Disneyland prices climb as ‘The Lone Ranger’ comes to California Adventure

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Dateline Disneyland, Disneyland Resort

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Published on June 03, 2013 at 5:05 am with 42 Comments

About Andy Castro

Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy writes the weekly Dateline Disneyland column, which can be found every Monday on MiceChat.

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  • sixalex

    Excellent update! Prices rise again, but not too horribly. Of course after the last large jump, this is just frosting on the executives bonus cake.

    The safety railings will blend in and most guests won’t even see them. Starbuck’s will be a nice addition. We are really enjoying our morning or afternoon SBux break at DCA these days.

    I predict that the Lone Ranger movie will be pretty crummy, but make huge money. I love the character of the Lone Ranger and had some hope for the film, but the trailers just show CGI lunacy.

    Fun pictures of Knott’s today too. I have never been there and, until today, didn’t really care to go. You may have altered my reality!

    All in all, I still love DIsneyland and Mice Chat enhances my enjoyment. I’ll be there today!

    See ya real soon!

  • disney4me2001

    Great report as always! Loved the added bit about Knott’s! I’ve already been on all the new Boardwalk attractions, but not the Timber Mountain Log Ride. I’m going there today though!

  • charles1625

    Great report as always.
    I would like to know how Disney can charge me in CA $669 dollars for my annual pass that is good at 2 parks for 365 days while they charge only $609 dollars in FL for the same type of annual pass that is good at all 4 parks. ALSO – If I were a FL resident that SAME Annual Pass would only be $464 dollars.

    They are charging me much more in CA for my annual pass and now they are talking about also taking away my Disneyland HolidayTime and making it a separate ticket event?? Can we get this information to the media? Check out
    http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/magic-your-way-facts-on-2013-walt-disney-world-resort-prices/

    They have MANY better options for WDW tickets. If we are truly One Parks why don’t we have better pricing here?

    • Charles, it’s all about attendance. The Disneyland Resort is at its physical attendance limit and Annual passes are the primary reason for that. While that is a good thing in some ways, it is necessary for Disney to place price pressure on the passes to prevent the program from growing.

      I’m not happy about it from a consumer point of view, but I do fully understand why it’s happening.

      Of course, the best thing Disney could do under such extreme capacity shortage would be to build the 3rd park! That would take pressure off of Disneyland and DCA and help generate even more cash for the company and shareholders.

    • LoveStallion

      Simple – Disney wants the Anaheim location to be a multi-day resort, and unlike Florida, Anaheim is inundated with locals most of the time. The entire point in building DCA was to push this resort myth, and now Disney is trying to effectively price out would-be annual passholders to presumably open up space for free-spending tourists.

      How many locals go to the parks, buy lots of meals and merchandise, and wait around for princesses? Not many. I tend to go out of my way to get a corn dog on Main Street, but that’s about it. As a local, I represent smaller margins for Disney, and that’s bad for the bottom line, even if it’s flipping the bird at one of the primarily different aspects of Anaheim’s legacy compared to Florida’s.

    • second blue teacup

      Cost of living is much lower in Florida than it is in SoCal. And the audience of locals is much, much smaller in Orlando than it is in the LA megalopolis.

  • zippythesquirrel

    Thanks again for a great report. Someone please help explain this whole safety railing thing. Railings are going up on buildings, that were built in 1955, for safety reasons, although I’ve never heard of any maintenance worker being injured falling off a building on Main Street. Then you have a brand new show, Mickey and the Magical Map, where a costumed character is standing on what appears to be a narrow catwalk several feet in the air, with no safety railing. Am I missing something?

  • Fantastic update. And thank you for the continued coverage of the rooftop railing infestation at Disneyland. While I fully understand the need for workplace safety, I’m not happy with these changes and think that even the decorative rails look horrible and out of scale. OSHA is slowly ruining the carefully crafted look of Disneyland. I’m furious that Disney isn’t using its clout to get waivers from the state due to its unique business model and importance to the local economy.

