Dear Crabby, Why Are People So Obsessed with Disney?

Dear Crabby,

Disney World celebrated its 50th anniversary on October 1. All the images of people waiting in Black Friday-type lines to snag the anniversary merchandise and the photos of the crowds were insane! I guess I don’t understand this level of obsession. Do you?

H.J. Potter

Dear H.J. Potter,

I’ve come to the conclusion that when it comes to Disney there are three groups of people. Those who hate anything Disney-related, those who like Disney, and Disnerds. The last group is the people you saw on the news and all over social media. They aren’t just fans; they are overly obsessed fans. They DisneyBound (that’s dressing in everyday clothes to recreate the outfits of their favorite Disney characters), must own everything that comes out (how many Mickey Ears does one person need?), and be there for every major milestone. These are the people on TikTok who post about how much they miss Disney right after they get back from Disney. Disnerds don’t just love Disney, they live and breathe Disney. What I want to know is how these people can afford to fund this obsession.

Dear Crabby sits infront of his laptop
Dear Crabby Gives Advice

Like most businesses, Disney is trying to make up for all the money they lost in 2020. As a company, they lost around $5 billion when they had to shut down last year during the pandemic. If you’ve never been to Disney World before, it’s expensive. As in four years tuition at an Ivy League school expensive. For decades, most middle-class families scrimped and saved so they could experience the ‘most magical place on earth’ at least once. Fifty years ago, when Disney World opened, the cost to enter the theme park was $3.50 for adults and $1 for children. Now, those are my kind of prices. If you go now, single-day admission to the theme parks ranges from $109 to $159 for visitors ages 10 and older. And then there are other factors that drive up the price. Are you staying at a Disney resort? How many parks are you going to visit and for how many days? Are you going to Park Hop? And don’t forget all the money you’ll be shelling out for food and souvenirs. Recently, Disney made some changes that might take the shine off the magic for even the most diehard Disnerd.

First, the cost of the annual pass has increased for those who don’t live in Florida and aren’t Disney Vacation Club members. Naturally, that’s the most expensive pass option out of the four unveiled this year. And guess what’s not included with any of the passes anymore? PhotoPass! That will cost you an extra $99. Want to visit a water park or sports complex? That will be another $99. The formerly free FastPass system has also disappeared and been replaced with Genie+. For an extra $15, you skip the line at certain Disney World attractions. And if that wasn’t bad enough, beginning in January 2022, Disney’s Magical Express will no longer offer free transportation from Orlando International Airport to the parks. You can still grab a shuttle, but it will cost you. Walt Disney’s dream may have simply started with a Mouse, but today, it sure takes a lot of ‘cheddar’ to keep that rodent happy.

So, if you’re the sort of person who thinks all that hullabaloo is worth the hefty price tag, then more power to ya. As for me, I’m keeping my money close to home with my Greenfield Village membership. Henry Ford was frugal and so am I.

I hope that answers your question.

Dear Crabby

About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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