Disney park costs spike, but crowds keep coming


Lunney, Brianna

Source: Historical ticket price data collected by AllEars.net

Ava Irizarry

Disney park costs increased by 8.2 percent this past year due to inflation and an increase in demand. Despite this, crowds continue to form.  

In the year 2022, the consumer price index has gone up by 9.1 percent compared to the previous year. Inflation has raised prices for various expenses in the parks, like food, merchandise, and more. 

Disney planner Amy White described the concerning increase in vacation prices.

“I have been a Disney vacation planner since 2012. Each year Disney prices jump, but in the past year, prices have been higher than ever before,” White said.  

In 2012, Disneyland Resort park admission cost $87 and has risen 19.5 percent in 10 years. Currently, the cost of a one-day ticket starts at $109 before taxes but can rise up to $189 during the holiday season. 

Typically, people tend to go to Disney parks with their families, making Disney simply unaffordable for many with larger families. According to the Disney With Dave’s Daughters, Disney World Visitor Statistics survey, 42 percent of respondents take one to three kids with them to Disney.

For a family of four, a baseline Disney World vacation costs $6,320. 

First-time Disney goer Megan McQue voiced her opinions on the prices she had to pay at the parks. 

“My family and I went to Disney for the first time ever this year in October,” McQue said. “Although it was a fun time, I don’t think we could return anytime soon because of how expensive it was.” 

The high costs have made a Disney vacation out of reach for many families.

Ticket prices are not the only items affected by inflation. 

“The price of meals and other things has definitely increased. Although the price increases are small, they add up over the course of vacation and can be very pricey,” White explained. 

According to the Touring Plans outlet, hotel prices have risen even faster than typical inflation rates. For example, the cheapest per-night room rate at the Pop Century hotel in Disney World Orlando was $95 in 2013 but rose to $168 this year. 

The sudden rise in Disney prices has made the Disney park experience less enjoyable for those who cannot afford all the expensive amenities.

 “Disney resort prices have hiked up. Prices have increased 28 percent since 2019,” White said. “This, along with all the other increases we’ve seen, have made it difficult for some families to plan their vacation[s] and get the full experience of Disney.” 

Disney has acknowledged inflation concerns and the effects it will have on the cost of goods and services. The company’s Chief Financial Officer, Christine McCarthy, said that they had experienced this issue in parts of the business already. High inflation rates are on their minds, and they are seeking ways to address them. 

Inflation is not the only culprit for the sudden increase in prices; consumer demand is just as big of a cause. 

The prices have increased significantly because of all the new rides, expanded areas, and other new additions to the parks.

According to the Wall Street Journal, consumers value the Disney experience more than the average market-based good and are willing to pay much more for it relative to other offerings.

People have continued to pay the prices, even when they’ve gone up.

“Even though the trip was expensive, I do think the price was worth it,” McQue said. “My family had an overall great time, and I’m glad we could experience it.”

An anonymous Disney spokesperson said that ticket increases are driven by “continued strong demand and significant investment across the company’s theme parks in recent years.”

Depending on demand, admission prices can be between $109 and $159.

Former Disney CEO Bob Chapek stated that Disney is a“supply and demand business.”

Disney continues to add more immersive experiences to the parks, such as the Guardians of the Galaxy ride, Space 220 restaurant, and the Star Wars hotel. 

If Disney sees that guests are willing to pay larger sums of money for these attractions that increase the value of the parks, then prices all around will continue to go up. 

Whether the price increases at the Disney parks are due to inflation or accommodation to demand, there is no sign of their prices getting cheaper. 

If you are planning on going to a Disney park for vacation in 2023, be aware that these factors could make your trip more expensive. 

 “The overall experience was magical, and my family and I are hoping to return in the future,” McQue emphasized.