Down Under Disney

The Australian Guide to Disney Parks

Down Under Disney

The Cost of Happiness Part 1: Disneyland California

I’ve previously written about how you can save a bit of coin on your Disney trips but let’s not beat around the bush. Disney holidays are expensive. Call it the “Cost of Happiness”.

So what does a holiday to the the happiest place on earth actually cost for an Australian? Read on!

Note: This post is based on current market trends and should be used as a guide only.


Everybody loves to find the lowest air fare possible but if that means adding another 14 hours to my flight and getting to LAX via New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii, you can count me out!

Maybe if Dumbo could give you a ride you could save a buck or two.

There are plenty of direct flights to LA from the three east coast capitals with prices obviously dependent on a range of factors. I’ve paid as little as AUD $1200 and as much as $2400 return so let’s split the difference and make it AUD $1800 p/p

Running Total: $1800 *

Note: If you are from any of the other Australian states, add on the relevant price for a flight to Melbourne, Brisbane or Sydney.


I’m going to make this one as simple as possible. The most cost effective way to get from LAX to the Disneyland Resort is on a good old airport shuttle. Prices will depend on the company but you can expect to pay around AUD $60 p/p return.

Add in an extra $100 or so for small Uber trips to the supermarket or other local trips and you’re good.

Running Total: AUD $1960


Depending on your lifestyle, expectations and the exchange rate you can spend anywhere between AUD $80-$1000 per night on your stay.

For the purposes of this exercise I’m basing cost on the close proximity “good neighbour hotels”. They don’t have the price tag of the official Disney hotels, are not dives and are within 5 or 10 minutes walk of the parks.

One of the many reasonably priced and convenient hotels near the resort.

Averaged out, you’re looking at around AUD $280 a night. Multiply that by 6 nights (minimum) and you’ve got yourself a bill of AUD $1,680.

Running Total: AUD $3640

For more info on where to stay check out our hotels post.

Disneyland Tickets

I’m going to assume that you have read our brilliant post on Disneyland Ticketing and leap straight in. If you’re coming from Australia, you’re going to need 5 days to do the resort. Don’t even think of less!

If you don’t get a 5 day ticket you’re missing out!

A five day park-hopper ticket (unlimited access to both parks) is going to set you back around AUD $575.

Running Total: AUD $4,215

Spending Money

This can vary depending on how much you like shopping and eating. I personally love the latter and could easily drop a grand on my trips so let’s call it an even AUD $1,500 if you’re going solo.

No guesses where my spending money goes on Disney Trips!

Running Total: AUD $5,715


Don’t forget to consider some of the extras that come with any trip overseas. Here are some of the things that come to mind:

Passports (If you don’t have one already): $293

ESTA (US Green Card): AUD $20

Travel Insurance: AUD $120

All the extra expenses you need for any trip can really sneak up on you!

To borrow from financial guru “The Barefoot Investor”, make sure you have some money saved for any financial fires you may experience while overseas. Excess for insurance, impromptu experiences or the sudden desire to purchase Swarowski Chrystal models of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, are all fine examples of financial emergencies. Throw in an extra AUD $500 for good measure.


And our grand Total is: AUD $6,648

I must stress that this total is a minimum for a solo traveller, given the current market. Obviously so many factors can contribute to this figure changing, including whether you are paying for a family, sharing or room or get your flights free because you are best friends with a pilot!

With that said, I just hope you can use this as a base to start saving and make your adjustments accordingly.

Next up we take a look at the Disney Park many vaguely interested Australians will get to: Disneyland Hong Kong.

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