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News Walt Disney World theme park ticket price increases go into effect March 12 2019

seascape

Well-Known Member
Why would I do that? The question on the table is the affordability of a WDW vacation to a 1971 family. You took great pains to point out differences between family size and median income and that we need to consider the 1971 aspects of that. Why would I then ignore the 1971 travel patterns. People did not travel by air in 1971, they did not stay 4 days at WDW, and they did not buy vacation packages.
Then add the cost of driving. Including hotels, tolls, food and depreciation of the car. To only talk of one part of a vacation is crazy because that is not how families budget.
 

mikejs78

Premium Member
Why would I do that? The question on the table is the affordability of a WDW vacation to a 1971 family. You took great pains to point out differences between family size and median income and that we need to consider the 1971 aspects of that. Why would I then ignore the 1971 travel patterns. People did not travel by air in 1971, they did not stay 4 days at WDW, and they did not buy vacation packages.
Maybe a better measure would be 1990. By then you had 3 parks, moderate resorts, etc. That may be a much better comparison because it's closer to the product that exists today. I also think we can't compare the same hotel. The question is can a middle class.family afford Disney. So comparing the Poly when it was one of only a few hotels to the Poly of today isn't a valid comparison.

So let's look at the cheapest on property trip you could take for four nights/four days.

Median household income in 1990:. $28,700.
4-day ticket 1990 all 3 parks: adult $111. Child :$88.
4-night stay at Carribean Beach: $70/day * 4 = $280
Total cost for family of 4: (kids age 8 and 6): $678.
% of median income: 2.4%

Median household income: $61,372

4- night September stay at ASM (with 15% room discount):. $96/night * 4 = $384
4-day magic select ticket: $356 adult, $336 child
Total cost for family of 4: $1,768
% of median income: 2.9%

So yes, the cheapest you can get a Disney vacation for has risen. A little. If it had been the same % of income in 1990, the cost would be $1472.

Now airfare. I can't find exact prices for trips in 1990, but the general consensus is that airfare has declined 40% since 1990 in constant currency. So in reality, a Disney trip on the cheap may actually be cheaper today than it was in 1990 if you take airfare into account.

Now there's ground transportation to consider. Ground transportation is definitely cheaper today, as Magical Express didn't exist until 2005. So that was an additional cost that had to be considered in 1990.
 
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kong1802

Well-Known Member
Maybe a better measure would be 1990. By then you had 3 parks, moderate resorts, etc. That may be a much better comparison because it's closer to the product that exists today. I also think we can't compare the same hotel. The question is can a middle class.family afford Disney. So comparing the Poly when it was one of only a few hotels to the Poly of today isn't a valid comparison.

So let's look at the cheapest on property trip you could take for four nights/four days.

Median household income in 1990:. $28,700.
5-day ticket 1990 all 3 parks: adult $111. Child :$88.
4-night stay at Carribean Beach: $70/day * 4 = $280
Total cost for family of 4: (kids age 8 and 6): $678.
% of median income: 2.4%

Median household income: $61,372

4- night September stay at ASM (with 15% room discount):. $96/night * 4 = $384
4-day magic select ticket: $356 adult, $336 child
Total cost for family of 4: $1,768
% of median income: 2.9%

So yes, the cheapest you can get a Disney vacation for has risen. A little. If it had been the same % of income in 1990, the cost would be $1472.

Now airfare. I can't find exact prices for trips in 1990, but the general consensus is that airfare has declined 40% since 1990 in constant currency. So in reality, a Disney trip on the cheap may actually be cheaper today than it was in 1990 if you take airfare into account.

Now there's ground transportation to consider. Ground transportation is definitely cheaper today, as Magical Express didn't exist until 2005. So that was an additional cost that had to be considered in 1990.

Now add in food.....

It's interesting the different ways this can be analyzed, and I'll admit a little too much fun.

Taking your $678 price from 1990 and applying it to 2019 dollars makes it $1311.29. Meaning that today's cost in your example of $1,768 means that it is priced 34.83% higher that it was in 1990. And you went from 5 days to 4 (on tickets), and Moderate to value (on hotel). On the flip side, you have 4 parks vs 3 now.

