Jump to content
Hoeter

Walt Disney World's Middle Class Problem

Recommended Posts

http://www.themeparktourist.com/features/20151226/31146/disney-attempting-price-middle-class-out-walt-disney-world

$105 for a one day ticket to the Magic Kingdom. I'm assuming the other three parks are the same price.

$102 for a one day ticket either to Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure.

Hoeter, remembering when tickets to Disney were less than $50 per person, per park, per day when he first visited... 18 years ago.

Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk

  • Like 12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the past few years, Magic Kingdom has been about $5 more expensive on a one-day ticket than the other three parks. So the others are probably $100 exactly.

 

I read something quite a while back (I don't know where that article was, though, or if it was just a post here on KIC) about the fact that Universal tries to keep their ticket prices on par with WDW, because they don't want their product to be seen as cheaper and thus inferior. Hence Universal's $102, roughly averaging the MK ticket and the Epcot/AK/DHS ticket.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

$50 in 1998 is the equivalent of $72.80 now.

Not to mention all the improvements put in the parks since then.

I submit it isn't Disney that has a middle class problem, but rather the USA itself:

http://m.dailykos.com/stories/1461352

And discussed intently beginning with the June 13, 2015 posts here:

http://www.KICentral.com/forums/index.php/topic/30707-disney-world-updates/page-3

  • Like 14

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just don't get this argument road we are about go down, again. Parks, corporations, people, etc are in the world to make money and provide a product. If it's priced to cheap the pro is overly crowded and no one is having fun. If it's priced to high for the product no one will go.

There is no American Right that says every family must go to WDW at least once. It's a nice dream and something to stride for but by no means does it mean you have to take your family there.

If you can't afford it right now then do what you have to to save for it. Take a second job for a summer, cut out all extra stuff, start a Disney fund, etc. it can be done if you want to work for it. But most people who complain about this type of stuff do not like to hear that. They get a type of jealousy maybe(?) that others can afford to do stuff they can't.

Jealousy it what is at the root of most "problems." Min. Wage workers want $15 an hour because they want to have the same nice things that say a manager or a "degree" job has. It's the same basic principle. A living wage or a week at Disney.

Yeah if you want for a family of 4 you could drop 10-15k at WDW for a week. You could also stay at a Value Resort or Rent a house outside the park or even cheaper hotels for $130 or less a day. You don't need hopper passes, or other bonuses. You don't have to go for a week. You could go to Magic Kingdom for 1 day, Universal for 1 day, and then go to the beach.

It doesn't make you a bad parent if you can't afford it. But it makes you a bad person if whine that things are not as cheap as they were before or that others can pay for extra things. It's always been this way. If you go to a steak restaurant you can order Sirloin or you can pay for Filet.

You can go to KI or WDW.

And to Terp, I'm not sure I agree 100% we have a middle class problem, but more an over spending problem leading to the downfall of middle class. There are plenty of good paying jobs, but just like at anytime in our country's history those jobs may require a person to move to get them. Also we have a tendency to want to purchase things outside our means to appear "richer" which causes many problems.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you READ that second link, you'd find many educated workers are no longer middle class...because they earn too much to be--but in many cases it took two incomes to rise out. And the wealthy don't necessarily spend in proportion to their wealth.

Be that as it may, if Disney "cost too much," its profits would decline or disappear.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did read it but I'm still processing what I read. It's a heavy article.

Here are some problems with a national "middle class" that the article even mentions: location of people, amount of people in q home, etc

We (my wife and I) do not fall into the 150k family of four (sig less income and only 3 in the family). We own a newish (14 years) home and have 2 cars. But we make enough money to sustain our needs. So when they say large mortgages I think they may be mistaken. So I'm not sure how I feel ya know?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's nice to visit there once, but it is vastly over rated. When I look statistically at what i desire and what i need... I'd rather have a car, home and family than to visit a silly amusement park once for the "experience". Yes I went there last year... For the last time. I enjoyed myself but I'd rather spend/save my money for other tangible items for myself, my family and others. It's a business... A corporation making money. As far as I'm concerned, Disney and Universal can keep their money, I've spent my last dollars there.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's me for Holiday World.

