Hidden Fees at Disney World Trip Costs to Avoid

Hidden Fees at Disney World Trip Costs to Avoid

Let’s talk about all those hidden Disney costs that you can rack up on a Disney World Vacation without even knowing it! You know the ones we mean. From Disney parking fees, to resort fees to Disney world extra fees you had no idea existed, here is our HUGE list of all of the Hidden Fees at Disney World you may find on your credit card when you get back from vacation. 

There’s nothing like planning a good Disney Budget to keep on track with your vacation spending. But how can you possibly account for the all the hidden costs at Disney world? From last minute things you didn’t know you needed, like Genie+ on busy days to things that you couldn’t have foreseen like locker rentals for those must have Disney souvenirs, there are a lot of ways that you can spend every last dime on your Disney World vacation. Luckily, we’re hear to share ALL the Hidden Fees at Disney World that you may ( or may not) encounter on your next trip. Because, whether you’re an expert budgeter or not, we can guarantee that those 18% gratuity fees will begin to add up, before you know it. And we’re as guilty as anyone of going over our Disney Budget limits. Here’s the list of the hidden charges at Disney World that you may be surprised to realize are in addition to the actual cost of your Disney Vacation.

Hollywood Studios at Disney World

Theme Park Parking Fees | $30- $55 per day

Disney Theme Park Parking Fees are one of the biggest hidden costs of a Disney world vacation. Because while most people will rely on Disney’s Complimentary Transportation while they are on their vacation, many families within a few states distance from the parks, simply drive there. As a result it’s important to know that if you are bringing a car to Disney World, and ARE NOT staying at a Disney World Resort, that you will paying a per day fee to park at Disney World parks. Note that Standard theme park parking is included for registered Disney Resort Guests and select Annual Passholders.

  • Standard parking: car or motorcycle – $30 per day
  • Preferred parking: car or motorcycle – $45, $50 or $55 per day
  • Oversized Vehicle Parking: Shuttle, Limo, Camper Trailer, RV, Bus or Tractor Trailer – $35 per day

As one of the extra costs at Disney World that can really add up, if you’re driving to Disney World, there are ways to avoid Disney parking fees that are worth looking into. 

Disney Electric Vehicle Charging Fees 

To use this service, you will need a credit card or a pre-ordered ChargePoint card—available at chargepoint.com. The cost to charge at these stations is $0.35 per kilowatt hour, with a minimum service amount of $1.50. Check out all the Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at Disney World, so you can make a plan. 

Mears Connect

Transportation Fees | $15 per person – $60 per Uber, one way

Of all the things that are non-negotiable when it comes to fees, it’s the transportation. If you’re not driving to Walt Disney World with your own car, then you will have to get to and from the airport somehow. Additionally, if  you’re hoping to head to Universal Studios Orlando while you’re in central Florida, then you will most likely want to have a car. Here are some things to know about the Transportation Fees at Disney World. 

Walt Disney World Does Not Have a Shuttle to and from the Airport

Believe it or not, if you’re going to Disney World, and paying thousands of dollars to stay at a Disney Resort, you still have to pay for transportation to and from the airport. As such, there are a few options open to you. Extra Transportation costs usually range from $15- $20 per person on a bus shuttle, to about $60-$70/ per Uber for a one way trip. Of course these prices vary depending on the time of day and time of year. 

  • If you’re looking for a shuttle bus from Orlando Airport to your Disney Resort, you can check out our Mears Bus Shuttle Review.

Getting to and from Disney Parks

If you’re staying in the Disney bubble and not planning to bring, or rent a car, then you can take advantage of Complimentary Disney Transportation from the resorts to the parks. Disney offers transportation by bus, monorail, skyliner, ferry and boat. However, if you want to get anywhere fast, you can book a Minnie Van. A Minnie Van is for a fee and can be reserved in the My Disney Experience App. 

mermaid under the sea at disney world

Genie+ Cost and Lightning Lane Fees | $25- $40 per person, per day

By far one of the most hidden Disney world trip costs is for the Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane Service. This service allows you to skip the line at rides. And while you can avoid paying this hidden fee at Disney World, you may find it’s hard to avoid. Our best tip is to keep an eye on ride wait times in the My Disney Experience App ahead of your trip to see what Disney crowd may look like. Be sure to check out the Best Days to Visit Disney World so you can take advantage of lower crowds.

