Has the most magical place on earth become a vacation spot reserved only for the rich? A family trip to Disney World is the dream of many young children. Their parents surprised them with a trip to see Mickey, Space Mountain, and the palm trees of Florida. My mom and dad finally saved up enough to take my brother and me when we were older. I was out of high school. But that was back in the 1990s. Today, prices on everything from park admission to food are skyrocketing, which begs the question. Can an average Iowa family afford a Disney vacation anymore?

Fox Business recently talked with a family of four about their experience at Disney World. They were shocked at the prices and many of the things that had been done away with at the parks. Disney used to offer a free shuttle from the Orlando Airport to your resort home. That has been scrapped, so the family spend $200 to secure transportation. They attended the parks for five days and had hopper passes. The price? $2550 for four people. Lodging inside the resort for the parents and two kids cost them $3780. Inside the park, they spent $300 on a Genie pass so they wouldn't have to stand in line, $950 on sit-down meals, and $700 on snacks and souvenirs. Their time in the Magic Kingdom cost them $8480, with airfare over $10,000.

Photo by Brian McGowan on Unsplash
Photo by Brian McGowan on Unsplash

The other unsettling thing that Fox Business uncovered is the fact that Disney hasn't hired back many of the 32,000 employees they let go during the pandemic. That is causing long lines and some negative feedback from the public.

Holly and I took our kids to Florida for the first time last summer. We dropped the money for airfare and also tickets to Univeral Theme Park, the home of Harry Potter World. We only spent a day at the parks but trust me, we spent our share. I'd love to be able to get down to Disney and check out the new Star Wars worlds. But one thing is for sure. To get there, I'm going to have to save for a while. Suddenly, the 'happiest place on earth' is making a lot of people unhappy.

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