Do you have to be the richest kid on the block to enjoy the Happiest Place On Earth?   

That's the accusation made by a recent article in the Washington Post, "How Theme Parks Like Disney World Left The Middle Class Behind." Citing rising admission prices and sky-high package deal costs, it argues that a family trip to Disney World is just not accessible anymore for anyone outside of the 1%.

The question is: is it true? Historian and professor at the Harvard Business School Nancy Koehn joined Boston Public Radio to crunch the numbers.

Koehn went online and priced a modest vacation package for a family of four, opting for the second-cheapest hotel and the second-cheapest meal options for a six-day trip, including transportation. The total? $5,700.

Expensive? Yes. Out of the question for middle class families? Not necessarily, she said. 

"Is there anything nefarious here? I don't think so," she said. "I think it's business and pricing, and a brand and an experience that a lot of people think is well worth it, and not just very wealthy people."

So what explains the vitriol directed toward Disney? The answer may have little to do with Disney World itself and may instead lie with nostalgia, Koehn explains. 

"Those are parts of our childhood we had a very unabashed, unfettered, free, loving relationship with at a young age," she said.

As an adult, seeing the business machine behind the characters and places you loved as a child can be a jarring experience. "As you grow up, there's something about the 'ka-ching ka-ching' behind all that," she continued. "Believe me, we live in a world in which the 'ka-ching ka-ching' and the monetizing of all kinds of things and experiences that were never monetized when our parents were growing up, even when we were growing up, has really increased."

"I think there's something that leaves us a little queasy about that," Koehn said.

To hear more from Nancy Koehn, tune in to Boston Public Radio above.