Disney courts big spenders while tickets are increasingly out of reach for working class families: report

Going to Disney World was once the preferred vacation spot for many families but the amusement park’s prices have skyrocketed, putting a visit out of reach for many people while big spenders are catered to and given the VIP treatment.

(Video Credit: WTHR)

Town & Country author Danielle Stein Chizzik recounted her latest visit with her family to Disney World in “The Fancy Girl’s Guide to Disney.” She compared the cost of going there with an African safari or a trip to Paris. But she also noted that the cost of high-end hotels and $600-plus Private VIP Tours was worth it.

Many struggling families simply cannot afford such an extravagant vacation no matter how hard they save up for it. They can’t justify going into debt for it either anymore with the shape the economy is in.

Data shows that ironically, the ones most likely to go to Disney World are those who can least afford it, according to Fox Business. Even so, many Americans will devastate their finances to make it happen for their children.

“The brutal truth: Disney is far more crowded and costly than when you were a kid,” Stein Chizzik honestly wrote. “After you’ve purchased the flights, the hotel, and the very expensive daily admission to the parks, you can expect to spend most of your day waiting on lines that stretch to two hours long. It’s a depressing ROI. The only way around this is — you guessed it — to throw more money at the problem.”

With tickets costing $109 to $189 for a single-day, one-park ticket, many Disney fans see a visit to the Magic Kingdom as simply being out of reach.

The resentment of price hikes at Disney World has been brewing for a long time. Fox Business spoke with a number of visitors last year who complained that the cost of their vacation was far more than they thought it would be. One family of four was in sticker shock over the trip. The tab for the family cost over $10,000 once they included airfare.

Fox Business reports, “Soon after that, Insider published a poll that found those most likely to say they would ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ visit a Disney theme park in 2022 had annual incomes of $75,000 or less, while those making between $150,000 and $199,999 were least likely to show interest in a Disney vacation.”

That is a recipe for disaster for Disney World. Eventually, they will price themselves out of the market, failing to realize who their target audience really is.

“A study released last month by LendingTree found many families are willing to put at least some of their Disney vacation on a credit card, with 18% of respondents admitting they took on debt to take a trip to the House of Mouse. The research found that parents with children under the age of 18 were most likely to take on the additional debt, and 71% who overspent at the parks said they did not regret it,” Fox Business noted.

“A Disney trip can be an experience that you and your family remember for the rest of their lives, and those are the types of things people are willing to go into debt for,” LendingTree Chief Analyst Matt Schulz explained.

Disney World is at least paying a little attention to the situation. They have allegedly made a number of changes to make their parks more budget-friendly. Whether it will be enough to revive the once premier family pastime is in severe doubt.

Disney World is now making overnight parking free again for guests staying at Disney Resort hotels at Walt Disney World. They made the announcement in a blog post earlier this month, stating, “This is a Disney difference many of you have asked us to bring back, and we’re happy to reintroduce it to make your vacation a little easier and more affordable.”

The company also said in the same post that Disney World annual pass holders would soon be able to visit the theme parks after 2 pm without needing a park reservation and that visitors who purchase its Disney Genie+ service will receive complimentary digital downloads of their Disney photo pass attraction photos. Both changes are expected to occur within the next few months.

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