Disney World is Going Cash Only for All Payments

The average cost of a Disney World trip for a family of 4 is $5,000. Of course, the cost can go as low as $2,000 or as high as $20,000 or more. It all depends on the resort you stay in, the meals you eat, if you buy Genie+, and how many days you stay. Either way, the trips aren’t cheap. This is important because news just broke that Disney World is going cash only for all payments beginning in July.

Disney World is going cash only in July
Disney World is going cash only in July

Currently, Disney strongly encourages guests to pay using a credit card and through their My Disney Experience app. This is primarily done because of convenience and ease for guests. Dining at a Disney restaurant? Pay ahead of time through the MDE app. Staying at a Disney Hotel? The same thing, pay through the app. However, with Disney going cash only, this will no longer be the case.

Why is Disney World Going Cash Only?

The decision to go cash only at Disney World stems from none other than the Florida Government vs Disney battle. We recently reported here that Ron Desantis and the Florida Government deployed National Guard troops to block the entrances to Disney World. Of course, Disney is firing back with a lawsuit against Ron Desantis. Then Disney announced they are moving to New Orleans, as we reported here, however, that may not actually happen now.

Disney adding ATMs after cash only announcement
Disney adding ATMs after cash only announcement

Well, the battle between the two powerhouses continues. Now Disney World is going cash only, this is to stick it to the Florida and US governments, but primarily the Florida government. Disney World pays an absurd amount of taxes every single year to the Florida government. This is due to the high tourism taxes that the state implements. What is cool is Florida doesn’t have an income tax because they just tax tourists instead. It’s actually a great system.

Disney is tired of paying these insane taxes and would rather keep the money themselves than pay it to Florida. Everyone, including Disney, knows that cash payments cannot be easily tracked. This is why people say “cash is king”. Disney doesn’t want to play Florida’s “silly games”. Instead, they are going to require all payments to be in cash. This allows them to record much lower revenue in their books and pay significantly less in taxes to the state of Florida and the US government. It’s truly a power move by Disney, but is it legal? 

Concerns Over Disney’s Decision to Go Cash Only

There are two main concerns about Disney World going cash only. First off, from a legal and accounting standpoint. It’s illegal to not remit cash sales to the government. However, cash is so much harder to track than credit card sales. We spoke to a world-renowned accountant, who said even an average accountant would likely be able to keep Disney out of legal trouble if they cook the books correctly. This brings up a moral dilemma, but we won’t cover that today. 

Disney World adding self checkout machines for cash only payments
Disney World adding self-checkout machines for cash only payments

The other concern is from guests. As we noted above, a $5,000 trip is average. This means you need to bring $5,000 in cash with you on your trip to Disney World to pay for your vacation. Everything at Disney World will be cash only. This applies to hotels, dining, Genie+, and more. Most guests don’t want to travel with that much cash on hand. There is also a convenience issue. Instead of a quick tap to pay or pay ahead of time or pay virtually, everyone will need to line up and pay in cash everywhere around Disney World.

The good news is Disney will add ATMs all around their parks and hotels, so guests don’t need to travel with so much money. However, in typical Disney fashion, they will have a fee, much like how they charge for Wi-Fi. We also heard the ATMs will have Walt Disney $100 bills in them as we reported here. Also, to speed up payments, Disney will install self-checkouts, much like in grocery stores. This way more people can pay at the same time vs waiting on one cashier.

What do you think of Disney World going cash only? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Christine E
Christine E
20 days ago

Is this an April Fools? Disney will lose money because people will spend less in cash vs card, much less than whatever Disney’s tax “savings” will be. Also you cannot just withdraw thousands in cash at once for a hotel bill. Most banks have daily account withdrawal limits.