Too much money and not worth it..

parkerthebarker

Active Member
Original Poster
Very unpopular opinion I know.

I have been to the park several times growing up, and twice as an adult. This past trip was my first time experiencing it as a family.

We stayed at a resort, planned fast passes, rode on all the rides we wanted to. Everyone told us the food was overpriced, but we were still utterly shocked. It's offensive that Disney charges what they do for low quality subpar food. We navigated the trip with a budget in mind. Skipped the frivolous (obnoxiously prices add ons) like the princess makeup makeover, park hopper option, mickeys halloween parade, souvenirs. Our total before flights was $1700- 5 nights at a resort and 3 days in the park, not including food. I understand that may be cheap compared to what others spend...

The "buy buy buy" mentality is so in your face. And people everywhere fall into the traps. My jaw dropped when people buzz around these gift stores, spending ungodly amounts of cash on Disney merchandise. And for what?! Also, some people love the customer service...I honestly just felt bad for the workers. It was a forced happy, and the stuff they have to deal with is crazy. I came across some of the rudest, most entitled people in the park. When a family would bump into others and say "I'm so sorry" or tell their kids "be aware of your surroundings!" it was so refreshing.. but rare.

And don't get me wrong- I love Disney movies, music etc. Its total nostalgia for me. But I found it too overstimulating and a lot of work, as did our oldest.
Hitting the pause button on Disney for a very long time!

Has anyone else experienced anything similar? Also, do you go every year or mix in trips to other places? And how much do you spend on average (all in)? Curiosity has gotten the best of me.
 

Yert3

Well-Known Member
Advertisement
People are always talking about the food being terrible, but I find it to be pretty good. I dunno, maybe I just personally have low standards for food. 🤷🏻‍♂️


Also, do you go every year or mix in trips to other places?
Well we went once a year, but after become local, I go about once or twice a week. I get what you mean with the “buy buy buy” thing, but I haven’t bought a piece of merchandise in two years and still have fun.
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
I understand your complaints, and generally agree them, although we still visit WDW -- just not every year, and we have to downsize our trip to some extent each time to stay within budget and compensate for the rapidly increasing costs.

As to your questions, we mix WDW trips in with many other kinds of family vacations -- over the years they've included a cruise to the Bahamas, a 10-day tour of Scotland (that one was just for DH and me), road trips to Gettysburg/Antietam, Colonial Williamsburg/Jamestown, Washington D.C., Toronto, Boston, and New York City, a multi-day visit with family members who live lakeside in Minnesota, camping in the Adirondacks, "staycations" at a family member's little cottage here in the Finger Lakes with tours of local wineries and points of interest, and visits to Universal Orlando and Los Angeles/Disneyland Resort.

For our family of four (with both kids now priced as adults for most things), travel + food + recreation/tickets + hotel/camp ends up costing a total of about $1,000-$2,000 for a long weekend trip, or $5,000-$7,000 for a 7-10 day trip.
 

rreading

Premium Member
Very unpopular opinion I know.

I have been to the park several times growing up, and twice as an adult. This past trip was my first time experiencing it as a family.

We stayed at a resort, planned fast passes, rode on all the rides we wanted to. Everyone told us the food was overpriced, but we were still utterly shocked. It's offensive that Disney charges what they do for low quality subpar food. We navigated the trip with a budget in mind. Skipped the frivolous (obnoxiously prices add ons) like the princess makeup makeover, park hopper option, mickeys halloween parade, souvenirs. Our total before flights was $1700- 5 nights at a resort and 3 days in the park, not including food. I understand that may be cheap compared to what others spend...

The "buy buy buy" mentality is so in your face. And people everywhere fall into the traps. My jaw dropped when people buzz around these gift stores, spending ungodly amounts of cash on Disney merchandise. And for what?! Also, some people love the customer service...I honestly just felt bad for the workers. It was a forced happy, and the stuff they have to deal with is crazy. I came across some of the rudest, most entitled people in the park. When a family would bump into others and say "I'm so sorry" or tell their kids "be aware of your surroundings!" it was so refreshing.. but rare.

And don't get me wrong- I love Disney movies, music etc. Its total nostalgia for me. But I found it too overstimulating and a lot of work, as did our oldest.
Hitting the pause button on Disney for a very long time!

Has anyone else experienced anything similar? Also, do you go every year or mix in trips to other places? And how much do you spend on average (all in)? Curiosity has gotten the best of me.
We go just over once per year on average and - knowing that we would continue to go - purchased DVC in order to not feel brutalized by the cost of staying in the Deluxe Resorts.

