Disneyland Resort is in full Fall mode. Halloween Time has begun, and there are the usual smattering of refurbishments and maintenance projects that usually crop up prior to the madness that is the Holiday season.  But what many have not seemed to notice is the slow creep upward on the prices for impulse buy items, and things like bottled water and vitamin water.  The park, while being kept up, is costing more to visit.  This week we check up on the multiple projects and further discuss the increasing prices of smaller items throughout the resort.

On a recent visit to the Disneyland resort we stopped by a churro cart for some water.  A simple bottle of Dasani that tends to go for $1.50  at any average convenience store normally cost $2.79 inside the berm.  To our surprise the price now was an even $3.00.

Other outdoor vending options have increased even more.  If you want a Churro, you will now pay $0.50 more at $3.50.  Care for a bottled soda?  That will be $3.25.  Vitamin Water now costs an insane $4.00.

This increase is not just limited to waters, vitamin water, and churros.  Prices at all Outdoor Vending locations have been slowly creeping upward along with the impulse buys in the stores.

Price increases are the nature of the beast at theme and amusement parks. With the rising costs of supplies over the years, incremental price increases are just what happens.  But this is not an increase due to inflation.  These are price increases designed to get an idea for what the market will bare.

$5.00 for a bag of stale candy corn?

A similar tactic continues to be utilized in the astounding increases for pricing of Annual passes.  They are beginning to see the tipping point there with many long time passholders are deciding not to renew.  Disneyland was, at one time, something that many families could enjoy at least once a year. Not anymore. Now, unless you plan well ahead by bringing your own food and water, you may find yourself priced right out of the park.  Sad.

The first class showmanship comes at a heavy price.

Speaking of upkeep, Benny is still missing in action from above the Roger Rabbit’s Car toon spin entrance.

Meanwhile, work continues behind Minnie’s meet and greet house.

And The ToonTown hills continue to peel away.

Substantial rebuilding and refurbishments continue at the Casey Jr. Train and Storybook Land complex.

The scaffolding has been removed from the side of the Bibbidy-Bobbidy-Boutique with no discernible changes revealed.

Here is the latest from the Fantasy Faire Village project.  Steel framing has been installed on top of the existing facade infrastructure.

If one is being charged premium prices one should expect a premium product.  Upon entering Disney California Adventure this week, we took time to soak in the beautifully detailed surroundings.  When it launched this Summer, this area of the park was given a back-story of being lived in. While there was aging, the cracked pavement, the weathered brass railings, these were intentional.  Buena Vista Street had a certain level of presentation.  It was lived in, but clean and sparkling as well.

Now, not even a year into its use, there are noticeable signs of wear and tear that need to be addressed.

These railings, intended only for Cast member use, are still visible on stage.

The beautiful park benches that flank the planters in the center of the street used to
glisten with a clean wood finish

They are already becoming scuffed and worn.

Thankfully there is one thing that has remained totally up to par since day one.  The Streetmosphrere is still as vibrant and appealing as ever.  Our favorite is the Dog Lady and her pet, Lady.  For Halloween she is sporting an adorable new costume.  Find her and pay her a compliment.  The pooch loves flattery.

With the arrival of the Frankenweenie exhibit and movie preview,  Award Wieners has debuted a new hot dog and drink.

The expansion of Ramone’s Body Shop is now underway.  The space that was originally designed as a Fastpass distribution center for Radiator Springs Racers is now closed up and is getting a new look.

No more stroller parking for you!

Inside the existing store, one section has been closed off to allow for an expansion to go through to the other building.

The big new E-ticket seems to have resolved many of its operational issues, with most of its effects working all of the time.  The one unpredictable element is on the outside, with the continuing problem with the beautiful pine trees during the exterior portion of the ride.

While things do not seem to have gotten too much worse, they certainly have not improved.

Finally, the Earl of Sandwich project continues to plod along at a glacial pace in Downtown Disney Anaheim.  It appears that the dining room has now been expanded past what was originally planned, allowing for more dining space.  A red frame work has appeared in front of the store front, while considerable foundation work seems to be occurring under it.

Inside, the controlled chaos moves forward

The tedious paint job has not yet crept from this particular spot.

D23 Discount
We recently noticed that D23 has begun giving renewal discounts of $5 to $10 for current members.  We did a little digging and found that this is not special pricing, but rather a permanent discount for renewing members.

