Get All Access for $5/mo

Parents With Young Children Are Taking on 'Disney-Related' Debt for Trips to Theme Parks, According to a New Report Despite the debt, 59% of parents surveyed said they have no regrets.

By Emily Rella Edited by Melissa Malamut

Key Takeaways

  • A new study by LendingTree examined the potential costs associated with visiting the Happiest Place on Earth.
  • Parents of young children reported an average of $1,983 in Disney-related debt.
  • 90% of the parents surveyed said the trip was a treat.
Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

The Happiest Place on Earth is far from the cheapest when looking for a family vacation, but a new report from LendingTree found that families are going anyway — and breaking their budgets.

The report surveyed over 2,000 Disney parkgoers, and 24% cited they had gone into some debt paying for the trip. That number jumps to 45% for parents who have children under the age of 18.

LendingTree noted that the average amount of debt parents with young children have taken on is $1,983 per family with concessions being the main source of overspending — 65% of respondents said that food and beverages inside the parks cost significantly more than planned.

Related: A Fifth Walt Disney World Theme Park Could Be Coming Soon — Here's What We Know

"Looking more broadly at the 75% of theme park-going Americans who've been to Disney, 24% have gone into debt for at least one trip," LendingTree wrote in the report. "That's up 33% from 18% in our 2022 survey. Of this 24%, 74% took on their debt in the past five years, with 29% doing so in the past year."

According to Walt Disney World's official website, a standard one-day ticket to the park for those aged 10 and up is currently $109.

The new report coincides with data released last week by FinanceBuzz, which found that concession prices at Disney World have increased nearly 60% in 10 years, including the fan-favorite Dole Whip dessert which has gone up 58% in the last decade.

The Walt Disney Co. was up over 13% year over year as of Friday afternoon.

Related: Disney World Concession Prices Have Gone Up 60% Over the Past Decade — Including Two Fan Favorite Sweet Treats That Have Skyrocketed in Price

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Starting a Business

They Showed Up to Apple With a Product They Built in Their Dorm Room. Now These Entrepreneurs Are on the Way to Changing the Way Fans Watch Sports.

How Rahat Kulshreshtha and Gaurav Mehta launched Quidich Innovation Labs, technology that is literally changing the game of sports viewership.


I'm Disabled — And Here Are 3 Meaningful Ways Your Company Can Foster a More Inclusive Workplace

I've lived with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and I've seen firsthand what true inclusion can do for an organization.


4 Ways Internalized Oppression is Holding You Back from Success — And Ways to Overcome It

For entrepreneurs of color, the pursuit of success can often feel like an uphill battle. While fellow entrepreneurs are doing well, scaling their businesses, building their teams, and getting national recognition, we might compare our business and professional trajectory to theirs and wonder why the same success hasn't happened to us.

Side Hustle

She Had Less Than $800 When She Started a Side Hustle — Then This Personal Advice From Tony Robbins Helped Her Make $45 Million

Cathryn Lavery built planner and conversation card deck company BestSelf Co. without any formal business education.

Business News

Barbara Corcoran Says Having These 2 Types of People in Your Business Is an 'Unbeatable Combination'

The "Shark Tank" star shared her thoughts on the benefits of having both extrovert and introvert employees in business.


Your Definition of Leadership Is Outdated — Here's How to Be a Better Leader in the Modern Workplace

In my nearly thirty years as a leader, I've focused on setting a clear vision and empowering my team to achieve our goals. We prioritize establishing shared objectives while allowing for flexibility when needed.