PDA

View Full Version : Is Disney becoming too expensive for the average family?



Grim Grinning Marathon Runner
08-03-2008, 05:18 PM
With the recent news of the ticket price increase and other initiatives Disney has done recently, combined with the general state of the economy and gas prices, is Disney becoming too expensive for the average family?

Are decisions like the ticket price increase effectively pricing themselves out of the market for regular vacation destinations?

barnaby
08-03-2008, 05:46 PM
In my opinion, I think the slow economy will hurt peoples vacation choices more than the WDW rate increases.
However, the combination of both factors is definetely making it tougher for the average family.

One thing I found interesting though:
Friends of mine just vacationed in Wildwood, NJ (shore town). The cost of 1 bed accomdations for 6N/7D is about $1000/week for a family of four. Add in food and entertainment (boardwalk with amusement rides) and it is more than a trip to Disney.

Faver
08-03-2008, 05:49 PM
I think Disney prices are fair. However, my DH does not. He claims that Disney food prices etc. are over the top. But we had an experience this Spring.... We live in DC and attended the National Cherry Blossom parade....while there we got bottled water...It was 4 bucks!!!! for a regular 12 -14 oz bottle of Deer Park! And the snack and food prices were expensive as well... and don't get me started about the prices in Williamsburg, VA.... ridiculous!

I pointed out to DH, that Disney aren't that expensive.....:mickey: And he had to agree. Besides, Disney is perhaps the only place left, where you get what you pay for.

LoriMistress
08-03-2008, 05:50 PM
WDW is expensive but you pay for quality. It also depends on where you live. I live in California and traveling alone to Orlando costs the same prices (if not, more), than WDW.

jillluvsdisney
08-03-2008, 07:53 PM
To the OP, I was just wondering the same thing myself when I saw the confirmation about ticket increases.

I am starting to wonder what the tipping point will be for vacationers who love going to Disney.
I am starting to feel that Disney is almost too expensive.

We ate less TS meals on our last trip and also ventured off site a few times also.

mel
08-03-2008, 07:59 PM
my family had the same discussion while at disney.. its a very expensive vacation whether you drive or fly these days..however.. I think the cost of travel is very expensive everywhere.. I dont think it is out of reach for the average family.. disney just requires more planning in advance.. for example buy tickets months in advance.. put a deposit on your rooms and pay for it over a period of time.. plan eating carefully.. thats what we spent the most on at disney..

Mickey91
08-03-2008, 09:35 PM
I think Disney is getting too greedy. I realize that as prices go up everywhere, Disney has to compensate as well. But, in the past I felt like I was paying for a quality, magical vacation. That the CMs were doing everything in their power to give me that magic. Today, especially in light of the ticket increase, the announcing of the changes in the character dining, the recent changes in the DDP and what is now offered at the CS locations and TS entrees, I feel more like a rat in the lab and they are seeing how far I will go and how much I'm willing to pay for the cheese.

Marker
08-03-2008, 10:05 PM
To borrow from Cheech and Chong a little - "Things Are Tough All Over".

Do I think WDW is expensive, sure. But so is everything else. Are there any travel destinations or activities that are not becoming more expensive?

Increasing costs of food, good & services, fuel etc, have hit everyone hard, can you imagine how much it effects WDW's expenses given their scale.

What alternative would we prefer? WDW does not raise prices, bottom line profits fall, stock prices fall, WDW can no longer spend the money to maintain, much less develop, resulting in further decline in profits and therefore budget. A decline like that is very tough to recover from. If what they are doing is so wrong, then what would be right?

Magic is not cheap. Everyone seems to have a vision that the only reason they raise prices is to further pad their pockets. But does anyone ever consider the additional expenses they are faced with? Does anyone ever look around the market with a fair comparison. How much would a week in Branson cost; Or a week at you local Six Flags (if anyone would really want to spend a week at Six Flags), or a week in resort on a Beach.

All in all, when you look at other alternatives, I think WDW is still very competitive. Is it cheap? No way. But then, what is.

