Disneyland Resort Update: Prices Rising, Buena Vista Maintenance

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort, In the Parks

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Published on October 04, 2012 at 11:55 pm with 49 Comments

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!

About Norman Gidney

Norman Gidney, also known as Fishbulb, produces and edits many of the articles on MiceChat. Tune in every Tuesday for the Orlando Parkhopper and every Friday for In The Parks. But you'll also find his photos in the Weekly Round Up, SAMLAND, and numerous other columns on the site.

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  • 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…