Genie+ starts at $25 per ticket per day, but can go well above that during popular times throughout the year. The holiday season routinely sees Genie+ costs at $35, per person for Magic Kingdom, as an example. If you’re supplementing your Genie+ or getting a Lightning Lane Pass for rides not included in Genie + you can plan to spend between $10 to $25 per person, per ride. Though prices vary by attraction and day of year. As one of the biggest hidden costs at Disney world, the Genie+ service can be a necessity in Magic Kingdom, due to the amount of rides you often need to tackle. Which can run about an extra $100 per day for a family of 4, and that’s if you don’t buy any additional Lightning Lane Passes for the popular rides. 

Disney Swan Reserve Hotel

Disney Resort Fees | $45+ per night at select hotels

To be clear, Walt Disney World Resorts don’t have additional resort fees. HOWEVER,  if you’re staying at one of the Marriott Hotels or a non-Disney Hotel, like those Hotels close to Disney Springs, or a Good Neighbor Hotel, there are extra fees. Be sure to check your hotel specifically to get an idea of what extra resort fees may need to be paid. And don’t forget to check on parking fees as well. 

Swan Hotel, Dolphin Hotel, Swan Reserve

The Swan and Dolphin Hotels have a daily $45 resort fee (+ tax) in 2024. And includes daily benefits for two guests which include wi-fi access, paddleboat access, fitness classes and a movie night on the beach. This is in addition to the parking fees. 

  • Self-Parking: $36 per night, plus tax (maximum 5-night charge for Walt Disney Travel Company Guests)
  • Valet Parking: $44 per night, plus tax

While these fees are a bit exorbitant, they are on par with other local hotels. Be sure to check out our Swan Hotel and Dolphin Hotel Review. And if you’re looking for something even more elegant near the Disney Boardwalk, and within walking distance of EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, you can stay at the Swan Reserve Hotel

Disney Resort Parking Fees | Free, $39 Valet

Luckily, as a guest of a Disney Resort you get complimentary standard self-parking for FREE. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for Valet Service, that runs an additional $39 per night (sales tax included).

Disney Yacht Club Resort Rooms

Tips for Housekeeping | $1-3 per person, per night

The general convention for tipping the maid, or housekeeping staff is $1-$3 per person per night. So, a family of 4, could expect an additional $4-$12 in housekeeping fees per day. Of course this is at your discretion and can vary depending on how often you use the housekeeping service. An important note here, is that, just like any hotel, maid service varies each day, and you may not have the same maid throughout your trip. As such, we recommend tipping housekeeping each day, instead of all at once at the end of your visit. That way, each housekeeper can get their tips for cleaning your room. 

S’mores Kits at the Resort Campfire | $8-10

Every Disney Resort offers a s’mores kit that you can buy as part of the nightly campfire and movie. We most like the Chip and Dale Campfire Sing Along, but if you’re hoping to take part at your resort, you can buy a s’more’s kit for $8-$10. Note, you don’t pay for the experience and can easily just head to the campfire and movie without roasting smores. Many families do, but we’re sharing this as it may be an extra cost at Disney, that you didn’t see coming! ( At the Swan and Dolphin Hotels, the smores kit is included in your resort fee, so you don’t  need to pay again at the beach)

Disney Resort Pet Fees | $50- 75 per night

If you are bringing your pet to stay at one of the Pet Friendly Disney Resorts, then you can plan to pay an extra $50-$75 per night. Pet fees are as follows, based on resort. 

Disney Best Friends Pet Care Boarding Services

If you are bringing your pet with you to Disney World, you may need to take advantage of the Best Friends Pet Care services. Everything from grooming, to day camp to boarding is offered. Prices are high, but may help you in a bind. Check out all the details for all the Disney World Pet Services offered.

Surfing Area at Disney All Star Sports Preferred Rooms

Cancellation Fees

Disney World has a few kinds of cancellation fees, depending on what you have reserved. From canceling your Walt Disney World Vacation package, to your resort, to your dining reservation here are the hidden fees at Disney World to be aware of. 

Disney Vacation Cancellation Fees

If you have booked a Disney Vacation Package, your safe if you cancel 30 days ahead of time and will not be charged a fee. Nevertheless, there are Disney cancellation fees for other cancellations and no shows. 

