Has the cost of Disney World become unaffordable for the average American family?

  1. Canadian here. I priced it out one day and discovered it was around the same price for me to fly to Japan to go to Tokyo Disney as it was for me to go to Orlando, so how I’m planning my vacation to Japan.

  2. We did the same thing. If Japan wasn't closed when we planned our recent trip we would have gone to Japan instead. When we priced it out, we could have gone to Japan for about the same price and stayed for several days longer.

  3. Brit here, still cheaper for me to fly over nine hours and go to WDW than it is for me to get a train for three-ish hours and go to DLP.

  4. I'm surprised WDW is cheaper. At the beginning of the year we priced DLP, DL California and WDW and DLP was the cheapest option by far.

  5. While you can afford Disney, it's no longer the great value it once was. The ticket prices are only part of the story, it's the resort prices that have secretly doubled and that added parking fee.

  6. Agree. I took one of my kids recently and was underwhelmed. I felt like there were hidden costs and things that used to be included or a good deal if you knew where to look have all been snatched away. I used to think “they’ve thought of everything to help you have a great time and even though it’s expensive, it’s worth it” But I just don’t feel that way anymore. I can’t put words to it but it just felt less magical and it felt like we were at a six flags more than Disney, if that makes sense. I used to loooove it and now, well, not sure I want to spend that much for a few rides that are fun. My kid honestly liked Disney springs more than the parks. Lol. TBF, we hadn’t done the rise of resistance yet, and we did like that one a lot. Idk. We may just be taking other trips from now on.

  7. It’s been unaffordable for the average American family for awhile. Americans seem to universally exhibit a form of bias in which they view their circumstances as the average American experience. People below their station are “poor”, people above their station are “rich”. The median household income is just under 70k in the U.S. About 30% of households earn over 100k, and yet people in the 100K households tend to view themselves as “average”.

  8. You can’t just look at the median household income for the country as a whole. Different states/cities have huge COL differences. 100k for a family where I live would be considered “lower middle class” (even though I hate those designations).

  9. If 30% of households earn over 100k, I kind of would consider that “average” if you look at a bell curve. Kind of sad that’s average with inflation these days.

  10. When I was a kid most families went to Disney at some point, now I barely know any that go. And the main issue is cost! What they would pay for one trip to Disney is what they would pay for multiple trips anywhere else.

  11. Is it expensive? Yes. Can we control some of the costs from this article to make it less expensive? Also yes.

  12. Disney has definitely gotten more expensive, 10 years ago I used to be able to stay at deluxe resorts like poly or fort wilderness, these days I'm staying at value resorts like pop century or art of animation.

  13. The crowd control thing has always been a myth, at best a PR spin they put on price increases. Pricing is actually based on the "Chivas Regal theory" taught in MBA programs, make something more expensive and it becomes more desirable. There is no business upside to fewer guests in hotel room and in the park. The prices increase because demand is there.

  14. Yes but they could have gone all out to crowd control by removing the annual pass, like at the start of the pandemic. Annual passes don’t bring in the same $ per consumer as the day tickets, even if you take in merch/food/G+ into consideration

  15. For most yes, but it's a luxury item so that has to be kept in mind. That being said even for those doing ok financial s... It's till pricy

  16. It sure is. We are a family of 6 so probably not an average American family. We can pay for an off property hotel with a kitchen that fits us all for less than the cost of two value rooms on property.

  17. Yes we always tried to do things the frugal way. Drive to Orlando(from CT). Stay a couple days in Myrtle beach to break it up. Stay off property in Orlando with a kitchen or included breakfast buffet, so we always ate a big breakfast in the room. Never park hopper tickets. It worked years ago but times are changing. Won’t go to Disney again in Orlando.

  18. Price is what you pay. Value is what you get. It’s almost like Disney wants the “once in a lifetime epic vacation” crowd and has gotten rid of the “keep them coming back” model.

  19. They make more money that way. When they run out of once in a lifetime folks, they'll have to pivot - but the end of that list isn't in view yet.

  20. I do disagree. The model you explain could also be interpreted as once every 5-7 years epic vacation and come back for more.

  21. I’m confused, are we mad that a private business is raising their prices to meet market demand for their products and services?

  22. I mean, they're charging way more than they should for literally everything. They don't need to charge as much as they do, yet they are still raising prices. Even before inflation started.

