Walt Disney World Poll Shows 92.6% Believe Park is Too Expensive and 68.3% Believe Magic is Gone

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A recent poll conducted about Walt Disney World has led to some rather high numbers that the Walt Disney Company might want to take note of. The dissatisfaction around Walt Disney World keeps growing. Even quicker than the prices are increasing. This poll is important because it was conducted on actual park fans, the guests that Disney banks on visiting the parks.

According to Time2Play, they polled 1,927 “self-described Disney World enthusiasts” about their feelings on the rising costs of a trip to Walt Disney World, and if cash grabs, “profit boosting” gimmicks, like Genie+ have impacted their thoughts on the resort.

The answers seem to strongly indicate that people are getting fed up with “The Most Magical Place on Earth.”

According to the poll the findings indicate the following:

  • 92.6% believe the cost of a Walt Disney World vacation is now out of reach for average families.
  • 68.3% believe that rampant price increases make it feel like Walt Disney World has lost it’s magic. 
  • 66.9% feel that if they don’t upgrade to Genie+ and purchase additional individual Lightning Lane entries, they won’t get the full Walt Disney World Experience.
  • 48.3% have postponed a Walt Disney World trip in recent years due to price increases.
  • 35.7% is the expected increase to prices that Walt Disney World veterans expect to pay since their last trip. 

Time2Play even broke down how much the costs have grown since the park opened in 1971.

In 1971 the price for visiting the Magic Kingdom was $3.50, which was the equivalent of 2.19 hours of federal minimum wage. Now the costs can be 15.03 – 21.9 hours of federal minimum wage for one person.

To further put into perspective $3.50 in 1971 is equal to about $25.60 today. A one day ticket in 2022 costs between $109-$159 per day. Which is more than 4-6X what the actual inflation rate indicates it should be.

51 years ago a family of four could do four day tickets at the park for $56 (409.60 today) Today a family of four would need to spend $1,744 – $2,544 for the same thing. Going even further, a family in 1971, working federal minimum wage would need to work for 35.4 hours for a family of four to buy four day tickets to Walt Disney World. In 2022 the same tickets would require a family to work 244.8 hours – 350.4 hours. That about 6-9 weeks of full time, (40 hours a week,) federal minimum wage work just to buy tickets to the parks. Not counting hotel, travel, food, merchandise and more.

Going by the numbers of a family making $50k a year it would be 2-3 weeks of full-time work to pay for four days of tickets, again not counting hotel, travel, and other expenses.

An estimate for a “base line” trip (including travel) to Walt Disney World, with Pop Century accommodations, food and five day tickets with Genie+, is about $5,731 (family of 4, with one member being child 9 or under) it would take someone working full time, and making the federal minimum wage, 20 weeks to pay for a “base line” trip.

A family making $50k a year, working full time would take about 6 weeks to cover the same “base line” trip.

Rising daily living costs, due to inflation, makes expenses like a Walt Disney World trip less and less appealing to most families. Add to that the reported decline in cleanliness, guest satisfaction, and the overall “Disney Difference” and the expense doesn’t seem worth it. Families from Denver that make one trip every five years might not realize the difference until they make their next trip but they might not make another trip. Those that travel to Walt Disney World more often definitely see the decline.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek might want to think it’s not a problem now, but it’s going to be.

What do you think? Comment and let us know!

(Numbers based on ticket prices in 1971 and federal minimum wage numbers.)


Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.