Why Middle Class Can't Afford Disney

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by LISAMWDW, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

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    I agree with you. But as we learned just a few years back during the recession, there are some who consider available credit the same thing as cash in their hand. And it all came crashing down around them.
     
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  2. wilkeliza

    wilkeliza Registered

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    Again it is still a luxury to be able to have wifi. There are a lot of people who have to function around not having it in their home. I understand working from home as I do it to and I also understand work life balance and that having it allows to get a better job and a paycheck but there are many many people in the US making it every day with out it. This is coming from someone who works from home several times a month. If I didn't have wifi at home I'd have to be in the office the rest of those days but it is a choice I make because I like remote working. My job doesn't require it though.

    My point was that if you didn't have those things you would find a way to live and survive. (General you not a you you). The only true necessities are food, shelter, and some sort of emotional support. Outside of that everything is something we chose to pay for or do and many of them make getting the real necessities easier.
     
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  4. Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson DIS Veteran

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    Hmm we'll agree to disagree on how you are defining a luxury with regards to internet.

    I understand your broad point of cutting back on things here and there in order to afford the trip if that's what you want and I think to an extent just about everyone can do that....but certain things are not ones you'd want to cut out in order to afford a leisure trip..internet is probably one of them especially if your kids school relies on you having the internet, etc.

    Cutting back going out to eat X number of days per week or per month, adjusting things you buy such as "do you really need that clothing item or is it that you want that?" or "do you really need new X,Y,Z or do you just want that", etc, adjusting your thermostat if you notice your usage is causing your bills to be higher than you are comfortable with, "Do you need Netflix or can you get those TV shows and movies from your local library?" similarly "do you need those premium channels on your cable or can you get those TV shows and movies from your local library?", "do we need to go to the movies this much this month or can we wait and see the movie through the local library or if you have premium channels and don't want to get rid of those can you wait til it's on there, or even looking at Redbox which is much cheaper than the movies, etc

    Those
    are probably much more realistic than simply saying "hey cut out your internet" if you actually rely on that which was my point in that a lot of people do realistically rely on internet. I don't know what the schools do for parents who don't have wifi at home but I would think they work with them on alternatives but with the iPADs and schoolwork on them I'm not sure they like unsecured wifi networks.

    But this is just my opinion of course.
     
  5. wilkeliza

    wilkeliza Registered

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    Oh sorry that is where the miscommunication was. I was speaking more broad not necessarily about affording a Disney vacation. Yes I agree cutting the cord or cutting internet to afford vacation is a little extreme but perhaps cutting premium channels or in my case the upcharge for faster internet over base internet would be good starts if I really did need to save up or not renew my gym membership etc.
     
  6. BobbyDukes

    BobbyDukes Mouseketeer

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    Yes disney is expensive and I think yes there are lots of ways to cheapen it. BUT ITS DISNEY. I recently brought my 6 year old daughter to Six Flags New England. It finally cost around $100 to get in. Crappy food and she was only able to ride one roller coaster and a bunch of Fair/Carnavel type rides.
    Disney is worth the money hands down.
     
  7. North of Mouse

    North of Mouse DIS Veteran

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    Most people who have any extra $$'s after necessary basics of housing, food, clothing, medical, etc. choose what they want to spend the extra on whether it be fancier clothing, cars, deluxe vacations, smoking, drinking, etc. etc. There are a lot of everyday things that some people consider necessities that are no where near that.

    Yes, Disney is expensive, but you also get a lot for your admission $$'s there compared to other venues. Other than that (and fuel for our vehicle), most other costs can be cut to the bone. We did at one point when our children were small, so I know it can be done. We never spent beyond our means, but had a great time. Either camping, or staying offsite, bringing snacks/sandwiches in, then eating offsite makes a 'big' difference on the cost.

    Is it what most of us would choose? No, not us, anyway, but we did it to be able to go, and no regrets, but have great memories. Now, we can do mostly what we want, but we still don't spend half of what I see people list on here as their vacations costing, and we are totally happy with that.