But 28,700 is worth $55,506 in today's dollars. Using this math:

1990 -- WDW trip as you list was 2.36 % of income

2019 -- WDW trip is 3.19% of same income.

That's a .83% increase of total income. Pretty substantial, IMO. This doesn't even take into consideration the massive increase in food since then.

Like DVC, you can run the numbers many ways. There's no denying that it is more expensive today than it was yesterday. Depending on how you want to feel about it, you can use different formulas to reach a conclusion on just how much it has actually jumped. ;)
 
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ThistleMae

Well-Known Member
No, it's you that missed my point. I was not talking about inflation, I was talking about median family income. You also prove my point that the average family in 1971 was poorer than they are today and that they could not have afforded a WDW vacation.

You agree the median family income is 10% higher in real terms in 2017 than it was in 1971. Additionally the average family size of all households was 3.11 and in 2017 it was 2.6. That is a decrease of 16.4%. Therefore in real terms with everything else being equal a family today could pay 28% more in constant dollars and it would be the same percentage of income. Using your inflation percentage of 615.3% the equivalent percentage adjusted for increased income and decreased family size would mean as long as the average vacation cost less than an increase of 787.6%, todays vacation would be cheaper.
This debate is fascinating...but the numbers are making my head spin. What is the actual debate about...in simple terms? Could each of you please summarize your argument in a few sentences?
 

seascape

Well-Known Member
Maybe a better measure would be 1990. By then you had 3 parks, moderate resorts, etc. That may be a much better comparison because it's closer to the product that exists today. I also think we can't compare the same hotel. The question is can a middle class.family afford Disney. So comparing the Poly when it was one of only a few hotels to the Poly of today isn't a valid comparison.

So let's look at the cheapest on property trip you could take for four nights/four days.

Median household income in 1990:. $28,700.
5-day ticket 1990 all 3 parks: adult $111. Child :$88.
4-night stay at Carribean Beach: $70/day * 4 = $280
Total cost for family of 4: (kids age 8 and 6): $678.
% of median income: 2.4%

Median household income: $61,372

4- night September stay at ASM (with 15% room discount):. $96/night * 4 = $384
4-day magic select ticket: $356 adult, $336 child
Total cost for family of 4: $1,768
% of median income: 2.9%

So yes, the cheapest you can get a Disney vacation for has risen. A little. If it had been the same % of income in 1990, the cost would be $1472.

Now airfare. I can't find exact prices for trips in 1990, but the general consensus is that airfare has declined 40% since 1990 in constant currency. So in reality, a Disney trip on the cheap may actually be cheaper today than it was in 1990 if you take airfare into account.

Now there's ground transportation to consider. Ground transportation is definitely cheaper today, as Magical Express didn't exist until 2005. So that was an additional cost that had to be considered in 1990.
I am glad that the conversation in now not just on ticket prices. You are right it is impossible to find out airfares. The other thing I can't find is Disney package prices because a package is always lower that just adding the individual parts.

Anyway the one thing everyone can agree on is a WDW vacation is very expensive and not for everyone. In addition I will go further and say some parents fail their children big time by taking their kids to WDW. The best lesson any parent can teach their children is the value of money and the disaster of debt. Too many Americans live on debt and instead of being able to afford all the extras later in life, they go into debt and end up miserable in later life.

Anyone if they plan early in life can end up well off. All it takes is some planning. Start saving small. Add to savings with each raise and before you know it you are saving the maximum you can in your 401k. Don't scrimp but live within your means. Don't buy expensive cars that depreciate to nothing, buy an affordable car, since cars are only transportation. Buy a reasonable home and make sure you include utility bills in your calculations on what to buy. If you really feel you need designer clothes, which is a waste, buy at the outlet or better yet the thrift stores. Money is a means to an end not the end. Learn to be happy and if that means not going to WDW each year that can be a good thing. There are so many other places to see and things to do. And finally never go into debt for a vacation, that is just stupid and will catch up to you.
 

mikejs78

Premium Member
Now add in food.....

