12 Shocking Ways Disneyland Trips Are Pushing People To Debts

The Disneyland Theme Park and Resort in Anaheim, California, is the second-most popular amusement park in the entire world. Over 16 million people, including millions of international tourists, visit this fantastic place annually. However, a trip to Disneyland has become incredibly expensive over the years. As per the official website, a standard theme park ticket at Disneyland costs around $96-$194 per day.

According to the latest LendingTree survey, around 24% of Disneyland visitors are in debt for their trips. This survey collected data from 2000 U.S. consumers and observed several shocking insights. Let’s check out some of the most surprising facts about how Disneyland trips are becoming a financial nightmare for Americans. We will also discuss possible way-outs so you do not give up on your once-in-a-lifetime Disney dream.

Reason Behind Taking Loans for Disneyland Trips

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LendingTree’s chief credit analyst, Matt Schulz, explains the tendency of people to take on debts for going to Disneyland. As per his analysis, Americans are immensely nostalgic about Disneyland’s charm. Thus, they can go to the extent of taking loans to make the Disney dream possible for their children.

Only 25% of Americans have visited theme parks other than Disneyland. This statistic reveals why Disneyland is a ‘rite of passage’ for most Americans.

Total Number of Disney-goers in Debt

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LendingTree has conducted the same survey about people going into debt for Disney trips consecutively in the past. Looking at the latest 2024 report, we can find a sharp 33% increase in the number of people taking debt for this purpose. Only 18% of Disney visitors were forced to take loans to make a Disney trip possible in 2022. Currently, the number stands at 24%. Around 74% of people in this statistic have taken a loan to complete a Disney trip in the last five years.

Most in Debt: Parents with Younger Children

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The pattern of taking debt for a trip to Disneyland is mostly seen in parents with children younger than 18. Around 77% of American parents with young children visit theme parks. Of this number, almost 45% of parents needed to borrow money to make a Disney trip happen. This statistic has sharply risen by 50% since the last survey in 2022.

Amount of Debt for Disney Trips

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Going to Disneyland is not just about visiting the two theme parks. From fine dining experiences, spa sessions, and thrilling activities to lavish stays — the place has a plethora of things to offer. It is no wonder that people take an average of $1690 as a loan to enjoy the Disney experience. This amount is as high as $1983 for parents with children under 18.

People with an annual income of $100,000 or more constitute the biggest percentage (33%) of the debtors.

Usual Time for Repaying Disney Debts

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The LendingTree survey highlights that most people can repay the loan taken for Disneyland trips within six months. Considering the common response, 32% of Disney-goers under debt can pay it off in three to six months.

Adult Disney Visitors Are Suffering Too

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It is inaccurate to think that only parents bear the burden of loans for going to California’s Disneyland. The Disneyland resort contributes billions to Southern California’s economic status. This huge turnover is possible because of adult participation as well. Around 29% of Disney visitors plan an exclusively adult-only Disney trip. Gen-Zs are primarily prone to making Disney plans as adults.

Most Suffering Generation

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As mentioned earlier, people with children under 18 constitute a significant percentage of debtors for Disney trips. This number mainly hints at Generation Z, followed by Millenials and Gen X. Around 39% of Gen-Zers going to Disneyland have to resort to monetary support. This may be because of the uncertain financial status of the younger generation in America.

Mixed Feelings on Disney Debt

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It is no news that the whole world has gone through inflation since the 2020 pandemic. Yet, Disneyland’s business has bounced back in no time. The massive sentiment regarding this place compels Americans to go back time and again. Thus, 64% of Americans do not regret taking a debt for their Disney trips. Women (75%) are less likely to regret this than men (58%).

Staying Over Costs More

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Three resorts on Disneyland premises offer exquisite stays for families and friends. The park also offers multi-day offers to attract more visitors interested in the accommodation. Even the most basic rooms in any Disney property can cost hundreds of dollars. Around 47% of debtors have listed lodging as the reason for their debt.

Food and Transport Costs Above Budget

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While planning a trip to Disneyland, people often forget to take account of the transportation and meal costs. 65% of people with Disney debts have complained that they had to pay way more for food and beverages within the premises. On the other hand, 48% of debtors felt the transportation costs were above their capacity.

One of the good ways suggested by the LendingTree team is to arrange for snacks and water beforehand. Moreover, availing of public transport as much as possible can also reduce the overall budget.

People Unable to Afford Disney

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Going to Disneyland may be a common American dream, unfortunately, not every American can live the dream. Of those who have never been to Disneyland, 65% of respondents found the place too expensive for their budget. Around 67% of female respondents felt it was unaffordable for them.

Managing Disney Debts

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Visiting Disneyland is definitely a high-priced affair, yet there are some wise ways to manage the budget. One should start planning early and save up to avoid taking on any debt for an upcoming Disneyland trip. Experts suggest not taking any personal loans at all. Even if one needs to take a personal loan for a Disney trip, one should compare the rates beforehand. Lastly, it is important to prioritize the activities at Disneyland. Splurging money on some things while cutting down on several others can help manage potential debts.

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