Just back, and stunned by prices

cjnix29

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 1, 2005
Ok, let me first say, as you can see by my signature, this wasn't my first time at the rodeo. We love WDW. We go as often as we can. Normally, I don't get such sticker shock, but I have to say...this time, I did. I usually come home with a sweatshirt, t shirt, or some sort of clothing item. I absolutely choked on the prices this time. Thin, cheap looking t shirts were $35, and I'm not sure I saw one for less than $30. Food prices have definitely gone up since we were there a year ago. I know that food has gone up, but honestly, I feel like they are inflating the price to justify the cost of the dining plan...which we don't do because we don't eat the way you have to in order to get the benefit from it. We don't do buffets, and we don't like to do a sit down meal every day. Aside from the fact that it would have cost over $900 for the three of us for the week. We love Disney, and we have the money to spend there. But it is getting close to the point where it is just to hard to justify. I know they have to make money, but honestly, I think it is getting to the point where families just won't be able to afford it. Makes me very, very sad!
 

Marionnette

Children see magic because they look for it
Joined
Sep 26, 2009
Ok, let me first say, as you can see by my signature, this wasn't my first time at the rodeo. We love WDW. We go as often as we can. Normally, I don't get such sticker shock, but I have to say...this time, I did. I usually come home with a sweatshirt, t shirt, or some sort of clothing item. I absolutely choked on the prices this time. Thin, cheap looking t shirts were $35, and I'm not sure I saw one for less than $30. Food prices have definitely gone up since we were there a year ago. I know that food has gone up, but honestly, I feel like they are inflating the price to justify the cost of the dining plan...which we don't do because we don't eat the way you have to in order to get the benefit from it. We don't do buffets, and we don't like to do a sit down meal every day. Aside from the fact that it would have cost over $900 for the three of us for the week. We love Disney, and we have the money to spend there. But it is getting close to the point where it is just to hard to justify. I know they have to make money, but honestly, I think it is getting to the point where families just won't be able to afford it. Makes me very, very sad!
I think that many of us fail to realize that Disney is not just a vacation destination for American tourists. Many international travelers are accustomed to high food prices and taxes that drive the cost of goods up. Disney charges the prices that they do because they can. They may sell pixie dust and memories, but they are still a business with a concern for the bottom line.
 

Yoshi

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 10, 2008
I agree food costs have gone up because of the dining plan. A few years ago a 1/4 pound cheeseburger and fries was $6.59 or a 1/2 pound cheeseburger with fries was around $8.50. Now a 1/3 pound burger with fries is around $8.50.

A typical counter service meal for 4 adults was around $65 with tax before we gave them our KTTW cards to use the counter service credits. $3.59 for one of those small desserts? A medium soda was $2.19 last year, this year it was $2.59 to $2.79 depending on the location.
 

cjnix29

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 1, 2005
I think that many of us fail to realize that Disney is not just a vacation destination for American tourists. Many international travelers are accustomed to high food prices and taxes that drive the cost of goods up. Disney charges the prices that they do because they can. They may sell pixie dust and memories, but they are still a business with a concern for the bottom line.
I understand Disney is a business. I understand that they are there to make money. And by the crowds we experienced in January of all times, I know people are paying the prices. But with continued significant hikes, it will really be out of the reach of so many more. And I would hate to think that little girls here won't be able to meet Belle, while only the Asian or South American tourists can afford it. Just makes me sad to think about, because I think everyone should be able to go. Walt's dream was for a place parents could go and interact with their children, not sit on the sidelines. Soon, parents won't even be able to get to the sidelines. That is what makes me sad.
 

disynut

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 4, 2000
This is why we find ourselves going off-site, packing sandwiches in coolers, or eating in our room(we are DVc so that helps with being able to cook). It is frustrating--I have a hard time paying around $10 for burgers and fries meals that are $6 down the road. Sometimes you cam just accept it as a part of the vacation, but when you go often it is hard to justify(for me, anyway).
 