That should do it for us today on our report from the Disneyland Resort.  Prices continue to rise on big and small items alike.  Work continues on the multiple projects inside Disneyland proper. Earl of Sandwich STILL isn’t open.  Yep, it’s a normal day in Anaheim.

Don’t forget to visit MiceChat and D23 at the Gay Days info center this weekend.  Both have some great things to giveaway.

    D23 will be selling 500 limited edition rainbow Tinkerbell D23 pins
  • MiceChat is giving away a copy of Disneyland Paris: From Sketch to Reality on Sunday at the official MiceChat Noon Meet.  Stop by the MiceChat booth at the Gay Days Info Center for your chance to win!
  • Zeathos51

    Adam here. Thanks for the update. I’ve never been one to buy drinks and chuuros. I mostly saved for the New Orleans restaurant with the fish and bread bowls. It sucks though. I’m wondering, where do those kind of trees grow on Route 66? The cactus makes sense but the trees……… I don’t know. Hey, Downtown was the majority of my shifts working at DCA. I always liked that area where Downtown meets the hotels. I’m looking forward to that sandwitch shop.
    Knotts Berry Farm is the kind of place you you can go to eat and still enjoy it without going into the park. Downtown Disney is great, but it doesn’t seem to grab my attention without a Park admission. But hey, I’ll be going to check out the sandwitch shop.

    Thanks for the update!

  • PirateLover

    Great update. I can’t belive the soda and water prices! We all know how much a can of soda costs. There is no “cola shortage” that I know of. No bottling plants on fire or shut down for repairs. If average daily crowds are 40,000 guests and if 10% of them buy a soda, it comes out to approx. $360,000 extra a year they make, for doing nothing more then changing the price of a soda on a sign by $0.25. ($720,000 extra profit if 10% of the people buy a churo!) I’m just guessing at crowd levels and percentages, but I think I’m on the low side. So it looks like a million $ or so profit per year just from these 2 items. If they we concerned about APer’s not spending in the parks, they are not going to make it any better with these prices.

  • mratigan

    Come on Siney
    I know your a company and I the end need to make money but food the high??

  • Barbossa

    Is it just my eyes? Those aren’t pine trees at Radiator Springs Racers. Those are Cedars in the photos.

  • eicarr

    Well hopefully we can assume all this new revenue will be used to reinstate the staff Christmas party.

    The last couple of years I’ve gone I’ve told people I’ve gone with to not bother smuggling in cliff bars and water because snack and meal prices are now more reasonable(and becoming part of the fun i.e. sampling an assortment of stuff at the cozy cone). Eating park food is pricy, but seems a value with inventiveness and quality. But, if this keeps up, I won’t hesitate to retun to NOT buying most of my meals and snacks in the park. Breakfast in my hotel with Costco bagels etc., cliff bars for morning and/or afternoon snacks and either lunch or dinner at the hotel with food from home while taking a reast from the afternoon crowds. 3 months ago I made someone turn around(a few feet outside the hotel room) to put back their bottled water, now I’d send them back if they didn’t have it.

    It takes a little planning and packing on my part, but they might be making substantially less money from me not more. Soda was near reasonable so I never gave it a second thought, but now… I drink 2-3 diet cokes per day in the park but would now replace 1-2 with tap water. I’ll just adjust my buying habits again and skip the fun/unique park items if they turn from overpriced to gouging.

  • skoolpsyk

    well, we used to spend some money in the park, now we spend none…

  • Meryl

    Rising prices is out of control. I visit Disneyland about once a week and have seen the prices increase almost weekly. I did notice that the salads in Tomorrowland’s Pizza Port are now smaller and the prices up about .50 and the almonds are missing from the Chinese Chicken Salad(the chicken remains tho proportionately smaller), the mystery trading pins that used to be $2.95 are now $4.95, jackets last year at $39.95 are now $59.95. So, yes, this report is accurate and alarming. Once-a-year-visitors will probably not blink about the prices because they are not aware of the increasing costs, it bottoms out to be an AP concern. AP’s are much more discretionary because we notice so much from visit to visit. I guess I would be okay, if the price increases reflected unigue merchandise design, which I have not found during my visits this year. I still love going, but, I am undecided as to whether or not renew my AP. I am also wondering if Disney has intentionally increased prices to discourage AP. Any thoughts on this or anything else? Love all the info here, cheers, M

    • aggiemullins

      I’m a once a year kind of guy to WDW where the same thing has been happening on prices. Ridiculous and greedy price gouging to a captive audience. I expect this from six flags and my local movie theater. It’s a little difficult to believe its the “Happiest Place on Earth” when you feel like they’re trying to constantly pick your pocket.

