New Report Shows People Are Going Into Debt To Take Their Families on Disney Vacations

We say it all the time, but that doesn’t make it any less true — Disney vacations are EXPENSIVE.

Disney World

Whether you’re heading to Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort, the price tag for a Disney vacation is no joke. You’ve got to factor in the actual cost of tickets, the price of your accommodations, souvenirs, food, and everything in between. A recent study has found that many families are going THOUSANDS of dollars into debt to take their families to Disney.

A recent study by LendingTree has found that in a survey of 2,000 Disney consumers, 24% of them went into debt for a trip; that figure rising to 45% for parents with kids under the age of 18.


83% of the parents surveyed who said they went into debt have said it was within the past five years, which makes sense — in LendingTree’s 2022 survey of the same question, only 18% of those surveyed with no kids or kids over 18 said they went into debt. This means that there’s been a 33% increase in consumers with kids over 18/individual consumers going into debt from a trip in just two years.


However, 57% of the parents with kids under 18 surveyed said that they have no regrets about the trip despite the debt, and 90% of parents who have taken their young kids to Disney have said it was a treat.

Typhoon Lagoon

So, what was the cause of debt for these families? Well, here’s the breakdown:

  • 65% said in-park food or beverages
  • 48% said general transportation costs
  • 47% said accommodations

But good news! The study shows that 41% of Disney parkgoers were able to use a discount on their most recent trip, so those discounts do make a difference!

Magic Kingdom

Parents with young children took on an average of $1,983 of debt for Disney, while the average amount across all Americans who acquired Disney debt is $1,690. Thankfully, most Americans won’t carry this debt for long. According to the study, 75% of indebted Disney-goers say it takes six months or less to pay it off — 32% said it will take specifically 3-6 months.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

So how can YOU avoid going into debt on your Disney trip? Don’t worry, we have all the tips for you!

  • Stay off-property in an Airbnb, Vrbo, a good neighbor hotel, or a low-cost hotel in the Orlando area. While you may miss out on complimentary transportation to the parks with this feature and may have to pay to park your car at the parks, it could be worth the savings — you’ll just have to run the numbers for your family individually!
  • Budget by using gift cards! This is especially helpful for souvenir budgets or if you have a bad habit of going overboard and not realizing it until you get home. By having this gift card with you for souvenirs or special snacks, when it’s gone, it’s gone!
  • Visit a local grocery store for multi-pack snacks/sandwich ingredients to bring into the park with you! This way, when you’re hungry, you don’t have to buy expensive Disney snacks every time. While it may seem more expensive up front, you genuinely are saving tons! If you’re driving, you can also bring snacks you already have from home.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle to fill up with free water cups from quick-service restaurants. Buying bottles of water every time someone is thirsty adds up REAL fast. Have everyone carry a reusable water bottle with them in the parks and fill it up with the free cups of water you can find at quick-service restaurants.
EPCOT Entrance

We’re always here bringing you all the latest Disney World tips, tricks, and discount news so you’re prepared for your next trip, so stay tuned to AllEars!

Here’s how to NOT break the budget at Disney World!

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What is your #1 savings tip for Disney parks trips? Tell us in the comments!

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3 Replies to “New Report Shows People Are Going Into Debt To Take Their Families on Disney Vacations”

  1. Why would people take a vacation they can not afford. We go every few years & save up between trips to pay for it.
    This comes down to want VS need. which alot of people don’t understand

  2. This explains the actions of so many people in the park. When I see guests running around, seemingly stressed for time, cutting queues, having arguments. These people probably all went into debt to come to Disney. I had a sneaking suspicion there’s no way the average person is filling up the parks with saved money. Nope they’re just debt financing like the rest of the world who wants Prada purses and Range Rovers.

  3. I tired of people complaining after they knowingly and willfully doing something. News flash everything is more expensive, if you can’t afford it and don’t want to save for it then don’t do it.