For us, if we're there 5 nights, we're at the parks 5 days. No park hopper saves some money there and makes life less of a hassle. We will go late some days and take a break mid-day some days but heading to the parks on our arrival and departure day is not much more expensive and allows more opportunities for FP+.

We rarely buy the souvenirs. Refraining from buying everything is probably a good message for your kids. We usually choose one favorite pin or coffee mug or rarely one nicer thing. The confectionary, mickey bars and dole whips aren't cheap, but we usually drink water. We avoid burgers so our food experience has been pretty good (Pinocchio's pizza was significantly worse than previous visits this past summer though). The new table service in Adventureland - Skipper's Canteen? - was really good this past summer.

I still feel that our interactions with the CM at the parks is probably one of the better experiences at the parks. Were our hosts a surly bunch, we would almost certainly not return. Perhaps our feeling polite and pleasant helps them to be so as well, but it's still a good experience for us.

Regarding other guests...I do realize that 99% of them are probably more stressed out than we are so there's that...but it's not really an excuse for them. Probably the best thing is to lead by example. Welcome to 2019!

So there is airfare and tickets which are relatively inflexible. Hotel prices are brutal. Dining can be $$ but we often will split meals. And additional things are usually <$100 for mickey bars and souvenirs.

It's expensive. If you don't enjoy it, it's not worth it!
 

Tom Morrow

Well-Known Member
I'm not trying to be rude here, but in all seriousness OP, what food did you eat? Because WDW has lots of awesome food, more than any other theme park. Generally I find when people complain about the quality of the food, I also learn that they were eating the typical fast food fare, and well, yeah, of course you're going to be upset when you pay theme park prices for standard fast food.
 

parkerthebarker

Active Member
Original Poster
I'm not trying to be rude here, but in all seriousness OP, what food did you eat? Because WDW has lots of awesome food, more than any other theme park. Generally I find when people complain about the quality of the food, I also learn that they were eating the typical fast food fare, and well, yeah, of course you're going to be upset when you pay theme park prices for standard fast food.
We did a character breakfast when we were there 7 years ago, and it was not great. And obscenely expensive.

We ate at quick service places this past time, because we didn't want to spend $22 for an entree. It's not like I'm asking for a gourmet meal. But the grilled chicken sandwiches were so bland, made Wendy's seem like fine dining. Just have some flavor? Not asking for much.
 

parkerthebarker

Active Member
Original Poster
We go just over once per year on average and - knowing that we would continue to go - purchased DVC in order to not feel brutalized by the cost of staying in the Deluxe Resorts.

For us, if we're there 5 nights, we're at the parks 5 days. No park hopper saves some money there and makes life less of a hassle. We will go late some days and take a break mid-day some days but heading to the parks on our arrival and departure day is not much more expensive and allows more opportunities for FP+.

We rarely buy the souvenirs. Refraining from buying everything is probably a good message for your kids. We usually choose one favorite pin or coffee mug or rarely one nicer thing. The confectionary, mickey bars and dole whips aren't cheap, but we usually drink water. We avoid burgers so our food experience has been pretty good (Pinocchio's pizza was significantly worse than previous visits this past summer though). The new table service in Adventureland - Skipper's Canteen? - was really good this past summer.

I still feel that our interactions with the CM at the parks is probably one of the better experiences at the parks. Were our hosts a surly bunch, we would almost certainly not return. Perhaps our feeling polite and pleasant helps them to be so as well, but it's still a good experience for us.

Regarding other guests...I do realize that 99% of them are probably more stressed out than we are so there's that...but it's not really an excuse for them. Probably the best thing is to lead by example. Welcome to 2019!

So there is airfare and tickets which are relatively inflexible. Hotel prices are brutal. Dining can be $$ but we often will split meals. And additional things are usually <$100 for mickey bars and souvenirs.

It's expensive. If you don't enjoy it, it's not worth it!
You last line summed it up I suppose. I felt like every parent I passed in the park had that same "holy god this is miserable" look on their faces. Kids acting out because of the overstimulation. So much hustle and bustle. I felt like I was missing something the whole time...
 

parkerthebarker

Active Member
Original Poster
I understand your complaints, and generally agree them, although we still visit WDW -- just not every year, and we have to downsize our trip to some extent each time to stay within budget and compensate for the rapidly increasing costs.

