Disney Doesn't Hate Poor People - We're All Just Rich

Saturday, March 17, 2018 11:14 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Disney World is simply reflecting the reality of the astonishing wealth-creation machine that is America.

Discuss.

(it didn't feel right tacking this on to the end of one of the other threads, hence the new one)


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Sunday, March 18, 2018 8:32 AM

I'm not convinced.

For a large swath of the US, a WDW trip is an aspirational status symbol and something of a rite of passage. The fact that people go does not imply that the discretionary money to do so was easy to come by.

There's more to say on this, but I have to run. Will try to come back to this tonight.


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Sunday, March 18, 2018 9:05 AM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

I think there are a handful of trends contributing to it.

Wage increases for the upper-middle class, the trend of starting a family later in life and the trend of acquiring 'experiences' in contrast to 'things'.

Disney is just being evil and capitalizing on it. ;)

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Sunday, March 18, 2018 9:10 AM

Brian I agree WDW is an aspirational trip, however back in the day it was very expensive for a family to go (in the 80s) to go do it was a big hurdle. The rise of the value resorts and the deep discounts during the Great Recession made the trip much more affordable and people got hooked. Now that affordability are returning to historical norms people are upset because they can’t go as often.


2017 Trips: WDW, Dollywood, Cedar Point, KI, SDC, BGW, BGT, SWO, Universal Orlando

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Sunday, March 18, 2018 10:34 AM

Sorry, I still refuse to accept the narrative that Disney is only for the rich. I know the place pretty well, and if you make some savvy and strategic decisions, a WDW vacation is more affordable than what this article suggests.

And yea, there are way less expensive places to eat on property than the California Grill....you don’t have to eat there or drink a bottle of Dom in the castle, or buy a one day walk up ticket to the MK...

We’ve debated this at nausium on these boards. You can make a WDW vacation affordable if you really want to.

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Sunday, March 18, 2018 10:55 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Most of us don't buy that narrative. Hence, running joke...

And you don't have to do those things, but it's certainly nice, and makes it a "vacation" for me, vs. just a park trip. However, I will say that the fact that those things exist and may be out of reach for some people, does bring out a bit of some kind of fear of missing out.

With social media, the options available to everyone are more and more "in your face", so to speak, and when people see Disney Bloggers posting about this and that every day, they start to want to have that in particular, and will stop at nothing to make it happen.

One huge thing I've learned over the last few years is that you can't base your life around others' experiences, or you'll never be happy. The problem is, too many people get to WDW these days with the expectations of outdoing everyone else's vacation for the "likes" and they don't care who they mow down in the process. Seriously, I'm convinced that this is a huge problem.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Sunday, March 18, 2018 1:42 PM
rollergator's avatar

Businesses don't hate anyone. They DO cater to certain demographic group(s). If they ignore you, you're just not in the target market.


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Sunday, March 18, 2018 2:32 PM
Jeff's avatar

I think Josh is on to something about FOMO, but the rich narrative is pretty stupid. We've talked about it countless times, that the average food prices at a Six Flags or Cedar Fair park are more expensive than at Disney. The value resorts can be had at a little over a hundred a night. The tickets are discounted for multi-day rates.

All of this coexists with premium resorts, high end dining, VIP tours, etc. The real genius, it turns out, is that Disney actually has figured out how to serve every market except that actual poor, which doesn't have discretionary income anyway to take vacations.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Sunday, March 18, 2018 7:26 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

We've beaten the Disney-affordability horse a million times, but I also balk at the premise of the article that: because a lot more people are <whatever metric>-rich, the economy is obviously doing better. I mean, it's common knowledge that the middle class is shrinking and if some of it is moving up into luxury-Disney-vacation-range while a huge portion of it is sliding down into paycheck-to-paycheck, I'm not convinced that's good. But it will pack Disney to the gills.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Sunday, March 18, 2018 7:40 PM
TheMillenniumRider's avatar

Jeff said:

We've talked about it countless times, that the average food prices at a Six Flags or Cedar Fair park are more expensive than at Disney.

Not only more expensive but for the most part of lesser quality also. Disney does quite well with food offerings, if you skip the burgers and hotdogs there are little pockets of goodness even with counter service options.

In addition, moving from counter service to table service does not bring much extra cost unless doing the higher end offerings. I would bet I could do table service at Disney for close to or the same as counter service at six flags/ cedar fair, etc.

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Sunday, March 18, 2018 8:07 PM

Isn't the big difference between Disney and chain parks the typical length of stay? When I think of Disney I think of 7 days. When I think of a regional park I think of 2 days max. So while the food at Disney may be cheaper and the rooms reasonable priced I am multiplying that cost by 7 days rather than 2. I think that is what skews the perception of how expensive Disney is.

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Sunday, March 18, 2018 8:37 PM
Jeff's avatar

ApolloAndy said:

We've beaten the Disney-affordability horse a million times, but I also balk at the premise of the article that: because a lot more people are <whatever metric>-rich, the economy is obviously doing better. I mean, it's common knowledge that the middle class is shrinking...