As I said before, Magic is not Cheap. It takes REAL money to provide it, and lots of it.

MississippiDisneyFreak
08-03-2008, 10:46 PM
I don't find the food costs or hotels any more expensive than other popular tourist attractions...as a matter of fact, I think Disney offers a lot of vacation for your buck...unlike many places, you can design your Disney vacation based around your budget...if money is tight, you can go off season, stay at values and if the dining plan is still too much, you can take a cooler and sandwich fixins for dinner and breakfast items that can be eaten in your room and eat only one CS meal a day at the park......I think the real question:blush: is, can families still afford to go on vacation or not, not whether they can afford to go to Disney

Stich8818
08-03-2008, 11:07 PM
To agree with Maker it costs were ever you go. I look at it this way, I am satying with the inlaws (pry for me) at the beach this Spet. We have already paid out 650 for our part of the house rental. Granted the house we are staying at is huge and wonderful. Now thats not including gas,food, or any other costs that may incur. Excluding the gas last year our whole trip to Disney (ddp,room, and tickets) was about 1500, so this year will be about the same when we are done. But when I go to the beach I wont get the magic,the transportation, or the food. Yes it may be getting expensive to go but it cost much more for anything anymore , i guess Disney is keeping up. But then too I also want to see some more things in the park with the added money am putting intlo the park.

mouseketeer mom
08-04-2008, 09:44 AM
In my opinion, I think the slow economy will hurt peoples vacation choices more than the WDW rate increases.
However, the combination of both factors is definetely making it tougher for the average family.

One thing I found interesting though:
Friends of mine just vacationed in Wildwood, NJ (shore town). The cost of 1 bed accomdations for 6N/7D is about $1000/week for a family of four. Add in food and entertainment (boardwalk with amusement rides) and it is more than a trip to Disney.

Thats for sure. Our usual beach house rental in Long Beach Island, NJ is up to $2,800/week for the house alone. Then eating out each night for our family of 5 is about $100/night. Plus breakfasts and lunches in..entertainment..soveniers..forget it. This is why we're taking our first summer Disney trip next week. I can't justify this kind of money for the Jersey shore. Ridiculous.

Marceline
08-04-2008, 11:07 AM
Here, here Marker! Completely agreed.
Disney isn't getting greedy....their operating costs are enormous. Ticket and room rate increases are just to be expected, it always happens, it's called inflation.

I think WDW is a very valuable vacation experience, and it is worth every penny.

As to the OP question, is it too expensive for the average family? It all depends on your definition of average. If the average American family has over taxed themselves with consumer debt at this moment then yes, week long trips to Disney with all the trimmings might strain the budget in this economy. But as that average American family regains the sense to save and live within their means and pays off their credit/debt, then with planning and prudence, it isn't such an unattainable thing.

dnickels
08-04-2008, 12:33 PM
As to the OP question, is it too expensive for the average family? It all depends on your definition of average. If the average American family has over taxed themselves with consumer debt at this moment then yes, week long trips to Disney with all the trimmings might strain the budget in this economy. But as that average American family regains the sense to save and live within their means and pays off their credit/debt, then with planning and prudence, it isn't such an unattainable thing.

I think that's a great point. I would consider my family in that 'average' category when I was growing up and we only went to Disney World every 4-5 years. The further you look back (kids to parents to grandparents) you'll find less and less of this type of vacation. It's only recently that we've become accustomed to think that we 'deserve' a weeklong stay at Disney (or your destination of choice) every year.

Jeff G
08-04-2008, 01:22 PM
The cost of the ticket went up $4 which is just a little more than a 5% increase and very much inline with the current infaltion rate. For a family of four the price increase is $16. With the recent jump of fuel costs and added operting costs I'm surprised Disney didn't raise the prices even more.