It's interesting the different ways this can be analyzed, and I'll admit a little too much fun.

Taking your $678 price from 1990 and applying it to 2019 dollars makes it $1311.29. Meaning that today's cost in your example of $1,768 means that it is priced 34.83% higher that it was in 1990. And you went from 5 days to 4 (on tickets), and Moderate to value (on hotel). On the flip side, you have 4 parks vs 3 now.

But 28,700 is worth $55,506 in today's dollars. Using this math:

1990 -- WDW trip as you list was 2.36 % of income

2019 -- WDW trip is 3.19% of same income.

That's a .83% increase of total income. Pretty substantial, IMO. This doesn't even take into consideration the massive increase in food since then.

Like DVC, you can run the numbers many ways. There's no denying that it is more expensive today than it was yesterday. Depending on how you want to feel about it, you can use different formulas to reach a conclusion on just how much it has actually jumped. ;)
I apologize, the 5-day ticket was a typo. The price is actually for a 4-day all three parks ticket.

Value vs moderate really doesn't matter imo because again, that classification doesn't exist. Carribean was the cheapest Disney hotel. Now ASM is.

Adjusting for inflation isn't really a good measure because median income has outpaced inflation. Goods across the board are more expensive now when adjusted for inflation - it's not just Disney. That's why median income is a better measure.

Again, the question was whether or not a typical middle class family can still afford a Disney vacation. And I think the answer is a resounding yes, and I think that's borne out by the millions of guests that go to WDW every year.

Even food, you can do that in a budget way. My family of 4 spent less than $500 on food for a five night trip last month. It's doable.

Now, if you want to have your ideal Disney vacation - stay at the Poly, eat TS every night, etc... That's another story.
 

kong1802

Well-Known Member
I apologize, the 5-day ticket was a typo. The price is actually for a 4-day all three parks ticket.

Value vs moderate really doesn't matter imo because again, that classification doesn't exist. Carribean was the cheapest Disney hotel. Now ASM is.

Adjusting for inflation isn't really a good measure because median income has outpaced inflation. Goods across the board are more expensive now when adjusted for inflation - it's not just Disney. That's why median income is a better measure.

Again, the question was whether or not a typical middle class family can still afford a Disney vacation. And I think the answer is a resounding yes, and I think that's borne out by the millions of guests that go to WDW every year.

Even food, you can do that in a budget way. My family of 4 spent less than $500 on food for a five night trip last month. It's doable.

Now, if you want to have your ideal Disney vacation - stay at the Poly, eat TS every night, etc... That's another story.

I think its teetering on if the middle class could truly afford it anymore. Even the .5% increase of medium income that you use or the 35% increase in adjusted $ is pretty substantial, IMO.

But, you are right, there's still ways to do it. There's offsite choices that often have insanely cheap off season rates. One can do very well on food by not buying any in the parks, or just doing a few QS's here and there.

But I don't think those that are upset because 10 years ago they were able to do things like character buffets and stay onsite are now saying they are priced out. Looking at the pricing of those things they are 100% correct. It's now just determining if losing those things still make the experience what it was. For us it is close. We already dropped AP's. Already moved off site. Not much more bobbing and weaving we can do to still get the same value.

ETA: We are analyzing one small week. A broad look would give us a better look vs looking at just 4 random dates in September. Have to keep that in mind when making any determination.

Let's use 4 nights midweek mid month July 15-20. ASM is $122/night, tickets are $1480. Gives us a 3.21% of total income for an increase of .7%. Again, that's pretty substantial when talking about percent of total income....

Again, there's lots of ways to run it. Depends on how much sticker shock you are willing to see....
 
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seascape

Well-Known Member
This debate is fascinating...but the numbers are making my head spin. What is the actual debate about...in simple terms? Could each of you please summarize your argument in a few sentences?
My position is easy. A WDW vacation is very expensive and always has been. It is not for the majority of Americans and never has been.

