Some families going into debt to visit Walt Disney World, study shows

Some families are willing to go into debt to visit Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, according to a recent survey.

A survey conducted by LendingTree, a financial website, found that 18% of 1,500 consumers surveyed reported having a loan for a trip to Walt Disney World, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2022. The survey found that parents with children under 18 were more likely to it brings these extra costs.

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The survey also found that the food prices and ticket prices at the park were higher than most people’s initial expectations or budgets. The average price for a one-day, single-park ticket for adults and children 10 and older from November 2022 through October 2023 will be $141.74, although prices may increase.

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According to an analysis by Mouse Hacking, a Disney-focused blog, the cost of a Disney World vacation for a family of four — consisting of two adults, one child age 10 or older, and one child ages 3 to 9 — was $5,731 in 2022, or about $287 per person per night.

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Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World

Groups pack and fill Main Street USA at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World in Orange County, Florida, on June 1, 2022. (Joseph Prezioso/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images/Getty Images)

The price includes airfare, transportation to and from the park, a five-night stay at a Disney World resort, five-day tickets with complimentary skip-the-line service and all meals at the same price as the Disney dining plan.

“A Disney trip can be an experience that you and your family remember for the rest of your life, and these are the types of things that people are willing to take credit for,” said Matt Schulz, LendingTree’s chief loan officer.

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According to a LendingTree study, 71 percent of people who spent a lot of money in the parks have no regrets because they will be able to pay off their loan in six months or less. Fourteen percent said it would take them seven months or more to pay off their Disney loan, while another 6% didn’t know how long the loan would last.

Monorail, Walt Disney World

The Monorail at Walt Disney World is shown in this file photo. (iStock)

However, a separate survey by gambling site Time2play surveyed 1,927 “Disney World fans,” and of those, 68.3% said that the price hike made them feel like the theme park had “lost its magic.” A whopping 92.6% said they believed the high cost of the park has made vacations for many families “out of reach.”

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A ticket to Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in 1971 cost $3.50, according to the study. When you adjust for inflation, that means tickets would be around $25.60 today. Disney World single park tickets now range from $109 to $159 per day, according to this study.

Travelers on Splash Mountain

A guest is splashed with cold water on Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World in Orange County, Florida on June 1, 2022. (Joseph Prezioso/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images/Getty Images)


“You shouldn’t take out debilitating debt, and you shouldn’t do it too often,” Schulz said. “But if you want to have a few months worth of debt to pay for a one-time Disney trip, that might be fine.”

Fox News’ Emma Colton contributed to this story.


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