      You say it’s mainly a problem for AP people, but I disagree. For the first time in 10 years, I’m heavily considering renting out my DVC points and taking my family and my money elsewhere. Anymore 10% across the board price hike and I’ll absolutely do it. We just can’t afford it anymore.

  • chesirecat

    The price increases look horrible, IMHO, in that they are pretty big jumps. I mean, $4.00 for a bottle of water? Over a month ago I went to Carsland, and was pleased to see that Flo’s was selling the turkey dinner for about $11 bucks, I guess not too bad given how much food you get, but the prices for snacks and drinks and Filmore’s really surprised me. I think they are upping the prices of discretionary items outside of the big meals, such as bottled water and churros. Really disheartening that the salad options are smaller and more expensive, I already thought the salad sizes were ridiculously small.

    Regarding the cedar trees . . . they got hit with the heat, and look like they are recovering. Yeah, they’ll have to wait for the browned/dry parts to fall off, but don’t see how they could hurry the process along unless they went out to the trees with tweezers and started removed the dried stuff.

  • brem

    Churros up here in Seattle are $1 and larger at Costco, but $4 at Safeco Field where the Mariners play (and lose). Price gouging is common at any entertainment destination. Heck at Safeco, they charge $9 for a pint of beer.

  • daveinfontana

    Here is what needs to be done. No one visits Disney or it’s hotels for a week and lets see what happens.

  • jcruise86

    Very good update, Norm! Thank you! The park benches looked good to me in your photos, but I’m grateful to you for catching things that should be improved. I’d like to see you and Kevin Yee both let loose in a park with cameras to see who could find the most & the most severe flaws. Then the bankrupt, graffiti-plagued City of San Bernardino’s chamber of commerce should hire you two to do the same in their town.

    We’ve got some browning bushes on our humble estate so that seems kind of natural to me, and I was impressed with the RSR plants when I was recently there, but peeling paint is always bad.

    In DCA, I believe the most reasonably priced soda is in Ghaiadelli’s. And they’ll smile and give you a big piece of delicious chocolate just for entering the store.

    In Disneyland, consider getting a free cup of ice in Pizza Port and pouring in a can of soda that you bring in. If they see enough people engaging in this protest they . . . who am I kidding. They’d probably ban folks from bring in food and drinks.

    • jcruise86


    • clara

      “Then the bankrupt, graffiti-plagued City of San Bernardino’s chamber of commerce should hire you two to do the same in their town.”

      Amen to that! I worked in San Bernardino for a year…it’s a horrible city.

    • addiction41999

      “Then the bankrupt, graffiti-plagued City of San Bernardino’s chamber of commerce should hire you two to do the same in their town.”

      Please don’t do this or you’d never return for our updates. That would take you years!!

      I lived in San Bernardino for 5 years and still visit once a month for family there. I have to say they have a lot to do to get the city turned around…and it would take a lot more than a “Cars Land” makeover on route 66 to get them moving again! Love the freeway improvements though, the 215 is looking spectacular.

      Enough of my rant….Love the Update and Love Micechat period! 🙂

  • jcruise86

    bringING I swear I proof my messages, but still miss errors, now recorded for eternity.

  • Tiny Mermaid

    Irritated about the price hikes. There is a lot to love at Disneyland, and of course I understand it is a business that needs to make money, but between the admission spikes and now the merchandise and food hikes, it’s hard not to be a little let down. I want to enjoy the park as long as I can afford it … which is getting harder each time I go.

  • Algernon

    Between the rising prices and all the bogus changes over the years, they can definitely count me out. One day there will be a new kid in town, whether it’s Las Vegas becoming family friendly again, or somebody else doing it right, and everybody will go there instead.

