Disney Fans have felt alienated for a long time. Rising costs and fewer perks have left would-be Guests feeling unappreciated and looking for alternative options. Many, naturally, have gone down the street to Universal where hotel rates are lower and perks remain unchanged. However another surprising contender has entered the mix.
Related: Abandoned Disney for Universal? You’re Not Alone
With rising gas and associated travel costs on top of rising Disney costs, people have been looking for options closer to home. One time loyal Guests are leaving Disney, some for good. In a recent report, mother-of-three Nicole Thomas said, “My final straw was spending all day waiting in huge lines because I couldn’t afford hundreds of dollars for FastPasses that used to be free. Tickets and food prices are also outrageous. We used to enjoy a whole week at Disney World for a couple thousand dollars, but that same amount of money only covers expenses for a day or two now.”
Related: Has Disney Priced Out the Middle Class?
So where are they going now? Great Wolf Lodge. Thomas explained, “Great Wolf offers my family most of what we used to love about Disney, but at a fraction of the price.” Many others have followed suit. Great Wolf Lodge is currently the fastest growing family themed vacation destination in the country.
Like Disney, Great Wolf Lodge offers entertainment and character meet-and-greets,as well as extensively themed lodging and dining. They’ve also got incredible indoor waterparks and amusement activities that are open all-year-long. With 19 locations across the U.S, families who are choosing Great Wolf over Disney can save on travel costs too.
Related: Bob Iger Thinks Disney is Too Expensive
CEO Bob Iger recently said he was “shocked” by the massive price increases under Bob Chapek’s short tenure (to put it in perspective, in 2019 a Disney value resort cost around $90/night. Now a single night runs roughly $290/night for just a place to sleep). So far, moves to reduce prices have not occurred as many hoped. It remains to be seen how far Disney will let things go at current pricing before they start trying to woo back the middle class….if they ever do.