Save Your Hard-Earned Cash And Skip Disney – Here’s Why
This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Jess Newman. Find her on Instagram at @_jess_n_. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A dream is a wish your heart makes but if your dream is Disney you might want to reevaluate. Don’t get me wrong I thought Disney World was magical when I went back in the early 2000s, but even then it was super long days and extreme heat. Since then things have only gotten more expensive, more humid and more crowded. Disneyland is overrated and so is Disney World. Let’s get into all of the not-so-dreamy factors that complete the Disney experience in 2023.
Disney prices continue to rise
Disney was never cheap to begin with but just last week it was announced that prices are rising again. When Disney first opened back in 1971, tickets cost a measly $3.50. Reader’s Digest did the math to adjust for inflation and the price is still so affordable at $21. Now when Disney first opened it only had the one park, Magic Kingdom. Today there are multiple parks, but if you went to purchase a ticket to only go to Magic Kingdom without the park hopping, you will have to pay a minimum of $109 for a day pass. That is for a ticket alone which does not include hotel, transportation or meals. The Park Prodigy estimates that a trip for a family of 4 (let’s be real it would be three friends and I) including a value resort, food, transportation and 1 park a day for 4 days park passes costs around $3,400. That’s almost 3 months of rent and it doesn’t even account for any souvenirs!
Your itinerary needs an itinerary
When I went to Disney World in the early 2000s and in 2013, there were Fast Passes. They have changed the name to Lightning Lanes. You can now buy your place in line on the app ahead of time. These prices are not included much like souvenirs in the guestimation above. I honestly got confused trying to figure out how the Lightning Lanes work, but I do know that they are very much like presale when buying concert tickets. If you snooze, you lose. This is where your planning needs planning. If you purchase a Lightning Lane entrance, you have to plan the rest of the day around it. It was the same with Fast Passes and I remember how stressful this was. My parents were constantly trying to figure out what time it was to see if we had enough time to ride any ride before our Fast Pass time. Not to mention that EVERYTHING at Disney has a line including the bathroom regardless if you’ve purchased access to the Lightning Lanes. Most of your time at any of the parks will be spent waiting in line. That’s not my definition of fun or relaxing.
Weather is unpredictable
I went to Disneyland in June of 2016. It was just starting to get hot and the weather was honestly pretty nice. In California, it’s a lot less humid and they don’t get as much rain as Orlando that’s for sure. If you are going to Disney World do yourself a favor and buy a rain poncho to carry with you. Florida is known for afternoon showers EVEN if they are not in the forecast. If you have curly hair like me, wear it up or wear a hat between the humidity and the rain there is no winning.
Food is hit or miss
Unless you are making a reservation to sit down to a fancy feast, you get what you pay for. The quick stands have either super sinful yummy food or you can find better at a hospital cafeteria. I have found there is really no in-between. Even if you make a reservation at a sit-down restaurant that doesn’t guarantee the food will be good. To pay extravagant prices to have mediocre food at best is awful, especially when you’re hungry from all the walking around and waiting in line.
In my opinion, Disneyland is overrated and so is Disney World. If you have young kids, it might be worth it for them but know that it is going to be the farthest thing from a vacation for you. Plan, plan and plan some more. Don’t forget the snacks. Best of luck! I would much rather spend my money on a local amusement park that has shorter lines, fewer screaming kids and cheaper prices.
Tell us what you think! Are you team Disney or do you agree that it’s overrated?