As for WDW becoming an unaffordable vacation, when you put the travel expense aside it can be very affordable trip. We travel in September and take advantage of the free dining. This coming trip my family(I'm paying for four of us which includes two adults, an adult child and one child) will be staying at the Pop Century and our total cost with dining, lodging and park passes for nine nights is just under $1800 or $200/day. Where else can you go and enjoy a theme park for 9 days, dine at nice restauraunts and stay at a hotel for that cost? We were at the Wisconsin Dells last summer for five nights and we spent almost that much and it was nowhere near as much fun.

Gas prices and travel costs are impacting vacation patterns and I'm sure there are now families that aren't able to afford a trip to WDW but I doubt the $4/ticket will have much if anything to with it.

WDW has never been the chaepest of vacations but with proper planning the cost can be deferred. We are very much an average middle calss family and we are able to go every year. For us it's a matter of saving $75 every two weeks and using part of our tax return for airline flights. If a family really wants to go it may take a year or two to save the money to be able to go but they could do it if they plan properly.

Disney Doll
08-04-2008, 02:49 PM
Okay so after reading this post I thought I better check how much tickets have gone up since I haven't yet bought my tics for our October trip. It wasn't that big of an increase. Sure prices have gone up, but I think Disney is still one of the best vacations for the money. They really do have something for every budget. When I look back on some of the trips we took early on and how much we had to save up for them I remember some of our best vacations ever. We didn't miss out by being frugal. In fact saving up was part of the fun. We may budget more carefully, but I can't imagine cutting Disney from the budget. To me it's more than ticket prices, dining plans, and room rates. It's about family time, magic, and memories. I'll always make room in my budget for that.

Ian
08-04-2008, 03:00 PM
Personally, I think the cost of a Disney is right in line with what you get in return. For the most part, anyway.

I priced tickets to see The Who the other day ... The Who, bear in mind, is now just Daltry and Townsend so it's not even the real Who ... and cheap seats were $100 a ticket. And that's for what? Maybe 3 hours of entertainment tops??

I can buy a one day pass to Magic Kingdom for less than that.

A beach house at the Jersey shore goes for like $2k or $3k a week and that's before you throw in food, boardwalk stuff, etc. You can definitely do Disney for a week for that much or even less.

When you continually see prices going up and up and up and because you spend all that money in one big glob I think Disney looks like it's very expensive.

But overall I still think, even given all the decline in quality and service lately, that it's a very good value for your money.

diz_girl
08-04-2008, 03:05 PM
I think that's a great point. I would consider my family in that 'average' category when I was growing up and we only went to Disney World every 4-5 years. The further you look back (kids to parents to grandparents) you'll find less and less of this type of vacation. It's only recently that we've become accustomed to think that we 'deserve' a weeklong stay at Disney (or your destination of choice) every year.

I completely agree. When I was a kid, we went every 4-5 years, like you. Although we'll probably go every other year for the foreseeable future, now that we have kids. Plus, WDW is so huge than when I was a kid, that it's tough to do everything in one 1-week trip.

I agree that vacationing at most other vacation destinations (other than tent camping) costs just as much or more than WDW. Our favorite vacation spot in Canada would now cost us just as much as staying at a Deluxe (with tickets and food) at WDW. The 1 BR cottage we are renting this month in Cape Cod is $1,500 just for the house.

It seems to me that in just the past 10 years, people started thinking that they are "entitled" to a pricey vacation once or twice a year (or pricey something else) because they think that they "deserve" it. It's really this sense of entitlement that easy credit, a flood of luxury goods into the market, and a lot of advertising had deluded people into thinking that they should have anything that they want - right now. It's sad.

luvdiznee
08-04-2008, 03:47 PM
Just like we do at home...We must do while on vacation. It's good for us that Disney has many CHOICES such as; Value, Mod or Deluxe, different rates at different times a year and TS vs CS. And we all know that if we do choose the CS meals we are not only eating burgers, hotdogs and pizza. We know of other choices, such as chicken, salads and ribs to name a few. :twocents::popcorn:

judoma
08-04-2008, 04:14 PM
In my opinion, I think the slow economy will hurt peoples vacation choices more than the WDW rate increases.
However, the combination of both factors is definetely making it tougher for the average family.

