As many college students do, I made the pilgrimage to Florida for spring break. Initially, I wanted to go to Disney World for at least one day. In my 22 years of life, I had yet to see Cinderella’s castle, hug Goofy, or wear a pair of mouse ears, so I figured now was just a good a time as any.
After looking at the ticket prices, I was appalled, immediately scratching “visit the happiest place on Earth” from my list. A one-day pass to any of the four Disney theme parks in Orlando, Fla. was an unbelievable $97.
Then I started thinking. Millions of families from all over the world visit Disney World every year, and, at $97 for one day, I wondered how much revenue Disney World makes per day.
I found a website that continuously updates the amount of money each individual Disney Park makes. After spending just 30 seconds on the Magic Kingdom’s page, I watched Disney earn more than $1,900. After 12 minutes on the site, the happiest place on Earth had racked up a little less than $48,000—roughly the same amount as a year of tuition at the University of New Haven.
According to the site, the Magic Kingdom, arguably the most popular of the Disney parks and home to the iconic castle, earns $67.14 per second. Blizzard Beach, a water theme park owned by Disney in Orlando, Fla., makes the least, racking up $6.86 a second—but that’s $411.60 per minute, and that’s more money than I make in two weeks at my minimum wage job.
So is it fair that Disney rakes in millions a day when some people in America struggle for access to clean water? There are Americans living in poverty, children without access to education and single parents struggling to buy toilet paper—but it’s all okay as long fireworks go off every night over Cinderella’s castle.