Planning a Disney vacation can be stressful and expensive!
Fortunately, we love helping YOU save time and money while you plan your Disney vacation. There are so many different facets of planning, and it can be difficult to find all the ways you can save. Let’s check out all of the components of a Disney vacation package!
So, let’s dig into the details!
Components of a Disney World Vacation Package:
Walt Disney World offers a wide variety of ticket options. One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make when planning your trip to Walt Disney World is what type of ticket to purchase. First, some basics on tickets.
Standard Theme Park Tickets provide entrance to a single theme park on a given day. You can upgrade to a Park Hopper (to visit more than one theme park on a given day) or to a Park Hopper Plus (to receive a varying amount of admissions to the so-called “minor gates” that consist of the water parks, Oak Trails Golf Course, Disney’s miniature golf courses, and Wide World of Sports).
Tickets are available in lengths of 1 to 10 days. The Standard Theme Park Ticket is just one park admission per day — so no park hopping unless you upgrade to a Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus. Ticket prices start at $109 per ticket, per day. And those prices are subject to change based on ticket style and season.
Tickets are sold as “Guest 10+” for adult tickets or “Guest 3-9” for a child. Anyone under age three is free. There are no special tickets or discounts for the disabled or senior citizens.
Annual Passes allow Passholders to visit the Parks whenever they wish (except for blockout dates where applicable), so long as they obtain a Disney Park Pass reservation for the day and Park they wish to visit. Passholders can Park Hop with their Passes.
Complimentary theme park parking is included in the price. Annual Passholders have other benefits described on our Annual Passholders page. There is a small discount when you renew your AP.
A Walt Disney World Resort hotel can almost be as much fun to visit as one of the theme parks! Each Resort has its own theme, with various dining, entertainment, and recreation options. All of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels include the perk of Early Theme Park Entry — meaning you can enter the parks 30 minutes before they open to the general public.
Amenities at Value Resorts include food courts, swimming pools, and complimentary Disney transportation, such as buses or Skyliner. This is Disney’s category for the lowest tier of pricing. For more information on these Resorts, visit our Value Resort Main Page.
Amenities at Moderate Resorts include full-service restaurants, lounges, swimming pools with a slide and hot tub, and complimentary Disney Transportation, such as buses, boats, or Skyliner. This is Disney’s second-lowest tier for pricing. For more information on these resorts, check out our Moderate Resorts Main Page.
Getting around Disney World can take many forms, from Disney buses to Skyliner gondolas to a fleet of boats. Even with all of these options — each of which has its own drawbacks and benefits — many visitors choose to rent a car (or drive to Orlando from their home), and chauffeur themselves around the over 43 square mile property.
Here we’ve gathered links to all of Walt Disney World’s transportation options! Learn more about operating times, capacity, and tips for making the most of it!
Disney buses have become icons of Walt Disney World. Whether the ones you ride are wrapped in characters, have raised seating, or articulate around the corners, you can explore the World in style with Disney buses.
Click here for the full scoop on Walt Disney World Buses!
If you want to say “we can fly / we can fly / we can fly”, the Disney Skyliner gondola system is for you! It connects guests at Disney’s Riviera, Caribbean Beach, Art of Animation , and Pop Century Resorts to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT.
Learn more about the Walt Disney World Skyliner gondola system here!
Disney Monorail and Trains
The Walt Disney World Monorail is iconic, and the Walt Disney World Railroad is a must-do, historic experience. But there’s a third train at Walt Disney World, and it’s wild!
Get more information on Walt Disney World’s Monorail and Trains here!
Disney boats offer a relaxing, slow-moving way to see the World. Find out where you can ride a variety of boats when you’re going from place to place in the World.
Float your boat with more information about Walt Disney World’s Boats here!
What’s the first ride your experience after parking your car at Walt Disney World? Disney trams!
Learn more about Walt Disney World’s Tram service here
Travel the World in seriously adorable style with the rideshare Minnie Van program! This rideshare can be booked through the Lyft App and does cost an extra fee. But you may view that as an investment in securing more time experiencing your Disney resort or favorite attractions rather than waiting for a bus.
For more information about Minnie Van service at Walt Disney World, click here
Miscellaneous Disney Transportation
There’s a handful of other transportation available in the World, too! From golf carts to horse-drawn trolleys, we cover them all!
Learn more about Golf Carts, Taxis, Rideshares, and Main Street, USA, Vehicles here!
In January 2022, Disney discontinued its free Magical Express transportation service, which gave guests round-trip rides from the Orlando International Airport (MCO) to their Disney resort and back again. Now, Disney visitors flying to Orlando will have to pay for their transportation from the airport to Disney property. Let’s dig into those options.
Mears has been a mainstay at MCO for decades, and unbeknownst to many Magical Express users, Mears actually operated that service for the duration of its existence. Mears Connect offers two options: Standard and Express. We get into the details on our Mears Connect page, so definitely give that a look.
Essentially, Standard service is on a motorcoach-style bus, just like Magical Express. Guests may have a short wait before departing, and they may have to wait through several Resort drop-offs depending on the other passengers’ needs and the bus route.