    Some people stay broke no matter what their income - we have positive proof in a close family member/couple over many years - easy come, easy go. They still can't figure out how we have always had and done more (with no debt) than them with only one income (I was a SAHM).
     
  8. manning

    manning Just for that I have requested it

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. manning

    manning Just for that I have requested it

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    One way to afford Disney...QUIT SMOKING, Cost more than Starbucks by far!
     
  10. heather13

    heather13 DIS Veteran

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    We haven't been to Disney for about five years simply because of the price. Instead I've taken my kids to Panama and Denmark, and those trips were cheaper than our previous Disney stays. I know many, many here will disagree but for someone who doesn't live in Florida a visit to Disney is ridiculously expensive. We are making the trip this year simply because my mother is paying. We were able to get dirt cheap airfare which will cost $500, I've found offsite lodging for about $1,000 for a week and tickets for Universal and Disney will likely top $2,300 for five. That doesn't include food or rental car. When we've gone to amusement parks within driving distance it is far less expensive - with tickets roughly $90 for two days per person and meals around $40 total for the day. Honestly I could take the kids for a long weekend in NYC to see Hamilton for less than this upcoming trip, but it's a last hurrah for the youngest who doesn't remember her previous visits. I realize that Disney is for profit and the company employs a lot of people, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating for those of us who would love the option to visit Disney more often!
     
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  11. MomToOne

    MomToOne DIS Veteran

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    I'm with you. We stopped going because it costs more for what I perceive to be less value - the upcharging drives me nuts, it's too crowded and all the changes in the last few years to fastpass and the like I think were for the worse. When DD was younger, it was a more affordable vacation than other locations, and the value for that money was greater. But now we can do other locations as cheap or cheaper. This year was Hawaii (a repeat favorite). Airfare can be pricey, but lodging is reasonable and there are TONS of activities that are free or only cost a few dollars. And we end up more relaxed at the end of it than we do with Disney.

    DD has been pestering to do another trip. I'm on the fence - I think it will actually be disappointing compared to those trips when she was younger. And it's a lot of money for an "ehhhh" trip.
     
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  12. melanielll

    melanielll DIS Veteran

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    The average cost for a family of 4 to attend an NFL game is over $500. I took one of my kids to see Potted Potter - $125 a seat. Concerts - easily $150 a seat for a decent spot. Fun stuff costs money - it becomes about what you prioritize for.

    We aren't on a budget now for our trips, but for the first 15 or so years that we went as a family we were. Totally middle class and totally doable.

    This - times a thousand.
     
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  13. Hikergirl

    Hikergirl DIS Veteran

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    Of course its less expensive to live within driving distances to amusement parks and go there. For people living in Orlando wdw is less expensive than it is for me living in ny. I dont hold Disney responsible for the costs to travel and stay in Orlando off site.i hope your frustration isnt only with disney, your air carrier is a for profit company, your hotel is too and if you are renting a house the individual is too. Yes Disney prices have raised but so has everything else.
     
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  14. bpesch

    bpesch DIS Veteran

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    This article is less about Disney and more about the high cost of life in general. A Disney vacation is a luxury for us. I saved for three years so I could take my son, daughter and granddaughter on a nice Disney vacation. I knew it was going to be expensive, but I saved for it and we'll be going in November, all expenses paid by Grandma. It's our "Everybody's Birthday" trip. And I'm not scrimping this time around. I've booked one nice meal and the Pirate Cruise, the rest we'll just take as it comes. Since I saved via the Disney Vacation Account (boy am I going to miss that!), there is no debt for me at all. And that's a really nice feeling. And I am retired, firmly middle class.
     
  15. WDWRook

    WDWRook Mouseketeer

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    How do you define "middle class"? A quick internet search and I found numerous widely different opinions on the matter. Some dropping as low as $20k household income and some over $200k. IMO, no way is $20k middle class; that is barely surviving on just slightly over minimum wage. $200k is probably too high as well. I'd put the $55k in the article at the lower end of the spectrum and $150k at the top. Enough that you can afford daily living needs, typical society wants, a few frills and thrills; but not enough that you don't need to budget and watch your spending. In that range, Disney while expensive is certainly in reach for majority if not all of the middle class, keeping in context the already good discussion that Disney can be done on a budget.
     
