Interesting article about Disney and the middle class

Insider Poll says the middle class is most eager to visit Disney but it’s almost unaffordable to them.

The headline isn’t news to most Disney fans, but I found the information about families making >$150k being among the least interested in taking a Disney vacation interesting.


This is interesting. I wonder if it has to do with all the extras not running at Disney. Like maybe those making more than $150k are willing to go with the dessert parties, DAH, extra club level FPs etc. but not without all the extra paid options. Or if it has more to do with the group planning more extravagant trips to compensate for the restrictions on travel in the last 15 months. So many possible factors.


Wasn’t there an article recently about people spending $20K on Bahamas vacations because they cannot go to Europe. That’s probably the people in this group. Saved up two years worth of vacation money and doing it big.

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Interesting. We fit this profile, and yet I have been to WDW 3 times since the start of the pandemic, with quite a few more trips planned in the next 6 months to both WDW and DL. I do miss all the extras we used to do, but also have not minded at all the current experience that is available in the parks. I am not sure lack of extras is what is keeping them away. Not sure what is though.


My dumb guess, the reason the $150K+ folks are not interested in going is more of a “too cool” for WDW attitude.

I have heard several folks in that group tell me, Why go to WDW when for the same price, I could go to Europe or I would rather take my kids someplace where they can experience “the real (insert country here)” instead of the fake Disney replica.


That kind of binary thinking bugs me. Of course spending an hour in the France pavilion is no substitute for actually travelling to France. Duh! But I can just as easily flip that and point out that travelling to France isn’t like spending a week in WDW.

I’ve been to some of the big ticket tourist trap places (NYC, Rome, Paris, London), and I loved them all. They’re all calling me back… but so is WDW. They all tick boxes, just different boxes.


That’s partially what it is- the snob factor. I would say that among my friends, we’re the only ones who’ve even been to WDW.

But, the other part of that for us is distance- if we’re going to take that much time and spend that much money just to get there, we might as well go somewhere more exotic. And, in fact, my family often does just that. It’s actually easier and cheaper for us to go to Hawaii, for instance. Next year we are going to Europe.

But now and then, I just wanna go to WDW and have fun. What’s wrong with that?


Agree. Myself and many of my friends fall into the higher income category, and none of them would do Disney and have quite a bit of a attitude about the park in general. Obviously that hasn’t stopped me but does explain why I hang out with all of ya’ll in this group so much.

I did drag one of my friends to food and wine for a girl’s trip and she was so sold on the experience that she’s now planning her second trip with her own family.

For me, a huge benefit is that Disney (while we all as adults enjoy the parks of course), but is clearly geared for children to have a fun time. The Magical Express conveniences were huge for me as a mom with young kids. No worries about how to get from the airport. No need to drive once in the bubble. A huge number of things to do for a wide array of ages. Everything is open and welcome to them, which isn’t the case for all vacation destinations. (I’m preaching to the choir here obviously :slight_smile: )


WDW does have a certain high end “snob” appeal, otherwise there would not be a Fours Seasons, Waldorf Astoria and a new GW Marriott at the resort.

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Well, that could be the middle class having their luxury vacation. I suspect that many of their guests don’t stay in similar hotels on other vacations.

For us, Disney is about our child. I’ve wanted to go for forever, but we wouldn’t have pulled the trigger without DD. DH and I would love to go to Europe. We are both Romanophiles and could spend a lot of time nosing around the ruins. I’ve been but he hasn’t. But, DD would be bored. So, for now we are picking places that even if not geared to children, will hold her interest as long as ours.


Well, as they say, time is money. But more importantly, money is time.

To me, the whole point of having the one is so that you can spend the other the way you want to. Not to be overly dramatic about it, but I only have one life and I don’t want to spend it waiting in line in if I don’t have to.


@cherokee_jacket I couldn’t help but think of the actor who plays MOSS from the IT crowd here in your quote. He also hosts a travel show where they do a bunch of stuff in different locales and Countries all over the world in 48 hour stints with actors / comedians. It’s given us a bunch of ideas, but frankly, for our first big trip to Japan, we plan on using ABD. Great itineraries, they arrange for travel and hotel, have deals with the tourism spots, it’s fairly safe, and well, we don’t speak Japanese (yet… lol)

I’ve heard that type of quote from people at my workplace too, but I wouldn’t go overseas just yet. The Delta variant is among the reasons, but mostly, it’s not a good time to do it.

