Walt Disney World Resort currently lists the price of admission for children under three years old as “free.”
But that’s not the entire truth. In actuality, the cost of bringing a baby or toddler to the theme Park Resort could be $300 (or more), depending on your little one and the size of your party. I’ll explain…
Several hidden expenses will turn that “free” admission into a cost higher than a one-day adult ticket. And what’s worse is your little one can’t even enjoy the big rides and, in some cases, may not even be able to stay awake for fireworks or other nighttime shows like Fantasmic!
When bringing your little one to the theme parks, there are many experiences for them to enjoy, such as rides like Dumbo or “it’s a small world,” as well as the chance to meet Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters. However, those attractions are not the main priority – their comfort is.
Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes
Holding a baby or toddler in line for an hour (because you can’t bring strollers in the queue, and they may not be able to walk yet) can be more than an infant or small child can handle. You’re almost forced to purchase Individual Lightning Lanes and Genie+ to save them (and yourself) the discomfort and frustration of standing in endless lines every day of your vacation.
Even if you are only a party of two (with the baby being the third), those Individual Lightning Lanes and Disney Genie+ purchases can add up to $60 for an adult or $120 for the two of you (prices may vary on parks, attractions, and time of year).
When visiting Disney World Resort (especially this year) it can be ridiculously hot and humid. It’s often unbearable for adults and older children, but it’s not even safe for little ones. And indoor table service dining is a fantastic way to beat that heat. Of course, that will cost you another $60-$100 per party member, depending on where you go and what you order. But the option to relax in air conditioning and take a break – as well as give your little one an excellent chance to nap – is necessary.
Of course, some may argue that you don’t NEED to spend this money, and there are plenty of quick service indoor options. But that’s not necessarily so. For example, the Land pavilion at EPCOT doesn’t allow strollers inside. So if you are to take an indoor, hour-long break with a baby, you will hold them for that entire time.
Another aspect you must consider when visiting with a baby or toddler is transportation to and from the theme parks. If you want an Uber or Lyft driver to transport you and your family, you only have one option that comes with car seats – a Minnie Van. Although these provide a safe and friendly way to get around Walt Disney World Resort, their prices are about four times that of a standard Uber/Lyft ride.
Upon our recent visit, you could look to spend between $40-$50 for a one-way ride between our Resort and the theme Park. A roundtrip, therefore, would be about $100. Although there are options such as Walt Disney World busses, depending on where you stay, they only come by once an hour, and you may be waiting outside in the heat with your infant.
Strollers and More
If you don’t bring your stroller and opt to use one at Walt Disney World Resort, they rent for about $15 a day (single stroller). And if you find yourself in desperate need of baby supplies like diapers, or a change of clothes, you can expect to pay another $25-$30.
So how much does that add up to? A lot. In fact, $300 may be on the low end. You can expect to pay extra for just one peaceful Disney Park day with your “free” Guest. It makes you wonder if Disney World even really wants babies or toddlers to visit in the first place. Maybe they only want Disney Adults after all…