As to your questions, we mix WDW trips in with many other kinds of family vacations -- over the years they've included a cruise to the Bahamas, a 10-day tour of Scotland (that one was just for DH and me), road trips to Gettysburg/Antietam, Colonial Williamsburg/Jamestown, Washington D.C., Toronto, Boston, and New York City, a multi-day visit with family members who live lakeside in Minnesota, camping in the Adirondacks, "staycations" at a family member's little cottage here in the Finger Lakes with tours of local wineries and points of interest, and visits to Universal Orlando and Los Angeles/Disneyland Resort.

For our family of four (with both kids now priced as adults for most things), travel + food + recreation/tickets + hotel/camp ends up costing a total of about $1,000-$2,000 for a long weekend trip, or $5,000-$7,000 for a 7-10 day trip.
Oh wow- you guys have been to some amazing spots! Minnesota during the summer and Toronto hiking is high on my bucket list...

Thanks for sharing your costs.
 

parkerthebarker

Active Member
Original Poster
People are always talking about the food being terrible, but I find it to be pretty good. I dunno, maybe I just personally have low standards for food. 🤷🏻‍♂️




Well we went once a year, but after become local, I go about once or twice a week. I get what you mean with the “buy buy buy” thing, but I haven’t bought a piece of merchandise in two years and still have fun.
Haha! I don't know, maybe I ordered the wrong stuff. It was mostly grilled chicken sandwiches. Which is a pretty basic thing.

You certainly don't need to buy things to have fun! I feel like oftentimes people miss that..
 

jloucks

Well-Known Member
Very unpopular opinion I know.

I have been to the park several times growing up, and twice as an adult. This past trip was my first time experiencing it as a family.

We stayed at a resort, planned fast passes, rode on all the rides we wanted to. Everyone told us the food was overpriced, but we were still utterly shocked. It's offensive that Disney charges what they do for low quality subpar food. We navigated the trip with a budget in mind. Skipped the frivolous (obnoxiously prices add ons) like the princess makeup makeover, park hopper option, mickeys halloween parade, souvenirs. Our total before flights was $1700- 5 nights at a resort and 3 days in the park, not including food. I understand that may be cheap compared to what others spend...

The "buy buy buy" mentality is so in your face. And people everywhere fall into the traps. My jaw dropped when people buzz around these gift stores, spending ungodly amounts of cash on Disney merchandise. And for what?! Also, some people love the customer service...I honestly just felt bad for the workers. It was a forced happy, and the stuff they have to deal with is crazy. I came across some of the rudest, most entitled people in the park. When a family would bump into others and say "I'm so sorry" or tell their kids "be aware of your surroundings!" it was so refreshing.. but rare.

And don't get me wrong- I love Disney movies, music etc. Its total nostalgia for me. But I found it too overstimulating and a lot of work, as did our oldest.
Hitting the pause button on Disney for a very long time!

Has anyone else experienced anything similar? Also, do you go every year or mix in trips to other places? And how much do you spend on average (all in)? Curiosity has gotten the best of me.
You spent a mere pittance compared to what I have thrown at Disney in the past. Agree with you on the entitled attitude of the people. To be fair, at what we spend, we are actually entitled to a certain amount of pleasantness or even *gasp* luxury. And THAT is why I have put WDW on pause indefinitely. Too many people and crowding for such a high $$$. I don't expect to drop $8000 on a vacation and to like I am riding coach the entire time.
 

parkerthebarker

Active Member
Original Poster
You spent a mere pittance compared to what I have thrown at Disney in the past. Agree with you on the entitled attitude of the people. To be fair, at what we spend, we are actually entitled to a certain amount of pleasantness or even *gasp* luxury. And THAT is why I have put WDW on pause indefinitely. Too many people and crowding for such a high $$$. I don't expect to drop $8000 on a vacation and to like I am riding coach the entire time.
Omg absolutely! Or better yet riding allegient- :)

Also, spending that kind of money adds so much pressure for everyone to have forced fun. My mom wanted to take my daughter back to Disney in march (before our daughter said she didn't want to go back). We ended up doing a side by side comparison of Disney vs Pacific Grove, CA. CA came in 500 dollars cheaper. And that's taking into consideration flights that are double the price.