  • Cancellations 2- 29 days prior to arrival: $200 deposit is forfeit
  • Cancellations 1 day or less, or no show: Full Price of Vacation Package is forfeit

Disney Resort Room Only Cancellation Fees

If you have not booked a Disney Vacation Package, but only a Disney hotel room then you can cancel your reservation 5 days in advance for a full refund. At 0-4 days you lose your deposit ( the cost of a one-night stay).

Dining Reservation Cancellation Fees 

If your day plans have changed and you need to change your dining plan, know that Disney does try to make things easy. You can cancel a Disney Dining Reservation in the My Disney Experience App up to 2 hours before your dining time, or by calling (407) 824-1391. After that, we recommend calling the restaurant to cancel in person, as the cast members are sometimes sympathetic to your reasons; for example if your child is sick, or you’re stuck in traffic or a ride line somewhere. Generally, Disney Restaurants offering advance reservations do not allow modifications within 2 hours of the reservation time. Most Disney Restaurants charge a $10 per-person fee to cancel a Dining Reservation. 

Victoria and Albert’s Restaurant, however, charges a $100 per person cancellation fee if you cancel within 5 days of the reservation. Those who cancel on the day of their reservation are charged full price. 

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Cancellation Fees | $10

If you have reserved your child a spot at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and can no longer make it, a $10 cancellation fee will be applied to the credit card on file. This is policy for all no-shows or if a reservation is canceled within 24 hours of scheduled time. 

Disney Tour Cancellation Fees

We absolutely love the tours at Disney World. These special behind the scenes Disney experiences really do make the trip extra special. And while we would always recommend the Animal Kingdom Wild Africa Trek, or the Behind the Seeds Tour at EPCOT, every tour at Disney Tour comes with a rule about cancellation. Generally most Disney tours require cancellation at least 2 days or more in advance of the reservation, or the ENTIRE COST of the tour is forfeit. That said, keep an eye on your dates, and times before booking something, because with some tours costing hundreds of dollars, this could be an unexpected Disney fee if something goes wrong and you can’t make it. 

Change Fees

Another hidden cost of a Disney World trip that you may not even know about are the Changes to Reservation Fees. These fees occur when you have a Disney Vacation Package and you change your travel dates, length of stay, party size or hotel. As a result, additional charges may be applied as a result of the changes. Furthermore, if  any change is made less than 30 days prior to your arrival date, a minimum change fee of $50 will be applied to your package. 

Disney Gift Card Deals

Tips and Tipping at Disney 

Another of the many Disney extra fees you may not always expect come in the form of tips. Not  only for housekeeping, but also for people like your shuttle bus driver, uber driver, waiter, bellboy, etc. Here’s a quick breakdown of all the people you may be tipping while at Disney World. And it’s definitely one of the hidden fees of a Disney Vacation, most people forget to budget for. You can see from this list that you want to plan to have cash on hand for some of the random tipping needs. 

  • Airport Luggage Porter: $2-$3 per bag
  • Shuttle Bus Driver: $2-$3 per bag, or $5 standard
  • Uber/ Taxi/Limo Driver: 15-20%
  • Valet Service Tip: $2-$5+, in addition to Valet Service Fee
  • Bell Services: $2-$3 per bag
  • Housekeeping: $1-$3 per person, per night
  • Table Service Dining: 18-20%+, automatically applied to your bill for parties of 6 or more. 
  • Bars and Lounges: $2-$3 per drink, or 18-20% if you’re also getting food
  • Disney Tour Guide: 20% 
  • Harmony Barber Shop and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Tip: 15%-20%
  • Spa Services: 15-20%
  • Carriage Rides: $5-$10

Locker Rental | $10- $15 per day

Another of the many Disney fees that can catch you off guard are for lockers. These mini storage lockers are located at the front of the parks, and offer a chance to stash your stuff while you walk around the park. Take note of the costs and add them to your Disney Budget if you know this is something you’ll need. 

  • Small 12″ x 10″ x 17″  $10 per day
  • Large 15.5″ x 13″ x 17″ $12 per day
  • Jumbo ( Magic Kingdom and EPCOT Only) 17″ x 22″ x 26″ $15 per day

Water Park Lockers

  • Standard 12.5″ x 10″ x 17″ $10 per day
  • Large 15.5″ x 13″ x 17″ $15 per day

stroller parking at walt disney world

ECV and Stroller Rental Fees

Another of the many Disney World fees are for Electric Scooters and Strollers at Disney, if you’re not bringing your own that is.

