Middle Class Priced Out???

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by halfpintpeggy, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. tiggergal15

    tiggergal15 Mouseketeer

    Apr 28, 2015
    Totally agree...I am currently planning a 2018 -10 day stay...I don't feel sorry for me..I feel excited and can't wait....I choose to go..pay the prices and am happy!
    Halle likes this.
  2. Patience

    Patience DIS Veteran

    Jul 7, 2011
    Actually, I thought that too... until we vacationed in Hawaii. We live on the east coast and vacationed in Hawaii last June. We are a family of 4 and our airfare was $800 per person so $3200. The Condo we rented at the Ilikai in Waikiki was $150/night for 8 nights so $1200. And it was a NICE condo, newly renovated, granite countertops, stainless steel full kitchen, amazing views from the 21st floor, nice, new furniture, huge tiled walk in shower in a fresh, modern bathroom. We purchased the Go Oahu card from Costco for our activities and used the heck out of it. We went on a catamaran sail, a horseback ride at Kualoa ranch (2 of us) and a jeep tour for the others, swam at Waimea Falls, snorkled at Hanuama Bay, toured Pearl Harbor, hiked Diamond Head, went to the Polynesia Cultural Center for a luau, Breath of Ha show, and the exhibits, went to the Pineapple Plantation. The cost of the card was $180 for the adults and $165 I think for kids. We ate breakfast at the condo and ordered pizza in one night when we were tired but otherwise ate out. We tried to find reasonably priced restaurants and we were pretty successful. We rented a car for the length of our stay and paid around $380 for the entire time. All in all, our amazing trip that we all enjoyed hugely cost less than $7000.

    We are headed to Orlando next week but we are not visiting Disney. We are staying onsite at a Universal deluxe hotel for 2 nights so we get 3 days worth of express passes. We are then moving to an offsite hotel and will visit Lego Land. We are purchasing an annual pass and the Universal hotel was a really good deal at the AP rate, less than what we would pay for a moderate at Disney. I compared prices and the same trip at WDW staying in a moderate would have cost significantly more. We decided on Universal though, not so much because of the money, but because of the planning. I thought about WDW but then decided that I simply didn't feel like stalking ADR's, stalking fast passes, and running around in the parks watching the clock in order not to miss a dinner reservation or a fastpass time. I am looking forward to just going with the flow next week and I am excited to see the Harry Potter stuff in the wizarding world. I don't know when we will go back to WDW but I know it won't be for a while.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
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  4. Beer Me

    Beer Me Mouseketeer

    Jun 3, 2014
    Maybe but the all inclusives that are cheaper than Disney are kind of sketchy. A low end Disney trip is better than food poisoning in the DR.

    But seriously, if you stay at a Disney value or off site and eat cheaply (which can be done) it's definitely a middle class vacation no matter how you define middle class.

    If you want a monorail resort and the deluxe dining plan, etc - yes many people are priced out. But it's kind of always been that way. As a kid in the 70s we could never afford to stay at the Contemporary or Poly. We didn't even think about it. That was something only rich people did. We vacationed in a cheap beach cottage and packed 7 people in a car to come to MK for the day. We brought sandwiches for lunch. You didn't get to ride everything you wanted because you only had so many E tickets.

    From my perspective Disney opened up to more people with moderate, and especially the value, resorts. Without those I wouldn't have ever considered a week long Disney vacation.

    That being said everything is a bit overpriced. I've always said you get what you pay for except at Disney you get about 80% of what you pay for. But we splurge a little bit every 3 or 4 years because it's different from anywhere else and everyone has a good time. Price increases hurt. If it was cheaper we might go more often or stay longer but I don't see them pricing me out any time soon.
  5. ZephyrHawk

    ZephyrHawk Confirmed Disneyphile

    Feb 15, 2007
    The point is not to "price out" the Middle Class, the point is to set the costs at the upper limit that the Middle Class can pay. That, of course, is a moving target, and so Disney must play a massive game of haggling with the public.
    tink1970 and Beer Me like this.
  6. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

    Dec 15, 2003
    While I used my credit card for the points and insurance, I will pay off each month as I charge a small amount each month between now and final payment due date. But I likely will have to dip into savings to do it.
    A lot of folks here could have one unexpected expense and they are over extended with their Disney trip that they have huge problems.

    I gather for a lot of folks, "we can't afford it" isn't a phrase in their vocabulary. Many are getting back to where they were 6 or 7 years ago when the economy tanked, broke .
    halfpintpeggy likes this.
  7. Hikergirl

    Hikergirl DIS Veteran

    Feb 28, 2016
    I don't think the answer is black and white. I'm going to go with the assumption that most people on this board are firmly in the middle class, but are we the average Disney guest?
    Are the people here who take multiple trips a year, or even every year being priced out?
    There are still people who only go once in their life, and they save and budget for it. Are they the ones being priced out?
    Or is it the people who could never really be able to go are just seeing it more out of their reach?