I think Disney needs to open another park in the Midwest. Alleviate some of the crowding issues..
 

erasure fan1

Well-Known Member
I'm not trying to be rude here, but in all seriousness OP, what food did you eat? Because WDW has lots of awesome food, more than any other theme park. Generally I find when people complain about the quality of the food, I also learn that they were eating the typical fast food fare, and well, yeah, of course you're going to be upset when you pay theme park prices for standard fast food.
The problem with the food is the prices. At least for me, when I have a good meal, I still feel it wasn't really worth it. When you pay prices, not just above average, lightyears more expensive than average. You expect a lot more from a quality standpoint. I totally get and agree with all the complaints people have with the food. My epifony moment was on our last trip. We spent a week in Estero beach and ate at a seafood place on the beach. We then spent 3 days at the poly. On arrival, we ate at captain cooks while waiting for our room. Food for 3 of us cost more than our sit down dinner for 4 at the beach.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
Too bad your family trip to WDW wasnt what you expected. I dont know how well you prepared for it but some of your issues could have been avoided. Going on a WDW trip, especially on a budget, you are better off knowing exactly what you are getting into, cost wise. There are multiple sites with menus and prices so you can be properly prepared on your spending... and reviews telling the good the bad and the worse to advise on where is better food choices. Next time you can be better prepared by visiting these sites.
Every park... not just Disney sells merchandise to up their profits. If you dont want to buy stay out of the shops. That consumerism exists at WDW shouldnt have surprised you or affected your enjoyment, if you didnt buy. CM's working the shops have to deal with all manners of guests. They are trained to smile and give the guests a pleasant attitude, Disney has forever demanded that from their CM's, they have a reputation for how they do their roles and interact with guests in the parks. Guests in the shops and parks have gotten more and more unfriendly and rude. Thats everywhere in society now. How others around you acted in the parks wasnt Disneys fault. Disney vacations arent for everyone and unfortunately it doesnt sound like it suits you at this point. Maybe you can give it a try again later on in life.
We try to visit yearly or every other year. We save for the trip we want and are prepared for spending at the level we get enjoyment from. Yes it has gotten more expensive but we adjust our budget to make it work. We have gone cheap before in our lean years and still found enough to enjoy. Now at the stage in life where we are, we have more money, we do more but we still only do what we can afford.
I hope you at least got enjoyment from the rides, the shows, the fireworks and the entertainment, so some of Disney was worth the trip.
 

Tony the Tigger

Well-Known Member
We did a character breakfast when we were there 7 years ago, and it was not great. And obscenely expensive.

We ate at quick service places this past time, because we didn't want to spend $22 for an entree. It's not like I'm asking for a gourmet meal. But the grilled chicken sandwiches were so bland, made Wendy's seem like fine dining. Just have some flavor? Not asking for much.
Well, there you go.
 

KrzyKtty

Well-Known Member
Very unpopular opinion I know.

I have been to the park several times growing up, and twice as an adult. This past trip was my first time experiencing it as a family.

We stayed at a resort, planned fast passes, rode on all the rides we wanted to. Everyone told us the food was overpriced, but we were still utterly shocked. It's offensive that Disney charges what they do for low quality subpar food. We navigated the trip with a budget in mind. Skipped the frivolous (obnoxiously prices add ons) like the princess makeup makeover, park hopper option, mickeys halloween parade, souvenirs. Our total before flights was $1700- 5 nights at a resort and 3 days in the park, not including food. I understand that may be cheap compared to what others spend...

The "buy buy buy" mentality is so in your face. And people everywhere fall into the traps. My jaw dropped when people buzz around these gift stores, spending ungodly amounts of cash on Disney merchandise. And for what?! Also, some people love the customer service...I honestly just felt bad for the workers. It was a forced happy, and the stuff they have to deal with is crazy. I came across some of the rudest, most entitled people in the park. When a family would bump into others and say "I'm so sorry" or tell their kids "be aware of your surroundings!" it was so refreshing.. but rare.

And don't get me wrong- I love Disney movies, music etc. Its total nostalgia for me. But I found it too overstimulating and a lot of work, as did our oldest.
Hitting the pause button on Disney for a very long time!

Has anyone else experienced anything similar? Also, do you go every year or mix in trips to other places? And how much do you spend on average (all in)? Curiosity has gotten the best of me.
My husband goes almost solely for the food lol. Granted we tend to go to mostly sit down and/or signature restaurants. We love how many different options there are.

My family is probably more materialistic than we should be. We do not really mind the "buy" culture. There are many souvenirs we got there over the years that we still love and cherish. When we go on vacations we tend to go for the luxury and fun of it. Spending more money to get more experiences do not bother us.

Depending on how long we go and which hotel we stay up come up our trips to Disney world tend to cost anywhere from $10K to $15K. We tend to go every other year. The off years we turn to go to places like New York State, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone. So on average all of our trips cost anywhere from $10K to $20K.