  • clara

    I did notice in my last visit, last weekend that water was up to $3. I have just started returning to the parks on a regular basis after a bit of a beark from renewing my AP. I make it a habit to bring my own bottles of water in my bag and curse the skies when I’m about to pull into the Mickey and Friends parking structure and randomly remember that I FORGOT water bottles because I know I will have to spend at least and extra $15-20 on water, especially on hot days, for my kid and I. And I’m a water drinking fiend..I MUST drink water even in the winter.

    • jcruise86

      Why don’t you bring water with you? Freeze some whole bottles and freeze 50% of other bottles overnight and then fill them with water in the morning. Carry them in a backpack. Twist off the caps before drinking.

      Everyone was very nice about it when (after we were encouraged to do so by another CM) my daughter and I went in to Pizza Port and walked out with two big cups of free ice water. (I have no idea how nice they are to guests who are not polite, well-dressed, and ridiculously good looking.)

      • jcruise86

        Clara, I just read your message more carefully and habitually do bring water but then forget it and curse. I’m afraid I can’t help you.

      • jcruise86

        Please insert “read that you do” before “habitually.”

      • clara

        You make me laugh…
        Yeah, I normally do bring water with me…but you gave me the idea of freezing it. I never really thought of that but it is a good idea.

      • jcruise86

        Clara, thanks for knowing that I was just kidding! I love people with senses of humor.

        Really do feel free to politely march into Pizza Port (and other locations) and ask if you can have a big glass of ice water. And I know I write this every chance I get, but the cheapest sodas in Disneyland’s are at DCA’s Ghirardelli’s and come with a nice, free chocolate sample.

        I also use our Disney Rewards Visa dollars to occasionally splurge on something we’d never eat at those prices in the real world. And, Clara, you know what I forget? (About 20% of the time.) To ask for my AP discount. D’oh! Blessed be CMs who remind me!

        I was a CM and many CMs identify more with Disneyland’s guests than with George the Christmas party killer, or Bob I. & THOMAS S., who are each worth more than 100 Xs a new full-time Disneyland employee in terms of yearly compensation. (Is it 300 times in Iger’s case? If Adam Smith were alive today he wouldn’t stop throwing up.)

      • clara

        “Clara, thanks for knowing that I was just kidding! I love people with senses of humor.”
        I don’t take things to seriously any more, used to but I’m to old for that now 🙂

        “And I know I write this every chance I get, but the cheapest sodas in Disneyland’s are at DCA’s Ghirardelli’s and come with a nice, free chocolate sample.”
        I have not gone into the Ghirardelli’s yet but hey if they give out free chocolate..I’m so there!

        “And, Clara, you know what I forget? (About 20% of the time.) To ask for my AP discount. D’oh! Blessed be CMs who remind me!”
        I did notice that they sometimes ask if I’m a AP holder and I go ‘Yes! thanks for reminding me” and there is my 20% off 🙂

        “I was a CM and many CMs identify more with Disneyland’s guests than with George the Christmas party killer, or Bob I. & THOMAS S., who are each worth more than 100 Xs a new full-time Disneyland employee in terms of yearly compensation. (Is it 300 times in Iger’s case? If Adam Smith were alive today he wouldn’t stop throwing up.)”
        And all this above gave me my afternoon laugh…thank you…thank you…

  • sactoguy

    The pine trees at radiator springs. It’s normal for them to do that they are getting use to their new situation. It will take a couple seasons for them to be pristine again. Most likely the holes in the rock work have left over paint or some kind of chemical residue left and that’s got into the tree. It will take a while for them acclimate and spruce up.

  • jasmineray

    I’m not surprised by those price increases. It’s very unfortunate. I’ve been buying my own snacks previously before I get to the parks for years now, so this doesn’t really effect me, besides the churros.

    I’m still disappointed with the Toontown Mountain. I really hope they can get that fixed soon. Really, all of Toontown could use a fresh paint job. Speaking of that, let’s hope they can get BVS to shine again!

  • waltopia

    Thanx for all the fantastic updates always.
    More money for less experience; remember too that these ever-more-overpriced snacks are now not even served with cute custom napkins as part of your Disneyland day anymore, but just thin brown paper ones. My recent breakfast was as expensive as the best places in town, but served on flimsy plastic (and took 10 minutes in an Empty cafeteria, to come out cold). Hardly a quality experience, yet charged like it is. The environment to enjoy was of-course richly paid for in many other ways prior too and aside from the meal itself…which just doesn’t stand up on any level.
    Sorry, I love Disneyland, but cutting every corner and charging more for it, IS NOT FUN.

