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Lifestyle,  Saving Money

Reasons Why You’re Wasting Money Going To Disney Parks

There is an odd tradition that you most of you may have heard about involving a celebrity influencer. Every year, millions of people pay thousands of dollars at the chance to stand in line and pay for expensive food for the chance to see this influencer. As a matter of fact, this influencer has become so successful at having people see him, he has two locations in the U.S. for people to see him. This prolific influencer’s name? Mickey Mouse and his Disney Parks.

Do you remember the last time you went to a Disney park? Most of us will need to reach back to think about it – some of you will probably remember it since you were just there last week.

Unless you got into a fight, your memories at a Disney park are likely incredibly happy.

Spoiler alert: They were all related.

Which it should be! Not fighting, but having a great time!

Disney Parks used to be a place you could take your children for a fun time. Over time, a different trend has begun to spring up. People who didn’t have children began going to the Disney Parks. Disney took notice and began marketing themselves to not just families, but adults without children. In 2006, Disney Parks added a new slogan– “Where Dreams Come True”.

After 2006, prices have begun dramatically increasing.

While prices are one reason that you should at the very least decrease the times you go to a Disney Parks, there are at least 6 other reasons why you shouldn’t go.

Disney Prices are Increasing – Your Wallet Hasn’t

Quick – name 3 things that have grown dramatically in price over the last 20 years!

I’m guessing most of you said something along the lines of gas, groceries, milk, or something you use every day.

Disney Park prices manage to beat all those increasing prices easily. To put things in perspective, healthcare in the United States is one of the top growing costs in the United States. Disney Park prices actually outpace healthcare cost growth!

Image result for disney prices compared to inflation vs healthcare
Credit to: Reddit User PortlandSays

This in itself becomes a problem for the typical American.

The problem is something nasty called inflation.

Inflation means that the general costs of items and services you use become more expensive.

Generally, as your paycheck increases so should the cost of everything else – this is why most people have a cost of living increase, it is done to keep up with inflation. Inflation can be seen as a good or a bad thing.


If the price of a product you want doesn’t increase at the speed of your paycheck, then it is great. You have more money to use to buy other items you might want.


When the price of a product increases faster than the rate of your paycheck, that is bad.

Because items have become more expensive than the growth of your paycheck, it will require more of your paycheck to buy the item which will leave you with less money to use.

Bottom Line

Disney Park prices are growing significantly faster than the rate of growth for an American’s paycheck. To put it simply, Disney Park prices are outpacing the rate of inflation – a bad thing.

It is becoming more and more expensive for the average American to go to Disneyland or Disneyworld.

Lines are longer than ever

If you’ve been to a Disney park recently, then your experience consisted of a lot of waiting in lines for a ride.

aerial photography of people

As a matter of fact, Disney has invented different waits to alleviate wait times with a program called Fast Passes. For those who don’t know Fast Passes are passes that allow people to line up in a shorter line as long as they reserve ahead of time.

For most people, you are only allowed to have one Fast Pass at any given time. However, Disney has programs in place to allow you to get more Fast Passes.

One of the programs that some people have taken advantage of (also read as abused) is the disability access service card program.

Similar to people who go on planes with their “Emotional Support Animal” so they don’t need to pay for their pet’s flying fees (gasp), the Disney program has become abused as well. Guardians of children with disabilities can apply prior to going to a Disney Park to the program which entitles them to more Fast Passes.

You are going to be upsold on everything

photo of plane interior

Think of the last time you flew.

The seats were tiny.

Paid for extra leg room that were still cramped.

The Internet cost extra.

You didn’t get a lot of food.

Most people really dislike flying, because you are upsold on everything. Your initial cost of the ticket to get on the plane is expensive already, why are you paying more?

Disney is the same exact way.

For some reason, Disney doesn’t get the same negative attitude as airlines – yet the similarities are astoundingly similar.

Want to get into the park earlier? Pay a fee or stay at their exclusively overpriced resorts.

