If you’re a regular visitor to Walt Disney World or if you pay particular attention to menu boards or your receipts while you vacation, you may have noticed some inconsistencies in the pricing of items and foodstuff across the sprawling property.
So why — oh, why! — does a Mickey Pretzel seem to cost more in some Disney World locations versus others? Why are certain resorts taxed at a higher rate? And what’s the deal with water that’s even more expensive than usual? Let’s get into it.
Mickey Pretzel, why art thou pricier?
Imagine this scenario: on day one of your vacation, you purchase a Mickey Pretzel (with gooey cheese sauce included!) for $6.59 at Magic Kingdom’s Lunching Pad. It’s delicious, and on day two, you must have another. You stop at a pretzel cart in Epcot to discover that the SAME snack is now $7! What’s the deal?
If you read the fine print on many of the theme parks’ free-standing snack kiosks and stands, you’ll discover that tax is “included where applicable” — and that means the Mickey Pretzel! So when you’re purchasing your snack at a stand, you’re not really paying more — they’re just listing the price with tax included versus not included.
Do The All-Star Resorts Have A Hidden Fee?
No, not really, but guests staying at an All-Star Resort hotel are paying a smidge more in taxes than at any other resort at Walt Disney World. Who’s fault is that? Osceola County! 😉 That’s right: geography is to blame for this slight increase in the tax rate on rooms at the All-Stars.
That’s because these properties are located just over the Orange/Osceola County line, and Osceola County’s tax rate is higher. Add that higher rate to the flat state tax (6%), and you get 7.5% taxes versus Orange’s 6.5%.
Blame it on Osceola!
That tax rate also impacts purchases made in Osceola County, so your bottle of Dasani will cost a few cents more at End Zone Food Court and at All-Star Sports than it does at Sunshine Seasons at Epcot. It’s that county tax coming back to attack your wallet again!
If you’re really set on pinching pennies — and we totally know how important that can be at Walt Disney World — consider making your purchases elsewhere if you can. For example, if you’ve gotta have a particular souvenir (we’re looking at you, adorable Aladdin merch!) and know you can find it at Disney Springs or in a Park, plan to buy it there instead. (Remember that if you don’t want to haul a purchase around all day, you can have it held for you at Guest Services at the front of the Park or shipped to your resort hotel directly!)
We know as well as anyone that it’s expensive to vacation at Walt Disney World, but these wacky price inconsistencies are part and parcel of living that Disney life. 😉 Still, when you’re trying to be mindful about spending, it’s helpful to know what’s going on behind the receipts.