  • SpectroMan

    Pine/Spruce/alternative names – people, these are Junipers.

  • Mike Hinchcliff

    Before getting too riled up and negative on prices – do some comparative to other evernts such as Baseball and Football games as well as concerts. These prices are almost a bargain compared to these events.

  • penguinsoda

    It is inevitable that prices will go up. But it seems like in the last year, the jumps have been higher and faster than ever before. Of course last weekend I was at the Living Desert Zoo in Palm Desert and paid almost $13 for a turkey wrap and a drink, which made me think maybe dining in Disney wasn’t so bad after all! 😉

    Alas, the continued rise in the AP prices as finally priced me out. I was going to renew one more year, but other things have come up so this weekend when my pass expires… thats it for me for a while. I will still (hopefully) be attending the MiceChat/MiceAge anniversary in January, but it will be with a parkhopper pass instead of an AP.

  • Cuddles McHenry

    My friends and I..all AP holders..pack water and small snacks. For our meal, we head out of the park. Money goes way further outside the DLR sadly.

    • jcruise86

      You and your friends rule! One thing I HATE about WDW is feeling captive to their prices if I don’t have a car or don’t feel like driving so far off of their property. In contrast, at the Disneyland Resort we used to make walking to Mimi’s (NOT Millie’s) part of every trip. For the first couple of years of our APs, on many trips I used to happily take pride in going to Disneyland (nearby) and not spend one penny in the parks.

  • ehughes75

    Honestly, at this point I have already been priced out of Disneyland. I have not renewed my AP and probably will not buy one again in the future. It’s a shame, my daughter and I used to visit the park at least twice a year, but now we are finding other places to go. I miss the park, but not that much… Way to go Disney, from the “Happiest Place on Earth” on it’s way to the Most Expensive Place on Earth.

  • Disneyland is a high quality product (especially compared to the faded glory of WDW) and I expect premium prices for everything. But pricing is currently out of control. I do think they’ve finally gone too far. And if there’s another major price increase on passes this year, it will likely push the pass holder program over the edge and spark lots of negative publicity beyond the fan communities.

    • clara

      ^^^ Yup. I renewed my past back in August after almost a year off and I REALLY scraped the last of the money barrel to renew. Each year for the past few years…it’s been a bottom of the barrel scrape to renew and this will likely continue, until I finally move out of state once and for all.
      But very sad for all fans.

      • jcruise86

        We had APs for four years in a row, but now we’ll probably get them for one year every three or four years. The two years off we recently finished made us appreciate more an in between we visit many cool museums, galleries, other parks, etc.

        When we visited Knott’s last year I noticed that their beverages were more prices were even higher than Disneyland, and in about 10 visits I never once purchases a beverage there.

        But I do expect one comedian to do a Disneyland is a rip off joke and receive larger than expected laughs of recognition, than many comics not on Disney’s ABC network will join in, though NBC/Univeral might discourage biting a hand with the same glove size because Universal unfortunately follows Disney’s pricing lead (except for their APS & inexpensive Costco passes for Universal Hollywood.)

        Actually Modern Family took some light shots at Disneyland, though (exactly like a “Roseanne” at Disneyland episode years ago) a kid who was not into Disneyland was won over by its magic, which makes I guess was to make some its stupid, avaricious prices forgivable.

        Fox’s The Simpsons (pre-Universal ride?) at Disney World was a different story. What was Homer’s exchange at the churro stand?

  • wave789

    The water bottle that used to be $2.79… Was that plus tax or tax included? $3.00 tax included is the same as $2.79 plus tax.

    • RatherBeAtDLand

      Yeah, I think this is an issue made out of a technicality. Yes, Disneyland is charging 11 cents more for water BUT it includes tax so the customer isn’t paying any more.

  • MainSt1993

    A note on the rising soda prices…the cost of purchasing soda wholesale has recently gone up, and merchants have responded. I work in a big box store and our single bottle sodas just had a price jump. Also to put things in perspective, $3.25 for a Coke is what attractions in my city were already charging (Smithsonian Institution, Capitol Visitors Center). In fact, since getting used to the prices in general for regional theme park incidentals like meals, snacks, and souvenirs, I’m often surprised when I go back to my beloved Disneyland and see just how much further my dollar can go.

