Disney World Guest Outraged at Skyrocketing Prices, “I Can’t Keep Up”

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A recent guest of the Walt Disney World Resort claims that they spent over $500 on just food and drink in three days while another claimed that after 15 years of visits, they can’t justify returning.

Across social media, one consistent complaint about planning a Disneyland or Walt Disney World (WDW) vacation these days seems to be the price. Ever since the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the price of attendance to the parks has skyrocketed, even though it seems as though it has not made an impact on the crowd size or guest attendance.

magic kingdom crowds during fireworks
Credit: Brett Kiger / Flickr

However, it has seemed to have had an impact on discussions across social media about whether or not a Disney vacation is worth the cost and stress anymore, with many saying that the effort to plan out a vacation minute by minute, in order to maximize the experience just isn’t worth the overall cost.

One recent guest shared their complaint to Reddit, saying that they were “feeling squeezed” by a recent trip to the parks.

“Enjoying a week at the resort and parks. Love this place, but boy prices have just gotten to me this trip. Everything has seemed to well outpace inflation. I know this place costs a fortune to operate and Disney needs to make a profit to stay in business, but the food and drinks especially seem high lately. Looking at menu prices online and seeing things in person higher than what was posted in blogs just a few months ago. Maybe they’re testing elasticity. I just don’t think I can keep up like I used to. My wife and I have good-paying jobs too. Just a little frustrating.”

Feeling squeezed
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A man and woman carry a cocktail and food through EPCOT's France pavilion
Credit: Disney

The poster ended the post by saying that both they and their wife have good paying jobs, but even they are finding it hard to rationalize a vacation to Walt Disney World. Further in the comments, they explain that they’ve been visiting WDW several times a year for the last 15 years but “it’s now $200+ everytime we sit down to eat” and aren’t sure “whether this is the best use of money vs the sheer cost.”

In response to the post, another user shared their own recent experience. u/DekuChan95 replied, stating that, “Yeah Epcot esp if you’re doing food and wine can get expensive. I didn’t go to every booth. I’m pretty sure I spent $500 on food and drinks for three days doing magic kingdom, animal kingdom, and Epcot.

Legendary Festival Returning to EPCOT, Dates Announced
Credit: Disney

That $500 apparently does not include the price of their ticket, their hotel stay if they had one, or any merchandise they might have bought while there. For many people, $500 in food and drinks is a month’s worth of groceries, let alone the additional costs that might have been spent throughout the course of that vacation.

Several other comments shared their own Disney financial woes, with many saying they felt “ripped off” or felt they just couldn’t justify many of the experiences or dining options at the resort.

Earlier this year, Disney CEO Bob Iger made a comment on the troubling price tickets, stating that the Walt Disney Company “may have been a little bit too aggressive about some of our pricing” and that they could be smarter about the prices.

Photo of early morning crowds at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Credit: Luke D. at ITM

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as though that discussion has had any major impact on guests to the resorts, especially as ticket prices, including Annual Pass prices, were recently increased once again, with Disneyland Magic Key passes being increased over $100.

Clearly though, the price of a Disney vacation is being worse if even people who have been visiting for decades say it’s hard to continue to justify a visit. However, as guests continue to complain about crowding issues and increasing wait times, it’s unclear if the prices are actually having a major impact on lowering crowds, even with a $500 dining bill.

What’s the most you’ve spent on food and drinks at Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comments below!

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