I don't spend my dollars at a place that edits out an entire era and its hardest, most innovative workers at the time.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe we are crazy. We just bought into the Disney Vacation Club so Mickey will be on vacation with us for the next 50 years...

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^^ Nail, head, yada yada yada...

The second page in particular is... Well, I can't describe how good it is... Just anyone who scrolled by the link, go read it...

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With ESPN continuing to lose subscribers in the coming years and that sector of the Walt Disney Co. losing revenue I would only expect prices at the parks to rise in order to make up revenue.  The parks are always packed so they clearly haven't hit too high of a price, they appear to be an inelastic good at the moment. Disney being publicly traded and one of the worlds most commonly held stocks puts even more pressure to keep prices high versus a company such as Cedar Fair or Six Flags with much fewer investors.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why is it that Cedar Fair can spend how much per year on rides and keep prices way under what Disney and Universal charge? I heard somewhere that Disney isn't raising prices for the money. I call that BS. They also spent millions if not billions on the 2 big comic book and movie companies in the last few years. If you go into a Disney store, you will see that the Star Wars items out number Mickey and the rest of the gang.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The price of Disney tickets is an arguement I get tired of, as long as the demand for tickets keeps rising, the price will keep going up; when attendance levels out then prices will likely follow suit if not fall. Adding capacity to the park most likely will not keep the prices from rising. Add a third park(Disneyland) will likely spread the capacity out further than Disneyland and DCA but it most likely will not cause prices to fall at the existing two parks.

Cedar Fair doesn't have theming to maintain.....

At Disney, it is about details and attractions; Cedar Fair is mainly rides.

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why is it that Cedar Fair can spend how much per year on rides and keep prices way under what Disney and Universal charge? I heard somewhere that Disney isn't raising prices for the money. I call that BS. They also spent millions if not billions on the 2 big comic book and movie companies in the last few years. If you go into a Disney store, you will see that the Star Wars items out number Mickey and the rest of the gang.

 

You make a lot of disconnected points.

 

Cedar Fair is an amusement and entertainment company that operates small, regional amusement parks across the United States. They spend $20 million to add a roller coaster to Kings Island. 

 

Disney is an international media conglomerate that happens to have one division that owns and/or operates some theme parks. Their parks are international resort destinations. They spend $200 million to build Radiator Springs Racers. (That's 10 B&M coasters.) Star Wars land will be at least $600 million easily - enough to give each Cedar Fair theme park 3 B&M coasters all at once. 

 

Ride Boo Blasters, then ride Indiana Jones Adventure. Given that, it's actually surprising how CLOSE the pricing is for Kings Island and Disneyland. 

 

Asking why Cedar Point's ticket price is below Disney's is a bit like asking why your local steak house charges more than a Steak 'n' Shake (with no disrespect to regional parks... I rather like Steak 'n' Shake.)

 

I don't know where you heard that Disney isn't raising prices for the money, but that would be a little silly to say, wouldn't it?

 

In 2006, Disney bought Pixar for $7.4 billion dollars.

In 2009, Disney bought Marvel for $4 billion.

In 2012, Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion.

 

Yes, Star Wars toys are everywhere. I'm not sure why that would be unexpected or what you're meaning to imply by mentioning it. Sounds to me like their acquisition of Lucasfilm is being put to good use.

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Considering that everything at Disney it top of the line equipment, top notch employee trained individuals, experiences based of off each guest with activities for everyone I'm not surprised the tickets are the price they are.

I just spend $155 on a park hopper ticket at Disneyland resort and felt it was fully justifiable. 

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why is it that Cedar Fair can spend how much per year on rides and keep prices way under what Disney and Universal charge? I heard somewhere that Disney isn't raising prices for the money. I call that BS. They also spent millions if not billions on the 2 big comic book and movie companies in the last few years. If you go into a Disney store, you will see that the Star Wars items out number Mickey and the rest of the gang.