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  16. PollyannaMom

    PollyannaMom I was a click-clack champ!!

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    I agree. People make decisions with their money all the time. We divide our budget into "needs, comforts, and luxuries." The "comforts" are the specific luxuries that are important to us. (I don't even want to add up how much we spend on our pets in a year, for instance. Another family might put that toward something very different.)

    I hate that too!

    I like the idea of having a reference point. Thanks for sharing that!

    Forgot to quote, but I agree that technology is becoming a "need" faster than people can keep up. I've lost track of how many summer homework packets I've printed for DS's friends because the school assumes everyone has internet and a printer, and not everyone does. It make my blood boil! (Not the little bit of time it takes me to help, but income bias in schoolwork.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017 at 11:52 AM
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  17. Lvsdisney

    Lvsdisney DIS Veteran

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    I'm doing a long weekend in DC and it's going to cost me the same if I had stayed at Disney for the same amount of time. My only money saver is that I'm driving to DC. Not every place is cheaper than Disney and Disney isn't the most expensive place either.

    Did you see my post about Disney vs Hersheypark? A very little difference in cost. So local amusement parks (that are comparable to Disney) in a driving distance and only really saving me airfare.
     
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  18. QueenIsabella

    QueenIsabella DIS Veteran

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    The median income in this country is $53k. That's why that number is used. Typically, income is divided into quintiles--5 sections, each with 20% of earners. Middle class is usually defined as the three middle quintiles. $20k might be the lowest point of the 4th quintile, technically causing it to be middle class. Of course, it also depends on how many occupants and earners a particular household has. And clearly someone with a $200k annual income is going to find Disney more affordable than one with a $20k income.
     
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  19. crisi

    crisi DIS Veteran

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    We were middle class when I was growing up in the 1970s. Vacation was a cabin at a lake. I was in a plane once until high school. Rich people went to Disney - not us. We did go once, when I was a Senior in high school. My parents got a deal and we stayed in a crappy hotel offsite.

    At some point, things changed and the expectation became that middle class people would vacation annually and be able to afford somewhere nice. When I was growing up, Disney was - for middle class people who went at all - a once in a childhood, you saved for it thing. When we went, most of my friends had never gone.
     
  20. Ava

    Ava DIS Veteran

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    It also depends on the cost of living in your area. That median $53K will go a lot farther in places like Florida or Texas than it will in NYC or San Francisco.

    We will probably spend about $5K on our week at WDW this year (after food/incidentals are added in). I'm sure to some people $5K is a lot to spend on Disney, and to others it's a cheap vacation. Check out the cost of taking 4 people on an Adventures by Disney trip (or a trip with any similar tour operator); those to me are very expensive vacations.
     
  21. crisi

    crisi DIS Veteran

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    Another factor people forget is that different people have different expenses. If I live close to my mother and am capable of having a two income household with no daycare expenses for my two kids because my mom watches them (I wasn't that lucky), and you have to pay $2000 a month for daycare, that's a big difference. If I moved into my parents place when they downsized (like my girlfriend did) and have a tiny mortgage because they basically gave me the house, and you have a $1200 mortgage - that's a big difference. If I went to school on a scholarship and graduated with no student loans, and you took out loans to go to private school - that's a big difference. If I inherited six figures from a grandmother, and you didn't - and won't - that's a big difference. If my dad started me investing in the stock market with my babysitting money (this one is my cousin) and I graduated from college with six figures worth of investment accounts and $5k a year in dividends arriving, that's a big difference.

    There is a lot of factors other than income to a person's standard of living. And most of them are things you don't tend to see. You probably don't know that your neighbor doesn't have student loans, and his wife's parents gift them $20,000 a year to cut their future inheritance taxes. And you look at them and wonder how they are getting by on their teaching jobs and going to Disney.


    Even at Disney there are factors - there are people here who travel for work enough that their stay is covered by hotel points (over at the Dolphin) and they never pay for a flight because they have frequent flyer miles. Disney becomes a lot cheaper when its park tickets and food.
     

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