One thing I found interesting though:
Friends of mine just vacationed in Wildwood, NJ (shore town). The cost of 1 bed accomdations for 6N/7D is about $1000/week for a family of four. Add in food and entertainment (boardwalk with amusement rides) and it is more than a trip to Disney.

I hear ya! I went to Wildwood w/ my family for a weekend, 2 nights and 3 days, and dropped $600-$700 effortlessly. And believe me, we were not doing everything that we wanted to do while spending that kind of money.

We said the same thing to each other. We would never be able to afford and entire week in Wildwood. It's actually cheaper to go to Disney World for a week! So were going in September...:mickey:

BMan62
08-04-2008, 04:19 PM
A 2009 adult 7-day MYW Ticket with Park Hopper AND Water Park Fun and More options added is $14 more that it was for 2008. That's $2 per day!

Value Resorts during Value Season have not changed in price for 2009 ($82/night.)

So, a 6-night/7-day (typical stay) trip at 2009 prices would cost $14 more than at 2008 prices.

I would certainly not consider this minimal increase as becoming too expensive for the average family.

Granted, many families cannot visit during a Value Season, but even so the increase in room costs at a Value Resort during Regular Season is $7 per night vs. 2008 pricing.

They don't even need to make a new commercial - a family of 4 (2 adults, 1 teen, 1 under 10) can still visit for 6 nights/7 days for under $1600 during Value Season.

I just don't see where this is a significant change in costs.

disneycutie165
08-05-2008, 10:54 AM
I have to agree that Disney is expensive, but it's not like the price of a trip to New Zealand! when you are planning, and stuff comes up, it gets pretty tight!

DizNee143
08-05-2008, 11:58 AM
im kinda in the middle..
i kinda think disney is expensive..cuz 75 bucks for one day..is pretty darn steep..i know its 'only' 4 bucks it went up..but how many years of it 'only' going up 4 bucks will it be until it finally is too much??
by the time i have kids and want to take them to disney its gonna be probably closer to 90 bucks a day..i love disney and im an absolute freak about it..but ill never be able to go at that price!!
maybe its because im use to going with my family at least once a year..for awhile we were going twice to three times a year..
now that im starting my own life..getting married and have many many more bills now..its definetly expensive to me..since we are just getting by with bills..i feel like after my honeymooon..i wont be back unless one of our parents pay for the trip!!!
i think its expensive cuz im really close to broke and it just doesnt seem possible..
but like i said earlier..i can see it the other way also..compaired to other things in the world..its pretty fair...and doesnt look expensive at all..
it all depends on how you look at it..
all i know is im gonna savor my honeymoon..cuz after that..god only knows when me and my husband will actually be able to afford to be there again!!

doombuggy
08-05-2008, 12:23 PM
My view is a bit slanted. for years, I would come down to FL each summer to visit my grandparents in Clearwater and we would take a day trip to WDW. Ever since 1992, most of the time I came to WDW I would either stay at my dad's timeshare in Kissimmee (92 & 97) or stay at my best friend's house (01-04 when I moved here). I think there are only 4 occasions during that period when I stayed on property (I am excluding any stays at DL, and my recent stays on property, as they were with DVC points). Yes, I'm single and am able to cut some corners here and there, but i wouldn't have made all those trips since 1992 if I hadn't been able to do that. It's been years since I have taken a vacation other than Disney or visiting relatives. In fact, I can't afford to go home this Christmas b/c of the price of the airline tickets. Going home means buying a plane ticket, renting a car, gas, tolls - because I have to visit not only family & friends in Philly, but go to the Poconos to visit the family there, maybe a Flyers ticket (going thru hockey withdrawl, as I miss my season tickets and they don't know what hockey is here...) - you get the picture.