  23. I find it incredibly amusing that this subreddit only started talking about “market demand” and “private business” after Desantis started butting heads with Disney. Really interesting how quickly the “Eat the Rich” comments disappeared to make way for corporate approved statements lmfao.

  24. No, we're mad at chapek because the internet says I should be! -half of the people complaining who have no idea about financials

  25. Wages actually have been increasing well the last few years, inflation hitting last year and this year really ruined that though

  26. Yes. That's how capitalism works. Companies maximize profits while consumers minimize costs. We can be mad about prices while also supporting the product. That's how free markets work. Hope that clarifies your confusion

  27. I certainly understand that Disney, as a business is motivated by profit. That said, I do find it bothersome that the prices continue to increase while they eliminate perks & overall quality decreases. I was there last January, I think what surprised me most was how awful and overpriced the food was. I anticipated the expense but didn’t expect the food to be mostly terrible.

  28. Exactly. The Disney resorts used to have some semblance of 'value' though...even though they were making plenty of profit.

  29. This is on purpose. The #1 complaint guests have is that there are too many people, NOT cost. Disney is trying to solve for that problem by raising costs.

  30. My family was very average growing up. We never could afford Disney world. We did Disneyland once or twice but stayed with relatives. We are going to Disney World this summer. It was surprising that my Paris/Rome trip is 1/3 of the cost. Oh well I guess I pay because my kids aren’t getting younger. The way people act and are mean to the workers, I don’t blame Disney for a higher price point.

  31. Me and my family have been every year since 2015. We have a trip planned for the Halloween party this year but instead of going to all the parks we’re doing just the Halloween party and then driving to the beach for the rest of the week. It’s a combination of burn out and cost I just don’t feel like we’re getting our moneys worth any more

  32. The Halloween/Christmas parties would be much better if Disney staff would actually kick out the non-paying guests during the party hours. They made our last experience super shitty. Blocking lines, continuing to ride rides that would otherwise be nearly empty.

  33. I prefer the value resorts. We love Pop Century and I have zero desire to spend more than that on something I will be either asleep or not in for 95% of the day. I also don't buy merch. Not only is is ridiculously over priced I'm not interested in trinkets clutterring up my house.

  34. The prices will never go down. They will continue to rise until they hit a point of diminishing returns. Then, they still won't drop the price but will add some perks so people think they are getting more with their dollar. The biggest complaint over the past few years (other than cost) was that the park population was too high. With the higher prices that hasn't been alleviated so they will continue to rise until the population falls to a point that is considered more comfortable. They have to do this while still being profitable, so fewer guests need to spend more. They will cater to guests that have no problem paying for VIP tours or that will drop $30k plus on a week or long weekend in the park. This is where it's headed.

  35. That’s the problem right there. Supply versus demand unless they’re gonna build three more gates on property they’re gonna have to raise prices which sucks for us

  36. You could still cap the occupancy and preserve guest experience. Investing in a fulfilling experience is an investment in itself.

  37. You forgot removing charming unique attractions to shove IPs down your throat so they can sell merchandise.

  38. Without getting into the politics of how Fox News might want to make Disney look bad, I would argue that It’s wages for the average American family that are the real problem.

  39. 58 million visitors per year, 10-20% are international guests. Many of the guests are FL residents. Once you start doing the math, and take the 330 million US population, it becomes apparent it’s not for the average American.

  40. I can assure you that Disney Worlds value resorts are not luxury yet they’re packed to the brim.

  41. 2023 packages come out in a few weeks and Fox is not in the “pro Disney” camp. Take this article with a grain of salt.

  42. This article is saying exactly what a lot of people on this subreddit have been saying for the past couple of years. But because someone "outside the family" is now saying it, people here are getting defensive!

  43. It’s never been where you go when looking for a budget vacation- it is still worth every penny. You can book a vacation for 200$ deposit and pay it off monthly at your convenience as long as it’s paid off 30 days in prior to your trip. What happens if you won’t be done paying it off? Move the trip back another month or two or three.

  44. This is going to be an unpopular comment and I’ll certainly be downvoted because everyone on here seems to want to complain about being priced out rather than planning in ways that make it affordable.

  45. Oh weird Fox News is reporting negatively about Disney during the DeSantis debacle. Using people who did not do a “budget” Disney vacation to point out the woes of the peasants below them in the “middle class”. What a joke article. What a surprise. Never saw it coming.