Want more Fast Passes? You only need to stay at a Club Level resort room.

How about building a lightsaber or droid at the new Star Wars land? You only need an additional $100 to $200 bucks.

Look, I understand the mouse needs to bankroll his other projects. However, you cannot possibly make the argument that a radio-controlled droid is worth $100!

You are paying for the mouse – not the people

Think of the worst place you have worked at.

Would you ever want the people that you love the most to work there? The happiest place on Earth probably had it worse than the worst place you ever worked at.

Disney is not the best employer in the world. It has been a fairly well-known fact that the Disney parks pay their workers significantly lower than any comparable positions.

It can be argued that they encourage a toxic work environment where they encourage working extreme hours so workers can make enough for a living wage.

There are stories of harassment that are covered up.

The work environment has become so toxic that the daughter of Walt Disney has openly criticized the poor working conditions.

 Want to go to you own wedding? There are stories that they discourage time off for people’s own weddings!

Here is the problem with all of this – the Disney parks aren’t struggling financially. It would be somewhat acceptable if they were struggling (only somewhat).

However, that is far from the fact, the executives have made millions of dollars from their contracts and bonuses.

Your money only helps support an employer who encourages a toxic work environment.

Only you can stop prices from increasing

Remember back in high school you learned something called supply and demand?

If there are too many people wanting or demanding an item and there isn’t enough supply to meet their needs – prices go up.

Disney Parks is that exact situation. There is too much demand at the Disney Parks. It’s for that very reason that Disney Parks are able to continue to raise their prices at historic rates and outpace inflation.

The only people that can control prices from going up so quickly are you.

There are better options than Disney – even for children

Ever watch those videos where the parents attempt to surprise their children by going to a Disney Park and the child begins crying?

Yeah, I like those videos, because those children are clearly the only adults in the house that is reasonable, budget oriented, and planning oriented which are all traits of a financially successful adult!

All joking aside, for years Disney has branded itself as a family-friendly place to go for your vacation.

There is no denying this: The Disney Parks are great places for kids.

However, at a cost that can easily go over $4,000 for an entire family four, Disney Parks are a family-friendly place to go to for higher-income earners – which most of us aren’t.

You wouldn’t go out of your way to eat at a fancy restaurant every day like someone who has a lot of money – why would you go vacation like someone who has a lot of money?

There are many other places that have family-friendly places that don’t involve a mouse overcharging you for everything.

To name a few: Great Wolf Lodge, Zoos, Six Flags Amusement Parks, Cruises – the choices are endless!

Our Recommendation: Cruises

Many cruises offering onboard childcare and do children-oriented activities.

You can leave the kids with the cruise caretakers, have your own fun time, and explore a new location in the world for a cheaper price.

Cruises also can go places, which I realize you can explore new locations at Epcot, but it’s not the same. It gives your children an opportunity to broaden their horizons.

How exactly is this worse than going to a glorified amusement park that overcharges everything?

Let’s Recap

Disney parks have long lines, have terrible work conditions, there are better options for children at cheaper prices, and becoming more expensive.

Similar to people who are addicted to drugs, Americans are willing to go to Disney no matter the price and effort. Oh, and it’s growing quickly.

The only way that Disney stops increasing its prices and terrible work conditions is if you stop encouraging it.

You: “Everything Here Is Right, But I Still Really Want To Go”

black mouse on gray concrete pavement

Look, we know the siren song of the mouse is incredibly strong and is like a drug you can’t quit.

Instead of going during peak seasons, make sure to use the calendar option to see the cheapest times to go to the Disney Parks. The best times are usually during the school year (October, March, February).

Even better, consider cutting down going to Disney every year to every two years. Then slowly keep cutting back.

Eventually, you will come to realize how much more fun you can have not going to a Disney park.

More importantly, your finances will thank you.

What are your thoughts? Will you be going to a Disney Park any time soon?

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