Disney World fans say the Orlando, Fla.-based theme park has “lost its magic” due to soaring ticket prices, according to a new study.

The majority of respondents from a survey, which was conducted by gambling website Time2play, griped that a Disney World vacation is too expensive for families.

A ticket to Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in 1971 cost just $3.50, the study said. When adjusting for inflation, that would mean tickets would be roughly $25.60 today. But that’s far less than what tickets actually cost. Entry to one Disney World park ranges from $109 to $159 per day, depending on the date and time of the visit.

The survey of 1,927 self-proclaimed “Disney World enthusiasts” found 68.3% lamenting that the price increase makes them feel like the theme park has “lost its magic.” A massive 92.6% of respondents said they think high prices at Disney World have made a vacation for the average family “out of reach.”

Nearly 50% of the survey’s respondents reported postponing a trip due to price increases in recent years. Those still planning to go said they expect their next trip to cost 35.7% more on average than their previous visit. 

A graphic breaking downt he results of the survey.
According to the study, the majority of respondents said Disney World is too expensive and has lost its magic.

Disney has increased prices steadily as demand for Disney World and its Anaheim, Calif.-based Disneyland has risen.

The cost of theme park tickets have jumped over the years with data tracking firm SJ Data Visualizations estimating that the tab for admission tickets to the Disney World and Disneyland theme parks have climbed more than 3,871% in the past 50 years — dwarfing increases in visitors’ wages, as well as the cost of rent and gas.

Families told Fox Business how shocked they were over the exorbitant prices, with one dad of two estimating that he would be paying between $4,000 and $5,000 bill, even with one of his kids qualifying for free admission.

erica - October 23, 2016: Legendary Disney castle of sleeping beauty in Disneyland
The admissions cost at Disney World and Disneyland theme parks have climbed more than 3,871% in the past 50 years, according to new research.
Shutterstock / Konstantin Yolshi

Matt Day, a father from Kentucky told the Washington Post, that even with inflation and surging demand post-Covid demand, he was astonished at Disney’s high prices.

“I understand inflation and all of those things. I understand cost increases,” Day said. “I always had the impression that Disney was a family vacation destination, and that impression is why I was surprised to see how expensive it truly was — and how out of reach it is for most American families.”

Nonetheless, Disney CEO Bob Chapek recently said that if demand stays high, more increases will likely follow. Already this year, Disney hiked prices at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, Calif. The popular single-day ticket price jumped 6.5% to $164 for admission at one park, while a two-day park hopper pass costs $319, up nearly 9%.

A sign in Orlando, FL points to the Walt Disney World Resort
Prices at Disney World may go up even more amid soaring demand, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said recently.
Shutterstock / Katherine Welles

The price of tickets to the Florida theme parks — which include Disney World and Epcot Center — were unchanged, remaining at $109 for a single-day pass. For a park hopper option, which includes entry into more than one park, the price jumps to $169 for entry after 2 p.m. The park hopper option costs $194 a ticket if guests want to get in before 2 p.m. 

Ticket prices at both Florida parks can go up even higher if booked on a high-volume day — just like airline tickets.

Disney has also hiked the prices of food and merchandise across its parks. For example, at Disney World the iconic Mickey ear headbands jumped $10 in price to $39.99, while the popular Mickey’s premium ice cream sandwich and chocolate-coated premium bar rose from $5.69 to $5.99,  Disney fan blogs Inside the Magic and Walt Disney World News Today reported earlier this year.


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Tyler Cowan