    I also appreciate your coverage of Knott’s. The boardwalk is an improvement and I’m a big fan of increasing the number of family rides and diminishing the dominance of extreme attractions. But it’s the Timber Mountain Log Ride which is going to shock folks. It is now jam packed with animatronics and feels very much like a Disney quality experience. This was the first themed log flume ride back in the day and is once again a top ride in the country. If I had to pick a best new ride of summer 2013, it would be the Timber Mountain Log Ride. And yes, I consider it to be “New’, because it essentially is.

    Beautiful photos as always Andy!

  • SpectroMan

    Incidentally, did they remove some of the Boardwalk games as part of this area’s remodel? I was there last Thursday and honestly don’t remember seeing any, unless I was just too busy snapping pics of the new ride!

  • StevenW

    As shocking as $1000 to see The Lone Ranger, it is equally shocking to see Armie Hammer, a relatively unknown, take the lead role. I recall he played the Prince in Mirror Mirror. What a job advancement. In that spirit, you’ll get a Subway sandwich.

    I don’t get why Disney fans need to say Knott’s isn’t up to Disney standards. Clue: Knott’s isn’t Disney. Now, they get to complain that Knott’s Boardwalk has no shade. Shades of Paradise Pier without the ornate theming. Come to think of it, it’s exactly what you’ll expect from a real boardwalk.

    In light of the price increases, I’m glad I went last month to the park. At least now people will say, nobody goes to Disneyland because the park is too expensive. Actually, people will still go.

    • jcruise86

      Armie Hammer was excellent in two roles (twins) in the Oscar nominated movie, “The Social Network.”

  • crmwed

    One thing I will say about Knotts, I love that they still have themed merchandise and shops. If you walk through the shops of Ghost Town you can by leather goods and cowboy hats and western-era souvenirs. The types of things you used to be able to get in Frontierland. Now they put a cowboy hat on Duffy and call it western themed merchandise.

  • LoveStallion

    Lone Ranger will not be a flop (like After Earth), but I see it being a disappointment. I’m not sure if I’ll give it John Carter or Prince of Persia status, but I hardly see a franchise coming out of this thing.

    Plus, westerns (no matter how Bruckheimered they are), don’t play well internationally. Pirates 4 was much weaker on domestic sales, but the international cume still took it to huge levels.

  • JiminyCricketFan

    It was a great update. My only comment is that I see great irony in the premiere of the Lone Ranger on a street that is a fake of Hollywood. Not that the real Hollywood is really real…

  • eicarr

    If you don’t stare at DL rooftops, things are looking good

    Was hoping from the title the Lone Ranger took over a frontier land store’s theme. More live action tie-ins are needed.

    Knotts is a must for us every 2-3 trips down to DL. I rotate with Universal and an extra DL .

    I’d pay more than that current $130 per day for the hopper pass if they keep the Cars Land level of new Attractions up. There are just too many people at DL these days. Charging for those under 3 would really help cut down on strollers too.

  • bayouguy

    Very informative update. Just not too happy for any price increase, but it wasn’t too great a gouge. Just can’t get how weasly Disney was in introducing its increases. Accepting some negative criticism would do wonders.

  • Sparky

    I’m surprised that nobody has published a photo of the tribute to Bud Hurlbut in the Knott’s Log Ride that is seen in the queue. Got to ride the ride a couple of times on the weekend. The upgraded ride is simply delightful. It really brings to life a logging community in a fun way. I would love to see somebody do a scene by scene comparison of what was there before and what it was replaced with. I can’t quite remember what was in some of the scenes before. I’m thrilled to now have something to do at Knott’s besides just walk around or watch shows! By the way, we checked on Saturday and the historical exhibit was already gone. At least, peaking in the window of the barn, it looked like it had been cleared out. I wish they’d have left it up for longer, as I would have loved to have seen the display.