ValpoCory

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
I understand Disney is a business. I understand that they are there to make money. And by the crowds we experienced in January of all times, I know people are paying the prices. But with continued significant hikes, it will really be out of the reach of so many more. And I would hate to think that little girls here won't be able to meet Belle, while only the Asian or South American tourists can afford it. Just makes me sad to think about, because I think everyone should be able to go. Walt's dream was for a place parents could go and interact with their children, not sit on the sidelines. Soon, parents won't even be able to get to the sidelines. That is what makes me sad.
It is sort of like gas prices ... they will still have to get significantly higher for people to significantly change behavior.

Disney could triple their prices across the board, and it would still be crowded. Inelastic demand for most people.
 

Squidgyness

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 28, 2010
I am an international traveller from a country with high sales tax (17.5%) and other taxes to boot. I still consider Disney to be expensive in some regards. That being said, I can sometimes spot a good deal on exchange rates, which helped with the costs.

Tips I used for getting the most out of my money in WDW:

1. Stay offsite (Optional, understand people sometimes don't like this idea.)
2. Eat only once a day, if at all within the parks.
3. Drink plenty
4. Take snacks in
5. Keep yourself occupied - less temptation to buy things
6. Save your money for where you will most likely spend it - World Showcase has much more opportunity for splurging for example.

That being said, it's all relative. At a small theme park (I mean SMALL) near us it would cost: (Exchange rates applied for a WDW equivalent)

$80 for an adult, $40 for a child to get in for a single day
$4-5 for a medium drink
$5 for a snack (hot dog etc)

And that is purely for a small theme park with maybe a thousand employees max. Don't even get me started on my local cinemas... $6 for a drink!

Regards to clothes... I once knew a guy who spent $450 on a single shirt. Why? He wanted it. When I went to Malta it cost 10-20% more for the same clothes I saw in my home country.

It's all relative. You can spend a huge amount of money almost anywhere these days. Captive markets are the worst offenders of the bunch.

EDIT: I also forgot... we have to pay for flights too! They can be a real budget buster. Even on a packaged holiday to a 3 star offsite hotel prices can reach $1100 a person for a week.
 
  • indimom

    Are We There Yet?
    Joined
    Jul 18, 2008
    There have always been families who could not afford it, and there always will be. I know families who have never taken any vacation. :confused3

    And folks who go to Disney World every year or every other year are an extreme minority. People who take multiple vacations in a year are a minority. I have to remind myself of this fact from time to time because reading these boards can be pretty deceiving.

    It seems Disney is coming closer to your personal line in the sand - the point at which you may consider taking fewer trips or none at all. But, honestly, nothing has changed. That line was always there for someone.
     

    Tinknalli

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 19, 2011
    I never flew on a plane, went to WDW etc until I was 24. I survived and honestly did not know what I was missing. My kids are 8 and 10 and have been to WDW 4 times which is a lot compared to most of the kids in their school. Some kids have never been. Like it or not WDW is a luxury even if you stay value.

    If I compare WDW food prices to those of our local Six Flags the prices are on par (maybe even a bit cheaper) and at least at WDW I can find things that are palatable.
     

    torinsmom

    <font color=red>I have someone coming to scoop<br>
    Joined
    Apr 7, 2004
    The high price of souvenirs is the reason I always plan a trip to the Disney outlets in the area. You can get real Disney merchandise for a lot less. As far as food, we tend to eat meals offsite or get kids meals(plenty of food when you are about to run around and ride rides). I really wanted a 40th shirt last year, and would have paid $30 for one, but they only had the teenager shaped shirts or the men's styles. For the price they charge, you would think a woman's fit shirt wouldn't be too much to ask.
     

    Marionnette

    Children see magic because they look for it
    Joined
    Sep 26, 2009
    There have always been families who could not afford it, and there always will be. I know families who have never taken any vacation. :confused3

    And folks who go to Disney World every year or every other year are an extreme minority. People who take multiple vacations in a year are a minority. I have to remind myself of this fact from time to time because reading these boards can be pretty deceiving.