You make a lot of disconnected points.

Cedar Fair is an amusement and entertainment company that operates small, regional amusement parks across the United States. They spend $20 million to add a roller coaster to Kings Island.

Disney is an international media conglomerate that happens to have one division that owns and/or operates some theme parks. Their parks are international resort destinations. They spend $200 million to build Radiator Springs Racers. (That's 10 B&M coasters.) Star Wars land will be at least $600 million easily - enough to give each Cedar Fair theme park 3 B&M coasters all at once.

Ride Boo Blasters, then ride Indiana Jones Adventure. Given that, it's actually surprising how CLOSE the pricing is for Kings Island and Disneyland.

Asking why Cedar Point's ticket price is below Disney's is a bit like asking why your local steak house charges more than a Steak 'n' Shake (with no disrespect to regional parks... I rather like Steak 'n' Shake.)

I don't know where you heard that Disney isn't raising prices for the money, but that would be a little silly to say, wouldn't it?

In 2006, Disney bought Pixar for $7.4 billion dollars.

In 2009, Disney bought Marvel for $4 billion.

In 2012, Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion.

Yes, Star Wars toys are everywhere. I'm not sure why that would be unexpected or what you're meaning to imply by mentioning it. Sounds to me like their acquisition of Lucasfilm is being put to good use.

May I also add this to the wonderful info above. The Disney Parks (as a whole) are "suffering" from large crowds. Packing em in doesn't seem to work for the Disney parks because you can't spend money there. By raising the price ever so slightly they can also regulate how many people are coming in. As prices rise, demand decreases. Not entirely but enough to help with crowd control.

While speaking of crowd control, I read an article somewhere about the underground control at WDW. Basically they can monitor crowds and lines all over the park. In say one area is getting too full, the control center can create an impromptu parade or dance party to help draw crowds into that area.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My only trip to WDW was when I was eight. Most of what I remembered were legs and purses, because it was incredibly crowded (Easter time frame, 1977). I remember hearing the Mickey Mouse Parade, hearing the fireworks, and looking up at my mom, who was taking pictures with her Polaroid, way up there in grown-up-height-land. When I was actually on the rides, though, they were quite memorable (Mission to Mars, Dumbos, Haunted Mansion, etc.) That was just the Magic Kingdom (as long, and a little wider than Kings Island's parking lot), and it took us two days to see "everything," or so reminisced my Dad over Christmas dinner a couple weeks ago. I only remember how "TV-like" everything felt; like it was all part of the land from which all those wonderful cartoons came. At that time, though, Kings Island felt that way, too, and there was much more Hanna Barbera to watch than there was Disney, or so I remember.

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure where this whole "abandoning the middle class argument" came from anyway.  Even though Disney is raising their prices, it is not that far out of reach for most families if done right.  Yes, you can go down to Disney and blow through $10,000 or more if you want a top of the line dream vacation.  However, this is no where near necessary.  Being able to experience Disney does not mean you have to take out a second mortgage on your house.  We are not rich by any sense of the word.  We live within our means and we plan out our finances and make smart choices.  However, we are able to do Disney every so often if we want to.  Do we go every year? Heck no, and no one really has to.  When we do go, though, we go smart.  We stay off property, pack our own food, and even look for savings on tickets.  Last time we went, my wife and I got free tickets.  You know how? We went and listened to a 2-hour pitch for a time share.  Did we want a time share? Heck no!  But we walked out of there with free breakfast, coffee, and two free tickets to a park of our choosing.  Yeah, it might be a little bit of a hassle, but we invested 2-hours of our time and saved $200 on Disney park admission.  The entire week-long trip to Florida, hotel, food, gas, and everything, I think we spent right around $1,000, maybe a little more.  It is possible!  Raising the prices slightly won't keep me from visiting because there are ways to go and save money.  Disney has never been a yearly trip for us anyway, so paying a little extra when we do go, especially if it lessens the crowds a bit, really isn't too big of a deal.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always love when the whole argument of Disney hates the Middle Class is made or that going to Disney is a right not a privilege.  Disney has done a fabulous job of make people think that way, well done.  Many have already made my argument against these points so let me add some numbers to support this.

