Thursday, June 25, 2015

Disney World and the Middle Class

A few weeks ago, Washington Post ran an article about how theme parks like Disney have left the middle class behind. I think that is completely untrue and I wanted to share some thoughts about that.

We are a middle class family. Both Todd and I have to work, but we own our house and we manage to be able to afford vacations and weekend conventions. This includes Disney World.

Now, we can't go to Disney World every year, that would be too expensive. But every two to three years, yes, that's completely doable for us.

Magic Kingdom - 1986
In the Washington Post article, it states that when Disney World opened in 1971, it cost $3.50 to enter the park. It neglects to mention that entering the park is all that $3.50 got you. You had to buy ticket books in order to actually ride any of the rides.

Prices for tickets do go up every year. It's something those of us in the Disney fandom expect, but it seems to outage people who don't know anything about Disney. If you really want to go to Disney, you can if you save.

There are tons of time shares all over Orlando and a lot of those time shares will give you free theme park tickets if you sit through their presentation. You can also save a ton of money by staying in a hotel off of Disney's property.

As kids, neither Todd nor I had ever stayed on Disney's property so we decided to stay on property for our honeymoon. We were hooked, especially since we had the dining plan as well. I'm a big fan of having just about everything paid for, and just having
Animal Kingdom - 2013
money for tips and souvenirs.

Disney does have a lot of high end resorts that cost tons a night. But they also have quite a few value resorts where the rooms are only about $100 a night. In fact, the newest resort is a value that mostly has family suites which make it more affordable for families with more than two kids.

If you go on an off time of the year, you can also get room discounts or even free dining. You may have to move to a different resort but it can save a big chuck of money.

Tickets are cheaper if you buy more than one day at a time, and the dining plan is great if you have a young kid who wants to do a lot of character meals.

If you are middle class, and you really want to go to Disney World or any other theme parks, you can. You may have to stay off site, you may have to stay at a value resort, you may have to sit through a time share presentation, but it's completely do-able.


  1. It's a matter of priorities. Personally, I'm not motivated to go to Disney without a child but when that's a consideration, we will put back money and go just like we so with conventions. We don't put a lot of money into furniture or clothing or fancy cars. We put it into doing what we love to do.

    1. Pretty much - if we did more cons or had to get a hotel at Dragon Con it would be just as much as a trip to Disney.

      All of our furniture, clothes and cars are old - but they all work just fine. Granted Emily's clothes are newer, and I really could use new clothes, but it's just not a priority for us. We'd rather meet famous people and go to Disney World.