We went to Disney world on our honeymoon 13 years ago for about what you spent. We did not have quite the same budget it back then. We had to watch every penny we spent, but we still loved the whole trip enough to go back over and over again. However we have definitely enjoyed the experience much more the more money we were willing to put into it...

However, that tends to be life in general. I do not fault Disney for that mindset because that is pretty much how all life works. Really it is about managing expectations and what experiences mean the most to you.
 

parkerthebarker

Active Member
Original Poster
Too bad your family trip to WDW wasnt what you expected. I dont know how well you prepared for it but some of your issues could have been avoided. Going on a WDW trip, especially on a budget, you are better off knowing exactly what you are getting into, cost wise. There are multiple sites with menus and prices so you can be properly prepared on your spending... and reviews telling the good the bad and the worse to advise on where is better food choices. Next time you can be better prepared by visiting these sites.
Every park... not just Disney sells merchandise to up their profits. If you dont want to buy stay out of the shops. That consumerism exists at WDW shouldnt have surprised you or affected your enjoyment, if you didnt buy. CM's working the shops have to deal with all manners of guests. They are trained to smile and give the guests a pleasant attitude, Disney has forever demanded that from their CM's, they have a reputation for how they do their roles and interact with guests in the parks. Guests in the shops and parks have gotten more and more unfriendly and rude. Thats everywhere in society now. How others around you acted in the parks wasnt Disneys fault. Disney vacations arent for everyone and unfortunately it doesnt sound like it suits you at this point. Maybe you can give it a try again later on in life.
We try to visit yearly or every other year. We save for the trip we want and are prepared for spending at the level we get enjoyment from. Yes it has gotten more expensive but we adjust our budget to make it work. We have gone cheap before in our lean years and still found enough to enjoy. Now at the stage in life where we are, we have more money, we do more but we still only do what we can afford.
I hope you at least got enjoyment from the rides, the shows, the fireworks and the entertainment, so some of Disney was worth the trip.
Everything was well planned. We got to do everything we wanted to. It just didn't seem justified. I don't want to have to do that much research to not spend $14 for a sandwich! The point is- why is it that expensive? It doesn't seem justified. And yes, I understand profits...but that turns me off even more.

We could have afforded to spend more, but at the end of the day I didn't want to. I would rather have a nice sit down meal with my husband, alone- no kids. The amount we spent on food was probably how much we spend in a month. And unless there is a magical place I didn't know about, we went to places that most people go to in the parks. Average priced food.

It's not just a matter of staying out of the shops. You get off a ride, and you end up in one. Luckily our kids aren't the type to ask for things, otherwise what a nightmare.

I don't fault Disney World for the rude guests. I felt bad for the workers having to deal with them. I was legitimately shocked though. I was waiting in a line for about 10 minutes for a cup of fruit, and a person on a motorized scooter rolled over my foot, and zoomed to the cashier- cutting the entire line.

We had a lot of fun family moments, ones that I'm thankful for. Live and learn I suppose. Next year we are heading to a small coastal town in Oregon. I have a feeling that will better suit us oddballs haha. :)
 

KrzyKtty

Well-Known Member
Everything was well planned. We got to do everything we wanted to. It just didn't seem justified. I don't want to have to do that much research to not spend $14 for a sandwich! The point is- why is it that expensive? It doesn't seem justified. And yes, I understand profits...but that turns me off even more.

We could have afforded to spend more, but at the end of the day I didn't want to. I would rather have a nice sit down meal with my husband, alone- no kids. The amount we spent on food was probably how much we spend in a month. And unless there is a magical place I didn't know about, we went to places that most people go to in the parks. Average priced food.

It's not just a matter of staying out of the shops. You get off a ride, and you end up in one. Luckily our kids aren't the type to ask for things, otherwise what a nightmare.

I don't fault Disney World for the rude guests. I felt bad for the workers having to deal with them. I was legitimately shocked though. I was waiting in a line for about 10 minutes for a cup of fruit, and a person on a motorized scooter rolled over my foot, and zoomed to the cashier- cutting the entire line.

We had a lot of fun family moments, ones that I'm thankful for. Live and learn I suppose. Next year we are heading to a small coastal town in Oregon. I have a feeling that will better suit us oddballs haha. :)
Well, Disney definitely isn't everyone's cup of tea. I can certainly understand why someone would prefer not to visit it for the same reasons I do. It definitely can be a lot for any sane person.

I am obsessed with a parks probably in large part due to nostalgia. The other part is I am an extreme type A planner. A trip to Disney world is like a drug for me. I love all of the extreme planning that goes into it lol.
 
Top Bottom