    • CalicoBrad

      Where in the queue was the tribute to Bud Hurlbut? I rode the ride twice and only noticed his name on the box that the skunk was sitting on. As you mentioned, the refurbishment of the ride is a fantastic achievement. They were able to preserve the theme and spirit of the original ride while introducing a whole new level of animatronics, theming, and storytelling. I hope we can look back in a few years and remember the refurbishment of Timber Mountain as the turning point for Knott’s on its journey back to becoming a wonderful family destination.

      • Sparky

        When you’re on the bridge that goes over the flume, just before you descend the stairs to the loading zone, to the right is the ride operator’s booth. There is a wooden sign above the window where the ride operator is that says “Logging Office – Mgr. B. Hurlbut”.

      • CalicoBrad

        Thanks Sparky. I will be sure to look for it when I go back this weekend.

  • Sparky

    I’m surprised that nobody has published a photo of the tribute to Bud Hurlbut in the Knott’s Log Ride that is seen in the queue. Got to ride the ride a couple of times on the weekend. The upgraded ride is simply delightfu, even with a few things that may not have been workingl. It really brings to life a logging community in a fun way. I’m tickled that it includes a Hootennany! I would love to see somebody do a scene by scene comparison of what was in the ride before and what they were replaced with. I can’t quite remember what was in some of the scenes before. I’m thrilled to now have something to do at Knott’s besides just walk around or watch shows! By the way, we checked on Saturday morning and the historical exhibit was already gone. At least, peaking in the window of the barn, it looked like it had been cleared out. I wish they’d have left it up for longer, as I would have loved to have seen the display.

    • I’m sad to hear the historical exhibit was already removed. I was under the impression it would be open to guests for a while, but I guess not. Too bad, because it was really fantastic to get to see the original models and concept art for the Log Ride up close! Thanks anyway for the info!

      -Andy

      • Sparky

        I’m glad that you got lots of nice photos of it, Andy, since that’s the only way most of us got to see it. Thanks! It would have been nice if they’d have left the exhibit up over the weekend. Strange that they didn’t keep it up for opening weekend. Maybe they’ll bring it back at some point.

  • Disneykin Kid

    The only reason anyone should scoff at Knott’s is for their out-of-place roller coasters. The original Knott’s is a gem and hopefully, the refurbishment of the Mine Train and a new dark ride will make that gem shine even more brightly. IMO Knott’s will do best with more theming and less roller coasters. Theming is Disney’s way, roller coasters is Six Flags’ way, you decide which way is best for Knott’s.

  • thedustycoyote

    anyone else think the tracks on big thunder don’t quite look right? i thought the wooden ties would help, but they almost seem to just get lost under the bright cherry red tracks. i guess i’ll have to see it in person to really make a judgement, and hopefully they look better as they age.

    • mondo

      Agree. It doesn’t look right.I mentioned this before, the tracks should have been silver or grey.

    • LoveStallion

      I had assumed they’d be painted or something. That fire engine red will never do.

  • theyams

    Great report but i think you have a typo in the price. The article says the Parkhopper is $147, but the table below says $137 (which is what the Disney site says).

    • Good catch – that was a typo and has now been corrected. The note that one-day Park Hopper saw the biggest price increase ($12) for regular park tickets remains accurate, however.

      Thanks for reading!
      -Andy

  • zuliek

    I wonder why, with the huge crowds Disneyland had to raise prices. It does not sound like much to most folks but when you are on a fixed low retirement income combined with raising hotel, parking, food and gas (we live in Nevada) costs, it really adds up. We have not been to Disneyland in about 17 years and we have a handicapped daughter (she is 24 but mentally she is like a 1st grader) who watches a Disneyland VHS tape every week and we would love to take her. I am wondering how many rides you can ride in a day, and what does that make each ride cost. Just seems like you pay a lot of money to stand in line and wiggle your way thru crowds. We have been lucky to be able to get the package deal for the Knott’s Halloween Haunt. For around $100 a person we got admission to the Haunt, a nice big room with two beds at the Knott’s Hotel, Parking, Dinner Buffet, Breakfast Buffet, and free T-shirts for all of us. Not only were we able to go thru all the mazes twice or more, we also did a lot of rides. Of course we went on a week day. It is a wonderful thing that Knott’s is still affordable for most people. Perhaps some November we will be able to go to Disneyland.

