Soaring prices at Disney theme parks haven’t stopped families from booking a trip. They just charge it to their credit card.
A recent study by the LendingTree.com website found that 18% of those who visited the parks in Florida or California borrowed money for the chance to see Mickey and the gang.
The survey of more than 1,500 respondents found that of the 87% of Americans who have visited a theme park, nearly three in four (74%) have been to a Disney-operated location.
The survey found that 80% of those who borrowed money to go to a Disney park say they will pay off their debt in six months or less.
Families who went into debt said they had not anticipated the exorbitant cost of admission as well as food and drink. The survey found that 56% were surprised by the price of food and drink while 48% said ticket prices were higher than they had originally thought.
However, 71% told LendingTree.com that they had no regrets about their visit.
A trip to a Disney theme park – once well within reach of an average middle-class family of four – has become a luxury item in recent years.
The Mouse House has raised ticket prices for Disney World in Orlando on December 8. The most expensive ticket, which was $159 each, has been increased to $189.
Earlier this year, Disney raised ticket prices for its Anaheim-based Disneyland, as well as its Genie Plus line-skipping service.
A recent report found that a family of four could pay up to $1,100 to spend the day at Disneyland over the holiday season — and that’s before shelling out for food or souvenirs.
The family of four would pay $1,086 a day to park a car at Disneyland Resort, get the ‘Genie+’ skip-the-line pass and get a ‘park-hopping’ ticket that would allow them to move freely between Disneyland Park and the Disney California Adventure Park.
A ticket for anyone over 10 can cost up to $269 per ticket depending on when the family is visiting. Peak demand periods, including weekends and holidays, tend to cost more.
A ticket for a child aged 3 to 9 costs $259 each, which includes the “park hopper” option and the “Genie+” fast pass. The parking voucher would cost the family an additional $30.
The rising cost of tickets has reportedly been a major bone of contention between newly reinstated Disney CEO Robert Iger and his hand-picked successor Bob Chapek.
Iger, who returned as Disney CEO in a surprise move last month, said theme park prices had gotten too high – and that Chapek, who took over from Iger just before the pandemic hit of coronavirus, was “killing the soul of the company”, according to a report.
Chapek raised theme park ticket prices to compensate for losses the Mouse House suffered during the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite sky-high prices, demand for admission to Disney theme parks has remained strong this year.
Disney’s latest earnings report revealed that revenue generated by the parks division increased 73% from the prior year. In total, Disney Parks brought in $28.7 billion in revenue for the latest quarter.
But soaring ticket sales couldn’t stop Disney stock from falling more than 45% since the start of the calendar year, fueling senior management’s dissatisfaction with Chapek.