Further, many people on this site have no idea what it is like to have the median income. Both Disney and Universal have told analysts they aim at the top 20% of incomes. Six Flags and Cedar Fair aim at the top 40%

Now I dont see how anyone in the top 20% and claim to be in the middleclass but according to the IRS in 2017 the top 25% earned more than $111,160. The top 10% started at 178,793. Those numbers clearly show most of the rich do everything they can to convince the majority they are not rich.
 

hopemax

Well-Known Member
Then add the cost of driving. Including hotels, tolls, food and depreciation of the car. To only talk of one part of a vacation is crazy because that is not how families budget.

But these costs would have been the same for the family heading to Cocoa Beach or camping/fishing at Lake WhoknowsWhere or whatever non-Disney vacation they would have taken instead. They aren't the costs unique to a WDW vacation. A 1971 family, would have sat down and said, "our typical vacation costs X. Can we afford to spend the additional dollars it would cost to visit Disney?" Which largely revolves around the admission cost and potentially, the premium of a WDW hotel. Although a lot of people would have just stayed off-property and their hotel costs would have been more similar to whatever they would have paid for a campsite rental or hotel wherever they would have gone instead and paid the parking fee.

Maybe a better measure would be 1990. By then you had 3 parks, moderate resorts, etc. That may be a much better comparison because it's closer to the product that exists today. I also think we can't compare the same hotel. The question is can a middle class.family afford Disney. So comparing the Poly when it was one of only a few hotels to the Poly of today isn't a valid comparison.

But the specific question on the table was affordability in 1971 (and I assume the rest of the 70's). @seascape was sick of hearing how affordable WDW was, and he specifically said that "people in 1971 were too poor to go to WDW." 1990 prices don't shed light on 1971 affordability.
 

xdan0920

Think for yourselfer
My position is easy. A WDW vacation is very expensive and always has been. It is not for the majority of Americans and never has been.

Further, many people on this site have no idea what it is like to have the median income. Both Disney and Universal have told analysts they aim at the top 20% of incomes. Six Flags and Cedar Fair aim at the top 40%

Now I dont see how anyone in the top 20% and claim to be in the middleclass but according to the IRS in 2017 the top 25% earned more than $111,160. The top 10% started at 178,793. Those numbers clearly show most of the rich do everything they can to convince the majority they are not rich.
Er, your positions are WILD. Honestly wild. I sorta like it though.
 

Patcheslee

Well-Known Member
Has anyone taken into account the minimum wage went up in the past 10 years, which effects what the median income is? In 10 years my income has increased by 1.59% through normal raises, while the minimum wage has increased $6.55 to $7.25/hr a 10.867% increase.
 

seascape

Well-Known Member
Er, your positions are WILD. Honestly wild. I sorta like it though.
I know I am crazy because everyone knows middleclass incomes go up to $250,000.00 even thought in 2017 the top 5% started at $236,360.40. I guess the only rich people are those in the top 4%. I have heard the $250,000.00 being the middleclass for over 10 years.
 

seascape

Well-Known Member
Has anyone taken into account the minimum wage went up in the past 10 years, which effects what the median income is? In 10 years my income has increased by 1.59% through normal raises, while the minimum wage has increased $6.55 to $7.25/hr a 10.867% increase.
Median income has nothing to do which those at the bottom earning more money or the rich. Median income is where 50% make more and 50% make less. That is why most analysts use median income instead of average income.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
I know I am crazy because everyone knows middleclass incomes go up to $250,000.00 even thought in 2017 the top 5% started at $236,360.40. I guess the only rich people are those in the top 4%. I have heard the $250,000.00 being the middleclass for over 10 years.

because you are using national numbers which really mean nothing to actual cost of living and living standards to actual people. What it costs me to live in my region is night and day compared to someone who lives in Maidson Wisconsin... or Mobile, or Colorado Springs.

A family making 200k in NJ is living comfortable.. while a family making that in Oklahoma are living like kings.

