Disney World Is “Basically for Rich People” Now, Report

in Disney, Walt Disney World

Scrooge McDuck in a bathing suit in his vault of coins

Credit: Walt Disney Television

The price tag of a vacation to Walt Disney World has been rising for years, and a damning new report confirms it: Disney Parks are just for the ultra-rich now.

Cinderella Castle at Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

In recent years, the Walt Disney Company has been combating steadily declining ticket sales in the most obvious way possible: by jacking up ticket prices and finding new methods to charge the customers who do actually go to Disney Parks.

In the last few months alone, the prices of the Walt Disney World Annual Passholder and Park Hopper have been increased, concession food costs have been vastly raised across Disneyland, the Magic Kingdom, and everywhere else, and cranked up hotel stays to over $1,000. That’s not even counting how Disney is raising prices on its Disney+ streaming service, and the Genie+ charges big bucks for a service that regularly collapses.

Accessing Genie+ service from smartphone
Credit: Disney

Related: “Troubling Prices” Smack Disney With Major Lawsuit

While many of these changes have been incremental, a new report from Bloomberg has revealed that the average charge for a Disney Park visit has skyrocketed to proportions that make it increasingly impossible for most Americans.

While visits to Disney World and the Magic Kingdom are overall down 15% this year, it turns out that Guests are actually spending approximately 40% more per Park, and that’s according to the House of Mouse itself. So how is this happening?

To put it simply, Disney had unleashed a complex, confusing system of add-on charges for Guests, which include options like Lightning Lane skipping, access to exclusive areas, and private tours. But there’s more: Bloomberg also reveals price-gouging add-ons that include “princess makeovers that go for as much as $230, build-your-own Star Wars lightsaber workshops for $250, dinners at Cinderella’s Royal Table for $79 a pop (excluding drinks) and an electronic wristband that stores tickets and unlocks hotel rooms, a convenience that costs as much as $46.”

'Star Wars': Galaxy's Edge
Credit: Disney

Shockingly, travel agents are estimating the cost of a high-end Disney World six-day vacation at over $40,000 for a family. On the low end, i.e., no frills at all, a family would still be shelling out over $4,000. Clearly, a Disney vacation is getting priced out of the average consumer’s wallet.

Needham & Co. media analyst Laura Martin, who specializes in Disney trends, says, “Disney has done a lot to increase pricing and per-cap spending… It’s a premium product, and it’s basically for rich people.”

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

Related: Disney Prices Out Families, Raises Passholder Prices

On the other hand, Disney World communications director Avery Maehrer said, via a statement, “Everyone vacations differently, so we offer a wide range of options, including ways to save and find great value, all while continuing to roll out updates that make planning simpler and easier.”

Theme parks across America, including rivals like Universal and SeaWorld, have been feeling the pinch in recent years as post-pandemic spending begins to slow. It seems that the plan is to pass that pinch along to their Guests.

Is the price tag of a Disney World vacation too much for an average person these days? Would you go to a theme park at these prices? Sound off in the comments below!

View Comment (1)