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Is Disney really that expensive?

Janir

Well-Known Member
Is Disney really that expensive?

This week I went to frontier city, the Six flags owned amusement park in Oklahoma. It has roller coasters, a log flume, a white water raft, a “dark ride shooter”. Theming is static mannequins if there is theming on a ride, the roller coasters are short. Its like six flags jr. Now I know what there strategy is for the ticket pricing. Make it expensive enough that you buy a membership or the season pass that gets you free parking and entry into all six flags and subsidiaries and water parks.
But….
IF you a one time sucker visitor.
Here are the costs. (same for all six flags) with none of their marketing discounts
One time entry
69.99
Parking
20.00
The fast pass equivalent (which is not included in season passes, daily passes, or memberships)
40.00
So 129.99 for one single park with no theming no story lines to the rides no other parks. There isn’t an epcot, animal kingdom, Hollywood studios or DCA if you get bored. There are no Restaurants, there is chicken strips, hot dogs or pizza. They do have dole whips though…


Disney with park hopper (which gets substantially cheaper the more days you stay) and yes I know the prices change depending on what day you choose.
109.00 (free fast pass)
60 for park hopper
20 (I think) for parking
So 189.99 for 4 parks that lets be honest are a bajillion times better and sit down restaurants, amazing theming and story telling. And beautiful park like theming.
Remove park hopper (if you are only there for one day, you don’t really need it and there is no equivalent at six flag style parks, and also gets much cheaper the longer you stay)
And you are at 129.00 the EXACT same price as a step up from a state fair.

I know this prob sounds like Disney propaganda.. but Disney kind of ruined this park for me (hadn’t been for 20 years, and was bored in an hour), I then compared prices and I was a bit shocked. And its not just this park... Six flags, Silver dollar City and many others are the exact same way.. no theming... no story.. they are really not competitors but one day tickets are about the same.
You laid this out well! I'm shamelessly stealing this (with quote attribution to you ;) ) for counter arguments to some family and friends when they speak of High costs of Disney trips. Now, in my rough neck of the woods, we have a Six Flags and that gets compared to all the time. Now not a ton of people plan multi day- week long vacation trips to Six Flags like WDW, but I'm sure some do and then their costs go up for the resort, food and travel aspects for that type of trip.
 

flynnibus

Well-Known Member
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Then who gets to declare something"expensive" if not the purchaser.
What or whom deems an item expensive?
It's a Relative comparison - it's not an emotion.
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
It's a Relative comparison - it's not an emotion.
No but evaluation of comparison are variable based on personal experience. So someone declaration of expensive doesnnt mean much.
You said expensive is not in the eye of the beholder, then who's making the comparison??
 
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Corey P

Well-Known Member
Why don't you figure out how expensive Disney is for let's say a 3 day trip on property compared to median household income? That's a fairer way to do it and takes the subjective part out of the equation.
 

Goofyque'

Well-Known Member
As for the dining.....most quick service at Disney is just hot dogs, chicken nuggets and pizza too.
Agree with the point of reasonable people seeing both the positives and negatives, but Disney can still be affordable. In traveling to WDW for nearly 50 years, we have never had a hot dog, chicken nugget or hamburger. We find lots of options and think that is one area that WDW shines. The food choices are plentiful and delicious. I'm glad they serve typical snack food, but we love trying all the new things! Lots of choices, and many meals can be shared!
 

flynnibus

Well-Known Member
No but evaluation of comparison are variable based on personal experience. So someone declaration of expensive doesnnt mean much.
You said expensive is not in the eye of the beholder, then who's making the comparison??
Just because someone may be ill informed - that doesn't change the larger consensus. Expensive is a relative comparison - not a personal perspective.

There is no ultimate 'conclusion' - because the answer relies 100% on the question (what you are comparing it to). It is not a personal take on things... and yes, someone who doesn't have good reference points will make wrong conclusions. Just like most things...
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
Just because someone may be ill informed - that doesn't change the larger consensus. Expensive is a relative comparison - not a personal perspective.