You use relative terms like 'rich' and national averages.. when our country has incredibly wide swings and then wonder why the data doesn't line up to your perceptions?
 

seascape

Well-Known Member
because you are using national numbers which really mean nothing to actual cost of living and living standards to actual people. What it costs me to live in my region is night and day compared to someone who lives in Maidson Wisconsin... or Mobile, or Colorado Springs.

A family making 200k in NJ is living comfortable.. while a family making that in Oklahoma are living like kings.

You use relative terms like 'rich' and national averages.. when our country has incredibly wide swings and then wonder why the data doesn't line up to your perceptions?
As a NJ resident I am aware how expensive it is to live here. Believe me, I made much less than 200k but I never went into debt. I was a State Employee and saved in the Deferred Comp program. So I managed to get ahead.

I have seen too many people go into debt. So, yes, 200k does make you rich in NJ. If you can't live on that without going into debt, you are spending too much. I always told the union if the State had let me invest my pension contributions and what they were supposed to put in I would retire with much more than my pension would pay. I have proof because of my Deferred Account Balance. I did not invest in rental property either so anyone can be rich when they retire if they live smart and yes 200k is rich in NJ if you are smart.
 

flynnibus

Premium Member
I have seen too many people go into debt. So, yes, 200k does make you rich in NJ. If you can't live on that without going into debt, you are spending too much

So now being able to live debt free or not is your measuring stick for 'rich'?? You're all over the place man.

We're talking about rich as someone who can afford to throw money around.. and you're saying if you are thifty and smart.. you can be 'rich'. And you know as well anyone should... even a filter of 'NJ' is a wide range of costs. The example was simply to prove that using one number and trying to define 'rich' or not is pointless. Rich is a relative thing and a tool for the pundits more than anything. What matters in these kinds of conversations is disposable income which is way harder to track and use with wide breadth. Which is why people tend to look more at spending patterns in aggregate rather than try to model what people MIGHT have to spend.

You can spin around theoretical numbers all day long. It doesn't change history.
 

DisneyJoe

Well-Known Member
So now being able to live debt free or not is your measuring stick for 'rich'?? You're all over the place man.

We're talking about rich as someone who can afford to throw money around.. and you're saying if you are thifty and smart.. you can be 'rich'. And you know as well anyone should... even a filter of 'NJ' is a wide range of costs. The example was simply to prove that using one number and trying to define 'rich' or not is pointless. Rich is a relative thing and a tool for the pundits more than anything. What matters in these kinds of conversations is disposable income which is way harder to track and use with wide breadth. Which is why people tend to look more at spending patterns in aggregate rather than try to model what people MIGHT have to spend.

You can spin around theoretical numbers all day long. It doesn't change history.
Wow. I was with you until this post - I found it to be quite mean and attacking. Ease off.

What Does It Mean to Be Rich? https://www.moneycrashers.com/rich-definition-wealth-income-net-worth-lifestyle/

"If you pick any 10 people at random off the street and ask them all whether they’d like to be rich, chances are all 10 will say yes. But if you ask those same 10 people what they mean by “rich,” you’re likely to get 10 different answers. "
 

MrMcDuck

Premium Member
I know the resorts are half the point for myself and most here, but a less well off family that is really trying to save on a Disney trip will bargain hunt and find a deal for around $50/night for an offsite, Kissimmee-based hotel with shuttle transportation to the parks and complimentary continental breakfast. They'll have their stale danish and cereal in the morning, bring some snacks to the park, and do QS and CS for the rest. It's certainly not an ideal way to do it because it wastes a ton of time on transportation, but based on how popular those hotels on 192 are during certain times of the year, many people are choosing that option over not making a Disney trip at all.
 

Animaniac93-98

Well-Known Member
The gap in attendance between the Japanese and American Magic Kingdoms can in part be explained by the lack of after hour parties and such.

The Tokyo parks are typically open 8-10 every day. Early entry for hotel guests is only 15 minutes. There’s no option to pay $80 to get in an hour earlier for a fast food breakfast and 5 rides and there’s no constant tweaking of hours based on changing forecasts. They assume every day is busy and plan accordingly.

It’s so simple in comparison.
 

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