ECV Rental at Disney World

ECV’s are available first come, first serve, and must be re-rented each day that you need them. Check out all the details of renting an ECV at Disney World

  • At the Disney Theme Parks 
    • Daily: $65
    • A refundable $20 deposit is required at this location
  • At Disney Springs and the Water Parks
    • Daily: $65
    • A refundable $100 deposit is required at this location

Stroller Rental at Disney World

If you’re bringing children to Disney World, you will be managing lots of things, and that goes for the stroller too! Toting it on and off buses, parking it nearby rides, and getting it through security. Luckily, if you know you’re going to be using a Disney Stroller on your trip, you can pre-pay the number of days and have a length of stay ticket for your stroller. You will get a new stroller each day, but the charges will be less per day. 

  • Single Stroller
    • Recommended for children 50 lbs. or less.
    • Daily: $15
    • Multi-Day (Length of Stay): $13
    • A $100 USD credit card deposit is required for strollers rented at Disney Springs.
  • Double Stroller
    • Recommended for children 100 lbs. or less.
    • Daily: $31
    • Multi-Day (Length of Stay): $27

Disney Arcade at All Star Sport

Recreation Fees

While things like the beaches and pools are free to enjoy, other activities across the Walt Disney World Resort cost extra. Disney World offers tons of recreation. From professional golf, to fishing to surrey bikes, we’re sharing just a few here, but be sure to check the full list of Disney World Recreation Costs to see what you may need extra money for. 

The Arcade | $5- $20 avg.

For families with children, visiting the Arcade is a favorite pastime. From throwing basketballs, to playing racing games and DDR, there are plenty of games in the Arcade to fill time. Typically you can load $5 or more on a gameplay card to play games throughout the arcade. Each game has a different amount of “points” required per game. So take a look at the games before adding money to your card, to get an idea of how much to plan for. 

Miniature Golf | $12 per child, $19 per adult

We love taking a non-park day at Disney World, and doing fun things that don’t involve crowds, or tons of extra money. Visiting the Resorts, heading to the Disney Boardwalk, and playing a round of Mini Golf at Disney World is always fun. So, if you’re planning on adding something like this to your Disney day, be sure to allow for the extra cost! Disney has two Miniature Gold Courses; Fairways, Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland. These are 18 hole courses so allow about 1-1.5 hours for game play. Read all about our Disney Miniature Golf Review to see which course may be best, and all the details.  

  • Disney Miniature Golf Costs $19 per Adult, $12 per Child (Ages 3–9) (tax not included)
  • If you are staying at a Disney Resort, 4 free vouchers to Miniature Golf is part of your Magical Extras.

Golf 

Golf Rates Vary depending on season, time of day, and golf course. As such, you can check Disney Golf Fees for your dates. Typically, they run from $80-$150 per 2-people tee time booking. But again, it all depends on your tee time, season, and course. Check out the Disney Golf Rates page for details. Non-players riding along with the Golf Player must pay a nominal fee of $15 USD. The fee covers access to facilities and golf cart usage.

Surry Bike Rentals | $25 per 30 minutes

If you want to take in the sights on a surrey bike, then that’s gonna cost you.  Available at several resorts, including Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, and Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort, among others, these bikes are available in a 2 or 4-person version and are available for $25 per 1/2 hour.

  • If you are staying at a Disney Resort, you can get 10% Off Surrey Bikes as part of your Magical Extras.

Carriage Rides

Another fun excursion at Disney World, that will cost extra, are Carriage Rides. Offered at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, and Riverside, Carriages fit up to 4 adults, or 2 adults and 3 small children. Each horse-drawn carriage ride costs $65 for 25 minutes. You  must book your carriage ride in advance, and do not need to be staying at a resort to take advantage of this. Check out all the details for carriage rides at Disney World

Disney French Quarter Resort Pools

Hidden Fees at Disney World

There you have it a round up of almost all the Hidden Costs of a Disney Vacation. Of course we didn’t get into the specifics that may affect unique situations. For instance, if you’re staying at Fort Wilderness, you may need to rent a Golf Cart, or if you’re headed to the waterpark and want a beachcomber shack, those cost extra too. Check out all the additional recreation costs in the link above that you may incur simply from adding extra experiences to your trip. Hopefully this Hidden Costs of a Disney World post has given you some insight. On the cautious side, remember, if its something Disney can charge for, they usually do. 

Hidden Fees at Disney World and how to avoid them.

Co-Founder and Director at Polka Dot Pixie Co LLC | Website

Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.