    It seems Disney is coming closer to your personal line in the sand - the point at which you may consider taking fewer trips or none at all. But, honestly, nothing has changed. That line was always there for someone.
    Exactly! Do people really think that Disney cares whether the princess posing with Cinderella paid to get into the park with yuan, yen, reals or dollars? It's all income to them. Lots of American kids grow up healthy and happy without ever visiting Central Florida. If people do not consider it to be a good value, they just won't go there. And if Disney finds that food is going uneaten and product remains on the shelves too long, they will adjust their prices.

    A Disney World trip may be a rite of passage for some but it it not a right.
     
  • Eastern

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 30, 2006
    We love Disney, and we have the money to spend there. But it is getting close to the point where it is just to hard to justify. I know they have to make money, but honestly, I think it is getting to the point where families just won't be able to afford it.
    I totally agree. Can I afford their peak pricing? yes. Do I think it has overall value so that I will continue to go? no.
     

    DawnM

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 4, 2005
    That all depends on how you do Disney.

    Yes, prices are increasing, but for us, the largest cost is tickets. We eat most of our own food, stay off-site in a condo, drive down, etc......

    You don't HAVE to buy souvenirs and you don't HAVE to eat all your meals at Disney. I personally don't think the food is all that good anyway and it has just gone downhill from "not that good" IMHO.

    Dawn
     

    Maggie Lizer

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 2, 2012
    As far as the souviners go, I think the high proices make me wya more picky about what I actually buy. I only get things I really like. If things were cheaper, I'd buy a lot more junk and have more clutter around my house (and the things i did buy wouldn't seem as special).

    And regarding food, the high prices discourage me from buying extra calories I don't really need or want. I'm content to grab a couple of fries from DH's plate rather than get my own full order with a burger at Pecos Bill. And I don't do buffets - too much temptation to "try to get my money's worth." If I want just a soup and side salad for dinner, I want to be able to only pay for that. If the meals with sides were cheaper, I am sure I'd gain a few pounds on Disney trips, not only from all of those extra calories but also from the sodium.
     

    kfeuer

    <font color=blue>My kids are going to think I'm ol
    Joined
    Jan 24, 2003
    That all depends on how you do Disney.

    Yes, prices are increasing, but for us, the largest cost is tickets. We eat most of our own food, stay off-site in a condo, drive down, etc......

    You don't HAVE to buy souvenirs and you don't HAVE to eat all your meals at Disney. I personally don't think the food is all that good anyway and it has just gone downhill from "not that good" IMHO.
    Proximity to DW also factors in. When we lived in Atlanta we took the kind of trips you describe, and a week at Disney ran us around $1700, and we could have spent less (that included some nice souvenirs and meals).

    Now I'm planning a trip coming from the West Coast, and it's a whole other ball game. We're still staying offsite, but when you have to figure in airfare, rental car, not being able to bring much from home, etc. it's going to be quite expensive. We haven't been to Disney in 4 years and I'm sure we're going to notice the jump in prices. It doesn't help that my 11-year old is now a Disney adult :rolleyes:

    I know we'll have a good time, but this trip is approaching the point of being just too expensive. However, the kids are growing up so fast that we don't want to miss the chance of taking them again while they're still kids :) We just won't buy a lot of stuff in the parks!
     

    hsmamato2

    <font color=magenta>Tink in Training-Good Girl,Bad
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2005
    I agree with a pp....when I see a t-shirt or something I just LOVE- the price makes me think twice before buying,then I buy only that ONE time I love. Which is a good 'clutter preventer' in my house when I get home.:thumbsup2
    The food,when we go,we get creative,like other pp's.....still I'd like cheaper prices, but still there are ways....:thumbsup2
     

    Maggie Lizer

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 2, 2012
    Proximity to DW also factors in. When we lived in Atlanta we took the kind of trips you describe, and a week at Disney ran us around $1700, and we could have spent less (that included some nice souvenirs and meals).