 

Disney World can be done lavishly and frugally, the choice and budget is your decision.

 

December 2014 my family of 4 plus my parents did Disney lavishly.  We stayed at Bay Lake Towers (1 bedroom Lake View Condo), which is a deluxe Vacation Club resort and a short walk from the Magic Kingdom, we were on the Deluxe Dinning Plan (upgraded from free dinning), had multi day tickets, Memory Maker photopass, Tickets to Mickeys Christmas Party and flew to Orlando.  This trip roughly cost $8,500.  Yes this was a very expensive once in a lifetime trip, but something that we saved and planned for a year or so in advance plus it wasn't solely coming from my pocket either.  Vacation and Christmas wrapped in to one.  Should every family take a trip like this?  No its not for everyone, but we planned, saved and prepared for this long in advance.

 

This September we are doing a much more budget friendly trip to Disney World.  Family of 4, staying 7 Nights at a Moderate Resort (Port Orleans Riverside), 6 day tickets, Free dinning and will be flying.  We are spending under $2,500 for this trip.  We could have opted for a Value Resort and spent about $500 less.  Is this expensive?  Maybe, but go to a beach for a week and figure in food and entertainment and I imagine you are close to this cost for a family of 4.  Then again I work a second job with the specific purpose of paying for Disney or any other vacation we choose to go on.  We work hard so we can play hard and for my family Disney has become almost an annual trip and for us is well worth the money spent.

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Disney World is the one in Florida, yes? Do they still have the campground?

We stayed there in '77. It was really nice.

I took off on my own every day to the park, so I could see everything at my own pace. Families handed me so many E tickets, I split them with my brother and sister and we still got on all the E rides when we finally went together.

It was very nice, and helped me decide what I wanted to do for a living, but I've never felt the desire to return.

I agree with shark, it's doable if I so desired, I don't feel crunched out of going, it's just that I enjoy doing other things more.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Using the campgrounds for nostalgic reasons, plus I liked that I could go to a more quiet area after all the buzz of the park  (besides the fact that Chip and Dale woke me up after I crashed on a blanket in the drive in.), I can go there next week for four days without breaking my bank.

 

I'm not bragging about my financial situation, I'm a working class slob, and I like my job, but the prices are doable. 

But- keep in mind there would be just two of us. A family of 4 or 5 might be put in a bind.

 

I don't think I'm going to rush and book a trip though.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do they charge per person? For a campground? That's odd. I figured it would be per campsite.

 

Edit: Pricing unavailable for campground at this time on the website, but it just occurred to me you may be talking about park admission tickets.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always love when the whole argument of Disney hates the Middle Class is made or that going to Disney is a right not a privilege.  Disney has done a fabulous job of make people think that way, well done.  Many have already made my argument against these points so let me add some numbers to support this.

 

Disney World can be done lavishly and frugally, the choice and budget is your decision.

 

December 2014 my family of 4 plus my parents did Disney lavishly.  We stayed at Bay Lake Towers (1 bedroom Lake View Condo), which is a deluxe Vacation Club resort and a short walk from the Magic Kingdom, we were on the Deluxe Dinning Plan (upgraded from free dinning), had multi day tickets, Memory Maker photopass, Tickets to Mickeys Christmas Party and flew to Orlando.  This trip roughly cost $8,500.  Yes this was a very expensive once in a lifetime trip, but something that we saved and planned for a year or so in advance plus it wasn't solely coming from my pocket either.  Vacation and Christmas wrapped in to one.  Should every family take a trip like this?  No its not for everyone, but we planned, saved and prepared for this long in advance.

