How Inflation Could Impact Your 2023 Disney World Vacation

We’re not going to sugar coat it: Taking a trip to Disney World is expensive.

Disney World

That’s why it’s important to stay aware of all of the potential deals and discounts you can get, when the most expensive times are to visit the parks, price increases, and more. But, another major issue that’s affecting almost everything in the U.S. right now is inflation. So, how could inflation impact your 2023 trip to Disney World? We’re breaking it all down for you right here.

What Is Inflation?

Inflation is a word you’ve probably heard a lot in the past several months. And, if you’re confused abut what it is exactly, we’re here to break it down. Inflation is defined as a “loss of purchasing power over time,” according to the New York Times. So, it basically means that you won’t get as much for the same amount of money that you used to. Your dollar doesn’t travel as far!

Stroller and Wheelchair Rental Prices

Inflation can be measured by the “annual change in prices for a basket of goods and services.” In the U.S., there are 2 major “inflation gauges.” One of those is the Consumer Price Index or C.P.I. This “measures the cost of things urban consumers buy out of pocket,” according to the New York Times.

Watch out for those menu price increases

The Federal Reserve is responsible of “keeping prices from increasing too rapidly” in the U.S. A little bit of consumer price inflation is usually considered a positive thing, because if labor or resources start to cost more for businesses, a little bit of inflation can give those businesses a chance to adjust by charging higher prices, thus keeping them in business.

That’s a hefty price tag.

Inflation changes for many different reasons. One of the main reasons inflation can become high is when people have “a lot of surplus cash or are using a lot of credit to buy things,” according to the New York Times. If people are buying things quickly (creating a lot of demand) then businesses might have to raise their prices to stop so many people from buying up their whole supply.

Check out prices before your next visit!

Or, businesses might raise their prices simply because they can because the demand is there. This goes along with the idea of supply chain issues also causing higher inflation. If the supply is short, prices could be increased to help slow down demand.

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What’s Happening With Inflation Right Now?

We’ve covered how inflation has impacted 2021 and part of 2022 (which you can read more about right here), but we’ll give you a short recap. In 2021, inflation rates went up significantly, according to FOX 6 Now. That trend has continued into 2022. In June of 2022, the CPI went up 9.1% compared to the year before. This was “the fastest pace for inflation going back to November 1981,” according to CNBC.


Then, in July of 2022, the CPI was up 8.5% compared to the year prior (CNBC). This was lower than the peak in June of 2022, and was below many expectations for the increase, due in part to gas prices dropping. This showed that things were moving in the right direction finally.

©CNBC via the US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Inflation continued to slow down in August of 2022, as gas prices continued to drop. But, even though gas was down in price, a lot of other things became more expensive, like rents, new cars, and medical care services. Consumer prices were raised by 8.3% in August of 2022 compared to August of 2021. But, this was still lower than June and July of 2022. However, groceries went up by 0.7% from July to August.


President Biden said that inflation was “the No. 1 problem facing families today” and went on to say that it was his “top domestic priority,” according to FOX 35 News. But, there are some things that have indicated that inflation has peaked, like falling gas prices and resolved supply chain issues.

The price for gas has been declining

However, the impact has definitely been seen throughout various businesses. For example, 82% of small businesses increased their prices for their products/services due to inflation, according to a study by (FOX 6 Now).

We’ve seen prices go up around Disney World

Jumping ahead to September of 2022, inflation jumped by 8.2% compared to the previous year, according to CNBC. This was a bit higher than expected and was fueled mostly by housing, food, and medical care. But, the good news was that it was a smaller rise than the 8.3% rise we saw in August of 2022.

©Tampa Bay General Hospital

However, inflation is still high in many consumer categories, with food prices being a major one. Gas prices have gone down from the highs we saw in the summer, with signs pointing toward them continuing to drop (CNN). However, this isn’t something that you can necessarily count on to remain the same in 2023.

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What’s Expected for Inflation in 2023?

High inflation will persist into 2023, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBS News). The agency expects that the CPI will rise 6.1% in 2022 and 3.1% in 2023. This shows that inflation levels should slow down, but will still be above the long-term baseline of 2.3%.

Hollywood Studios

But, the CBO says that its numbers aren’t definite and could change due to things like the global pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine. 

COVID-19 Sign in Disney World

And, a recession could still be happening in the future. According to Fannie Mae, the combo of high inflation, a slowing housing market, and monetary policy tightening is projected to put the economy into a modest recession in the first quarter of 2023.

Mexico Pavilion

The good news is that the “strong labor market and consumer demand” will help lessen the impact of the likely recession in 2023, according to ratings agency Fitch (via Reuters).

Disney World

However, the ratings agency also said that rising unemployment, aggressive interest rate policy, a slowdown in job growth, and high inflation will probably take a toll on consumer spending in 2023.

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How Could This Impact Your 2023 Disney Trip?

What Disney Has Said

Disney has acknowledged inflation concerns several times already. Disney’s Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy said during the 2021 Q4 earning call that that high inflation rates is on their minds, and is something that Disney is looking at and trying to see how they will address it.

Animal Kingdom

She also said that they’ve experienced this issue in parts of the business already. McCarthy went on to talk about seeing the impact of high inflation on hourly wages in the parks, specifically through  “contract renegotiations and [their] commitment to paying [their] park workers well.” McCarthy also spoke about the inflation affecting the cost of goods.