I don't think that's common knowledge at all, and in fact it all depends on how you want to frame the argument. Relative to most of the world, even poor Americans are better off. Compared to other Western nations, applying our standard of living would squarely put the bottom third of those countries into the poor bracket. While the middle class has "shrunk," most any way you define it, it's largely because more people have graduated to a higher level of income while the lower income group has largely stayed the same. So this narrative needs context: Just because the middle class is shrinking doesn't mean people are shifting to the poorer class. The numbers imply the opposite.

Does that mean that people are being "left behind?" Sure, to an extent (and apparently those people thought voting for a billionaire reality show star would solve that). But historically, the poorer class isn't getting bigger. And yes, I also understand that income inequality, when it gets bad enough, brings down societies, but we're pretty far from that. In the mean time, we need to figure out what people can do as technology changes the job market. We should spend our time worrying about that and less arguing about what's fair.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Sunday, March 18, 2018 9:30 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

I don't really get the idea of Disney World as an "aspirational" vacation; it's one of a million options to choose from.

As noted upthread, and in the gazbillion threads where this has been discussed, a trip to WDW can be pretty affordable, unless you buy into the idea that to Disney "right" you "have" to stay at Contemporary or Polynesian.

Hell, I slept on the floor with ten other people in order to go to Kentucky Kingdom.

For me, most of my trips revolve around roller coasters, but that's because I heart roller coasters, not because I see a trip to WDW or Cedar Point or Knoebels as a status symbol.

Then again I'm autistic so how neurotypicals act sometimes eludes me.


Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
-- Groucho Marx

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Sunday, March 18, 2018 11:25 PM
TheMillenniumRider's avatar

slithernoggin said:

For me, most of my trips revolve around roller coasters, but that's because I heart roller coasters, not because I see a trip to WDW or Cedar Point or Knoebels as a status symbol.

A trip to Knoebels is certainly a status symbol, it is a rite of passage, more so than Disney.

People go to Disney because its culturally what someone is supposed to do and then they brag about it. Knoebels is for the elite few who are "in the know" or the inner circle so to speak. Knoebels is the real achievement, and don't even get me started on Holiday World.

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Sunday, March 18, 2018 11:37 PM
99er's avatar

Shades said:

Isn't the big difference between Disney and chain parks the typical length of stay? When I think of Disney I think of 7 days. When I think of a regional park I think of 2 days max. So while the food at Disney may be cheaper and the rooms reasonable priced I am multiplying that cost by 7 days rather than 2. I think that is what skews the perception of how expensive Disney is.

But when you think of Disney you are thinking of all 4 parks like everyone else. A real comparison should be between a regional park and one Disney park.


-Chris
Remember, if you're arguing on the internet, you've already lost.
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Monday, March 19, 2018 6:53 AM

Agreed - but nobody does one park on a week long trip. I think you have to add them all together.

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Monday, March 19, 2018 8:23 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

TheMillenniumRider said:

A trip to Knoebels is certainly a status symbol, it is a rite of passage, more so than Disney.

People go to Disney because its culturally what someone is supposed to do and then they brag about it. Knoebels is for the elite few who are "in the know" or the inner circle so to speak. Knoebels is the real achievement, and don't even get me started on Holiday World.

Sorry, but I just don't get that a trip to WDW or to any amusement park, or to any attraction (Mount Rushmore, the White House, Irish Hills, Mackinac Island) is a status symbol or that it's culturally what someone is supposed to do. People go where their interests lead them. For example, I have a friend who wouldn't go to an amusement park if I paid her, but will go out of her way for a postcard meeting. Another friend hates amusement parks but just try and keep him away from a new musical.


Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
-- Groucho Marx

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Monday, March 19, 2018 9:03 AM
Jeff's avatar

I don't buy the status narrative either. Disney is not a luxury brand, and visiting a busy park eating churros is not a luxury endeavor. People go to Disney parks because they love their stories, their kids love their stories, and getting close to them is a pretty great experience.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Monday, March 19, 2018 9:17 AM

Jeff, there are luxurious choices you can make at Disney. Staying at a monorail, dining at some table service restaurants, going on a tour, are all luxurious experiences. More importantly they are luxuries that the middle class can indulge in as opposed to renting a plaid for the day which is beyond the price point of the middle class. The only luxury the middle class can afford at a regional park is an season pass or fast pass for the day.

Also outside of us crazies, most people will visit the regional park near them for day trips and the once in a lifetime trip to WDW for a week (and increasingly Universal as well.). Going to WDW is seen as a status pilgrimage here in Wisconsin.


2017 Trips: WDW, Dollywood, Cedar Point, KI, SDC, BGW, BGT, SWO, Universal Orlando

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Monday, March 19, 2018 9:44 AM
Jeff's avatar

See previous post. That doesn't make it a luxury status acquisition.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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