    I guess it depends on what "priced out" means to you. Does it mean you cant afford to ever go? Does it mean you can't afford to go as frequently?
  8. katmatry

    katmatry Mouseketeer

    Nov 13, 2014
    I'm replying before I hear what anyone else has to say. I'm middle class and have been going to Disney with kids for 16 years. We've gone once a year, we've gone several times a year. We love Disney so it is the place we choose to spend our vacation dollars. I believe anyone who budgets for vacations can afford a trip to Disney. Tickets are a fixed cost but where you stay and dine are not. There are so many resources to help people figure out ways to work within their budget.
  9. Marionnette

    Marionnette Children see magic because they look for it

    Sep 26, 2009
    We're definitely part of the shrinking middle class. I don't think that it's so much a matter of Disney pricing us out. It's more a result of being squeezed by stagnant incomes, rising costs of necessities and a perceived decline in value at Disney.

    It used to be that I was willing to make sacrifices in order to make a Disney vacation happen. That isn't the case anymore. At one time, it cost a similar amount for my family to spend a week at the Jersey Shore as it did to spend a week at Disney. That's no longer true. When I price out a trip for myself and my husband on Disney's website (deluxe resort, tickets and dining plan), the total rivals what we spent on a 7-night Mediterranean cruise in a verandah stateroom, followed by 3 nights in Greece with a private guide. And I felt that I got greater value from the cruise vacation. (Note: the Brexit vote occurred the day we arrived in Athens, so most of our purchases were made prior to the fall of the Euro.)

    I own DVC. I have a fistful of unused tickets. That's how I compensate for the inflation of room and ticket prices. I will definitely return to Disney but not as often as in the past. I've already rented out some of my DVC points, which covered my dues for 2017, and I splurged 3 years worth of points on a Grand Villa for F & W this coming fall. It may come down to us using our DVC the same way other timeshare owners use theirs...a place to escape from the ordinary but not necessarily to visit the theme parks.
  10. Debbie Jean

    Debbie Jean DIS Veteran

    Feb 22, 2005
    Seriously? I had to laugh when I read this. Zero for the last three years... the last two with no contract. Union was just offered 4 years... 0, 0, 1.25 and 1.25. So, um, no... the bills go up, the salary actually goes down... more withheld for taxes and benefits. Welcome to my world... and I think the world many others live in, as well.

    I bought DVC many years ago when it was more affordable and get a discount on the annual pass. My needs are modest... I'm able to economize on food and take advantage of Disney transportation. For me, Disney is a less expensive alternative than many other options I might have.
  11. wilkeliza

    wilkeliza DIS Veteran

    Feb 1, 2013
    Again that isn't Disney fault though. So the real answer is not that Disney is pricing people out but rather massive groups of people are seeing no pay raises even though COL is going up every year. Now that is something I think needs to be looked into because a lot of companies are making "record" profits but the average employee isn't seeing it.
  12. Anthony1971

    Anthony1971 DIS Veteran

    Mar 11, 2005
    We own DVC and have since 2004... thought it was expensive then NOT... we also still have and will have non expiring passes for the next I believe 4 or 5 trips as we go to the parks 2-3 times a trip and spend time at the resorts or water parks -- our passes have the WP options. so now that I am done saying it truly only costs me airfare plus the little over thousand for the maintenance fee on the 200 points we own (this does go up every year). the rest is paid for long ago yes still has value but I will leave that alone.... Value I work in NYC I can go down the block to a place which is owned by a famous restaurant they get the food delivery in the morning when it is gone it is gone cost is around 12.00. I will pay for food if the food is worth the cost....the only thing I have seen over the 20 years we have been going and really in the past few years is food prices go up what you are given and quality goes down....that pisses me off......... and this year we get 10% off all Disney owned TS... big deal now the 34.00 steak costs me 30.60...I can get better quality in NYC for a lesser price and we have some of the most expensive prices around..... lets not compare if you go to places here as we have a lot of big names that are more but you get more and far better quality.... just an FYI what ever year the DP first started must TS at Disney still had a Filet Mignon on the menu and the strip steak... the filet was always around 2.00 more than the strip and the price was either way very reasonable....I always ordered the strip as that is what I like and always enjoyed it... recently It is very rare I will order a steak as the quality is just not there much prefer to go to Shula's and get a steak that is the price that it is for a reason..... bring back the quality at Disney and I am fine with the prices.... raise the prices lower the quality again that pisses me off....
  13. ellie05

    ellie05 DIS Veteran

    Jul 24, 2012
    I don't think it depends on just how much you make since $65,000 in NYC doesn't equal $65,000 in other places there are many variables.
  14. DLgal

    DLgal DIS Veteran

    Feb 12, 2013
    We are a one income middle class family. If it weren't for the military discounts Disney offers (40% hotels and approx 50% off multi day tickets), we wouldn't be able to go often at all. As it stands, we have managed to go most years, sometimes all of us, sometimes just me and the kids, sometimes me solo. But we also live near Disneyland and have APs here (about $2700/year expense). Since we moved back to CA, and can go to Disneyland anytime, the lure of WDW has faded. However we have a lot of family in Orlando so we will keep visiting the area regardless.