There is no ultimate 'conclusion' - because the answer relies 100% on the question (what you are comparing it to). It is not a personal take on things... and yes, someone who doesn't have good reference points will make wrong conclusions. Just like most things...
thats silly how can a comparison not be personal. who the heck is making the comparison then, androids?? so you're saying the price of disney being expensive is not dependent on whether or not one has money?? reference points don't just appear out of thin air, someone assigned a value to them. it;s a relative comparison between things that have been assigned a value by a human being.
Something is expensive because it was assigned a value. have absolutely no idea someone being "ill informed" means.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
thats silly how can a comparison not be personal. who the heck is making the comparison then, androids?? so you're saying the price of disney being expensive is not dependent on whether or not one has money?? reference points don't just appear out of thin air, someone assigned a value to them. it;s a relative comparison between things that have been assigned a value by a human being.
Something is expensive because it was assigned a value. have absolutely no idea someone being "ill informed" means.
I tend to agree except we seem to be confusing the words expensive with affordable. I think that cost per hour in a Disney Park based on the time of experiencing multiple entertainment venues is not even close to being expensive in the sense of value. I defy anyone to tell me where a more value hourly based thing exists. Now affordability, that is a whole different question. If you went to let's say a pro-baseball game, the hourly rate would be a lot more, however, you will see the game that you paid for and go home satisfied (presuming your team won). A place like WDW is at least a four day experience to even hit the tip of the iceberg. If on top of that you have a family of four or more then all of a sudden you are talking about $500.00 per day just to step foot in the parks. That doesn't include meals, lodging and transportation.

So, expensive, per person entertainment, I would have to say is quite reasonable for a daily rate. However, when doing the simple math add the cost of family and it just jumped into non-affordability for many, many people that once could scratch out the money to attend. One person for 4 days in the parks equals roughly $500.00 total. Add three more as a family and now it is $2000.00 just for the parks, no other expense factored in. A good value as a singular expense. A very expensive affordability quotient for families. What was and, in my mind, still is the absolute essence of a Disney Park (families) many of which have now been priced out. Not seeming to be a problem right now, but that is only thinking of the present. A business that is totally a luxury item really should not be pricing people out. Rob them blind once you get them in, but first get them in. How this will sugar off over time, I don't know, but if I were to gamble on it staying on top, I wouldn't put a nickel on it maintaining the level of success currently touted.
 

flynnibus

Well-Known Member
thats silly how can a comparison not be personal. who the heck is making the comparison then, androids?? so you're saying the price of disney being expensive is not dependent on whether or not one has money?? reference points don't just appear out of thin air, someone assigned a value to them. it;s a relative comparison between things that have been assigned a value by a human being.
Something is expensive because it was assigned a value. have absolutely no idea someone being "ill informed" means.
If you compare 500 to 5000... the 5000 number is larger. It doesn’t depend on who answered the question. It doesn’t depend on how much they make.

Your mistake is you intermix “value” and “cost” interchangeably. Value is a personal perception- cost is not. Cost is an absolute. “Expensive” is a comparison between two absolutes... hence is not a subjective topic. It only matters to what you are comparing.

When you are discussing if something is “too expensive” or not... that is a subjective topic that is influenced by the person’s choices and behaviors. It doesn’t change if it’s expensive or not compared to something... it’s anevaluation if the costs are worthwhile to that person... it’s a value discussion.

For instance.... if I shop cars and see a BMW M3 is 25k more than the other 3 series... that makes the m3 “more expensive”. And compared to the average car in that size... it’s is stil higher cost than nearly all others... so we call that “an expensive car”. It’s not a personal evaluation- it’s a statement of fact.

Now when deciding if I will buy the car... I ask myself “is it TOO expensive”? And I do my own evaluation of the costs vs what I get from it. If I decide the M3 is the car for me... and I don’t care about the relative costs because I can afford it no problem.... that does not make the M3 cost less, or be less expensive. It just means as an individual I am fine with the cost and value as perceived by me.

The M3 is still an expensive car. It’s just not “too expensive” in my personal evaluation.

Same thing happens with Disney. Costs are costs... expensive is depending to what you are comparing too... and “too much” or not is a personal subjective decision.
 
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Laketravis

Premium Member
I'm not going to try to compare WDW to a Six Flags park. That's insane.

But I will point out that for roughly $160 per person during the Flash Sale in late August, I can get unlimited admission and parking to any Six Flags and Water Park in the country as well as lunch, dinner, a snack and unlimited beverages on every visit for 16 months to include TWO fall seasons of Fright Fest and Holiday in the Park.

We live within 90 minutes of Fiesta Texas in San Antonio and 3 hours of Six Flags Over Texas. With a 13 year old son who could stay in the park all day riding roller coasters and eating crappy food we will realize no less than 4 visits a year. Often many more. On the last set of season park and dining passes I think we went and ate almost a dozen times.

For $320.

Dollar for dollar, it's cheap fun and food for a teenager. But yeah, it's not Disney World.
 