  46. The family in the article spent $700 on snacks and then contacted Fox to complain about it….. I wonder what their motive could be. 🤷‍♀️

  47. If I didn’t work for the rodent overlord I wouldn’t be able to do this. Very glad that park is free and hotels are half off for cast, because it’s way too expensive for us otherwise.

  48. As with anything in life, these things aren't a necessity. It sucks that wages haven't gone up overall to keep up with inflation, but prices have definitely kept on going up.

  49. I’m of the mind that 2023 and on is gonna go back to regular average attendance. I’m guessing a lot has to do with people saving and using their stimulus money for these kinds of trip or buying the annual passes. That’s my uneducated guess

  50. Really this is just a cheap hit piece complaining about a company that the conservative lawmakers are trying to drive a wedge with and use for their campaigning. This is from fox business which tends to be a little better and should have been pointing out the price increases have not cut back actual crowds and revenue and cash flow is up, from a business perspective unless they are really at risk of not selling out the parks and a huge downturn corporate investors should be applauding.

  51. Did you read the article? Have you read what people have been posting on this sub for over a year now? This article is just stating what many people here (and other forums) express every day. The article just added some facts and figures. I wouldn’t dismiss an entire article based on its origin because the article itself is accurate.

  52. i remember going once a year when i was a kid.. either world or land for 2-4 weeks at a time and now it’s been 5 years since i’ve been to a park. i’m luckily going again this year again for 2 weeks. but it seems like it costs so much more compared to what it used to.

  53. This is nonsense. It’s expensive yes, but the average family can certainly go still if they save their money up for awhile. It’s only unaffordable if you’re trying to go on a whim.

  54. It has always been unaffordable for the average American family. If you grew up thinking you were average but you were going to Disney, you were not average. (Unless you’re a FL resident maybe)

  55. Is WDW expensive. People who afforded it previously still can if they haven’t experienced major economic change. There’s a whole array of budgets that still can be accommodated at WDW.

  56. How many are using their credit card and still need to pay for the vacation. After they get home, that is when the real bill comes

  57. Back when it was Eurodisney, Disneyland Paris was way out of my mum's price range and I never got to go even when crossing the English channel was dirt cheap (from the UK). I've just come back from WDW for my late honeymoon for the first ever time and I don't know if we will ever be able to afford to go again as it took us so long to save for the first one despite saving for years.

  58. My family of 5 have never come close to paying 10k for our trips. We book through an agent that specializes in Disney. She always gets us in a moderate resort, park hoppers, photo pass, and dining plans.

  59. It has been for a while IMO. Fortunately for the average American family, consumer debt is well within their reach and we owe over $800 billion. What is one Disney trip on top of all that?

  60. Yes. Its just yet another playground for the rich and upper class. Disney is honestly a miserable expierence now. Large crowds, Long lines, Hoards of rude ass people, so STUPID expensive. Disney World is more Pay-to-win now.... it sucks.

  61. If you want to do disney well, it's absolutely unaffordable for the average American family. But it's a numbers game - disney (even counting both WDW and DL) doesn't have enough space to hold even 10% of average and up american families once per year. So why is that the benchmark we're trying to measure against?

  62. As much as I loved immersing myself in the Disney universe for a week or so, it's simply just not worth the money anymore. I now just travel to a city for sports and concerts and spend WAY less.

  63. I had a luxurious vacation to universal, spared no expense. And it was cheaper than a Disney world vacation would be staying at the cheapest hotel and not splurging. On top of that, the optimization of profits that Disney has implemented is disgusting. My family used to go to Disney world 2-3 times a year in early-mid 2000’s. Now, we probably aren’t going back. It’s lost all of the magic for me. The idea of essentially paying for a fast pass for a top tier ride sickens me. And lastly, Disney used to be very accommodating to special needs children like my brother. I mostly blame people abusing that system but for the people that actually needed it, it is massively missed. Asking a special needs child to wait over an 2 hours in line when they have no concept of why they should be waiting that long and the sheer stress of it will most certainly cause a meltdown.

  64. 2 people here, about $1600 for flight, hotel, car + tickets, 3 days, park hop. Food and alcohol prob runs $500 in total all 3 days additional.

  65. Used to be my dream to be able to visit but I gave up on it. Coming from a working class background I can never afford it. I’m not that privileged.

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