A Disney World vacation might be one of the most magical experiences of your life…and it’s very likely that it’ll be one of the most expensive experiences, too. You’ll need to budget for a hotel room, park tickets, transportation, dining, and (of course) the all-important souvenirs.
As demand for Disney World vacations has continued to increase, so have the prices. Unfortunately, Disney doesn’t set a cap on their prices — we’ve seen everything from snacks to park tickets to merchandise getting more expensive, and it looks like those increases will p on coming. Here are 6 ways your Disney vacation will cost MORE in 2023, and these changes could add up to THOUSANDS.
Most of these price increases don’t look like much on their own. An extra $3 for your lunch? That doesn’t sound too bad! But when you look at the impact that these all have together, it really can start to add up.
We pulled together several ways your vacation might cost more so that you’re aware of the changes and can adjust your budget accordingly. But don’t let this list get you too down — we’ll include lots of money-saving tips at the end to help you make up for those costs.
Let’s dive into all the ways Disney will cost more in 2023.
Price increases have been hitting Disney World by the hundreds. According to Disney CEO Bob Chapek, that trend isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. Chapek told CNBC in an interview that price increases are driven by consumer demand: “It’s all up to the consumer. If consumer demand keeps up then we act accordingly. And if we see a softening, which we don’t think we’re gonna see, then we can act accordingly as well. We’re very flexible.”
In the same interview, Chapek noted that consumer demand for Disney parks and experiences has continued to increase, showing no signs of letting up: “For all visibility we have into the future, we’re not seeing any softening of our demand.”
In the recent 2022 Q3 Earnings Call, Disney commented that consumer demand was outpacing available Park Pass Reservations. We have seen park passes sell out fairly often, which means there are plenty of people who want to visit the parks. According to Chapek’s statements, that could mean that more price increases on the way. We could see prices increase on park tickets, merchandise, and food.
Disney World ticket prices for 2023 have already increased when compared with 2022’s prices. Although all 1-day, non-Park Hopper tickets still fall in the $109 to $159 range (the same range as 2022), many days in 2023 had higher prices within that range when compared to 2022.
For example, in March 2022 most ticket prices for the first few days fell between $131 and $134. Looking forward, prices tended to stay around $131 to $136 on the weekend but remain below $137 every other day.
However, March 2023 has most tickets at $149 for the first few days (a $15 increase from 2022), and prices at or above $147 throughout most of the rest of the month (a $10 increase from most 2022 dates).
What was the high price for March 2022 became the standard for March 2023. The most expensive ticket in March 2022 was $149, and that increased to $150 in 2023.
A couple more dollars on every day’s ticket cost can add up quickly if you’re visiting for multiple days and with multiple people.
We’ve also seen many price increases hit Disney World merchandise lately. The cute little nuiMOs collectibles increased from $17.99 each to $19.99 back in 2021, and this year they’ve gone up again, with new designs costing $21.99.
We’ve also seen Spirit Jerseys increase in price, with most costing $69.99 back in 2021, then increasing to $74.99.
But one of the biggest changes is that new MagicBands have been released in Disney World, called MagicBand+. These new designs have some extra features, like being able to interact with 50th Anniversary statues, unlocking a Bounty Hunter scavenger hunt in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and lighting up during fireworks shows and some rides.
Along with all those fancy features, of course, comes a price increase. Whereas many plain Disney MagicBands cost $19.99, the new MagicBand+ designs cost between $34.99 and $44.99.With MagicBand+ becoming more standard, it seems like more and more people are willing to shell out the extra cash in order to take advantage of the new features.
We continue to see price increases on menus all throughout Disney World. Each week we post an update about menu changes in the parks and hotels, and almost every week we see some food items getting more expensive.
And not too long ago we saw some of the most popular snacks in Disney World increase in price. Earlier this year, DOLE Whips went from $4.99 to $5.99, Mickey-shaped pretzels increased to $7.50 at some locations, and bottled sodas saw a $0.50 increase at select stands.
Like the changes we saw to tickets and merchandise, these small price increases can add up throughout your vacation. Be sure to check menus and prices ahead of your trip so you know what to expect once you arrive.
Emphasis on Deluxe Hotels and Experiences
Although visitors can of course choose to stay at the cheaper Value or Moderate hotels in Disney World, Disney seems to be spending a lot of time and money on those Deluxe hotels. One of the most deluxe experiences is the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser (the Star Wars hotel), which is an immersive 3-day experience on board a Star Wars-type “ship.” Rooms at this hotel start at $4,809 total (for 2 nights) — so if you want to experience this hotel, you should probably start saving now.
In addition, most of the recent hotel refurbishments we’ve seen have been focused on other Deluxe hotels. Moana has taken over rooms at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort with floral embellishments and island vibes, while Disney’s Contemporary Resort is looking a little more *super* with its modernized Incredibles rooms.
