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Higher cost of Disney vacations isn’t deterring some Canadian visitors

Janice McNulty and her family have visited Walt Disney World in Orlando multiple times.

“It’s magic,” she says, “I want to go right now.”

Over the past couple of years, prices have gone up all across the Disneyverse. That hasn’t stopped McNulty from going back to the popular tourist destination, but after the effects of the pandemic and of inflation, how her family plans a trip has changed.

In a recent study from RBC, many Canadian households have pulled back from spending and are planning fewer trips.

McNulty says Disney trips are important to her family, and the overall cost is worth the experience. “We definitely planned each trip. It’s not something you can just wake up one day and decide to do,” she says. “We’re not huge vacation goers, so this was an investment for us.”

According to the popular travel blog Mouse Hacking, a baseline trip for a family of four (two adults, two kids) to Walt Disney World in Orlando costs about $9,277 CAD ($464 per person per night). That includes:

  • Flights
  • transportation to and from Disney World
  • five-night stay at a resort
  • five day tickets
  • a meal plan
  • Genie+ at two parks

Working with a travel agent can maximise cost savings — even when it choosing the cheapest days to fly — to save every possible dollar. Experts recommend, starting to plan a Disney trip at least six months in advance to get the best deals within your budget.

Shafiq and Zahra Pirbhai are travel agents with Pure Magic Vacations. They book the ultimate Disney Experience to help get you the best bang for your buck. Shafiq says it’s important for people to know, “Booking through a travel agent doesn’t cost any more; it can actually save you money. People don’t think of all the ‘extras’ and they add up. We help plan all of those things; we’ll work with that budget and make sure that they’re able to plan a really good experience.”

Although the price of a Disney vacation has gone up, Zahra Pirbhai says trips to Disney are still popular destinations for families. “After the pandemic everyone is just ready to go, it really does depend on your budget.”

Shafiq Pirbhai adds, “We can also take the stress out of planning a trip because we monitor for promotions.” He suggests for those flying out of Ottawa to look at flights from Toronto or Montreal because they can also save you money.

The best time to fly for Canadian families are the end of August because school are still out for summer, while American students have already gone back to class. Off-peak times like the end of January or beginning of February and the end of April or beginning of May can also save you money when planning a Disney trip. 

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