What else is Walt Disney World charging you for? It’s all in the fine print!
Walt Disney World officials recently sent shock waves throughout social media when they announced that guests would be charged for driving their cars out of Resort and Spa parking lots. What everyone [Ed.: except for the crack team of reporters here at Uncle Walt’s Insider!] missed was the announcement about other fees that guests will face on their upcoming Walt Disney World vacations.
Disney: a rich history of fees and add-ons
In spite of the uproar, added charges at Disney parks are not new. When the second most awesome man in history opened up Disneyland, people were already getting hit with fees and add-ons: guests were charged admission, and then had to buy tickets to ride the attractions. Walt Disney had to continually look for creative ways to fund the park from its earliest days, and that has not changed. While the ticket books and coin-operated water fountains are gone, Disney has found additional ways to raise money.
Magic Band technology leads the way
As part of the recent data-mining scandal that has rocked the offices of the Disney executives, Uncle Walt’s Insider also discovered multiple hidden fees during our extensive investigation. These fees are clearly outlined in the vacation contracts, but who really reads the fine print? Guests who agree to terms and conditions upon check-in also agree to pay the fees using the Magic Bands and their RFID technology. Guests who do not have charging capabilities will simply have their fees added onto someone who does. No Magic Band? No problem! Cast Members are deployed at various locations ready to take payment. At the time of this article, they are accepting cash, credit, Apple Pay, Android Pay, and doubloons.
What hidden fees are there? Well, Disney is not looking to charge guests for necessities. The only pay toilets, coin-operated water fountains, and shade-tree fees you will find in Orlando will still be at Universal Studios. Instead, Disney is expanding the pay-for-leaving-parking idea to other areas. If you need to park yourself on a bench, you will be charged when you stand to leave. Parking the stroller? As soon as it exits the designated stroller parking, yep, you guessed it, hit with a fee. Parking the Electric Convenience Vehicle (ECV)? Another fee when you drive off.
Quite possibly the most shocking fee will be the valet charges for ECV users. Guests will be required to display a handicap parking placard on their EVC to avoid the valet charges. Otherwise, if you’re just too lazy to walk around the parks like a normal person and choose to rent an ECV, you will be charged a valet parking fee anytime a cast member must move, park, and then bring your ECV to you when visiting attractions. This is also the same for bus, boat, train, monorail, gondola, and sidewalk transportation. (The stroller and ECV parking fees also extend to resort hallways.)
Fees are here to stay
Much like government programs that lead to entitlements, these fees are here to stay. With the rising costs of operating a resort and spa that rivals some countries in size, Disney needs to find new ways to bring in revenue.
We spoke with spokesperson Jun Disney (no relation) about these new fees: “You know you can’t please everyone, even at the happiest place on earth! When we added a 1/4 of an inch to the churro, guests complained! Sure, we had to raise the price by $1 and start charging for the previously-complimentary chocolate sauce. What, did they expect us to just eat the costs of a larger churro?
“And as for the parking charges, if we did what we initially planned, there’d be even more complaints. Then you could have either paid $700 per night at one of our amazing value resorts [Ed.: and spas] with free parking, or pay a lower rate and also pay for parking.
“And is $122 too much for a one day ticket at peak times? No! It could have been $377.52 for a one day at peak time! See boys, it’s all relative!”
Are these fees too much? Let us know in the comments below!
If you actually send in a comment, Uncle Walt will personally buy you a churro next time you see him in a park!
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Cover photo — it’s Di$ney, y’all! — via Pixabay, modified.