My buddy Nick at Personal Finance Digest finally prompted me to write a post that’s been years in the making. He announced that Disney World is overrated. Nick’s argument is basically that Disney World is the Vendome of theme parks: overpriced, overcrowded, over-hyped, and overrated.
Is Disney World Overrated?
While I relish my role as community contrarian, I’m fully in the tank for Disney. I want to spend some time today explaining why. Nick’s post provides a great point by point so I’ll use it as my touchstone.
I wasn’t intending to write a Disney World Hacks advertisement, but my first thought upon reading Nick’s post was “he needed my book before he went.” Many of his issues with the mouse house have solutions that I cover in my guide.
Disney World is Overrated Because it Costs Too Much
I’ll concede that costs for Disney World tickets can add up. I’ll also concede that price increases occur too often and that for a single day or two can seem outrageous.
My first piece of advice is not to go for just a day or two. Prices per day drop significantly after day four. Check out Undercover Tourist to see what I mean. After day four it’s only about $20 a day. I try to plan for at least a week. Yes, you’re spending more, but amortizing the costs makes a lot more sense. Undercover Tourist often shows up on American Express offers and also codes as travel for Arrival +.
You can purchase discount Disney gift cards to help mitigate the dining costs. I grabbed a $500 Disney Gift Card recently at Sam’s Club for $479.88. Using a 2 percent cash back card and getting 2 percent back on DOSH, the net is $460.48, or 9 percent off. That’s about as good as you’re gonna do for a Disney gift card. Even better, the DOSH cash showed up in less than an hour. Referral link for $5 to Dosh: https://link.dosh.cash/YCLI/i5jc8YywtI
As far as lodging, I’d recommend a vacation rental as Orlando is chockablock with excess timeshare inventory. I’ve rented for as low as $249/week via Skyauction.
Disney World is Overrated Because of the Crowds
This is where my book would have come in most handy for Nick. I discuss tricks and tips to get around the lines that anyone can use without bending Disney’s rules. It’s entirely possible to skip the majority of attraction lines and to find the dining venues that are both appealing to the palate and uncrowded. You just have to know where to go and what to do.
Disney World is Overrated Because it Requires Too Much Planning
It’s possible to wing it at Disney World. However, it isn’t recommended if it’s your family’s one and only trip to the most magical place on Earth. That said (insert book plug here) if you have a quick guide it is easy to plan what you need to enjoy your trip without going so deeply in the weeds that you forget the point is to have fun.
Disney World is Overrated Because They are Taking Over Everything
I’ll concede this point…to a point. On the Disney-crazy scale I’m about a 6.5 out of 10. That may be hard for you to believe- especially since I’ve just published a book on the subject. However, it is entirely true. There is definitely a Disney sub-culture that can seem a bit, well, creepy from the outside.
That said, have you ever tried to discuss miles and points with a “civillian”? We look just as crazy as the Disney nerds do to most members of even your own family. And don’t get me started about #AvGeeks…
Why Disney World is Not Overrated
Nick closes his post by conceding that Disney World is clean, has terrific theming, and that his problems with Disney stem from market forces agreeing with the first two points.
I want to dig a bit deeper on this one as it’s important. The theming is on such a different level than anything else on earth that it takes slowing down to really appreciate it. In the Jock Hangar (Indiana Jones) bar in Disney Springs, it was a good 1/2 hour before I realized the case under my seat was jam packed with historically accurate artifacts.
I spent a long time last year in the Animal Kingdom noticing the torn layers of posters in Harambe Market. Each one was hand painted just to be ripped up so a 1/2 inch would show. I had a chance to chat with the Harambe Market Imagineers. They spent weeks in Africa sourcing artifacts and researching the scenery. If you don’t take time to notice, you’ll miss all of that hard work.
Just as market forces stimulate demand and pricing, they also affect the labor pool. Disney’s talent is second to none from the trash picker-uppers to the hotel staff to the performers. That’s because Disney is a prized addition to any resume and the company cherry-picks from tens, if not hundreds, of applicants for any open position down to bathroom cleaning. Much of the Disney magic stems from this fact. The people who work at Disney World really want to be there.
Service is a large part of what keeps me coming back again and again. From Buzz Lightyear doing pushups in honor of our anniversary to the cast member who gave Deal Kid an extra pin with his first pin trade Disney is all about the surprises.
What are your thoughts on Disney World?
Do you agree with Nick that it’s overrated or think it’s worth the hype?
Want more Disney tips? Join our Disney World Hacks: How to Save on your Disney World Vacation group!
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