I worked at Disney World and still visit weekly. Here are 8 things I’m not buying at the parks right now.

I worked at Disney World and still visit weekly. Here are 8 things I’m not buying at the parks right now.

kayleigh posing in front of big top souvenirs at magic kingdom

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I used to work a Disney World in Florida.

Kayleigh Price



  • I worked at Disney World for several years, and now I visit the theme parks once a week.
  • Over the years, I’ve learned not to buy Genie+ or dessert party tickets at the parks.
  • I also don’t tend to waste money on chicken nuggets or Loungefly bags. 
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As an Orlando local and former Disney World employee, I visit the parks at least once a week.

But without the free admission and plentiful discounts that came with my employee status, visiting has become incredibly expensive. According to FinanceBuzz, concession prices alone have gone up by 61% since 2014.

Like many people, I’ve had to cut down on my spending over the years. Here are eight things I’m no longer buying at Disney World.

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Spirit jerseys should be left in the 2010s.

racks of figment spirit jerseys at a disney world gift shop

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The long-sleeve spirit jerseys are wildly expensive.

OLGA THOMPSON/Walt Disney World



I remember when spirit jerseys were all the rage back in 2017 — you could barely get your hands on one before they sold out.

But as they’ve gained popularity, they’ve also increased in price.

As cute as they may be, I can’t fathom spending upwards of $90 on a long-sleeve T-shirt.

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I don’t need any more Mickey ears.

wall of minnie ears at disneyland

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The parks release new Minnie and Mickey ears every year.

Carly Terzigni



Every Disney adult loves accessorizing their outfits with some Mickey ears.

It can be tempting to browse the new and seasonal releases in the shops. But after going to the parks my whole life, I already have a stellar ear collection.

I don’t see the point of spending $35 to $40 on another pair — especially because they were closer to $20 to $25 just a few years ago.

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Genie+ isn’t worth it for me.

closeup photo of the lightning lane sign at seven dwarfs mine train in disney world

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I visit so often that I don’t mind waiting in a few lines.

Kent Phillips/Walt Disney World



I remember the good old days when I would go to Disney World and automatically get three FastPasses for the day. It was glorious.

Now you have to pay $20 to $30 a person daily for those same three line-skipping passes through a system called Genie+.

As a local who has ridden every attraction at Disney World dozens of times, I don’t see why I’d ever splurge on that.

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The ice-cream bars aren’t a good value.

hand holding mickey ice cream bar at disney world

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I used to always order the simple Mickey ice-cream bars.

Jill Robbins



The Mickey ice-cream bar was one of my go-to park snacks as a kid. It’s such a Disney staple — super tasty and good for any Instagram photos.

But they currently cost about $6. I’d rather spend that money on a bigger portion of ice cream, like a Dole Whip or a sundae, to get more bang for my buck.

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I avoid the Loungefly section of the gift shops.

small world loungefly bag from disney parks

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There are Loungefly bags themed after rides like It’s a Small World.

Fiona Clair



Like the spirit jerseys, I’m no longer spending money on Disney Loungeflys. No small backpack should cost over $100 — no matter how creative or cute the design is.

It’s so easy for me to go into a Disney merchandise store and get sucked into this section, but I’ve recently realized that these prices are ridiculous.

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I worked at the dessert parties, so I don’t feel the need to buy the extra ticket.

fireworks over cinderella castle at disney world

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I don’t need to pay over $100 to get a good spot for the fireworks.

Walt Disney World



I used to work at the Magic Kingdom Fireworks Dessert Party back in 2018, when it cost about $80 to $90 a person. That’s still a pretty expensive ticket add-on, but I genuinely thought it was worth the price.

The experience includes unlimited appetizers, treats, and drinks, along with a premiere viewing of the fireworks show from Tomorrowland Terrace.

But now the price for one adult is $130, which is almost the same as park admission.

Alternatively, I recommend paying $70 a person for a delicious three-course dinner at Be Our Guest restaurant. Then just go to hub lawns in front of the castle about an hour before the fireworks show to secure an amazing spot.

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The annual Christmas party has gotten too expensive for me.

mickey minnie and dancers performing on stage at the magic kingdom Christmas party event

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Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is held at Magic Kingdom each year.

Harrison Cooney/Walt Disney World



I’ve always been such a big fan of the seasonal events at Disney World. I used to go to the Christmas and Halloween parties at Magic Kingdom every year.

But that was when the tickets cost about $100. In 2023, tickets sold for up to $220 apiece, which is more expensive than the average full-day ticket to Magic Kingdom.

As sad as it was to cut this out of my holiday celebrations last year, I had to. I can’t rationalize spending over $200 for a six-hour event in the parks.

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I can get something better than chicken nuggets.

basket of three chicken tenders and a side of fries served on red checkered paper

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Standard theme-park chicken tenders aren’t worth it, in my opinion.

Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock



Almost every quick-service restaurant at Disney World has a chicken-finger meal, and it used to be one of my go-to orders.

But as an adult, I’m realizing that it’s kind of a waste of my money — especially since prices across the parks have been creeping up over the last couple of years.

I’d rather spend my money on specialty treats or seasonal foods that I can’t get outside the parks and grab Chick-fil-A on the way home.

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This post was originally published on Insider

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