Pooh.sHoneyHuntTDL

Well-Known Member
There is a cabal of posters for whom a personal appraisal casting Disney in any kind of positive light must be attacked firing on all cylinders, but of course hundreds of thousands of guests make such a determination every year, so if you come to that kind of conclusion yourself, rest assured that your perspective is far more reflective of the typical Disney guest.
Nothing wrong with being a rediculous Disney fan boy, buddy.
 

bUU

Well-Known Member
Nothing wrong with being a rediculous Disney fan boy, buddy.
There isn't anything wrong with it, but the reality is that my posts are objecting to irrationally unfounded expectations - that's all. I'm not really saying anything in support of Disney as much as showing how vacuous the complaints some are throwing at Disney are. I'm pointing out just how corrupt, vapid, and nonsensical are the comments to which I'm replying.

And I already outlined why it is important to do so, not just in this forum but really in every forum about every topic. Go back and read the thread.

There are loads of legitimate things to complain about with regard to Disney. It is remarkably how those to which I'm replying have failed to stumble on any of them yet.
 

BASS

Active Member
Caveat: I have not read the entire thread.

In comparison to other parks (I did a Universal trip recently), I think Disney is in-line with similar experiences.

In comparison to general travel, I think Disney is expensive. Room rates generally exceed what I believe would be market rate for those hotels. For example, Contemporary, GF, and Poly are constantly way overpriced. IMO, there are only a few hotels that are priced fairly for what you get.

That said, I still enjoy Disney and do it every year. But I make sure that the vacation budget isn't just Disney.
 

chrisbarry

Active Member
Caveat: I have not read the entire thread.

In comparison to other parks (I did a Universal trip recently), I think Disney is in-line with similar experiences.

In comparison to general travel, I think Disney is expensive. Room rates generally exceed what I believe would be market rate for those hotels. For example, Contemporary, GF, and Poly are constantly way overpriced. IMO, there are only a few hotels that are priced fairly for what you get.

That said, I still enjoy Disney and do it every year. But I make sure that the vacation budget isn't just Disney.
I think it's impossible to compare Disney hotels to whatever the market rate is. They don't compare. If I figure in the free transportation to and from the airport, free and very consistent bus, boat and monorail transportation around the massive property, multiple pools at most resorts, food courts, full service restaurants, extra magic hours, FastPass booking 60 days out, amenities galore and star service, not to mention close accessibility to the four world class parks - there's no way any other hotels can compare because they have so much less to offer.

I have looked up and down the east coast for a resort that offers as much as you get when you stay at a Disney resort and it's quite simple why I can't find one- there are none. Yes the three hotels you mentioned are expensive, but they're the flagship Deluxe hotels and will always be expensive. But even still, going back to a comparison I made in a post earlier. My Cape Cod hotel on the beach was $409 a night. Nice enough hotel. Postage stamp sized pool. We were charged a $25 resort fee which claimed to be for the WiFi, pool, tennis court, beach chairs and umbrella service. That was the market rate for the area. Once again, nice enough - on the beach and all that. The Yacht and Beach typically run around that price when we typically stay in summer - less when you factor in the room-only discounts usually available which got us Yacht for around $349 last summer. The luxury, amenities, pools, transport, access, service, etc. at Yacht are so far superior to where I just stayed on the Cape or anywhere else I've stayed for that matter. You're getting so much more for your money at a Disney resort.

Once again, not cheap, but so much more bang for your buck and I've looked all over. Hilton Head, Virginia, Hershey, Jersey Shore, Montauk, Gulf Coast, up and down the Florida coast. There's just nothing else out there like the Disney resorts. So, I think a fair comparison can't really be made.

I'd make the argument that a resort like Port Orleans offers more than most other resorts out there for much less money. We've stayed there 5 times. I would put Riverside up against any of the other places I've looked at or stayed at as far as bang for my buck.