    • StevenW

      The longer you wait, the less you can afford. Two years ago, they were begging for guests to go to the original terrible California Adventure. Now, everything has gotten better and you pay more. You wait, you lose. How much longer will you wait? 17 years is a long time to keep avoiding Disneyland. It always cost a lot. It is so much more expensive. Perhaps you should spot making excuses and go.

      November has smaller crowds, but avoid the week of Thanksgiving. The first two weeks of December has small crowds too, but it can be rainy and cold.

    • second blue teacup

      You miss the point.

      Because they have huge crowds, they need to raise prices. That will lower crowds… which means less standing in line.

      Basic economy, if you lower prices, more people will come (because it’s cheaper). Raise prices, fewer people come.

  • Quitterdan

    i’ve definitely got Knott’s on my list next time I go to SoCal. I haven’t been since 1974, and it looks like they’ve done some great sprucing up of the park!

  • WheresMickey

    Awesome report!

  • Rex Dopey24

    i loved the scrambler ride back in 96 and im glad they brought it back.

  • majestros23

    Funny how every site went to the log ride OPENNING DAY,

  • majestros23

    Funny how every site went to the log ride OPENNING DAY, but no one got on.. I always pick on guests who have to go on opening day, and Dec 24th and 25th… Awesome pics, fav part about mon. morning..

  • Algernon

    How’s this: instead of all those ugly railings, the workers wear safety lines when working in those areas?

    Las Vegas would be wise to go family friendly again. A family of four can stay at the Circus Circus for between $24 and $49 a night, plus an $11 resort fee. Parking is free, the food is way cheaper, it has it’s own theme park, plus there’s a whole city to see. If MGM Resorts jazzed that place up, and places like the Treasure Island went family friendly again, it would be a nice alternative to Disneyland, with its $92 a person admission. That’s where Las Vegas was headed in the 1990’s, when they were growing by leaps and bounds, and the money was rolling in—before they decided to go after boring luxury and the twenty and thirty-something hipster wannabes, who are living off a credit card. They blame their downturn on the economy, yet Disneyland is able to raise prices endlessly, under the same economic conditions.

    • Ryan120420

      Vegas makes far more money with gambling, booze, sex, up-scale entertainment, shopping and dining as attractions than they would with family aimed attractions.

      Vegas will probably never have another wave of family friendly attractions like they did in the 90’s.

  • 4Apples4Disney

    Great update as usual!!

  • MorningStar

    Hi there! i’m a new member and I am so excited! I love Disneyland! I mean who doesn’t?

    Thanks for posting those pictures for us. It makes me feel so good to see Disneyland as if I am there every day ( I wish) . i love the New Orleans buildings. i’m curious, what is inside the second story of those buildings? Do they keep stock there or is it empty? Are visitors allowed to see?

    Waiting for your response!
    ~Hilda 😀

  • ralzap

    Go to Knott’s and tell them the ghost town is cool, The rest does not belong to the first theme park in America. Get rid of the swing. Pony express should not go through boot hill. The silver bullet takes up way to much of the park, and is not themed. Calico Square should be part of ghost town. They are making progress, so go buy season passes, and buy chicken dinners.

    USA USA…….. K…N… O TT’s spells Knott’s. Don’t forget your roots……
    It started with a Boysen Berry Jam, and a Pie.
    My pass will never pay, but I will keep buying them to support the new group who understands the history of the park. Great call on the log ride. Just need a dark ride and more theming.

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