    With discounts, WDW is still cheaper than a lot of alternatives I have looked into. We like nice hotels on vacations so would never rent a villa...Just not our style. We have wanted to go to Hawaii for awhile but it is just too much. Cruises are similarly expensive since we need a larger cabin or two cabins. It is far cheaper to fly to Orlando than Hawaii or the Caribbean or Europe. We want to go to to Tokyo in the next few years and that is actually cheaper than Hawaii for us...So we will probably do that before we make it to Hawaii.
  15. Vijoge

    Vijoge Seeing the World through their eyes. . .

    Apr 18, 2005
    I suppose it depends on what you mean by "priced out". I think a good majority of people can't afford to vacation at WDW every year but most people can go occasionally if they budget and save for it. For some people that might mean every 2-3 years and for others it might mean every 5-10.
    fifthdimensiondweller likes this.
  16. dclpluto

    dclpluto DIS Veteran

    May 11, 2012
    I will not pay them prices on the 1-10 day tickets. What I do is get a annual pass and go usually three times during the year. Than I wait about a year or longer than do it all over again. It wasn't bad before buying the 10 day than get the no expiration. But now they don't have that so I'm not going to be paying them prices and I'm a dvc member.
    halfpintpeggy likes this.
  17. BigAlsGal

    BigAlsGal DIS Veteran

    Jun 16, 2013
    I can't imagine being priced out. I love it too much. I think I would be panhandling on the streets to afford my AP before I would let it expire. :rotfl2:
    Milhouse_ and adisneyaunt like this.
  18. mousefansmom

    mousefansmom DIS Veteran DVC Gold

    Feb 16, 2001
    I think one issue is that for some of us who have been to Disney multiple times, and as much as we love it, they are pricing us out. There will always be families who consider Disney a once in a lifetime and will spend life savings or use credit to achieve it. But when I can go to Aruba for a week for less than the price of a week at Disney....well, I will just shorten Disney to a day trip on our way through. I will still get my "fix" but it's just starting to make less sense now.
    halfpintpeggy likes this.
  19. pigletto

    pigletto DIS Veteran

    Oct 27, 2007
    For the most part we used to book 8 or 9 nights with free dining at a mod for our family of four,book our flights with Southwest, pay it and go on our trip.We also rented points for several trips, and various other deals for several of the deluxes. I don't know if they've priced us out, but they've mostly priced us offsite.

    10 years later my kids are 19 and 13 (Disney adults), the prices have risen dramatically, and currently because we are Canadian we are automatically paying 25% more on every dollar.:(

    We're still going, and for not much more than we ever did before, but I've changed the way we do Disney. We are offsite at Bonnet Creek for 10 nights, I earned airmiles (a Canadian shopping points program) to get all of our tickets for free, and we stick to a meal budget of $125 a day approximately (2 counter service or 1 table service) and one to two meals a day in the condo.

    I generally start with a number that I won't go over (trip budget is roughly $5000 Canadian for the year) and work from there. This year we are doing two trips for $5500 but we had enough credit for two sets of free flights, points for car rentals, and Universal AP's for the one trip.

    So to answer the original question, I have been priced out of the way we used to travel for sure, but we're still going and enjoying our trips just as much, if not more, we just had to change the way we did things.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  20. Darcy03231

    Darcy03231 DIS Veteran

    Nov 1, 2006
    Count me in as another person who doesn't feel that the value is there anymore. After 20+ years of yearly (and sometimes two to three times a year) trips the last trip for me was in 2013. We've been doing/seeing lots of other things for less than the cost of our last WDW trip, without the disappointing results. Nothing major happened, just a lot of little things that kept piling up through the week that made us decide to give WDW a break.

    Having said that, we are going the end of August for a 4 day/3 night stay. DH really wants to see Pandora. We'll already be in Florida on another vacation so rather than do a separate trip I decided to tack a few days on the end of our cruise. We're only getting a 2 day park hopper as we'll get in late the first day and are leaving early on the fourth day.
    halfpintpeggy and DaisyJ like this.
  21. FINFAN

    FINFAN Mom to Tinkbell

    Apr 30, 2001
    depends on the everyday lifestyle/COL said Middle class family has. If they have no mtg? No college to save for? retirement squirreled away? If the typical society ducks are in a row, there should be enough to take a week WDW trip once a year. That said, since most still have those costs, IMHO, I think WDW is teetering very close to being hard to pull off for a week for the typical family of 4...onsite, without using miles, perks etc.
    halfpintpeggy likes this.

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