Heck my daughter is in college in Boston. It's astounding what they can get for hotels up there at certain times a year. $500 -$600 a night isn't uncommon for a high-rise chain hotel in the city. And what are they giving me for that price? Maybe a pool? Maybe a small gym and restaurant? I know it's apples and oranges in this case, but the underlying principle is the same.
 

lee.moles.disney

Well-Known Member
Disney can be done on a modest budget. I think people still expect the same experience as they received 10 years ago for the same cost
 

erasure fan1

Well-Known Member
Disney can be done on a modest budget. I think people still expect the same experience as they received 10 years ago for the same cost
No, I think people expect an improved experience over 10yrs ago. Not a lesser one. I truly believe that the reason pricing gets people so mad, is that you can't raise prices by leaps and bounds, then do almost nothing for a decade. Then you do some stuff, then say "look at all we are doing! We have to dramatically increase prices again."
 

flynnibus

Well-Known Member
think it's impossible to compare Disney hotels to whatever the market rate is. They don't compare. If I figure in the free transportation to and from the airport, free and very consistent bus, boat and monorail transportation around the massive property, multiple pools at most resorts, food courts, full service restaurants, extra magic hours, FastPass booking 60 days out, amenities galore and star service, not to mention close accessibility to the four world class parks - there's no way any other hotels can compare because they have so much less to offer.

I have looked up and down the east coast for a resort that offers as much as you get when you stay at a Disney resort and it's quite simple why I can't find one- there are none
Then I don’t think you are even trying that hard. Even just up the street at universal the properties are comparable in amenities. No DME... but that’s just about $50 value that is easily offset by express pass.

For other properties... it’s hard to apples to apples as much of the stuff you listed is unique to being at a dispersed property but ever been to major hotels in Vegas? They do way more than Disney properties generally.

For hotels they are “good” but no where near great anymore and certainly no longer unique.
 

chrisbarry

Active Member
Then I don’t think you are even trying that hard. Even just up the street at universal the properties are comparable in amenities. No DME... but that’s just about $50 value that is easily offset by express pass.

For other properties... it’s hard to apples to apples as much of the stuff you listed is unique to being at a dispersed property but ever been to major hotels in Vegas? They do way more than Disney properties generally.

For hotels they are “good” but no where near great anymore and certainly no longer unique.
I'm trying extremely hard to find a resort that gives me as much bang for my buck, believe me. I've stayed at Universal and while they do a nice job with their amenities, I don't think it's up to par with Disney's resorts. There's an inherent difference that I still think exists on property that you're paying for and I happen to think it's well worth it. I have been to Vegas as well and I would consider that another category, one that most families do not think of when seeking out a vacation destination. I know they've changed and grown and cater to all ages now, butI don't think staying at a mega Vegas resort or a mega all-inclusive Mexican resort can compare to the solitude and intimacy that you can still find in a place like The Yacht Club and you're still not losing amenities.
I just can't understand why so many people out here on the web - Disney fans - insist on bashing what the company does so much, even when they things right. Yacht and Beach are "excellent" resorts - not "good" resorts. Polynesian. Wilderness Lodge. Animal Kingdom Lodge. Etc. I don't understand how someone can label these as "good" hotels and compare them to what's out there. I've been to what's out there - and I guess it's just my opinion - but based on a well traveled opinion - the Disney resorts on property are still excellent and worth the cost when compared to what I've seen out there.
 

flynnibus

Well-Known Member
I'm trying extremely hard to find a resort that gives me as much bang for my buck
You didn't say 'bang for buck' before.. you said
"I have looked up and down the east coast for a resort that offers as much as you get when you stay at a Disney resort and it's quite simple why I can't find one- there are none"

That's what I was responding to. 'offers as much as you get'. Disney hotels are pretty middle of the road in most categories of amenities or services.

There's an inherent difference that I still think exists on property that you're paying for and I happen to think it's well worth it. I have been to Vegas as well and I would consider that another category, one that most families do not think of when seeking out a vacation destination.
I think you keep blurring 'location at disney' with 'what the hotel offers'. Take these hotels away from seven seas lagoon... are they still standouts? I don't think so.

The room fixtures are average. The in room amenities are below average. The grounds are nice.. but most of the pools are average. Most don't have good pool deck service options. Most don't even have stand-out pools anymore. The amenities like beaches and water craft have been neutered to basically pointless. Most only have a single dining venue. Their sundaries shops are light compared to many other offers. Their gym or spa options are lesser than many peers.

Yacht and Beach are "excellent" resorts - not "good" resorts. Polynesian. Wilderness Lodge. Animal Kingdom Lodge. Etc. I don't understand how someone can label these as "good" hotels and compare them to what's out there. I've been to what's out there - and I guess it's just my opinion - but based on a well traveled opinion - the Disney resorts on property are still excellent and worth the cost.
Given the choice to be at the Bellagio or Beach Club... the choice is easy. Heck, even the Gaylord in Orlando offers more than Beach club. There are many timeshare style places in Orlando that offer way more.

The idea these hotels are somehow 'pinnacles' is dated Disney PR. They are the top only in the Disney bubble.
 
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