    Now I'm planning a trip coming from the West Coast, and it's a whole other ball game. We're still staying offsite, but when you have to figure in airfare, rental car, not being able to bring much from home, etc. it's going to be quite expensive. We haven't been to Disney in 4 years and I'm sure we're going to notice the jump in prices. It doesn't help that my 11-year old is now a Disney adult :rolleyes:

    I know we'll have a good time, but this trip is approaching the point of being just too expensive. However, the kids are growing up so fast that we don't want to miss the chance of taking them again while they're still kids :) We just won't buy a lot of stuff in the parks!
    Good point! Our last trip in January 2009 was for 7 days at WDW and 3 days at USO; WDW on-site; no meal plan, and for the two of us it was probably around $5K total. On little trips to close-by places, like Williamsburg & VA Beach, we can easily do a week, including BGW and WC, for under $2K.
     

    SaraJayne

    <font color=red>Stop moving those smilies! <img sr
    Joined
    Mar 6, 2009
    Ok, let me first say, as you can see by my signature, this wasn't my first time at the rodeo. We love WDW. We go as often as we can. Normally, I don't get such sticker shock, but I have to say...this time, I did. I usually come home with a sweatshirt, t shirt, or some sort of clothing item. I absolutely choked on the prices this time. Thin, cheap looking t shirts were $35, and I'm not sure I saw one for less than $30. Food prices have definitely gone up since we were there a year ago. I know that food has gone up, but honestly, I feel like they are inflating the price to justify the cost of the dining plan...which we don't do because we don't eat the way you have to in order to get the benefit from it. We don't do buffets, and we don't like to do a sit down meal every day. Aside from the fact that it would have cost over $900 for the three of us for the week. We love Disney, and we have the money to spend there. But it is getting close to the point where it is just to hard to justify. I know they have to make money, but honestly, I think it is getting to the point where families just won't be able to afford it. Makes me very, very sad!
    Disney has been out of reach financially for many families for years. And the prices just keep going up.
     

    granmanh603

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 12, 2004
    Ok, let me first say, as you can see by my signature, this wasn't my first time at the rodeo. We love WDW. We go as often as we can. Normally, I don't get such sticker shock, but I have to say...this time, I did. I usually come home with a sweatshirt, t shirt, or some sort of clothing item. I absolutely choked on the prices this time. Thin, cheap looking t shirts were $35, and I'm not sure I saw one for less than $30. Food prices have definitely gone up since we were there a year ago. I know that food has gone up, but honestly, I feel like they are inflating the price to justify the cost of the dining plan...which we don't do because we don't eat the way you have to in order to get the benefit from it. We don't do buffets, and we don't like to do a sit down meal every day. Aside from the fact that it would have cost over $900 for the three of us for the week. We love Disney, and we have the money to spend there. But it is getting close to the point where it is just to hard to justify. I know they have to make money, but honestly, I think it is getting to the point where families just won't be able to afford it. Makes me very, very sad!
    I have been saying that about the food prices for years now, ever since they instuted the Dinning Plan and with that "free dinning" force the people into signing up for it especially if you have kids and like the character meals... we don't do that and it is killing us...:eek:
     

    LaDonna

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 24, 2005
    Proximity to DW also factors in. When we lived in Atlanta we took the kind of trips you describe, and a week at Disney ran us around $1700, and we could have spent less (that included some nice souvenirs and meals).


    I know we'll have a good time, but this trip is approaching the point of being just too expensive. However, the kids are growing up so fast that we don't want to miss the chance of taking them again while they're still kids :) We just won't buy a lot of stuff in the parks!
    yep I can remember when we first started doing Disney we could go for under $1500 and that included free dining, now with 2 kids now considered adults and another kiddo added to the family the cheapest we can stay onsite at Disney is around $3,000! But totally agree with you all of my kids absolutely LOVE Disney and I'll pay more and just go every other year to get those memories, they'll be in college before I know it :scared1:
     


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