Things are just tough all over. Here's hoping things improve sooner rather than later. :pixie:

kbean
08-05-2008, 12:33 PM
Do what I did and move close to Disney. Then you can go for the day and come home to your bed.

caryrae
08-05-2008, 12:45 PM
Found this interesting comparing some flight prices now to a year ago.
List shows route, Airline, 1st $ amount is from July 12 2007, 2nd $ amount is from July 10 2008, and the % the price inceased.

Some of the biggest percentage changes in cheapest round-trip fares on July 10 vs. a year ago:

Route, Airline, July 12, 2007, July 10, 2008, % Change

Chicago-Minneapolis/St. Paul US Airways $108 $406 276%

Chicago-Charlotte Continental $132 $432 227%

Atlanta-Boston Continental $172 $560 226%

Dallas/Fort Worth-Miami United $128 $413 223%

Atlanta-Washington Continental $172 $552 221%

Chicago-Philadelphia Continental $112 $354 216%

Baltimore/Washington-Chicago American $98 $258 163%

Las Vegas-Los Angeles Alaska $118 $308 161%

Chicago-Las Vegas Delta $112 $290 159%

Chicago-Phoenix United $150 $388 159%

Chicago-Las Vegas Continental $164 $424 159%

Baltimore/Washington-Chicago Northwest $98 $242 147%

Dallas/Fort Worth-New York Midwest $198 $486 145%

Honolulu-Los Angeles Continental $370 $897 142%

Chicago-Dallas/Fort Worth US Airways $208 $504 142%

Denver-Washington Midwest $198 $474 139%

Detroit-New York United $176 $418 138%

Chicago-Phoenix Continental $164 $386 135%

Chicago-Pittsburgh JetBlue $98 $228 133%

Atlanta-Washington Midwest $198 $454 129%

Atlanta-Philadelphia American $302 $692 129%

Chicago-Denver Continental $152 $348 129%

Atlanta-New Orleans Continental $172 $392 128%

Detroit-Washington Continental $112 $254 127%

Atlanta-Newark Midwest $158 $354 124%

Orlando-Washington US Airways $98 $218 122%

Atlanta-Baltimore/Washington Continental $172 $382 122%

Detroit-Orlando United $99 $218 120%

Austin-Dallas/Fort Worth Delta $98 $214 118%

Dallas/Fort Worth-St. Louis Midwest $192 $416 117%

Atlanta-Detroit Continental $172 $372 116%

Los Angeles-Washington Continental $272 $578 113%

Atlanta-Philadelphia Continental $182 $386 112%

Boston-New York United $140 $296 111%

Dallas/Fort Worth-Miami Continental $212 $448 111%

Atlanta-Chicago Continental $172 $362 110%

Source: FareCompare.com

Puppy Mom
08-05-2008, 12:46 PM
Disney isn't BECOMING too expensive for the average family.

Disney has always BEEN too expensive for the average family.

Stickey
08-05-2008, 06:03 PM
A trip to WDW has never been cheap, however there has always been a big bang for your buck.
WDW costs are rising, but not drastically. The rapid increase in transportation costs are the most significant challenge.

I am more concerned with the recent management decisions that appear to be based on short-term profitability over long-term growth and stability. An AI show? This certainly did not require much imagineering. Selling-off property for third party development? It looks good on the books now, however a well-conceived WDW expansion may have offered greater long-term growth and profitability.

caryrae
08-05-2008, 06:15 PM
We know ticket prices and airline prices are up making it more expensive but what about the other things in the Parks like food, drinks, merchandise, hotel prices (Disney or not) ect I would guess those prices go up too wouldn't they? That just adds more money towards a vacation too.

Mousemates
08-05-2008, 06:51 PM
Disney isn't BECOMING too expensive for the average family.

Disney has always BEEN too expensive for the average family.

I think your probably right, but your are definately more right today than you were several years ago.

Frog
08-06-2008, 05:00 PM
We decided to go somewhere else this year due to it just being to costly a trip for our family.

SBETigg
08-06-2008, 05:05 PM
I may be out of touch with the average, but I still think WDW offers affordable options for most average family vacation price ranges. Finding affordable flights may be another matter.