The REAL Reason Why Disney World Is So Expensive in 2023

When deciding on a Disney World vacation, the one big thing that will factor into most of your decisions is…COST. There’s no denying that a trip to Disney World can be incredibly expensive.

Cinderella Castle

Things at Disney World are already expensive, and we’ve seen some things getting even pricier — sometimes in significant ways, sometimes in little ways.

We’ve all seen the increase in costs from how much it costs to fill up your gas tank to how much a dozen eggs cost now. And there are various reasons behind each price increase. So, we will look at some of the big reasons why the cost of Disney vacation has increased.


Is it inflation? Perhaps the cost of park/property maintenance? Maybe it could be the constant additions of new rides and immersive experiences? Each of these is a valid reason, so let’s take a look at them.

Inflation and Supply Chains

Inflation has impacted us all lately. US inflation rates escalated to their highest levels since the 1980s in 2022, partially due to geopolitical tensions and pandemic-related economic decisions. Now, we’re watching the precarious balancing act among the Federal Reserve (which manages the value of the US dollar), unemployment, and interest rates, as these three economic factors attempt to tame the inflation beast. When inflation hit and supply chains struggled, the reaction of every business impacted (not just Disney) was to increase their prices.

The cost of spirit jerseys has gone up!

But since June 2022, the Fed raised interest rates from their historic low, and the relief among global supply chains helped subside those supply concerns. And though we saw Disney World prices increase in early 2022 as a reaction to inflation and supply challenges, the subsequent relief in these areas has not resulted in Disney lowering prices. So, though inflation and supply chain definitely play a role in increasing Disney prices, they do not seem to be the deciding factor for why prices remain high in Disney.

Park and Property Maintanence

Walt Disney World has four theme parks, two water parks, a shopping and dining district, a giant sports complex, multiple convention facilities, four professional golf courses, four miniature golf courses, a wedding pavilion, more than 25 resort hotels, and over 40 square miles of land (close to 30,000 acres). There are 134 miles of roadway and 67 miles of waterways built and maintained by Disney. Disney runs over 400 buses, over 300 gondolas on the Disney Skyliner, 12 Monorails comprised of six cars, and a whole fleet of watercraft and ferries.

Google Map of Disney World

Disney also employs over 75,000 Cast Members on the Disney property. In Animal Kingdom alone, Disney cares for over 2,000 animals from 300 different species (and that doesn’t count the equine Cast Members at Disney’s Fort Wilderness and the Tri-Circle D Ranch). And there are more than 2,000 sea creatures in EPCOT’s Sea Base aquarium. In addition to paying wages and benefits for Cast Members, Disney also provides them with uniforms or “costumes” for them to wear during their shifts. And all those four-legged, feathered, furry, or scaled Cast Members require specific nutritional needs, regular healthcare, housing, and habitat space requiring skilled and specific maintenance and care.

The Seas Aquarium

Disney hosts approximately 250,000 guests a day on its property. Those are guests driving on their roads, sitting in seats at restaurants and attractions, touching (or leaning on) handrails, twisting handles, using paper towels, hugging characters, and generating 250,000 points of wear-and-tear around the property at any given point in time. This requires ride maintenance, paint touch-ups, upholstery changes, costume dry cleaning and replacing, seat cushion replacements, road maintenance, and a multitude of other little things that must be replaced after use or wear and tear render them retired.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment

And let’s not forget all of that landscaping! All of the Disney parks and resorts have expansive landscaping themed and tailored to each area. Some plants are changed out seasonally, and all of those trees and shrubs need regular trimming, not to mention the grassy areas. And every time you drive along the Disney roadways, those well-manicured grassy berms and tall trees that cocoon you inside that Disney bubble all require mowing and maintenance, as well. So you can imagine there is a ton of equipment, planting supplies, and a team of horticulturalists who painstakingly maintain every plant, petal, and seedling.

So, needless to say, because of Disney’s attention to detail and mission to maintain a clean and safe park experience, maintaining their parks and property is an expensive endeavor. And that cost is passed on to you.

New Rides and Expansions

Could this high cost of a Disney experience be caused by all of the new rides and experiences Disney introduces at Disney World? Disney has been steadily releasing some new attractions recently, some of which were delayed but the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent labor and supply chain issues. Let’s take a look at some of the most recent additions to Disney World.

