What Do You Do at Walt Disney World? Results

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

The winner of last week’s caption contest is Kay Moss with her submission, Let it go, let it go…….(humming). Kay has won a Minnie Mouse pin. Congratulations!

Now, onto the blog.

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A few months ago I set up an online survey to gain access to your Disney gift cards but no one had a balance. Since that plan backfired, I’ll share with you the actual survey results. Keep reading and you’ll see why I asked.

The top 100 answers are…

Question 1. What’s your typical admission ticket?

Annual Pass: 40
Single Park Per Day: 13
Park Hopper: 47

Question 2. How many hours do you typically spend in a park each day?

Two to Four Hours: 2
Four to Six Hours: 10
Six to Eight Hours: 32
Eight to Ten Hours: 32
Ten to Twelve Hours: 24

Question 3. How many stage shows do you watch per day?

None: 17
One: 52
Two: 29
Three: 1
Four: 1

Question 4. How many attractions do you ride in a typical day?

Three or Fewer: 6
Four to Six: 21
Seven to Nine: 40
Ten to Twelve: 19
Thirteen or More: 14

Question 5. Do you stop and watch the parade?

Yes: 65
No: 34

Question 6. Do you watch street-style performances such as World Showcase Players, Jammitors, and Dapper Dans?

Yes: 47
No: 1
Sometimes: 51

Question 7. How many street-style performances do you watch per day, typically?

None: 6
One or Two: 87
Three or Four: 7
Five or More: 0

Question 8. How much time do you spend each day, eating meals in the park?

One Hour: 31
Two Hours: 59
Three Hours or More: 10

When I take the most common answers and apply dollars and cents, you get a real good look at how much you’re paying to visit The Most Magical Place on Earth. Let’s say you’re spending 4 days skipping from park-to-park.

A 4-Day Hopper currently costs $377.01 for ages 10 and up.. That’s $94.25 per day.

You spend a total of 8 hours inside the park(s). You’re paying $11.78 per hour. However, 2 of those hours are used eating meals. Now you’ve got 6 hours to play, which changes your finances to $15.71 per hour.

In a typical day, you watch 1 stage show, ride 7-9 rides, so we’ll gauge it at 8 rides per day. You watch the fireworks, the parade, and 2 street-style performances. Let’s add those up and you get 13. You’re doing 2.2 attractions/shows per hour. That comes out to $7.14 per attraction/show/parade.

Not too bad unless you consider that you spent 20 minutes waiting to ride Peter Pan’s Flight, a 2 minute and 45 second journey and waited 10 minutes for Mickey’s PhilharMagic, a 12 minute show. Where did the other 15 minutes go? A stop at the restroom and a quick call to check in with your parents adds up. Don’t multitask and perform both at the same time. Aaawkaaaard.

How do you get more bang for your Disney Dollar? Well, if you can stay in the park longer, you’ll ride more rides, hopefully. Packing lunch will trim off time spent in line ordering and waiting for food. Conquer one land at a time instead of cross-crossing the park and wearing out your tootsies.

If you remove the Hopper option from your 4-day ticket, you’ll pay less per attraction. Let’s re-calculate so I can show my brother I solved a math problem…sort of.

A 4-day ticket currently costs $313.11 for ages 10 and up.. That’s $78.28 per day.

You spend a total of 8 hours inside the park(s). You’re paying $9.78 per hour. However, 2 of those hours are used eating meals. Now you’ve got 6 hours to play, which changes your finances to $13.05 per hour.

In a typical day, you watch 1 stage show, ride 7-9 rides, so we’ll gauge it at 8 rides per day. You watch the fireworks, the parade, and 2 street-style performances. Let’s add those up and you get 13. You’re doing 2.2 attractions/shows per hour. That comes out to $5.93 per attraction/show/parade.

A total savings of $63.90 or $15.97 per day or $2.66 per hour or $1.21 per attraction. When Walt Disney World opened in 1971, a one-day ticket to the Magic Kingdom cost $3.50. You can’t even get on a single ride for that price now. That’s a 28.2% price increase.

For comparison, a loaf of bread in 1971 was 25¢. A 28.2% increase would mean bread is now $7.05, and thankfully it’s not. The average income in 1971 was $6,497.08. A 28.2% increase would pay out at $183,217.66 in 2014. Yeah, I don’t make that much money.

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3 Replies to “What Do You Do at Walt Disney World? Results”

  1. Hi Lisa, I know that this was not a scientific survey, but I do think you missed a critical component of the park experience, the characters! While other theme parks also have costumed characters, they simply do not compare to Disney. There are so many visitors whose primary mission is to meet certain characters (Frozen or otherwise!).

    I also infer from your data that time spent at meals drives up the cost per attraction- however for so many, a meal at the park (particularly with characters) is also part of the Disney experience. Since “you gotta eat sometime”- possibly- under a free Dining promotion- there’s lots of value there too.

    Just a different perspective.

    Lisa responds: John, there are many different ways to calculate the info but since meeting characters and character dining weren’t on the list, I couldn’t account for that time. Everyone has different perspectives on what their time is worth. My goal was to show how much some people are spending and on what. Those folks will read the blog and possibly re-evaluate their vacation strategy.

  2. Don’t forget the “packaging” The sights, sounds and smells have value too. The convenience of staying on-site and being allowed early and late hours plus all the variety of activities available to satisfy every visitor of all ages. Lots of vacation spots are not suited for everyone and often are just as expensive. Just because those who responded didn’t take full advantage of hours and gauge their time well doesn’t make it nearly as bad as this seems.

    Lisa responds: It is estimated that for every one person who responds to a survey or like you, comments on a blog/article, 10 people feel the same way. My survey is a good glimpse at how the average and even well-versed Walt Disney World visitor spends his/her time and for them, I wrote this piece.

    Kids take naps. Body parts become sore. There are numerous reasons why people don’t stay in the parks from open to close so let’s not berate them. Not everyone can afford a Disney Resort room either.