Bidenflation: More Parents Going into Debt to Pay for Disney Vacation

Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG

Nearly 50 percent of parents with children under 18 take on debt for Disney trips with in-park food and beverages the biggest drain on the family vacation budget, a survey shows.

Financial website Lending Tree surveyed Americans about how vacationing at Disney World impacts their finances.

It found some 24 percent of all Disney-goers have accrued debt during their trips, along with 45 percent of parents with children under the age of 18.

The average amount of debt for those parents was $1,983, LendingTree said.

File/Visitors pass through Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., April 30, 2021. Disney is seeking approval from local officials to expand its California theme park offerings over the next four decades. The proposal wouldn’t increase the company’s geographic footprint in Anaheim, Calif., but would allow for new attractions, for example, on what is currently a large parking lot. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Concessions were the biggest driver of excessive spending, with 65 percent of respondents citing the high cost of food and beverages.

Additionally, 48 percent of respondents said they underestimated costs for transportation while 47 percent cited accommodation.

LendingTree found a stay at a Disney World resort hotel for two adults and two children could range as high as $1,079 a night – the biggest cause of debt.

“For so many parents, taking their kids to Disney is a rite of passage, something they remember fondly from their youth and want to experience with their kids,” LendingTree chief credit analyst Matt Schulz said in a statement.

“Because of those feelings, they’re often willing to take on debt to get there.”

Among those parents who have taken on debt to travel to a Disney theme park, 83 percent percent did so in the past five years. The number of total respondents who went into debt during a Disney trip also increased 33 percent from LendingTree’s 2022 survey.

For the survey LendingTree spoke with 2,001 people ranging in age from 18 to 78 who went to the theme park in Orlando, Florida, and Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

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