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By The Toy Story Fanatic Devo

How to Live at Disneyland

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I could live at Disneyland!

I hear this every time I go to Disneyland, either from family or from people as I’m passing by. Now obviously the reason no one does live at the park is the cost but that got me thinking- starting from scratch and never leaving Disneyland, how much would it really cost to live there?


Ask a Diva: Disney Resorts

I mean, as far as places to live, you could do a lot worse… Picture by Disney Magic Diva

All money spent must be on Disney properties. Meals, clothing, rent, etc. the goal is to park your car in the parking lot and never go back to it. For some items, the Disney store is accepted.

And just to be on the safe side, we’ll calculate for a family of 4 since that is the roughly the average family size in America. Also, since I’m not currently in the park, a lot of the benchmark for these items come from various vacation planning websites and the Disney Store under “souvenirs”. There are definitely other options and a bigger variety of clothing and food options than I include here, but I’m also trying to stick with the average price for all things across the board.


Disneyland Hotel

Now when searching for a nice home, you will likely want to go the middle route when picking a house and this is no different. You’re going to be living here so we want to be reasonable with our accommodations! The middle ground is the Disneyland Hotel which runs an average of $364.65 a night. Unfortunately, you can only book a month at a time so just like paying rent you’ll need to keep up on that, but let’s assume you have the luck of the innocent and you never have to move hotel rooms.

Park Admittance

Disneyland Castle

Odd Enough, Your Park Admittance might be the cheapest part of your new life! Picture by The Amazing Superhero Diva

Disneyland park will be your main source of food, clothing, and other accommodations so you’ll need tickets to get in nearly every day. $1149 gets you the Disney signature plus passport which also comes with 15% off dining and 20% off the merchandise which will be handy and recommended. You have four in your family so you’ll need four of those every year.


We’re assuming you want to eat 3 meals a day with 3 light snacks between. Assuming you get breakfast at the hotel, Lunch, and Dinner from my research average about $7.99 per plate across the board. Count on snacks being around $5 (your average priced Dole Whip) multiplied by 4…

(note that not all restaurants are created equal in price. Check out this handy dining guide for more details)


From what I’m finding, it’s recommended that you should spend $150 dollars or 5% of your monthly income on clothing. That seems excessive to me, but let’s say you need to buy a couple of shirts every month, a couple of pairs of pants every 2 months, and shoes every 3 months. A souvenir T-shirt costs $25 for Dad, $35 dollars for mom, and $25 dollars for each kid. $55 dollars for mom’s Leggings (closest thing to pants) $40 dollars for dad’s basketball shorts (also, the closest thing to pants), and $40 dollars for kid’s pajama pants (again, the closest thing to pants).

I’m at a loss at shoes, but I know you can find some at the bazaar across from Indiana Jones along with more clothing options that seem a little more normal (if you count safari clothing as normal), but this is what I have to go off of.

Mickey Bars at Animal Kingdom

All Together Now

So that covers the bear necessities (not a typo) so let’s crunch the numbers.

For one year-

Lodging:  $1,31,274 per year

Admittance to park:  $4,596

Food: $23,328

Snacks: $21,900

Clothing= $2,640 shirts

Pants= $2,100

So in our imaginary situation your kids are twins and are 4- so for at least 14 years this is your minimum cost of living is:


and that is just to cover your basic living accommodations. You’ll end up using a lot of hotel shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and we haven’t even touched things like medical, gifts, and there are certain things you won’t really find at the park like underwear, socks, and the like. Inflation also hasn’t been accounted for (about *2% per year) nor costs like schooling, But if you decide to count then you should be able to find most of what you are missing and hopefully, your kids meet the right people staying at Disney for so long that they get a scholarship into Cal Arts or something.

at least I think your basic entertainment is taken care of!

Is There Another (Cheaper) Way?

Now the next question is, is there a way to make this cheaper? And the answer is yes. There are a couple of ways to make living at Disneyland a cheaper experience.


  • If you work at Disney or Pixar studios or higher up at Disney’s other studios, you get free admittance into the parks, though food, rent, clothing and other living necessities will still have to be bought. This deal applies to you even if you are just working in the Disneyland park.
  • If you are related to Walt Disney directly, through birth or marriage, then you get everything for free. You (or likely the person you married) will get very special treatment out of respect for Walt’s memory but at the same time, you’ll have to keep up public appearances elsewhere as ambassadors of the Disney name. This is probably the hardest of the three options to pull off.
  • If you buy a lot of stock in the company, end up on the board of directors, and become one of the bigger decision-making people, then you get everything for free since you can say that you own it anyway. While that may make living very cheap in Disneyland (and would probably be the most frugal way you could live since nothing costs anything) the startup for this is very expensive with shares for Disney averaging a price of $100 per share and the net worth of the company hovers around 92 billion U.S. dollars.

So there you go! Welcome to your new and very expensive lifestyle! If you want to try and avoid any disastrous costs like this, be sure to check out our friends at All 4 Dreams Travel to make sure you’re getting a good deal on your package, have a great day and remember to keep wishing on stars.


My name is Taylor Campbell. I don't like cats, I have a Sweet recipe for Fish Custard, I love Disney, I love comic books, and I'm an eternal Student of everything. Thank you for reading, liking and sharing with your friends!