Express (or Premium) service promises a shorter wait to depart and direct service to your Resort. The time savings is offset by a steeper price tag.
Visit the Mears Connect site here.
The Sunshine Flyer is not too dissimilar from Mears Connect, and you can book shared-ride shuttle services One-Way or Round Trip from Orlando Airport to your Disney World hotel. We give more details about The Sunshine Flyer here.
The Sunshine Flyer schedules shuttles to depart from the airport within 20 minutes of your arrival, and you do not have the option to book a private bus. The buses are designed to resemble 1920s steam engines.
Of course, Mears and The Sunshine Flyer aren’t the only transportation options in town. In fact, AllEars partners with Happy Limousine, which offers a range of limousines, vans (including party vans!), town cars, and luxury sedan options. Need a superstretch for your group? Happy limo’s got you covered.
We’ve got specifics on our Happy Limo page here.
Rideshare services have become popular with Disney World guests over the past several years. These (and taxis) are the most direct way to travel if you do not want to rent a car. Rideshare services — Uber and Lyft are both relatively easy to access on Property — can vary significantly in terms of cost. Variables like the number of passengers and the need for car seats can make a big difference when it comes to travel between MCO and WDW.
Rideshare users can expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $50 (or more, if they have special requests) to travel between MCO and their Disney Resorts.
Check out Uber pricing and options here.
Check out Lyft pricing and options here.
If you prefer to pilot your own vehicle between the airport and Walt Disney World, MCO has no shortage of rental car options to make that happen. In fact, there are dozens of On Airport and Off Airport options. (Off Airport options typically offer a shuttle to the lot.)
You’ll want to check out the rental car options available to you at MCO. Research online, and look for details like whether they offer a rewards program or the opportunity to skip the rental car desk and head right to the parking garage to select a vehicle.
Deciding whether or not to rent a vehicle can be tough. There are several variables to keep in mind, including:
- Cost to gas up (or not to gas up) upon return to MCO
- Cost to travel on Florida’s toll roads between MCO and WDW
- Parking fees at your Disney Resort hotel
- Potential traffic woes like busy highways, challenging directions, and weather
We explore the pros and cons of rental cars here.
See all of MCO’s rental car options here.
You might find driving to your Disney vacation the most convenient way to arrive. Not only do you not have to worry about how much luggage you bring or how much it weighs, you’ll also have some extra freedom to set your own schedule.
But while driving does provide you with a bit of freedom, there are some things to keep in mind. First, you’ll need to factor in the cost for any tolls or parking fees. And if you’re covering a larger distance, you may also have to factor in the time and money to an overnight hotel stay.
Luckily, with Google Maps and the easy-to-navigate Disney traffic signs, you’ll never be lost! And if you happen to need a little maintenance on your vehicle before you hit the road, Disney has a Car Care Center on property to help.
A Full List of EVERY Discount Available for Disney World RIght Now
Components of a Disneyland Vacation Package
Though just as magical, a Disneyland vacation package and experience will be a little bit different. So, there isn’t a “Copy/Paste” planning method for both US Disney parks, and each one will take its own approach.
Much like Disney World, park ticket prices at Disneyland vary depending on the day you visit. Tickets are more expensive on peak (busier) dates and less expensive on less busy dates. It’s all based on demand and expectation of demand.
1-day, 1-park tickets start at $109 and goes all the way up to $179. The Park Hopper Ticket option ranges from $169-$244 per day per ticket. And these prices depend on the time of year that you choose to visit.
If you’re planning a multi-day trip and want tickets for several days, you’ll need to plan for:
- 2-day ticket, 1 park per day: $285
- 3-day ticket, 1 park per day: $360
- 4-day ticket, 1 park per day: $395
- 5-day ticket, 1 park per day: $415
Located in the heart of Anaheim, the Disneyland area offers guests a wide variety of hotels and resorts. In addition to the on-site hotels owned by Disney, there is a large selection of nearby off-site “Good Neighbor” hotels. Most major chains are represented, and several well-regarded locally-owned establishments are also represented. With so many choices, there is something to appeal to almost every vacation style and budget.
Disney offers three different Disney-owned resort hotels, each with their own individual theme and environment. All are more of a “deluxe” class of resort, with amenities such as valet parking, bell services, in-room dining service, room charging privileges, and concierge-level rooms and services.
Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel features a relaxing beach resort atmosphere, with warm and inviting decor.
“Magic” is the theme at the Disneyland Hotel, from the pixie-dusted rooms to the elaborate “E-ticket” pool area.
Disney’s Grand Californian Resort and Spa offers luxury accommodations and services in the elegant surroundings of this Arts and Crafts themed resort.
The Villas at the Grand Californian is the first Disney Vacation Club resort offered to California. The resort offers home-away-from-home accommodations ranging from studios with kitchenettes to one- and two-bedroom villas with full kitchens and the deluxe 3-bedroom Grand Villas.