Disney Executives Comment on How Inflation is Impacting the Parks

Ticket Prices

But how much will this affect the cost to actually get inside a Disney World theme park? We know that’s a big question on your minds. Well, The Wall Street Journal has said that Disney has typically been able to outpace inflation when it comes to ticket prices. For example, when Disney started charging a single admission fee in 1981, the price was $9.50—$8.89 (not including sales tax), according to our friends over at

Old tickets for Disney World

In 2022, the cost of a single-day ticket starts at $109 before taxes. The Wall Street Journal says that the increase there is a “compound growth rate of 6.39%.” Meanwhile, the C.P.I. “increased by 2.76% a year over that same period.” To put it plain and simple, over the past several years, ticket prices at Disney World have increased a LOT.

Old Skyway in Fantasyland

For about 40 years, the price of Disney World tickets has gone up “2.3 times as fast as the C.P.I,” according to The Wall Street Journal. They also said that prices have gone up so much because of all of the new rides, expanded areas, and other new things Disney has added to the parks. Another reason? Because “consumers value its experience more than the average market-basket good and are willing to pay much more for it relative to other offerings.” Basically, people have continued to pay the prices, even when they go up.

Old Magic Kingdom map

Even Disney CEO Bob Chapek has indicated that prices are going up because of demand. “This is a supply and demand business. Unfortunately, unlike say Disney+, we have a fixed supply and we commit to our guests to give them the absolute best Disney experience no matter when they come. And, you know, one of the ways that we do that is by taking those guests that want to have a more bespoke, more personalized, more customized, more expensive day and using that essentially to keep the lower prices on again, the second Tuesday in September. And so, it’s really demand that drives it,” said Chapek in an interview with CNBC.


We’ve seen Disney add more and more immersive experiences at Disney World, like the Space 220 restaurant, the Star Wars hotel, the Guardians of the Galaxy ride, and more. And, there’s more on the way — just take a look at the TRON coaster being built or the potential plans that were announced to possibly expand Magic Kingdom. So, if Disney sees that guests are willing to pay more money for these offerings that add more value to the parks, then ticket prices will probably continue to go up.

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser atrium

And whether it be due to inflation, demand, or a little of both, Disney has already made changes to ticket prices that could increase the cost of your trip. A lot of days in 2022 were moved into higher price brackets when they previously had not been there. So, the ticket price for the same days in 2021 were more expensive in 2022.

Scanning in to the parks

And, we saw multi-day tickets increase in their base prices, as well as the range of ticket prices for days in 2022 increase for select tickets. So, some multi-day tickets will cost more because their starting price per day went up. 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Additionally, there were some sneaky price increases put into place already for 2023! We saw the ranges of tickets be higher in price than they were in 2022. You can read our breakdown about the price increases right here.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios ticket booths

We’ve also seen that ticket prices went up significantly over at Disneyland Resort. That COULD indicate that Disney World could follow suit, but that’s not a definite, as some things still remain lower in price at Disney World, like Disney Genie+.

Click here to take a look at what we saw for 2022 Disney World ticket prices

Other Price Increases

Moving on from park tickets, inflation could also cause higher prices for other things in the parks like food, merchandise, and more. We saw hundreds of price increases on food and drinks at the beginning of 2022, and then, in early October of 2022, we saw hundreds MORE price increases in the parks. The cost of things like water bottles to prix fixe meals went up, and it could definitely happen again, but we’ll have to wait and see. Even though the price increases seemed minuscule in some cases (only a handful of cents), they can definitely add up over the course of your entire vacation.

Pineapple Dole Whip

We’ve also seen the price increase on Disney Genie+ in Disney World, now operating with surge pricing. So, while the starting cost is still $15, it can go up depending on how busy it is at the parks that day. We’ve already seen it go up to $22 per person for the day. Other things like merchandise has gone up in cost — it now costs more the build a lightsaber and a droid in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Droid Depot

That’s not the only thing that can go up due to inflation, though. We could see airfare costs, hotel prices, and more become more expensive and impact your trip. More and more people are traveling again, which increases demand, thus allowing for increases in prices if businesses want to increase them. Things inside Disney World and things you have to pay for in order to get to Disney World can both be affected by price increases.

Click here to see the biggest takeaways from these price increases!

Things That Remain to be Seen

We can’t know for sure which price increases at Disney World are coming from inflation vs. Disney just wanting to raise their prices to accommodate demand. But, it could also be both of those things. It doesn’t seem like anything is getting cheaper in Disney World for the most part, so be prepared that inflation could lead to higher costs trickling down to guests at Disney World in many different areas. It could also cause Disney to get rid of things that they don’t think are worth the money anymore.


We had wondered if inflation in wages would cause Disney to hire less people, thus making less things available in the parks because there is not enough staff to work everywhere. But, we have seen some good signs — things are reopening that have been closed for a long time, like Fantasmic! in Hollywood Studios, Monsieur Paul in the France Pavilion of EPCOT, and more character meet and greets.


Or, instead of these experiences being done away with due to costs, Disney could simply just increase the price on them, or turn experiences that were once free into paid experiences. We’ve already seen the free transportation to the airport being done away with, along with free MagicBands for hotel guests, and the entire free FastPass+ system.

Expedition Everest Lightning Lane

For now, just be aware about inflation and how it could make your 2023 trip to Disney World more expensive. Also, be on the lookout for ways to save. Disney does run deals and we always share those. We also share some tips and hacks to saving big on your Disney trip. We’ll continue to be on the lookout for more concerning costs at Disney World, so stay tuned to DFB for news and updates!

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The post How Inflation Could Impact Your 2023 Disney World Vacation first appeared on the disney food blog.