Has Disney Gotten Too Expensive?
Remember the reporter who argued that Snow White’s Enchanted Wish should have created a different scene?
This writer suggested that Snow White never consents to the kiss, something Disney shouldn’t support.
Somehow, the author missed the point that Snow White would have spent eternity in an unconscious state without said kiss.
Well, the same person has quoted an Insider poll of questionable validity to argue that Disney has gotten pricey.
So, let’s get straight to it. Has Disney gotten too expensive?
Look, I’ve been writing on the internet since the 1990s. I’m proud of my track record of championing other writers. So, it’s not cool of me to call anybody out.
The internet will have its fair share of clickbait that serves no purpose beyond seeking ill-gotten traffic. I’ve even been guilty of this myself at times.
However, some arguments strike me as straw men, intentionally duplicitous claims that intentionally mislead.
When I discuss the topic of Disney pricing, I must approach it from two different ways. One is the author’s claim, while the other is conventional wisdom.
According to the writer, Disney has gotten too expensive due to some of its gaudy pricing.
The conventional wisdom about Disney theme parks involves annual price increases.
Whenever Disney executives speak, they mention the elasticity of theme park tickets. However, Disney research suggests that guests would pay MUCH more.
Nobody likes to hear that, but it’s true. The overwhelming majority of guests don’t blink at modest price increases. Instead, they believe Disney has priced its product reasonably.
Is that true, though?
The Supporting Factors
The author may not have written the headline, which is something vital to remember here.
I’ve worked for sites that would change my intent so much that I unknowingly clicked through to my own article.
The title presented had absolutely nothing to do with what I said, which explains why many publications employ a person to create enticing headlines.
Having said that, the article calls Disney out for:
“Hundred dollar sandwiches. Two hundred dollar per person park tickets. Eight hundred dollar standard hotel rooms.”
How fair is any of that? Not very, in my honest opinion. The sandwich in question is the Pym-ini, which serves six-to-eight people.
So, for $100, you’re paying $12.50-$16.67 per person. That’s quite good for a theme park, right?
How about those $200 park tickets? Yes, that was a headline last year on many respected media sites like CNN.
However, the statement only tells a small part of the story.
If a guest purchased a single-day ticket on the most crowded park days, primarily holidays, the ticket would cost that much.
A five-day ticket would only cost about twice as much, though. Overall, you’re only paying about $83 per day per park ticket. Also, it includes Park Hopper.
You’re not paying $200 unless you can ONLY visit on July 4th or Christmas Day or the like. The odds of that are virtually non-existent.
People take trips to Disney theme parks. They don’t show up on a holiday and then leave immediately.
I could order a fountain drink at Five Guys – which I did tonight – for $2.99. Then, I could never fill it and claim that they charged me $2.99 for the cup.
Technically, that statement is true, but it’s wildly misleading, just like the $200 ticket.
What about Hotel Rooms?
I’m by no means an expert on this topic like a MickeyTravels agent. I do travel to Walt Disney World a LOT, though.
I’ve probably spent more days there over the past five years than most of you have in your entire lives.
What I’ve found in my travels is that I determine how much I pay for my hotel room thanks to the internet.
Disney has predicated its pricing on resort tiers. So, if you don’t want to spend a lot on your hotel, book an All-Star resort.
These rooms cost less than a decent Marriott by the airport. Seriously, I just spent $250 a night at a Margaritaville Hotel in the area.
I can and have stayed at Disney for less than that on numerous occasions.
My favorite non-Deluxe resort, the currently closed Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter, costs about the same amount as that Margaritaville.
The difference in resort quality is almost comical, though. I get oh so much more at the Disney property, and I’m saying that as someone who loves that Margaritaville!
When the article argued that Disney charges $800 a night for a standard hotel room, I had to fact-check it! That’s how absurd it is.
What I realized is that the author cited rack rates, the industry standard of a new car’s sticker price. If you pay that, you’re a sucker.
An Authorized Disney Vacation Planner at MickeyTravels can save you so much money, and they don’t even charge you for their services!
So, saying that Disney standard Disney hotel rooms cost $800 is blatantly disingenuous.
I don’t go into BoxLunch and ask to pay MSRP on a WandaVision shirt. Instead, I wait for a sale and preferably use BoxLunch Money to save even more.
This author needs to google SlickDeals.
Has Disney Gotten Too Expensive?
There’s a real conversation to be had here. Disney’s annual price increases have turned into easy jokes for critics.
Bottled water shouldn’t go up each and every year. Churro ingredients don’t cost that much, either.
I might believe an argument about turkey legs, as I suspect they come from genetic experiments, but that’s it.
Coming out of the pandemic, Disney probably should slow its roll on the increased prices for a while due to the negative publicity.
However, the company has no need to do that. Demand for park visits is approaching all-time highs!
Walt Disney World was pacing for a record-setting 2020 before the pandemic, too.
If we look at 2018, the parks increased 7.3 million to a record-setting 157.3 million guests. The main reason why they decreased in 2019 involved turmoil in Hong Kong.
Consumers believe that Disney provides a reasonable entertainment option relative to its price. If you doubt that, google some post-pandemic concert tickets.
In April of 1998, Walt Disney World increased tickets to $42 to account for the opening of the fourth and most recent theme park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
In 2021 pricing, that would be about $69.50. Remember earlier when I mentioned that a five-day ticket averages around $83?
Now, factor in how much Disney has added at the parks since 1998. We’ve got Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and New Fantasyland and Toy Story Land and Pandora – The World of Avatar.
That’s more than enough to justify a price increase of 20 percent over inflation in 23 years.
Yes, Disney’s price increases have only beaten inflation by roughly one percent annually.
Given that information, I just cannot accept the argument that Disney has gotten too expensive.
I am a bit salty about a bottle of Gatorade costing $4.50, though.