Ex-Disney Guests Flee to Cheaper Vacation Resort With New Location Opening Soon

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Bob Iger with wolf and lightning effect in the foreground

Background Image Credit: Glennia, Flickr

As Disney Parks continue to raise prices across the board, some families are opting to vacation elsewhere, and soon they will have even more locations to choose from.

Mickey at Disney World in front of Cinderella Castle
Credit: Disney

At the most recent quarterly earnings call, Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger, revealed that theme park revenue for the Disney Parks business increased to $8.3 billion for the third fiscal quarter, with spending up on food and beverage as well as Disney Genie+ and a la carte Lightning Lane purchases.

The lift was higher thanks to international parks like Shanghai Disney Resort but was offset by lower spending and a decrease domestically at Walt Disney World Resort. The quarterly report stated that “the decrease at Walt Disney World Resort was primarily due to higher costs and lower volumes. The increase in costs was attributable to inflation and accelerated depreciation related to the planned closure of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. Lower volumes were due to decreases in occupied room nights and attendance.”

Guests in front of Cinderella Castle at night
Credit: Lee (myfrozenlife), Flickr

Could this downward attendance be a sign that Guests are choosing to spend their money elsewhere thanks to the robust increases in prices across many aspects of the Walt Disney World Resort? Well, it’s not a new consideration to have…

News of Guests opting to bypass an expensive Disney vacation and head elsewhere was reported earlier this year. Back in February, Nicole Thomas told Newsweek that the cost of Disney World was just too expensive.

A crowd of people on Main Street, U.S.A., watching the flag ceremony in front of Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World.
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

“My final straw was spending all day waiting in huge lines because I couldn’t afford hundreds of dollars for FastPasses that used to be free. Tickets and food prices are also outrageous. We used to enjoy a whole week at Disney World for a couple thousand dollars, but that same amount of money only covers expenses for a day or two now.”

Another ex-Disney Guest echoed Thomas’ sentiments, stating they “just couldn’t afford Disney anymore,” with both of the Guests now opting to take their families to Great Wolf Resorts, formerly Great Wolf Lodge, instead.

Crowds at Disney World's Animal Kingdom
Credit: Inside the Magic

Related: Disney World to Strictly Enforce Resort Rule, Will Change Guests’ Vacations

Great Wolf Resorts has 19 locations across North America and one in Canada in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Primarily featuring indoor water parks, the Resort chain also includes arcades, spas, and restaurants. The first location opened in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, in 1997, and as of today, three more Resorts are under construction, and more are up for consideration.

Back in June, Great Wolf Resorts opened its 20th and largest location in Perryville, Maryland. And one of those under construction is a location in the United Kingdom — the first outside the North American continent.

Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger in front of Cinderella Castle
Credit: Inside the Magic

“Located close to Chesterton and Bicester, the new attraction has been approved. Great Wolf Resorts is working with several local councils as it prepares and submits details and design materials,” Blooloop reports. “In a new update shared last week, Great Wolf Resorts said it is making progress on the access and utility works that are currently taking place around the development.”

The report goes on to add that “the UK’s first Great Wolf Lodge will include an indoor water park with waterslides and pools, and an adventure park with climbing walls, ropes courses, bowling, arcades, and restaurants.” The resort will also include a 500-bedroom hotel, a range of food and beverage options, and conference facilities with an outdoor terrace. It is slated to open in late 2024.

Guests at a Great Wolf Lodge water park
Credit: Great Wolf Resorts

Related: Lavish Disney World Vacations Give “Disney Dad” Away to the FBI, Now a Most Wanted Criminal

Back in the United States and the resorts under construction are in Mashantucket, Connecticut; Naples, Florida; and Webster, Texas. Those under consideration worldwide are in Squamish, British Columbia; El Paso, Texas; Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey; Chester, New York; Pompano Beach, Florida; Cornwall, Ontario; and Basingstoke, Hampshire, England.

Have you ever been to a Great Wolf Resort? Would you choose there instead of a Disney vacation? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

Walt Disney World Resort boasts four theme parks: Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park. It also features two Disney water parks, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, and the retail and recreation area, Disney Springs. A valid ticket, as well as a Park Pass reservation, is needed to enter each Park and Park Hopper hours begin at 2 p.m. daily.

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