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Taking Your Kids to Disney World Will Put You $2,000 in Debt


With Disney prices as high as they are, once upon a dream has become once upon a debt for many Americans — particularly parents with young children.

According to the latest LendingTree survey of over 2,000 U.S. consumers, 24% of Disney-goers have gone into debt for a trip, a figure that rises to 45% among parents with children younger than 18.

Here’s what else we found.

  • The magic of Disney is sending parents into debt. Among the 77% of theme park-going parents with children younger than 18 who’ve been to Disney, 45% have gone into debt for a Disney trip, with 83% acquiring it most recently in the past five years. Among Disney-goers, 24% have gone into debt for a trip — a 33% increase from 18% in our 2022 survey.
  • The memories are worth the debt for most parents. Among parents of young children who’ve gone into debt for a Disney trip, 59% say they have no regrets. Additionally, 90% of parents who’ve taken their children to Disney say it was a treat. Overall, parents of young children took on an average of $1,983 in Disney-related debt.
  • Concessions broke the budget for many Disney-goers. When asked what expenses cost significantly more than planned, 65% of those with Disney debt said in-park food or beverages, 48% said general transportation costs and 47% said accommodations. Fortunately, 41% of Disney parkgoers were able to use a discount on their most recent trip.
  • Cost is the biggest factor for those who haven’t visited a theme park. Of the Americans who’ve been to a theme park, just 25% haven’t visited a Disney park. 60% of those who’ve never visited a theme park say it’s too expensive. Meanwhile, 31% say it’s too far away and 26% say they can’t stand the lines. Across all Americans, 40% say their willingness to visit Disney has been affected by its political views — either positively or negatively.


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