Slinky Dog Dash
TRON Lightcycle / Run

We are already eagerly awaiting the opening of Moana’s Journey of Water opening in late 2023 and Tiana’s Bayou Adventure coming in 2024. And there’s still more to come as EPCOT continues its transformation and Disney leadership discusses other possible expansions for Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. And other Disney resort refurbishments and Disney Vacation Club tower addition to the Polynesian Village Resort.

Lots of progress!

So, Disney has consistently added new experiences and attractions over the last several years and still has some projects in various development stages. Disney leadership is staying true to Walt Disney’s vision of the parks never being “done” and always evolving, but do those enhancements explain the increased cost? Disney has a history of adding new attractions, restaurants, and resorts, but correlations of those additions in the past have not resulted in prices increases of recent magnitude. Could the reason for these high prices be the new additions in combination with the current economic challenges… perhaps. Or maybe there’s another reason…


The answer is actually simpler (and closer to home) than you think. The Real reason Disney prices are so high is because of YOU. Well, more appropriately US. As long as we keep paying and visiting the Disney Parks, Disney has no reason to lower its prices or provide deals or discounts. So long as we’re willing to pay what they’re asking (even grumbling all the time), they have no incentive to lower prices.

Magic Kingdom Crowds

The law of supply and demand is an economic theory that basically says that prices fall when supply exceeds demand for a good or service. And conversely, when demand exceeds supply, prices tend to rise. Supply and demand rise and fall until an equilibrium price is reached.

Disney is a business, after all, and the goal is to make a profit for its shareholders while also upholding its commitment to its visitors to provide a family-friendly, clean, safe, and entertaining experience. And though some may wring their hands and wonder “what would Walt think?” at all of these high prices, we still have to remember that Walt Disney was a businessman, too.


Before his separation from the company, former Disney CEO Bob Chapek said, “If consumer demand keeps up, we’ll act accordingly. If we see a softening, which we don’t think we’re going to see, then we can act accordingly as well.” That comment was made on the back of a posted a 70% revenue increase in its Parks, Experiences and Products division.

©Orange County Register via Getty Images

In summary, as long as guests continue to flock to the Disney Parks and pay the prices, Disney will keep charging them. As long as revenue and park attendance continue to climb, we can expect the prices to do the same until an equilibrium is reached. Once prices reach a point where attendance plateaus or starts to decline, or once the economy reaches a point where expendable income is spent in other areas, that’s when Disney may return to the drawing board, but likely not to lower prices officially, but offer discounts and promotions to entice guests to return to the parks.

Increases in ticket prices, ticket “surge pricing,” new add-on expenses (Airport transportation, Genie+ & Lightning Lanes), and price increases for merchandise and food —- all boils down to the fact that folks will still pay it. But don’t lose hope! We’ve got your back to help you make sure you get the best value out of your dollar at Disney and share all of our money-saving tips and tricks with you! So stay tuned to AllEars for the best tips for saving money at Disney!

Why Disney World Is So Expensive in 2023

Are you planning to visit Disney World in 2023? Let us know in the comments!

Trending Now

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 Replies to “The REAL Reason Why Disney World Is So Expensive in 2023”

  1. The only reason Disney vacations have gotten so expensive is corporate greed! It used to be a place anyone could afford. Now it is for the upper class only. There are many amusement parks that sell tickets for a fraction of the cost of Disney admission. I won’t be going again. Ridiculous! Walt must be rolling over in his grave because the new Disney is not what he had envisioned!

  2. Our last visit was in November. Table service restaurants have become so expensive that, on our next visit, we are going to limit ourselves to perhaps two or three lower level table service meals a week, and will eat at fast casual or fast food (ick) outposts in the parks. Disney may not have an upper limit to its price increases, but retired people on Social Security certainly do. We have already had to stop staying in Disney resorts due to increased costs, and we do not buy souvenirs, nor do we purchase Genie+ or use Lightning Lanes. I guess Disney does not mind shooting itself in its corporate foot.

  3. I wish Disney will admit finally after more than a decade of ridiculous price increases that it doesn’t thin crowds and never has. Just another way to gouge people.