget for some additional cost.

These are some of the additional costs that Guests need to keep in mind when creating a budget for their Walt Disney World vacation.  By taking these things into consideration, Guests will be better prepared and ready to have a fantastic vacation.


Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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