 

This September we are doing a much more budget friendly trip to Disney World.  Family of 4, staying 7 Nights at a Moderate Resort (Port Orleans Riverside), 6 day tickets, Free dinning and will be flying.  We are spending under $2,500 for this trip.  We could have opted for a Value Resort and spent about $500 less.  Is this expensive?  Maybe, but go to a beach for a week and figure in food and entertainment and I imagine you are close to this cost for a family of 4.  Then again I work a second job with the specific purpose of paying for Disney or any other vacation we choose to go on.  We work hard so we can play hard and for my family Disney has become almost an annual trip and for us is well worth the money spent.

This is how I always felt for the trips here as well. When you compare it to a full week vacation elsewhere and add in food, lodging, entertainment, etc. it doens't come out to be much more than Disney. I went down at the start of last year with a couple friends. We stayed off property and got 4 days tickets to Disney adn 3 day tickets to Universal and visited everything. We ended up spending about $750 a piece with driving down there instead of flying.

 

Granted I do prefer to fly down and stay on property, but for a more budget friendly trip there are ways to cut back on costs as others have mentioned. also when you look at the tickets for a single day it does look pricey, but the ticket pricing is designed to entice a longer term stay. After the first few days the pricing cuts down to about an additional $10. So a 7 day tickets is about $340, coming to $48 a day which is actually cheaper than a standard priced ticket to Kings Island or Cedar Point.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I said it before and I'll say it again. The people claiming it's too expensive and it's not fair do not want to hear how it can be affordable. It's easier to complain and be jealous than to be proactive. I mentioned his to my mom and dad and they said "ha we saved for 3 years when you were younger, it's always been that way but if you want it you make it work".

I don't think you can change people's minds. They feel it's expensive and only for the super rich. For some people if they don't go down and sty in the most expensive hotel then they will be caught at imposters.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is also such a thing as "We can't do that."

I grew up lower working class. Disneyland was in California. For us to go there was as realistic as for me to go to private elementary school in France.

It simply wasn't going to happen. We didn't have a car that could be trusted that far, Dad and Mom both worked and even had difficulty getting the same DAY off, air travel was for the upper middle class and above (this was long before deregulation) and on and on and on.

I grew up with a wee bit of class resentment at Disney. It would be 1999 before I got to WDW. I was determined not to like it. The Disneyland trip was QUICKLY planned upon my return. I've been to both many times since--sometimes staying on property, sometimes in a Red Roof in Kissimmee/St. Cloud.

Many families go deeply in debt to do many unwise things to keep up with the Joneses. That's a choice, often a very unwise one. Sometimes, it's not just a question of priorities. Sometimes, "No," is the answer. I knew not to even ask. And I didn't.

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see the family trip to Disney a little like the "two months salary" diamond engagement ring. It's been sold to us, both culturally and as consumers, as something that is expected. You propose, you offer a diamond ring. You have children, you take them to Disney.

For some people it is really hard to wrap their brains around the fact that often, for various reasons, these ideas that are sold to us are not right or appropriate for our own situations.

One doesn't have to spend two months' salary on an engagement ring (or give/expect one at all as part of getting married). Families don't have to go to Disney, or go broke trying to create the Dream Vacation they've been sold.

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do they charge per person? For a campground? That's odd. I figured it would be per campsite.

Edit: Pricing unavailable for campground at this time on the website, but it just occurred to me you may be talking about park admission tickets.

Yes, park admission and sundries.

The campground lot can accomadate a lot! of people, but it was only the one price when I was there, and I suspect it's the same now.

(and I mean a lot of people. My entire youth was spent being reffered to by others as a gypsy, we lived in camps in a pack.)

I can relate to Terp's memories of his youth, I came from working class, and honestly, woke up one morning to a Disney trip that I'd never even thought about before. I thought Disney was for 'other people'. To this day I wonder how much of my good fortune was due to my dad's wiring of the cabinet to Tom Sawyer's Island.

I never felt rueful about not going to Disney before, the same as I never felt rueful for not going to the moon, but when I got there, I took mental photographs of Everything.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...