12 Troubling Facts About Disney’s Parks

Source: Mario Tama / Getty Images

Walt Disney opened Disneyland in 1955, in Anaheim, California. In 1965, the year before he died, he announced that he was planning a second theme park near Orlando, Florida. What was originally called Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom opened in 1971. 

This evolved into a vast resort and entertainment complex, popularly known simply as Disney World, that encompasses four theme parks – Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios – as well as two water parks, 31 resort hotels, and numerous other entertainment and recreation facilities. (Disney-owned and otherwise, see stunning photos of America’s largest attractions.)

Other Disney parks were subsequently opened in Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and outside Paris. In the second quarter of this year, the division called Disney Parks, Experiences and Products brought in $6.7 billion, more than doubling its revenue of $3.2 billion in the prior-year quarter – a period during which the parks were intermittently shuttered because of COVID.

Admission to the parks is expensive – a one-day standard ticket to Disneyland starts at $76; base ticket price at Disney World is $109 per day for adults, $104 for children under 10 – and Disney hotel rooms can easily cost $700 a night. (No Disney operations, however, are on our list of amusement parks with the biggest price increases.)

Yet visitors young and old stream into the parks constantly. Estimates of visitor capacity for Disneyland alone range as high as 85,000 a day. The four Disney World parks averaged 160,000 daily visitors between them in 2021.

Not all the things that go on at Disney theme parks are fun, however. Some are odd and troubling. For the most part, Disney management never discusses them.

To find troubling facts about Disney’s theme parks around the world, 24/7 Tempo reviewed over 50 sources, including those in which Disney employees were interviewed and where facts about the theme parks were confirmed. We also consulted Disney documents which include SEC filings.

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