How much to budget for getting to Disneyland depends on two things: where you live and how you want to get there.
If you’re in Northern California and only a few hours away from Disney, it’s going to cost much less than a family from several states away who will be flying in. There are a few tools you can use to help you get the best idea on how much to set aside for this portion of your trip.
How to Budget for Driving to Disneyland
First, let’s look at driving to Disneyland. This isn’t a bad idea, especially if you’re only a state or three away from the park. We like to use the Trip Calculator from the EPA
to get the best idea of how much to spend on gas.
With this tool, you’re able to enter the make and model of the vehicle you’ll be driving, on top of where you’ll be starting and ending your trip. Since you’re entering the type of car, you’re going to get a more accurate idea of how much fuel will cost.
Just remember to double the amount shown, since you’ll need to drive back from Disneyland. Unless you decide to never leave, of course.
Another thing you’ll want to consider when driving to Disneyland is if you’ll be stopping overnight or not. Is the drive long enough that you’ll need to get a hotel? It’s also a great idea to consider how many times you’ll be stopping for restroom breaks or to stretch your legs.
Will you be purchasing meals or snacks during these times? These are all numbers to think about that can either be added to transportation, or to the food and lodging budget portions. Either way, just make sure you add them so you don’t end up budgeting too little!
How to Budget for Flying to Disneyland
What if you’re flying to Disneyland? The best tip for budgeting for flights is to start looking as soon as you know you’re going. Even if you have a few months – maybe even a year – it’s good to watch the flight prices and get an idea of what’s a good price for where you live.
At Get Away Today we suggest Google Flights
Not only can you see all the different flight times and prices based on the information you put in, but you can also “track” flights. You just choose which flights you want to keep an eye on and Google will email you every time the price goes up or down. It saves you a lot of time and stress when it comes to booking flights to Disneyland.
For example, Google Flights identifies the best price on legacy carriers to fly from Salt Lake City to Long Beach is about $240 round trip if you plan to fly June 2023. If you're not going for a few months, you should wait it out and watch for lower prices to pop up.
It’s also important to note that Southwest Airlines and other low cost carriers do not pull up on Google Flights. It’s worth it to check their site separately as they periodically have great sales for flights to California. Generally, we suggest booking flights about three months out from your travel date, as you're most-likely to find the best prices in that window.
You can also follow Facebook or Instagram pages/groups that do the flight-finding for you. Like Google Flights, you can book a great deal on a flight thanks to someone else's research! Usually these groups are free to join, and sometimes there's a minimal fee to "upgrade" your access to deals or the frequency of which you receive them.
You’ll want to also think about what city you'll be flying into for your Disneyland trip. You have three main options:
- Long Beach
- Los Angeles
- Santa Ana
Santa Ana, more commonly known as John Wayne or Orange County, is the closest to Disneyland, but tends to have higher prices. Long Beach is the next closest airport and, while a smaller airport, usually offers great prices. The farthest is Los Angeles, which also offers great deals and is close to Universal Studios Hollywood
if you're thinking about adding that to your Disneyland vacation. You could also try to fly into Ontario or Burbank depending on your home airport's routes, but those are typically less popular.
Speaking of airports, it’s also worth checking your departure city. Folks in northern Utah may save money by checking flights out of Provo vs. SLC. Those living in the greater Phoenix area may want to check flights out of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway instead of Sky Harbor. And in northern California, it’s always wise to check San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland.
Don’t forget to add baggage costs when budgeting for flights to Disneyland. Southwest Airlines is the only airline that currently offers free checked bags with their ticket prices, unless you have an airline credit card. If you're flying and checking a bag, you'll want to add that to your budget. Checked bags can cost anywhere from $25-$40 per bag so you'll want to check directly with the airline you choose.
Finally, consider the transportation to and from Disneyland once you're there. If you flew, will you need a rental car? Or will you be using a transportation service? The same goes for if you drive. Will you be driving to Disneyland in your own car, walking or using a shuttle? You can do whichever works best for your family, just make sure to plan for those costs when you budget for your Disneyland trip.
Also, keep in mind, if you plan on parking a car at Disneyland, whether it's your own or a rental, parking at the resort will cost you approximately $30 per day. Most area hotels also charge a parking fee.
We recommend Karmel Shuttle services with our special rates. Karmel Shuttle can transport you to and from the aforementioned airports.
Find links directly to Karmel Shuttle promos below: