Just What Is The $Tipping$ Point?

Jason_V

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 24, 2017
I Googled really fast and October 16, 2018 is mentioned a lot as a price increase. Maybe the year was confused for the OP? I know that kind of thing happens to me all the time.

I know people, like my parents, who think a movie ticket at $13-$20 each is too much for roughly 2 hours of entertainment. I don't think that's outrageous.
I also know people, like my parents, who think dropping $400 at Costco every Saturday is normal. I think that's beyond crazy for two people.

Is there a tipping point for me? Sure, I guess. Where is it? I dunno, honestly. I don't buy expensive clothes or do fancy dinners or have car payments/credit card debt. Disney is the one thing I give myself which costs a bit of money. The perfect storm of issues would have to hit me to stop going to the parks. I'd rather give up my Costco membership and make other sacrifices.
 

Minnesota!

Shoeless in Minnesota
Joined
Sep 15, 1999
Disney is easy for us. No driving, everything is "RIGHT THERE", we know what to expect and love what we get. If we have $5000 to spend, we have $5000 to spend. If that means 2 nights or 10, that is what we do. We fit the vacation to our budget.

That said, we do go other places, too (just got back from a week "elsewhere in Florida".), and we can get more bang for our buck outside of Disney. But, for us, convenience wins most times...
 
  • sandam1

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 19, 2016
    I hit my "tipping point" three years ago. The prior year I had done the "magical" (and EXPENSIVE) Disney trip for my milestone birthday - stayed on-site at Wilderness Lodge, made the coveted ADRs and FPs, etc. But at the beginning of the trip, we had also done two days at Universal where, to be honest, we had a better (and definitely more relaxing) time.

    So the next year (2016), we did a more Universal centered trip, but I still wanted to do something at Disney so we stayed one night on-property (originally Wilderness Lodge, but switched to Grand Floridian for $20 more once discounts came out) and went to a Halloween party. But the numbers and experience was the straw that broke the camel's back for me:

    - One night at the GF cost as much as 3 nights at Universal (a suite at Cabana Bay, which is a different class of hotel, but still!)
    - My party ticket cost 1/3 of my Universal annual pass - one night versus an entire year. Plus the party had more lines/people/crowds than I expected.
    - On our previous trip, we had some Disney transportation issues (I am the queen of the catastrophic Disney transportation failures!) so I wanted to stay at a MK resort to try to minimize the potential for problems. Yet on one of our two (only TWO) monorails rides, there was an issue. The issue wasn't Disney's fault (it was a rider that caused the problem), but leaving an entire train full of riders at the Contemporary at midnight and not making accommodations to get them on another train is Disney's fault.

    I realized that I could go once every couple of years (maybe) to Disney or I could go a couple of times a year to Universal and the decision was simple. I still do Disney from time to time (I've done the Halloween party twice and did/am planning on doing a couple of runDisney events). I would like to see Star Wars at some point, but will probably do it as a day trip from Universal or as part of a tentative 2020 trip to Disneyland. Unless I win the lottery (and maybe not even then), I can't see a large scale Disney World trip in my future.
     

    angierae

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 4, 2010
    Honestly, I feel like people who go every year will go every year regardless of pricing, and people like me who will have taken over seven years off between trips when we finally go will continue to go very sporadically. I would have liked to have gone in the last six years, but DH and I agreed that the cost was prohibitive when we could take two other vacations a year for the price of one disney trip.
     

    Keli

    <font color=darkcoral>We're smarter than the avera
    Joined
    Oct 27, 1999
    I think I might have reached my tipping point with our last trip. Not that we won't go again, I'm sure we will, but the trips will be fewer and shorter. This year we've taken two trips to the Smokies and I'm booking a third one today for this fall with the grand kids and we have no disney trips planned until Dec 2020 (and that one is a vague plan, not a definite thing). Dollywood isn't disney, not by a long stretch, but it also doesn't come with the disney price tag. For 1/4th the money we will have the same length trip that includes dollywood, indoor/outdoor water park, a half dozen smaller things like rock wall climbing, miniature golf, go carts, etc. plus some exploring in the great out doors and a little hiking/fishing and playing in the river. I think we all will get a lot of enjoyment out of a trip like that.

    We loved disney so much, have so many fun memories there that I would like to continue going once a year but I just decided on my last trip that the money I spent wasn't worth the trip I got. So I'm doing other things for a while and when I go back to disney then maybe I'll feel differently.
     
  • pearlieq

    <font color=green>They can sit & spin<br><font col
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2004
    I hit the tipping point around 5 years ago myself. We sold off 2/3 of our DVC and I can't remember the last time I bought an AP or booked a weeklong trip. As with others, the issue isn't so much the cost as much as the fact that the product Disney is offering me isn't worth what they want for it. The restaurants are homogenized and egregiously overpriced. The parks are unbearably crowded and a lot of the "ambiance" like benches, landscaping, street performers, etc. has been removed. A day in the parks is now the exact opposite of relaxing.

    I'd be willing to deal with some inconveniences for cheap or to pay a lot for luxury, but I'm not interested in an expensive hassle.

    I suppose it doesn't help that I first starting going to WDW in 2001, so my expectations were set by a decade of aggressive discounting and introductory pricing on things like the DDP.
     

    Golf4food

    Male pirate last time I checked. Yep. Still male.
    Joined
    Feb 10, 2005
    The combination of crowds, artificially inflated wait times, and massive price increases on everything have lead us to decide to not renew our passes when they expire later this year. We may do an actual stay for a few days to a week vacation once a year or so going forward, but no more day trips. Just not worth it anymore. Will spend most of that money traveling the rest of the real world instead.
     

    RamblingMad

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2019
    I go to a National Park and an international destination every year. I consider Disney a weekend trip since I hate WDW, but I love DL.

    Since I don’t stay at the on-site hotels, it really boils down to ticket price and cost of food. Right now, I consider the ticket prices to be priced for upper middle class and above. And I only go when new rides come out.

    Given that you’re a financial planner, one way to think about vacation cost is as a percentage of gross income. What percentage should someone spend on vacation each year after the rest of their budget has been covered? If the cost is over this percentage, then you’re at your tipping point, which will be different for everyone.

    Also, since we’re at the end of the cycle, there is a strong likelihood over the next couple of years that Disney prices will go down due to discounts. The problem with this thought process is that folks want to take their kids to Disney when they’re at certain ages. Some families cannot wait for a downturn. However, I’d still stick to my percentage of gross income as the gauge.
     

    Carrie Ellis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 7, 2004
    I Googled really fast and October 16, 2018 is mentioned a lot as a price increase. Maybe the year was confused for the OP? I know that kind of thing happens to me all the time.

    I know people, like my parents, who think a movie ticket at $13-$20 each is too much for roughly 2 hours of entertainment. I don't think that's outrageous.
    I also know people, like my parents, who think dropping $400 at Costco every Saturday is normal. I think that's beyond crazy for two people.

    Is there a tipping point for me? Sure, I guess. Where is it? I dunno, honestly. I don't buy expensive clothes or do fancy dinners or have car payments/credit card debt. Disney is the one thing I give myself which costs a bit of money. The perfect storm of issues would have to hit me to stop going to the parks. I'd rather give up my Costco membership and make other sacrifices.
    Do we have the same parents????
    :crazy:
     
  • mi*vida*loca

    Collect memories, not things
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2008
    I've hit my tipping point but then again I'm not a loyal Disney customer. I love Disney and still have a great time when I go but I feel that I can get more bang for my buck at other destinations. We've always traveled to other places. Disney has never been our only vacation destination. We do Disney every 2-3 years with other vacations in between.

    Since we only go around every 2-3 years so when we go we like to do it the way we like. When I go to Disney (or any vacation for that matter) I like to vacation a certain way. At Disney I must stay onsite and I like to stay deluxe but will do moderate for about 8-10 days (my kids love to ride their faves multiple times so we like extra time in the parks), I don't want to drive from NJ so we must fly, eat some TS meals, get the FP+ I want, have PH tickets, do an extra event or two, HEA dessert party, etc. If I have to compromise on those things due to cost I will take my money elsewhere. It's that easy. And that's what I'm doing now.

    There are so many destinations that are cheaper than Disney. Right now our next trips are Puerto Rico and Italy. 8-10 days for cheaper than a week at WDW. There is a big world out there to see and we enjoy going to new places so we aren't hurt over giving WDW a big break. We will touch base on a WDW vacation around 2022/2023 and see if we will go for it. If it doesn't work into our budget with how we like to do Disney we will pick somewhere else again.

    DD will also go for her senior trip in 2024 so DH and I have talked about maybe doing an adults only trip after her trip. Gives us a reason! But that's so far off and if we did that it would be one of the only times I go back on one of my Disney requirements. We would go down for probably 5-6 days since I don't feel the need to ride RnRC and ToT 15 times a trip like my kids like to do! We could condense a lot and it would be a paced differently so I don't feel like we need 8-10 days.
     

    TaraWasHere

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2019
    My biggest peeve with Disney costs right now isn't resorts, food or even parking, it's the constant charging extra for something that should have already been paid for. All these PPO and after hour evens (most of which used to be a part of regular summer park hours!) Now if you want to stay in the magic kingdom late, you either have to go on the one evening EMH night (which lasted till 1am in the past), or pay an extra 125 bucks. Want to stand in that sweet spot to view the fire works, well it will cost you an extra 80 bucks (but hey we will give you some cupcakes so it's ok) Pay extra for this meal, and we will give you the good seats at the show! Forget the people who lined up 4 hours ago waiting to get in! It's upsetting, not because we can't afford it, but because it feels like they are making us pay for things twice. It's a very different experience than it was when I first took my oldest daughter to Disney nearly 20 years ago. There were night time parades! The parks closed a 11-12 pm all summer! Fastpasses came one at a time, and you almost always got the ones you wanted. You could stand in that great spot to watch illuminations without having to pay for a cupcake you don't want. There is still a lot of magic at Disney...but if you want the "good" magic...well that will cost you extra!
     

    blewits

    Wendy
    Joined
    Apr 23, 2002
    My biggest peeve with Disney costs right now isn't resorts, food or even parking, it's the constant charging extra for something that should have already been paid for. All these PPO and after hour evens (most of which used to be a part of regular summer park hours!) Now if you want to stay in the magic kingdom late, you either have to go on the one evening EMH night (which lasted till 1am in the past), or pay an extra 125 bucks. Want to stand in that sweet spot to view the fire works, well it will cost you an extra 80 bucks (but hey we will give you some cupcakes so it's ok) Pay extra for this meal, and we will give you the good seats at the show! Forget the people who lined up 4 hours ago waiting to get in! It's upsetting, not because we can't afford it, but because it feels like they are making us pay for things twice. It's a very different experience than it was when I first took my oldest daughter to Disney nearly 20 years ago. There were night time parades! The parks closed a 11-12 pm all summer! Fastpasses came one at a time, and you almost always got the ones you wanted. You could stand in that great spot to watch illuminations without having to pay for a cupcake you don't want. There is still a lot of magic at Disney...but if you want the "good" magic...well that will cost you extra!
    🙌🙌🙌
     

    Chickinvic

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 9, 2019
    Honestly, I feel like people who go every year will go every year regardless of pricing, and people like me who will have taken over seven years off between trips when we finally go will continue to go very sporadically. I would have liked to have gone in the last six years, but DH and I agreed that the cost was prohibitive when we could take two other vacations a year for the price of one disney trip.
    We have been the "go every year" people - but I am getting seriously turned off from a number of aspects at WDW. I am leaning more towards Universal for Florida trips with a WDW party thrown in if possible. Disneyland, California though is still very much a thing for me. Too bad we are farther away from there now. I will try to make it to Disneyland for my Disney fixes - but probably every few years.
     

    Chickinvic

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 9, 2019
    I consider Disney a weekend trip since I hate WDW, but I love DL.
    I also love Disneyland so much better (I don't hate WDW - but I do hate the way they treat their off-site guests and you can't get the good fastpasses unless you stay at one of their overpriced rooms). Disneyland rocks though (and I also don't stay at their hotels).
     

    luvsJack

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2007
    I don't think Disney is that out of line though compared to any other top tourist destination. I wonder if the question more is, do you want to spend the same amount of money and see something else? Or do you just not want to spend that much on a vacation in general?

    You mentioned Pigeon Forge. DH & I went there 2 years ago. Total trip cost for a week was a little more then half the price as going to Disney for a week. But we drove ($150 in gas vs $1k for 2 to fly to Disney). And, we spent 3 full days in the Smokies, doing day hikes. If we didn't enjoy our National Parks and hiking which is a free attraction, we would have needed to pay for attractions to fill 3 full days.
    Not sure where you stayed in Pigeon Forge but we can do the PF/Gatlinburg area with Dollywood, and all the area attractions for a fraction of what WDW costs! Same with any of the panhandle beach towns, week in a condo, go kart tracks, amusement parks, and whatever else the area offers for soooo much less.

    We just did a week in Orlando. Sun-Sun. Universal (5 day tickets), Busch Gardens, Sea World and Aquatica (all three including the meal plan), nights out with drinks at City Walk and a night at Royal Pacific to include the Express Pass for 2 days. All of this for about half of what we spent at Disney on our last trip.

    We will do Disney one more time for a big family trip to take all the grands. Off site house. Will include other parks so limited days at Disney. As few meals at Disney as possible. In comparison, we used to arrive and never leave Disney property until our check out day. They got every dime of our vacation money.

    They have reached the point with us.
     

    LizzyS

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 16, 2011
    We generally go to DLR once a year and my plans for WDW (after going for the real first time last year- not counting going as a toddler and not remembering it) are every 3-4 years, probably, or something close to that.

    It would take a lot to price me out because I do expect to spend a fair bit when we go, but I'm not insane. It would force me to go *less* often, not not at all.

    I saw someone earlier in the thread mention people thinking they *have* to do all the "extras" every time they go and I agree that line of thought is nutty. Do thing A this trip and thing B that trip. I've done a couple of special, extra $$$ experiences, but not multiple on the same trip and it leaves new experiences for another time.
     

    Brancaneve

    That means Snow White in another language.
    Joined
    Dec 7, 2006
    We have two DVC contracts and just sold one of them because we have hit the "tipping point". What did it for us is that our June trip of this year. We spent $2000 on tickets for the four of us! I started thinking about what I could do with that amount: Airbnb in a European location for 2 weeks, airfare to Europe, Disneyland(we live in California), etc. The food was also really pricey and the food was just....ok.

    Didn't think it would happen but it did.
     


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