There are new Disney Vacation Club rooms at the Grand Floridian Resort, and an entire new DVC building is in the works at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Disney has some big updates planned for the BoardWalk Inn as well, with refurbishments coming to the lobby and rooms.
The last Value hotel that opened in Disney World was Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, which mainly features family suites, an upgraded and more “deluxe” (and more expensive) value resort experience compared to standard rooms.
If the trends continue, we’ll likely see more Deluxe hotels in Disney World and fewer Value options. That could mean you’ll be paying for those Deluxe accommodations, which add more to the cost.
Travel Prices Increase & Other Costs You Need to Think About
Of course, you still need to GET to Disney World in the first place, and there are a few price increases here that you’ll need to know about. First of all, although gas prices are (thankfully) trending downward, they’re still about $0.73 more than this time last year (CNN Business). So if you’re driving to Disney World, you can expect to pay a bit more on gas than you did previously.
If you prefer to fly to Disney World, you may need to plan on price increases as well. Due to a variety of issues (including staffing shortages, gasoline prices, etc.), flight costs have been higher than normal this year. Although we could see those prices drop as more airlines address the problems at hand, it’s unlikely that the prices will fall drastically in 2023. As of August 2022, Jet fuel prices are still 80% ABOVE what they were in 2019 and 90% up compared to 2021.
Capacity on many domestic airlines is still being limited as well, to about 95% of 2019 levels and even lower for international seats. That means people will be fighting for potentially fewer seats. All in all, it looks like we can expect more expensive flights next year.
And don’t forget about other costs associated with travel, such as car rentals (if you’re going to drive in Disney World) or transportation to the parks and hotels from the Orlando International Airport. If you’re renting a car and staying at a Disney World hotel, you’ll need to pay for hotel parking. Parking at the Disney hotels costs between $15 and $25 per night.
If you don’t choose to rent a car, you’ll need to pay for a service to take you to your Disney hotel. Your options are Mears Connect, Sunshine Flyer, a rideshare like Uber or Lyft, or a taxi. Mears Connect and Sunshine Flyer are both replacements for the previously free Magical Express, only these options both cost money. Both services cost $32 per adult for a roundtrip between the airport and Disney World.
Genie+ Becoming More Standard
Back in 2021, the free FastPass system went away to make room for the paid Genie+. Now, if you want to skip the lines at Disney World’s rides, you have to pay $15 per person, per day, with some rides costing an additional fee (Individual Lightning Lanes). Those Individual Lightning Lanes usually cost anywhere from $7 per person to $15 per person.
But Genie+ came out in 2021, so why are we mentioning it as a price increase for 2023? We’re seeing Genie+ become more and more common in Disney World. Of course, visitors don’t HAVE to use it at all. You can opt for standby lines instead, which will save you some cash. But according to Disney, fewer and fewer people are choosing standby over Lighting Lanes.
According to the most recent earnings report, about 50% of Disney World visitors choose to buy Genie+and/or use the pay-per-ride system for Individual Lightning Lanes. That’s up from just a few months ago when Disney reported that about a third of visitors were using Genie+.
With more people using Genie+, that could make the standby wait times longer (as Cast Members will usually board guests from Lightning Lanes first), which makes it even more appealing to buy Genie+. In order to get on all the rides you want, you may need to consider fitting Genie+ into your budget (at least for some of the parks).
OK, enough of the cost increases — you get the point! Disney is getting more and more expensive, and it might seem like there isn’t much you can do about it. But that’s not true! You can find lots of ways to save money on your upcoming vacation as well. We have a full list of the current deals and discounts being offered by Disney, and you can check those out here.
But Disney’s discounts aren’t the only way to save! We have a lot of posts that explain even more ways to save money. From cutting back on the dining budget to finding the cheapest flight, you can bring that vacation cost down quite a bit with just a few simple changes.
Check out some money-saving tips here:
- Complete Guide to Booking the Cheapest Flight to Disney World
- The Cheapest Days to Visit Disney World in 2022
- The Best Disney World Souvenirs for Every Budget
- 9 of the BEST Budget-Friendly Lunches in Disney World
- 15 Cheap but Filling Disney World Snacks for When You’re Ballin’ on a Budget
- Sneaky Ways You Can Save Money in Disney World
- How You Should Spend Your Money in Magic Kingdom
- 9 Things You Can Get for FREE in Disney World
- 3 Budget Plans for EPCOT Festivals
- Our Tips for Saving BIG in Disney World
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What are some of your best budgeting tips at Disney World? Let us know in the comments!
The post Why Disney World Will Cost You THOUSANDS More in 2023 first appeared on the disney food blog.