  • Ravjay12

    It’s sad that Disney keeps raising prices on food and drinks, but that’s their business! All amusement parks are outrageously over priced on their food and souvenirs because they know that people will buy them! You want to see them lower their prices? Don’t buy their stuff. Our family always goes outside the park to eat. There’s plenty of restaurants just outside the gates that are not at Downtown Disney. When I was a cast member, we got discounts on restaurants and souvenirs at the park, but never the outdoor vending stuff. All that outdoor vending stuff is profit. Our family also takes snacks and sandwiches and drinks into the parks to save money.

  • brianpinsky

    The question is why is Disneyland keep getting let behind in the maintence issues. I have never seen a report from Forida about the say lack of progress on projects or iteams be left to be dissoved. I do have to say the lighting crew is just completely redid Main Street it looks amazzing!

    • TodAZ1

      Wow. Really? Why does the Snow White Mine Train take so long to build? Have you seen the upkeep issues at WDW??

  • Tinkbelle

    The prices at the park are out of this world. This trip we only purchased things to sample/taste/share amongst the 4 of us (i.e. an order of pomme frittes, beignets, a sundae from Ghirardelli). $3 for a soda? No thanks. If it were even $2 we would have been purchasing them. They would have made more money off of us if prices were down a bit. If a roast beef sandwich were $7 instead of $10 etc. Our usual treat of a chocolate caramel Hunny Pot used to be about $6 or $7 as well and is now suddenly $10. They are losing money on my family by these price hikes.

    The parks didn’t seem quite as well kept this visit. The shrubs and roses didn’t look as healthy. I also noticed that the carousel horses are really starting to look chipped and beat up, especially their saddles.

  • Fortune Red

    We all expect outrageous prices in places where we are part of a “captive audience”, but I think Disney is shooting themselves in the foot when in recent years the number of passholders has exceeded the million mark. Especially in the slow season when passholders make up the bulk of the attendance. Passholders come and go freely, and they pass a myriad of fast food places on their way to the parking structure that almost all offer better food at much lower prices (AP discount included).
    This is a shame too, because there are so many wonderfully scenic places to dine in the parks. I’d much rather sit on the patio of Hungry Bear watching the Mark Twain go by, than staring at the traffic on Harbor Blvd through a smudged window. The experience of dining in the park is worth something, but not what they are charging. If you have over a million people holding passes, you don’t want to discourage them from dropping a dime inside.
    Of course, maybe Disney’s business model is in the other direction. Maybe they are trying to thin out the herd, with the AP price hikes and all. Maybe they just want to overcharge the tourists, retain a fat profit margin all while saving on labor and supplies, because the demand won’t be as high with locals dining elsewhere. This method leaves a bad impression on EVERYONE that visits the park in the course of a day though…

  • Asylim

    Nice update.

    Those are indeed cedar trees in the photo.

    I have three of them in my backyard and as it is currently fall they look the same as the dried out and dead branches have yet to fall off. Ours do this every year.

    I suspect the traumatic transplant of those trees into the park caused them to suffer a bit. Once the brown, dried out stuff falls out the trees will look great again.

    I don’t think you need to worry about those ones once they fully recover.

  • Tinkbelle

    Besides the carousel horses, we also observed yesterday that the railing along the patio of the Riverbelle Terrace is rusting in several places and the cushions of the chairs in the Grand Californian are starting to look really shabby.

  • StevenSokulski

    The price for Churros hasn’t gone up in a couple of years. They went from $3.00 to $3.50 the same time parking went up.

  • Athlonacon

    Awww, poor cedar trees. They still look good, they just need some time… they are living things after all. I happen to like them very much and don’t like anyone badmouthing them. 🙂

    As for the pricing, I simply won’t pay what they are asking for admission/parking, much less anything actually *inside* the park. I’ve passed up opportunities to go to the park for the first time ever recently, because for the first time ever the price outstrips the experience. I never thought I’d say that, but it’s finally reached that point.

    But, having said that, they are still raking in record attendance and SOMEONE obviously has the money to spend there, so more power to them. Raise it to triple digits for all I care, just don’t expect to see me there.