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Disney fan site says ‘climate change’ is causing less attendance at parks, ignores price jumps

Some fans blame "climate change" for falling attendance, but other factors may have more impact. One man said he spent roughly $10,000 to take his family on a single vacation to Disney.

Published: August 21, 2023 6:48pm

Inside the Magic (ITM), which claims to be the "world’s largest website for fans of Disney World," recently published a piece blaming climate change for falling attendance at Disney theme parks. 

"Overwhelming numbers of floods, fires, and heat waves have shown how seriously climate change impacts Disney theme parks. And sources say it’s only going to get worse," wrote author Corrina Murdoch. 

Murdoch cites a colleague's piece declaring Disney World a "ghost town" and suggests "rained out" days and smoke from fires that "are getting more common, and the inability to plan for them is one huge way climate change impacts Disney."

Despite admitting weather and climate change are "inherently different," Murdoch nonetheless links the two together throughout her article and concludes without citing any studies or data that "climate change impacts Disney, without a doubt," and has led to a fall in visitors to the parks. 

Although the Walt Disney Company has a section in its website detailing a commitment to environmental issues, the company itself has not blamed "climate change" for any business downturns. Requests for comment from the company via email were not responded to by publication time.

The Magic Kingdom has changes other than "climate" to blame for any downturn in business, others report.

Nowhere in Murdoch’s article does she mention other possible factors, such as the theme parks' problems with infrastructure, increasing costs or its political activism that has led to pushback from conservatives, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

According to the Washington Examiner, Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando had an average wait time of 27 minutes, a more than 42% decrease from 47 minutes in 2019. Many fans have also commented on how "light" in capacity the park seems nowadays.

"Get Woke, Go Broke"

"Let's see, Target sales are way down, Bud Light sales are way down, and now Disney attendance is way down," Climate Depot's Marc Morano told Just the News.

"The fact that Disney has been doubling down on a very narrow ideological view in their products, is the real culprit in their drop in attendance," not climate change, he added, before calling it a "catch-all blame game" to distract from the problems at hand.

Disney ticket prices have skyrocketed, in some areas almost 500%.

Just as likely a culprit for thinner attendance may be Disney's ticket prices which even ITM writer Alessia Dunn admitted have "skyrocketed."

Dunn said that the company is heavily increasing its prices on passes and food items, pricing many people out of the ability to afford the "Disney experience."

Last year, ITM reported Disney’s ticket prices soared by nearly 500%, noting that a ticket that was $3.50 in 1971 now sits at a minimum of $109 according to the Disney World website. ITM’s Dunn wrote that the Magic Kingdom is also selling tickets for "over $180 per day [and per person] on select days."

Before tax, the most expensive tickets on the site are listed at $204 per person for one-day entry. Taking a trip to one of the corporate company's theme parks can be financially unfeasible, for many reasons. Based on the $109–$204 range, this means that a family of four (ages 10+) could spend $464–$869 just on one day of tickets.

Not Just Tickets: Disney’s food prices are higher than ever.

For many, "the Disney experience" includes eating and drinking, but doing so may require forking over a lot of money., a popular Disney travel guide website,  says that "on average," food costs $50–$125 per person each day.

"You can potentially get the cost lower than $50 per day," the site says, "but that means no alcohol, no snacks, and only quick service meals."

It advises families to budget as follows:

  • A family of 2 should budget $100 – $250 per person, per day
  • A family of 3 should budget $150 – $375 per person, per day
  • A family of 4 should budget $200 – $500 per person, per day
  • A family of 5 should budget $250 – $625 per person, per day

Transportation isn't cheap, either.

Getting to Disney World can also be hard on the wallet. Families flying in should be prepared to pay hundreds of dollars per ticket. The travel guide claims Taxis or Ubers can be $30 each way from nearby hotels on the low end.

To make matters more expensive, "Disney no longer offers a free shuttle service to the resorts" like it used to, but notes some free shuttles not affiliated with Disney reportedly still operate at outside hotels.

The "Disney Experience" can cost families several thousand dollars.

The same travel guide calculated in May that a four-member family’s "average Walt Disney World vacation" cost could be between $5,369.88 and $8,471.88 for a 6-day/5-night stay, with the former being considered a "value budget."

One family claims their Disney vacation cost them upwards of $10,000, Fox Business reported. The Hill says that the average American family needs $68,499 in after-tax income from a gross household income of $85,000 to "live comfortably." That means the average trip to Disney World of $6,920 may be as much as 10.1% of a family's "real" income.

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