And a NEW Disney Vacation Club option is opening in Disneyland, soon. The new tower will be called The Villas at Disneyland Hotel and is expected to open sometime in 2023 with a new pool and restaurant. The rooms inside will have a Sleeping Beauty theme, and Disney Imagineers have said they’re looking at Walt’s drawings for inspiration.
Good Neighbor hotels are properties in the area that are independently owned and operated. To receive the Good Neighbor designation, they have been rated on amenities, service, decor, guest satisfaction, price, and location. All-inclusive travel packages can be booked at these hotels through the Walt Disney Travel Company, or through your own travel agent. There are over 40 different properties, with a variety of accommodations available: budget motels, kid suites, and moderate and deluxe accommodations.
For more information, please see the Good Neighbor Hotels page.
When you visit Disneyland, you’ll really just need to plan how you’re getting there, because once you’re there, the resort is so compact, you can easily walk anywhere on property with ease.
Disneyland is in Anaheim, California, just outside Los Angeles. And being close to a large metropolis provides several airport options to help guests find the best option.
John Wayne Airport, Orange County (SNA)
Distance: At about 15 miles, John Wayne Airport in Orange County is the closest airport to Disneyland (CA-55 North, I-5 North).
How long it should take: Drive time varies from about 18–35 minutes without traffic to up to an hour during afternoon commute time between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
SNA provides car rental services, rideshare, taxi, and private car services are all available here to help get you to your Disneyland hotel from the airport.
Long Beach Airport (LGB)
Distance: 24 miles, with two main routes: CA-91 East, I-5 South; and 405 South, CA-22 East.
How long it should take: Drive time varies from 22–50 minutes without traffic to about an hour during afternoon commute time between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
LGB provides car rental services, rideshare, taxi, and private car services are all available here to help get you to your Disneyland hotel from the airport.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Distance: 34 miles, with two primary routes: I-105 East, I-5 South; and CA-91 East.
How long it should take: Drive time varies from 35–55 minutes without traffic to as much as an hour and 50 minutes during afternoon commute time between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
LAX provides car rental services, rideshare, taxi, and private car services are all available here to help get you to your Disneyland hotel from the airport.
Ontario International Airport (ONT)
Distance: 36 miles, with two routes: I-10 West, CA-57 South; and I-15 South, CA-19 West.
How long it should take: Drive time varies from 35–75 minutes to 90 minutes during afternoon commute time between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
ONT provides car rental services, rideshare, taxi, and private car services are all available here to help get you to your Disneyland hotel from the airport.
Hollywood Burbank Airport, AKA Bob Hope Airport (BUR)
Distance: 45 miles, (I-5 South).
How long it should take: Drive time varies from 35–50 minutes without traffic to as much as two hours and 20 minutes during afternoon commute time between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
BUR provides car rental services, rideshare, taxi, and private car services are all available here to help get you to your Disneyland hotel from the airport.
Since most visitors arrive at Disneyland by car via Interstate 5 (I5, aka Santa Ana Freeway), here are some helpful directions for those traveling to Disneyland either northbound or southbound on I5.
Southbound on I5, when coming from, for example, LAX, San Francisco, Hollywood, etc.
Proceed on I5 south to Disneyland Drive. Stay in the three left lanes for the theme parks and follow the “Theme Park” signs to the Mickey and Friends parking structure. For the resort hotels or Downtown Disney, stay in the two right lanes and follow the signs to the appropriate parking areas.
Northbound on I5, when coming from, for example, San Diego, John Wayne Airport, Irvine, etc.
There are actually a couple of ways, and which way is best depends on where you are going. For the theme parks using the Disney Way exit off I-5 is easiest, but usually a longer drive to the parking lots, and you may end up in a more outlying parking lot. For the hotels or Downtown Disney, and for a direct route to the Mickey and Friends parking structure, our AllEars.net staffers prefer the Harbor Drive route, so that one is listed first.
For theme parks, resort hotels and Downtown Disney:
Proceed on I5 north to Harbor Boulevard. Turn right at the top of the off-ramp, then make an immediate left at the next stop light onto Ball Road. At the second light, turn left onto Disneyland Drive. Stay in the three left lanes for the theme parks and follow the “Theme Park” signs to the Mickey and Friends parking structure. For the resort hotels or Downtown Disney, stay in the two right lanes and follow the signs to the appropriate parking areas.
– OR –
For theme park parking only:
Proceed on I5 north to Disney Way. Turn left at the offramp, then go about 1 mile and follow the signs to the parking area.
For the hotels or Downtown Disney:
Proceed on I5 north to Katella Avenue and turn left. Go about 1.5 miles, turn right on Disneyland Drive, and follow the signs.
Deals and Discounts for Disney World and Disneyland
We recommend using a certified Disney travel agent, like MEI Travel, when considering a Disney vacation package. Travel agents can help you find the best package for you and get the best discounts applied to your trip.
We’re always on the lookout for Disney news and information, so make sure to stay tuned to AllEars for the latest!
Click here to see 6 secrets nobody tells you before going to Disneyland
Are you heading to Disneyland soon? Let us know in the comments!