Maybe it’s also the feeling of doing the same type of trip, again and again? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Disney to pieces. My frustration lies in the pixie dust / magic factor. With so many things missing from the experience (fireworks is a big one for me, at least), less staff, less tables, more cost, and A LOT OF PEOPLE, it just doesn’t feel like the same experience at the moment.

We love to get pixie dust in our wings, and we LOVE to spread it! There’s no better feeling than being part of the magic. Just watching people get it, that glow, those smiles, well… it’s delicious. More delicious than Japan shaved ice, Germany caramel corn, or even 'Ohana bread pudding.

(Blasphemy! Don’t tell my DH I said that!! LOL)

moss%20knows%20what%20you%20need moss%20no%20longer%20asleep !
moss%20-%20drowning%20in%20milk Moss%20-%20putting%20up%20with%20us

I think those hotels were a bait and lure for the ultra wealthy. Even Disney’s flagship deluxe resort does a poor job being a true luxury resort.

For the price you would pay at the Grand Flo, you could get a much more posh and pampered experience somewhere else.


OMG I am here right now at the Atlantis (did NOT drop $20K) and compared to here Disney food prices are dirt cheap. Which is saying something.

With POP creeping into the $250s for price and tickets going up and up, it seems a lot of people are getting priced out. And in California, they are getting ready to shut it off to a huge number of locals. Will be interesting to see how it goes in the long run. I really think the more people pay, the more they expect. Is Disney ready to deliver?


I think those in the upper income brackets that can afford to go can afford to go to other places too and cannot sustain Disney’s obvious money grabbing. I love Disney but am becoming more annoyed w/ their practices & attitudes toward those that keep them afloat.


I saw this article several weeks ago. My family is between the 75 and 150,000 range. Our trip to DW at the end of this year will be the last for a while. We are going to explore other areas for less money. We are also staying in better locations and hotels for the same price as the values and moderates at DW. I just booked the hotels for our 2022 trip to Williamsburg/Outer Banks. We are getting separate bedrooms for us and our kids, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen at both hotels and a beach view room in OBX for the same it is costing us to stay a week in ASMo for 1 1/2 rooms (my best friend is coming and paying for 1/2 a room.)


I liked Atlantis. We just did the day there on the Disney Cruise but the slides were good fun and as opposed as I am daughter and mom wanted to do the dolphin swim which they both LOVED. Honestly, those dolphins were in much better shape than Sea World and the ones in Playa del Carmen area in Mexico (I think it was Xel Ha or something like that) so maybe they aren’t lying when they said they were rescued and they are getting enough space. At least their homes look like real ocean bays and not swimming pools!
The only thing I didn’t like about Atlantis was the smell of cigarette smoke in the casino which you had to walk thru.

And yes, I rented points or did hotwire deals for my last four WDW trips in 2020 and 2021. I got rooms for close to (and even less than $250/night) in Deluxes so…there are still ways but you have to be prepared to hunt deals. I can see why people who dont have the time or knowledge to do that would count out WDW. I will say I got three rooms at the Swan for someone for less than $300 a night with the fees. It was $800something total. It’s not a bad option if you’re gonna spend $250/night.


When I saw the article I took it more as those most interested in going to Disney where going into debt to go and those who could most afford to go had the least interest.


Atlantis food is cheaper than Disney food? Care to share some examples? I’d love to go there one day.

We fall into that category that’s not that interested in Disney but we also live in one of the most expensive part of the country. As such, it doesn’t feel like that much money. While friends in our group, who fall in our financial category, have taken their children to Disney when the kids were young, they had no interest in Disney once the kids left elementary school. Not posh; not romantic; not relaxing; not real; too crowded; too hot; too much walking; food is expensive for what you get; takes too much planning; … are some of the reasons.

In 2019, we celebrated our 25th anniversary at WDW. Our friends were shocked we would pick such a destination to mark our milestone. “Go on a cruise! Go to Europe!” But we had a great time at WDW.

Disney can be a super expensive vacation. Middle class family may not be able to go to Disney at a moments notice, or go every year much less several times a year. They probably can’t even afford to stay at Pop for what it charges today. (I’m not sure I want to stay anymore at Pop for that much money for that class of hotel and such a tiny room.) But I firmly believe people can set up realistic expectations for their finances and family, plan and save accordingly, and have a fabulous vacation.

A friend, who is well beyond our financial category, was in Southern California for a wedding. They managed to snag tickets to Disneyland at the last minute. No planning or research went into it. You can imagine what happened. They are used to high end cruising. where everything is taken care of for them.