WINTER SPRINGS, Fla. — For a week with their kids, Danielle Perry and her husband will drop a cool ten grand on a trip to Walt Disney World. According to 27-year-old Perry, that total includes transportation from Brighton, Michigan for his family of five, lodging at the Saratoga Springs Resort, and fast-track entry via Genie+ and Lightning Lane.
For two years, the family saved money and planned for the trip. Nonetheless, they planned lavish celebrations for their five, three, and one-year-old children. As she put it, “If we come again, then it is probably not going to be for another three to five years, so we figured, ‘Go big or go home.’
Costs of doing business have gone up and inflation has contributed to a general increase in entertainment prices, not just at theme parks.
Some Disney World visitors, though, are beginning to doubt the attraction’s worth in the wake of the pandemic’s elimination of certain perks. With increased spending at its theme parks and a return to pre-COVID levels of attendance, Disney has announced nearly record revenue.
Senior citizens John and Diane Sensenig, who have had annual passes for over 20 years, say they no longer get their money’s worth because of the “considerable” increase in admission prices. They claimed the corporation favored tourists who only came once in a while but spent a lot more than pass holders who had unlimited access but still had to pay.
A Disney employee friend of ours recently described the theme park as “a park of having and have nots,” according to Reading, Pennsylvania resident Diane Sensenig. “You have to pay, pay, pay if you want any real value from the park.”Avery Mather, a spokeswoman for Disney, has noted that the firm caters to guests of all budgets by providing a wide range of options even as the park’s services grow.
The company would “continue to invest in producing attractions and services that wow our customers and enhance the experience, with a wide range of options to match their budgets and interests – offering them more choice, more flexibility, and more convenience,” he said.
Expenses for Tickets and Passes Have Gone Up
Disney is hardly the only company to increase pricing. There has been an uptick in the purchase of theatre and concert tickets, as well, according to industry watchers.
According to Carissa Baker, an assistant professor of theme park and attraction management at the University of Central Florida, Disney World isn’t the only theme park increasing in price, though it is typically the highest-priced in the business.
In recent years, Universal Orlando has increased the price of a one-day, one-park ticket, most recently by $11 in 2019 and by $4 in early 2020. It appears that many of the price increases it made in the past were in direct response to Disney’s.
The cost of a single-day pass to both resorts in 2022 ranges from $109 to $159. According to Rick Munarriz, an entertainment expert at the Motley Fool, Disney receives more backlash than its rivals because of its unique heritage and dedicated fans.